Manufactured PC Vs Home Built PC

In recent years computers have been demystified for the most part to the average consumer. More people own computers than ever before and actually feel pretty comfortable operating one. With the popularity of the Internet and computer classes available just about on every corner, the confidence people have with their PC is only going to continue to grow stronger. Soon even the most timid of end users will feel confident taking a look “under the hood” of their PC and might ultimately wonder if they can get more out of their computer experience with a custom built PC instead of a manufactured computer.

Most everyone has at least one “techie” friend who has built his or her own customized computer. These friends usually brag about how much money they saved and got the exact machine they wanted. This may leave their non-tech savvy friends with a feeling of envy and wonder if their own computing experiences wouldn’t be enhanced with a home built tower. We’ll take a look at some of the good and bad reasons to building your own computer. Having built 3 PCs and working on number 4, there is a fair amount of pride in knowing that you built your computer and should anything go wrong you know it inside and out. However, troubleshooting PC issues can be time consuming, frustrating, and some occasions, cost more money to fix.

There are many pros and cons to both. Like the tech friend pointed out his PC is exactly what he wanted. He may use his computer more for gaming so a nicer video card and/or more memory are part of his machine. There’s the issue of cost as he touts that he saved money by building his own computer. While this may be true, I’m sure his geek-savvy nature helped him out in this area. Good deals can be found on the various components that make up a computer, but you have to know where to look and have some patience–whereas a consumer can go to a manufacturer’s website, make a few clicks, and their computer is on the way. While the tech geek may be waiting for the market in Korea to stabilize so the price of memory will fall in the 3rd quarter. Homework has to be done if someone is going to build their own computer to make sure they get the best deal and actually wind up saving money.

One big expense in building your own computer is software. Unlike your tech friend who may be running a Linux box you may still prefer Microsoft Windows. If so prepare to pay a few hundred dollars just for the operating system–this is excluding any Microsoft Office or Word Perfect Suite that seems so easy to add to a manufactured machine. Software prices may be the deal breaker for many thinking of build their own computer. As with the hardware, there are deals on software to be found but again you have to know where to look and have patience.

Another plus for buying an already made PC is the warranty. Personally I would buy the extended 3-year warranty if offered. The cold hard fact is that your brand new PC will be a dinosaur within 3 years–and having one repaired is like having your car repaired–finding a good, fair computer technician may take some work but don’t expect them to give their service away for free. Sometimes repairing a PC can run costs that may have the consumer thinking that just getting a new one may be better in the long run.

Another plus is you can really get a good deal on a new PC with plenty of bells and whistles. Some manufacturers will run specials of free shipping or DVD-RW upgrade. Nice incentives. Also you can buy a bundle with a printer, digital camera that’ll come along with the PC.

You pretty much have a cookie-cut computer. Of course you will be able to optimize some components but at a cost. If you buy a manufactured PC, expansion slots to add new hardware may be very limited or already maxed out. This is not necessarily a bad thing especially if you are a word-processing, Internet surfing, emailing friends user who is not planning on testing the limits of their system with the latest 3D rendering software or the next great video game on the market.

While building your own PC can be very rewarding, it can also be very time-consuming and frustrating. I would seriously consider your personal level of patience to see if this is really a route you want to take. Buying an already manufactured PC definitely has some great advantages and is definitely less work in the long run. Whichever you decide you should sit down and think about what you want from your computer and then prioritize that list and get the PC that best suits your needs.

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