Self build

  offthewall 22:52 26 Feb 2005

I read with interest, recently in PC advisor, how to save money by going self-build.
As a trained electrician and practical type I am quite intrigued by the prospect.....but when it came to the part about setting up BIOS and command sequences and such .....technical jargon type things......I became a wee bit 'over-awed'.
Can anyone advise me if this would be a realistic route to take with the view to saving a few bucks?
Is it false economy? Why should I employ an 'expert' if I can do it myself?
This message is prompted by the fact that I have submitted a 'spec' for a new PC to three local businesses...two weeks ago....and am still waiting for a quote!

  Totally-braindead 23:04 26 Feb 2005

I don't remember the particular article you refer to. With the pricing of PCs at the moment I believe its more expensive to build your own rather than being cheaper. The advantages are, its fun, at least when everything works, you learn a lot which makes it much easier when you decide to upgrade and as a lesser point you get the PC you want. I say the last as a lesser point because nowadays most PC suppliers will build a PC to your specification.

  TomJerry 01:41 27 Feb 2005

"self build" is fun and even addictive, but it will not save much (or any) becuase big box shifters can get components very cheap. There are many companies offer great deals, even PC world has a lot of good decent deals.

  VNAM75 02:01 27 Feb 2005

I will be building a new PC myself but the comments above have put me off slightly, though not changed my mind. If I can match or come close to the price of the major supplier deals (which I think I can) I'll be happy. You just need to make sure you get the cheapest prices possible, which most certainly means ordering online - I'll be using Scan for most of my components. I'm not too bothered about saving money but it would be a big bonus. Primary reasons pushing me through this route are

1) the sheer excitement and satisfaction of building my first PC with the exact parts I want, and the knowledge gained in the process.

2) avoiding any of the potential problems which may arise with the big PC system suppliers as documented by many forum members.

3) being able to select your own PC case. Any comments on Chieftec cases? click here

  deep-joy 08:41 27 Feb 2005

With self build you can choose exactly what goes in the box. I have built two machines and would not consider an already built one, apart from my tosh laptop, price is not an issue where peace of mind is! If you decide to go self build its worth going to a good computer fair to see what is on offer and meet those who build their own.

  961 09:52 27 Feb 2005

click here will tell you all about how to do it.

It is not difficult, and it is fun, and the great benefit is the ability to avoid warranties, delivery problems, expensive help lines etc.

You won't save a great deal of money these days. If you look at the sale price of a standard Dell it is very hard to beat

If you do decide to go ahead, a motherboard bundle from Novatech is a good way to start

  Sapins 10:31 27 Feb 2005

Have you thought about a perspex case, Not to everyones taste but I used a nice pale Blue tinted one. I can recommend as a supplier, click here they also have a good range of other cases.

  harps1h 14:50 27 Feb 2005

looking for a case look for the coolermaster stacker. it gives plenty of work room and it is the best case i have seen built.

  Joe R 15:24 27 Feb 2005


There is no better feeling, than watching a computer booting up for the first time, knowing that you have assembled it.

Yes, you may have the occasional problem, but you can pick and choose each, and every part, for your specific needs and usage.

If you select a P.C. company, to configure each and every component, it would surprise you, how much you can save at times.


I,ve used many Chieftec, and Antec cases, for mysef and others, and have nothing but praise for them.

If you want a good case, with removable mobo tray, ( the tray allows you to set up your Mobo, C.P.U.,
Ram, and any pci cards, Graphic cards )before you put them into the. It is also Aluminium, with an excellent cooling setup, and can be had here for less than £90 ( with delivery ).

I bought this case a few months back for my system, and have found it to be the coolest, quietest, and best case I have ever used.

Oh did I mention that it has a side window and four 80mm fans pre-installed.

The Lian Li P.C. 65 click here=

  josie mayhem 16:33 27 Feb 2005

Depends how you see a saving? Building from scratch one complete system, if you're building a basic low end spec, then very unlikely would you save money. The higher the spec, might save a little amount.

It depends on your perspective on equating 'saving'

In the short term, the lower the spec, the less likley you will 'save' and you might brake even or save a little with a higher spec. Also it will depend on how you completed your build. Savings can be made if you're are using some components from another computer.

Long term, well I think that you save here a lot. Reasoning behind this, two fold really;

If you buy a complete off the shelf system, then it is most likley that a loan/credit agreement or credit card has been used purchasing like this, means that you really got to add interest cost onto the cost of the kit, a hidden charge, if you then take other hidden charges, that you don't get a full software disk, i.e OS, but only recieve a restore disk, with will activate and restore the OS from a hidden partition on the actual hhd (which is no help, if the hhd has gone belly up with a phyical fault) and now companies are starting to charge for the restore disk and how many people buy an extended warrenty, cost are now mounting up.

Most likley, after several months of using the off the shelf, you find that the graphic card isn't up to the job, and well you really need a larger hhd, to cope with the video editing, so back to the shop to have it sorted, and there the cost of labour as well as the component, and there is also the chance, that no up-grade is available. And how much money to you put on, when your computer is in the work shop unavaiable to you? Or the cost of a phone call to the suppoet centre to sort out a corrupted modem (at a £1.50 a minuite)?

But if you build your own, then in the process you've learnt how your the components fit together, and how they interact with each other. What price do you put on this? You decide that you would like a bigger hard drive, cost just for the hdd, no labour charges. You've installed the modem, so when it's file gets corrupted you know without a phone call, what to do. You don't have to hike the computer to the shop or pay for some-one to come around to service it for you, yet another 'saving'


IMHO that if you take a over all view, and not just the actual cost of the purchase on day one, then there is a large saving ability to building and maintaining your own computer kit.

I for one, if I had to rely on buying off the shelf, would still be computing in the dark ages, and not on the edge of the frontier as I do now. There has been no hidden charges, on my kit, I paid in cash for each component on the day, and so haven't got to concider adding any interest charges to my outlay. So I've saved one hell of a lot.


In my early computing years, I ended up paying £30 to have my hhd reformatted and have my own copy of win98 reinstalled, taking that into concideration, I've saved my self a fortune, and that was about 6/7 years ago.

  georgemac © 16:45 27 Feb 2005

I have one, was about £35 (no psu) from ebuyer - quality case but weighs a ton.

Antec cases are also very good and have the added bonus of coming with a top quality psu - which is incredibly important for a self buid.

I have continually upgraded since my pentium 133 and it has been very enjoyable.

If I were starting from scratch instead of being on the continual upgrade path, I would buy a PC from a major manufacturer - but one which uses quality components - you also get the bonus of not having to stump up for the operating software which is a high cost for the self builder, and which the oem's get very cheaply.

I have seen a couple of revent Mesh PC's - quality case, build and components. I have also seen a couple of impressive new Dell's (8400) but was not inside the case.

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