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Old 05-13-2014, 09:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building vs. Buying

Hello guys, I've recently read an article about the pros and cons of buying vs building here: Is Building a PC Really Cheaper than Buying One?

I need to get a computer that is mainly used for watching lectures, youtube videos, and surfing the net. No gaming or any other intensive computer use.

I always thought building would be better long term since you can just switch out parts, but then again, is it? (honest question)

What would be my best option here? Would a desktop laptop, a pre-build laptop, or a custom built desktop be ideal in terms of replacing a 2000 windows XP Dell family desktop? If this helps, the budget should be around $2-3k but preferably focused on the best bang for the buck, and it will be used and not replaced for many years.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Building vs. Buying

For what you need, a $400 system from a pre-built is fully sufficient, AND the most affordable as it includes windows.

Once you spend over $800, building becomes more cost effective.

$2-3K is truly excessive. $1000 system will be top 1/3rd of systems.

I'd suggest an Intel i5 like this:
Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-4430 Haswell 3.0GHz LGA 1150 84W Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80646I54430
an inexpensive mobo, 8Gig of ram
BUT a quality 500 to 650ish Watt power supply so that you can add a proper video card when/if you need too.

The only real issue with prebuilts for upgradeability is the power supplies are usually lacking the head room.

I know I didn't quite answer your questions, but hopefully gave you some insight nto let you decide.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building vs. Buying

Building is always better unless you want to invest more than say 400 bucks in a system. Usually at 400 you can get everything you need in a box with Windows already installed and it's the better option for people who aren't gamers. For instance.
Gateway Black ZX4665G-UW31 Windows 8.1 Desktop - Walmart.com

That would do perfectly what you want to do.

2-3k would buy you a top of the line gaming computer or a damn good rendering/video editing workstation. You don't need to spend that much just to watch videos you moved from your phone to send to grandma. If you wanted to say spend 1k of that you could make a pretty damn fast small form factor PC though.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building vs. Buying

I think PPM meant to type "Buying is always better unless you want to invest more than say 400 bucks in a system."
I think it's worthwhile to consider this build: ~$170 more
iBuyPower 'Build Your Own' Gaming Desktop Bundle - Walmart.com
Choosing all of the cheapest parts, I was able to get a system that came with a 19 inch monitor, keyboard and mouse, and operating system for $544
The benefits of this system would be that it is faster, and would be easier to up upgrade at a later date. Oh and it can have Windows 7, which is a huge plus for me, but that's personal preference.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building vs. Buying

Quote:
Originally Posted by patonb View Post
For what you need, a $400 system from a pre-built is fully sufficient, AND the most affordable as it includes windows.

Once you spend over $800, building becomes more cost effective.

$2-3K is truly excessive. $1000 system will be top 1/3rd of systems.

I'd suggest an Intel i5 like this:
Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-4430 Haswell 3.0GHz LGA 1150 84W Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80646I54430
an inexpensive mobo, 8Gig of ram
BUT a quality 500 to 650ish Watt power supply so that you can add a proper video card when/if you need too.

The only real issue with prebuilts for upgradeability is the power supplies are usually lacking the head room.

I know I didn't quite answer your questions, but hopefully gave you some insight nto let you decide.

Welcome to the forum.
Thank you! That was both very informative and welcoming
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