So where do you buy computers nowadays?

My current rig is over 4 years old, and it’s definitely lagging in the running-the-software-I-need-to-make-a-living mode, so it’s time to start looking for a new one.

I buy high-end machines, in part because I need to run high-end software for work, and also because I like my games to run really well. Plus, it’s a business expense, so why not?

That said, I’d rather not throw money away if I don’t have to.

Seems like there are fewer and fewer places to buy computers nowadays. Dell is of course the big one. My current PC is a Falcon NW. I’m leaning towards buying another one from Falcon, as they’ve been good to me, but you definitely pay for the privilege of buying from them.

Don’t tell me to build my own. I’d rather gnaw off my own arm. Ain’t gonna happen.

I don’t want to buy a Dell, as I’d rather not spend a week taking off all the crap they put on them. I also want real hardware components, not Dell OEM crap.

I’m going to look around town and see what local places have to offer, but my experience with the local companies is that some young guy thinks he’s a whiz with computers, sets up shop, sells a few, does some repairs, and after 3 or 4 years realizes he can’t make a living at it and the shop disappears. Plus, I’m guessing they have very little experience putting together the kind of machine I want.

Anywhere else I should consider?

drachillix owns a shop in Fresno, Ca. He might be willing to ship a system.

Don’t discount building your own, I just did my first and it’s pretty easy as long as you’re careful. And I’m a total klutz. :wink:

Are there really no operations local to you which aren’t fly-by-night? We’ve got a local chain called Smart Guys Computers which has been around for 20-something years and has always given me good service.

Can’t really go wrong with Falcon, even at the price.

I’ve done it before. Really, it’s not going to happen. There are few things in life I despise more than screwing around with hardware.

I’m in a REALLY small town, so no, there’s nobody who has been around more than a few years. All the bigger businesses - the hospital, the university - buy Dells.

And yeah, I’m really leaning towards another Falcon, but figgered I’d check around in case there was a new cool place out there that I didn’t know about.

You’ve done it before, decided it wasn’t for you, no problem.

There is Puget Systems.

We use B&H Photo.

is a popular place for gamers to buy systems

Newegg and Tiger Direct both sell actual systems as well. Not as much customization as someplace like iBuyPower (since they’re basically retailing HP/Dell/Gateway/etc boxes) but at least you know they’re not likely to disappear in a week like a shop down the road might.

I was coming in to mention them, although I haven’t bought there for 4 or 5 years now. The times I did, though, I was happy with both their systems and their customer support. Glad to hear they’re still around.

I’ve never seen a company that didn’t try to cut corners somewhere. Every company I’ve bought from has tried to slip in a bottom of the line graphics card, motherboard, PSU, memory, etc.

My current PC is from Tigerdirect/CompUSA. My last PC was a custom build from a local shop. both have done well for me.

The boutiques tend not to do that. Especially the ones where you choose each and every component; then if you have a bottom of the line PSU, it’s your own damn fault for buying a generic pseudo-500 W-actually-250 W PSU. :wink:

I bought a machine from CyberPower once. Everything worked out just fine, although somewhere during shipping a SATA cable broke off inside a hard drive, trashing both the hard drive and the cable, but they took care of that. They do the choose-every-component thing that I mentioned; pretty much ideal if you’re knowledgeable about the components but don’t want to fuck around with assembly, although their parts selection is necessarily more limited than Newegg’s.

We twice used

But we live a 10 minute train ride to their store, so we were able to try out the laptops. For a desktop, this shouldn’t be an issue.

My current machine is from Cyberpower. I am completely satisfied with it.

However I paid extra for a “rush” order. I’ve heard a few horror stories about items that aren’t slipping in the queue because of heavy demand, resulting in greatly delayed deliveries.

I always mention Falcon Northwest for a high quality gaming machine. They use excellent parts, their machines ship clean and their customer service is simply the best. When you call Falcon, you’ll talk to a real live person immediately. Their Talon line is surprisingly affordable. Just skip the custom paint job.

Costco! I’ve bought my last 3 computers there and haven’t had any issues.

I just bought one from Best Buy last night.

As Borghunter said, boutiques don’t have this problem. I want to customize the build from the top to the bottom, and there’s no way they’re going to slip something in that I don’t specify.

I haven’t seen anything yet in this thread that makes me not want to go with Falcon again. Most of the shops mentioned simply sell off-the-shelf builds, and that won’t work for me. The ones who don’t aren’t significantly cheaper (and in many cases much more expensive) than Falcon.

There’s just something about calling Falcon and having a real live human pick up the phone right away and give me well thought out intelligent tech support that makes me swoon…

Looks like a several hundred dollar difference between Falcon Northwest and Cyberpower ( using an equivalent of my system as a template, an i7 860-based critter ). Which is to be expected, as FN is a premium boutique company with far more sterling support than Cyberpower, which aims to build systems at very low margins, not much above what you would pay for components at Newegg ( as they can get OEM parts more cheaply than most consumers ).

I think you would get a more reliable experience with FN. Whereas you’re taking slightly more of a chance with companies like Cyberpower/IBuyPower. But there is no doubt you’d save money, while still being able to custom configure your machine ( within limits ).

If you’re looking at top-end machines, you might also consider the Mac Pros, even as a pure Windows box. (Although I’d wait a few weeks and see if they release a new model soon – they’re almost certainly imminent). Despite the claimed “Apple Tax”, they’ll be comparable in price to the same motherboard+CPU setup from Dell for a new model (over time, the Dell prices drop and the Apple ones don’t).

I’ve got an “actual” PC sitting next to me with on-paper better video card and equivalent CPUs, but the Mac Pro (when running Bootcamp, of course) blows it away for games, and hence gets more use. For Photoshop/AfterEffects kinda stuff, I can’t tell the difference.