DIY these days makes little sense, but I just love it and have slightly higher requirements. I just posted following in the main q&a thread:
Sad but true
It used to be so much cheaper to build a PC, and I built several dozens in the past, for me, friends and as a part - time job.
Just a couple of years ago it was still the only way of getting a decent PC. All off the shelf stuff was in bad need of changing a few components, adding memory or HDD's etc. which made it a more expensive solution than DIY.
Yesterday I received an ad from a local electronic superstore:
They sell their good-looking midi tower
3.4 HT P4,
1 GB dual DDRAM (no clue whether that can be upgraded w/o wasting the bricks, or what is the latency - it's Kingston, guess ValueRAM),
1000/100/10 Ethernet, 6 channel sound (ok, on mobo, same as the lead out pins for included 4 front, 2 rear USB, 1 front Firewire, .g WiFi with antenna)
good and quiet 200 GB SATA drive,
quiet CPU and tower fans / 450 W silent PSU,
two very decent DVD drives, one of them a 16/4/48 DL burner,
NVidia PCI-x mid class card - VGA/DVI/TV out,
PCI TV tuner (PVR w. remote),
all the little extras like card readers, good looking wireless KB / Mouse,
Windows XP SP2 (ok, home edition), Nero, Ulead, some other multimedia sw + an office suite (can't remember which one)
a 17" (BenQ, w speakers - ok I would prefer a 21" Eizo) TFT display,
a solid Epson photo printer.
All that is now bundled for just EURO 899 including 20% TAX (shouldn't be more that $1100). And it is not a promo / special offer.
Just about all an even a bit over average user, even a gamer (I'm not a gamer, so that's a guess) needs.
OK, a scanner and surround boxes should be added, but nothing really exchanged or upgraded.
I didn't even try to add up the cost of the parts - it just makes me somehow sad. No effing way to do it myself.
I'm not going to buy it, I'll wait for the dual-core Opterons and build my new system myself just because I love doing it, but with such stuff on the shelves - what sense could DIY have for the regular let's say medium - power user?!
Just a bit frustrated,
that was my post.
OK - that's a generic fantasy - brand thingy, you should not open it for warranty reasons, but you get the standard two - year shop warranty + longer mfg. warranty on some parts.
Couldn't find a "real" brand name system w. same specs.
Considering my office experience with Compaq desktops and servers, abysmal performance of similarly priced HPs, friend's etc. experience with some Dell notebooks,
I have yet to see a "real" brand system not imposing worse upgrading options than generic stuff.
Years ago, Gateway(2000) was a decent, actually the only decent brand PC maker I had experience with.
So for my friends - generic desktops, generic or possibly an Acer, Asus or other Taiwanese notebook, and a major US brand PDA (based on theory that the smaller the device is, the better quality control and warranty conditions should be).