How much money can be saved by building your own system?

FireWater

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Hey I am just wondering how much money can be saved, I look at places like www.cyberpowerpc.com and it doesn't seem that much more expensive to get them to build it, but I have not done a direct comparision.

Can any of you tell me how much on average you can save by building your own system ?
 

shadowduck

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Hey I am just wondering how much money can be saved, I look at places like www.cyberpowerpc.com and it doesn't seem that much more expensive to get them to build it, but I have not done a direct comparision.

Can any of you tell me how much on average you can save by building your own system ?
Nowadays, building your own is not only about saving money. In the very low end, its very hard to compete with Dell's $299 low end Celeron PC. However, as any that has bought this machine will tell you, its not very good. Building your own is more about picking every part on your system and knowing exactly what you have. Most prebuilt systems do not use the latest parts or even very high quality parts for that matter. Open up any value PC and be prepared to find lots of compents with brand names you have never heard of in your life.

When moving out of the value space, custom built can save you money, especially if you already have Windows and Office ready to install. Windows is around $150 and Office is around $250 when purchased OEM, so this adds around 20% to the cost of most prebuilt PCs.

Basically, the higher end the PC is (especially when you get into flagship models) you can save money doing it yourself. For most other people in the midrange, Dell will generally be cheaper (especially when you consider you can usually get a free LCD out of them), but doing it yourself gives you a better PC.
 

a1ien

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Hey I am just wondering how much money can be saved, I look at places like www.cyberpowerpc.com and it doesn't seem that much more expensive to get them to build it, but I have not done a direct comparision.

Can any of you tell me how much on average you can save by building your own system ?
Well, it depends on what you want out of your PC. I built my own system about a year ago and if I had purchased the same system from a few different places and I saved at least a few hundred dollars. If you want a top tier gaming machine you can save quite a bit of money by building your own as opposed to buying a machine from Voodoo PC or say Falcon Northwest or even Dell and Alienware (although if I am correct, I've heard that Dell bought Alienware recently).

The great thing about building your own is you have the complete freedom of picking and choosing exactly what you want to go into your system, most places don't give you near as much freedom as you have if you build your own.

Tell us what you want to do with your system and your budget and I'm sure that me as well as other members of this forum would be glad to help you out.
 

FireWater

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here is what I had planned out.

$1425.00
CASE : NZXT Nemesis Elite Aluminium Mid-Tower Case 420W W/Window, Temp.Display & Fan Control (SILVER COLOR)
CPU : (939-pin) AMD Athlon™64 X2 4200+ Dual-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
MOTHERBOARD : (Sckt939)Asus A8N5X nForce4 Chipset SATA RAID PCI-E w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio
MEMORY : 2048 MB (1GBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY (Corsair Value Select)
VIDEO CARD : NEW !!! NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GT 256MB 16X PCI Express Video Card
VIDEO CARD 2 : NONE
LCD Monitor : NONE
HARD DRIVE : 160GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8M Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive
Hard Drive 2 : NONE
Optical Drive : (Special Price) LG GWA-4161 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
Optical Drive 2 : 16X DVD ROM (BLACK COLOR)
SOUND : Creative Labs SB Audigy SE

included with that system is an upgraded power supply (500 Watts), and a logitech keyboard.

How much cheaper would it be to build it myself ?


ALSO, I am using this machine for gaming primarily, mostly source based games but I would like to venture out into games such as CoD2 or BF2.

Also I only really care about framerates as well, appearences are nice but I need my system to run smooth.
 

llama_man

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Also, don't forget that in the cost of pre-built systems, the vendor has factored in a cost to cover the warranty. Since most of us tinker about with our PCs, you'd invalidate your warranty pretty quickly on a pre-built!
 

harlequin6791

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here is what I had planned out.

$1425.00
CASE : NZXT Nemesis Elite Aluminium Mid-Tower Case 420W W/Window, Temp.Display & Fan Control (SILVER COLOR)
CPU : (939-pin) AMD Athlon™64 X2 4200+ Dual-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
MOTHERBOARD : (Sckt939)Asus A8N5X nForce4 Chipset SATA RAID PCI-E w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio
MEMORY : 2048 MB (1GBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY (Corsair Value Select)
VIDEO CARD : NEW !!! NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GT 256MB 16X PCI Express Video Card
VIDEO CARD 2 : NONE
LCD Monitor : NONE
HARD DRIVE : 160GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8M Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive
Hard Drive 2 : NONE
Optical Drive : (Special Price) LG GWA-4161 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
Optical Drive 2 : 16X DVD ROM (BLACK COLOR)
SOUND : Creative Labs SB Audigy SE

included with that system is an upgraded power supply (500 Watts), and a logitech keyboard.

How much cheaper would it be to build it myself ?


ALSO, I am using this machine for gaming primarily, mostly source based games but I would like to venture out into games such as CoD2 or BF2.

Also I only really care about framerates as well, appearences are nice but I need my system to run smooth.

I just priced out the system that you posted. I went to Newegg since thats my favorite place. But to answer your question all of that plus a basic logitech keyboard and 500w thermaltake psu (which is probably a lot higher quality than what they'd upgrade you to)

the total price came to $980 (shipping included to my zipcode)

saving you from 400-$500 on where ever you were going to buy your system. With that saved cash you could make it into a better gaming rig. Running SLI cards.. getting faster corsair xms memory. still be less than that place you were going to buy it from. However the pc DOESNT include windows. If the one you were buy did then add $130 to the price I found.
 

Flakes

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all i can say is its cheaper if you already have a pc and can reuse part on my system below i saved around 300-400 quid.
 

mdalli

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Firewater, quite frankly, if are unable and/or unwilling to do the simple 10 minutes worth of research in going to Pricewatch or Newegg and expect people on here to do it for you, maybe you should just get the pre-built system.

There is such a thing as asking for guidance. There is also such a thing as being lazy.
 

bob5568

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The question is not straightforward. One can almost never do this comparison, because pre-built computers will protect the details of the specific componants, the motherboard for instance. When you build your own you can find out a lot about your choices on boards like this. So in the home built world you could easily consider a $50 mother board or a $150 motherboard, and based on details available in part specs or from testimonials here on the forum you might very well choose the $150 motherboard.

A person deciding to buy the pre-built because its $100 cheaper is simply doing without the understanding of the difference.

On the other hand, anyone knows that if you buy a 1000 motherboards you get a better price than buying 1....so clearly the pre-built guys (at least the big guys) can price their parts WAY below what you end up with as a homebuilder. Especially if you have to buy the most plebian aspects of a system....like case, keyboard, mouse, these things are below the radar, and probably thown in for free with dells, but you pay actual money for them in the homebuild world.

That's not an issue for most of us because we re-use those componants commonly. My floppy drive was originally out of a 486dx33 system. My case is an ATX Midtower that dates back to the start of the ATX standard.

True, when front mounted usb and audio controls came out I was jealous, but I found a cute front addon unit that keeps my case in the game.

And the final point.......I don't build my own to save money, whether it does or doesn't. I do it because I enjoy the shopping process, and the build process. I get a great rush from imagineering a system, shopping, seeing the parts arrive, and then seeing it boot after a sweet assembly success.

Enjoy!

Bob
 

chocobocorey

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And the final point.......I don't build my own to save money, whether it does or doesn't. I do it because I enjoy the shopping process, and the build process. I get a great rush from imagineering a system, shopping, seeing the parts arrive, and then seeing it boot after a sweet assembly success.

Enjoy!

Bob
ok building and what not is fun the first time or two.. but i think the rush is gone after that. and getting excited at seeing parts arrive might mean u should get a hobby
 

mdd1963

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"Also I only really care about framerates as well, appearences are nice but I need my system to run smooth."

If playing games, decent framerates (above 30 fps always, closer to 50-60 fps are even better) are what make a game play smoothly, without stuttering, hitches, pauses, etc....

Fortunately, with a 7900GT, you should not have to worry about framerates on any game available at very good resolutions and settings.....
 

FireWater

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Quite frankly I would have an easier time taking your post into consideration if the person who posted above you didn't answer my question. However, since he did I can simply dismiss your post.

So I can save about $500, not bad. I may just build the thing on my own, I'm still a little hesitant. I'm sure Tom's hardware has a thorough installation guide, though I would still be hesitant simply because it would be a lot of money to lose if I screw up.

Also, I heard with the motherboard I want to get the onboard sound is just as good as the Soundblaster card, so I can save the 40 or so dollars that cost. Can any of you confirm or deny this?

Most of you have been a great help and I appreciate that.
 

bob5568

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ok building and what not is fun the first time or two.. but i think the rush is gone after that. and getting excited at seeing parts arrive might mean u should get a hobby
Your comment is intriguing. You suggest the existance of a universal template for a stimulus and its resultant pleasures. I think you are suggesting that if I find it still fun after many builds, then I'm flawed (as compared to the universal template)? And its the flaws I would correct by "getting a hobby". You could be right.

I think my hobby will be philosophy of the universal template to happiness.

Now lets begin. I look forward to exploring the extra happiness derived from being one with the universal "is", vs the menial and less "significant" happiness derived more directly....from a direct measure of ones pleasure index. As the Borg, the honeybee, and the ant have demonstrated the power of the "collective", there could be something important here that I've so far dismissed.

Cheerio fellow collective members. Thanks for your contribution!

Bob
 

handym3000

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well i would stick with the onboard sound unless you have a well tuned ear and have the proper speakers to support it.

just follow the directions that come with everything and you will be fine.

its not that hard you can build a computer in two hours if you are taking your time, make sure to tough the case before you touch any internals.

try not to assemble it over a carpeted area. use you kitchen w/ tile or wood floors. it helps if you drop pieces.
 

CeleryGoblin

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I didn't consider building my own computer for the same reason. Because I had never done it and if I messed something up, I would lose alot of money.

I never really looked at what it took to build your own system, and now that I've researched it, it seems pretty simple.

I was originally going to buy a pre-built from iBUYPOWER that was going to cost around $2600 after all was said and done. Compare that with the $1800 cost of a computer I'm building, plus the fact that not only it's cheaper, but has a better processor, and there's no competition.

I'm actually looking forward to building it. Clearing out a nice, large space, checking that I have the necessary tools, and making sure everything is compatible is fun. I can't wait to get everything in the case and boot it up. :D

I'd say the only thing I'm worried about is setting up all the software and making sure it works, but I'm sure with some more reading that shouldn't be a problem.

I'm planning on ordering all my parts sometime this week, and when I get around to building it (in about 2 weeks) I plan to take some pictures and document the whole process.

Good luck. :D
 

xxenclavexx

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make your own pc ------------>you may have trouble building it
buy a pc from someone -------> you will have trouble upgrading.

especially with dell or gateway
 

AdamB5000

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FYI, Cyberpower's customer support was terrible when I got a pc from them. It took me all day to get to talk to someone and they then made me do my own trouble shooting.

They also sent my bro a used PSU when his died a couple weeks after he bought a new pc from them.

They have good prices, but their support is (at least was) terrible.

BTW, saying that getting excited about seeing computer parts means you need a hobby... that's just downright low. I've built many pc's over the last few years for both myself, friends, relatives and for business use and I get excited each and every time I get parts. It's like Legos, only with a purpose.
 

bob5568

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It's like Legos, only with a purpose.
Wonderful analogy. I've been building computers since ~1994 or so. I've lost count of how many at this point. Whenever parts are on order and not yet arrived, its like waiting for Christmas morning...getting home from work and seeing the box is a rush!

Perhaps the person who criticized me sees themselves as "world weary" based on experience, and that makes him/her feel mature....I know folks like that.

Anyway, joy to all, however one finds it!

Bob
 

FireWater

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I guess what it comes down is that I am nervous that I am going to screw up, and that its going to suck to eat the 1000 or so if I make a mistake.

I'm not very technical savvy, I'm just a competitive gamer. I know a decent amount but when it comes to hardware but I'm really not sure when it comes to building.

I'll probably get the cyberpower, despite the fact how much money I can save, just for peice of mind.
 

bob5568

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Firewater, I understand completely. I can also relate....I was very nervous on my first build.

In fact, my very first homebuild was only slightly mine. I knew a person who had a little home based business at the time, and I paid her to build me a pentium (with a screaming clock speed of 133 mhz). Because I was interested, I asked if I could watch the build. After that I began to do little upgrades, and from then on, I felt it was ok to do it myself.

Each "lesson" I faced resulted in me learning more and more. Since I valued that, and since non of my "lessons" cost me more than $100, I look back and see that whole thing as great fun.

But for the first build, its a lot more fun if you have the company of someone who's been there, for sure.

Either way, enjoy your computer!

Bob
 

INeedCache

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If you're looking lower end, like $400-700, forget it, just buy one from Dell, Gateway, etc. Above that, the more you spend, the more you can save.
 

michaelahess

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Warranty, If you're afraid of building it this can be your saving grace, 90 day to 1 year warranties on prebuilts (unless you pay crap loads more for an extened one), vs 3 year on most custom built parts, screw it up, send it back and say it was doa and try again!
 

michaelahess

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Yeah, check out the configs on ibuypower or whatever, go to newegg, select the same components, go to the manufacturer link off newegg for the mobo, and any of the other devices you're not sure about, and check out the manuals, the mobo manual tells you almost all you need to know.

All you need is a phillips head screw driver, a nice open table, and some time. Computers are easier to build than a level 2 model kit, and you don't need the instructions even as almost everything goes in only one way. And make sure you get the case standoffs in the right place before you screw down the mobo, they are all labeled so it's not too hard!
 

harlequin6791

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Theres plenty of diy guides on the web do a google. Your main question was already answered which could have been googled or researched as well. Now you're just being lazy it seems.

And before you go and get insulted by me stating that. I was the one that priced out the system for you previously. Either you take the leap into learning how to build your own system or stick with prebuilts. Or if you want you can pay me $300 on top of the part cost and I'll build it for you =b. But you will only have factory warranties on the parts.

Just build your own its not hard at all and the motherboard come with instruction manuals tab A in slot A.. tab B in slot B
 

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