Build or Buy?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Arnie, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Arnie


    Thinking about getting a new desktop. Currently have 2, one a P4 the other an AMD ?

    I will keep one of these for my work (forms processing, nothing heavy)

    I would like the new one to be dedicated to trading email etc...

    I would like it to run 4 montiors, I use tick charts on some symbols.

    You ideas, comments are welcome.
  2. Any modern computer with a C2D or better CPU, WinXP... the mobo does NOT have "onboard video chip"... and costs $600-$700 will be plenty good.
  3. This... I would also reccomend getting a financial or medical focused video card (something professional/institutional) rather than getting a $100 gaming card - you get what you pay for.
  4. I am on a shoestring budget. I don't want to spend $2000-$3000 to buy modified desktops for trading with multiple monitors. I shopped around for new desktops recently at Fry's. Beware that many of the new boxes from HP or others have very limited expansion slots. Most don't support PCI bus any more. I managed to find an older Compaq box that has 3x PCI slots. Plugged in 3 of my existing PCI dual-screen PNY display cards... got a 6 monitor setup on a new box for under $500 (the computer box itself, not including the PNY cards).

    If you buy a new box and do this yourself, be sure to check the available expansion slots on the box (or buy a bigger chasis/mother-board).
  5. Tums


    ... and power supply rating.
    Make sure you have enough wattage to carry all the extra memory and video cards!
  6. Arnie


    Thank you for the ideas.
  7. paulxx


    If you do want to build go for a barebones case like these:

    The V3-P5G43 would be ideal. Barebones have the motherboard and PSU already wired in.

    All you need to do is plug in a CPU (Quad Core Q6600 or a Core2Duo) a couple of 2Gb sticks of DDR2 memory, a DVD/CD and a hard drive (Western Digital Caviar Black). Then you install 'XP Pro SP3'( the best vista-style versions are on mininova check for most user comments). You can't get XP at all on a retail machine.

    The built in graphics in this case is OK and I think it has HDMI out, but you can also add a Radeon X1650 dual output graphics and (again , I think), even use both at once (internal plus graphics card = 4 outputs)

    Install free Antivir from and Spybot from (untick everything except desktop icon on install) and you have a lean mean Vista-busting machine, just like mine.
  8. Based on my experience, I can tell you that "building by yourself" can easily create stability issues.

    There are too many possible combination of motherboard, power supply, graphics cards, memory etc; and a slight incompatibility issue can create major problem in the system.

    It is always safer to go with reputed hardware vendor (my favorite is DELL). They usually perform regressive tests on their combination and should not have any problem.

    So my advice - BUY DELL
  9. Agree on buy versus build. From 99-2004 or so I built my own PCs. There may have been some cost savings (not much, if any), but the major benefit was that I could use the best available hardware, and in those ye olden days it made a big difference. At the same time, it was always a hassle, and always consumed more money and effort than you'd planned. You'd end up having to switch out components, get replacements from the manufacturer, hunt through the Internet to resolve obscure hardware conflicts, etc. Even once you got it working the systems always had weird, enduring stability issues. Random lockups or BSODs, things like that, and mostly the problems were impossible to resolve.

    Nowadays it's all about convenience and reliability for me. Retail PCs are cheap enough that you won't realize any cost savings by building your own, but powerful enough for 99% of what you'd need to do. I use laptops exclusively now and having a support plan is a real bonus.
  10. Exactly!

    I had to change graphics card as the chip-set used in MB south-bridge had known issue with that series of graphics card. PC was locking up randomly which did not go away until I upgraded my SMPS (power supply) from 350W to 450W.

    This is just an example. Don't even bother to go for assembled or low brand PC.
    #10     Feb 3, 2009