Can You Still Build a PC for Less?

Conventional wisdom once stated that building your own PC was more than just a way to create your perfect computer--it was also a lot cheaper than buying a finished system. However, in recent years economies of scale have overturned this truism, making it nearly impossible for the average individual PC builder to beat a big vendor's price when it comes to a basic desktop system. Don't believe me? Just try building yourself a Pentium-4 based system for less than you'd pay for any basic Dell Dimension PC. See, every day Dell buys a gazillion hard drives, optical drives, motherboards, and so on, so it gets a better unit price for these components than you do for your single purchase. The fact is, without cannibalizing half of your current PC's parts, you can't touch Dell when it comes to building a cheap PC.

That said, I recently stumbled upon the satisfying realization that when it comes to high-end systems, there's still some wiggle room. Apparently this is the market where PC builders--both big and small--like to pad their margins a bit, so you can still save some bucks by doing it yourself.

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News source: PCWorld

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