Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 33 to 48 of 69

Thread: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

  1. #33
    Registered+
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    51
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    The last time I purchased a pre-built PC was in June of '96 (HP Pavilion 5040). I've been building my own boxes since August of '97.

  2. #34
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    2,753
    Thanks
    669
    Thanked
    634 times in 471 posts

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korrorra View Post
    Kept getting HP Compaq Presario for some reason. Horrible quality and reliability. The price that HP was charging for pre-built's back then was totally not worth it. Most likely still isn't. This is why I really try to get people to build there own PC. So you can do the research and know what brand of quality you will be getting and choose something else. You will also will be able to figure out what's wrong with your PC hopefully. So you will not have to do expensive repairs like me back in the day. I really don't support pre-built's 99 percent of the time. Unless you have no other choice where you live and how much you can afford. I recommend doing it yourself.
    I wouldn't disagree with that for the large integrators, like Dell/HP, though there are exceptions even then. In my opinion, you will get a basically functional device but the ones I've seen have been built to be highly price-competitive and that has often mant trimming spec here, there and everywhere.

    But you have to realise that some, indeed probably most, PC users regard a PC like they do a TV, kitchen blender or washing machine - it is bought to do a specific job and as long as it does it satisfactorly, most of those trimmed corners don't much matter. For instance, my wife uses a PC for credit control for her employer. It runs their (custom) accounts software, lets her write letters, send/receive emails and browse news sites at lunchtime. Oh, and n these lockdown days, use MS Teams (or whatever) for team meetings. Beyond that, she has about as much interest in PCs as I do in automated knitting machines. It's a tool, and provided it works, she has zero further interest.

    Most users of a forum like this, however, go quite a way beyond that .... or are here to learn how to go beyond that. There is an interest, absent in my wife, in how PCs work, and what to tweak/tune/replace to get them to work better. For instance, is PSU 1 better than PSU 2, and if so, is it worth the extra price? Or, what spec of HD/SSD should I get? What's the difference in WD drives between Red, Blue, Black, Gold, Purple, Green or the plain silver HC class enterprise drives, and when are you best advised to use one versus the other. What about PMR/CMR/SMR? And so on.

    So users here probably benefit, most of the time, from building machines because, yes, it's a learning process and yes, once you have the knowledge, you can fine-tune the spec to include your optimised choice of components.

    BUT .... even for users of a forum like this, there is a case to be made for pre-built machines. Some posters have already referred to several of them.like selfishtoaster (great name, by the way) a few posts up (#30).

    In my case, I've built machines for several decades. I'm out of date on the intricacies of certain components now, but tat's why I'd talk to some of the people here before finalising my desired spec for my intended uses, which would include photo editing and some video transcoding, but would not include gaming as a priority.

    Then, I can go to a custom integrator. Not to the likes of Dell or HP, but to those much smaller integrators who, atleast to some extent and in Scan's case, to a pretty wide extent, will let you spec a machine to your needs. I can choose case, mobo, CPU, PSE, memory amount, type, speed and up to a point, brand and then add or not add various levels of storage, pick my GPU and so on. It then gets built, tested and shipped to me ready to configure the OS and install my applications. What I don't have to do is spend several hours bolting it all together, then sorting out what is wrong is something doesn't work, and possibly arguing with one of several suppliers about component replacement. That's all sorted by Scan before I get the machine.

    In other words, you pay usually a modest premium for the convenience of not doing the grunt work. And by not doing it, I save that time. Why do things for myself that are best done by someone else, leaving my time free for me to use in the optimum way?

    If price is your ultimate priority, sure, try to minimise it by building yourself. But I don't need the learning curve from the experience. I just want a PC that works, and works well. I'll pay someone with the experience to build it and the parts availability to troubleshoot it, just as I'll pay my solicitor £220/hr to vet contracts rather than do it myself. He's better at it than me, and I don't have to stick my face in the nitty gritty of contract verbiage. There is a lot to be sad for selectively outsourcing tasks better done by someone else, and entirely depending on an individual's circumstances, buying a pre-built machine might be one of them.

    I'd certainly advise building for some people I know, but I'd strongly advise against it for others.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

  3. Received thanks from:

    CAT-THE-FIFTH (12-06-2021)

  4. #35
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Where you are not
    Posts
    1,240
    Thanks
    514
    Thanked
    89 times in 78 posts
    • Iota's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Maximus Hero XI
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i9 9900KF
      • Memory:
      • CMD32GX4M2C3200C16
      • Storage:
      • 1 x 250GB / 1 x 1TB / 1 x 2TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nvidia RTX 3090 Founders Edition
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX1200i
      • Case:
      • Corsair Obsidian 500D
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung Odyssey G9
      • Internet:
      • 40Mbps SKY Fibre

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Quote Originally Posted by selfishtoaster View Post
    and the warranty is usually far superior to individual components: plus, if it breaks it's not your responsibility to find out which component went wrong, you just send it off and it's their problem.

    I'm sure people on here love cable management and troubleshooting driver/compatibility issues for days on end but I value my time way more than that maybe £100 saving you're getting for buying separately.
    I highly doubt you'll get a better warranty period on a prebuilt PC compared to individual components, individual components tend to at least match prebuilt system warranties, or in many cases exceed those offered (such as 10 years on a PSU or 5 years on an NVMe drive etc). Cable management isn't hard and doesn't take long to do properly.

    As for the point about driver issues / compatibility issues? I haven't seen those for a decade (literally, pre Sandy Bridge was the last time I saw those problems).

    Also sending off an entire system seems particularly cumbersome, especially when you can get advanced replacements on most parts (had a replacement monitor dealt with this way). I'm not sure I've ever seen an option to have an entire prebuilt system offer an advanced replacement service? However if you think £100 extra is worth those additional hassles, feel free to spend it.

  5. #36
    Senior Member Kovoet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    812
    Thanks
    70
    Thanked
    42 times in 36 posts
    • Kovoet's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus ROG crosshair Hero VIII
      • CPU:
      • AMD 5900x
      • Memory:
      • 32GB Viper 3733mhz
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 850 512GB,Samsung 860 1TB SSD & 950 PRO NVMe M.2 SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus RTX3080Ti
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX1200i
      • Case:
      • Corsair Carbide 680x
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • samsung G7 27" Odyessy, Asus Tuf VG32VQ1B
      • Internet:
      • 1GB Virgin

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Never ever will. What made up my mind years ago when I almost did was when they said pay a bit extra for the warranty but with the likes of corsair they have long warranty periods but the most important thing for me is it's taking the enjoyment away of building a PC and putting in the components that you particularly want in the case.

  6. #37
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Central Scotland
    Posts
    539
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    17 times in 12 posts
    • jnutt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSi X570
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 3700X
      • Memory:
      • 32gig DDR 3600
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 1tb NVME M.2 SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA 2070Super
      • PSU:
      • Stock
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master
      • Operating System:
      • Windows10 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung 32" and 24"
      • Internet:
      • Cable 350mb

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Nope, I've always built my own. The first one was a 386 with a maths co-processor. Ah happy days!

  7. #38
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Northants
    Posts
    304
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked
    22 times in 19 posts
    • KultiVator's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Aorus x570 Ultra
      • CPU:
      • Ryzen 3900x
      • Memory:
      • G.Skill 32GB (2x16gb) 3600Mhz
      • Storage:
      • 5TB of NVMe storage (most of it on PCIe4) + Various SATA SSDs & HDDs
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Aorus RTX 2080 Super OC 8GB
      • PSU:
      • Corsair RM750x
      • Case:
      • Phanteks Eclipse P600s (Black & White Edition)
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • AOC 32" 4K IPS / ASUS 24" ProArt 1200p IPS / GStory 1080p/166Hz GSync/FreeSync IPS / Quest 2 HMD

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    They were awesome! Came with a bus that you could plug a CD drive (woah, future tech) into as well.
    Yeah great soundcard in that era - and talking of the CDROM add-on... installing CorelDraw from 1 CDROM was a revelation back then. Way nicer than the alternative - from memory, something like 12 or 14 floppies for a minimum install.

    The CDROM version was also packed with example artwork, fonts, clipart, etc. whereas the floppy version was pretty barebones.

    It was also the time for Microsoft Encarta to carve out a niche on CD-ROM - offering a new way to satisfy your enquiring mind in the pre-Google epoch.

  8. #39
    Moosing about! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Not here
    Posts
    31,604
    Thanks
    3,748
    Thanked
    5,054 times in 3,908 posts
    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iota View Post
    I highly doubt you'll get a better warranty period on a prebuilt PC compared to individual components, individual components tend to at least match prebuilt system warranties, or in many cases exceed those offered (such as 10 years on a PSU or 5 years on an NVMe drive etc). Cable management isn't hard and doesn't take long to do properly.
    Which involves the technological knowledge of:
    1.)Knowing what parts to buy in the first place.
    2.)Being able to assemble the PC with a degree of competence.
    3.)Understanding how to install an OS,etc.
    4.)Having time to go through the build,and having time to troubleshoot any issues.
    5.)Being able to read reviews in detail. Its one thing knowing a Ryzen 5/Core i5 is a good gaming CPU,or a RX5700XT will give you 60FPS in your favourite games,but what about all the other aspects?? Knowing what types of RAM to get,what motherboards,what parts will work properly with X and Y.

    Then if there is a problem:
    1.)Being able to identify what has actually stopped working. The system stops booting - is it the PSU,the motherboard,the GPU,etc?
    2.)Have spare parts to test other parts to enable the first point. Knowing how to test for issues.
    3.)Then contacting the retailer/company to return such part, usually at your own cost and time. A number of RMA locations are in foreign countries. You might not get that postage cost back. Plus some companies and retailers have a history of dragging out RMA requests.
    4.)If the retailer/company tries to fob you off,having enough knowledge to be able to escalate the issue.
    5.)Due to the new import regulations,many companies have fallen foul of the new rules,so RMAs are being charged VAT,handling charges,etc as the companies have not understood what they should be doing.

    How many of us have acted as tech support for people we know?? What if they didn't know anyone who could help. Also during the pandemic people haven't been able to travel as easily too,a company just collecting the whole PC at the doorstep certainly is more viable.

    Or they could go to a PC shop/retailer/builder. Then ask for advice from the sales staff who might point them in the right direction. They can then buy the PC then and there,or buy a more customised one from a retailer like Scan or CCL Computers,who offer onsite warranties,collection from home,and telephone/e-mail support. IIRC,even retailers like Scan and OcUK will build a custom PC with parts you specify if you contact them directly.

    Its far more convenient especially for someone who just wants a PC. It's also a reason why consoles and phones are popular for gaming - there is no real technological knowledge to run a game on it. If it does not work return the whole shebang to the retailer,etc.

    The issue is a lot of people look at PC as like a TV or washing machine - its a device which does a job. Most PC owners have no interest in keeping up to date with hardware,because it bores them to tears. They have very little interest in mucking about with it. Just like some people like modding cars,many will just go down to the dealership and buy an updated version of the previous car they owned.

    We are the car modders in that regard. We like knowing about computer technology as a hobby and we like mucking about with hardware,as that is part of the reward of owning a PC.

    Even in the current climate,even if you know how to build a PC,there is bigger set of problems - cost and availability. Its cheaper and easier to buy a prebuilt gaming PC or gaming laptop then a self built one. It involves far less faffing around waiting on alerts to get a GPU at a reasonable price. The other alternative is to buy a GPU like an RTX3060 at nearly £600. You can literally get a laptop with an RTX3060 for as low as £850~£900. You are lucky if you can even get an RTX2060 for under £450.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 12-06-2021 at 02:06 PM.

  9. #40
    Senior Member Spreadie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    an island in the south
    Posts
    2,017
    Thanks
    329
    Thanked
    393 times in 282 posts
    • Spreadie's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ickle tiny fing
      • CPU:
      • eight corrs, sixteen freds
      • Memory:
      • sixteen gigglebytes
      • Storage:
      • many many terribads
      • Graphics card(s):
      • gurt big one
      • PSU:
      • big & smol
      • Case:
      • Ess Eff Eff Eye Tee Ex
      • Operating System:
      • DozeTen
      • Monitor(s):
      • 32 throbbing inches with a slight curve
      • Internet:
      • two tin cans and some wet string

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Does a NUC count?

    If not, then no.
    Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!

  10. #41
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    North West, UK
    Posts
    582
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked
    37 times in 31 posts
    • big_hairy_rob's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS Z170-A
      • CPU:
      • Intel I5 6600k
      • Memory:
      • 16GB DDR4 Corsair Vengence (3000mhz)
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 850 500GB, WD Blue 1TB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI Radeon R9 275
      • PSU:
      • EVGA 550W (80 plus Gold)
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design S (Windowed)
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 64.
      • Monitor(s):
      • Iiyama ProLite E24B3HS 24", LG Flatron L1950SQ19"
      • Internet:
      • Plusnet (infinity)

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    just my first box more years ago than I can really remember. Every one since has been built by me.

  11. #42
    Registered+
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    68
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Yes, not embarrassed to say I have as I had to learn my skills some how. An Escom DX2-66 then a Mesh Pentium II based PC. Both at the time gradually upgraded with memory, sound cards, graphics cards and CD/DVD-Rom burners. That was 20 years ago and since then I’ve built from scratch, upgraded & repaired many PCs.

  12. #43
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Oxford
    Posts
    510
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked
    45 times in 34 posts
    • Roobubba's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI P55 GD60
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7 860 @ 3.58GHz (Megahalems + Apache)
      • Memory:
      • 8GB Patriot Viper DDR3
      • Storage:
      • 80GB Intel X25-M + bunch of HDDs
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATI 5870 + Earplugs.
      • PSU:
      • TAGAN 800W
      • Case:
      • Lian Li V1110 (bit disappointing)
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung 24" LCD (TN)
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 20MBit

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    I've always built my own since the first machine I put together in the mid nineties. The frequency has reduced considerably, and I'm now still on a i5 4670K / 980 I put together in 2015 or so, would love to build a new machine but have been a solo indie Dev for a while and yet to earn, and the market now is absolutely dreadful for the likes of us now ☹️

  13. #44
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    1,498
    Thanks
    27
    Thanked
    88 times in 71 posts
    • Percy1983's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte x570 Aorus Pro
      • CPU:
      • AMD 3700x + Cooler Master Nepton 140XL
      • Memory:
      • 64GB (4x16GB ) Corsair Vengence 3200mhz @ 3600mhz CL16
      • Storage:
      • 500GB Silicon Power NVME + 2x 4tb Raid 0 (2tbx2) arrays with 250gb Silicon Power NVME cache
      • Graphics card(s):
      • R9 290 4GB
      • PSU:
      • 875w Thermaltake Toughpower XT
      • Case:
      • Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • 24" Acer UHD x2
      • Internet:
      • Talk Talk!

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    First computer was a pentium 2 machine from Tiny computers, in my defence I was still at school and had no idea.

    With that machine over time I learnt, I added voodoo3 graphics, more ram, a second hard drive, a cd-burner, eventually I even swapped out the motherboard.

    As that I did later buy a use HP pentium 4 PC with the intention of adding a graphics card (ati x1950 pro).

    After that its been self built, the first being an intel e4300 overclocked pc, and a constant evolution from there. I don't think any part of that PC remains in my current setup but there has never been a 100% new rebuild and on that from that this case may be my forever case as I cant find a single suitable replacement.

  14. #45
    Registered+
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    57
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked
    2 times in 2 posts
    • WyldeStile's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Crosshair VIII Dark Hero
      • CPU:
      • Ryzen 7 5800x
      • Memory:
      • 16 Gig
      • Graphics card(s):
      • RTX 2070
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master Haf XB Evo II
      • Monitor(s):
      • CHG70 32"

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    The last time I bought a pre-built system was when the only way you could get a computer was to buy pre-built. I've been building my own since.

  15. #46
    Show Jumper ! Word..
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    423
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked
    14 times in 12 posts
    • Andi-C's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus GENE V
      • CPU:
      • i7 3770k under a H110i (4.6)
      • Memory:
      • 16GB (4x4gb) Corsair 1800 DDR3
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 840 Pro 256gb - Sandisk ultra 1T
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI Gaming 1080ti
      • PSU:
      • Be Quiet Dark power Pro 850W
      • Case:
      • Corsair D350
      • Operating System:
      • Window 10 pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • SG2716 (2560 x 1440) 144hz
      • Internet:
      • Zen ADSL2+

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Only ever one was my 1st PC, it was a Dell. Ever since I've made my own, many reasons for this :
    Choice of parts
    Price
    Warranty

  16. #47
    Registered+
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    57
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    5 times in 4 posts

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    My first ever PC was a pre-built 12Mhz Turbo XT with 640K ram and Hercules graphics. My most recent desktop was a pre-built 16core Ryzen just over a year ago. All the others (maybe 90-100) were self-built. I usually have to self-build because nobody makes a good computer case any more.

  17. #48
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Where you are not
    Posts
    1,240
    Thanks
    514
    Thanked
    89 times in 78 posts
    • Iota's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Maximus Hero XI
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i9 9900KF
      • Memory:
      • CMD32GX4M2C3200C16
      • Storage:
      • 1 x 250GB / 1 x 1TB / 1 x 2TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nvidia RTX 3090 Founders Edition
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX1200i
      • Case:
      • Corsair Obsidian 500D
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung Odyssey G9
      • Internet:
      • 40Mbps SKY Fibre

    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Just like some people like modding cars,many will just go down to the dealership and buy an updated version of the previous car they owned.

    We are the car modders in that regard. We like knowing about computer technology as a hobby and we like mucking about with hardware,as that is part of the reward of owning a PC.
    All valid points, and if time or lack of knowledge are sticking points then yes, certainly, a prebuilt is the best solution (custom prebuilt, I'd never recommend a Dell etc). Also very guilty of being one of those who doesn't mod a car, but just updates it for a newer model. That's actually quite a good analogy to use.

Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •