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It is possible to buy a PC now for a few hundred pounds from large vendors, if you wish to go down this route you get a cheap PC and I do mean "cheap". Firstly big manufacturers use some high quality parts (on the more expensive machines not on the real cheapies), but most of the rest of the machine is as cheap as they can possibly make it especially things which are very important for reliability like the Power Supply. They also bundle tons of features most users neither need or want and sometimes use non standard cables, connectors and hardware bios to lock the customer into their brand. The pre-installed software is always full of maker related advertising and spyware, usually you do not get the full Windows O/S which you paid for unless you specifically ask and insist on receiving a proper installation disk from Microsoft, what you get is some form of backup CD and / or hidden partitions on the PC which do nothing more than install the original software from the day the machine was born, incidently wiping all your stuff, music, photos etc. Never mind you have a backup don't you, and you tested it didn't you? More recently pre-installed McAfee & Norton Security are set to auto renew subscriptions annually without making this clear to the buyer and also giving no clear way to cancel the automatic payments.
Why Custom Build?
To get a PC built for your specific requirements using high quality components and no extras you do not require with no hidden software embedded in the machine spying on you, also there is no point having a ton of cheap parts and a shoddy case thrown together on a production line if you do not want or need most of it. A custom PC comes with exactly what you need using the best, most appropriate components for the job therefore spending the money in a more focused way. This gives you a computer which does what you need it to do, and is easy to upgrade / modify because it does not use non standard parts or cabling so you get quality and reliability throughout. All components are guaranteed directly from the hardware maker not from whoever the supplier was, ever used a help line to get your 3 month old PC fixed? good luck with that.
A basic custom built PC with high quality hand picked components, a decent case & Windows installed and set up properly will cost around £375.00 to £600.00, a bit more for a machine to run the Windows 8 operating system properly due to touchscreen requirements mainly.
A custom built top spec games machine with Dual Graphics Cards, Dual or Quad processors, top spec RAM modules, Audiophile Sound System, Liquid Cooling etc will cost from about £3,000-00 upwards, but if you know what all that is you can probably build one yourself. It is in fact more cost effective to build a high end machine yourself, the top spec machines can costs between £3,000 & £6,000 from a specialist manufacturer.
Laptops are all built from the same parts made in the same factorys in China. The only difference is the specification and the name on the badge.Nowadays the speed is irellevent they are all fast enough, even the most basic specced machines are more than enough to run any version of Windows or Linux so.......................If you want to pay £700 to £800 for a Sony Viao or an vastly overpriced "ultrabook" be my guest, everybody will sell you an overpriced laptop in any colour you want with amazing amounts of junkware installed. Otherwise buy the cheapest you can find, usually around £320.00 for a good ACER or Samsung and is every bit as good and as reliable as the pretty stuff with the nice brand on it, in fact you can buy 2 Acers per Sony Vaio if you shop right.
There are 2 exceptions to this Cheap is Best rule
Gamers need a properly fast Laptop that means an Alienware £1,100 to £1,500 Machine with Intel i5 or i7 quad core chip and massive speed, these are proper bespoke Laptops well worth the money.
Media people, Graphic Designers, Number Crunchers and others with a need for a lot of power should universally buy a Mac if nothing else to avoid being laughed at by their peers who will all own the latest Macbook Air and an i-pad.
If you want a PC built for you or an old PC re-built I will advise, I will also help you to DIY build your own PC if you want to.......contact me