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Alienware worth it? The truth:

by PopoMcBeaver / November 23, 2010 8:58 AM PST

When people always ask about getting a prebuilt PC such as alienware, they get a common answer: "Just build one, its 20% cheaper." Truth is, prebuilt manufacturers offer service you can't get when you build. Yes, building is cheaper, but if you screw up in the building process, say break a component, you're responisble, and you have to get a new part that they won't fix (not to mention that building is a time consuming process.) And if you buy a component that's faulty or incompatible and build it into the set up, you will not have customer support to check your computer, so you have to find out the problem yourself, and its unlikely to find out what's wrong with it, since there are so many parts. If you want to build yourself, do it, but keep in mind, there's a huge risk, I would reccomen a cyberpower or alienware.

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If you need convincing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 23, 2010 9:00 AM PST

Look at those folk that "selected" their parts and then have problems.

Integration of a new combo seems easy, until you find some combo that does not work. Your savings are vaporized.
Bob

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Alienware etc.
by pgc3 / November 25, 2010 1:07 AM PST

The last system I built I loosely based on an Alienware system, except it is better. The Alienware system cost (similar configuration) was around 4k, my build cost (for hdwe only) about 1.7k and it exceeds the Alienware set up by a bit. So I would build one before buying, unless you just want a basic set up.

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Some good, some bad, it varies....
by Willy / November 25, 2010 7:09 PM PST

The DIY approach totally relies on "you". In my case, I have no issues that can't be resolved as in I could fix and repair what needs to be done or send it back, as I proven its not working and the vendors usual warranty applies. The clueness DIY'er can have problems but since all too often price is a driving factor, its an option readily accepted to DIY. If the end-user wants a 3rd party to build, it's there. Of course, you're then at the mercy of that vendor and thier support. Besides issues of DIY build, there are the support/warranty issues from 3rd builders. For every plus on one side there's the negative on the other. It's what makes you feel comfortable that makes the sale. No one can predict what can happen and the forums here show both sides. As usual, I offer, "choose" when it comes to either approach. -----Willy Happy

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Disagree
by MaestroDT / November 25, 2010 8:09 PM PST

Actually, I disagree with the general view that "building is cheaper!"

OEM companies apply a huge discount to all the hardware they package together. On the hardware ALONE it can be cheaper, and that's not even factoring in the fact that it usually comes with a Windows license and other software, plus being pre-assembled.

For instance, I bought my Dell quadcore desktop, 2GB RAM, and two 320GB hard drives for $400 - pretty killer deal. At the time I bought it, a new intel quadcore processor ALONE would have run me about $400... not to mention the case, power supply, and motherboard. I started with this setup, then upgraded parts individually... transplanted into a new case, then later swapped all the parts to a new motherboard, then a new power supply. Honestly, I'd say that $400 was worth it just for the memory, processor, and hard drives.

Usually when we're talking about the average person, pre-built PCs are actually cheaper these days. It's been this way for a few years believe it or not (I used to manage a computer store so I'm well aware of the prices) ... now when you're buying premium stuff like Alienware where you end up paying for brand, yes it might be cheaper to build, but it also might not be the best option anyway.

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Well, yes and no...
by Zouch / December 3, 2010 8:10 PM PST
In reply to: Disagree

Where you are talking about stock mid-range PCs, you are absolutely correct, the major manufacturers do have enormous economies of scale and I guess Dell, in particular, is the classic example (this from the UK, where components tend to be somewhat more expensive than in the USA - I wish we had Newegg!).

But when you get to specialist machines and I would include Alienware in this category, the scale is smaller and so are the economies. Also, it is not uncommon for this tyoe of gaming rig to be almost a bespoke specification and so the self build provides the opportunity to get exactly what you want.The Alienware machines are excellent gaming machines and as others have said, come fully tested and guaranteed. Hardly surprising, then, that they carry a price premium.

That said, would I build or buy? If I wanted a general purpose workhorse, I'd probably buy it ready built. If I wanted something a bit out of the ordinary or a hobby project, I'd likely choose to build. This, by the way, applies to desktops - if I wanted a laptop, I'd buy it for sure!

Your mileage may vary!

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Its up to you...
by Greylan / December 4, 2010 7:07 PM PST
In reply to: Well, yes and no...

I watched my roommate spend over 2K for his computer then have to sink another few grand in constant replacement parts and it only worked about 1/2 the time in its 3 years, meanwhile my generic emachine, bought at walmart and upgraded ram/hd/videocard kept on going and going, till I replaced it with a Dell (because the processor type was too outdated), and even then the dell's run well. I've also talked to many other homebuilers who've also had all kinds of nightmares, although they still stand by their homebuilt pc choice.

So which would I go with in the future? I'd have to say buy a pre-built. I'd recommend just doing some homework, review what models you see on stores or the web, read the reviews (avoid ones with lousy ones) And look into what expansion capabilities it has (for add on vid card, ram, wifi, tv tuner, soundcard, etc)

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Good story. Here's mine.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 5, 2010 9:02 AM PST
In reply to: Its up to you...

My story is similar. I took a refurb HP d4999t, added some ram and a 3D video card and it's been very stable to the point of annoying folk the are used to crashes.
The total cost was embarassingly low.
Bob

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two sides
by porsche10x / December 5, 2010 8:49 AM PST

I used to build my own, partly to save money and partly for the fun of it. I would agree though, in recent years, it's often cheaper to buy than build, especially if you can live with something pretty generic. As mentioned, any savings is usually blown away by the cost of the OS. But on the other hand, as soon as you start customizing, letting the manufacturer "build your own" for you, the price of a retail system often goes crazy. They may charge twice as much for upgrades compared to just buying the parts and upgrading yourself. Also, be careful. If you're successful, you might end up being tech support for everyone in your circle of friends and family:)

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Alienware is actually better
by jorbox21 / April 7, 2013 1:29 AM PDT

I was actually thinking about building a gaming computer, was doing some calculations and at first i though this is too expensive, then after a while i started gaining knowledge about computers e.g. why you need to spend so much for good quality, at with all this i didn't want to break any parts in the process, so i though about getting alienware, but since these type of topics on the internet say that alienware are overpriced, it started confusing me so i was changing my mind like the wind.
Then today i did some more calculations and it is actually true! Alienware are not overpriced actually it would costs £200 more to build a computer with similar specs of alienware and this still excluding the watercooling so add another £270 then theres Alienware £270 cheaper, also with building your computer you risk "Ruining key components" there being said in the Topic.
So guys believe me, listen Alienware is better don't believe those phycopaths out there who say it is overpriced, because it's not.

Heres my calculations i made, please take the time to read them, and maybe compare to the spec of pc you want!

Alienware Aurora R4 With 2 GTX 680's 2gb Price: £2769.00

To build yourself:
£232.74 i7 3920k
£120 Windows 8
£60 8gb DDR3 Ram
£60 DVD Writer + BluRay
£150 Sound Card
£300 Case + 875w PSU
£950 2x GTX 680 2gb
£20 Lighting System
£180 Decent Mouse and keyboard
£70 1TB HDD

Build quality... NO alienware has best build quality

TOTAL COST TO BUILD YOURSELF:
£2142.74

So there you go guys Point proven

As of these calculations i am now switching my build so it is alienware for best build quality and reliability

PS: I am not saying that you are wrong you guys out there who thinks Alienware are overpriced i am just here to say if you are on a budget between £799 to £2000 Then Alienware is the way to go, Thanks for reading guys!

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