A few years ago, when I desperately needed a new computer, I bought parts and had someone assemble the computer for me. It was a project with which I had assistance from all over the planet. For example, the parts list was compiled by a gnomie in Norway. Sales of parts were found by friends in New York state, Arizona, Georgia, New Zealand, the U.K. and other regions of the planet. The assembly was done by a friend in Texas. The machine that resulted from the collaborative effort has been wonderful and, for the most part, it has been trouble free. My only regret is that I had a RAID system installed and I would not do that again.

From my perspective, I keep thinking that buying computer parts and having the machine assembled would have the following major advantages:

  • cost saving
  • being able to select exactly the parts that would meet my computing needs
  • having a more efficient machine

The counter argument is that I should buy a pre-assembled machine. A pre-assembled machine would meet these advantages plus provide some support. There are local tech people who are encouraging me to buy from the well known ‘box-makers’. And my friend, and trusted site designer, has threatened to fly here and give me a knock on the head, if I do not buy a pre-assembled computer. He is convinced that it is far more efficient in terms of costs and return (what I would receive for my computer dollars) to buy from one of the high volume manufacturers.

I am curious as to what opinions are from the lockergnome audience. This new computer is not a pressing issue yet. However, I know that it is a purchase that I will need to make in 2009. I know that I will maximize the RAM and stay with a 32-bit operating system. So what is the best option: buying parts and having the machine assembled or buying a pre-assembled machine? – Thanks for your comments.