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  • #2306997

    Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

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    by maxwell edison ·

    Okay,

    I won’t say much about my opinion (at this point), but I’m looking for the pros and cons of buying Dell computers versus building your own.

    Over the past many years, I’ve always built my own computers, but one of the company officers wants to consider buying Dells instead. We’re assembling a list of pros and cons for either option. I have my list, but there’s always room for more considerations.

    Thanks for your time.

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    • #3459465

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Point value changed by question poster.

    • #3459458

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      By the way, these are desktop computers, not servers.

    • #3459449

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by dmiles ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Due to the downturn in the economy,I would have to consider the type and for what purposes I will be using the computer for.

      Conparing cost of motherboard ,cpu and other peripherals,to what dell has already built may be best to buy from dell,thisway I am getting a warrenty to cover my purchase,if warrenty is not important and I have the budget to build then I get the gratification of building my own system.

      At this point and time it would be considered price wise that you purchase form vendor since their is not a cost savings comparison to each.

      Pros-You get a warrenty
      Pre-loaded software
      Cost for machine is cheap

      Cons- You have no warrenty on the machine
      You save time in cost of Building

      If none of thesefactors are of importance,then I would prefer to build my own

      • #3525326

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3459447

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by kahless1972 ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      I will Also keep my opinion to myself however we are a small office with a grand total of two techs.The main reason we did not go with dell is the fluid nature of computing,We never know from one day to the next if we are going to be trying to migrate a hardrive to another machine without loosing data, It is hard enough with the amd/intel problems. If we had to move a dell hardrive into another machine at hawk we would be in trouble.If the whole office went dell that would be fine but in our neck of the woods it is hard if not impossible to tell the CEO he has to wait for a dell technician to replace his motherboard so we do not void the warrenty, even if it will take three days to get here.As long as we build our own machines we have the ability to customize to fit our need much better than with dell.And when the chips are down and the network gods are having there fun with the tech department i can usually put a system together from my scrap pile o’ parts and not loose the Directorspersonnal files that for some strange reaseon never seams to be on the server where it belongs.

      • #3525327

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3459442

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      It used to be that most pre-manufactured computers used proprietary hardware.

      For example, if you had a Compaq computer and you spilled some clam chowder on the keyboard, and you further discovered that the dishwasher not only cleaned the keyboard, but also rendered it inoperative, then you would have to buy a replacement proprietary keyboard directly from Compaq, not from the ACME computer supply store down the street. (And, of course, the proprietary keyboard cost 4 times the dollars.) This proprietary issue would apply to just about any other component as well – hard drive, memory, etc.

      Dell used to be this way, but I’m not sure it that is the case anymore. Any thoughts on this issue?

    • #3459441

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by ann777 ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      PRO to buying units –
      1) time savings (all you need to do is connect them to your network)
      2) it’s usually cheaper because Dell (and other manufacturer’s) get parts for a whole lot less. Quantity discounts, etc. (they are also cheaper parts and with a minimum of features, but in the workplace, that may not matter).
      3) burn in time and getting it operational is taking place before you get the unit.
      4) likeness of hardware to each other allows for creating an “image” and setting one upfor your network, then “ghosting” it to the others.

      CON to buying units –
      1) you have to deal with the fact that you cannot design to the specific details that users may want (better video, more RAM, etc.) or need.
      2) you have to deal with the fact that you won’t know your computers better than anybody else and when it comes to solving future problems or upgrading your computer you may have to go back to the manufacturer for BIOS upgrades and the like.
      3) support from the manufacturer may not be all that it is made out to be.
      4) you will not be able to use some of the extra parts you may already have on hand

      You know, for companies, there’s also the option of leasing equipment.

      • #3459429

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by ann777 ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Dell’s desktop hardware (depending of course on which model you purchase) is not proprietary… you can pretty much attach whatever you like or add drives or RAM, etc. just make sure it has the slots, space, etc. The Dell laptops ARE proprietary as far as hardware; but I think, all laptops are propietary.

      • #3525328

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3459438

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by alpha-male ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      I’ll be glad to offer my opinion on this issue…as I feel pretty strongly about it.

      I prefer to build my own systems.

      If you build your own systems, you get a customized workstation geared for the exact tasks you do. You can buy quailty/cost-balanced components throughout. If you need high end video, then budget for it and add it. Don’t need sound? Leave it out. The difference between quality and budget HDs is a lot more than the few dollars price difference. Your systems will have consistant components that you have researched for quality. You will be familiar with the components, their drivers, their strengths and weaknesses. By keeping the systems homogenous, rolling out driver updates and such will be much easier. When researching a problem you’ll be looking for issues on the Matrox G-100 (or whatever) video cards you installed…not searching a website to find out which generically branded or integrated card is included on models with serial numbers Staring with UJJX….
      If you buy a “corporate” pc from Dell you get a generic business or home system. It’ll be a solid, roounded PC geared to what “most people” want/need. You get the “at once” components that are on deck at that time. If the system has integrated video or sound, thats what you get. In other words, you’ll get a good PC, but not necessarily the best pc for your task or for your dollar.

      • #3459436

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by alpha-male ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Where Dell is strong (and hard to fight) is they have decent systems at a decent price. They can come in your office, hit every desk and upgrade your entire company to a new, fairly consistant machine that looks and performs fairly…for a decent price. Dell’s support has impressed me many times…but I’d still rather fix/resolve an issue myself on the spot than wait for a technician or for a replacement to be shipped. I’m sure the user who’s system is down would concur.

        If you build your own, you’ll get a customized system that exactly fits your needs. You’ll likely save a little money. You’ll have more support responsibility, but your upgrades, and maintenance will probably be quicker and simpler. You can avoid pitfalls like integrated components that require the system being replaced/shipped off for repairs and swap a quick card to get the PC back in service. In other words…

        I think if you build the PCs yourself, your users (internal customers) will get better performance and better service (speed and effectiveness of repair) than if you use a big generic vendor. It’s more work and responsibility for local IS, but a good IS team will take that mantle to know they are offering the best service to the end-users they support.

        At least that’s my .02

      • #3455199

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by alpha-male ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        From what I’ve seen, *most* Dell components are generic rather than proprietary…and I think that is a significant part of what has them on top vendor wise. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to install spares in a machine or having to order high priced special parts to do a simple upgrade.

        I did think of one more issue I’d consider here: How many PCs are we talking about? If it’s 20 or 200 makes a lot of difference. My company has standardized on Dells, actually…but we have several thousand desktops and hundreds of servers…

      • #3525329

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3459425

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by dklippert ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      I’ll vote for buy. In the past I’ve developed relationships with the Gateway/Dell peoples and have been able to get replacement parts with no problem at all. I don’t think the propriatary issue is viable anymore.
      Another question is lease or buy. Is the hardware changing so quickly that a lease is still the way to go or will machines be kept for a longer period of time.

      • #3525330

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3459412

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by paulp ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Buy them from Dell.
      You’re going to be dealing with troublesome computers anyway, you may as well have all their resources available, along with their tech support in case you get in over your head.

      Buy them from Dell.
      Maybe you will be a heroand save the company some money, but just wait until something goes wrong! There’s no warranty or legal recourse for the company if you build them.

      Buy them from Dell.
      As technology and software evolve, conflicts and incompatabilities will arise. Dell will most likely have patches or fixes available long before you know there is a problem.

      You didn’t mention what you were going to be using the PC’s for, but I’m going to assume it’s not for high-end turbo powered resource craving applications. Is it really worth the all the trouble to build them yourself? I doubt your employer is as passionate about computers as you are and really only cares if he/she can print to the network printer and get email.

      • #3525331

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3459394

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by timwalsh ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      If you are VERY particular about the components that go into your systems, then Build-your-own is the only way to go. Some components used by Dell (such as hard drives) are commodity items (i.e. they use what they can get the best deal on in large quantities). You (usually) don’t get to specify that you want only Maxtor drives because you have had bad experiences with WD drives. If Dell is currently supplying WD drives, that’s what you get. Of course, Dell will probably build a custom machine to your exact specifications, but you probably won’t get the low prices they charge for “standard” configurations.

      Also there may be some configurations that either aren’t available, or aren’t cost effective when buying through Dell. For example, Dell offers only Intel processors. If you are an AMD fan, you are out of luck. Or in my case, we acquired some developers with some custom simulation software that actually worked much faster on AMD XP processors. So I custom built their workstations.

      Cost used to be a major benefit to building your own. However, I have found (at least with Dell) that for MOST standard desktops, when you add the cost of your time to build and test a “build-your-own” (and the potential hassles), Dell is (usually) more cost effective.

      I have not found Dell to have any truly proprietary components (except for maybe the motherboards). All other components tend to be, more or less, commodity items. What I have found, however, is that the internalcase layout usually doesn’t make any modification of that layout (especially in the drive area) easy.
      (continued)

      • #3459392

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by timwalsh ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Support is probably one of the biggest areas to take into consideration.

        Obviously, with a “build-your-own”, you are on your own. You have to deal with each of the different component vendors if you have problems. If you have a reasonably sized, skilled support staff, this may not be an issue.

        The advantage of a vendor-supplied computer is that you have one “belly button” to push, no matter what the problem. Also, vendor support contracts (unless you just get the basic contract) will usually last longer than most individual component warranties.

      • #3525332

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3459367

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by justanadmin ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Here are my 2 cents:

      For business use:
      Definitely go with someone like Dell. The warranty is unbeatable, they (in most cases) have thoroughly tested hardware and software compatibility, and their tech support can be very helpful. I used to work for Gateway and I was stunned to see how much testing they do, and they tend to find many strange compatibility issues between components that you would never know about when building your own system (things like EMI problems between certain PCI components for example).

      Price wise, Dell can compete very closely, if not beat the cost of buying all of the parts to build your own (I just bought a low-end server from them for less than $400 delivered!). Software is usually less expensive as well when it is purchased with a system (OEM).

      Also, and this is my biggest concern, if you build PCs for a company and they have any problems, they are likely to point back to you and say something wonderful like, “We should have bought a Dell!” It isn’t worth it!

      As far as not being able to put all the specific pieces you want in it, who cares. This sounds like it is intended as a business PC, not a hobbyist box.

      For home use:
      Build your own and trick it out with every specific component you want, and have fun!

      • #3525333

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3459349

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by tim.doyle ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Buy em. Unless you have need of a seriously specific configuration then most of the major comanies can get you a computer that more than meets your needs. Want a good all around desktop? Go Dell Dimension or Compaq EVO. Need a high power workstation? Dell or Compaq have got you covered with multi-processor FIREGL equipped workstations. Long story short, you can get a ready built custom PC with your custom corproate image pre-installed from them in about the same time it would take you to gather your components, test, customize and deploy a DIY system…leaving you the time necessary to perform other aspects of your job such as troubleshooting, project planning, security, documentation, etc.

      Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy building my own systems but unless you only have a few desktops at work I don’t think its worth the time. We’re being paid to manage the IT systems for companies and I just don’t think spending our time building PC’s is appropriate unless there are extenuating circumstances that dictate a machine that cannot be bought pre-built.

      Dude! You’re gettin a Dell!!

      • #3525334

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455485

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by brian p. ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      You didn’t give size or turn-over of your pc fleet, but I think I’d go Corp. Dell W/image to start everyone on the same page. Sooner or later you will have a fleet of Dells with a few driver sets. Sounds good to me.Swap parts are still there. They bought them by the skid. You can still rob one to fix another. Most things get fixed with a re-image now, anyway. Anybody agree?

      • #3525335

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455482

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by shmaltz ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Building your own:
      Pros:
      1. Cheaper.
      2. Flexiable – More options.
      3. Upgradable (this might be available for Dell systems also – after the warranty – but in most cases it is easier on your own computers)
      Dell:
      Pros:
      1. Support, if you will doa lot of purchasing by dell, then your average waiting time will by around 2 minutes for tech support. They have excellent support, are very prompt and knowledgeable.
      The above means a lot since this will give you much more time to do other things,since it is not you that is reponsible for the support. You can just call up Dell and they will send someone down (considering it is a hardware problem).
      2. Same hardware base. If you go with one company (e.g. Dell) you will most probably settle for one base model (Dimension, OptiPlex etc…).
      3. Dell has their expierence with what hardware lasts the most. Thier hardware does last much longer in most cases.

      I used to build my own, until I discovered Dell, now I use only them.

      • #3455479

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by shmaltz ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        I have never had a problem with Dell because I added my own Memmory, Keyboard, Mouse, or anything else, when I called for support. The only thing they ask you to unplug it when they trouble shoot it. When I suspect that the problem I’m having is a hardware problem (I actualy never called for software problems). I usualy use thier diag tools that comes with every PC, it runs in DOS (it’s a bootable CD), and does a very low level and thorough job. Then I use the results to determine if it is a hardware problem or not.

      • #3525315

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455430

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by joseph moore ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Well, I have to agree with the majority on this one. Go with Dell.
      2 weeks ago, I ordered 3 Dell Precision 350 Workstations. Here is how the whole process went.
      On the 1st day, I called Dell to get the name and contact # of my latest Dell rep (my company had not ordered from Dell in a long time, so the rep had changed). It took about an hour from requesting my new rep call me to me actually speaking with the rep. In the meantime, I went over Dell’s site, getting the specs on the workstations I wanted (2+Ghz, 1GB RAM, large drives, 21″ monitors). Nice machines!
      My rep called me, and had a price quote to me 10 minutes after we hung up.
      I got my PO signed and faxed to them.
      Now, there was an initial 6 working day delivery delay on the machines. I got the PO faxed to them on this 1st day (a Friday) before 4PM CST (their cutoff time).
      I had the machines the following Wednesday, day 4. They beat their own estimated shipping by 2 days. Very cool!

      The setup was easy. They had their own answer file for the Win2KPro setup. I don’t have need to do many workstation setups (my company adds more servers than we do workstation work), and I ususally do workstation setups manually. So, the setup program was nice. It was typical, nothing fancy. Just got the OS up and running with minimal input from me.

      And now, those boxes scream! Good displays also. And the price was reasonable. We picked up the 3-year warranty also.

      So far, I am happy with them.

      Now, I haven’t had to worryabout hardware replacement or compatibility. Like you, I have dealt with Compaq and their specifications. But I know that I can get some cheap Simpletech RAM for these Dells if I need to.

      I am, therefore, happy with the Dells. Plus, I love the black cases they use!

      • #3525316

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455416

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      I had the unfortunate experience of working with a company that had 60+ Dell’s. An administrators nightmare to say the least. They supposedly have all the drivers available for their PC’s but MOST of them have bugs that don’t get rectified until they come out with the new driver, then that one has different bugs.
      I now work for a company that uses ONLY Compaq and IBM pc’s. A little more expensive to start off $1200-$1800 but that is the backbone of the company’s infrastructure, why cut costs?!
      All PC’s now have 5 year IN HOUSE service coverage and the driver update are actually tested working updates.
      as for DELL vs your own build, trust yourself not Dell.

      • #3525317

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455393

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by vermont geek ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Assuming that Dell has machines that meet your specifications, I would encourage obtaining the machine from them. My last employer standardized on Dell and we were very pleased. In fact, we bought mainly factory refurbs, although that may have been risky, they held up as well as the new ones we bought.

      Some of my reasoning:

      For us, the descision was primarily based on the fact that we needed something that we could easily deploy, we had a network and many machines to maintian, so we didn’t have the time to research, purchase parts, and build machines. We could order up a Dell machine and have it delivered and up on the network quite quickly assuring very little down time for employees.

      I have had similar long term support issues with home built machines (we chose good parts) and brand name machines, so the real savings was mostly on the front end. We all have horror stories about name brands and home built machines alike.

      The resale value of the Dells does seem a little higher if you sell depreciated machines.

      • #3525318

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455388

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by thamer ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Max…
      While building your own PC may not be for everyone but sure it is for you. I would recommend that you put your knowledge into action and goto the Dell site, configure the specs according to your business computing requirements …. and let them order it…. they do make great machines you know.

      Pros:
      -For business they are great.
      -You would still be on control of what they will compine in there.
      -Twice the amount of the “Building it yourself” time will saved and a decent PC gets ordered.
      – Top of the notch components and customer services.
      – You will hear: “What does it mean to “build” a PC these days anyway?” … no more!

      Cons:
      -Lose the flixibility of upgrading.
      -If something does go wrong, you will not fix it yourself. “you modified the system so we can’t support it unless you reformat to the factory OS”… remember?
      – Lose the quality… lesser price … and satisfaction of building a sysetm. (Sniff!)

      • #3525319

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455352

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by cglrcng9 ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Let the others buy the Dell, I’d configure & build them to suit. Ever go to the Dell site and see what they get for a 3-4 year old out of warranty GX-1 replacement motherboard? Wayyyyy more than a much better and upgraded in features new motherboard…but the case and board has those notched slots motherboard mounting feature. You can install an upgraded (non Dell) motherboard into the case in the future however be ready to get out the grinder and drill. (sigh!)

      The Ram upgrades a 3 times higher even @ auction prices, and whatever you do, do not plug the power supply from a dell into another manufacturers board without first checking the wiring out @ the plugs. (Sizzle, hiss, burn!) Get as far away from proprietary hardware as you can, use a good configurator found many places on the net, shop around for the best prices, build them yourself (some will even do the hardware build and burn-in testing for as low as $20.00 per unit, tho I don’t know how they do it). Load the software strictly on each unit set to the tasks required for each job called for. No one size fits all software bundle will work for any business. Ok, not a good business anyway.

      Just my 2 cents worth. Nothing against Dell per se, as they keep me in businessfixing and maintaining many out of warranty units. Both for the public, and sole contract IT for 4 different local schools (all 4 fitted out completely, both classroom & labs, w/ nothing but Dell units). I will agree it’s hard to beat the price lately of a Dell Dude! But I’m gettin a self built unit.

      And all parts are warranteed by the individual part maker/distributer, can also get great deals when you purchase the items in bulk now.

      • #3455192

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by cglrcng9 ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        I’ll just add a small bit here. A couple of years ago I took over 300 public charter school purchased Dells that were purchased new, but were now 3 years old. Not one of those 300 ever had 1 Windows Update patches or service packs downloaded & applied until I personally applied them, nor were they ever instructed or suggested in that direction by Dell. That is the kind of support you get. Sure, warranty service & parts are great. But if you want swiss cheese and huge security risks, go w/ that purchased system. See, you can pay the puter maker, or you can pay real inhouse IT. But most won’t do both!

      • #3455185

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by cglrcng9 ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Of course I got them right after the warranty expired. Now they are @ the mercy of Dell for parts @ sky high prices and actual documentation is rare beyond the supplied user manuals for dummies (IE: click on desktop). If it weren’t for FCC #’s required you’d never know who made the parts to actually seek drivers that work.

        Hint: When you build; WinDriverExpert.exe, Install, Collect the drivers, burn a CD (label this one “Original System Drivers”). Then go back, Collect & go to the web to update, and burn another CD (label this one “Updated System Drivers”).

      • #3525320

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455346

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by gibsonhl2001 ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Well I am going against the grain here. I’ve been in the business for 16 years following people who have built their own computers and I was one of them as well. I still like doing. But sometimes you have to look at what is right.
      Things that you have to look at is cost and support.

      1) What type of support does the company have if you leave or something happens to you.

      2) Did you document your computers. Do you have all your drivers in one place for someone else to have access to?

      3) Are you buying name brand products? If not hard to keep up with updates of drivers.

      4) Over all cost of a Dell warenty is about $200 for next day support, and that is for 3 yrs. If you keep a couple of spears and train your staff to back up on CD-Rom’s or server then you can’t beat the support savings.

      5) A lot of time when times are hard it will be harder for you to buy the better quality products that you would want to put in the computers.

      6) With Dell you can customize you system toyour needs.

      The key point is if you are building systems is that you keep not just ok documentation of the computer but you have to keep GREAT documentation of the computer. You have to keep tract of your warenties, and compatablities.

      Harry

      • #3525321

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455812

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by phil.hall ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      We’re a Dell house. All our systems are Dell. They’re pretty decent about using “standard” equipment (kb, mouse, video cards, nics, etc.) so swapping/replacing isn’t an issue (like Compaq was…that was not cool of them to do…)

      PROS:
      (1) interchangeable parts
      (2) ease to get identical systems for mass rollout via drive images (Ghost or DeployCenter)
      (3) 3 year extended warranty on hardware (it dies, you get a new one or a Dell tech comes out and replaces it for you)
      (4) customizable–once you have a business account with Dell you can customize the systems to anything you want. Nice.
      (5) shipping. where I am, the speed of shipping is next day–without the next day costs. (you might be in the same boat)
      (6) RMAs–problem? RMA is easy, fast, and without hassle.
      (7) support calls–24/7, ’nuff said
      (8) standard package includes all software on system–great for reinstallation. No more of the “restore CD”! you get the OEM OS CD and a driver CD and a application CD.
      (9) you can still get Windows 2000 Professional on certain models!–you don’t have to be stuck with XP if you don’t like it (I personally love it…but your milage may vary)
      (10) certain boxes, like the boxes for the LCD monitors are great to keep around for shipping other things in. Pretty handy at times.

      CONS:
      (1) slight problem with some Intel NICs–run the Intel diagnostic on them before you roll out the system…might have a bad one (we had 5)
      (2) some hardware does not have drivers for olderOSes that you may wish to “back” the system down to–for instance, USB 2.0 doesn’t work unless it’s running on XP or 2000. No Windows 98 support (like that’s a shame, but it’s an issue to some)
      (3) lack of choices for case color (you got black or beige)
      (4) black cases collect dust like crazy!

      • #3525322

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455775

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by gario ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      I take a simplier approach:

      1. For Desktops/Admin Workstations – Buy Dell for hardware compatibility and software licensing.

      2. For Specialty Workstations such as Engineering and Marketing – Build them.

      • #3525323

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3455585

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by wcp ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Build
      Pros:
      1). You set up systems exactly the way you want.
      2). You are in charge of troubleshoot, maintenance, and tech support of your systems. Downtime is short.
      3). Your systems cost less. Otherwise, what?s the point of building them?
      4). You negotiate face-to-face with your local vendor and create a great rapport.
      5). You build more user relationships because no one comes between you and your users.
      6). Upgrading drivers (including BIOS flash) or HW (CPU and RAM) are easy and fast. Manufacturer?s website always carry the latest drivers (BIOS) and you know exactly what HW you can upgrade to. No worry about prop

      Cons:
      1). More pressure on you if a system needs to be diagnosed, troubleshoot, or replaced because you cannotblame Dell any more.
      2). Need more able technicians who can troubleshoot and maintain the system. Your budget increases accordingly.

      Buy

      Everything opposite above.

      • #3455584

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by wcp ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Sorry, I sent mine before done.
        Pros:
        6). No worry about any system being proprietary.

      • #3525324

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3527773

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by thechas ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      Hi Maxwell,

      For most ‘average’ users work-stations, I would go with pre-built Dell systems.

      I personally would avoid the other main OEM suppliers (HP, Compaq, Gateway, Micron). Their financial position, and commitment to the market are not asstrong as Dells.

      Areas of proprietary hardware include:
      Floppy drive: (for the cases that use a faceless drive)
      Motherboard: (true of all name brand systems, the motherboard is a custom OEM version and will only be supported by Dell regardless of who actually made it)
      Power supply: (I’ve got 2 Dell power supplies that simply do not work with standard ATX motherboards)

      One big advantage of a Dell or other name brand system, is that you get the OEM discounted software package.

      The CONto this is, it will be harder and harder to get W2K and older versions of Office installed.
      You may already be forced to accept Windows XP, and Office XP.
      So, to ‘down-grade’ to W2K and a different version of Office, you will need to wipe the drive and start over.
      If you are in a W2K environment, you may want / need to continue to build your own.

      I myself, would get quotes from your local PC shops. I have a shop here that I trust, and their system prices are competitive with Dells.
      There are 2 advantages to this approach:
      1. Local support
      2. Standard hardware

      I know from past postings, that you have some demanding users. For your CADD work-stations, you may still be better off building your own.

      Chas

      • #3525325

        Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

        Thanks for taking the time to post all these great answers. It certainly provided some food for thought.

        Upon weighing the pros and cons (as they relate to me, my company, and how we operate), I am going to continue to specify my own computers, and either have a local shop build them or build them myself.

        But Dell computers will not be in our immediate future.

        Thanks again.

    • #3525314

      Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Pros and Cons – Dell or Build Your Own

      This question was closed by the author

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