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westside_indie

building a computer better than buying one?

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Yes it usually is if you want a fast machine.

Last year I built my box which is a:

AMD64 3000+
1GB PC3200 RAM
ATI 9800 Pro 128MB
120GB HDD
CD-RW
A nice Antec case with PSU

The final price was about £400 I think, at PC world similer setups are about £800+

There are plenty of tutorials on the net, just google it. :)

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It's always better to build your own box in my opinion. That way you get exactly what you want, and buying parts at a local store will usually cost far less then buying a complete system. The overhead for a company like Dell or HP or whatever is going to be a lot more then that of a local parts store so you can get better prices.

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If you don't blow up parts while making it, yes. If you start trying to install your cpu without any heat gunk, without a fan, or if you buy incompatible parts or a powersupply that isn't strong enough you'll run into more trouble than it's worth.

Basically if you know what you're doing it is always cheaper. I say this with confidence, but you have to do a lot of bargain hunting. Check out NCIX and tigerdirect

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i built this about 2 months ago...

abit kn8 ultra motherboard
amd athlon64 3200+ (venice core)
1gb (2x512mb) ddr400
2x seagate 80gb sata2 hd
nec "everything" burner
evga geforce 6800gs pci-e 256mb
floppy drive
antec super lanboy case
antec truepower 480w psu

total cost including overnight fedex shipping was about $950. if you know what you're doing you can get a much better deal building your own than getting a pre-built.

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Technically Dells are very cheap, barely more than the equivalent home-built system, but most other providers have more overhead. Anyway the problem with all such companies is you don't have as much flexibility in the components of your system, which is really an issue if you have special desires, such as when I built a very quiet system. I used many fanless components and very quiet fans and heatsinks that no mainstream builder would ever use.

Also, if you put it together yourself then you know exactly how to take it apart, which means it's easy for you to swap out individual components without replacing the entire system, like if you want to upgrade the CPU but leave everything else.

The disadvantage is it can be a little frustrating at first when you're not sure what you're doing, and you have to do careful research to make sure everything you buy will work together and be reliable.

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It can be better as you get exactly what you want and sometimes you can scrape a better price for it, but also be aware that you tend not to get any support or warranty or anything - if it goes wrong there's no customer service number you can call. That lack of 'insurance' puts of a lot of people off.

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