First time buyers,with beginners knowledge of inner workings of a PC, are generally in a fix. Whether to go in for an Assembled PC aka Customized PC or go in for a Branded one. Both have their own pros and cons. Here are the 5 buying tips to consider before deciding which one to buy.
1. Parts Used:-
“Assembled PCs use the same quality parts as their branded counterparts.”
This can be a myth or a reality. This is the most important aspect to consider. Parts used should be of optimum quality and genuine in nature.
For choosing an Assembled PC, make sure you hand pick the individual components that go into building a PC. Make sure the individual parts of the PC are first hand. Before you set out to buy the PC, get to know all the parts that a PC is composed of and any peripherals you plan to add on. Here is a list, known as specification of a PC
- Processor – The chip that does most of the computing in a PC. It is defined in core speeds of GHz.
- Mother board – This is an electronic circuit board on which all the components fit or attach to.
- RAM – Random Access Memory. Helps in rapid access of data during program execution, measured in MB & GB.
- Hard Disk – Storage Device to hold your programs and data. Storage capacity measured in GB.
- Optical Drive – Known as CD or DVD drives. They come with writing features also, Speed measured in X – factors.
- Cabinet/ Casing – Forms the CPU in with all internal parts are fitted.
- Graphic Card – Can be on board or a dedicated one.
- Monitor – The Screen used to view. Higher the resolution, better the picture display. CRT and TFT LCDs measured in inches.
- Keyboard – For typing your data into. Can be a simple one or with additional MM keys.
- Mouse – Used as pointing device that won’t run away. Optical ones used mostly with a scroll in the middle.
- Speakers – “This one I know”. Can be 2:1, 4:1, 5:1, or 7:1 home theater types.
- UPS – Uninterrupted Power Supply, provides short backup in case of power failure. Single or Double Battery, Measured in VA.
- Printer – Laser-jet, Ink-jet or Dot-Matrix ones.
Survey the market with your list. Get the best prices.
For Branded PCs, you should make the same list and compare it with the specification and pricing of the PCs offered by different brands and models. Though sometimes you can get the specification of a Branded PC changed to suit your requirement, but remember to check that the changed component is from the same brand and quality and of course it should be first hand.
2 Pricing :-
“Assembled PCs are cheaper than Branded PC”
Again a myth and a reality. When comparing the two on a price point basis, make sure the specification of the PCs match each other. Also consider the cost of other factors, such as On site warranty service any other hidden costs and taxes, installation charges or assembling charges. Sum up all the costs and then compare where the Assembled and Branded PCs stand against each other on the cost factor.
3. Service and Support :-
“Branded PCs offer better support than Assembled PCs”.
Yeah, a myth and a reality again . If you opted for an on site service for both Branded and Assembled PCs, then it basically boils down to how your service center or dealer treats your support requests. He/ She might be able to fix your problems on support depending on his/her knowledge and experience for both Assembled as well Branded PC. For faulty parts replacement and repair, again if its under AMC, you should get a standby till your parts are returned. But if you did not opt for an AMC, you might have to do without your PC for a while if its a vital component for the functioning of the PC, or go and buy another new one and keep the replacement as a standby or add it on to your PC later.
There have been horror service and support stories on both the fronts. On equal service and support platforms, the choice between the two can be difficult at times. One way to decide is ask for customer references in your area and inquiring from existing customers.
4. Built Quality:-
“Branded PCs offer better built quality than Assembles PCs.”
Some what a reality than a myth. Branded PCs are made in facilities with quality control checks, drop teats, burn-in tests. PCs are tested in a controlled environment.
Assembled PCs might lack these tests, but the rate of failure is almost the same as in the Branded PCs for the same quality of components used. This is so because the individual components themselves go under quality and endurance tests from their respective manufacturers. And if you are more enthusiastic, there are several software tools available to test out your components.
5. Bundled Offers :-
“Branded PCs offer a better value for money with bundled offers and freebies than Assembled PCs.”
A myth and a reality. Nothing is free that’s bundled as freebie. The cost might have been jacked up a bit to cover the cost of freebies or it might be to attract you to an end of season sale instead of offering a discount, or a new better model might be on the anvil.
You might get the same value for money with bundled offers from dealer selling a built up Assembled PC as a whole with freebies as a combined offer. But keep in mind the quality and nature of the individual components the PC is made up of, before taking such offers.
After considering all these factors, you might be able to save some money on your planned budget, or you could add more RAM, or go in for a higher resolution monitor with the money you could have saved on buying an Assembled PC. Maybe you can extract a better deal on a Branded PC or get some more freebies bundles in. Which ever way you swing, make sure you buy a PC that preforms to your satisfaction for the environment you have chosen it to buy and it gives you optimal cost for your investment.