Interesting. I just hope the hairy bugger won't melt my machine. :) (Then I'd have to save up for a Dell Dimension 8200 or the like... THAT would take time. AND I wouldn't be able to play any old WC-game ever again...)
Originally posted by Mystery muppet
Then I'd have to save up for a Dell Dimension 8200 or the like...
People who don't build their own custom PCs don't deserve to have one in the first place.

As for all the Freelancer talk recently... this is a Wing Commander site, and Freelancer is gonna suck. Take it to SB, I'm sure Bob will spooge over that.
Originally posted by Frosty

People who don't build their own custom PCs don't deserve to have one in the first place.
Sheesh! That's a remark. There's absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a computer. Keep in mind that many of the better companies (such as Dell) allow for so much customization that you are for all intents and purposes building your own -- they're just spending the time doing the physical work.

And FWIW, I firmly believe that short of building your own, the best computer you can get is a Dell.
I got a question about Dell: The offers Dell makes here in Germany don't look very good: High prices and not very high perfomance components (at least on the paper) so I always wondered what their advantage is...
Really annoying commercials. When I see that kid's face, I scramble for the remote. Seriously part of it is name recognition, and in the States competitive pricing, at least among the brand name computers. Tarriff's or a variety of other economic reasons might explain high German prices. Dell also has a history of having good service and they do allow more customization, in general, than most of the other big-name folks. Their web site for building systems is nicely done and their tracking of what your machine came with when you need service is impressive. However, some of the folks I've spoken with at conference's recently have told me Dell's sevice has slipped some lately.

From a corporate view (which is what I deal with) Compaq's Deskpro line, their Armada laptops and Proliant Server's have been very good. However, their home systems have not been stellar, at least the ones I've had family and friends ask me to fix for them.

I tend to like to build my own stuff for home use (it's easier now, imho than it was 11 or so years ago when I cobbled together my first 286) but expecting everyone to build their own PC or not use one is sort of like asking everyone to build their own car or not drive. Granted it would make driving in DC easier but it isn't practical. Frosty, was, as usual, being Frosty. :) I often go to places like Alienware or Falcon Northwest to see what they are doing and then "improve" upon or scale what they are doing to my needs.
Sometimes the performance of a computer is less than a sum of all of its components. That is most often the case with custom made computers.
When you buy a brand name computer, you can be sure that it was tested thoroughly, and you won't have as much problems as with custom made ones.
But then again, I spent about 3 months getting the right components and tuning them up till I was satisfied with my machine. If you have time and knowledge, I recomend you make one for yourself.
I think building is the only way to go anymore. You spend more if you include the money spent on an OS, but you get exactly what you want. Dell and the like let you customize, but to a very limmited extent. If you are going to run Linux, you pay for Windows anyway. And you don't get brand selection. Personally, I need my Athlon and my Radeon, so Dell is not an option.

Upgrading in the future is tough, as the computer companies disable most of the BIOS features and don't give you any information about your motherboard and specific issues it may have. About the only thing they tell you on the phone is to contact the supplier of the new peripheral. That is not service.

When you know what your components are, you can find helpful resources online and play with your BIOS until things work or you at least find the reason why they don't work.
Originally posted by OriginalPhoenix

And FWIW, I firmly believe that short of building your own, the best computer you can get is a Dell.
I agree... but the costs tend to limit the enthusiasm... :)
Buying a pre-made computer is best for your first, but rather rediculous any other time. (You already have an os and such, so why do you need to buy the full versions again.) THis is what I am doing and now, and my current machine is way better than the SONY Vaio I took parts from.
Well, just jumped in to look through some of the posts. figured I'd pop in my 2 cents.

As to premade comps.. well, preference is everything, and in my opinion, if you are going to shell out the cash for a top end Dell, may as well save up a bit more and shell out for an Alienware or a alcon Northwest (Alienware being my choice). both companies give far more customization options than Dell will.

For myself though, I will certainly build my own from now on. Because if you know what to by and where to get it you can put together a killer rig for less than an equal name brand deal. And this way, just as was mentioned in an earlier reply, you have full control and knowledge of everything. Sadly, my current comp is somwhat older, and is an HP. It has served me well, but I bought it before I knew as much as I do now about computers, so that is why I went for the name brand rig. I have no knowledge of the MoBo, Bios settings are non-existant... it's a nightmare. I contacted HP, and they couldn't even tell me what the MoBo was, the manufacturer, or where to get any kind of Bios upgrade. Ugh.

So anyways, for anyone out there who is interested in building their own, but is unsure of how to do it, go to the hardware forum at and ask away. You'll get more info there that is excellent, than almost anywhere else I have found. Good luck and happy gaming.

Oh, and onto the topic that this thread started out on... I personally can't wait for Freelancer to get out. I've been waiting forver for it as many of you have been, and looking at the screen shots, it is going to be the driving force between a new power rig for me. AMD + ATI equals pure gaming goodness.
Criticizing someone for not knowing how to build their own computer (or wanting to, at least) is like a mechanic criticizing people for not building their own cars: silly.

There are many, many legitimate reasons to buy a pre-made computer: people don't have the time to learn or build their own machines... they like the ease of having an operating system pre-installed... they might like the idea that their Dell is protected by a warranty, and has a support line they can call if they ever need help.
My own family is a good case in point, being evenly split between homemade and pre-made machines.

But we’re disappointed with Dell. A few years ago, my father, brother, and sister got Dell desktops, and they’ve had one problem after another–hardware (modems and video card) that failed and had to be replaced, and software (from utilities to business applications to games) that at first wouldn’t or that still won’t run smoothly (despite BIOS/driver upgrades and any number of tweaks of the OS).

My most recent experience was with a friend who purchased an Inspiron notebook last November, which had XP and used an Nvidia chip. But it turned out the Nvidia driver used was incompatible with XP (causing crashes), and the fix involved not only upgrading the driver but the BIOS too. Finding that out was also an exercise in annoyance, as Dell’s tech support was (and I might add continues to be) next to impossible to reach, as often as not greeting callers with the recorded message that it is experiencing technical difficulties of its own and to try again later.

On a happier note however, the machines I assembled for my mother and other brother a few years ago (not to mention my own) continue to perform without a single hitch, running every new piece of hardware/software that’s thrown at them.:)
My experiences are different (we used to have Dells here, but moved to Compaq because of a deal with our parent company.) and the few times I needed to check about Dells (mostly at the time of Y2K, I got great service, and much of what I needed was on the web. However, I am a corporate customer, and to be honest they often times care about us more, because we buy more. I find that especially true with Compaq as I mentioned earlier. Also it is sort of a luck of the draw thing with phone support.

Sometimes you talk to someone who really knows the product and sometimes you get someone who has minimal training and not much experience. Often I already know what the rpoblem is and just need Compaq to ship me the replacement part. The ones that know their stuff, ask a few questions just to make sure I'm not an idiot, and then ship the part. The others tend to go through the entire checklist, because they don't know enough yet (and are well-intentioned, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt :) ) and end up wasting my time and the folks on hold behind me, but they cling to that list. Partly I'm sure because occaisionally someone listens to a tape or two of these things to give them employee evaluations and they want to stay employed.

As for getting a computer with the newest OS, I find that is not always the best policy to take. I usually stick with what works, or if something new comes out that I need I wait until at least the first service pack has come out. Windows 2000 is a good example. We ran NT here on the desktop which is a great OS in a corporate environment, except it doesn't support USB, which is the default connection most Palm cradles use. However, I was not about to roll out (and was supported by my CFO) Windows 2000, until I let some other companies work out the kinks. My experiences with it have been very positive. I've been less than impressed with XP.

Wow, did I get off topic. In a desperate attempt to get back on track, I too am looking forward to Freelancer and hope it will be great. Whether it will or not, remains to be seen.
Well this might just be because I'm in the UK but my laptop would have cost a LOT more from anyone other than Dell, they definatley had the best prices.
So, mixed experiences with Dell according to you peolpe. Well, luck is always a factor. Thanks anyway.

The cimputer I have at the moment is custom-built but I did indeed run into some trouble. Putting everything together wasn't too difficult but the fist mainboard I got was faulty so I had to send it back and blabla.
Homebuilt vs. Brand name

A lot of the decision to build or not depends on what you are going to do with the computer. As for the majority here, we are gamers hence our system requirments are higher. However my old aunt Sally who only surfs the web and has a recipe collection , a brand name pc is perfect for.

I also build pc for myself but it is a hobby as much as anything else.

Does anyone know if Freelancer will have pixel shaders and Transform & Lighting abilities (I got a Geforce3 card for Christmas).
The worst thing that I see about building a system is resale. Right now most people want a brand name. Also, Microsoft and the auction websites aren't enforcing the software license that comes with software bundled with a computer. If memory serves, that license cannot be transferred when you sell a computer. However, eBay and the like seem to let that pass. Yet, I have a feeling they wouldn't let me sell my computer with a burned copy of Win2000. I wish they'd enforce laws consistently.

And is far superior to what Gamespot when it comes to computer hardware. Not that Gamespot is bad, it’s just that Toms Hardware is amazing.