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Is it better to build your own or buy a gaming comp?

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Old
03-20-2013, 03:31 PM
  #1
Leaf Rocket
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Is it better to build your own or buy a gaming comp?

questions and answers? I'm looking to invest in something powerful for a long while ateast for the next 4 years or so hence I'm curious.

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03-20-2013, 03:44 PM
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Dave
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My last computer was pre-bought, mainly out of convenience, but a few years down the road I'll probably look into building one myself.

I think in the long run it's better to build your own. You can tailor to your needs, you could do it for less money (presumably), it will make you comfortable when it comes to upgrading your computer, and I think it causes you to have a greater sense of responsibility for it.

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03-20-2013, 03:54 PM
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Frankie Spankie
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Definitely build it yourself. I don't know a single hardcore PC gamer that buys prebuilt machines. It's a lot cheaper, you can customize it to fit your exact needs, and you don't have to worry about bloatware.

They're not difficult to put together either. I bet somebody with even the smallest amount of computer knowledge would be able to easily put one together just by reading the instructions that come with all the components.

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03-20-2013, 04:09 PM
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Sevanston
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It's somewhat cheaper to build it yourself short term, but it's way cheaper long term.

By building it yourself, you automatically learn how to upgrade your computer a few years down the road so that all you'll need to buy are parts rather than a whole new computer (or at the very least, parts and service to upgrade your box)

A Jedi rite of passage is to build your own lightsaber. The same should be true for gamers and computers.

EDIT: It's really strange that I had to use tricks to get around the autocorrection to lightSabre.

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03-20-2013, 04:11 PM
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Francesa
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Build AINEC

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03-20-2013, 04:49 PM
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Do Make Say Think
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Do it yourself

It's also surprisingly easy to do as long as you don't rush into it

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03-20-2013, 04:52 PM
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Johnny Bravo
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Build all the way. Pre-made is garbage most of the time.

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03-20-2013, 04:59 PM
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chasespace
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If building an entire rig seems daunting to you at the moment buying pre-made then installing certain parts you want better(memory, graphics card, power supply, etc) is a decent alternative as well.

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03-20-2013, 05:58 PM
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kingsholygrail
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Build it yourself if you know what you're doing.

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03-20-2013, 06:08 PM
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Build it yourself...study these videos if you don't know how






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03-20-2013, 06:21 PM
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Beef Invictus
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I managed to build my own without dying. Anybody can.

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03-20-2013, 06:25 PM
  #12
Belamorte
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Im going to say something a bit different here. If you have the money, and do not care, I would buy pre-built from one of the high-end sites. You end up with better warranty and most have life-time support and troubleshooting is not an issue. Call up and get fixed. BUT if you want the best 'bang for your buck' build yourself. You will get a more powerful for less cost, however the price difference is not as drastic as it once was.

PS. I would suggest building your own but there are positives (if you have a bit of extra cash) to buy pre-built (from a good place) ie. not dell or HP or gateway and such but the boutique places.

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03-20-2013, 06:51 PM
  #13
Cashville
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Build it; use Tomshardware.com for advice on parts and installation (there are several other sites that are also good) and I highly recommend Newegg.com for the parts.

I built my own from scratch in 2010 having the absolute minimum computer / electronics awareness possible in about six hours on a Saturday. POST'd the first time too! My computer is still a beast now three years later; all I need to do now is swap my graphics card every two years or so and Ebay the old one (they still sell well).

It's also a good experience to have. It really helps with understanding computers and puts you in a much better position to A) diagnose problems in the future (typically through disconnecting various components to isolate the issue - it's always the RAM!), and B) fix said issues. I used to be terrified of opening my computer case for fear I'd break something; now it's really easy. New hard drive? Np. Video card? Even easier. Having to swap motherboards is the only thing that I'd really dread as you have to basically disassemble 60% of the components to get the board off, then remount the board which has like 15 tiny screws that fall in weird places, then reconnect all the components.

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03-20-2013, 07:00 PM
  #14
SniperHF
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Like just about anything there are trade offs. Ignoring the cost side intentionally.

Pros:
User built:
Complete selection of parts for quality.
Tailored performance to suit your needs.
Any range of options available.
Fun, if you are in to that sort of thing
Ease of aesthetic selection. (Color, size, form factor, hidden)


Pre-built or even custom ordered:
Pre-configured operating systems and software.
Warranty and customer support options potentially at a much higher level.
Compatibility is already determined.


Cons:
User built:
Performance creep (just for $50 more........)
limited support.
Software installation.
Errors during building.


Pre or Custom ordered
Almost no guarantee of quality of components.
More difficult to upgrade.
More expensive to repair when out of warranty.
Limited control over noise and aesthetics.


Depending on your perspective, some pros are cons and some cons are pros. I'm looking at this as if the person hadn't built one before.

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Old
03-20-2013, 07:05 PM
  #15
Zodiac
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building your own is the best ...but, on NCIX, you can pick out all your parts and then choose the option to have them build/test if for you for another $50.

example ...add this to your cart along with all your chosen hardware parts, and they'll assemble/test it for you.

$50
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=78...facture=NCIXPC
Quote:
PC Assembly & Testing does not include servers and requires an additional 4-5* business days to ship once all parts are in stock. NCIX will install aftermarket heatsinks or pre-filled CPU liquid coolers. Current lead time 5-10 business days.

they also have this option for $75 ...
Quote:
Includes extra attention to cabling, lighting installation and extra burn-in period. Recommended for windowed cases. Assembly requires an additional 4-5* business days to ship once all parts are in stock. *typical lead time (currently 5-10 business days)
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=22...nufacture=NCIX


they also price match on NCIX, so if you find an item elsewhere on the web cheaper, you can include the link to it and they will usually price match the same item.
http://www.ncix.com/

so this is really the best option for people who either don't want the hassle of building from scratch, or just aren't comfortable doing it ...but you also get to fully customize it to the exact parts you want. its like the best of both worlds.


Last edited by Zodiac: 03-20-2013 at 07:12 PM.
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Old
03-20-2013, 07:11 PM
  #16
WhipNash27
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Build. I don't think I've bought a prebuilt computer in like 20 years (my first ever computer).

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03-20-2013, 07:16 PM
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Diamondillium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zodiac View Post
building your own is the best ...but, on NCIX, you can pick out all your parts and then choose the option to have them build/test if for you for another $50.

example ...add this to your cart along with all your chosen hardware parts, and they'll assemble/test it for you.

$50
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=78...facture=NCIXPC



they also have this option for $75 ...

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=22...nufacture=NCIX


they also price match on NCIX, so if you find an item elsewhere on the web cheaper, you can include the link to it and they will usually price match the same item.
http://www.ncix.com/

so this is really the best option for people who either don't want the hassle of building from scratch, or just aren't comfortable doing it ...but you also get to fully customize it to the exact parts you want. its like the best of both worlds.
I'll vouch for this post. NCIX is amazing, I got mine built from them and it's awesome. Super cheap, fast, they do the whole building thing for cheap.


And yeah, never EVER buy a gaming computer that is pre-built from a company and sold in a store. You can always get the exact same thing for like half the price if you spend a few hours researching what to get then order it from a site such as NCIX.

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Old
03-20-2013, 07:23 PM
  #18
Kestrel
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I've already seen one or two people allude to this, but I would also repeat that building your own leaves you with much more a sense of accomplishment, and allows you to more deeply enjoy your computer.

As already mentioned too, it saves you in the long run as you feel more confident upgrading your computer, or building a new one. Sometimes a new video card is all you need to keep your computer current instead of buying a new computer. Actually, I remember someone asking about upgrading their computer recently - HFSniper probably remembers it - someone with a lower performing computer, but no budget to build at this time. A new video card will keep his computer at a level he can deal with and enjoy until he is ready to build a new computer, and the video card we helped him choose was decent enough he can use it in a new computer without having to buy the same kind of part twice.

TLDR - building is fun and makes your computer more deeply enjoyable. It also allows you to do "transitional builds" between full blown new computers instead of having to buy a new computer every time yours is slower than you'd like.

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03-20-2013, 11:17 PM
  #19
RandV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasespace View Post
If building an entire rig seems daunting to you at the moment buying pre-made then installing certain parts you want better(memory, graphics card, power supply, etc) is a decent alternative as well.
Yeah if you want to wimp out then you can pay the part store $50 to install the motherboard, CPU, and power supply to the case. That's the most work intensive part of it, leaving you to plug in the ram, hard drives, video + any other cards you buy.

Though really you should be able to do it all yourself, they've come along way to making things more user friendly. SATA is all plug and play so no figuring out the hard drive master/slave primary/secondary jumper cables. The sliding trays for the hard drives make them much easier to deal with as well. Motherboard power supplies used to come in half a dozen small single or double pin connectors where you have to consult the manual to figure out what goes where and hope you get it right... the first PC I actually built from scratch I think I gimped the bios because I plugged a 5v power supply into it by mistake! But now those connectors are all grouped together so it's just a quick single plugin.

So nowadays it really isn't that hard. And as for longevity just 3 months ago I finally replaced the last component of my very first own PC back in 99, the computer speakers. Not sure how long they're supposed to last but those old Altec Lansing speakers performed like champs until the master connection to the sub woofer started going requiring me to give it kicks to get the sound back up.

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Old
03-21-2013, 08:13 AM
  #20
LickTheEnvelope
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandV View Post
Yeah if you want to wimp out then you can pay the part store $50 to install the motherboard, CPU, and power supply to the case. That's the most work intensive part of it, leaving you to plug in the ram, hard drives, video + any other cards you buy.

Though really you should be able to do it all yourself, they've come along way to making things more user friendly. SATA is all plug and play so no figuring out the hard drive master/slave primary/secondary jumper cables. The sliding trays for the hard drives make them much easier to deal with as well. Motherboard power supplies used to come in half a dozen small single or double pin connectors where you have to consult the manual to figure out what goes where and hope you get it right... the first PC I actually built from scratch I think I gimped the bios because I plugged a 5v power supply into it by mistake! But now those connectors are all grouped together so it's just a quick single plugin.

So nowadays it really isn't that hard. And as for longevity just 3 months ago I finally replaced the last component of my very first own PC back in 99, the computer speakers. Not sure how long they're supposed to last but those old Altec Lansing speakers performed like champs until the master connection to the sub woofer started going requiring me to give it kicks to get the sound back up.


I still use my Altec Lansing 3 speaker setup from about 2001.

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Old
03-21-2013, 11:21 AM
  #21
Kessely Snipes
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Really depends if you have the time to do it. The building itself is not that hard, but you have to invest some time, and troubleshoot if something doesn't end up working.

If you do build your own, you can certainly stretch your dollar further than buying a PC from a store.

I didn't have the time to build because of college, so I bought a computer.

One thing I would recommend is do some research on the actual computer case. See if its roomy enough to add/upgrade in the future. I was looking at the HP Phoenix line at Future Shop, I got one of the employees to pop the case to take a look, and convientently there is a giant metal bar going across the case, making it very hard to work around. Get something spacious.

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Old
03-21-2013, 11:39 AM
  #22
Stories
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If you wait for the right sales (some combination of Newegg and Micro Center) you can absolutely get a steal on a machine.

For instance, during Black Friday, I got my Intel i5-3570k processor for $170 and a MSI G41-Z77 motherboard for $30. I also got my Corsair DDR-1600 8GB (their standard RAM) for $19 and my Crucial M4 256gb SSD for $146. And then some generic midsized Thermaltake case ($30) and 600W Thermaltake PSU ($60). I totaled this out for $455. I mean... how can you beat that? For a beastly rig? To be fair, I have yet to get a great video card (still relying on an old NVIDIA 9800). But that's my next upgrade. It'll likely be a Radeon 7850 1gb. Waiting for the price to hit <$150. So all in all, my rig will be about ~$600 when it's all said and done.

$170 Intel i5-3570k
$30 MSI G41-Z77
$19 Corsair DDR-1600 8GB
$146 Crucial M4 256gb SSD
$30 Thermaltake case
$60 Thermaltake PSU
---------------------------
$455
+ $160 (eventually) Radeon 7850 1GB
---------------------------
$615
+ $20 if you need a DVD drive)


Last edited by Stories: 03-21-2013 at 11:44 AM.
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Old
03-21-2013, 12:05 PM
  #23
Kestrel
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Where it looks like you're in Canada, I'd forego the Egg unless there's a can't beat sale, and go with NCIX like a couple of others have said. However, definitely feel free to price match newegg.ca (they won't price match the .com site). I use www.shopbot.ca to find the lowest prices and then price match at NCIX.

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Old
03-21-2013, 12:22 PM
  #24
XX
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Occasionally, some builders will run sales that cuts the price to just above or sometimes even below what a comparable system would be on Newegg. At that point, it becomes personal preference. I bought a back to school discounted i7 920 system from DigitalStorm that is still going strong. But they put a micro board in a full size Coolermaster case, forcing me to double-stack my GPUs. Had I built it myself, such a thing would have never happened. But my custom build had run its course and I wanted a quick warrantied hassle-free experience.

Save up a good chunk of $$$, then wait for the right moment to dive into the market. If you get a good base, you can potentially recycle it for your next build and put more money towards the CPU or GPU.

I would personally wait until the Nvidia Titan (GK110) series/next Radeaon wave start releasing consumer grade products.

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03-21-2013, 02:29 PM
  #25
Helton4Hall
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You have to build it, buying a pre built system is a rip off.

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