Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Sep 2012 19:36 UTC
Apple I bought a brand new iMac on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure this will come as a surprise to some, so I figured I might as well offer some background information about this choice - maybe it'll help other people who are also pondering what to buy as their next computer.
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A third option ?
by Neolander on Fri 28th Sep 2012 15:10 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

I find it interesting that most people seem to either build their desktops themselves or buy mass-produced commercial ones.

Considering that my next desktop will serve fairly exotic use cases and that I don't like playing with hardware much, I have been thinking for some time about a third option : going to some local computer shop that I trust, telling them what I want, getting a price and a component list from them, and quickly checking on the web if their proposal makes sense before accepting their offer.

This way, I get all the benefits of a homemade machine for relatively little extra cost (the cost of manpower is generally relatively cheap with respect as compared to that of the various components), yet all the homework I have left to do is to enumerate my use cases and read some reviews of the most sensitive components (PSU, storage...). Sounds like a balanced solution to me, so why do so few people around here seem to do it ?

Edited 2012-09-28 15:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: A third option ?
by WereCatf on Fri 28th Sep 2012 15:35 in reply to "A third option ?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Sounds like a balanced solution to me, so why do so few people around here seem to do it ?


Atleast in my own case it's simply a matter of almost non-existent budget: the more I can save on the costs the more money I have left to actually buy components with. Sure enough, it costs around 50€ to pay someone to slap the thing together, but I could instead use that 50€ to buy an even better GPU so I can get by with it for a slightly longer time if I just go ahead and do the work myself.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: A third option ?
by Neolander on Fri 28th Sep 2012 15:42 in reply to "RE: A third option ?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Atleast in my own case it's simply a matter of almost non-existent budget: the more I can save on the costs the more money I have left to actually buy components with. Sure enough, it costs around 50€ to pay someone to slap the thing together, but I could instead use that 50€ to buy an even better GPU so I can get by with it for a slightly longer time if I just go ahead and do the work myself.

Indeed, we are doing things differently there. Myself, I would tend to wait a bit for the extra money if I can in such a situation.

(Where "if I can" essentially means "if I have another usable machine in the house for the time being")

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: A third option ?
by gan17 on Sat 29th Sep 2012 02:10 in reply to "A third option ?"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

....going to some local computer shop that I trust, telling them what I want, getting a price and a component list from them, and quickly checking on the web if their proposal makes sense before accepting their offer.

Actually, Neolander, when I say "build-it-myself", it's usually what you're saying. I haven't really built a computing rig from scratch myself (just not enough hours in a day) for almost a decade now, to be frank.

Usually do my research online with regards to component compatibility with OpenBSD and Linux. Once done, I get a friend who runs a store to source and build it for me. Leave the choice of casing, wiring and cooling to him, since he's good at it. Might not be the cheapest possible option, but I value him enough to pay him whatever he asks for. Plus I get great support; he's open on weekends, he sometimes drives down to my place with parts I ordered, or at least sends someone down to the lobby of his building so I can just do a "drive-thru" (which I just did 2 weeks ago picking up a new Plextor SSD), and best of all, I can buy on credit if times are tough.

Only perform minor upgrades, cleaning or parts replacements by myself.

Edited 2012-09-29 02:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

A traditional option
by zima on Tue 2nd Oct 2012 21:51 in reply to "A third option ?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I have been thinking for some time about a third option : going to some local computer shop that I trust, telling them what I want, getting a price and a component list from them, and quickly checking on the web if their proposal makes sense before accepting their offer.
This way, I get all the benefits of a homemade machine for relatively little extra cost (the cost of manpower is generally relatively cheap

I would say it was the way in quite a few places, for a while - one went to a small shop, selected components, and after a short time a new PC was waiting. Even without any explicit manpower costs, it was understood that paying for the listed price of all those components was more than enough - not a small sum, after all. And also that the machine will include a pirated 98, 98SE, or XP...
Mass-produced commercial brands were even hardly visible in consumer market, pre-laptops.

Though it wasn't perfect - some shops were seemingly popular mostly because of weird word-of-mouth between the people who were paying for the PCs, not their primary users (parents vs kids); popular, while being at best nothing special. Also some weird practices, almost-rituals, or ignoring quite elementary things... cases sealed with a sticker; ridiculously loud cooling fans (I remember that once, when I specifically asked for "as quiet as possible" CPU fan, the salesman looked at me as if I were an alien, apparently he just didn't think on that level prior to that ...and he still gave me IMHO ridiculously loud one; think how much human thought, creativity, was wasted by those whining fans); some hardware that "must" be there for some reason (in the era of first Celerons, most of them worked on Slot 1 motherboards with slotkeys - what for? They were never upgraded to Pentium2, it only added cost; also, SB Live! soundcards were pointless in most cases, especially considering...); pushing pitifully low quality speakers that weren't worth the energy/food required to throw them into trash container; thoughtless fascination with numbers (it was hilarious/sad when nice Celeron Tualatin setups were "upgraded" to Celeron Willamette - yeah, the clock was almost 2x higher, but the new PC was slower; in 99 or so I've also heard ~"oh, Matrox G200 8 MiB? No, no, you need a 16 MiB GFX card to do anything on a computer" in one shop); except, always neglecting RAM amounts.
Of course, it was largely still in pre-Internet era, so some complications stemmed from that...

But at some point, in the middle of the naughties, everybody just started getting laptops - after some time (not immediately) even typically with a licensed Windows. Overall, probably a good thing that times changed.

Reply Parent Score: 2