Given the amount of trouble ppl on here alone go through, wouldn't you recommend ppl only buy a new PC ready and tested?

Rafael Mestdag

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When I say ready, I don't mean a PC by IBM or DELL or something. I mean something YOU chose to put together, BUT left it to a technician do the job and only buy the PC AFTER it's been tested in front of you and with at least a one year warranty on all components.

Be honest and tell me you wouldn't recommend this to a good friend instead of buying parts separate and then putting them together by himself.
 

USAFRet

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But...when there IS an issue with that prebuilt, they are far less likely to be able to diagnose.

For instance:
"Why doesn't my DVD drive work?"
(investigate...) 'hmmm...It wasn't actually connected from the factory!'

Not being connected is one thing. Bad on CyberPowerPC.
But not having the first clue how to find what the issue might be, is because that PC is simply a magical black box.
 

blankcr8

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It seems like everyone has problems with a PC they build on here, because nobody makes a forum post saying that they built their PC and nothing is wrong with it.

I would recommend building a PC because it saves money and can be fun to do. Also, when you build your own PC parts usually all have a 3-5 year warranty.
 
Really it depends on the friend.

I have one, who while tech savvy, is greatly helped by having someone there to help fix stuff when she just doesn't have the time or energy.

I have another who I swear enjoys breaking the thing more than playing any kind of game on it.

Personal preference aside, there's also the added expense of a tech to put it together. I can guarantee you it's going to run more than the pizza and beer that a friend will charge for the assistance. And that's assuming your town/city has a good tech shop to build it. The easy of building a system and the availability of parts online has done away with a lot of the tech shops in towns.
 


That first bit is a big thing too. You're lucky most of the time if someone reports a problem solved on forums. Very rarely will you see someone post a success story.
 


Yeah I do. Some people would rather not change their own serpentine belt and install it. Computers are so much simpler. Everyone has belly buttons.


My response to those who only buy pre-builts and pay for upgrades. How often are consoles upgraded.Buy a console and you are locked into a contract. Buy a PC/workstation/gaming rig.... and anything else that they need from their PC in the future can be easily upgraded. When it comes down to it I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but PC makers have made the construction process so much simpler. I understand which hardware will get along. I don't want an Alpha in the equation. Whether it's a software issue caused by Microsoft, malicious or other software or a hardware issue I've learned to t and maintain it for me when the maintenance has built in fail-safe. It's impossible to install the RAM or gfx card backwards.So many handholds that make the simple climb quick. he point that I can give back. Yes I do love cheese. Why I going to pay someone to build it for me? Build a car from the ground up? Nope. B
 
Some people can afford to have their car worked on by a shop, some can't. There are also those that choose to do the work themselves no matter the situation. There are as many reasons as there are people, and no single correct answer that can be given to address every situation.
 

Karadjgne

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There is already a few companies like that, that custom build a pc to your specs. They offer full warranty on pafts/labor for a decent period of time, use name brand components etc. CyberPowerPC, iBuyPower, Falcon Northwest just to name a few. The pc is tested, fully functioning even can have mild to moderate OC, and ranges from basic pc to full blown custom liquid loop over the top builds.

There's just a few minor issues with most of those companies. The biggest being budget. When you buy parts off the shelf, there's already a retail markup on the item, but that's it. (well plus tax too).
With custom builders, not only do you have a retail markup, you also have inventory, labor, the secretarial pool, original shipping, stocking, advertising fees, electric bill portion, etc that's also tacked on. And you have no choice but to pay. You can buy a 1Tb hdd from Amazon, office depot, newegg etc for less than $50. At CyberPower, it's $72. You don't get to shop for rebates, best prices etc, you are stuck with theirs. They have deals with certain companies, Corsair in particular is very much evident, so your choices on psu will be limited to what they offer, which can be Corsair CX, CS, VS, RM, AX in various sizes, all with the above mentioned pricing.

Try it. Pick a company, there's usually quite a few adverts on Tom's home page and build a pc, something respectable for gaming. Then build as close to exact specs as possible, the same pc from pcpartpicker.com. I built one a while back, the custom pc was little over $3500, looked awesome, all decked out with OC and decent grade stuff. Same pc on pcpartpicker.com (slight variances due to personal choice of psu, gpu, case (which were actually better quality/performance)) came to little over $2400. Only thing I had to do was put it together myself. $1100 savings for 3hrs (they do a very good job of neatness in wiring etc, gotta give them that) (if you pay extra for it) worth of my time.

This works on any professional built pc, either online or local shop, even companies such as Dell who have custom built to order pc's.

If budget is of no concern, go ahead and use those custom builders, nothing wrong at all with them, you'll get a warranted, custom built for you to your specs pc. Budget especially though, is usually a deal breaker if you can build it yourself far cheaper, with more options and specifics you want, that those companies don't offer.
 
Makes sense. Doing in home warranty work for the major brands, I was never dispatched to the homes of content customers, only the ones with computers that weren't quite doing what was expected.

 

USAFRet

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Building a PC is NOT that hard. Any semi-rational 12 year old can do it.

The problem comes in when people have 'a little bit' of knowledge, and skips steps.
Not following directions. Not reading the user manual. Not taking the 10 seconds to FIND the user manual.
Going online and finding some absolute crap instructions from a twitchy utube video, for a whole different problem.
Rushing through things, not taking the time to get it right.

For instance..I've seen people post an issue that requires an OS reinstall.
30 minutes later, they're back, wondering why their game performance sucks. Well, ya big dummy...your brand new OS is still running its basic updates.

But the people you see here with issues are the ones that have issues. You don't see the other thousands of people that build, install, update, and proceed on without a problem.
 

Rafael Mestdag

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I couldn't agree more, BUT, if half the ppl on these forums for example, had chosen to buy a pc put together by a shop tech instead of buying parts separately and then putting them together, pleasure or money being the reason, they probably wouldn't now be in their current predicament of trouble they can't get out of.

And it's not just the stress of having to deal with something they can't find free help for, it's then the money they have to part with exactly because they've chosen to build the pc themselves, the reason being the peasure of it or the savings.

See where I'm getting at?
 

USAFRet

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But...when there IS an issue with that prebuilt, they are far less likely to be able to diagnose.

For instance:
"Why doesn't my DVD drive work?"
(investigate...) 'hmmm...It wasn't actually connected from the factory!'

Not being connected is one thing. Bad on CyberPowerPC.
But not having the first clue how to find what the issue might be, is because that PC is simply a magical black box.
 

Karadjgne

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@azaran.

As you can see, I've been around a while so I'll tell you, I've seen more than my fair share of success stories. Most posts will have a 'Best answer' chosen by the Op. Most take that as a sign that whatever suggested, worked and the Op is now happy. Problem fixed. Many Op's will just tack on a last post saying something like 'it worked! Thanks so much'. What you'll very rarely ever see is a new open post titled 'ya'll fixed my pc, thanks!' because really the only ppl who will have a clue, will possibly be anyone who remembers the Op's name. So those posts really don't get many hits, or reads, or follow-ups, meaning by the end of the day they are on page 12, as other posts get bumps to top of page 1 with every answer. They are there, trust me on that, you just have to get very lucky to see one because it moves down the list so fast, and very few ppl look at page 12 unfortunately.

Just wanted to throw that out there. Oh and anyone who owns a newer pre-built or custom built pc usually does not come here looking for answers, they call/email/cyberchat with the pre-built / custom company tech line first as the pc is usually still under warranty. So you don't get many of those posts.
 


Not necessary. Even a properly put together computer can and will have problems. I can't tell you the number of Dell's I've had to diag/fix. Parts fail, it's not a matter of if but of when. All the knowledge of PC building in the world on the part of the tech doesn't help the end user when they're CPU up and dies and they can't figure out why their system won't boot. Then everyone's in the same boat with having to figure out how to fix their computer. The one advantage a prebuilt system has is if it has a warranty on it that allows the end user to hand it off to a tech. And even then, thats only helpful if the problem happens within the warranty period.
 
To relate another example, I had a friend who was a better programmer and diagnostician than I can claim to be, but he paid me to do all the work on the computers in his business, and even had me build the desktop computers he used at home (laptops excluded of course) because he simply wanted to devote the time to his family and focus on the primary goal of his business which, while it involved having and using computers, was not repairing them. He was perfectly capable of it, and of doing it all correctly. Sometimes it's boils down to the where a person places their values, and what they want to spend their time doing.

Just because you can do a thing and do it well, doesn't mean that's what you're going to spend your time doing when it's not your career, or you're not otherwise at work. At the same time, a lot of people are hardly Michelin starred chefs, yet cook everyday. We get better at things by doing them, and sometimes people don't learn they need help until they have their feet firmly stuck in the mud.

On the other hand, what would we do for entertainment around this joint if it weren't for the folks requesting (sometimes demanding) assistance? :)
 


All very true. I didn't mean to say that we never see problem solved. Just that, at least in my experience, the norm isn't to see a posted "solved" as compared to threads left dangling. Usually its as you say, someone posts a "Thanks, problem fix" at the end of a thread. Which while helpful if you read through the length of the thread, isn't always easy to spot. When I look up issues, I'm more inclined to look at one that ones that show a solved sign next to them just to shorten my search times.
 

lumineZ

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lol :D +1
 
Even the manufacturer can't always diagnose the issue correctly, especially when it relies on software tests or a call center worker using a script to guide the home user in a few troubleshooting steps via phone.

Had a pre-built one time that the modem wouldn't work on (yes, it's been a few decades.) Wouldn't you know it, when the riser board that held the add-in board slots was drilled at the factory, the mounting hole affixing it to the chassis was actually off by almost a half-inch, resulting in the riser board not actually slotting into the main expansion bus slot on the motherboard.

I suspect such a problem would likely not show up immediately on Tom's unless one of the user's of the machine was already a member, or active online, or an avid do-it-yourself'er. However, do those folks even pay for the extended or in-home warranty on their equipment?
 

Karadjgne

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Depends. If it's an in-house warranty, that's tacked onto the price, and is reasonable, then yes, I'm sure many do. But most warranty service is outsourced to other companies, and usually costs a small fortune for a 3 yr contract or both arms and a leg if you want the full 5yr. I've seen warrantys on a $1500 pc cost over $500 for 5yrs from an outside source. Can't say as I see many takers on that.
 


Yup exactly that. The school labs I help oversee put out the money for Gold support (or whatever Dell is calling it these days). It puts a hefty price tag on to the cost per unit. We typically get our moneys worth but for the avg customer, the idea of paying upwards of 1/3 to 1/2 for support costs can seem hard to justify.

Course then I explain to the friends and family that get "free" support from me what my normal hourly home service price is and they start to understand what a deal that extra 2 years of support is.
 
I guess I'm blessed. I'm a tech myself, and this is a hobby for me to. Something goes wrong, I can usually figure out in a few minutes what's going on. Many times don't even need a manual until I get looking at specific pin outs or settings. But you figure, techs done work free. If I were going to assemble a system for someone, figure it takes up to 2 hours on the average. There's 150. That's not even counting it anything goes wrong.

Whenever people have asked me to build for them, I basically require that I get things from the local Microcenter, that way if something goes wrong, it's easy to take back instead of hassling with online shops. You may not believe the stuff people bring you if they don't really know what they are looking for or have just been watching YouTube etc.

Don't get me wrong, I try parts or methods I find on Google or YouTube, but it's a different if you have some knowledge of what your are doing vs if a person is an end user and doesn't know what they're looking at to begin with.
 

Karadjgne

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I remember a store I worked in, just a little mom&pop pc fixit store. We had only a few vendors we dealt with, Evga, Asus, MSI, BFG and Corsair. If you wanted anything else, it was a wait as we got all our stuff from tiger-direct. We did do some 'you bring it, we build it' pc's, but very few as parts weren't as prevalent as they are now. Mostly it was adding a gpu or cooler or fans. For $25, you got a 1 yr labor warranty, that covered parts IF our installation caused the damage. In almost 3 years didn't have a single warranty return. Basically if we knew it would cause issues, we'd strongly advise against the installation, and offer alternatives, so any potential damage was nipped in the bud. So that warranty was for us, free money.
Over the years I've found warranties to be three things. Pretty much only as much worth as the paper they are printed on. Good only if you USE it. Good only if you CAN use it.

I remember a client, I'd only been there a week, had bought a psu almost 3 years prior to my first day. Came in with the psu. Claimed it wasn't putting out acceptable voltages. WTH, no way to test that as we couldn't prove the original voltages. So got a RMA from tiger-direct through us. 2 1/2 years later (I'm still there) in he comes again. Same claim, bad voltage levels. Got a new psu. He paid like $80 for that psu and got over 7 years out of that money on 3 different hunks of junk before final lapse of manufacturers warranty.
 

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