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Build it Myself or Buy a DS

Post Date: 2010-11-24

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cableal View Drop Down
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  Quote cableal Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Build it Myself or Buy a DS
    Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 1:49pm

While patiently waiting for DS to complete all phases of my ordered build, I decided to put together a cost comparison between:

  1. Purchasing my Hailstorm configuration through DS; versus
  2. Attempting a build by sourcing all comparable parts myself and having a 3rd party assemble it.

 

Caveats:

  1. This analysis is purely for fun and should not be viewed and or treated for any other purpose.
  2. I am completely incompetent when it comes to building and fine-tuning a PC.

 

The configuration I submitted and ordered through DS was #459009.

 

Based on the parts associated with the build, I came up with the following cost breakdown:

Digital Storm

$2,673.00

 

 

EVGA GTX 580 (015-P3-1580-AR)

 

$519.99

Amazon

Intel i7 950 processor

 

$294.99

Amazon

Corsair 800d case

 

$273.99

Amazon

Corsair HX 1000w PSU

 

$219.99

Amazon

Asus Sabertooth X58 board

 

$199.99

Amazon

Intel 80GB SSD (X-25M )

 

$181.99

Amazon

Tech NPS 6GB DDR3-1600  (3 x 2G)

 

$169.77

DS

Windows 7 Home Premium OS (OEM)

 

$99.99

Amazon

Noctua NH-D14 cooler

 

$65.95

Amazon

Lite-On Blu-Ray Drive (iHOS104-08)

 

$64.99

Amazon

 

 

 

 

Shipping

 

 

 

 

$65.00

 

DS

 

 

$13.87

DS

 

 

 

 

Total

$2,738.00

$2,105.51

 

 

 

 

 

Cost Difference

$632.49

 

 

 

NOTE:

1.       These prices were noted as of Monday, November 22

2.       I am an Amazon Prime member, which allows me to receive two-day free shipping on eligible products.

 

Bear in mind that the $632.49 total is currently based upon the difference in hardware and software. If I were to factor in the use of a 3rd party provider in assembling the components and fine-turning the system, I came up with the following:

Hardware Installation

$400.00

GeekSquad

$50 per hardware component x 8

 

 

Operating System Installation

$30.00

GeekSquad

Computer Tune-Up Service

$100.00

GeekSquad

Build Consultation Service

$100.00

GeekSquad

Professional Wiring

$20.00

CyberpowerPC

 

 

 

Total

$650.00

 

 

Personal Assumptions:

1.       The aforementioned services are only my best guesses as to what steps take place in assembling and fine-tuning a PC build.

2.       Chose BestBuy’s GeekSquad services ONLY because I was too lazy to conduct further searches on other service providers

3.       Selected CyberpowerPC’s price ONLY because I remembered seeing it as a separate service

 

Factoring in the cost of using a 3rd party provider to assemble and fine-tune the PC, the total now puts the price advantage back into Digital Storm’s court by approximately $18.00.

 

But, we can’t forget the price and piece of mind of a warranty.

 

DS

Dell

4 Year Limited Warranty

$0.00

 

3 Year Premium Plan

 

$329.00

 

 

 

Cost Difference

 

$329.00

 

Personal Assumptions:

  1. Chose Dell because I’ve actually used their warranty service before for my Inspiron 1545 laptop
  2. I did not factor in the current promotional price in effect at Dell (as of Wednesday, November 24).

 

The $0.00 figure for DIGITAL STORM’S warranty is a bit misleading because submitting a warranty claim during the warranty period may not truly be a $0.00 cost. In addition, when compared to Dell’s warranty, DS does not provide true in-home service for part replacements during their warranty period. And, the part replacement policy in their 4-year warranty is actually only good for 2 years.

 

Assuming the following during the DIGITAL STORM’S 4-year warranty period:

6.       Part-replacements by DS will be required at least once during the term of the 4-year warranty;

7.       Shipping is required and is $65 one-way

8.       Future price for replacement parts are the same as current day prices (Monday, November 22)

 

 

If Part Replacement takes place in…

 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Labor Cost

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

 

 

 

 

 

Shipping

$130.00

$130.00

$130.00

$130.00

 

 

 

 

 

Part replacement (including warranty)

 

 

 

 

EVGA GTX 580 (015-P3-1580-AR)

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Intel i7 950 processor

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$294.99

Corsair 800d case

$0.00

$0.00

$273.99

$273.99

Asus Sabertooth X58 board

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Intel 80GB SSD (X-25M )

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$181.99

Tech NPS 6GB DDR3-1600  (3 x 2G)

$0.00

$0.00

$169.77

$169.77

Noctua NH-D14 cooler

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Lite-On Blu-Ray Drive (iHOS104-08)

$0.00

$64.99

$64.99

$64.99

 

 

 

 

 

Total

$130.00

$194.99

$638.75

$1,115.73

 

Thus, my interpretation of DIGITAL STORM’S 4-year warranty is that there is a cost associated with submitting a claim. If I had to draw a conclusion just based upon warranty, I would say that the Dell 3-Year premium plan warranty is actually better based on the benefits highlighted here:

 

http://content.dell.com/us/en/home/d/help-me-choose/hmc-warranty-options-consumer.aspx?ref=CFG

 

Once again, please note that the above interpretation is based upon my own understanding of DIGITAL STORM’S warranty terms and conditions and I may be completely wrong.

 

Regardless, given:

·         The build quality and testing that DS performs on their builds;

·         The hundreds of positive reviews from current and past DS members found on the web and in the forum; and

·         Their superb ratings through BBB and - Outside Link Removed -

I highly doubt that any significant issues will arise during the 4 year warranty period. And if they did, I doubt Dell would be able to match the technical expertise and overall customer oriented service that DS is able to provide.

 

With all that said, I am extremely happy with my decision to purchase my build through DS. Basing everything on a cost breakdown between hardware, installation, and fine-tuning services, I still personally see a definitive advantage with purchasing with DS. On the issue of warranties, I would say that if it’s built and tested right, then you wouldn’t need to worry about warranties. And in this case, I’m pretty sure DS has gotten the art of “PC-building” down pat.

 

Once again, I’d like to state that this analysis is completely based upon my own faulty logic. Others will likely and have applied things differently in the analysis. This was only meant to satisfy and justify my own decision to purchase a PC from Digital Storm.

 

Clueless Dad

 

P.S. Thanks for putting up with my long-winded commentary and analysis.

 

First Edit: Edited for inclusion of the PSU in the comparison and overall punctuation issues.



Edited by cableal - 24 Nov 2010 at 7:13pm
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Alex View Drop Down
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 1:54pm
@cableal,

That's a cool analysis you wrote up. I had to move it to it's own thread in the "General Discussion" area to allow your post it's own unique discussion.
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  Quote Dragoonseal Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 2:03pm
I don't see PSU cost factored in?
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 2:10pm
Oops!
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 3:15pm
i was with you up to this
I would say that the Dell 3-Year premium plan warranty is actually better based on the benefits highlighted here
 
i can sum up my reaction to that pretty simply: Nope.
there is a lot you cant put in writing, like the knowledge base and experience bot DSO staff and community members offer
a lot of problems are easy enough to fix without actually stopping use of your computer or shipping something, good luck trouble shooting with some script reading non english speaking dell rep on the other end of the phone vs posting here or calling DSO
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 3:31pm
I'd just like to chime in on the matter, though obviously this is just my *opinion*.

As I am in the process of ordering my 1st DS rig, I am obviously a fan. I will say though, that I've had nothing but good results with Dell's tech support. This may be because I *always* and I mean *always* converse with them electronically. I've had motherboards replaced in less than 30 hours, via house call. New monitors within 48 hours. At my old job, we had servers replaced in less than 24 hours.

Now, Alienware, heh, don't even get me started.

That being said, I have no doubt that DS support, on a personal level, with high-end machines is vastly superior to what Dell offers. The community is better, the machines are rock solid.

I just believe that Dell is decent at providing a warranty for a different "class" of consumer, than those that DS targets.

Again, all personal opinion.


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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 3:46pm
You never factored in free overclocking that's tailored for each and every individual system. I doubt Geeksquad can match that, and last time I checked CyberPower still makes you pay for overclocking. 20% overclock at CP is $50 (That's just to bring up a 920 up to almost 3.2Ghz. Lul.)


Edited by ablahblah - 24 Nov 2010 at 3:47pm
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 4:10pm
I doubt Geeksquad can match anything. LOL
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  Quote sirsiddius Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 5:03pm
I built mine, it would have been at least 400 usd more expensive had I gone with a system integrator.

Since it was my 1st DIY build and ended up costing +2000 USD I really wanted a prebuilt in case I messed something up, but I had already gone overbudget and couldn't afford that luxury.

Building it wasn't difficulty but I was really nervous about breaking or snapping things off, installing a 1 kg cooler on a mobo as a 1st time build is not fun.
I ninja edit cause I can't spell properly.
-Edited by Sirsiddius
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  Quote maxyme Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 5:35pm
Originally posted by Tidgxor

I doubt Geeksquad can match anything. LOL

haha i agree. i brought my laptop in there bc the mobo crashed and it was under warentee. a month later they put in a new mobo and claimed i should wipe the drive and reinstall windows bc the trackpad usb drives and cd drive weren't working. installed some drivers and it was all fixed.

the best part is when i brought it in i said the mobo crashed and they said the screen probably died lol and spent like a half hour trying to figure out that i was right.
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 6:33pm
Sounds like a typical Geek Squad experience.

I am very hesitant to "badmouth" any company, but the lengths to which Geek Squad goes to savagely rip people off, really gets my knickers in a tizzle.

No experience with them prior to the Best Buy acquisition though.
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  Quote maxyme Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 6:35pm
Originally posted by Tidgxor

No experience with them prior to the Best Buy acquisition though.

same
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  Quote cableal Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 7:02pm

Originally posted by Dragoonseal

I don't see PSU cost factored in?

Dragoonseal,

Thanks for pointing that out. The difference of $632.40 in my hardware comparison does include the price of the PSU which I, in my haste, left out as a line item. The price quote that I got from Amazon for a Corsair HX 1000w PSU is $219.99 and shipping is free as a Prime member.

 

To both !ender and Tigdxor,

Thank you both for chiming in on the warranty service offered by Dell. To keep it short, my own personal experiences are similar and reflective of Tigdxor’s positive experiences with Dell. Hence, I personally concluded that Dell’s warranty was more beneficial than that offered by DS.

Ablahblah,

You’re absolutely correct on the free overclocking that DS offers in their current builds. This is just one more benefit in favor of DS that is currently a cost of an additional $50 from another provider. I appreciate you highlighting that fact.

Thanks again to everyone for offering their thoughts and opinions against my silly analysis.

Also, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the DS Forum Community

Clueless Dad

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  Quote maxyme Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 7:38pm
Happy Thanksgiving.
Hope you guys all have a good one.
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 7:48pm
Originally posted by cableal

Thanks again to everyone for offering their thoughts and opinions against my silly analysis.

Also, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the DS Forum Community

Clueless Dad



I don't regard any analysis such as this silly, it can be very informative. Especially when done done in a logical manner, as you did. I did something "roughly" like this before considering DS, but, like many have said, DS has many, many, "unwritten" benefits, one of which being the best forums for support I believe I have ever seen for a company.

A Happy Thanksgiving to you as well, Smile


Edited by Tidgxor - 24 Nov 2010 at 7:49pm
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 9:14pm
Happy thanksgiving everyone!
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  Quote Dragoonseal Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 9:49pm
Who says happy Thanksgiving these days, honestly? Happy Gobble Gobble Day.

By the way, how did you make those sweet charts above cableal? I noticed they aren't pictures. Are they a paste from an HTML or Excel source?
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  Quote cableal Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 24 Nov 2010 at 9:58pm

Originally posted by Dragoonseal

Who says happy Thanksgiving these days, honestly? Happy Gobble Gobble Day.

By the way, how did you make those sweet charts above cableal? I noticed they aren't pictures. Are they a paste from an HTML or Excel source?

Happy Gobble Gobble Day, Dragoonseal. Thanks again for catching my PSU omission.

As for the charts, I just used the Insert Table functionality found in MS-Word. Although, I’m sure MS-Excel would work as well.

Clueless Dad

 
 
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  Quote rholyrag Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 25 Nov 2010 at 4:48am
Very nice comparison.
 
Happy Thanksgiving, and a Happy Gobble Gobble Day to Dragoonseal...Big%20Smile!
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