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Pros and Cons - Dell or Build Your Own

By maxwell edison ·

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. This will be for desktop computing, not servers.

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.

I've also posted this in the Q&A section (top featured question). However, I'd like this to generate enough interest and activity to keep it on the featured discussions list (at least for one day), so if you want to post your thoughts here, then copy them to the question section, you'll get a share of a bunch of points. (One can never have enough points, can one?)

Thanks for your time.

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Dell versus Build your own - 2

by maxwell edison In reply to Pros and Cons - Dell or B ...

I'm not sharing my pros and cons list (nor will I reveal on which side I fall) because I want to leave the considerations wide open. I'm sure some of my distinguished peers (and maybe some not so distinguished) have some ideas that haven't occured to me.

Thanks again.

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Other pre-manufactured options

by maxwell edison In reply to Dell versus Build your ow ...

If you feel strongly about a pre-manufactured computer other than Dell, please feel free to divert the initial question in that direction. However, I would never consider a Gateway.

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I second that motion...

by ghstinshll In reply to Other pre-manufactured op ...
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A no-brainer

by jereg In reply to Other pre-manufactured op ...

Dell wins, for me anyway. Here's why.

When you take in the cost of the software, I just can't build them as cheap. And that does not include my time. I'm upgrading my company now with Dells. I'm spending about $900 dollars per box (no monitor, different issue). I get a PC, a 3 year warranty, W2K, and Small offic XP. I have a hard drive with an image on it. Since thay are all the same, I jst burn the drive in 20 minutes, spend another hour or moving files and setting up printers and email, and I'm done. I don't care at all if the hardware is compatibale with anything else or not. If it breaks in the next 3 years, they fix it. If I were to order W2K and Office XP it would run me nearly $600 dollars. FOr about $300 more, I'm getting a new PC.
Also, trying to maintain a bunch of clones with different hareware (different drivers) is a nightmare. Each Dell has a code number. If I need to update a driver, I just log into their web site, punch in my number, and it lists all the drivers. If I have to rebuild one down the road, I don't have to guess. It's all stored in their database. Factor in your BUILD/SETUP time, and your MAINTENANCE time, plus trying to keep track of updated drivers, and it's just no contest. Sure I might get a little better performance, but life is too short to make it worth the trouble.

As an aside, a few months back I was pricing them, and I got what I thought was a great deal. I've built my PC's since 1987, but I couldn't pass this up. I got a 2ghz Pent4, 256mb ram, 60hd, 64mb Geforce MX,WinXP,MS-Office AND, a 15" flat panel (LCD) monitor for $750. Free shipping/3 year warranty. Blinding performance, no. But I couldn't build it for anywhere near that.

Another great question, Maxwell.

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Not so distinguished peer -

by Sullyman In reply to Dell versus Build your ow ...

Before deciding on either a Dell PC or a BYO, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions.

1- What am I going to use the computer for?
2- Do I have an in house ( knowledgeable ) tech support team?
3- Is my tech support team in house or on call 24x7?
4- Are the end users ( EU ) power users or PEBCAK ( Problem exists between chair and keyboard ) users
5- What is the budget?

PROS Dell:

 Cost effective
 24x7 support
 Just connect your cable, plug it in, andaway you go
 Good warranty
 Good OEM packages

CONS Dell:

 24x7 support ? paying for what you don?t need
 Can be difficult to customize
 Some models stuck with OEM that is not required
 Can be expensive to service

My 2 cents??

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Sullyman - this discussion will also

by maxwell edison In reply to Not so distinguished peer ...

Mr. Sullyman, my most distinguished peer,

Perhaps this discussion will also aid in healing some of the hard feelings and/or misconceptions that have developed between many discussion "regulars". (Not to suggest, of course, that either you or I fall into that camp.) There's nothing like an "on-topic" discussion to highlight similarities instead of differences, don't you think? And I would imagine that a mere difference of opinion would not be met with such passionate rebuttals.

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by LordInfidel In reply to Dell versus Build your ow ...

It all depends on price.

Sometimes I build my own, and other times I buy from a vendor like dell.

As far as pre-installed software. I never leave the OS that dell installs. I always **** it away and start from scratch.

If I am buying in bulk, I will make a base system withh all of the programs and sp's, then clone it (sysprep and ghost are great).

It is typically easier going thru one vendor when a part breaks. Versus buying parts from multiple vendors.

So again, what it all really boils down to is price and warranty.

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by ghstinshll In reply to Personally

WHo could ever leave a factory image on a machine for their business use? If someone isn't doino this, they're risking their "Image stability" to Dell, when they should be controlling it on their own. Ghost is definitely a must for all companies, big or small.

I've suggested and implemented it in many small offices too, from a small wholesaler of pump equipment to a small-medium sized gun barrel manufacturing facility. It's a must to reduce downtime in the long run.

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Tha dawg has spoken... :)

by rdunn In reply to Imaging...

Unfortunately, I disagree with Jason - but maybe if I clarify, we can come to agreement - In a different post I mentioned removing the 'gimmicky' stuff. For example, Toshibas *shudder* had some 'Ring Central' software and some other strange programs hiding amongst the Accessories etc. IBM has all sorts of crap that I don't even want to mention. Conversely, the Dells have very little (at least the way our configuration has been) extras.

Where Jason and I worked (an environment that had supported over 4000 employees in a few different divisions), we made it a habit of taking out those little goofy programs and leaving the OS as the OEM configured it.

The OEM built it and it has been tested to work. Then you get YOUR apps to work with the OS. If things aren't working, then you may have to rethink they way you are deploying your apps (or work with the vendor to find out the real issue).

They know what patches work with their systems, issues with the image - etc. -

And as I mentioned in an earlier post, using a standard image and machine allows for you to communicate with many other people in different locations who may have the same issue - thus a quicker resolution to your problem. If you use your own load, youron your own for resolving your questions.

oooh - debate!

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No fu***n way....

by LordInfidel In reply to Tha dawg has spoken... :)

Security policy dictates that only pre-approved software, installed by Network Operations goes on the machines. That means, no pre-installed software.

I have a very stable process for installing the OS and the seqeuntial company approved apps. Yes, once I **** away the OS I am responsible for the OS. That is the way I want it anyways. I do not want my end users or help desk calling up dell because their OS install is broken.

The only time I would ever call the vendor, is for hardware replacement. In fact, the first thing I do is **** away the OS.

I could go thru and remove all of the extraneous crap that they put on it. But it takes me less time to install it from scratch and deploy the image to the new systems.

Which youbuy a server and deploy it in is's default config from the manufacturer? **** no.
That is probably one of the most irresponsible things you can ever do.

As it stands, even on a new install of a compaq server, you have to remove all of the compaq tools that smart start installs.

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