When I hear people say that it is better to buy than build a computer, I immediately know that they have never built a PC in their life. Once you assemble a system on your own, you will never look at the prebuilt computers the same way. When you overcome the initial emotion of self-doubt and fear of the unknown, only then will you find out what you have been missing out on.
Experiencing a rewarding feeling of accomplishment that comes with two bonuses – expanded knowledge of technology and a computer customized to your needs – is priceless. The only price tag you will end up with is the one for the computer parts. More good news for PC builders: contrary to what most people believe, you can actually save money by building your own computer. However, you have to do it the right way. Here are some tips to help you save money next time you decide to build a PC.
1. Shop Around
If you are looking to save money on computer parts for your build, chances are, you won’t have the convenience of picking them up from one place that same day. Every experienced builder will agree that, more often than not, in order to avoid overpaying for some parts, you need to spend some time looking for the best deal. Because there are quite a few parts you will need to pick up, chances are, you won’t find all the best priced items in one place. Just a few of my favorite places to check out for products on sale: Amazon, Newegg, TigerDirect, Fry’s Electronics, Best Buy, Micro Center, NCIX.
2. Price Match
Just when you are done hunting for the best price, you might find that you have one too many different places to order from. While you can save money by ordering parts from different sources, do not forget to take shipping into account to check if you still have a good deal. Sometimes it can be a good idea to ask if the retailer is offering to match the price of the competitor, even if you don’t see any statement on the web site. It is always worth asking, you just might save yourself some money and hassle.
3. Mail in the Rebates
It ridiculous how much money some customers miss out on just because they are too lazy to mail those rebates in. You are about to build a computer with your own hands, and figuring out how to mail the rebate in is too complicated? Really? The manufacturer is offering you a limited time good offer on a product and is basically
4. Buy in Bundles
Very often the retailer or the manufacturer will offer two or more computer components in a bundle for cheaper than when sold separately. Sometimes there is an option to buy a barebones kit, which is just a set of all the necessary picked out for you components to build a PC. Although you might score a great deal, make sure that you are completely happy with the choice of parts. Many of those kits are great to practice building your first PC or assembling a basic system. Very often it will be about the same quality as an average PC that you can buy prebuilt, but you would need to put this one together yourself, so pay attention. The CPU and motherboard combos are more popular.
5. Choose AMD
Without going into endless debate over which is better – Intel or AMD – for those looking to save some money on a custom build PC, it is a good idea to give preference to AMD. With a great variety of CPUs, motherboards, graphics cards, paying less for AMD doesn’t have to equate to getting less. I have personally met many AMD’s loyal customers who swear by the quality of the brand. If you have always been on the other side, this is your chance to give it a try, and save money too.
6. Plan Future Upgrades
If you are looking to save cash but still want to get the performance level hardware, try to plan ahead. Decide which components have to be purchased right now to have the system up and running, and what parts can be added or upgraded in future. Components like additional graphics cards for SLI/Crossfire, extra hard drives for a RAID, SSDs, interface cards are not always a must have in the very beginning. It may be a good idea to postpone purchasing those until they go on sale, or you have more money saved up.
7. Build for Performance
It is crucial to know what the future PC is going to be primarily used for, because sometimes this is what really determines whether you will save money by building a computer or not. A lot of users are becoming accustomed to staying connected wherever they are, so the sales of mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, hybrids are up. In order to lure the customer into acquiring or upgrading a desktop, the manufacturers have to offer a great deal.
The most popular kind of desktop is an average PC for home and office designed to perform non-challenging tasks. If this is all you need the desktop to do, don’t think twice before picking one up right then and there. Gaming desktops and professional level performance PCs are more expensive, but this is when you can save some money by building one yourself.
Do you know other ways to get a custom build PC for less? Comment below!