cost than you can buy one, simply because you must buy the software legit. [assuming one wants Windows and MS stuff].
Second, regarding buying a low price proprietary and later upgrading is somewhat of a myth. They put the things in such small packages, that any upgrading causes additional cooling problems. Most use onboard video, and most of those do NOT provide a slot for a video card, which is the first thing a kid will want if he starts playing games. The video cards run hot as hades, require a higher wattage power supply, which with some proprietarties is virtually impossible. The mid-price proprietaries can be good buys, but then they get close to the price that you can build one for.
Watch out for HP etc at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Circuit City. They are usually a combination of equipment that is only put together for that store. Something similar being sold directly from HP seems to be the same thus making the Circuit City etc models look like good deals. Look closer and you will find that they play smoke and mirrors with those models.
I have been going through these searches for about two months now and have finally found the inner game playing and why you actually cannot compare a proprietary from a Best Buy to what is supposedly the same one at Wal-Mart. They simply are NOT the same in all respects.
Some of the proprietaries go out of their way to not allow you to learn the innermost details, their BIOSes do not take full advantage of the mobo and hardware capabilities.
If you study things before you build, you will know everything about everything in your computer. You will have the full CD's for anything that you install. I will only build my own, but have never claimed to save money building it. However, I'm far happier with one built than I ever could be with a Dell, HP, Gateway et al.
Is it better to build a computer or simply buy one?
I know CNet has stuff on whether to build a computer or not, but I am still not convinced as to whether I should do so. SO, I was wondering if anyone has any advice.
First of all, let me say that I have never built a computer before. I cannot say if it will be hard or not. Anyone have any advice?
Second, money is an issue. Is it cheaper to buy a computer or build a pretty basic one and upgrade it as technology evolves and my budget increases?
Third, is it worth the time and effort that I put into it. Now keep in mind, I have never built one before, so I do not know how long it will take.
So there you have it: the question of whether to build or not to build. Thanks for any future input.