Who makes the best complete PCs these days?

  • Thread starter PICsmith
  • Start date
  • #26
megashawn
Science Advisor
435
0
I still believe the best pc is one built yourself.

If that isn't possible, go do some business with a local pc shop. Their prices are usually comparable to the big guys, plus you can take pride in the fact that you are helping your local economy. Also an advantage is the support. Buy from a local shop, you can personally take the pc there for service, whereas with most of the big guys, you got to mail it off, wait, wait, wait, talk to some dude in india, wait, wait. Of course some of the big guys are opening up shops here and there.

The thing about dell, compaq, even IBM is they DO NOT want your computer to last more then 2-4 years. Sure, they keep on chuggin along for years, but when it comes time to upgrade, you are generally limited in just how much upgrading can be done.

A custom built system is very suitable. I still run the same pc I've been running for about 3 years now, and if I ever decide I need more power, it will only cost me around 200-300$ to get a new board and cpu, maybe a lil more if my old ram won't work.

I've repaired several dell pc's, compaqs, and a few HP's. The main thing I do not like about dells, they have this funnel type thing that basically forces the dust right on top the cpu. I've had to soak heat sinks for days trying to clean them.
 
  • #27
1,010
1
megashawn said:
I still believe the best pc is one built yourself.

If that isn't possible, go do some business with a local pc shop. Their prices are usually comparable to the big guys, plus you can take pride in the fact that you are helping your local economy. Also an advantage is the support. Buy from a local shop, you can personally take the pc there for service, whereas with most of the big guys, you got to mail it off, wait, wait, wait, talk to some dude in india, wait, wait. Of course some of the big guys are opening up shops here and there.

.
I must disagree with this advice. Don't go to a local pc shops. Major companies like Best Buy or Circuit City have prices for componets that local pc shops just can't match. They probably also will have a better service center and in general more reliable. Although you can under cut Best Buy stores online if you go to a local pc shop you will be paying up to 10x if not more times what you would for certain componets

Especailly hard drives
 
  • #28
1,490
22
megashawn said:
I still believe the best pc is one built yourself.
I agree, but if you're a newbie at building or working on computers, you could be nervous building a box for someone else.

The select components option I mentioned is a good compromise for this. The assembly and 1 year warranty fee at CPUSA is only $15.00. You still get the benefit of picking components that you have researched and found to be good for your needs (as if you were building the box yourself), upgradability (if you choose to select upgradable parts), and lifetime tech support was only $15.00 extra.
 
  • #29
russ_watters
Mentor
19,662
5,946
Tom McCurdy said:
I must disagree with this advice. Don't go to a local pc shops. Major companies like Best Buy or Circuit City have prices for componets that local pc shops just can't match. They probably also will have a better service center and in general more reliable. Although you can under cut Best Buy stores online if you go to a local pc shop you will be paying up to 10x if not more times what you would for certain componets

Especailly hard drives
That generally is not the case. The components I don't buy online I buy (generally) at computer shows, which are basically a lot of mom-and-pop shops all in one convention center. Except when you can find the rare special at one of the major chains, the prices are significantly lower. It depends on the component, but for things like the processor, motherboard, and video card, it can be as much as 50%.

I probably won't ever buy a pre-built computer again, but for the typical person (99% of pc owners), it really is the way to go. Dell, HP, Gateway, etc. is what I'd recommend.

The one thing I'd avoid completely is a fully-built, custom computer from one of those mom-and-pop shops. Anyone who doesn't have the know-how to build it themself needs the level of support that only a big company can provide. One caveat though, employees of the super-stores are generally absolutely clueless: know what you are going to buy before you go there.
 
Last edited:
  • #30
russ_watters
Mentor
19,662
5,946
FYI, this sort of discrepancy is fairly typical:
CompUSA: Western Digital Special Edition 200GB hard drive: $285
http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=50287003&pfp=BROWSE [Broken]

NewEGG.com: Western Digital Special Edition 200GB hard drive: $110
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-129&depa=1

(Newegg.com is a well respected online store)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #31
Chronos
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,408
738
Assembling a PC from scratch requires little skill [I am living proof] and can be done at a fraction of the cost [ie, get more computer for the same money]. As Russ pointed out, retail stores usually cannot compete with on-line store prices [although it don't hurt to look, sometimes you can catch a bargain]. The last computer I bought off the shelf was an apple IIe.
 
  • #32
1,010
1
Actually if you buy from big name stores or order a custom built online you dont' save a tremendous amount-- plus when you consider the warranties then you save money buying from places like www.cyberpowerinc.com
 
  • #33
54
0
The computer I'm using now I built about 4 years ago; I have the know how and I keep up to speed with the current trends and tech of pc hardware and have considered putting together a basic (but much faster than current) machine for my mom. But that would kinda designate me as the tech support, which I don't really mind, but I might not be around in a couple years to fix it should something happen (to the computer, not me, hopefully). That's the only reason I would rather go with a mass produced pc with a warranty for her.
 
  • #34
740
3
I've worked on both IBM and Dell- IBM still makes the better server, but Dell's the way to go for your home PC. It breaks less, and it's easier to fix when it does. Plus it's easier to get at the parts if you DO have to upgrade or replace. Ever opened an IBM? Taking a part out is like unscrambling a rubix cube.

As far as building your own, It USED to be that it was much cheaper to just build it yourself. I even put together PC's for peoeple for a few years to make a few bucks. You saved a bundle by cutting out all the useless software junk that jacked up the prepacked PC price you would get at best buy. But nowadays companies like Dell and Gateway have bulk order agreements with the parts manufacturers, so they get the parts for pennies on the dollar- it's cheaper to buy direct from the manufactures. You can come close to the same price, but it's hard to build a PC nowadays for the same price as dell or HP, still get all the software, not to mention the warranty you forgo if you build. Better to just buy it.
 
  • #35
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
52
Hmm...I'm trying to figure this one out. I see people here saying either get Dell, it's one of the best, or saying avoid Dell. I know I've heard our IT guy grumbling over Dells many times. Is this an issue of choice of product lines? Since the IT guy has to get everyone's computers to behave with the department servers, maybe his bias has something to do with the networking and isn't an issue for the sort of home usage described here.

Some folks suggested various Apple computers, iMacs and eMacs. My opinion is if the primary use is accounting, don't get those. You don't get any advantage in Macs for accounting purposes, and it may be a disadvantage in terms of software availability. Since you're describing someone who needs something uncomplicated to use, you're only going to have headaches expecting her to switch to a different platform (guess who your mom will call when she can't figure out how to do things on it). Besides, if she primarily uses Excel, the newest version for Macs is ugly (yeah, that's my very technical assessment of it :rolleyes:)! I still need to spend more time learning how to use it to its full advantage (I haven't really used it much since I upgraded), but the default settings, menu placement, etc., look quite foreign compared to previous versions (I'm sure this can all be changed, I just have to spend some time doing so), so this may be too much change for your mother. I'm basing this on the assumption that the reason you're asking about all-in-one PCs is because she isn't very computer saavy. Hmm...I should point out I have no idea what the most recent version of Office looks like for Windows. I haven't seen it yet.
 
  • #36
1,010
1
dell = hell

buy your pc online
 
  • #37
Dr Transport
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,377
504
I have both Dell and Gateway systems at the house, Dell at work. I bought a cheap (???) noname brand generic system earlier this year, replaced the hard- drive and loaded Linux. Happy with all of my machines. If you know anything about building them, build your own, it will be cheaper in the long run.
 
  • #38
54
0
Right Moonbear, she isn't very computer savvy and Mac is out of the question...all she knows, however little, is Windows. She doesn't use MS Office either, I think it's Lotus and some specialty things. So the main issues for her are reliability and price. She really doesn't need the latest and greatest Speed Machine. When I put together a PC on Dell's customizeable website thingy for her she wasn't interested in the 4 year warranty, since it would cost I think it was about a third of the pc cost. Well, now I guess it would make sense to build one if I can do it cheaper than Dell can. I'll have to look into it when I have more time.
 
  • #39
1,010
1
Honestly you don't save much building yourself than from buying online, hell now you can buy computers at major stores like best buy that are cheaper than some you could build.
 
  • #40
Three advantages to building a rig yourself
#1, bragging rights, so you dont have to say "I got a dell etc"
you could say I built my PC, and it is nice.
#2, Looks hella better.
http://alexrushing.com/water/ [Broken]
http://www.alexrushing.com/MeanGlowComp/ [Broken]
http://www.alexrushing.com/MyUberCase/ [Broken]
just a few of my computer builds, sure beats having a dell.
spent a total of $1300 for my main water cooling rig, upgrades from previous etc.
#3, upgradability.
You can upgrade a certain part, or overclock without having to replace the whole PC, like motherboard exchange.etc.

one disadvantage(to me)
no warranty, everything has to sent off and RMA'd indiviually..

So, I believe building it yourself if more fun and enjoyable, but if you lack skills and talent, and are lame, a dell, gateway, ibm, etc is just right for you.
and building a high end PC is close to the same price as a store baught.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Related Threads on Who makes the best complete PCs these days?

  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
701
Replies
2
Views
3K
Replies
22
Views
12K
Replies
7
Views
3K
Replies
7
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
21
Views
3K
Top