Question on buying a "white box" PC.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Lee, Jan 17, 2002.

  1. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hi all -

    i'm hoping to get a pc in the near future. i know there are a lot of "mom & pop" shops out here in Sacramento that have pre-built pc's. they seem to have all the usual specs: lots of memory, big & fast hd's, good sound-cards, etc.

    they are definitely competitively priced to dell, gateway, hp, compaq, etc.

    to me, it makes more sense to buy one of these white boxes because it only has what i want on it. no frills, no software packages that i don't care about, etc. all the software i need i'll load myself.

    so, what are you thoughts on this? is it better to buy a package from a large manufacturer or go with the "customized" white-box?

    thanks!
     
  2. Bill Balcziak

    Bill Balcziak Supporting Actor

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    Buy Dell. They have incredible prices right now, free shipping, and their software bundle is minimal if you spec it as such (although even their cheapest systems are bundled with Works 2002 which includes a FULL version of MS Word). Also, they offer price protection and a pretty decent standard warranty.

    I just bought a Dimension 4300 1.6Ghz and it is a superb, flawless performer. The mini-tower case is a cleverly designed two-button clamshell, and I have never had an easier time with upgrading (I added RAM, a CDRW drive and a second hard drive). A great design if you want to expand your system.

    A tremendous deal for $600.
     
  3. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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    My preference is to buy locally. Service and support issues seem to be handled better overall. I've dealt with all of the majors PC tech support and it's spotty at best. You don't say what you want to do with it, but another nice thing is the local boys a usually more friendly about helping you customize a system. I worked at one for a while and although we sold pre-cofigured systems it was no big deal for us to upgrade/downgrade one of those to suit some ones needs.

    In the end it is sadly a crap shoot. Everyone you look at is going to have good and bad days. All are going to have really good and really cheap systems. Sit down and figure out what you plan to do with it. That way you'll know what to look for as far as video, etc. I know our systems were a lot less integrated when I was doing them and that IMO is a very good thing to look for. The less integration the better usually.

    If you have any concerns with going local, get a list of the components in the system your looking at (brand names) and I and others can look at it and tell you exactly what your getting quality wise.
     
  4. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    If you don't plan on any major upgrading (ie. motherboard) going with Dell would be a fine choice.

    But, if you intend on replacing the mobo in a few years so you can add the latest and greatest processor you wont be able to with the Dell.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    thanks guys.
    i'm probably looking for a current upper-end system, but i don't really plan on doing any major upgrading. i think i'd like to start getting into some gaming, but it's not a priority. i know if i buy top of the line now, it'll take that much longer for it to be completely obsolete.
    to give you an idea, i currently have a 266MMX that i've been using for the last 5 years. it still works for what i need. i upgraded the memory to a *whopping* 64mb and put in a burner, but that's about it.
    brian, if i end up getting a list together, i'll definitely post for your (or others) review and opinions! [​IMG]
    thanks again!
     
  6. Nick L

    Nick L Second Unit

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    BUY LOCALLY!!!!!!
    Dell, HP, Compaq...they all use inferior equipment to what a "mom and pop" shop will be using. Plus if your getting into gaming you will be doing some upgrading in the future and you will be oh so glad you have a fully upgradeable system. The homegrown computer will have more slots, more memory capability, and just more options than say a dell will. Feel free to email me if you would like to talk about it more.
    Nick L
     
  7. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    I don't know about the shops in your area, but most of the screwdriver shops around here do not deal in pre-built systems. They have "suggested systems" for those who may not know exactly what they want, but in most cases you can go in with a list of parts, get a quote and a few days later have a system built to your exact specifications.

    If you want a specific an Abit or Asus MB, you can get it, if you want a Gigabyte or Asus Geforce, you can get it, and they won't charge you any extra for labor because they're aren't having to alter a system they already had made up.

    Dell is fine, and I'm sure many of their systems are upgradeable, but I don't think you have the flexability you have with a screwdriver shop.
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    thanks again guys...
    boy...knowing i've got all these resources available to me (meaning you guys) makes me wanna go buy it now...
    aarrgghhh!!! [​IMG]
     

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