Is it Cheaper to Build or Buy a New PC?
|Pentium® 4 Processor at 2.53GHz with 533MHz system bus/ 512K L2 Cache||Qty: 1||
Unit Price: 1,214.00
|Memory||512MB DDR SDRAM at 333MHz|
|Keyboard||Logitech Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Solution|
|Video Cards||New 64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce4™ Ti 4200 Graphics Card with TV Out and DVI|
|Hard Drive||20GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive|
|Floppy Drive||3.5 in Floppy Drive|
|Operating System||Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional|
|Mouse||Mouse already included in Logitech Wireless Package|
|Network Interface||Integrated Intel® PRO 10/100 Ethernet|
|Modem||56K PCI Telephony Modem|
|CD or DVD Drive||16x Max DVD-ROM Drive|
|Sound Card||Integrated Audio|
|Speakers||Harman Kardon HK-395 Speakers with Subwoofer|
|Software Bundles||Microsoft® Works Suite 2002 w/Money Standard|
|Digital Music||Dell Jukebox powered by MusicMatch|
|Digital Photography||Dell Picture Studio, Image Expert Standard|
|Limited Warranty, Services and Support Options||1 Year Limited Warranty plus 1 Year At-Home Service|
|Internet Access Service||6 Months of America Online Membership Included|
|Mail-In Rebate Offer||Save $50 with mail-in rebate! System Price shown before rebate.|
|Accessories||Wingman Extreme Digital 3D|
|CD or DVD Burner for 2nd bay||FREE Upgrade! 40x/10x/40x Max CD-RW Drive|
Amazingly when the entire system is priced out at Dell, the total price
is $1214, before $50 rebate, or $1164 after rebate and shipped to my
So compared to what it would cost to buy my perfect system from Dell, I would save $34 by building the system myself. I really found this hard to believe!
Now you may have noticed I included a faster processor (a 2.53 GHz Pentium 4 instead of a 2.40 GHz) and a smaller hard drive (a 20 GB instead of a 40 GB) on the Dell system. I did this because I dug up a 80 GB ATA 100 drive which I could slave to the primary hard drive, so I decided to maximize my computer dollar by including a faster processor and smaller hard drive.
Also note that at the time I priced out this system Dell had free shipping, free CD or DVD drive, and a $50 rebate offer. They have different sales all the time so you might pay more or less then my calculated price.
Added Benefits of Buying Instead of Building
While I thought it was pretty amazing to have a retail computer price come so close to my build price, there are also several other perks that come with the Dell system that were not part of my build calculation.
1. Windows XP Professional - I was going to use Windows Me on my old system and put my copy of Windows XP Professional on the newly built computer so no budget was allocated to buy Windows. However, I priced the Dell system with Windows XP so it is basically free.
2. DVD drive and modem. Again not included in my buy calculation but added in the Dell system. I use DSL so no modem is needed.
3. Free 6 months of AOL - I have Earthlink for the kids, but since it's free I'll switch to AOL and save $120 in ISP fees.
4. Free 1 year warranty. While purchased parts all have 1 year manufacturer warrantees it is nice to only have one party to deal with if something breaks.
5. My time to build it. It would take me at least 8 hours to build the computer and load all the software.
If I put a price on all of these added benefits, buying from Dell is much cheaper than building my own system.
And the Winner Is ...
Dell wins. Then can do it cheaper than I can, plus there are many added benefits from letting them build the system.
I would have never thought it would be cheaper to buy
a system from Dell then to build it myself. Maybe like car companies,
Dell has cut their profits way back in order to keep their sales levels
Whatever the reason for the low prices, I suggest your price out your next computer build at Dell or your favorite computer company, and see if they can build your next "perfect computer" cheaper than you can.