IMO, most retail machines are pieces of crap when it comes to working with large-scale applications or high-end. Those can be used for basic computing, strictly for that purpose. You'll definitely learn a lot from building a generic machine.
Either get a Dell if you dont' have time to build your own machine. I have a compaq it has some PS/2 Input Output errors.
These problems only exist when running on a NT platform.
Besides that.. i can't figure out where to over clock it
For us technologically impaired people, building a pc seems a most difficult task. So for us, namebrand pc's have been bought and used fairly well.
I've had good and bad experiences with all kinds. I've owned AOC (Compaq clone), Compaq, Dell, and Gateway. My old employer would not allow any "handmade" machines and went with namebrand. Of those mentioned, I had the best service out of the Gateway. Dell was next. I did have lots of conversations with the Compaq service people.
I wonder how many techies got headaches, or heartburn with this post?
It also depends on where you purchase pc's on whether they come with "Tweaking" potential.
Would it be a good forum or thread to discuss step by step method to put together a top-end pc? Is that too broad?