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02 Jul. 1979

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Building your own PC still offers as much flexibility in component choice as it ever did, but prebuilt computers are available at extremely competitive prices.
It’s impossible to look at the decline of geeks building their own PCs without considering the rise of laptops. Ultimately, to consider building your own desktop PC, you have to actually want a desktop PC.
In the past, this often allowed you to save money — you could get better deals by buying the components yourself and combining them, avoiding the PC manufacturer markup.
If you build your own PC and it starts malfunctioning, you have to diagnose the problem yourself. As you start to look at more expensive, high-end PCs, you may start to see a price gap — but you may not. Building your own PC still allows you to get the most freedom when choosing and combining components, but this is only valuable to a small niche of gamers and professional users — most people, even average gamers, would be fine going with a prebuilt system. Enthusiasts who want to choose all the individual components for their dream gaming PC and want maximum flexibility may want to build their own PCs. All good points in this article but one pretty significant omission in terms of factors to be considered when you're weighing whether to build your own or not. Also: most manufacturer warranties are only good up to a year which covers perhaps 10-20% of the total life of the computer (unless you shell out more up front which tips the cost scale toward DIY).
Still agree with the premise though, for 99% of people laptop or prebuilt desktop is the way to go. Even though I will never buy another prebuilt desktop, I do have to agree with the points in the article. I used to build all my PC's in the past, but the last two I have bought higher-end configurable HP desktops.
Or if you want a different way, get a Raspberry Pi, attach a keyboard, a mouse and some batteries, and put it into a case. Many geeks build their computer because they don't have the means to just purchase all at once - so they buy components, piece by piece till one day they can put those together and have their new PC. Yes, laptop are getting more popular by the day but I am not sure that they can ever replace a desktop.
I am still happily using an Intel Core2 Duo 3GHz desktop I built 5 years ago; I cannot imagine why I would ever want to replace it.
I decided to build my own, because I got fed up with changing components in pre-builds to MAKE THEM QUIETER! You can get 'quiet' pre-builds, but they tend to cost silly money; it's easy to source quiet, value-for-money components, making a quiet self-build considerably cheaper. If you want to have a computer, go with a pre-built system, if you want to Own a computer, build it! I think it is important to remember that there are billions of people using computers and we don't all have the same needs, wants, abilities, or budget.
PS - I think I'm smart enough to build a computer but I don't even know how I got this stupid username or how to change it. Prebuilt computers are cheap for a reason, they are cheaply made using low quality components. Computers today are smaller; laptops are thinner, netbooks have no storage space, neither do tablets and ipads. Personally I do not care what OS you have on a prebuilt computer, what truly matters is are you going to be able to be running that same computer several years down the line. If you love screen real estate, keep several windows open at once, and can use every spare pixel you can muster, 4K is great. High-end PC gamers: If you play all of your favorite games with the settings turned all the way up, and your favorite games are the ones with the highest system requirements, you'll love 4K.
The display itself: Obviously your first concern is the display, and whether it'll suit your needs. Your graphics card(s): To get the best all-around performance on your 4K display, you need a graphics card (or two) that can push those pixels, even better if it's at 60Hz.


Your processor: Your processor doesn't play a direct role in whether your computer can handle a 4K display, although it (and your RAM) do govern how many applications you can have open at once without bringing your machine to its knees. We even tacked on a Cooler Master TPC 812 after-market cooling unit, just to keep your processor temps down, in case you want to overclock.
While the masses bought eMachines and Compaqs, geeks built their own more powerful and reliable desktop machines for cheaper. There was a time when everyone seemed to use desktops — laptops were more expensive and significantly slower in day-to-day tasks.
Building your own PC allows you to choose all the specific components you want rather than have them chosen for you. If you want to upgrade your CPU or replace your graphics card, it’s a definite benefit. If you buy a prebuilt PC and it starts malfunctioning, you can contact the computer’s manufacturer and have them deal with it. Even then, building your own PC these days is more about flexibility and component choice than it is about saving money.
I almost never replace more than three parts or four parts when I build new desktops as I either have most of the parts available in the desktop I'm upgrading from, or I have them as spare laying around. For a gamer like me, I built my own for a pretty penny, but it certainly does more than getting the job done. Simple, if you don't know how, don't want to learn or just don't have the interest, buy what is offered to you and enjoy your "warranty".
In prices, of course don't, if you wants to build it with ALL the best parts, that are NEVER put together on a prebuilt PC. Some of the these were kind of cool, but nothing I would have bought if I were building my own.
I might spend a few more bucks by building my own, but in the end, I get what I want for about the same price, considering the time invested in "rebuilding" the store-bought version. As I've gotten older and know more, about computers and what I want to do with them, I've decided on building my own machines. Yes, there were some interesting points but overall it didn't really say anything that would make a reader any smarter or better informed.Many geeks build their computer because they don't have the means to just purchase all at once - so they buy components, piece by piece till one day they can put those together and have their new PC. Someone who uses a computer infrequently (maybe an hour a day), doesn't give it workout (just uses it for emails and web surfing), or can't or doesn't want to bother with building it and doing their own repairs will be better off buying a prebuilt computer. It will be a long time before a laptop can hope to replace a desktop, especially when it comes to storage and longevity. I agree with a lot of the comments that said the parts you get in prebuilt computers on the whole are pretty bad. I have also in the dim and distant past built my own custom ISA cards from individual electronic components and written custom software for controlling stepper motors for motion control research.No I would not dream of buying a ready built desktop. If you have a child that has shown interest and awe in technology, I would suggest building a computer with them. EXAMPLE: you visit you doctor, the internet is down in your area for some reason, he cannot pull up your medical history and totally fouls up a otherwise simple medical problem by giving you the wrong medication, one that you are deathly allergic to. I have always explained to my clients that if you want good work out of a computer that will always be used then invest your money upfront, not down the line with parts replacement. Anyway, real geeks have always had a penchant for tweaking their computers, prebuilts do not allow any useful hardware tweaks such as overclocking. A number of developers have already said they plan to embrace 4K, so you have a lot to look forward to, and many games scale up well right now. Ideally a 4K-capable computer will be able to support what you want to do at the panel's native resolution. If you're going 4K because you want an awesome 3D gaming experience, the budget-friendly Seiki displays mentioned earlier won't appeal to you. The bigger issue is that your CPU should be on-par with your graphics card, especially if gaming is one of your priorities. You must choose the correct CPU for your motherboard, and install it according to it's instructions. Each component has a separate warranty through its manufacturer, so you’ll have to determine which component is malfunctioning before you can send it off for replacement. They also have to pay much less for a Windows license than the $120 or so it would cost you to to buy your own Windows license.


Perhaps you want to pick out each individual component and choose the exact components for your gaming rig. If you’re looking at spending this kind of money, it would be worth comparing the cost of individual components versus a prebuilt gaming system. And there is no replacement for the screen real estate easily had by desktops, something laptops will have trouble matching. I mean if you even yank out a power supply from a pre-built computer and then compare it to a comparable rated power supply from one of the known, highly regarded brands you'll notice a difference right off even in just the weight, and then when you test them in my experience there usually is a big difference.
Price is not the only factor but rather the value you get for the price and the quality control (or lack thereof) makes a difference. I used to design and build really big high performance computers (we thought of PCs as just a toy) but that ended 20 years ago. You show me a prebuilt, that will allow you to run enough RAM on your board that it makes some servers look slow and I will shut up and never post again. That's all great if you need lots of things open at once, but of course, it can also mean more distractions. You'll easily be able to view multiple tracks and other media files all in the same window, simultaneously, without each one being the size of a postage stamp.
However, if you are willing to put some money into it, the bleeding edge can be pretty nice. For now, you can see our full parts list in the image below, and check out the build at PCPartPicker here.
You could probably get by with a pair of NVIDIA GeForce 780 Ti cards in SLI, the way Forbes did in January, but AnandTech noted that there are some issues with that setup, and it costs more (about $150 more) for identical performance and less VRAM.
After finishing assembling all components, you will obtain the computer for yourself and you can design a system more targeted toward your own use. He likes reviewing recent changes, improving or "boosting" new articles, doing “wikiGnome” tasks where he helps out behind the scenes, and taking “wiki walks.” The first article he started, which earned a Rising Star, was How to Organize an iPod Touch, and his favorite article he’s worked on has been How to Become a Psychiatrist. It cost me ~$700 for the computer, but I had the peripherals either as spares or as donations from some friends who no longer needed them.
Yes, laptop are getting more popular by the day but I am not sure that they can ever replace a desktop.In any case, the article we are talking about could have easily not be written and nobody would loose anything. And that's one of the most important and often overlooked pieces of a PC that can cause problems if you have a poorly made part. Since then I've been a PC user, just replacing them when they run out of steam or something dies.The reason I decided to build my own is that I get tired of throwing away a whole case full of perfectly good equipment just because part of it becomes obsolete.
However, for a developer, writer, or anyone else who doesn't need 60Hz to work, it's fine and the price point (usually around $400) is appealing. The card you have in your PC right now probably won't cut it, unless you've built your PC very recently and went top of the line when you did.
Either way, if your brand allegiance has you marching under one flag or the other, you have solid options. Since there are much fewer hardware upgrade options these days you can easily find an inexpensive rig that meets your specs.
I have no need to that peace of software any more, as Linux now meet all my needs for my home desktops, and server. The fact of the matter is, you can get much better quality parts than prebuilts and IMO, it's cheaper to annually upgrade different components in your home-built system than to buy a new computer every time a warranty runs out, not to mention you wont feel helpless anytime your computer isn't working the way it should.
However, if you have money to burn and are building a new system, this is what you'll need to enjoy the benefits right now.
The same graphics card costs $650 on Amazon or Newegg, so you’d be spending more money building the system yourself. This was the only time I was content with a manufactured desktop, as I got upgraded from Windows ME to XP for free, 3 weeks before XP was available on the market.


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