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Why Building Your Own Computer WILL Save You Money

Updated on April 23, 2011


My name is Steven Peterson. I am a professional computer technician who was completely self taught and now hold many nationally recognized certifications, CompTIA A+, MCSE, DCSE, just to name a few. I am a former computer builder that owned a small upstart company designing and building computer systems, as well as repairing and upgrading systems, during our country's economic boom at the beginning of the 2000's. I now perform builds and repairs for family and close friends. I have largely seen what customers wanted in a new system and what they needed in their systems. My purpose is to show various methods for the average person to look at and not only get the new computer of their dreams, but also to get the best bang for your buck and not be disappointed with budget systems offered by major manufacturers.

The Basics

Today's economic troubles are a sign that most consumers are cutting back on what they want and only getting what they need. Those who do get the things they want, often sacrifice on the basis of the next economic principle, "What can I afford?"

Unfortunately in today's consumer electronic market, most consumers hold out for what is on sale to get the things they want. Computer manufacturers know this, so they have a strategy in place to make sure they still stay profitable while giving a customer a financially pleasing solution. Oftentimes, when the average person shops for a new computer, they normally do not look at the specifications of the computer and look at price. Most of the big name manufacturers tend to skimp out wherever they can to make the quick buck on unsuspecting consumers.

Tip 1: Cut out the middlemen...

When dealing with a large investment, most savvy shoppers do their homework and buy directly from the source (i.e Manufacturer direct). What most savvy shoppers neglect to see is that even buying a new system manufacturer direct you are still buying from a middleman. Those who buy from a typical brick and mortar store or their website, go through two middlemen. Now wait? I get the part about a B&M retailer being the middleman, but how is buying directly from Dell or HP, for example, buying from a middleman? Simple answer, you're paying for a name. Most computers that come from the manufacturers site are still have markup. When you start customizing your system from stock, the markups start going up.

Tip 2: Become familiar with what actually makes a computer work...

There are a total of 6 basic hardware components that go into each and every computer out there to make it work; The Motherboard, Processor, Memory, Hard Drive, Optical Drive, and Power Supply. Essentially with those 6 components properly matched, you have the basics of any computer. Most all of the components listed about can be purchased for as low as $25-$50 a piece, even for good quality parts.

Tip 3: Price does NOT always equal quality...

The old saying "You get what you pay for" is just that; It's only a saying. I have purchased computer components and accessories from overseas direct dealers and wholesalers for up to 90% off what the national brands are selling the same item for and have rarely had problems with them. Why? Because that is where the national brand products are manufactured. The difference? They slap their logo on the item, package it in fancy writing, and make the instructions easy for anyone to understand.

Tip 4: Manufacturer's warranties are worthless...

With building your own computer, you now control the quality and your warranty. The average manufacturer's warranty on a big name brand is about 1 year at the most. With the manufacturer's warranty, your clock is ticking and I bet you my bottom dollar at the 365th day at 12:01AM if the computer failed, they will ask for your credit card number before talking warranty anything with you. Today's component manufacturers have the best warranty period around. Most motherboards, power supplies, and optical and hard drives have 1-5 year warranties, Intel and AMD have lifetime warranties on their processors, and most memory manufacturers have lifetime warranties on their components, and if they don't, they're not worth the money you spent on it. Purchased wisely, you could have a system that has a 5 year parts warranty on it. Try getting that from HP, Sony, Dell, etc.

Following the tips above will help you save money when considering a new PC. The same protocol is true for notebook computer too. Some people may not have the time or simply don't want to build their own system, so we'll let them envy those who do want to explore the endless possibilities of having a custom system. Building you own system gives someone many other things you can't buy with a new cookie cutter computer. It gives you pride and appreciation for that new computer and those are the computers that last the longest. Those are the people who truly take care of their computer because they seen what it takes to bring it all together.

Soon I will be releasing a series of posts that will talk more in detail and give suggestions to people who want to explore this option. All feedback, positive and constructive, is appreciated. If the demand is there for more information, I will deliver.


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