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Assembled PCs

Discussion in 'Gadgets / Electronics / Laptops' started by johnny, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    I saw J Ravi's thread a bit late to contribute. I found the discussion about assembled vs branded computers most interesting, especially the posts favoring assembled computers. So, I just thought that I could add to this discussion.

    I bought my first PC in 1997. It was an Acer running Win 95 & had 16 MB RAM. A year later I bought a handheld scanner which required a card to be put on to the motherboard. It was an ISA card (before PCI came on to the scene). So, I bought a book about computer upgrades, read through it, and then opened up the cabinet. With my limited knowledge I realised that the motherboard was a propriety 'no frills' one, bulk manufactured for Acer. Fortunately, it had an ISA slot, and I managed to get my scanner working. My subsequent experience with branded PCs including HP, Compaq & IBM, confirmed this point. Branded PCs generally use components like motherboards that are propriety, and bulk manufactured to meet their specific requirements. Growth potential, or ability to add on additional hardware is very limited, if at all.

    In the meantime, I bought a few more books about computer assembly, and in 2000 I decided to take the plunge. It was a very conservative configuration: AMD Athlon 1800 CPU with an ASUS NForce motherboard. My wife had gone home with my daughter and I had the house to myself for a few days. So, I spread the parts on my dining table, and with a rapidly beating heart put it all together, and about three hours later I was dancing with joy, as the computer powered up.

    I then went through upgrade cycles almost every year. My last assembly was about four years back, and I had gone in for a reasonably high end configuration:-

    CPU - Intel Q 9550 quad core
    CPU cooler - Thermalright Ultima 120
    Motherboard - ASUS P5Q Pro
    Case - Coolermaster AMMO 532 case
    RAM - 4 GB OCZ DDR2 Gold edition
    Powersupply - Corsair 620 watts
    Video card - NVIDIA 9600 GT (I do not play games!)
    Three Seagate Barracuda HDDs: 250 GB, 500 GB, & 500 GB
    Two DVD writers
    22" Viewsonic LCD.
    Creative speakers

    The upgrade bug has stopped biting me & I am now living with this configuration. It is configured in a multiboot config with WinXP & five Linux distros. I had to change one DVD writer last year.

    To buy these high end hardware, I found that the best option was to source them online from "techshop.in". Their prices may be a bit more, but you get stuff that you normally do not get in most shops. Most of the hardware for my last build, except for the monitor, I purchased from "techshop.in".

    In my opinion, if you want a good high end configuration, assembling it is the way to go. You can do it yourself if you can do a bit of reading up. I am a non-tech guy, and if I can do it I am sure anyone can do it. The biggest disadvantage with a branded PC is that you are stuck with a piece of hardware with little or negligible upgrade possibilities, because of the type of components that they use to keep prices down.

    Regards
    Johnny
    3 people like this.
  2. kaps

    kaps Superiore

    Messages:
    673
    Arakkonam
    I too have been following this route since the intel was not inside :)) Been ever a AMD fanboy so all my machines have featured AMD. Last upgrade was three years back with amd phenom x55 black edition and 4 GB OCZ 1366 DDR3. I have shopped at techshop dot in but Presently I find deltapage dot com to be the cheapest vendor with large variety.

    Fully agree with johnny that with a branded PC you are stuck with dealer wants to sell and not with what you want to buy.
    2 people like this.
  3. royj

    royj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,306
    Trivandrum
    I got my first PC in 1992. It was an 80386 with 4MB RAM running MSDOS and Windows 3.1, assembled with the help of a friend.
    Since then I have never had any branded PC, the only exception being a Compaq Laptop which I got in 2004.
    I will never look at any branded PC as long as the option to assemble one is available.
    2 people like this.
  4. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    I too was a hardcore AMD fan. Started with the Athlon 1800, then moved up to the 2400, and finally the 3200 - touted at one time as the most powerful processor on earth, also perhaps the hottest running. The 3200 also made me go in for an after market cooler - a Thermaltake full copper heatsink + fan (heat pipe coolers had not yet come on the scene). Then I went in for the AMD dual core (I think that it was a 4800+). By then the Intel Core 2 had come on the scene, and I realised that for sheer performance AMD had lost it. So, switched to Intel. First the Q 6600 (this was not a Core 2), and for my final build the Q 9550.

    I must try deltapage dot com even though I hardly do much upgrades. I am thinking about getting an SSD for the Operating systems - keep the Barracudas for data. Only thing holding me back is that OS migration is a pain. I have to migrate 6 OSs.

    Regards
    Johnny
  5. speedJet

    speedJet Superiore

    Messages:
    856
    Gurgaon
    Going in for an assembled PC has its own advantages and disadvantages:

    Advantages:
    - You can have your desired combination
    - You can select a combination that is more upgradeable
    - A properly assembled PC may last atleast couple of more years more than the branded one

    Disadvantages:
    - You need to spend time to assemble it
    - You need to have adequate knowledge to ensure that you have the proper combination. For example, one of the most common problems of an assembled PC is the choice of a cheap power supply. Over the years, the power supply does not keep up with additions made (graphics card which are power hungry) leading to motherboard and other failures. Most assemblers in India ignore the power supply issue - either they are not aware of its importance or they do not want to jack up price due to power supply
    - You need to buy licensed OS separately which costs more (yes I believe in buying licensed OS, anti-virus and other stuff). All this stuff maybe free with the branded PC
  6. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    You have brought out some very valid points.

    One must go for a branded high end power supply which can provide adequate juice to even cater for possible upgrades. I will also include a good case with adequate ventilation. These additions will certainly increase the cost. But quality will come at a price.

    Regarding the OS. The 'free' OS/software given by the assembler is, more often than not, technically 'pirated', since the assembler would have installed the same copy on a number of machines. One must go for a licensed OS. For most of the other software, there are fairly good legit freeware options available. Few that come to mind:-

    Firewall - Commodo
    Antivirus - AVG, Avast
    Office - Open Office, Libre Office

    Sites like filehippo dot com and majorgeeks dot com provide reliable legit freeware that meet most requirements. Last but not the least, install Linux. Some distros like Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora provide more functionality than any Windows version without violating any licensing issues, and are free to download and use. Most important is that they have become very user friendly. Even installation is easier than Windows.

    Regards
    Johnny
  7. extr3mex

    extr3mex Amatore

    Messages:
    106
    Cochin
    Hey, does anyone know any good places in Kerala (Preferably in cochin , trivandrum, Trichur or Kollam) for buying assembled PCs ?
  8. sandeep.12

    sandeep.12 Amatore

    Messages:
    142
    Bangalore
    Extr3mex,

    Try Focuz in Palarivattom (I got mine in 2002 from them, it was Benz Computers then).
    Decent guys to deal with.
    Not sure they are into PC business now, but worthwhile a check.

    Another one is in Ravipuram area, name is Intercorp. Have also bought pieces from them.
  9. royj

    royj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,306
    Trivandrum
    In Trivandrum you can try Logtech. There are a few others as well like CompuNet who will give good service.

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