When I was 13, I wanted to build a computer. It was a pretty simple goal: I wanted to buy the parts, assemble it, hope it worked, and then use it. 9 years later I’ve assembled, repaired and torn apart hundreds of computers and there’s one thing I’ve noticed when teaching people about building computers: they’re amazed how easy it is to build your own PC and how much money it can save you. With computer parts decreasing in price yearly, now’s a better time than ever before to assemble your own computer and saves hundreds–if not thousands–of dollars.
YOU CAN SAVE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BY BUILDING YOUR OWN COMPUTER. You’ve always heard doing things on your own can save you money. Well, this is especially true with computers. I configured a mid-range computer on Dell’s website and the total was $1,343 (not including shipping). Using Newegg–a electronics supplier–I chose parts that matched, or in some cases exceeded, Dell’s configuration. The end result was the parts cost $741, nearly a 30% savings over the Dell configuration! Using websites like Anandtech, Newegg’s Exxpert, HardOCP, GameSpot PC Hardware forums and others, you can get peer advice on what parts to use in a build.
Here’s a chart of the Dell configuration mentioned above to the Newegg parts:
BUILDING A COMPUTER IS EASY. Building a computer is much easier than you think. Teenagers build them all the time, and you’re smarter than they are. WikiHow has a great article on how to build a computer, complete with pictures and a video.
FREE APPS TO FURTHER DECREASE THE COST. Buying Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Business will cost you $280. Buying Adobe Creative Suite 5 (with Photoshop CS5) can cost you $2,500. The price of software programs can easily exceed the price of the actual computer. However, there’s an alternative: go with free programs. Most people have heard of Linux, a free open source alternative to Microsoft Windows. Well, there are open source alternatives to almost every for-pay program out there. Some of my favorites include Gimp, an alternative to PhotoShop, OpenOffice.org, an alternative to Microsoft Office that can open and save in .doc and .docx file formats, and Avira AntiVir, an anti-malware program that takes the place of McAfee, Norton, etc. (all while detecting more viruses, according to independent tests).
Have you ever built your own computer? Success or failure? Were you able to quantify the results?