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Six years ago configuring a PC was so simple. Nowadays everything has become very hard – and for most users, it's too hard to understand the technical terms. At the moment I am trying to configure a good PC for my work, games and other entertainment. I have a relatively large budget.

Is it worth sticking to …

  • a brand for buying a good PC (like Toshiba, HP, Dell, etc.)


  • other smaller companies like iBUYPOWER, which let me configure my PC at every component.

Which advantages would each option give me?

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closed as not constructive by sblair, random Oct 29 '11 at 3:13

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I took the liberty of editing your question – if you don't insist on getting actual hardware recommendations, the question is likely to stay. Otherwise, shopping recommendations are off topic as you can read in our FAQ. – slhck Oct 25 '11 at 20:55
up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are really three options: Building, buying custom, buying pre-configured.

If you measure the cost of components only, generally the cheapest option is to buy pre-configured as the large companies can buy components very much more cheaply than you or I can.

Otherwise it is complete up to you based on your ability, interest, aptitude, etc.

If you have the time and the money to build your own computer, that can be lots of fun (this is me with desktops). Also, because it is unlikely that EVERYTHING in your old computer has to be replaced, it can be cheaper. You might want Super-Widget X200a but might not want Extreme-Widget X879b. So by only buying the parts you want, you can save.

If you have the money but not the time, and you really want a computer that has specific and particular components (this is me with laptops), you'll probably want to buy custom. These generally cost more, but can have pretty good warranties and allow you to have some peace of mind along with your specialized machine.

If you have neither the time nor the money nor the inclination to find out what works best together or build your own, or you really don't have any special requirements about what needs to be in the computer and what does not, then buy pre-configured. These can be the cheapest by far, and can have pretty good warranties to boot. If you're buying a computer for your parents, or recommending one to friends, and you don't want to be at their every beck and call for support issues, get one of these.

UPDATE for OPs comments:

Ok then. What you need is some explanation of what sort of hardware you ought to purchase. I recommend giving us some specific questions. Modify your question (press the Edit button below it) and add some of your specific questions that we can then address.

Money and Interest are good, but getting the knowledge necessary to build a box is no small task. It's good to do. It's probably how many of us got into computers. But it's not easy and it takes determination and persistence.

The only problem is, this site isn't very well geared towards that because what you need is specific to you more often than not. And this site tends to be better at dealing with broad issues applicable to everybody.

Websites such as MaximumPC should be invaluable at providing shopping recommendations and step by step instructions on how to build computers within a given budget. Check that out and see if any of their information helps you.

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I have the time and the money and I'm interested in building a computer from zero my only problem is that I can't make heads or tales from the components these days – Nistor Alexandru Oct 25 '11 at 21:08
@user985482 Most shops I know (at least where I live) offer some kind of configurator or even personal assistance when building a PC. Wouldn't that be an option? – slhck Oct 25 '11 at 21:09
It is but configuring a pc for example with 12gb RAM without having no ideea if I will be using the most out of it isent really what I would like to do.I'm interested in a configuration from witch I could get the most of for at least 3 years (let's say in gaming to be able to play them at maximum graphics , to be able to work in photoshop and editing video files without having to worry about runing out of RAM and stuff like that)If you have any recomandations on that and a good realiable company pls let me know. – Nistor Alexandru Oct 25 '11 at 21:14
@user985482 Super User is not the place to ask about a specific hardware recommendation. You should preferably come to Super User Chat once you have 20 reputation and discuss it there – we'll be happy to give you some tips. Anyway, it seems like (you said $3000) you have a massive budget, and three years is not a long time. A gaming PC needs a decent graphics card, and video editing needs as much RAM as you can afford, as well as a fast hard disk. – slhck Oct 25 '11 at 21:19

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