Computers & Electronics

Building a PC; should I just buy pre-built?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 15th, 2019 5:38 am
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 11, 2019
5 posts
2 upvotes

Building a PC; should I just buy pre-built?

My current computer is about 5 years old and gets the job done , but I feel like treating myself and have some money to burn. My corporation will pay for it so I'm not really worried about how much I spend as long as the money is well spent. I've seen a bunch of pre-built computers go on sale lately, and I wonder if it's worth just going in on one of those or throwing caution to the wind. My gut tells me that if I'm going to treat myself, I might as well spend a bit more and get something I can put together myself, but I'm five years removed from the last time I did this and don't trust me own judgement anymore.

Here's my current rig:
PCPartPicker Part List: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/WyHrwP

CPU: *Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 Anniversary ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Memory: ADATA XPG V2 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 280 3 GB Double Dissipation Video Card
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply

Here's the rig I'm looking at putting together myself:
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($424.50 @ Vuugo)
Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS ATX AM4 Motherboard ($215.50 @ Vuugo)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($173.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($94.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 2 TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.75 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB PULSE Video Card ($529.99 @ Mike's Computer Shop)
Case: Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C ATX Mid Tower Case ($183.99 @ Vuugo)
Power Supply: Corsair TXM Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($66.75 @ Vuugo)
Total: $1864.45
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-11-12 14:24 EST-0500

I'm curious to know if anyone has had similar struggles and where they've landed...
20 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
12651 posts
3689 upvotes
Ottawa
Not sure what you are asking.....I would go definitely go DIY if you have the time and feel satisfaction in picking out a system you want to keep for a while. I would personally go for a more compact box and would choose a micro ATX system for visual compactness. I don't need a lot of bays or big thick videocards. I might also go with an AIO watercooler for the CPU for the sake of it (just because I've never had one and want to try it)
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and not paying full price like Joe Shmoe did. This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 1, 2010
1733 posts
841 upvotes
GTA
Ultimatejoe81 wrote:
Nov 12th, 2019 2:24 pm
My current computer is about 5 years old and gets the job done , but I feel like treating myself and have some money to burn. My corporation will pay for it so I'm not really worried about how much I spend as long as the money is well spent. I've seen a bunch of pre-built computers go on sale lately, and I wonder if it's worth just going in on one of those or throwing caution to the wind. My gut tells me that if I'm going to treat myself, I might as well spend a bit more and get something I can put together myself, but I'm five years removed from the last time I did this and don't trust me own judgement anymore.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($424.50 @ Vuugo)
Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS ATX AM4 Motherboard ($215.50 @ Vuugo)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($173.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($94.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 2 TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.75 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB PULSE Video Card ($529.99 @ Mike's Computer Shop)
Case: Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C ATX Mid Tower Case ($183.99 @ Vuugo)
Power Supply: Corsair TXM Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($66.75 @ Vuugo)
Total: $1864.45
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-11-12 14:24 EST-0500

I'm curious to know if anyone has had similar struggles and where they've landed...
DIY is always better then pre-built systems because you get to chose high quality components. Like what you have chosen, will last a long time. The only thing I would change is the PSU, since the 5700XT's are a little higher on the power draw tis better to have some extra head room. I would probably go with 650W instead over 550W to be on the safe side. I believe they even recommend having a minimum 600W PSU if using that particular GPU.

https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/product/y88 ... 20-g3-0650
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 11, 2019
5 posts
2 upvotes
warpdrive wrote:
Nov 12th, 2019 7:42 pm
Not sure what you are asking.....I would go definitely go DIY if you have the time and feel satisfaction in picking out a system you want to keep for a while. I would personally go for a more compact box and would choose a micro ATX system for visual compactness. I don't need a lot of bays or big thick videocards. I might also go with an AIO watercooler for the CPU for the sake of it (just because I've never had one and want to try it)
I guess what I'm asking is, does this build give me good value for money, compared to the package deals that we're starting to see posted this time of year. In hindsight I realize that's a tough question to answer.
Sr. Member
Sep 13, 2011
513 posts
212 upvotes
ANJOU
Ultimatejoe81 wrote:
Nov 12th, 2019 2:24 pm
My current computer is about 5 years old and gets the job done , but I feel like treating myself and have some money to burn. My corporation will pay for it so I'm not really worried about how much I spend as long as the money is well spent. I've seen a bunch of pre-built computers go on sale lately, and I wonder if it's worth just going in on one of those or throwing caution to the wind. My gut tells me that if I'm going to treat myself, I might as well spend a bit more and get something I can put together myself, but I'm five years removed from the last time I did this and don't trust me own judgement anymore.

Here's my current rig:
PCPartPicker Part List: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/WyHrwP

CPU: *Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 Anniversary ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Memory: ADATA XPG V2 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 280 3 GB Double Dissipation Video Card
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply

Here's the rig I'm looking at putting together myself:
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($424.50 @ Vuugo)
Motherboard: Asus TUF GAMING X570-PLUS ATX AM4 Motherboard ($215.50 @ Vuugo)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($173.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($94.99 @ Canada Computers)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 2 TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.75 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB PULSE Video Card ($529.99 @ Mike's Computer Shop)
Case: Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C ATX Mid Tower Case ($183.99 @ Vuugo)
Power Supply: Corsair TXM Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($66.75 @ Vuugo)
Total: $1864.45
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-11-12 14:24 EST-0500

I'm curious to know if anyone has had similar struggles and where they've landed...
That's a good build but, for the same price you could have a full tower case and also a 700 watts power supply not gold rated. In wich province do you live and what the cost of the electricity there ?
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 11, 2019
5 posts
2 upvotes
I'm in Ontario. Electricity prices aren't high enough that it's a financial motivator for me, I just want to be more efficient if I can. What's the advantage of a full tower case in this scenario? I like Fractal because their cases are whisper quiet and I like a clean, minimalist aesthetic.
Newbie
Aug 28, 2019
3 posts
Build your own pc 100%.
Suggestion:
Change that ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro M.2 from 512GB to 2TB. I brought a 2TB not long ago for $260. Now is around $290-300, just wait for bf.
With that, you don't even need a slow and noisy hard disc drive.
Also, you might want some nice looking cables from CableMod PRO and case fans. A Better CPU cooler if you want to play with overclocking,



Also, RGB
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 11, 2019
5 posts
2 upvotes
Fusrodah wrote:
Nov 13th, 2019 10:45 am
Build your own pc 100%.
Suggestion:
Change that ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro M.2 from 512GB to 2TB. I brought a 2TB not long ago for $260. Now is around $290-300, just wait for bf.
With that, you don't even need a slow and noisy hard disc drive.
Also, you might want some nice looking cables from CableMod PRO and case fans. A Better CPU cooler if you want to play with overclocking,



Also, RGB
My case is windowless, by design. I can't stand RGB. Thanks for the HD suggestion. My thinking was that NvME drives are not as durable, and it's safer to store data on a platter, but the more reading I do the more I doubt that.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
8473 posts
1392 upvotes
Toronto
Ultimatejoe81 wrote:
Nov 13th, 2019 9:12 am
I guess what I'm asking is, does this build give me good value for money, compared to the package deals that we're starting to see posted this time of year. In hindsight I realize that's a tough question to answer.
I've looked at some package deals at Canada computers using similar parts.
While Canada computers deals are decent, they are unable to match your diy configuration part for part.
Nor can they match it pricewise.
As others have said, diy is about getting the best parts at the best price.
Prebuilts usually compromise in some area if they do match your configured price of diy parts.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 10, 2007
11342 posts
2260 upvotes
It's the opposite.

Anything mechanical can breakdown at anytime, just think of hdd as a car. Unless you have a bad batch of components, SSDs are far more reliable than hdd.

Otherwise, you are just wasting your new parts of a shitty hdd with slow speed.
Ultimatejoe81 wrote:
Nov 13th, 2019 10:53 am
My thinking was that NvME drives are not as durable, and it's safer to store data on a platter, but the more reading I do the more I doubt that.
[self promotion rule violation, removed twice already][self promotion rule violation, removed twice already]Trolling or Threadcrapping Trolling - woooooooo 3k on a laptop woooooooo 3k on a laptop woooooooo 3k on a laptop woooooooo 3k on a laptop
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
25862 posts
11258 upvotes
Fusrodah wrote:
Nov 13th, 2019 10:45 am
Change that ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro M.2 from 512GB to 2TB. I brought a 2TB not long ago for $260. Now is around $290-300, just wait for bf.
For 3x the cost? What if OP doesn't need that much storage?
Hell for a gaming PC I don't even need that much storage and I have 1500 steam games.
With that, you don't even need a slow and noisy hard disc drive.
Am I the only one on earth that can't hear a hard drive?
Also, RGB
Yup. Just threw up a little.

Blinkenlights
Ultimatejoe81 wrote:
Nov 13th, 2019 10:53 am
My case is windowless, by design. I can't stand RGB.
+1
I can't believe people are actually paying money to put this tacky crap in their machines.
My thinking was that NvME drives are not as durable, and it's safer to store data on a platter, but the more reading I do the more I doubt that.
Nothing is 100% reliable. If your data is important, store it 2 different places, preferably on 2 different types of media.
Newbie
Aug 28, 2019
3 posts
Ultimatejoe81 wrote:
Nov 13th, 2019 10:53 am
My case is windowless, by design. I can't stand RGB. Thanks for the HD suggestion. My thinking was that NvME drives are not as durable, and it's safer to store data on a platter, but the more reading I do the more I doubt that.
RGB is really a personal taste, no right or wrong answer, just higher cost lol. Didn't check that your case is windowless so you don't even need cable upgrade. Your ram is a really good choice already. However, if you dont need 32gb, consider this https://www.newegg.ca/team-16gb-288-pin ... 6820313712
3200 ct14 with good overclocking potential.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 11, 2019
5 posts
2 upvotes
Beyond setting the XMP profile to 3200 I don't really have any plans to overclock, this should have more than enough horsepower without it. I don't really play many AAA games anyways. My biggest memory hog is Civ 4 with a serious of mods.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
12651 posts
3689 upvotes
Ottawa
Ultimatejoe81 wrote:
Nov 13th, 2019 9:12 am
I guess what I'm asking is, does this build give me good value for money, compared to the package deals that we're starting to see posted this time of year. In hindsight I realize that's a tough question to answer.
Compared to the deals like the Dell Alienware, those deals are better in the sense you can't build it yourself for the same price...but yours is a better computer for your needs (I assume you won't game), and you have future upgradability and can reuse components for years to come. Basically you will be paying more but you get intangibles like upgradability, better looking case, no proprietary parts, more ports, more bays, etc

Personally I don't have the time anymore to source components for the best price and build a system so I'm more likely to buy a prebuilt these days, but everybody has different requirements.
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and not paying full price like Joe Shmoe did. This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.

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