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  1. #1
    Network Hub Rath's Avatar
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    Opinions on system builders (UK)

    Hello all.

    First off, I'd like to clarify that I'm not entirely put off the idea of building a machine myself, however my confidence in my own abilities isn't all that high.*

    In the event that I decide to buy a pre-built machine, I've narrowed it down to one of four companies**, and I'm looking for people's opinions, both pro and con about each, based on experience of dealing with them and from eyeballing their websites.

    Scan
    Pro:
    -Of the four, Scan are the only ones I've had any actual dealings with, just ordering the odd small item here and there. So far they've not sent me anything faulty and the delivery times have been prompt as hell.
    Con:
    - They don't stock BitFenix cases, and I quite like the look of them in comparison with other cases.
    - Some components seem unnecessarily overpriced. Not that there's any way I'd actually consider getting power supply cables in a colour other than standard black, but if I was there's no way in hell I'd pay 75 extra quid for it.

    Cyberpower
    Pro:
    - Prices seem decent.
    Con:
    - Their website design makes my eyes hurt.

    PC Specialist

    I don't think I've actually heard of them until now and therefore have no knowledge of their quality.

    Overclockers
    Pro:
    - Big range of BitFenix cases, which I like.
    - Seem decently priced.

    Anybody have a machine built by any of these companies, or had positive/negative expereineces with any of them for any reason?

    *For instance, I'm aware through various reviews/videos that people have great difficulty getting a GTX 780 Ti to fit in a BitFenix Mini ITX case, the card being longer than the case itself, and the thought of customising the case to get the card mounted vertically fills me with a nameless dread.

    **Not even considering Alienware. Nothing against Dell as a company, my Windows Tablet is a Dell and it's fantastic quality, but the number of available choices for components on their system builder is far too limited for my liking.
    "Men shall never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." - Diderot

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Honest question. Can you do lego models? If you can do 8-10+ lego you can build a PC. I know nothing about the builders other than they are expensive, sorry.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  3. #3
    Lesser Hivemind Node frightlever's Avatar
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    Most everyone seems to use these guys for picking parts and checking on compatibility by looking at completed builds. I think it's in the DNA of gaming to build your own system but if you absolutely don't want to then either Scan, Overclockers or Cyberpower should be fine, insofar as I've not heard anything particularly negative about them.

    My niece bought a pre-built Cyberpower system, via Amazon, last year and I looked it over for her. Seemed fine and not much more expensive than you'd pay for the parts (system builders get a discount on Windows making a DIY build start from around 40-50 quid in the hole before you really save money), though they didn't use the same PSU and RAM, for instance, that I might have. You'll pay a premium, obviously, on a custom build.

    If you're using Cyberpower to pick the parts and they're happy enough to accept the build job, then you should be fairly happy that you could just buy the parts yourself and slot them together inside twenty minutes, tops, and then install a fresh, clean, un-tainted with adware crap, OS onto it.

    There is a question about support if something goes wrong. If a miscellaneous part in your DIY build is crapping out, you could lose hours of your life trouble-shooting it. OTOH, that's my idea of fun.

  4. #4
    Network Hub
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    While I've never had a pre-built from Overclockers I usually order my computer parts there and frequent their forums. They have a reputation for good customer service and I would personally feel confident buying a complete system from them.

  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node sinomatic's Avatar
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    Have you considered Chillblast? I got my last two rigs from them and found them cheaper than OCUK, plus they have a decent warranty within the price. Last I looked they had bitfenix cases too, but they'd likely get you anything you wanted anyway (within reason) if you ask them, as I did.

    PCspecialist I used about 6 or so years back and they were good too, they would have probably been my 2nd pick. I've heard variable things about cyberpower builds but it's all hearsay so that's probably not much use, but I can't stand their website regardless. As I said, I found overclockers to be overpriced, in what I was looking at getting at least. Scan I don't know much about as system builders, though I've heard pretty decent things about them in general.

  6. #6
    Network Hub stoopiduk's Avatar
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    I spent a great deal of time looking around those exact sites for the PC I wanted, most seemed to go for lower-level PSUs or slower RAM than I was aiming for, or had weird cases with alien genitalia/bright ugly panels/ LEDs all over them.

    I spent around 1000 on my PC and believe the rig I wanted was about 20% more expensive pre-built, so if you have a friend who is comfortable putting the thing together for you, it's well worth the tip/pizza/beer to get them to help you out.

    Just a small warning, but I bought an overclocked mobo/ram/proc/heatsink bundle from OCUK.

    The main reason I did this was to avoid the fiddle of paste and installing a heatsink, but it turns out it didn't come assembled. The units all come benchtested to check the overclocked processor is OK, I thought that meant it would be put together, but that's not the case.

    That said, their customer service was faultless, the items all came well packaged and were delivered promptly. It's absolutely my fault for not checking whether the bundle came in one piece and I got a good deal on a decent processor and board, so all was well really.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Honest question. Can you do lego models? If you can do 8-10+ lego you can build a PC. I know nothing about the builders other than they are expensive, sorry.
    Agreed. It's worth taking the plunge and trying for yourself. Trawl YouTube and watch someone build a PC from beginning to end, you'll see there's not much to it. I've been building PCs for many years and absolutely love it nowadays. The satisfaction you'll get out of putting the thing together yourself is worth the first time nerves.

  8. #8
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    Seconded on the recommendation for OCUK's CPU/Motherboard/RAM bundles if you do decide to do your own build.

    On suppliers, OCUK have the best selection of most components but generally aren't the cheapest, though their weekly and daily deals are worth keeping an eye on. Buying a whole system worth of components from them could easily add 10% to the total cost compared with shopping around, which isn't insignificant. Also they don't have free delivery, which most other places do if you spend above the minimum. I look at OCUK to see what's available and then shop around to ebuyer, Scan, Novatech and Amazon. Sometimes OCUK wins on product range though.


  9. #9
    Activated Node Samsonite's Avatar
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    I would definitely recommend self-building - it is easier than ever. If you can get a friend to help then it may give you more confidence.

    I've used Ebuyer for the past 12 years - prices seem to be better than anywhere else, but the stock changes a lot so you may not for instance find the case you want (but they have plenty).

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