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To build or buy?

Discussion in 'Desktops' started by craigmorris, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. craigmorris

    craigmorris Member

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    If my budget is £1500 for a gaming/ HTPC PC how much would I save by building it? I'm an enthusiast and lost money last time I tried to build a rig as I killed the CPU. Any tips on where I should look to buy?

    I like to record TV so would want a big hard drive and am hoping this beast will be capable of running demanding games for 2-3 years.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Craig
  2. Redmint

    Redmint Member

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    At that kind of price range you'd probably save about £100-150 building yourself (at a guess). It's not a huge saving but personally I like having the satisfaction of building PCs myself.

    Personally I buy my stuff from:
    Overclockers UK
    Laptops - Cheap Laptops, TVs, Netbooks & PC Monitors | Ebuyer.com
    Scan.co.uk: Leading supplier of Computer Hardware
    CBC Computers | Cheap Laptops, Televisions, Computer Accessories and Much More!

    as they seem to be the cheapest/most reliable usually.

    Let me know if you want any suggestions for the best components to get. :)

    edit: do you need a monitor/operating system/keyboard/mouse/speakers included in that budget?
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  3. Iccz

    Iccz Active Member

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    I'd add Ebuyer to the above list (wait, ignore that, it's already there I'm just blind) and Dabs I've not used them for a long time but they now do Quidco cashback and were cheaper for a couple of items I wanted, I tend not to use Overclockers myself but I know a lot of people are happy using them.

    Personally for me it's always self build, I know what I'm getting that way.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  4. Sniper Ash6

    Sniper Ash6 Well-Known Member

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    Similar to Iccz I prefer to build myself and tend to source my parts from Ebuyer or Scan, though CCL is on my list.

    I've not used OCuk due to hearing mixed opinions about their service etc. and them not having free delivery.

    Whether you build it yourself or buy pre-built is up to you and how confident you are. Maybe see if a friend/relative can advise/help you. If not then look for places where you can get a bespoke computer meaning you get exactly what you want but without having to build it and worry about any problems - despite not being my preferred choice I have been helping someone do so in the past few days and I'd certainly consider it if it suited me.
  5. 1080PMAN

    1080PMAN New Member

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    building it yourself will save you alot of cash,also all componants come with a RMA so if it breaks (like your CPU did) you send it back and they replace it.

    Scan is the best IMO i have used OCUK aswell and they were good.

    if you are worried about parts breaking then scan have something called scansure
  6. Sonic67

    Sonic67 Active Member

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    Build.
  7. ngrosso

    ngrosso Member

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    Build it yourself and be more careful :D
  8. pooley

    pooley Member

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    i would build it yourself if i were you it's better value for money. if your are a little unsure about building your own you can buy your components from scan and take out their scansure installation protection just in case it goes wrong.
  9. Emdub

    Emdub Member

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    I would have to echo the above sentiments about using Scan to purchase components and build yourself.

    Purchases from there tends to work out cheaper when you take into consideration delivery from other places.

    Also, further money can be saved if you time your purchases right and get their Today Only deals.

    I saved £15 on a £40 budget case just the other day.

    Don't know the shipping details of all the other recommended e-tailers off the top of my head, but I do know you can get free shipping from eBuyer for purchases over £50.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  10. Sniper Ash6

    Sniper Ash6 Well-Known Member

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    You can get free shipping to the UK mainland (and reduced shipping to Ireland) with Scan due to being a member of AVF (also includes a min. basket value of £20 ex VAT): AVForums.com - SCAN & AVForums loyalty programme
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  11. Emdub

    Emdub Member

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    Yeah, I only signed up to get that in fact! Within the last couple of days the signup page has been altered and now says that you need 20 posts to qualify.

    Since I've been so impressed with Scan (free shipping without the posts somehow), I decided I should probably use my account here and have found plenty reading, discussion and debate.

    Was looking for a quality tech-based forum to frequent over the last week; Overclockers seemed alright, but they don't seem to discuss products not found on their own website very often and have a bad rep as a company.

    Didn't know there was a £20 minimum on the free shipping deal at Scan.

    Am hoping PSU's are included in the Today Only section tomorrow, when I intend to purchase. Will now need to consider ordering another 120mm fan to get it all shipped together. Or put off the fan and get it with a CPU cooler, which should be £20ish.
  12. SpriteAlpha

    SpriteAlpha Member

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    If you're an enthusiast and you're building a system yourself, somehow you'll eventually spend more than if you bought a pre-built PC at the beginning. Self-control! That's the best advice I can give :p
  13. Mikhail1985

    Mikhail1985 Guest

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    yup you always spend more when building, its the greed thats gets you in the end
  14. Mikhail1985

    Mikhail1985 Guest

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    on another note, anyone got a guide for buying components to build a pc for £350 and under? Or best to play the waiting game on deals thas crop up?
  15. bigremote

    bigremote Member

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    You can still customize and select your pc components from a site like newegg, and have them assemble your system for you (they charge something like $25 if I remember correctly)... This way you are saving money by choosing your own parts, and saving yourself the hassle of assembling yourself.
  16. sillypepper

    sillypepper Member

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    +1 for building your own :)

    seriously i was a nervous wreck waiting for the parts to arrive in the mail but once i opened the box and looked at the manuals (my top tip ) i thought "oh this is isnt as bad as it looks". it really is a case of follwing the instructions, taking your time and enjoying the process. the bigger the case the easier it is to hide all the cabling and like others have said dont try to save money on psu's always but named, reputable brands and an appropriate wattage :)

    but the best thing is knowing that you built it yourself out of parts that you chose, unlinke brand named pc's whihc tend to have unbranded "firecracker" psu's amongst other cost cutting replacements.

    so yeah go for it you wont regrett it :)

    Andrew
  17. reeve1987

    reeve1987 Well-Known Member

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    build pro's and conns.

    PRO's

    custom setup

    choose each component to your specific expectations, needs and budget.

    a unique system that will do exactly what you want it to do without proprietary software manufacturers (like dell, HP) place on and serve 0 perpouse to your needs

    return to base warranties on each component

    indepth manuals on each part

    cheaper RTB/RTM costs

    savings over off the shelf systems

    you know exactly what hardware is inside your machine.

    CONS:

    headaches

    back aches

    sore fingers

    oh and those are mostly just from trouble shooting IF you happen to hit a problem

    biggest pro:
    SATISFACTION

    biggest con:
    eh headache i'd say
  18. Destruction

    Destruction Member

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    I say build because it is cheaper, and if you know what you doing then you be saving yourself some cash however if you are going to build make sure all the components are compatible and will work together properly
  19. UKi09

    UKi09 Member

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    I was debating for awhile between buying or building myself. One thing I found was you can't get the combination of components you want very often in a machine which has been pre built.

    E.g I want a machine with a 5770 GPU & Athlon II X3 CPU in a Antec 300 case for about £500. I have looked and looked and found nowhere that can do those components together within my budget. 20-30 minutes on Scan and I have managed to do it.
  20. bungle123

    bungle123 Member

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    Found this interesting
    In the same boat
    Think im going Down the self build route!
    Not got a massive budget! But am going to try and wait for bargains

    Bungle
  21. Berties

    Berties New Member

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    Self build, not hard and if you already have PC parts just reuse those. ie got case, hard drives, optical drive already. Building a PC is easy can do it with my eyes closed. Installing Windows is a breeze not like back in MS-DOS day needed multiple configs, MS-DOS + Windows, plus DOS + printer + scanner + mouse drivers and still trying to keep it around 600k base otherwise things won't load up.
  22. semo

    semo Member

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    The biggest gain you get from building is warranty on individual components. Virtually any PC component you buy these days has a minimum of 3 years. If you are willing to forgo the warranty then you get overclocking potential.

    My advice to people is always to build if possible or buy directly from the manufacturer and get proper manufacturer's warranty.
  23. rysio101

    rysio101 Member

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    bulid your own machine...
  24. zag2me

    zag2me Member

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    I would actually buy one with that budget. I've built over 10 machines in my life and just can't be bothered anymore :) Would rather pay someone else to construct the thing especially when you have that size budget to play with.
  25. Gray-Fox

    Gray-Fox Member

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    I'm in the same position and don't really want to spend more than £300. What should I do, build or buy?
  26. ondrugs

    ondrugs Member

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    I think that building your own won't really save you money. Building your own usually means that you either want the best, or want the best value for money. If you try and save money on your own build, you end up buying the cheapest and the quality of the build will suffer.
    If you're anything like me, you won't even be able to make a cheap build, because you're always negotiating with yourself saying things like "for £10 more i can get ..." and then you and end up with £10+£10+£10..... :oops:
  27. Gordz321

    Gordz321 Member

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    Definitley build your own!

    Just buy a case with motherboard already in (as this will save you the headache of buying a motherboard to specifically fit the case you have) and then just fill it with the exact spec hardware you want.

    That's what I did and for £300 built a very powerful gaming pc that at the time had similar specs to computer bases in pc world that were £1200+ !!!

    So whoever says you don't save money building your own is talking crap really!
  28. thesilverfox

    thesilverfox Moderator

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    £300 PC as good as pre-built £1200 machine? When was that/what spec was that?

    As for your last comment, it's very much possible to save money on a pre-built, so it's certainly not "talking crap".
  29. Sniper Ash6

    Sniper Ash6 Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in this too. PCWorld only have one computer for £1200 (which has now been reduced to £1100).
    The CPU alone costs £220. So working on the £300 leaves £80 for a 1.5TB drive, 8GB of DDR3 memory, a case, PSU, motherboard, ODD and OS.
  30. thesilverfox

    thesilverfox Moderator

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    It was clearly in the past, but I'm still intrigued to know as to when exactly, because back when pre-builts were still pricey compared to DIY, I have never known such a gulf in price (and I used to sell pre-builds before I went to uni etc on top of doing personal builds for friends and family).
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