Computer Woes

02.15.07 | 5 Comments

This year was supposed to be the year I got a new computer. My plan had been to get a Dell and finance the sucker over the course of a year. Then I heard Ed’s Dell Customer Support horror story, and I swore I wouldn’t get a Dell.

That’s when I started contemplated building my own computer. I’ve assembled one before. It’s not rocket science. Once upon a time (before I got married), I kept up with my computer like some people tinker with their hotrods. I knew the latest industry news on components, which video cards were the best value, and who was winning the processor wars. These days there are more chipset options and more compatibility issues. (What’s this BS about Windows Vista only running on certain motherboard/processors?) While I could doubtless save money by building my own machine, the idea of having to re-learn all that triva really isn’t very appealing to me any more.

Those were the thoughts going through my head when I caught someone’s blog post about buying an HP. I jumped on their website and discovered that I could customize a pretty good machine for less than what I would have paid at Dell. Happy times! Then I did a bit more research and found out that HP didn’t have a great reputation for reliability. Sad times! Then I talked to some IT friends, who basically said the compents are all made at the same factories overseas anyway, so what you’re really paying for is customer support. Dell’s customer support was already known to me, and today I took a few minutes to read about HP’s. Apparently it doesn’t matter who you buy from, because they all stink. The CSRs are all overseas and don’t speak English clearly, plus the CSRs and parts people (also often overseas but in different countries) have communication problems that result in parts not being shipped and other repair problems.

Now I’ve circled back to the idea of having to build my own computer. I guess I’d better start doing research. Does anyone have any recommendations on barebones systems, components, or retailers?

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Comment by Thomas D
2007-02-15 17:50:38

If you’ve got the money, check out VoodooPC at voodoopc.com . They even have financing. I’ve got a two and a half year old HeXx and it’s pretty dang awesome.

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Comment by Prest0
2007-02-16 09:50:25

Those are some sweet machines, but the pricing is out of my range. I was wanting to keep it under $2,500, and that includes dual 19″ LCD monitors.

Comment by Jerry
2007-02-15 19:59:37

I’ve been thinking about building my own machine. Like you I am out of touch with what’s what anymore. But I do read PCGamer and they always list the best parts for a build based on three levels. Budget, Medium, and a Smoking machine. They feature this info each month.

Maybe check out the latest issue and see.

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Comment by Prest0
2007-02-16 09:50:43

That’s a great tip. Thanks!

Comment by Carl Keller
2007-03-01 06:27:55

I built 2 mini-atx pc’s for the kids recently. Most of the components came from NewEgg.com. Quick shipping and decent prices. No problems so I haven’t had to try their customer support.

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