Build Your Own PC And Save Hundreds $$$
I've always been astounded by the shoppers at Safeway who blithely drop into their carts a bag of Splenda for $13.99 that is available down the street at WalMart for $8.47. When it comes to much higher ticket items, it completely befuddles me why anyone in this day and age wouldn't carefully comparison shop prior to making such a major purchase as a PC. Building a personal computer from components will result in pretty well exactly the same PC which comes from the big box store or has the "name brand" label on it, but could save you up to half the price.
A major big box store is currently advertising a sale (imagine that... a sale!) on an Intel Q6700 based system for $1699. However, what would that exact same system cost to build yourself with a little shopping around?
2.66GHz Intel Core2 Quad Processor Q6700: $279
4GB DDR2 SDRAM System Memory: $89
1000GB (2 x 500GB) 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drives: $118
Blu-ray/HD DVD player and SuperMulti DVD burner: $149
NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 512MB: $73
ASUS P5K SE Motherboard: $91
Midtower Case with 450W PSU: $34
USB Keyboard & Mouse: $16
... and exactly why would you want to spend $1699 for what you can buy for LESS THAN $850? That is exactly half the price!
The excuse that you have ten thumbs and they're all on your left hand does not apply to building a PC. Even if you are so pathetically hapless that you can't handle a screwdriver without stabbing yourself in the eye with it, you can easily find a local hobbyist or even computer tech to build a PC from components you have purchased and charge you around $50.
You might find that building a PC from scratch can be done easily and if you play your cards right you can go from shipping boxes to bootup in fifteen minutes! I've actually done it in less than five.
First make sure that you have all the bits and pieces that you need. Nothing like stopping in mid-build because you forgot to order the CPU cooler. Open everything up and have it all at hand on a large, cleared-off table. Plunk the static wrist strap on and plug it into the nearest ground (don't you dare start without it or bye bye circuit boards)!
The first thing you do is remove the back couple of screws from the side panels of the case and take the panels off. Rip open the little bag full of screwy bits in the case and put them in a bowl. Take out the motherboard spacers and screw them in. Now you take the motherboard out of the static wrap, fit it carefully atop the motherboard spacers and screw in the appropriate screws.
Now take your optical and hard drives and plunk them into place. They will either snap in or require two screws per side each. Take the RAM sticks and seat them until the side snaps snap. Grab the CPU chip. Use the little lever or other mechanism to carefully seat the CPU into the socket. Now apply the precise amount specified of a great thermal grease like Arctic Silver to the top. Get your CPU cooler and carefully seat it according to the instructions atop the CPU.
There will be a few wires with empty connectors floating around the case. Apply them to the motherboard where the manual tells you to. Attach the big power supply multi-pin connector(s) now as well. Take your video/audio/ethernet/whatever cards, remove the blank guards from the back of the case that correspond to the slots you'll be using and seat them firmly and carefully all the way in. Put the screw back into the top of the card where the blank went.
Slap the side covers back on, screw in the couple of screws on each side, plug the case into the mains, the keyboard, mouse, speakers and monitor push that ON button and soon you will be elated to see your boot screen, and be able to take a vacation with the money you saved!