Several years ago, a client asked me about buying a DYI PC kit. TigerDirect, an online computer supplier, sells build-it-yourself PC kits and had, in early December, what looked like a good deal on a PC Kit. The price was listed at $124.99, and while this looked like a good price, I did not research the kit contents well enough. The kit included a large expandable tower case, a power supply, a motherboard, 8GB memory, and an AMD CPU chip. NOT included was a hard drive (an $80 to $100 additional cost), a DVD or Blue Ray drive (another $25 to $90). No operating system represents another $119.99; no keyboard/mouse/monitor another $100 + in costs.
My credit card was billed $224.99; the other $100 was in the form of rebates from four different manufacturers to get the advertised price. All rebates are in the form of AMEX prepaid debit cards, so I cannot even put the rebates back in my account to replace the extra 100 bucks.
Now, to the fun part-- putting all the pieces together. I put the CPU chip in the motherboard, installed the power supply and motherboard in the case, connected all the wires and found one set of wires very short for the case (not good), and pressed the button… nothing. I did some checking and found I did the CPU chip not installed correctly, so I corrected that and pressed the button again… still nothing. Additional troubleshooting revealed an inoperative power switch on the case. I then had to call TigerDirect, who shipped me another one after a month and after I sent back the first case. I was able to reinstall all the above in the new case, and it lit up the PC; now, I needed the DVD drive, hard drive, and operating system. Another $300 bucks later, I have a pretty good PC. Was it worth it? No. It is much easier and cheaper to buy a prebuilt PC. You get a lot more for your money, and if you figure in your time, like I would have to, this $124.99 PC cost me more than $500, not counting any of my time to build, replace the case, and send in for the rebates.
‘til next week
Robert - 360-497-3130 Cell
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Index to Past ComputerFAQ Columns:
February 27, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 20, 2013 More Help with Viruses
February 13, 2013 VIRUSes How Did I Get It?????
February 6, 2013 VIRUSes EXPECT A BAD YEAR!
January 23, 2013 Protect Your Computer from JAVA Vulnerability
January 16, 2013 Driver Update Managers
January 9, 2013 Unwanted Programs & Tools Bars
January 2, 2013 Randome Loss Of Interne
December 19, 2012 Recovery Disks
December 12, 2012 Warranty Service Part 2