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halcyon
08-20-2005, 04:51 PM
I'm pretty computer-literate. I've built plenty of machines, serviced plenty and so forth. Without doing a ton of research, what are most people's opinions on buying a new machine? Is it cheaper to buy the parts and assemble them yourself? Wait for one of Dell's rebate/coupon deals? Go elsewhere? Just curious about other's opinions.

Unassisted
08-20-2005, 05:41 PM
If simplicity of support is important to you, go with Dell. With coupons and sales, it's the cheapest combination of support + computer that I know of. Component breaks, you can call Dell for a replacement in warranty.

If you're not afraid of troubleshooting and don't mind tracking down support from multiple sources for a hodgepodge of components, then building your own machine from parts acquired from various deals will always be the cheapest route. If I were doing this, I'd use Pricewatch.com and the Anandtech and FatWallet forums to track down those deals on components.

pedro
08-20-2005, 05:58 PM
I think it also depends on the OS you plan to run. If you want to run windows and don't have a copy of it you can use, it doesn't make a lot of sense IMO to build your own computer b/c buying microsoft software directly will probably eat any savings you get from building your own box.

RBA
08-20-2005, 06:28 PM
The Sony VAIO VGN-B100BD Laptops are flooding the market on EBay. They are going way below retail value.

http://search.ebay.com/b100bd_W0QQsojsZ1QQfromZR40

I also have one up for sale. But I won't give you a direct link to it, unless you want me to PM it to you.

I would recommend you go with a laptop. They can just about do anything as a desktop does nowadays and they are mobile.

pedro
08-20-2005, 06:31 PM
Vaio's are nice. My sister and dad each have one.

I have a HP Pavilion Laptop. I love it.

dman
08-20-2005, 07:02 PM
Me personally, I just go with doing it myself and building a piece-meal computer made up of parts that are tailored to my tastes. For instance, I will only use AMD cpu's in my machine and to my knowledge, Compaq and E-Machines are the only ones that use AMD cpu's. You probably already know about this site, but I do a lot of shopping from www.pricewatch.com. You can find some good deals, but watch that the sellers don't make their jack on S&H.

halcyon
08-20-2005, 07:27 PM
As much as I would like to get a laptop, I don't think I can squeeze one into my budget. I'm going off to grad school and my assistantship has to pay all my bills.

Hoosier Red
08-20-2005, 07:35 PM
On the recommendation of a computer literate friend, my wife bought her laptop from www.powernotebooks.com


Very helpful in allowing one to customize at a cheaper cost than Dell.

ghettochild
08-20-2005, 11:05 PM
whats your price range?

if you're looking for something to get you through the net, go with a dell Dimension 3000 (http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&oc=D30CVB2&s=dhs)..you get a 2.66 GHZ processor with 512 DDR ram and an 80 GB HDD. 15IN LCD or for 80 bucks more you can get a 17 incher, which is really nice. this is what we have at schools and such.

i wouldn't really recomend to individually buy parts unless you know what you're doing. plus it'll cost you up to 500 more to take it to the shop for them to build it.

i'd go for the dell. they have the best tech support, and probably the best computer available for now 549 bucks, a $100 off discount.

Falls City Beer
08-20-2005, 11:09 PM
Apple iBook G4. Screw the glitch--down with Windows.

halcyon
08-20-2005, 11:09 PM
I could handle the assembly with no problem, so that wouldn't be an issue. I suppose I have to figure out whether or not the cost savings of building my own would be worth the hassle of figuring out which type of board goes with which processor, which processor I would want, tracking down the best deal on the rest of the components and ordering each individually. I guess my price range is probably up to 600 but I'm still contemplating whether I could drop up to 750 on a laptop.

Falls City Beer
08-20-2005, 11:10 PM
I could handle the assembly with no problem, so that wouldn't be an issue. I suppose I have to figure out whether or not the cost savings of building my own would be worth the hassle of figuring out which type of board goes with which processor, which processor I would want, tracking down the best deal on the rest of the components and ordering each individually. I guess my price range is probably up to 600 but I'm still contemplating whether I could drop up to 750 on a laptop.

Well, ignore my suggestion then.

RBA
08-20-2005, 11:24 PM
I could handle the assembly with no problem, so that wouldn't be an issue. I suppose I have to figure out whether or not the cost savings of building my own would be worth the hassle of figuring out which type of board goes with which processor, which processor I would want, tracking down the best deal on the rest of the components and ordering each individually. I guess my price range is probably up to 600 but I'm still contemplating whether I could drop up to 750 on a laptop.

I'm going to look out for deals for you and PM you, if you don't mind. If I find one, it won't be ebay.

www.Techbargains.com (http://www.Techbargains.com) usually post the lasted deals on laptops and desktops.

halcyon
08-21-2005, 03:29 AM
I'm going to look out for deals for you and PM you, if you don't mind. If I find one, it won't be ebay.

www.Techbargains.com (http://www.Techbargains.com) usually post the lasted deals on laptops and desktops.

Oh, I definitely don't mind. Any extra eyes are always appreciated. That said, I'll probably have to go ahead and make my order by late Monday nite/Tuesday b/c grad school approaches rapidly.

RBA
08-21-2005, 11:09 AM
Some Dell coupons.


DellHome (http://www.slickdeals.net/?sid=441)
CouponExpirationPosted$600 off select Inspiron Notebooks $1499+ : Code 28WR3BP9QMLT0F (http://www.slickdeals.net/?cno=13893) 08/24/05 08/20/05

$750 off select Inspiron Notebooks $1899+ : Code ?M1T$NG7GWRK2D (http://www.slickdeals.net/?cno=13894) 08/24/05 08/20/05

35% off select Inspiron Notebooks $999+ : Code NKN5W3H8BS?RVB (http://www.slickdeals.net/?cno=13892) 08/24/05 08/20/05

40% off select Inspiron Notebooks $999+ : Code CXFLV5J8Q4?LBV (http://www.slickdeals.net/?cno=13888) 08/22/05 08/17/05

ghettochild
08-21-2005, 01:52 PM
Some Dell coupons.


DellHome (http://www.slickdeals.net/?sid=441)
CouponExpirationPosted$600 off select Inspiron Notebooks $1499+ : Code 28WR3BP9QMLT0F (http://www.slickdeals.net/?cno=13893) 08/24/05 08/20/05

$750 off select Inspiron Notebooks $1899+ : Code ?M1T$NG7GWRK2D (http://www.slickdeals.net/?cno=13894) 08/24/05 08/20/05

35% off select Inspiron Notebooks $999+ : Code NKN5W3H8BS?RVB (http://www.slickdeals.net/?cno=13892) 08/24/05 08/20/05

40% off select Inspiron Notebooks $999+ : Code CXFLV5J8Q4?LBV (http://www.slickdeals.net/?cno=13888) 08/22/05 08/17/05

someone give this guy a rep for me...great find

Blimpie
08-22-2005, 12:47 PM
Many good buys are also listed here:

http://www.slickdeals.net

gonelong
08-22-2005, 01:53 PM
Many good buys are also listed here:

http://www.slickdeals.net

I check this site daily - go to the forums link on top and hit the "hot deals" forum as well.

REDREAD
08-22-2005, 06:08 PM
I doubt you'll save much money building a machine yourself if all you need is something to get you through school. I looked into the same question about 3 years ago. It was cheaper just to wait for a good Dell coupon (and hopefully free/reduced shipping).

Dell can buy the parts a lot cheaper than you can. Don't forget when you buy things piecemeal, you have to pay shipping costs to potentially several dealers and some of those vendors are VERY slow in fullfilling orders. (They don't stock anything, they wait for someone to order it, and then take their time finding it).

www.mfet.net is another good site to watch for Dell offers.

RBA
08-22-2005, 06:25 PM
I wouldn't botther putting anything together, unless you have a Fry's Electronics nearby. At Fry's you could find things pretty cheap. I did pick up a 160GB Hard Drive for $19.99 after coupon/rebate from Best Buy however.

The Operating Software is probably your highest cost unless you plan on using linux.

Johnny Footstool
08-22-2005, 06:35 PM
The Operating Software is probably your highest cost unless you plan on using linux.

Students can sometimes get incredible discounts on OS and other software. My sister-in-law and her husband got Windows XP Pro for $19 through the graduate program at UT Southwestern in Dallas. Office XP was also $19.

rdiersin
08-22-2005, 06:39 PM
You should check with your school about the OS, if you are planning on windows. I know some schools offer Microsoft products for absurdly cheap prices, like $15. At my school it is more expensive, I think $45 for professional XP.

RBA
08-22-2005, 07:10 PM
Students can sometimes get incredible discounts on OS and other software. My sister-in-law and her husband got Windows XP Pro for $19 through the graduate program at UT Southwestern in Dallas. Office XP was also $19.

That's true, I forgot about university programs like that.

ghettochild
08-22-2005, 10:00 PM
The Operating Software is probably your highest cost unless you plan on using linux.

my videocard costs more than XP lol

RedsFan75
08-23-2005, 09:05 AM
If you're into alternate OS's there is a very good distribution of Linux from Ubuntu.

Very good package.

REDREAD
08-23-2005, 12:11 PM
I wouldn't botther putting anything together, unless you have a Fry's Electronics nearby. At Fry's you could find things pretty cheap. I did pick up a 160GB Hard Drive for $19.99 after coupon/rebate from Best Buy however.
.

My best buy got flooded with those coupons and started refusing them, so I had to pay the full $40 .. oh well, still a good deal :)