I argued with myself, finding reasons to support both perspectives. On one hand, manufacturers can buy their parts at wholesale in bulk which one would think would result in much lower prices for the components. On the other hand, they have to ship them to stores, and they have to make a profit as does the retailer.
I decided to do an experiment to answer the question. I went to Best Buy’s website and just picked an average, middle of the road computer. Here are the details of the one I picked:
Asus Desktop from Best Buy:
- Intel I5-4460 processor
- 8GB memory
- 2TB hard drive
- Wired and Wireless Ethernet
- Integrated Graphics
- Integrated Sound
- CD/DVD reader/writer
Total Price: $600
Next, I went to the Newegg website, a popular online electronics retailer. I searched for at least comparable parts and added up the cost:
Brock’s Custom Desktop
- Intel I5-4460 processor : $318 for processor/memory/motherboard bundle
- 8GB memory : $0 (included in bundle)
- Asus Motherboard with Integrated graphics and sound : $0 (included in bundle)
- 2TB hard drive : $80
- Wireless LAN adapter : $13
- CD/DVD reader/writer : $20
- Keyboard : $15 for keyboard and mouse bundle
- Mouse : $0 (included in bundle)
- Case : $30
- Power Supply: $40
Total Price: $516
As I built my order through Newegg, I qualified for free shipping so no additional cost to get the products to my home.
Buying the parts individually and assembling them myself would result in an almost identical system but with a savings of $84. That is a decent amount of savings, but there is some skill and time involved in assembling your own computer. But if you’re willing and able to do it (some of us tech nerds find this sort of activity fun!), you might be able to save yourself a little cash!
Have you ever built your own computer? What was your motivation to do so?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock