Why We don't recommend Dell - build it yourself!:


Aug 22, 2008
Just did this theoretical build for a guy who wanted to know why building a pc yourself is so much better than buying from a big company like dell. I even shocked my self here with regard to the amount you save building it yourself:

AMD Build suggestion:

$800 for gaming? Here you go: flexible case build suggestions, with and without OS:

Base components: (same for both builds)

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case- $60
Antec 900 - $108
Cooler Master Sniper - $140

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready - $70
Amazing Deal!!!


n x WD 640 GB drive- $70

Optical drives:
LG DVD burner 22x - $25

Sub total:

Performance Components:

CPU and MOBO combo (DRR2):
AMD 720 BE + Gigabyte 790X - $220
AMD 940 BE + gigabyte 790X combo - $270
G.Skill DRR2 1066 Mhz PC8500 - $60


CPU and MOBO combo (DDR3):
AMD 720 BE + ASUS 790GX - $260
RAM: G.Skill DDR3 1333 Mhz low latency - $60

2 x ATI Radeon 4770 in CF - $200
4870- $150-200
2 x 4850's in CF - $190-22 (strongest option - will beat a single GTX 285 when overclocked)

Sub total: $450 - 640

Build without OS: $675 and up -

Vista Home Premium 64-bit - $99

Personally if you have to get an OS I would go with the AMD 720 BE and the 4850's or 4770 in CF - that will give you the best bang for the buck performance wise with a 24 inch monitor.

Dell Competition:

Match those build it yourself PCs with store bought versions at the same price:
Dare you to find one that matches performance and price - I don't think it can be done!

Dell for example:

For $900 you get a GPU anaemic dual core core AMD system - still using a 5600+ X2 !!! - at least its BE

To even come close to matching the builds suggested here you have to spend $1600 or more - especially if you upgrade:


Whoa!! I knew Dell would be more expensive - but I didn't think my build would beat them so badly. Dell is 2x more expensive at best, and probably a whole lot worse than that at worst. Geez - its almost criminal to charge what they do for those parts - shouldn't their mass production, wholesale purchases of components and assembly line style building cut the costs!? Doesn't seem like it - I have seen small scale custom builders that charge much less than this!

Forget needing to OC to make building it yourself worthwhile - you could keep it stock have the same system twice as cheap!


Now take a look at where Dell does most of it's home customer business: The generic desktop user. All they want to do is surf the web, check their e-mails, and maybe catch the latest episode of Lost/American Idol/whatever.

Take a look at the configuration for an Inspiron 530s with a dual-core E5200 processor. Base price including keyboard, mouse, and monitor is $469

Configuring a similar system with Vists SP1 at Newegg comes to $473 (both before shipping). Just about the same, but with Dell, you still have a 1 year warranty. No such thing with Newegg and you still have to put it together. Going with the mainstream option with the Celeron processor and you're never get close to that system's cost by building yourself.

Remember, this is where Dell does most of it's business. The higher-end market is for those people who lack the knowledge of and/or the time for building.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge proponent of building enthusiast class systems (have an new quad-core server 2008 build scheduled for this weekend), but if you can bloat your prices for people who are too busy/lazy to learn for themselves, why not?

-Wolf sends
Right. Also, Dell has to provide support, deal with any RMAs, build, install Windows. All that has to be included in the prices.

So yeah, if you can build your own PC then you should. But a lot of people can't, or prefer to spend more money but save the time and effort instead.


Aug 22, 2008
Obvious that if they can sell the product at that price then they will - I was just shocked at the tax they put on the gaming systems - I mean you could build the system completely twice over for the price they were asking - and that was when they claimed you were getting $500 off! I personally can't see how they could defend this position to the informed customer - especially when ibuypower pc and numerous others offer the same builds cheaper and with 3 year warranties as well.

There will always be people who are to lazy to build their own pc (I don't however believe that there are people who aren't intelligent enough to build them, apart from those with clinically observable neuropathies), but I doubt these people are the one's reading THG forum.

Good observation Wolf - looks like they do pretty good deals in the generic desktop segment - and that definitely makes sense. It just seems to me that their business model for gaming pcs is based on the assumption that the consumers are ignorant. Looking at their market share and some reviews in more generic pc magazines - they are right I guess.