Pre-Built PC's cheaper per-part than individual parts?

EnthusiastXYZ

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I am looking at RTX 3070 and prices are insanely high - around $1000! When I look at pre-built PC's, it looks like per-part prices are cheaper in them than buying parts separately? I think I can buy a decent pre-built gaming rig with RTX $3070 for $1600 total, then re-sell each part and make profit! That's not normal...
 

philb2

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I am looking at RTX 3070 and prices are insanely high - around $1000! When I look at pre-built PC's, it looks like per-part prices are cheaper in them than buying parts separately? I think I can buy a decent pre-built gaming rig with RTX $3070 for $1600 total, then re-sell each part and make profit! That's not normal...
No it's not normal. But before you pull the trigger, make sure that you can sell the other parts for your expected price.
 
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EnthusiastXYZ

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I am just making sure I am not losing my mind and that indeed buying pre-built PC's is cheaper than buying individual parts. I assume that's due to COVID disrupting production?
 

Slade

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Not losing your mind, been seeing this trend since beginning of the year.
 

pippenainteasy

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You probably cant resale the parts for cost because ebay is full of miners dumping prebuilts minus the GPU for below cost. If you arr buying a prebuilt I would make sure the rest of the parts are to your liking...
 

BassTek

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You probably won’t get retail for the parts you plan to sell, but yes at the moment buying a prebuilt is the best way to get a new card if you need a whole system and don’t really care how good the motherboard/PSU/RAM are.
 

crazycrave

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I picked up a 3070 LHR for $879 new from Zotac store and sold my old cards to pay for it ... it is crazy to see them pushing so much in price up tick as Gigabyte is risen prices on there 6000 series by $79 says Tomshardware .
 

SPARTAN VI

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It's the "new normal." I'm the defacto PC builder in my social/familial circles, but it's become increasingly expensive and difficult to source parts. So the 5 or so builds I do per year have changed to consulting on various prebuilts. Even if supply/pricing ever returns to our previous normal levels, I'll probably continue to recommend prebuilts just to spare my own sanity. :ROFLMAO:
 

ss88

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You probably cant resale the parts for cost because ebay is full of miners dumping prebuilts minus the GPU for below cost. If you arr buying a prebuilt I would make sure the rest of the parts are to your liking...
What should I search for to find one of these? I'd love to get a great deal on a PC minus GPU, since I don't need to buy a GPU. I assume it's not just current Dell or HP builds without a discrete graphics card?
 

GiGaBiTe

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What should I search for to find one of these? I'd love to get a great deal on a PC minus GPU, since I don't need to buy a GPU. I assume it's not just current Dell or HP builds without a discrete graphics card?

Both Dell and HP prebuilts are terrible. Full of proprietary unserviceable parts that are garbage tier. Gamers Nexus on Youtube has done reviews of several prebuilts and found a few that are usable, but far from perfect.

Companies selling prebuilts these days are increasingly using garbage parts, so it's hard to recommend one decent system.
 

She loved E

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GN's recent vid showing proprietary & low quality parts in a Dell was really eye opening... it's amazing that its more cost effective to do things that way rather than put mid to low end standard parts in. But they push enough units they can spec whatever they want to bring the price down & profit up.

I think when you factor in the above a prebuilt isn't actually cheaper. You just get all the parts at once but upgrading later would be a real chore... It's more likely you'd have to buy an all new machine instead.

It seems the only hardware that's consistently in short supply are GPUs. And you only need one.... I think the strategy these days is 1. Source & buy a video card first, 2. Buy everything else & build away. Obviously this takes more work (and time) than the prebuilt route but ultimately you'll have a better rig and you won't have to make as many compromises.
 

philb2

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GN's recent vid showing proprietary & low quality parts in a Dell was really eye opening... it's amazing that its more cost effective to do things that way rather than put mid to low end standard parts in. But they push enough units they can spec whatever they want to bring the price down & profit up.

I think when you factor in the above a prebuilt isn't actually cheaper. You just get all the parts at once but upgrading later would be a real chore... It's more likely you'd have to buy an all new machine instead.

It seems the only hardware that's consistently in short supply are GPUs. And you only need one.... I think the strategy these days is 1. Source & buy a video card first, 2. Buy everything else & build away. Obviously this takes more work (and time) than the prebuilt route but ultimately you'll have a better rig and you won't have to make as many compromises.
Been building own rigs since about 1990, when I discovered that an AMD 386/40 was cheaper than an Intel 386/25. I started out with motherboard replacements, then went to building full rigs. No way would I ever buy a pre-built desktop for personal use.

Laptops are an entirely different story, of course. Up to a few years ago, I would buy a machine (typically Lenovo) with the CPU, screeen, etc, that I wanted, but the cheapest, slowest HDD, and minimal RAM. Then I would take out the HDD and install either a bigger HDD or an SSD. Plus I would upgrade the RAM. That saved me hundreds instead of buying that same system all from Lenovo. Alas, those days are probably over. RAM seems to be soldered into the motherboard. You want an NMVe drive? Then pay us for all that RAM and the NMVe drive.

About 2014, I bought a Lenovo T series system with a Ultrabay. Second battery, DVD drive, or a second HDD. No more.
 

ss88

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GN's recent vid showing proprietary & low quality parts in a Dell was really eye opening... it's amazing that its more cost effective to do things that way rather than put mid to low end standard parts in. But they push enough units they can spec whatever they want to bring the price down & profit up.

I think when you factor in the above a prebuilt isn't actually cheaper. You just get all the parts at once but upgrading later would be a real chore... It's more likely you'd have to buy an all new machine instead.
I guess it depends on your needs. I'm not a gamer, so the only things I've needed to upgrade in the years since I stopped building my own computers are HDD/SSD, RAM, and video card, and these are all easy to do on Dell consumer line desktop PCs (Dimension and XPS). I don't doubt that Dell specs cheap parts, but in the 15 or so years that I've been using Dell desktops exclusively, the only thing that went bad and needed replacement was onboard ethernet, and an aftermarket card was easy to plug in. That said, I'm upgrading desktops every few years, so whether the parts last 10 years is irrelevant to me. I would think gamers are in the same camp as far as turning over machines every few years since their computing needs are far more cutting edge than mine.
 

Ducrider748

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One thing to remember when looking at prebuilt PC's for GPU's is you have to know the GPU will have a bios that's will not let you make changes to it. So a bios flash will be needed. For $1600 to get a 3070 in a prebuilt then you can drop in a older gpu and sell it as a complete "gaming" computer. Sell it for $800 then you have $800 in a 3070. Hell even try to sell it for more. Bottom line is GPU's are out there at reasonable prices as long as you have time and money. Over the past year I have been able to pick up 6 GPU's at reasonable prices. Well the 2080ti Kingpin was a bit high but it's not a everyday 2080ti. In the subject of prebuilt. My last one was a Sony Viao probably 14 years ago. Awesome for it's time and let me install a 9800GTX when I started to game later on. Since then I will find deals or bite the bullet and buy for retail.

At this point in time you have to spend the money or wait and look for a good buy.
 

philb2

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I guess it depends on your needs. I'm not a gamer, so the only things I've needed to upgrade in the years since I stopped building my own computers are HDD/SSD, RAM, and video card, and these are all easy to do on Dell consumer line desktop PCs (Dimension and XPS). I don't doubt that Dell specs cheap parts, but in the 15 or so years that I've been using Dell desktops exclusively, the only thing that went bad and needed replacement was onboard ethernet, and an aftermarket card was easy to plug in. That said, I'm upgrading desktops every few years, so whether the parts last 10 years is irrelevant to me. I would think gamers are in the same camp as far as turning over machines every few years since their computing needs are far more cutting edge than mine.
I once (~2005) had a Dell laptop that I got from my employer as part of a severance package. (TL; DR). Lucky that machine came with onsite service for four years. Dang if I didn't need a new motherboard at least once a year. Once the service contract expired, I went out and got a Lenovo machine. Been using Lenovo ever since then.
 
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GiGaBiTe

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GN's recent vid showing proprietary & low quality parts in a Dell was really eye opening... it's amazing that its more cost effective to do things that way rather than put mid to low end standard parts in.

Might be eye opening to the general public, but I've been working on Dell machines since the late 90s and nothing in that PC GN reviewed surprised me. Dell had been doing the same crap since the early 2000s. Once they shipped their designs overseas, quality went to hell. But they've almost always used proprietary solutions for machines they sell. Very few have ever used standard motherboards, usually limited to AMD systems, but there were a few Intel ones out there.

I once (~2005) had a Dell laptop that I got from my employer as part of a severance package. (TL; DR). Lucky that machine came with onsite service for four years. Dang if I didn't need a new motherboard at least once a year. Once the service contract expired, I went out and got a Lenovo machine. Been using Lenovo ever since then.

Almost all Dell laptops from the 2005-2008 time line were hideously unreliable, but so were laptops from other manufacturers as well. You had a trifecta of suck, the first being the ongoing capacitor plague. The second being the EU ROHS directive and the third being the defective Nvidia 8xxx/9xxxM GPUs used in laptops that had high failure rates due to bond wire breaks.

The ROHS directive and defective Nvidia GPUs hit laptop manufacturers hard. Dell, HP and Apple were up to their eyeballs in warranty hell and class action lawsuits. The garbage ROHS solder would cause BGA failure on the motherboard, usually the chipset, CPU (if soldered) and GPU (if discrete.) The only laptops that escaped being hideously unreliable were the barebones entry level models, like the D600/D610, Inspiron B130/1300, etc. because they didn't run hot and didn't cause enough thermal mechanical stress to induce failure in BGA chips. I still have my Inspiron B130 from 2006 and it never had any major issues. The reason that replacement boards would fail is because they were forced to use the same ROHS solder, there was no better solution at the time.
 

pippenainteasy

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What should I search for to find one of these? I'd love to get a great deal on a PC minus GPU, since I don't need to buy a GPU. I assume it's not just current Dell or HP builds without a discrete graphics card?

Well if you aren't sure what parts you want, then I would stick away from the poor prebuilts and get something like the ABS Challenger series. But if you know what you want and replace any parts you aren't interest in, then you can get a good deal. Although right now most older generation CPUs are discounted and prebuilt companies are switching over to Alder Lake so I would actually say right now isn't a great value time for a used prebuilt. But for example, back when the 5800X was $450 msrp, I managed to snag a GPU-less 5800X HP prebuilt on ebay for around $500. Came with case, RAM, cooler, motherboard, and PSU. I kept what I wanted and dumped what I didn't, and at the time it was a great deal. Now that 5800X is discounted to $300 range, the used prebuilt prospect is less exciting.
 

3dprophet

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I would still buy a Dell even after seeing the GN video. A channel dedicated to DIY PC building is against pre-builds? You don't say! They tried to shit on the PSU and found out it was actually good. LOL

I don't see any issues with the PC apart from the CPU cooler, which can be easily replaced.

If I needed a PC with a new GPU I'd buy one in a heartbeat.
 

kirbyrj

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I would still buy a Dell even after seeing the GN video. A channel dedicated to DIY PC building is against pre-builds? You don't say! They tried to shit on the PSU and found out it was actually good. LOL

I don't see any issues with the PC apart from the CPU cooler, which can be easily replaced.

If I needed a PC with a new GPU I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

I don't know if the cooler can be easily replaced or not. Dell has a tendency to have their own proprietary mounting system that doesn't utilize standard mounting...especially with Intel products.
 

GiGaBiTe

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The downside here obviously is the questionable oem proprietary parts that everyone else pointed out in the thread. Can't have it all I guess.

Unless you plan on doing significant modifications to the cooling system on a Dell video card, they're not worth buying.



The coolers are TERRIBLE. 110C memory is inexcusable.
 

3dprophet

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I don't know if the cooler can be easily replaced or not. Dell has a tendency to have their own proprietary mounting system that doesn't utilize standard mounting...especially with Intel products.

It does limit the number of coolers you could use, but Noctua's mounting system is compatible with it. You do need to purchase your own bolts from a hardware store. Then it just bolts in the factory threads with no mods.
 

Domingo

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I’ve bought pre-built systems from iBuypower and Cyberpower that ended up being cheaper than buying the same parts myself. That was even a decade ago. Especially since they came with a Windows license. When they showed up, I took them completely apart and re-assembled them (with a couple parts coming from elsewhere) and was happy with the results. Back then, the area they always skimped was with the power supply. An opened-box 1000w Corsair solved that problem and I still ended up saving a couple hundred bucks.
 

SPARTAN VI

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Just recommended to my buddy that he scoop up this open box ABS prebuilt for about $1K (about $300 cheaper than the NIB version here). He still had to bring it over to me to migrate his SSDs and copy some of his data from the old HDD. Couple things I noted which I believe GN had also noticed with their ABS unit:

  • Cable management was an absolute rats nest of fan and ARGB connectors. They used maybe 3 zip ties and only 1 of which was actually attached to an anchor point on the mobo tray. The rest took me about 10 minutes of untangling and rerouting.
  • As above, the PCI-E power cable was routed out of the side by the SATA connectors instead of the bottom where it logically was meant to come out of the PSU basement:
    1638989968344.png
  • Also noticed that the included Thermaltake downdraft-style CPU cooler does have an ARGB cable, but they just left it dangling there instead of daisy chaining it to the rest of their ARGB rats nest in the back. So that was an easy fix too.
  • Took me a minute, but eventually noticed why it was returned: the thing took a fall/hit causing the side panel and case frame on the mobo's side to warp ever so slightly. Not visible at a glance, but the panel would not re-attach easily until I bent it back into shape.
All in all, it worked fine out of the box and everything from the thermal to gaming performance is satisfactory. I can definitely recommend ABS again, but wish their techs would spare a few more minutes on attention to details.
 

crazycrave

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Did you catch the brand of card ? Your friend did good as the 3060's seem to being pulling more then I gave for my 3070 LHR ..
 

Ranma_Sao

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I've had good luck recommending prebuilts from cyberpower, but they have a long, long lead time... So be prepared to wait...
 

Varmint

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Both Dell and HP prebuilts are terrible. Full of proprietary unserviceable parts that are garbage tier. Gamers Nexus on Youtube has done reviews of several prebuilts and found a few that are usable, but far from perfect.

Companies selling prebuilts these days are increasingly using garbage parts, so it's hard to recommend one decent system.

My friend wanted a new PC (the one I built for him was 13 years old!). I got him a CyberPowerPC for $870 on BF from Amazon. It's got an i5-11400F, Gigabyte B560 ds3h ac motherboard ($105), WD SN550 500GB drive, a TeamGroup 8GB stick, Thermaltake 600W PSU and a EVGA single fan 2060 GTX (which seems to go for $500 on Ebay right now, which seems crazy to me). He doesn't game so I put in an 8400GS I had lying around. Had to install Windows 10 over Windows 11 since the 8400GS doesn't work in Win 11.

Took about 8-9 days to ship. Think it was a good deal.
 
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