Are Self Built Computers Better/Worse than Package Deals?

I'm thinking of using my old custom built PC for mining. It's a gen 8 i5.
Getting a new PC.

I saw that getting a set PC from dell or other co, it's like 2k and just the GPU would have cost 1300. It would make more sense to get the whole PC right? And they often come with gen 10 i7, so it would make more sense to use that as a main PC right?

But since they are thrown together, I don't know if the components are good like hand picked own stuff, or if the fans are quiet etc.
My own I chose parts for quietness.

What would you say?

Comments

  • +3 votes

    Prebuilt computers from OEM's such as Dell, Acer, HP usually are built with custom order parts that are usually either "cut down" or have certain modifications made to them that make them slightly less desirable by hardware tinkerers.

    the more recent dell XPS desktops for example are now using ATX12VO power supplies which are not your standard off the shelf parts, and these only work with ATX12VO standard motherboards (and vice versa).

    The RTX 3000 cards provided in the dells are also power restricted, so you won't be able to raise the power limit beyond the standard 100%. Not an issue for the average person who doesn't OC.

    RAM speed is locked in BIOS

    There is a noticeable lack of fans in the Dell gaming G5 which attracted complains of overheating and thermal throttling etc. A bunch more pitfalls noted in this comment here https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/620402#comment-10406077

    Of course these are all issues that normies don't mind, but they are noticeable drawbacks to anyone who's ever built a PC. Gamers Nexus released a video a week ago that just about covers everything about buying prebuilts

  •  

    Before spending any money on the new PC run the old PC over a weekend (48hrs) and see how much money you lost due to paying for the power the PC used.

    Once you do this then think about if it is worth doing.

    Most large international companies use the cheapest components they can find that meet the requirements for the countries they sell the products in. In the case of laptops this is the case for the cheap ones. Also the components they use may be OEM componets that have limitations like only have 8GB instead of the 16 for the retail or a crappy fan instead of a high end fan or sloooow memory instead of faster memory etc etc

    Once you know what you are going to use the new PC for then you can pick the components that meet the requirements and start searching for the right PC or components.

    •  

      My power usage overnite with PC mining seems to be 440-580w
      Normally it is 270-420w

      So I guess the mining is costing up to 250w? The card itself says 127w
      But taking 250w 24hr is 6kwh, so 30c is $1.80

      Just seems you can either buy a GPU or a whole system for the same price.

      Or maybe better just to buy the coin with the 2k.

      •  

        You need to take into consideration the increase in difficulty as well as the move from Proof of work to proof-of-stake that may or may not happen this year.

        So that's a risk that you have to consider before you drop $2k an entire system just to get your hands on a mining GPU which you may or may not be able to utilize fully (mine eth) before the network changes.

        •  

          I have read a bit aboutthe move from Proof of work to proof-of-stake. I don't fully understand any of this. But if ETH is basically some big number with some rules, then if they change to POS will we have ETH1 and ETH2 like other coins splitting?

          I just don't get it. Everyting seems a gamble I guess.

          But if ETH moves to POS, you can mine something else right? I don't get how a new crypto gets value either.

          I do have solar, so the elec cost is less during the day. I thought about just adding a gpu to my PC, but likely my PSU will be pushed to the limit.

        •  

          I remember hearing someone say nvidia were going to throttle the mining efficiency of the 3000 cards? I remember reading about it when they said they were going to release the 3080Ti to be miner proof or miner resistance anyways. I remember reading an article where they did that to the 3060 but then accidentally leaked drivers that would unlock the full card so the locked driver was pointless after that…

  •  

    Packages are almost always more expensive as you're paying for labour to build them.

    HOWEVER!!

    At the moment, it generally works out much better value for a prebuilt - BudgetPC, Techfast, Virco have all had really competitive PC deals in the last few months that mean you're buying say a 3070, and getting a free CPU, mobo and RAM included. It's absurd, but definitely better than spending the exact same amount for a GPU alone. If you're willing and intending to customise and upgrade (as I have), then avoid Dell & other big brands due to specific (cheap) OEM parts that aren't standard, as scrimshaw said.

    What's your GPU at the moment?

    •  

      i got a 3060ti when it cost 800. My set may take another 3060ti underclocked, but psu would be at its limit. Assuming they both run 130w. I guess that would mean I never let either of them run at normal speed for gaming etc?

      can't get them for 800 tho now…

  •  

    You'll inevitably get compromises with a pre built system. If you don't know what you're doing, however, they are probably good value.

    I do know what I'm doing and after my last build I think I'm ready to never do another build again.

    My own I chose parts for quietness

    And this is the thing. You want something in particular you have to do it yourself or pay more for a custom build to your liking.

    Which is why I did the last build I would be happy to never do again. I wanted particular componentry.

    •  

      yeah i'm in a weird position. I like my build. only got the gpu psu this yr.
      but if i get a set, it'd have a faster newer cpu mb. Wouldn't make sense putting an i7 mining and using a 3gen old i5 myself.

      •  

        If you want/plan to get a system and make upgrades (eg/ 3 upgrades in 6 years) down the road: build your own. You can then skimp on the parts you know are good value, in order to upgrade them later on (eg GPU, CPU, Case). Whilst you will consciously pay more for some parts early on so that they won't need upgrades (eg PSU, Cooling, Mobo). One example is; getting 1x 16GB RAM instead of 2x 8GB RAM, so you can have 1 (of the 2) slot free for later on. Or getting a Good nVme boot drive for starters, with the plan of buying additional SATA-SSD (or HDD) later down the road for your storage needs.

        If you want something decent for now, with the idea of upgrading the ENTIRE system down the road, then go for prebuilt. You will get something simple, assurance of compatibility, and even warranty. However, you will not get much options for upgrades. And you will come to realise many of the corners the OEMs cut to make the system affordable. But this route might be cheaper if you plan to upgrade the entire system sooner (eg/ 1 full upgrade in 4 years).

  •  

    Neither is better or worse necessarily, the biggest difference between self built and oem builds is you know exactly the parts you are getting when you self build, while you have really no idea what you are going to get from the oem besides specific specs. You choose the quality of the components in one scenario and in the other you have no idea as someone else is choosing.

  •  

    if the fans are quiet

    Why not just put the PC in the cupboard? Then it would be quiet? That is what I did for all my network equipment. I moved it across the hallway to keep my office cooler and reduced the noise. I now have 2 PCs and a Network switch in my office and it is still fairly noise. My latest custom built PC is quieter than the older one and the newer one has a dedicated graphics card!

    I think the key for fans is not using stock fans for CPU and the case. I bought a better CPU fan to keep everything cool and it has made a huge difference plus added some extra fans throughout the case.

    If everything is hot in the case, the fans are going to run faster (if that is how it is set by the motherboard), so the cooler everything is, the quieter the fans.

    •  

      The intel cpu + fan combos are not good? I thought buying fans and putting paste on was a bit fiddly so I usually went with stock.

      •  

        I am not saying they aren't good, I have used many PCs with stock fans.

        Depending on the fan you buy depends on how fiddly it can be. I swapped over a fan and it wasn't too bad to do. I found a better fan kept the CPU cooler and it was a quieter fan.

        •  

          My CPU now is 50C when not working hard. What should it be?

  •  

    The difference is when you need to claim warranty/getting it repaired. Do you want to troubleshoot it yourself, RMA the part, wait for the replacement to turn up, fit it, hopefully it's all OK or just call Dell up, wait for the tech to show up with the right part (possibly the next day) and don't if it all buggers up it's on them and not you?

  • +1 vote

    At this market climate, in this year and the next it will be hard to get a cheap GPU. Building is more expensive than prebuilt. As of now a Dell G5 XPS or Alienware can save us hundreds of dollar

    If cooling is a concern. We can buy another mainboard, PSU, and case to port the machine out.

    PSU often goes with the MB because of the custom connectors. That should cost about $300 - $400

    Or we could take the GPU out of the machine and sell the rest.