Build or buy?

Cynical

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
163
I'm currently searching for a new PC to buy, but after looking around i've discovered that its actually cheaper to assemble a pc ur self. The only thing stopping me from doing this is the fact that im 14, so there is no way that im going to risk losing all my money by just destorying the machine. Another reason to swing towards buying a PC is that I have no idea what components to get.

If i do buy the components/case seperately could i just take it to a PC shop and they would assembe it for me? Thanks in advance
 

Chilly

Balls of steel
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
9,046
There are people (like scan.co.uk) who build pcs to your spec but obviosuly charge a fee for building and you can also take out a warantee etc on teh stuff u buy over and above the 1 eyar standard, tbh theres a lot of really good deals about atm on prebuilt computers, some of the dell machines are very good yet cheap as chips!
Also, I built my first computer when I was 14 (out of second hand bits, fear the scrounge) - I broke it :D

If you are buying new parts, thiough, then as long as you read the instructions careefully and read up on building systems then if you break it you can just send it back (assuming you dont do something stupid like overclock the cpu by 2ghz).

If you do build, pay EXTREME attention to the cpu cooling - it is SO easy to fry a cpu these days its not funny, similarly with high end gfx cards.

I say build it, youl never learn else.
 

Jonty

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
1,411
Hi Cynical

I think the complexity of assembling a PC is a little overstated at times. Perhaps the best route is to get a bundle of components on offer or a small form factor PC such as a Shuttle (I'm a little biassed towards the latter as I love these things) :)

The advantage of doing this is you get the case, motherboard, cooling system, power supply etc. Then you simply ('simply' :)) buy and install the CPU, RAM, HDD, graphics and operating system. Many newer systems are screwless, which makes assembly very easy, and a colour instruction manual is usually provided with Shuttles so you don't have to be at all au fait with assembling PCs.

The hardest part is probably applying thermal paste to the CPU (to help regulate cooling), which you may want to get help with as it can be a delicate job for the best of people. Other than, it's relatively straight forward if you treat all the kit as being delicate.

The only thing I will say in favour of prebuilt PCs is that sometimes you simply cannot match them because of their bulk buying power. Dell and others, for example, offer some great value package deals which you could not beat by building yourself. That said, the more advanced the specification of the PC the more the scales tend to tip in favour of building yourself.

I'm sure people here will advise you as to what kit you will need if you choose to buy, and where to get it from etc. If you contact some specialist hardware shops like OcUK they're support staff will let you know if everything's compatible before you buy.

Kind Regards
 

Cynical

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
163
thanks Jonty :) As always ur posts are both insightful and inspiring.
 

Jonty

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
1,411
Cynical said:
thanks Jonty :) As always ur posts are both insightful and inspiring.
lol, No more than anyone else's :) Good luck with it all.

Kind Regards
 

Cask

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 27, 2003
Messages
653
I find the hardest part to be plugging in those USB / IEEE 1394 / Audio connectors that have each of the pins loose so you have to figure out where they go and plug them in individually. I definitely suggest connecting them before you put the board in the case otherwise it's incredibly fustrating if you have fat clumsy fingers like me.
 

Embattle

I am a FH squatter
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
10,439
You can buy for cheaper but if you build it yourself you get exactly what you want, although this tends to lead to you splashing out on slightly better components thus pushing up the price of the final machine.

Another advantage of buying over building is that should something go wrong they have to fix it no matter what part it was, if something goes wrong on your home built machine you'll first have to find out what it is then send back that one part.

I personally have mainly built my own machines but once and a while I purchased a complete system.
 

Escape

Can't get enough of FH
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Messages
1,643
If you can open up your PC and identify every component inside, you're ready to build your own. If not, do alot of reading before hand or have someone else help you build it.

There're too many advantages to building your own, to not do it.
 

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