little man versus the big man

  the old man 19:40 04 Apr 06
Locked

Can someone provide a recommendation in the Chester/North wales area for a reputable computer installer that I can approach for a new system. Have priced what I want on the web with MESH at £999.00 but same system and it is exactly same specs with Evesham is £330 more. WOW.
I have a couple of small shops near to me but one has changed owners at least 3 times and downsized their premises in the last 18 months. The other has now closed down but they have another branch about 15 miles away but when I used the closed one for a mobo, cpu and ram upgrade the AthlonXP cpu was not set up correctly and there were 3 leads left unconnected to the mobo. You can see where my apprehension with small dealers come from.

  jack 19:49 04 Apr 06

Do you really need an installer.
You are communicating here on something.
Keep that line of communitation open until your new beast in up and running.
Most systems from the big boys come ready to go straight of the box [mostly]
IMHO go for the big'un you fancy and use their support and this forum to iron out the wrinkles if any,

  the old man 19:56 04 Apr 06

sorry, meant a computer retailer to build the system I would like, locally.

  ami 13:11 05 Apr 06

Have you thought about going to your local computer fair?
You can get a list of those in your area here
click here
Most have dealers who will build bespoke systems and a little gentle prodding will soon weed out those operating out of their garage or garden shed. Try to find one who has a shop or retail outlet where you can go for any futeure help/assistance. Dealers are usually reputable, attend shows on a regular basis and offer excellent deals.
I got a system based around an Athalon 64 3200+ CPU with a NVidia 256Mb graphics card, a 120Mb hard drive, 400W PSU, PCI Motherboard, multi-card reader, DVD Rom and DVD Re-writer, TV tuner card, floppy drive, a caddy for my old hard drive, choice of cases, XP Pro fully installed and with full OEM system disc, and 1Gb RAM (expandable to 2Gb) all for less than £700. I couldn't build it myself for that money!

  the old man 11:09 06 Apr 06

This is the spec. I have been looking at and can get it for £999.00.
Midi-Tower ATX Case +550W PSU -Black/Silver (460w)
AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core 3800
ASUS A8N-SLI PCI-Express
1024MB DDR400 Memory - PC3200
256MB nVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT
250/300GB Serial ATA Hard Drive
Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music Sound Card
16x Dual Layer DVD-Re-Writable +R/-R/RW
16x DVD-ROM Drive
Windows® XP Home Edition SP2
19" Viewsonic VA1912W/VA1912 TFT Display
DVI connector Cable
Creative Labs T6060 - 5.1 Surround with Subwoofer
Desktop Keyboard & Mouse

Have just been quoted £1425.00 incl vat and 1year rtb warranty.

Someone please extol the virtues of the small supplier to me against places on the web.

  Totally-braindead 11:26 06 Apr 06

If its £1425 from the small local retailer and £999 from a big web company for the same spec then I'd have to go for the cheaper web price. Or do you men the other way about?

The main advantage to buying a PC from a local shop is the after sales service, you can phone them, pop down and see them and physically pick up the PC and take it down there, plus if they do home visits you are only 20 minutes away from him/her if they are ignoring you or don't provide a good service you can actually go and see someone face to face. If you buy from a big web based firm you end up with 2 options if something goes wrong, email, which you might not be able to do if the computer that is faulty is the only one available and phoning or writing to them. With the best will in the world there is only so much support someone on the end of a phone line can give and because support involves people it is therefore rather expensive and therefore there are usually few people so it can take a long time on the phone. Some companies also charge premium rates on the calls. These are all things that should be checked before purchase.

I'm not trying to put you off either option, I'm just trying to put across both sides.

The choice is yours but personally I'd go for the cheaper option. If the difference was £50 then perhaps I'd go for the more expensive option but £426 is a lot of money.

One thing though, make sure that Windows is included in the price and that you get an original Windows disk.

Good luck it sounds like a really nice PC for the money I have the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard and its a cracker.

  the old man 00:22 08 Apr 06

The figures are the right way round, which I found astonishing. I appreciate what you are saying and that was my idea of the post in the first place. I would love to be able to build my own then only one person to blame. If the diffference had only been £50 then I would have gone with the small retailer, no doubt whatsoever. But with such a big difference in price then the big one get my vote this time.
was actually thinking of binning the 7900gt and getting 2 x 7600gt's for £45 more. Don't know if anyone has a view on that.

  Forum Editor 01:40 08 Apr 06

that a large manufacturer will almost always be able to beat a small local supplier when it comes to the cost of a new machine - the economies of scale apply.

In addition, large manufacturers producing hundreds of thousands of machines have the experience and expertise to know precisely how to avoid hardware incompatibility problems - they know which components work best together. They'll also know exactly how to set up and configure a machine so that it will work perfectly, straight out of the box in the vast majority of cases. Of course there will be the occasional 'Dead on arrival' machine,but these instances are rare - despite what some people might think. No large manufacturer would survive in such a highly competitive market by making duff computers.

That isn't to say that a smaller builder can't compete; there are many ways in which such people can capture a share of the market, but it's very hard for them to do so purely on selling price.

  007al 01:42 08 Apr 06

A list of nvidia cards and where they stand click here

  howard63 22:16 03 Jun 06

not sure why you do not have a go and build it yourself. The first one I built was a few years ago but learning from this forum and reading all the manuals got me through it. Generally the barebones or motherboard bundles from the likes of Novatech take a lot of the worry out of the equation. A bare bones kit from the above is a case with the motherboard fitted into it with the processor/ram installed and tested. All you have to do is order the dvd drive, video card and hard drive and clip them in and connect the cables. Buy an oem copy of xp from them at the same time and it should be plain sailing.

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