Building your own system - is it worth it???

  haircut100 23:51 03 Feb 2004

I have recently ordered a new system, the cost inc VAT is £1166. I costed the price of every single component individually and it came to roughly £970. When you consider the company throws in a 3 year warranty is it really worth the hassle and possible compatability problems associated with building your own system for the sake of £200?

I decided to upgrade my (very) old system just over a year ago by buying a new m/board, chip and gfx card, while keeping the old monitor/hard & cd drives. Basically it was (still is) a disaster. Nothing but random crashes, glitchy graphics on games etc etc. At the moment I am lucky to have it run for an hour before it crashes (hence the imminent arrival of my new system).

All I am saying is make sure you know what you are doing before attempting your own upgrades!

  Demora 00:09 04 Feb 2004

Ok In 1997 I bought a Tiny P133 (still works....has only ever been formatted ONCE most reliable pc in the house for its work it does) This cost me £1200. then I wanted something that would play DVDs and a bit faster. So. I built my own. a total cost of £587 in December 2000. It started life as a Duron 800Mhz but is now a 1.3Ghz Athlon Thunderbird> I shall Build the next one in December 2004. Using the good stuff from this pc Ie soundcard Hdds DVD rRW usb cards etc. All I need is a graphics card motherboard DDR Ram and the chip Oh and the Case so yes it will be cheaper.

And lets face it as soon as you want to open the case well I have the knowledge that I wont breach any gaurentees doing so. Plus I'm quite happy fixing it myself.


  JerryJay 00:12 04 Feb 2004

If you want to save money, it is not worth it. If you want to have fun and to make something different from other "ordinary" PC users, it is really worth it. For me, DIY always and I even tried (unsuccessfully) to ask my friends to let me DIY for them.

  Demora 00:16 04 Feb 2004

Its worth all the effort. and the fun and the learning. AND to top it all my 20 year old and 18 year old Daughters are both capable of building and sorting out the computers. (where I went wrong with the 3rd girl I'll never know)


  gudgulf 00:26 04 Feb 2004

OK --Firstly do you get all the original cd's for windows and everything else fitted to your system,or do you get a back-up disc?
Secondly ,if you need an upgrade of any component within the warranty period do you need to have the manufacturer do it?
Thirdly does the warranty cover any problems associated with software you install?
Fourthly---how much does the helpline cost?
Fifthly have you checked on this forum how good the company you are dealing with are when it comes to warranty claims?

I could go on ,but should things go wrong you may find the true cost of buying from even reputable manufacturers is more than you anticipated.

I accept that not everyone wants to take the risk of being their own warranty, but using a machine you have built to your own specification
is a very satisfying experience.

Seriously,building your own is a good option,but so is buying from a reputable company ,you have to make your personal choice.I wouldn't dream of doing anything but build my own---But thats only because I want to pick and choose what goes in the system,what potential for upgrading there is and most importantly,where costs are to kept to a minimum.There are also a lot of extremely good system manufacturers out there who will provide you with exactly what you want ---often cheaper than you could build it!
It's up to you to choose which is the best option for you!---but this forum will definitely help.

  cycoze 00:45 04 Feb 2004

£200 to most people is a lot of money .

Self builds are for the enthusiast there is a great deal of satisfaction and pride in building your own machine , is it cheaper ? that depends on how many times you drop that screwdriver on to those MotherBoards ;O)

I personally think a good start is to get a hold of older parts , even an old working machine , strip it completely out and rebuild it , gives confidence in handling parts etc .

For most a shop bought machine with a warranty will always be the way.

  georgemac 08:33 04 Feb 2004

For those who want to take a PC out of the box, connect the cables and have it up and running in no time, an theoretically be able to have it fixed for you if it goes wrong, then buy one from a mnaufacturer.

If you want to learn how it all goes together, ans pick exactly the components you want, and are prepered to spend a few hours putting it together and loading the software, then self build, it will give you enourmous satisfaction. The parts are covered by manufaturers warranty. There will probably be a small cost saving, but this is doubtful given the discounts big manufacturers get when buying parts.

However, I believe where the self builder does save money, is in the future. I can easily upgrade my system bit by bit, and have the skills and knowledge to repair my system should any component fail.

I also sometimes use 2nd hand parts, especially graphics cards. I am waiting for a geforce4 ti 4200 with 128 mb ddr ram purchased for under £45, this would have cost double or treble that a year ago and will probably give a number of years service.

  [email protected] 09:22 04 Feb 2004

As quite a number of forum have said shop for the parts you want @ the right time do not take one list site for all your parts. i not found any method to dictate where my PC puts its 1st OS so overwriting does have glitches sometimesPlan your upgrades every 1/2 years for only the new parts you want to add to your system. A lot of fun deciding & building your own normally at half the cost of manufacturer new

  961 17:17 04 Feb 2004


The 3rd daughter may end up as Prime Minister or painting pictures that sell for thousands...

  GuyR 10:32 06 Feb 2004

I built my machine last year, and go to a night class to learn about building your own PC. The class has 16 people with varied levels of pc knowledge, but we are being shown haw easy it is to build if you plan what you are going to do and approach it all logically.

The hardest bit for some is the DOS based parts e.g FDISK, and format disc areas.

To build you basically need two screwdrivers, tweezers, anti stat device and a bit of time and patience.

This is now my third machine, 1st still running just, started as a pentiem 75, 1.5gb drive, second is now kids machine 800Mhz AMD chip with Slot A fitting so if any major probs will require new board etc.

Third xp2400 amd chip based system not top of range but not into gaming etc. Just love tinkering about and improving the system, and then helping friends with their machines.

  deadneat 12:40 06 Feb 2004

I hope your new system works out ok. I have upgraded/built several PCs. I have had no compatability problems. I find it rewarding and never found it necessary to ring tech help. Usually find 3 yr warr on monitor & P4 chip, at least 1 yr on gcard and memory etc. New PCs dont stay new for long! I think you have been put off by a bad experience. Shame! PS if u have a few hundred quid spare :-)

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