To Build or To Buy, That Is The Question
What are the basic considerations concerning building verses buying a computer? One of the considerations is the economics of the situation. If you are looking for just a basic entry level computer you will probably not find an economic advantage. You will probably need to build a computer in the upper midrange or high end to save money by building your own computer. The big computer manufacturers buy in such high volume and the market is so competitive that you probably will not be able to save money by building your own low end computer. You would have the knowledge gained from building your own computer and have a computer that is uniquely yours if you build your own, but the savings come if you are building a box that is above the lower end as far as performance is concerned.
The disadvantage of buying a low end computer from the major manufacturers is that those low end computers are often subsidized by adding software (junkware) that you may not want or need. Some of this junkware may consume system resources, so you may take a performance hit on a computer that needs all the performance that it can get!
The advantage of building your own computer is that you select the parts that are most important to you instead of just taking the package that the manufacturer offers. If you want a nice monitor you can choose it. If you want a high performance graphics card you can choose it. You decide how much memory you will install in your build. You decide the size of the hard drive or drives that you install. You decide on the whole hardware compliment so that your computer is uniquely yours.
The profit margins are higher for the manufactures on their better computers. This means that there is a point where you begin to save money by building your computer. That point is somewhat of a moving target, because the big manufactures may run a promotion on some of their computers or discount a good computer when they are changing models. On the other end there are specials, promotions, and bundles available from the parts retailers that may help save money, even on a lower priced build.
Therefore, the conclusion is that you will have the satisfaction of building your computer even if it is a budget computer, but you may not save much money if you are building a low end computer. The higher the performance that you want the more that it is possible to save. In addition, you will have a computer that is uniquely yours and you won't have to tell your friends that it is a Dell or HP.