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Thread: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

  1. #17
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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    For myself I would always custom build, however if you just want a cheap and cheerful system to browse the web, etc. it is hard to beat the value and convenience of a pre built system.

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    Studmuffin Flibb's Avatar
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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    I tend to do incremental upgrades when my system starts to feel slow, or I cant run a game I want. Estimate would be £150 a year, with a bigger £300 spend every two+ years. An example was a new graphics card for £150 last year, then a mobo + RAM earlier this year, CPU a couple of months ago. Main things outside of this are monitors and storage. Haven't done a full on everything upgrade for over 10 years, bit like Trigger's broom.

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    Seriously casual gamer KeyboardDemon's Avatar
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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flibb View Post
    bit like Trigger's broom.
    lol. So you're still using the same screw then?

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    If building a PC is fun for you, it makes sense to build it yourself. If it is a hassle, it makes sense to get pre-built.

    I agree with earlier poster about longevity though. The systems I've built myself have lasted much longer and been more able to benefit from mid life kickers than the pre-built systems I bought in the early days.

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    I think there is something satisfying about spec'ing and buying each part to build yourself. It is a bit of a learning process to discover what the current trends but i find it more satisfying to have the exact system that you want. Often mainstream prebuilt machines tend to economise on things like the case or PSU - plus as others have said the value for money aspect of building your own can be greater

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    There doesn't seem to be as much of a price difference in pre-built vs custom as there was 10 years ago, maybe its more competitive.
    That said you can't beat the satisfaction and having the exact spec you want like legitfromtheman said.

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisFletcher View Post
    That said you can't beat the satisfaction and having the exact spec you want like legitfromtheman said.
    That's what I found. I don't think I'd buy a pre-built again, I've enjoyed using my computer a lot more knowing I built it.

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    Self built gets you exactly what you want for the best price and this way you KNOW Your system a bit better as well.

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    But if you aren't fussy about exact component selection, then buying a half-decent system, from a company with good customer service makes for an easy life.
    Finding the bit in bold seems to be where the problem lies.

    So many people I know/knew insisted on pre-built for that whole 'peace of mind' warranty/support thing, until they discovered most places know less about fixing computers than a car fitter knows about the differential transmission on a motorcycle*... and it was always something somehow not covered by the small-print of the contract, so ended up being insanely expensive!

    Basically, if *I* could fix what they couldn't, they weren't worth it!









    *That is to say, it doesn't even have one!

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    If something goes wrong, you should (hopefully!) know what's wrong and how to fix it. If it's prebuilt, you may still know what you're doing, but it's likely to be more of a challenge replacing hardware. Prebuilt machines tend to be small and tightly packed with the hardware they need... and nothing more. As such, upgrades of any kind can be a real pain. Just try adding more storage when the case only has room for one HDD and the OEM motherboard has only a single SATA 3 port.

    Maybe I'm a bit of a recluse but even if I had a prebuilt machine with a warranty, I'd probably still prefer to stay indoors and fix it myself. The average Dixons-esque outfits know far too little about fixing computers and try and get away with charging obscene amounts of money for simple repairs. There are some exceptions, of course. I hear good things about Novatech, for example. Though it's hardly surprising that they would know how to fix computers they've built themselves.
    Last edited by zachs33; 12-04-2015 at 09:05 PM.

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    I always laugh at people who say they 'built their computer'. If anything they did less than your average ikea flat pack.

    Owww look at my bedside table, I built that myself... lol

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    Quote Originally Posted by abaxas View Post
    I always laugh at people who say they 'built their computer'. If anything they did less than your average ikea flat pack.

    Owww look at my bedside table, I built that myself... lol
    I think there's a quite a difference between assembly and spec'ing up and designing your own build.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I think there's a quite a difference between assembly and spec'ing up and designing your own build.
    Always fancied designing my own processor. With an FPGA you can do it these days fairly cheaply, but you would still have to port tool chains like GCC to your instruction set to get it to do anything which is an off-putting amount of time overall.

    But then someone would be fabricating the fpga, I still wouldn't be building my own computer. Perhaps if you could make your own transistors and aim for something like a PDP8...

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    My first computer was a prebuilt. It was pretty bad, mainly because I wasn't knowledgeable.

    I always feel like they skimp out on GPUs, sometimes completely foregoing them and leaving it to integrated graphics.

    I will always go custom build and always have since that computer. There are decent prebuilts out there for respectable prices, but often enough a "gaming computer" has too many lights, a subpar GPU, and wastes cash on an i7 when an equivalent i5 is sufficient.

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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    I always would recommend building if you want a desktop it generally cheaper and you can cut costs where you decide the extra money is need make the PC better for your particular needs.

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    Keep it sexy Zhaoman's Avatar
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    Re: What are todays opinions of pre-built systems vs custom built by yourself?

    I think I'd prefer my next desktop to be pre-built. I think the cost saving has almost disappeared and there are plenty of system builders that will use quality PSUs and cases unlike 5 or 10 years ago. It would take away a lot of hassle and you'd still be able to incrementally upgrade it. Or am I just being lazy?

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