View Full Version : custom built vs store bought

06-04-2002, 11:50 AM
I am purchasing my first computer, and was wondering if anyone had some advice on whether to go the custom built way, or with a brand name computer.

06-04-2002, 12:36 PM
I suggest that it depends on your knowledge of PC's.

As an example, I brought a Hewlett Packard as my first PC, and was disappointed later at the hassles with not being able to upgrade certain aspects, the integrated hardware, built in software, recovery disks and so on.

BUT, having a stable system that worked perfectly helped my gain knowledge and learn more because I wasn't afraid to try things out, knowing I had support if things went wrong.

I have since built my own system and the kids use the HP, they are networked.

A name brand can give the new computer user confidence and assist in learning how things work. If you are have more than the basic level of computer knowledge, I personally believe that you get a better deal buying a custom built system as you can elect not to have software that costs $$ but may never be used.

'Your mileage may vary'


06-04-2002, 12:37 PM
I would go custom built way. You know what you're getting and they are always supplied with the essential manuals and you don't get the excess of junk that they pile onto your hard drive.

Depending on the way you go they supply you with OEM CDs for reinstalling your Operating System instead of dumping it onto your hard drive.

I've never looked at another branded computer before apart from to see how much they charge compared to how much you could build it.

Somethings with custom built is you can overspend your budget if you are trying to keep within a price range.

06-04-2002, 12:39 PM
When you say custom built I presume you mean having one built for you as opposed too building it yourself.....

Definitely go for a custom one built by a reputable computer shop.......with of the shelf brand name computers you are paying for the name. Most of the time they are limited for upgrades...and if something goes wrong they can take ages to get repaired because they have to be sent away.

A good computer shop can start you with a solid foundation that can be built on as your budget dictates....plus the guy's at a computer shop tend to know what they are talking about and should be able to give you the right advice.

If you are in doubt of a system post the specs back here.....there is enough people to tell you if its a good deal or a bad deal.....


06-04-2002, 12:40 PM
If you custom build a computer yourself, then you can often save on labour costs and get some parts cheaper (through good price stores such as dragonpc.co.nz). However if you buy a brand computer you are almost always covered by a full warranty of some kind. When you custom build you will get warranty on the parts but not on the computer as a whole. Search around on shops' websites i.e uptech.co.nz, tastech.co.nz, dragonpc.co.nz and you should be able to find exactly what you want altogether cheaper than buying a named brand.

06-04-2002, 01:11 PM
the main reasons i here for people buying name brand pc's is cost and support/warranty.

generally a brand name is cheaper than a custom built(unless you build it yourself) however there are usualluy some shortcomings such as the os is only a restore disk(sometimes only on the hardrive) limited upgradeablity and the use of noname/limited support brands, or nonstandard formats.(had one the other day where i had to sell them a new case because their case wasn't big enough to fit the pci card i was putting in)

with a custom built at least you can say what you want and design an upgrade path for it and know that you can get updates for each of the parts. just exspect to pay a bit more it.

things to watch out for with custom built- rip off artists(every town has them)who charge double the price of what its worth. warrantys can be a pain. use of parrallel import parts. not always a bad thing but its a pain when it breaks down out of warranty and the agents for that brand won't touch it or they can't get the parts for that model.

however tha best thing i like with custom built is LOCAL support. not having to ship it the other end of he country for repairs.(has anyone had there pc lost in transit before?)

06-04-2002, 02:15 PM
If custom built you mean getting a company like PCU for example to make up a system to your exact specs, then I would say, go down this path. You get exactly what YOU think you want, you still get all the warranties, you get no spyware or demo software and you should make a reasonable saving which could go towards a bigger monitor or more ram.
Custom built meaning, you will build it yourself. Unless you know what you are doing, then don't do it but if you do know, then again there is good savings but warranties on some parts might not be so good if the supplier can argue that you somehow voided the warranty.

06-04-2002, 03:03 PM

Go for a Custom-built Machine. People talk about paying more for them, but take a look in your local paper for noel leeming, and smiths city computer ads, and you'll see that you're paying $2799 for an XP 1600+, with 128MB RAM, 15' Monitor, 40GB 5400rpm HDD etc... A closer look will reveal shortcuts like a 250W PSU, and poor cooling.

Furthermore, I've never seen an off-the-shelf PC which has reasonable upgradability.

As an example I have a friend who bought a Gateway PC about a year ago. GHe payed $3000 for a P800, 64MB RAM 1MB Shared graphics, 20GB 5400rpm HDD, and a 15' Monitor.

He soon wanted to add a printer, only to discover that there was no parallel port, so he had to fork out for a USB one.

Next problem was that games as undemanding as AOE2 were crashing due to a lack of graphics power. So in comes the need for a dedicated graphics board... Ho! No AGP port. We put a TNT2 M64 32MB PCI Card in his ONLY slot... Appalling!

Next he wanted to network it to his dad's laptop to play multiplayer AOE2, but there was no serial port for a direct cable connection... So it was $300 for a USB network. RIP OFF!

I'll not give you his life story, but will suffice to say that his 'Brand Name PC' didn't live up to his expectations. Incidentally, when it broke, Gateway had skipped the country, and therefore they wouldn't replace it, despite 2 and a half years remaining on the warranty they paid extra for... I have now sold him a new 'Custom Built PC', which he has been using for 7 months, and there are no problems as yet :)

Not a happy story, I'm sure you'll agree...

The moral of the story is; never eat grass, but I'm sure you can take more from it than that.



06-04-2002, 03:18 PM
just to put my 2 cents in worth...i have to agree with everyone else, go for a custom built machine. I also have a friend who brought a WELL known brand name machine that gave him nothing but problems. He ended up taking it back after 1 month and purchased a custom made machine that is running like bliss.... anyway thats my 2 cents worth...have fun


06-04-2002, 04:56 PM
Definatly go with the custom built option. I bought my first computer 6 months ago from a company in Auckland called PB technologies and have been happy the whole way. For less money I got a machine that is still better in specifications than most of the name brand computers for sale today, The support was excellent and I dont have that 'I wish I had brought elsewhere' feeling that you get after seeing better for cheaper elsewhere. This system is one of their 'packages' but you can alter any part of it and they make the computer up for you when you order it.

09-04-2002, 05:22 PM
get one built to your specs better value and quality,
go AMD duron way if on a tight budget .