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  • factory or custom computers?

    Last night, i had a long debate between my friend who has a Dell Desktop while I had a custom-made desktop.

    here's what he said:

    Factory's Strength: you are nearly guaranteed of a working desktop with customer service with optional warranty if your hard drive or anything else goes wrong (basically getting things replaced for free for at least a year or so, depending on the warranty)

    Custom's Weakness: because it is made by you, not in factory, it is most likely going to screw up one way or the other and you will have to reformat alot more than a factory-made computer.

    here's what i said:

    Custom's Strength: You can decide what type of hard drive, sound, and/or video card you would like, whether you are basing it on budget or the performance of your computer. a custom computer owner can open up their computer without worrying a void of the manufactuerer's warranty.

    Factory's Weakness: Most of the time, you are buying a factory-made computer mainly because of the name, not what you REALLY want. and in many cases, no matter which company makes the computer, they will rig it to an extent that some parts you will have to buy FROM them, not from a typical computer shop.




    so that's a few of the many standing points...what do YOU guys think?
    49
    Factory-made
    10.20%
    5
    Custom-made
    77.55%
    38
    Either one...as long as it plays my games and do work
    12.24%
    6

  • #2
    Re: factory or custom computers?

    I prefer factory-made. I used to custom-build, but, these days, it's worth it for me to spend the money and have someone to whom I can pass the buck when something goes wrong with the machine.
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    • #3
      Re: factory or custom computers?

      I love Dell, and have always bought from them, but their higher end systems are getting a bit on the expensive side..

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      • #4
        Re: factory or custom computers?

        I like factory, but with room to customize later. That's the real key, I think... you can buy a gray box from Gateway for $250, but you can never really upgrade it.
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        • #5
          Re: factory or custom computers?

          It's more fun to custom make it. I do the research, buy the parts and put it all together. It's like making a chair. You select the wood, cut the pieces and assemble it. It can be very rewarding in the end and you learn more about the end product.

          Sometimes you can get a bit of both worlds too. Alienware and other dealers that sell high-end PC's are really nice. It's got a price but you can tell that care went into each and every PC. The cords are all tidy and it uses hardware you might have bought for a custom PC. You could upgrade it later on because it doesn't use typical OEM parts that have one RAM slot, small case, etc.

          You could also find a small shop that will put the PC together for you. You buy the parts, they put it together. It's tricky though because you have to trust the people putting it together will do a good job and will provide service if something goes wrong with it later on.

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          • #6
            Re: factory or custom computers?

            Personally I put all my boxes together. In regards to the Factory giving you a "waranty" on parts etc. It rarely is any more than the one the manufacturer is providing the guy/gal who is buying the part off the shelf. Not to mention, building the box yourself gives you intimate knowledge of your rig. "OOOO PPPPprrrreeeccciiooouuuss" To kick it all off, there is a great deal of satifaction in doing it yourself, not to mention alot of fun.



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            • #7
              Re: factory or custom computers?

              Custom made, all the way. Whatever the pros and cons the best bit is the warm feeling knowing your computer is sitting there, silently thanking You for bringing it into this world.






              Yes it does.

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              • #8
                Re: factory or custom computers?

                Reasons for a brand name machine
                - Peace of mind with warranty / customer service
                - Simple configuration options
                - Comes pre-built / software installed

                Reasons for a custom built machine
                - Cheaper upgrades in the long run
                - Parts that builder wants
                - Knowledge / experience of building a box
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                • #9
                  Re: factory or custom computers?

                  I have always built my own PC's, and often the parts I have are A) cheaper (less so now than it used to be), B) Better Quality, and C) Better Warrantied than what you can get from dell. Granted, it's sometimes a pain to not be able to have somebody else fix your computer for you, but I have enough personal knowledge of computers to do it myself.
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                  • #10
                    Re: factory or custom computers?

                    If you want an office computer, I think a cheap factory made computer is probably the best bang for the buck.

                    For gamers, you're throwing money away if you buy a pre-built machine. Saying that it's "because of the better warranty" is a stretch, as I don't think that many factory machines come with warranties that are better than the ones that come with the individual computer parts...

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                    • #11
                      Re: factory or custom computers?

                      I would rather build my own anyday than buy from any company. Some companies use refurbished parts and charge over and above prices for specific upgrades. Some went as far (cough Compaq cough) to where if you wanted to upgrade, you had to buy from them only and they doubled the prices for your upgrade than if you wanted your own pc.

                      The other thing that really pisses me off about factories, is no install cd for windows. I mean come on, some of them just make a partition on your hard drive with your backup files on them. Um ok, like you've never had a virus that couldn't infect different partitions and hard drives without explorer viewing them. I know MS likes this because it keeps people from pirating windows blah blah blah blah.

                      The other thing is some of them do give you backups, but will only work for the specific motherboard you bought the pc with. If I buy windows, you better be damn sure I'm going to install it on a new pc I put together after I throw the factory POS away. What, wait.............I can't? Just try and stop me.
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                      • #12
                        Re: factory or custom computers?

                        Originally posted by Nightfire
                        Factory's Strength: you are nearly guaranteed of a working desktop with customer service with optional warranty if your hard drive or anything else goes wrong (basically getting things replaced for free for at least a year or so, depending on the warranty)
                        Hahahaha! Your friend has probably bought 1-5 brand name PCs in all his life. I've installed well over 200 in the five years I've been working in the Networking field. I've installed 10 brand-new Gateway P4s (all bought for the same site) that ran slower than my old P3 out of the box. Even after a reformat, they ran like crap.

                        Dealing with Tech support is like pulling teeth, especially since most PC distributors outsourced to Jolly-Old-India. And even the occasional guy you get on the phone you can understand will walk you through the dumbest things before considering a replacement. Granted, Dells business tech support rocks.

                        Most people don't realize this, but the hardware warranty on most devices like Hard Drives is around 2 years (5 on some). You just have to get it RMAed yourself.

                        Custom's Weakness: because it is made by you, not in factory, it is most likely going to screw up one way or the other and you will have to reformat alot more than a factory-made computer.
                        My brother built PCs for Compaq. They paid him $5.75 an hour to do it and he knew absolutely NOTHING about PCs. It's like letting wall-mart install your $4000 car stereo system: laughable.

                        Custom's Strength: You can decide what type of hard drive, sound, and/or video card you would like, whether you are basing it on budget or the performance of your computer. a custom computer owner can open up their computer without worrying a void of the manufactuerer's warranty.
                        And if you're smart you bought OEM for 1/2 - 3/4 the price because you don't have all that useless crap that comes with retail packaging (you'd be surprised how much even a cardboard box can add to price on electronics).

                        Factory's Weakness: Most of the time, you are buying a factory-made computer mainly because of the name, not what you REALLY want. and in many cases, no matter which company makes the computer, they will rig it to an extent that some parts you will have to buy FROM them, not from a typical computer shop.
                        Dell makes good PCs. But any custom machine I build will curbstomp it in a benchmark. The use bulk parts and cheap labor to assemble them.

                        My friends always ask me: "Can you build me a cheap PC?" I tell them to buy a Dell, come to me when they want their PC to dominate.

                        PS: Alienware sucks. Check the mark-up on their prices. It's almost 200% on some items.

                        so that's a few of the many standing points...what do YOU guys think?
                        Your friend is ignorant and is making assumptions built on that ignorance. Tell him to pull his head out of his butt. If you're a gamer in any major sense of the word, then you should look into custom PCs. Upgrading a system you built is cake compared to some of the propriatary crap brand-name companies can (and will) pull.

                        If you need something to DL pron and type up the occasional word document: buy a Dell.

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                        • #13
                          Re: factory or custom computers?

                          yea..alienware is the perfect example of buying a computer because of the name.

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                          • #14
                            Re: factory or custom computers?

                            With factory there are two main issues for me: Firstly it is very rare that you will find a machine to your specification. For example the sound card that comes with the package could be a basic begginers card but you may well need the computer for some task that relys heavily on good sound. You could buy a sound card later but that is just extra expense, which brings me onto my next point.

                            I dunno about you people in the states but her in the UK the vast majority of factory made pc's cost almost twice as much as that same spec machine would cost to make by yourself.

                            A lot of it depends on confidence and experience, if you know what you are doing then you can fully test a custom made machine and any problems you find you should be able to solve by yourself.

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                            • #15
                              Re: factory or custom computers?

                              Originally posted by Vap0r
                              I dunno about you people in the states but her in the UK the vast majority of factory made pc's cost almost twice as much as that same spec machine would cost to make by yourself.
                              Who are the major bre-built PC vendors over there? The pricing here is pretty low, especially when you factor in the cost of the software bundles and OS licenses they throw in compared to the cost of those separately.
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