In the next few days I will be doing a 4 part series on my build of a budget PC. Before doing that though, I wanted to go a little more in depth on why I built my own as opposed to buying a name brand machine.
Lifehacker has a great piece called “The First-Timer’s Guid to Building a Computer from Scratch.”
The cost point these days is a hard one to pin down. In some cases, getting a Dell or HP might end up being cheaper once software is accounted for, but you have limited to no control over what parts are used to build. Though I still feel that when getting a mid to high range machine, self building is far cheaper. Yes, desktops are far less portable then a laptop, but you get way more bang for your buck. Plus with smartphones etc – I have found less and less need for a laptop and have gone back to preferring the raw power of a desktop.
Plus – this point from the article sums up my opinion”
It gives me a deep sense of satisfaction every single day when I press the power button on my tower, watch it light up, and know that I plugged in the wire that goes from that light to the motherboard. Building your PC takes the mystery out of what’s going on inside that black box you spend hours on per day.
Now I have been tinkering/building/fixing/supporting/etc computers for well over a decade so it is safe to say I am over any trepidation on cracking open a case or installing parts. Still, there is that sense of accomplishment when hitting that power button after a build and the computer booting up. Now that I am also doing Hardware reviews, the constant thought is, ok how would this make this machine better for a reasonable cost? Is the cost worth that benefit? Balance that against what an equivalent machine from a name brand would be, along with the lost experience of not doing it yourself – and decide what the best route to go is.
Really, with a little research and grabbing parts at the right time, I feel I was able to build a better machine for cheaper, than I would have been able to purchase. Plus, I was able to have exact control (within budget limitations) of what brands/parts I installed. I was able to go through reviews for each of the parts I was selecting, debate them, and come out with my own preference and build with that.
Myself, being the editor of SuperGeekBlog, it probably was a given before this article what route I went. In the process though I have discovered that it is really easier than ever for even a novice to build their own machine. Part vendors have really gone in the last few years to making parts far easier to work with and install.
As always, please feel free to leave thoughts or comments!