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Table Of Contents  How to Build Your Own PC - Save A Buck And Learn A Lot
 9  Chapter 1: Purchasing Components

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Will I Save Money by Building My Own System?

A big question new PC builders ask is: Will I save money building my own system? The answer is that it depends. Larger PC manufacturers purchase parts in quantity and will usually acquire parts at less cost than a typical builder.

OEM software, including an operating system and basic software, such as Word, will often come bundled with a new system. The manufacturers receive a far better price on this software than we do as builders. At the time of this writing, OEM Windows XP Home Edition was purchased for about $93 for our demonstration system.

Due to the value of this bundled software, the cost of building a PC usually isn’t significantly less expensive than buying an off-the-shelf PC. If you plan to use Linux as your operating system, you can save more money, because the operating system and many useful programs, such as word processors, are free.

One disadvantage of purchasing a ready-made PC from a manufacturer is that sometimes the manufacturer will skimp on the cost of small parts. Doing so allows the computer company to make more profit. For example, some manufacturers might used relatively low-powered power supplies. Others might use cheaper fans that are more likely to fail. When building your own system, you can select better components. A good fan, for example, is crucial, because if your system overheats, it could damage the CPU or mainboard.

Many companies, such as Best Buy, offer come-on advertisements to get people into their stores. For example, you’ll find deals, such as 256 MB DDR memory for free after a mail-in rebate, or a free or very low cost CD-RW after a mail-in rebate. If you shop around and purchase these special deals for your RAM, hard drive, CD-RW, etc., you’ll probably save considerable money.

But, overall, you usually get a great deal of valuable commercial software when you purchase a ready made PC.

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How to Build Your Own PC (http://www.PCGuide.com/byop/) on PCGuide.com
Version 1.0 - Version Date: May 4, 2005

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