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#233472 17-Apr-2018 18:45
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I spent some time helping someone out with theirs.  I know computer people prefer self building, more bang for the buck, more fun in researching and assembling, more performance, and if they like installing additional fans and blinking lights, glass panels etc but does a big brand computer suit or even preferable to Joe Bloggs?  

 

 

 

These days laptop are prob the way than big desktop PC but for the conversation let's focus on desktops because they can be self assembled unlike laptop computers.  

 

 

 

They wouldn't know where to start so either they get helped in building one or they purchase a barebones system or a system with a Windows license, a screen and all.  When they encounter problems they would take it back to the store, needs to be purchased locally than the hassle of sending it to another part of NZ.  OTOH they can purchase a computer from Harvey Norman or Dell Online or a Mac.  They don't have so many parts to select, the parts are maybe known to work with each other?  If they are unable to resolve it on the telephone they get sent a courier box to have it shipped to their repair centre?  There is also the option of onsite support too right?  

With corporate IT big brands are maybe preferable right, saves the time in research, assembling, they are all the same and imaging them will be the same for all.  The manufacturer will keep spare parts and able to repair x years after purchase.  

 

 

 

Like to hear your thoughts.  :)


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  #1998027 17-Apr-2018 19:33
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there is an in between and thats going to a specialist pc shop and buying one of of their off the shelf builds. still have the after sales service etc but can get something more specific and probably cheaper than a big box store


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  #1998057 17-Apr-2018 19:49
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I’ve been self building PC’s since 2002, other brands since 87.... definitely think it’s something you need to have an enjoyment for.

Win10 and 7 were pretty awesome for supporting everything I’ve thrown at them - huge range of kit over that time - but it also helps to have patience and a calm approach to solving things that don’t work.

Time helps too :-)

The only big vendor I would buy kit from is Apple, but I think MIcrosofts range with surface has potential and could be as bulletproof with 3 more years of graft.





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  #1998110 17-Apr-2018 21:00
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Also you'll get far better value for money building a rig yourself (plus it's a good way to learn). Prebuilt cost more as you're paying for markup on hardware components as well as labour.

 

Some off the shelf machines can be horrendously overpriced (on TradeMe in particular). 

 

An SMB client of mine paid a small computer store $2,000 for a system meant to run AutoCAD.

 

What he received was an AMD A8-7600 w/ onboard GPU, 4GB of RAM & 400W garbage PSU - all inadequate for AutoCAD & worth maybe $1000 without a future upgrade path. 

 

I usually avoid system building but I acquired the client an HP Z440 w/ 16GB DDR4, Xeon 1620v3 4C/8T (roughly an i7 5820 iirc), & AMD FirePro for half the cost of the original system (replaced as too slow).

 

**(Yes the above example HP Z440 is a prebuilt workstation but I used that example to show how easy it can be to get ripped off when buying computers...:) )

 

 

 

As a suggested starting point if the OP decides to go DYI; AMD Ryzen are good value..... something like a Ryzen 1500/1600 overclocked on an ASUS Prime B350 (or better) board....?   

 

 

 

 


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  #1998119 17-Apr-2018 21:13
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Really depends on your requirements. I don't game so I like small form factor machines which aren't easy to custom build. My next desktop will likely be an off-lease Dell Optiplex will be a lovely, stable machine for many years to come. Yes pre-built machines cost more normally but sometimes can get them on a good discount through a business account etc. I order 3 years NBD on-site warranty with new machines and cost is negligible as I guess they're so reliable these days.

 

 




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  #1998127 17-Apr-2018 21:36
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I can build a system. 

 

 

 

I was meaning for other non technical people.  They might be home, both adults working, the kids at school etc.  They won't know how to troubleshoot.  Big brands have telephone support and maybe as a addon premium onsite warranty.  A local PC store won't have that right.  You know normal people, homework, Facebook, email and news etc.  

 

 

 

Personally for myself I don't overclock.  I just leave it all normal.  No extra fans, nada.  No complexity.  That's a geek thing right.  If you have a crucial work computer in a office building, it is unlikely to be overclocked right.  

 

 

 

Off topic:

 

Wouldn't Intel be more easier.  AMD Ryzen can be picky about RAM and specific Ryzen RAM can be more expensive.  The Ryzen 2200G and 2400G come with a builtin graphics which are quicker than Intel graphics.  I guess it is useful for the kids if they are into games and the parents don't want to spend $400 on a dedicated graphics.  The price is quite competitive.  Ryzen 5 to Intel i5 etc.  Isn't Intel a bit quicker for normal applications.  Ryzen have more cores so they might do better with specific software that many people won't use. I watched youtube and they said even for gamers.  An Intel 8700K was quicker than a Ryzen 7 1700X with the same video card.  But the Ryzen 7 did video editing quicker - software that use multi thread.  Multi thread software is something the average person doesn't use.  

 

 

 

I am trying to get away from the geeky technical point of view.  But for a common Joe Blogs.  They won't care if it is a bit quicker, they just use it for normal things.  What they need it for they prob won't tell anyway.  Does the job.  Have good support.  A lot of photographers and videographers use Mac.  Not the quickest, not the cheapest but they are also not cheaply made computers.  


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  #1998155 17-Apr-2018 22:02
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I disagree with better value building your own. 

 

If you do it, you do it for the control you have over your components. Big Brands like HP are very polished products now (Business not consumer because ALL consumer stuff sucks), and taking into account time and warranty support, I'd suggest you'd be unlikely to save significantly one way or another. 

 

If you have specific requirements, a particular graphics card, or a particular type of case, build your own or have someone do it for you, if not, buy a HP, Lenovo or God Forbid, a Dell. 

 

For your average user with normal requirements, there is no doubt in my mind after 23 years in the IT Industry, 99% of those people would be happy as larks with a premade business grade machine from HP etc. 

 

 


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  #1998219 17-Apr-2018 23:47
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I've found that the more systems with the same configuration then the greater the likelihood that any particular problem will be identified and resolved. Like bankers, it pays to stick together to reduce the risk of being the only one losing out. It's not the likelihood of having a problem so much as reducing the cost of resolving it which is more important. That is why I'd buy a standard model from a reputable supplier.

 

I've actually met a few people who had their own custom systems which, once they had a problem they couldn't resolve, found their systems to be unique in NZ, almost certainly in Australasia, and possibly in the whole world. Not being able to afford the necessary steps to resolve the problem, they continued to put up with sporadic and annoying system failures that never went away. Others resolved their problems by swapping out parts but usually had to spend quite a lot for replacement components like motherboards, CPU and RAM first.

 

If I can afford to replace a problematic custom system when it cannot be fixed cost effectively, then a cost saving of about 30% seems good enough to go the custom route if you can troubleshoot yourself. I'd just avoid the totally unique custom system.


 
 
 
 


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  #1998228 18-Apr-2018 00:51
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neither. built by computer shop.





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  #1998230 18-Apr-2018 00:57
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I think the General Public have moved on to Tablets and Laptops. Unless you're a gamer, tbh, it makes sense these days.


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  #1998234 18-Apr-2018 01:38
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I am not that much of a computer person, but I have built most of mine over the years. It is  fun, and never had any  major problems with them. The trick I think is find out the specs and breakdown of a custom premade system in a  store is, to make sure everything is compatible. Maybe then upspecing it a bit. You can therefore end up with a far better spec'd PC for the same price as a store assembled one. The only thing it costs you is time, and potentially you can spend more time than the store will spend, getting all the cables etc more tidy.  It is a lot easier these days than it used to be back in the 90's.


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  #1998300 18-Apr-2018 09:39
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I have only ever bought 1 name brand PC, and that was a bit of an unusual one, Hyundai, and from Farmers of all places! They were going out of computers and were selling a really high specced machine for a very cheap price (don't think they knew it's true value). I still use the case, but like grandfather's axe, the only original thing now is the case, and that's only because it is an easy unit to work with for drive bay access etc.
For years I enjoyed the experience of putting together a system, but lately it has just been easier to go to a local PC builder and buy one of their pre built units and get them to tweak it with water cooling, SSD, etc. I do however, install Windows myself, because I don't see the point in paying a huge installation fee for what effectively involves plugging in a USB stick and hitting "install".
And if things go wrong, there's always Geekzone!




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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  #1998332 18-Apr-2018 10:02
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I build my own, but when people ask me what I recommend I tell them HP Business models (unless they are gamers).

 

I just got a new case for my PC so shifted everything from the old case. The end result is quite satisfying, but I personally don't find the build process that much fun. 15 minutes installing components, then (what seems like) hours trying to make the cables tidy.


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  #1998344 18-Apr-2018 10:14
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1. Branded PCs

 

- if you don't know anything about computers, don't want / know how to tweak bioses and hardware, then buy a branded PC that suits your needs

 

2. Built PCs

 

- if you want a BIOS that is unlocked, you need specific motherboards that many branded PCs will lock

 

- also if you want to put in an earthshaking GPU the branded PC's PSU/mobo/case may not support it, same goes with other kinds of upgrades

 

- you may not find a branded PC package that has all the components you want

 

3. Self built

 

- if you buy all the parts and build it, that can take many hours

 

- if you are unlucky the system may not boot (hardware DOA or unstated incompatibility) and that will take many hours to troubleshoot, days to weeks to RMA, with no guarantee of solving the issue

 

- i just pay someone a hundred quid or so to do all that work for me (potentially >10 hrs of faffing around, is worth a lot more to me than my 100 bucks)





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.




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  #1998363 18-Apr-2018 10:34
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Paul1977:

 

I build my own, but when people ask me what I recommend I tell them HP Business models (unless they are gamers).

 

I just got a new case for my PC so shifted everything from the old case. The end result is quite satisfying, but I personally don't find the build process that much fun. 15 minutes installing components, then (what seems like) hours trying to make the cables tidy.

 

 

 

 

I used a old case.  I don't need a window side panel and blinking lights.  Cleaning the dust takes the longest part.  

 

 

 

I am just not into overclocking, spending more money in cooling and it can be more loud.  Sure you can install more specific fans to mitigate the sounds but if this was installed onto a non overclocked unit it was still be a bit quieter.  The thing I had with Ryzen is that even with AMD RAM, not all the AMD ram is on the motherboards QVL list and if you just ran the motherboard in auto the ram defaults to 2400Mhz.  I guess I could into the ram's latency and timings, and it might also requires a more pricier motherboard.  Overclocking does have risk.  You're unlikely to overclock a business critical machine.  Even if it is not business critical, when friends have problems you know who they will contact and that is you ;-)  Even things like software or app updates, and things look different you get asked why this and that ... it's just so annoying for them after they have learnt to use it.  

 

 

 

I just do DIY for myself.  A bit cheaper, can get some specific components.  Can troubleshoot to an extent or ask others or google.  Yeah .. most people these days would just be using tablets and laptops.  Maybe gamers and if they have specific needs like video, imagery and other multi thread software uses.  


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  #1998377 18-Apr-2018 10:43
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IT company where I work stopped building PC's a long time back.
We get trade pricing on components & its still allways cheaper to buy pre-built .

 

as to reliability, warranty etc
no real winner there. Ive seen Brand name PC's with serious issues . Ive seen locally built PC's with serious issues. Ive seen individual
components (eg motherboards, RAM, vid cards) with serious issues . Not just a one off issue in each case .
Famous brand name parts & PC's with serious issues on complete product lines .

 

At the end of the day, Brand name Pre-assembled or DIY , its all built from parts made by other companies .
And as noted above, if you build yourself from parts and you have issues, expect some pain dealing with that .

 

one potential issue with Brand name PC's : is when they use non standard parts . Usually on SFF & mini PC's
Then out of warranty repairs get very problematic , you cant part swap if its a non standard connector , and if its a non standard
size PSU its a guarantee it will cost 2-5x more than it should for the part

 

For myself, I buy used off trademe . Thats the cheapest option & I accept the risk/cost tradeoff.

 

 

 

 


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