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Pros and Cons - Dell or Build Your Own

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. 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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Thank God for flexible 2K/XP licensing

by ghstinshll In reply to Pre-Loaded Software

One thing to be thankful for in today's world is that MS is flexible enough to allow a machine that was purchased with an XP license to have 2K installed on it, allowing us to buy 10-15 new machines that would normally come with XP and put 2K on it.Also, the Compaqs we get are always configured with 2K, but there will be a day when the license sticker on the bottom has an XP license on it. I'm sure our company won't be going through the **** of any XP image changes just because of the machinesnormally coming with XP. We even go so far as to have Comark (a wholesaler, I think) put the raw image on the machines for us, and we just do the post-config on them then they come in.

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Catch 22

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

First of all is this for personal use or is it for business? If business definetly Dell. We have them in our office and they are dependable complete with warrantee. We get premier support that we troubleshoot the problem, call the techs and shoot down their troubleshooting tactics. They are quite familiar with us and dont offer objections. As for the propritary issue I feel your pain, however when it comes to mice and keyboards they are under warrantee as a field destroy issue, meaning they dont question, as long as under warrantee they just send a new one out no questions or proof. AS for the HDD issue ect... your screwed cause they will try everything to keep from replacing unless you got a newbie tech that will either try to FFR you or replace.
As for Dell since they are customizable I believe the propriatary issue is none existent compared to Compaq/HP. I used to work for Gateway and let me tell you what pieces of junk they are and the support was hose and close, but no propriatary hardware,they did have the best support cds though that had all drivers on one, app on another ect....

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Catch22 part Duex

by jkaras In reply to Catch 22

If for personal use, definetly build your own. If your competant to build you can troubleshoot anyway. You will save more money, get better quality parts, and not have to worry over bad tech support that will waste countless days and hours for resolution while talking to techs from other countries with broken english playing 20 questions. Lets face it they give the magical wipe disk to resolve everything, you must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt their fault and not say too much that voids the warrantee if any part isnt theirs where they will document it and spend hours trying to talk to a manager thats only a better tech getting paid a whopping .50 more than the other iddiot. Tech support is all about the 15 min call to make the outsourcecenters more denero not resolve issues, it's sad but we want cheaper products and are willing to sacrifice quality support hoping we dont get a lemon never needing it.

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Personal Preference

by raptor In reply to Catch22 part Duex

On the Dell issue, I have been involved in the purchase of at least 20 Dell machines in the last 2 years and so far all but one have run with no serious problems (aside from the occasional user errors). The one laptop developed a bad hard drive after about a year's use and Dell replaced it without many questions and overnight shipping. I haven't had a problem ordering systems with the OS I asked for. The only problem I have with Dell machines is all the garbage installed that isn't necessary,but if you want barebones install then purchase their business machines or reformat and install your own OS. I'm not so sure you can compete with Dell price/quality wise buying your own parts for a self built, but i haven't really checked that closely. I agree 100%, don't buy Gateway crap!

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My Thoughts....

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

Dells. We just bought 2 for WS use. They are the only thing I will buy besides custom or build your own. Although there can be mb modifications etc. on Dell Systems, I have had none of the Compaq\HP\Gateway headaches of propriatary parts, in fact everything off the shelf I have used later inside a Dell has been as good as any white box IMExperience.

As far as software, if you read up on Software Assurance you have 90 days from purchase date to sign up with SA- so if you get the cheapest 2k on the box you can upgrade to XPpro (and anything before or beyond for two years) with Volume License Keys and then just **** the OS and reload what you want. The money you save can go towards the new OS, and even if you stick with 2k for now you can add XP or the next Gen for free, moving back and forth in the OS product line at will. The lack of registration problems and Unique ID's especially when imaging is well worth the 103 dollars for SA on the OS. Besides, you'll save all or more than that by buying a cheaper OS from Dell anyway IME.

Having said all that, unless a department really wants Dells, I can still get higher performing white boxes custom built for the same money, so I suggest these, however I still leave it open for a Dell and nothing else at this point in time.

Hope this helps! :)

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neocomputers.com

by ghstinshll In reply to My Thoughts....

I've found in personal use, I only go with one white-box vendor because I trust them, and EVERY time I step outside that relationship for a cheaper cost on a system, I get burned... With parts it's another story, but systems (barebones or not), I get burned.

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What's your demand/quantity?

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

Well for my home I bought a Dell once, ended up customizing so much that the only thing "Dell" about it after 8 months was the logo on the case.

We use Dell servers and a few notebooks. Have never had a quality or reliability issue with the servers or notebooks.

I think though, the main things to consider when buying computers for business use are:

1) Do you have an IT department/Helpdesk in-house?
2) How many PCs do you need? How fast do you need them?
3) What tasks are these PCsgoing to be used for - generalized data-entry, email, spreadsheet kind of tasks -- or analyzing the molecular structure of DNA strands..

The only real benefit of building PCs yourself, assuming you are fine with supporting them yourself as well, is that you control the quality. You buy the exact parts you want, you configure it EXACTLY how you want it to run.

Usually this means you can make a *FAR* higher end PC than any PC manufacturer can churn out for you.

However it pretty muchends there.

You can save money buying pre-canned PCs
You can get high quanity of PCs fast
You don't have to worry about supporting them, they have warranties
All you do is plug them and turn thme on -- the OS is already loaded, drivers installed, etc.

Con's are -- you wouldn't want to do very intense scientific type of research with just a canned PC from Dell, Compaq, HP, Sony, etc. etc....

But then most companies just want to access a DB, write email and share word documents.

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Why Build - Because

by Oldefar In reply to What's your demand/quanti ...

Tom has a pretty solid argument overall. However, I can think of another justification for building instead of buying besides needing a machine so far advanced from any standard build.

As an apprenticed cabinet maker in the early 1900's, my grandfather's first project was to build his own workbench. It is a knock down unit suitable for carrying from work site to work site, and developed his basic skills. Once a journeyman, his focus was on practicing his skill, not learning it, and in most cases his tools were purchased.

I suggest the same applies to those in ICT. Building, or more accurately today assembling, one's first computer is an excellent way to gain skills and comfort with the technology. Perhaps this first machine should include a self built OS under proper guidance, and self written applications. Its an excellent way to gain insight into the hows and whys of the packaged systems that will be used.

Now for those who are simply users - buying is the best choice. Cabbies don't build their own cars, truckers don't build their own trucks, commercial pilots don't build the airliners.

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Excellent point

by TomSal In reply to Why Build - Because

I didn't think about the educational benefits of assembling your own PC, I was making the assumption that the author of the post was already a skilled IT professional.

That is a good point though, I know I learned a helluva lot about servers whenI assembled my first. Leard about how SCSI controllers work, learned about RAID, hot pluggable HDs/PS, etc.

I'll still tear stuff apart today just to learn about it (naturally I don't experiment on production equipment though).

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Not only is it a good way to learn

by maxwell edison In reply to Excellent point

But it is also a good way to continue to learn, to continue to stay on top of the new developments in the industry.

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