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Question Is it possible for a Prebuilt to be $700 cheaper than a DIY build?

Jun 26, 2020
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For some context:

My friend got his PC for $1300 from a Micro Center near us, back when they would make Prebuilt PC's. He claimed that when he looked into the components, they totaled at almost $2,000 if one would try to build it themselves; a claim I almost immediately shut down. He said that it was because they no longer made the Prebuilt system anymore at the Micro Center, so they were most likely they were just trying to get it off the shelves and possibly salvage their costs.

Personally, I just assumed that he probably didn't do his research accurately when searching up the components. Naturally, since he and I are both known for being very stubborn, I didn't challenge because it would go absolutely nowhere. I figured rather than salvaging, Micro Center could honestly just take apart the PC and sell the components as open-box products.

But no matter how I look at it, there's absolutely no way that they would sell a PC for $700 less than it's raw cost, aside from profit and builder's fee. I don't know much about PC's but I always assumed it was an irrefutable fact that a Prebuilt could never be cheaper than a DIY build.
 

R_1

Illustrious
Ambassador
was it new, an open box, a return?
many parts in pre-builts are not available to consumers, special motherboards, cut down GPU's, crappy PSU. as long as they hit the right keywords, fast CPU, lots of RAM, fast storage and a pretty case, people will forget the crappy PSU, poor motherboard, poor cooling, etc.

a complete spec list would be helpful.
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
Doesn't really mean anything without a full list of components.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($405.31 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus B85M-G Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.00 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Trident X 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR3-2400 CL10 Memory ($388.88 @ Amazon)
Storage: Hitachi Deskstar NAS 6 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($1552.51 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gainward GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3 GB Video Card ($5967.00 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 650 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($878.62 @ Amazon)
Total: $9331.32
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-06-26 15:03 EDT-0400


This is about the performance of a $600 prebuilt today. That doesn't mean that it's nearly $9000 cheaper to buy than build. Prices, especially for non-new parts, can vary widely and are frequently not correlated very well with their performance.
 

gamenadez

Commendable
Feb 17, 2018
378
51
1,790
11
For some context:

My friend got his PC for $1300 from a Micro Center near us, back when they would make Prebuilt PC's. He claimed that when he looked into the components, they totaled at almost $2,000 if one would try to build it themselves; a claim I almost immediately shut down. He said that it was because they no longer made the Prebuilt system anymore at the Micro Center, so they were most likely they were just trying to get it off the shelves and possibly salvage their costs.

Personally, I just assumed that he probably didn't do his research accurately when searching up the components. Naturally, since he and I are both known for being very stubborn, I didn't challenge because it would go absolutely nowhere. I figured rather than salvaging, Micro Center could honestly just take apart the PC and sell the components as open-box products.

But no matter how I look at it, there's absolutely no way that they would sell a PC for $700 less than it's raw cost, aside from profit and builder's fee. I don't know much about PC's but I always assumed it was an irrefutable fact that a Prebuilt could never be cheaper than a DIY build.

Yes you can buy it cheaper, if someone sell the parts on ebay cheaper.

But if your looking a prebuilt and still perform better.
Buy a MT Optiplex that come with at least i7 4770 or higher *mostly people on craiglist sell them under 100-200$. Then you could just replace the PSU and buy GPU.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
126,030
4,404
159,940
19,750
Absolutely possible.

  1. Specific 1:1 parts.
  2. Often a "store" will have some item on sale as a loss leader. Grocery store, computer store, car dealership...literally selling something below cost, to drive traffic and advertising.
but I always assumed it was an irrefutable fact that a Prebuilt could never be cheaper than a DIY build.
Completely false.
 

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