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Which Vendors Do You Trust For PC Parts?

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the cheaper-is-usually-sketchier dept.


CaryTheSane writes "After six years, it's finally time for my old Pentium 4 to retire to web browsing duties, and I want a new gaming PC. I'd like to build my own this time, and I've scoped out most of the parts I want for a moderately high-end system. Which online vendors have you used before that you trust for parts? I've dealt with NewEgg, and I like them, but I live in Tennessee, a state in which they have a presence. Unfortunately, this means they have to hit me up for 9.5% sales tax. That really eats into my system build budget, so I'm looking for alternatives. I'd like to use the fewest number of vendors (preferably only one), so that all the parts arrive at the same time and I don't have one part's 30-day return policy run out while I'm waiting for parts from another vendor to show up. So, which reliable and economical parts vendors do you recommend?" Conversely, are there any you'd recommend avoiding?

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Multiwave (4, Informative)

ThorntonAZ (780964) | more than 6 years ago | (#24898943)

I like myself I have been buying from them for over ten years now and never any problems.

Re:Multiwave (3, Interesting)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899027)

I'll second the motion. Good prices and service. I love, too.

Don't forget to look at some local stores - Sam's, Best Buy, OfficeMax, Staples, Office Depot, etc..

I used to buy from Monarch Computers in Georgia; shame they're not around any more.

Re:Multiwave (2, Informative)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899037)

I don't know how they are for US shipments (as they are based in Canada local to me). They are great. Vendors reps from places like OCZ hang out on their forums.

Re:Multiwave (5, Informative)

Bit_Captain (824611) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899079)

I'll see your mwave and raise you a     I have had good luck with both actually.


Re:Multiwave (1)

vk2 (753291) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899421)

If you are interested in deals with MIR, stay away from ZZF. They are in bed with the companies sponsoring MIR and don't help you a wee bit to get your MIR money back. I have had better luck with In my opinion consider buying locally from reputed dealers - not only will you help your own county/state with tax revenues; returns/exchanges are a breeze and almost cost to nothing (except for the gas money off course). I have frys electronics locally ( 3 miles) and had to return a CPU motherboard combo three times just because they came up with a better deal every week for the past three weeks, went with a AMD LE combo, replaced it with a Intel E7200, which was later replaced last week for a AMD 9750 Quad core setup for under 145 USD online deals can't beat that.

Re:Multiwave (0)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899193)

I like myself

I have been buying from them for over ten years now and never any problems.

I still stick with newegg, especially when they have sales.

Re:Multiwave (1, Offtopic)

donaldm (919619) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899271)

Before buying from anywhere I would do my homework on what type of system I require and how much I would be willing to pay. Since you want a gaming rig I would assume you would go for a good quad core cpu with a quality mother board, at least 4GB memory (dictated by your mother board and possibly your OS) and a good quality graphics card (can cost almost as much as your base PC) that you would be satisfied with for the next two to three years. As for a hard disk I would recommend a a smaller disk for my OS and a larger disk for my main storage. Don't forget an external disk that is capable of backing up your data (your choice) which will add extra but is definately worth it. It is also worth purchasing a good case (450W to 600W) with large fans (lights are fun but not necessary) since large fans are also quiet fans and great for the PC user.

Now for software. Most gamers choose a Microsoft OS because that is what most commercial games run on and you will most likely have to get some virus protection software as well. How you get this is up to you although some shops will build the whole PC for you with an OEM version of MS Vista or even XP (less likely now) for a reasonable price.

Once you have decided on your OS and your hardware you will need to decide on a monitor. This is where the fun starts because you want a good monitor that is 20" to 24" (bigger if you can afford it) but you also want a good response time and reliability so a quality monitor (it will cost more) is a good choice. Actually a good rule of thumb is the monitor should be anything from a quarter to half the price of the computer. If you get a good monitor it normally is worth paying for a nice "practical" computer desk although I would recommend being very careful here since the key word is "practical" not necessarily pretty.

Even after making a choice on hardware you really don't want to buy from a number of shops since you could spend a lot on postal or even driving around. As I have said before some small shops will for a reasonable cost assemble your PC and provide an OEM OS and possibly a warranty if you buy most of the components from them.

Note I have not included a DVD player/recorder or even a DVD/Blu-ray player/recorder which are getting cheaper at US200 (25GB write) but for gaming DVD is fine. You also may want to think about wireless, Buetooth and/or wired Ethernet cards. For gaming a good mouse and keyboard is essential so don't get cheap ones or you will regret it. Wireless can be more expensive but very functional however most rabid gamers prefer wired (the choice is yours).

Like I have said from the start you need to do some homework before you decide. Do this well and you could save a considerable amount of money and at the same time be very happy with your purchase. Remember you get what you pay for so don't try to get the cheapest, get what is the best value for your money.

OVERKILL dude (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899403)

I got a cheapy MB by gigabyte that cost no more than a case of good beer $49, and a E1200 cpu , together with a Nvidia 9600 and 3gig ram ddr2-800, new games still run well, and it was cheap, cheaper than a Wii.

Anyones price cap should be PS3 price, else just get a ps3.

Go for the cheapest CPU, and upgrade in 6months to something twice as fast.

Re:OVERKILL dude (3, Insightful)

rve (4436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899611)

Go for the cheapest CPU, and upgrade in 6months to something twice as fast.

I'll bet you didn't get a socket 939 board

Re:Multiwave (1, Interesting)

BKX (5066) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899537)

Don't get quad core yet. Spend the same money on a dual core that has 1.5 times the clock speed (unless you're rolling in the dough). Why? Because very, very few games a written with multiple cores in mind as of yet. While I expect some to start coming out soon, the majority of games are written in a traditional single-thread manner. This means that the game will be stuck in one core. Your OS, drivers and other software will sit in the other core, thus giving you benefit, but because of the limiting nature of single-threaded games, you'll see more benefit from a faster dual-core CPU than from a slower quad-core.

Re:Multiwave (1)

BrainBug (46175) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899523)

Same here, I've been dealing with them for over 10 years, great customer service, excellent return and RMA policy.

As John Glenn said... (5, Funny)

ottawaguy (1196329) | more than 6 years ago | (#24898949)

"Oh, my God. I'm sitting on a pile of low bids!"

Local Store? (2, Interesting)

amdpox (1308283) | more than 6 years ago | (#24898955)

I'm not sure about the US, but I know that here the best prices (and often good service) are to be had at small, privately-run places... you'd have to look around and find one with decent prices that don't seem dodgy, but if there's one near by, you can just walk in and buy the parts rather than waiting for the shipment to arrive.

Re:Local Store? (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899133)

I don't know where "here" is, but I think they have some crazy thing in the US that you don't have to pay sales tax for things ordered online from another state. I've never heard of anything like that in any other country, and just judging from that, a local place would have at least 10% higher prices in the US.

Re:Local Store? (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899287)

Sales tax in the US is generally far less than 10%. In Minnesota it was generally 6%, and here in Georgia (Cobb County) it's also 6%.

Re:Local Store? (5, Informative)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899301)

Here's how it works. In the US there is no federal sales tax. Sales tax is set and collected by the individual states themselves, and possibly some additional local tax on top of that. That results in a problem when you order online across state lines. Do you pay tax in the state the warehouse is in, in the state the customer is in, maybe both? The answer is, if the company you're ordering from is in your home state, they can collect tax. If the company you're ordering from is out of state, they don't charge tax, and you are supposed to declare that purchase on your tax return and pay a "use tax."

Of course nobody actually does that and most states don't get any of that use tax because people are effectively cheating on their taxes. Some states are getting more riled up about collecting tax than others, but most just don't care. Personally I think the government gets more than enough of my money anyway.

Re:Local Store? (1)

Grant_Watson (312705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899425)

If the company you're ordering from is out of state, they don't charge tax, and you are supposed to declare that purchase on your tax return and pay a "use tax."

I'm an Oregonian, so I don't have to worry about such things, but I always wondered how use tax passed constitutional muster. It is plainly an interstate sales tax; if it were otherwise they'd charge it on sales-taxed items too. So why do the courts let them get away with it?

Re:Local Store? (2, Informative)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899505)

It is plainly an interstate sales tax

It's not, because it's not discriminatory against interstate commerce; it is an equalizer--all purchases are taxed, regardless of origin. It neither favors the home state nor disfavors the foreign state. Simultaneously, failure to do so significantly burdens local producers and merchants, who cannot compete because of the externality of the sales tax. This is of course creates a legitimate state interest in leveling the playing field.

if it were otherwise they'd charge it on sales-taxed items too

They do. It's called the sales tax.

So why do the courts let them get away with it?

Because it violates neither the law nor the spirit of the Commerce Clause, and more specifically, the Dormant Commerce Clause.

Re:Local Store? (2, Insightful)

Grant_Watson (312705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899615)

It neither favors the home state nor disfavors the foreign state. Simultaneously, failure to do so significantly burdens local producers and merchants, who cannot compete because of the externality of the sales tax. This is of course creates a legitimate state interest in leveling the playing field.

I didn't say it was bad as a matter of policy-- though it would seem to bring about a fair amount of double-taxation, which is in the interest of the state imposing the use tax in any case.

Because it violates neither the law nor the spirit of the Commerce Clause, and more specifically, the Dormant Commerce Clause.

I'm not familiar with the jurisprudence here-- if I were, I wouldn't be asking-- but it was the reasoning behind this statement I really wanted. How not?

U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 10

...No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress....

Or does that only apply to international trade?

Re:Local Store? (1, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899629)

It's not, because it's not discriminatory against interstate commerce; it is an equalizer--all purchases are taxed, regardless of origin.

Discrimination hasn't got a thing to do with it.

My state has no authority to tell me what I, nor my representatives, can do, while acting in another state. They can't charge me with crimes I may commit while out of state, and they certainly can't collect taxes, based on a purchase I made in another state. Either is quite obviously illegal on the face of it.

Re:Local Store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899513)

It is plainly an interstate sales tax; if it were otherwise they'd charge it on sales-taxed items too.

They do charge it on sales-taxed items. It's called, "sales tax." It's the same exact tax, it's merely a question of who remits the money to the state.

Use tax applies whenever you make a purchase on which sales tax is not withheld by the vendor. Indian reservations, crack dealers, whatever.

It's a tax on buying goods within the state. There's no interstate element to it, because the tax is paid by the purchaser, whose experience of purchasing is within the state.

Of course, New York's new version probably is unconstitutional. And aggravating. Did I mention aggravating?

Re:Local Store? (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899539)

I'd assume it's very simple - you must pay the sales tax on everything you buy. If they're in your state, the vendor will deal with it for you, otherwise it's your job.

Re:Local Store? (2, Informative)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899331)

Sales tax here ranges from 0% to ~10% (though certain items are subject to higher taxes, like hotels in D.C.), varying based on the location (not only different states, but different cities may have different sales tax rates), and sometimes based on the type of purchase (in some places, things like restaurant meals are taxed at a higher rate than retail/sundry purchases). The burden for collection is on the merchant in states where they have a business presence (office, warehouse, retail location).

Everywhere else, the buyer is legally obligated to report the purchase on their income taxes and to pay the proper amount at that time. Many people don't pay the use tax, and the economic incentive in terms of greater commercial activity generally makes up for that lost tax revenue elsewhere, so the tax code hasn't been changed to eliminate the rampant cheating.

Re:Local Store? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899613)

Whether they changed it or not, do you know a single person that'd actually take it upon themselves to fork over sales tax on their own at this point?

I sure as hell wouldn't, and I don't know anyone who would. Then again, as Hitler said, "This generation is lost to us," and so he, like every other politician, went for the children.

Stupid children, always ruining a good time...

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24898961)

I like NewEgg, but then, I don't have that state sales tax to deal with. I occasionally look at and for similar pricing and trustworthiness.

Tigerdirect - avoid (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24898967)

Stay away from Tigerdirect. If they don't screw up your order, then they are as good as any other merchant who does not screw up your order. But, if anything goes wrong, they suck to deal with.

Furthermore, a couple of years ago they engaged in a ridiculously blatant 'carpet-bombing' of reseller-ratings - a site where they had an appropriate bad rating over a number of years of being rated. In like 6 months, the number of people who rated Tigerdirect increased more than 10x of all the previous years of rating, and all of these new 'people' gave the company uncharacteristically high marks.

Re:Tigerdirect - avoid (5, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899073)

I second this motion. Tiger direct sucks ASS if ever your order gets screwed up. And it will, eventually.

How much is your time worth to you?

Re:Tigerdirect - avoid (4, Insightful)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899151)

I respect your opinion and your experience, but I've been a TigerDirect customer for years, and I've never been disappointed. My last 3 personal computers have all been Systemax PCs that I've ordered from Tiger.

I often hear awful tales about rebate issues regarding Tiger. I avoid refurb and rebate items for that reason - you never know what you're going to get. So I can't say whether or not they honor their rebates, or whether their refurb items suck ass. If you buy a refurb PC you might get a piece of shit, I don't know.

I have no affiliation with Tiger other than I'm a satisfied customer and I've been ordering everything from PCs to monitors to KVMs to storage, and I've never had a problem. As far as their PC offerings go, I can't speak to anything other than the Systemax line, but they've always been solid for me.

Re:Tigerdirect - avoid (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899323)

I've never had a problem.

So, you are basically confirming the original statement that if they don't screw up your order, then they are as good as any other merchant who does not screw up your order.

Re:Tigerdirect - avoid (1)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899347)

I guess so. Tiger's been my vendor of choice for personal orders for years, and they're where my own money goes. At work we're a Dell shop, and there's no option.

Re:Tigerdirect - avoid (3, Informative)

McGuirk (1189283) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899459)

I too have used TigerDirect for at least 6 years now, my only complaint being that Customer Support has lovely, incomprehendible accents, and don't know very much about their products. That's the standard these days for tech support though, isn't it?

Though, in the last year I've switched to ZipZoomFly, mostly for the reason that their search engine is the most detailed around. It's much, much easier to find the part you're after. TigerDirect and ZipZoomFly are often neck and neck and rather competitive in regards to pricing.

Of course I can't comment on shadiness as I've never had to return anything to either of them. I took care of a faulty motherboard directly through MSI, but that's irrelevant (but included for your viewing pleasure). I also avoid mail-in-rebates and refurbished parts like the plague.

Re:Tigerdirect - avoid (1)

CaryTheSane (877911) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899587)

Thanks for this input. Tigerdirect was one of the places that I had considered, and I had even priced out my components with them. I was able to duplicate almost exactly the same build as I had scoped out on NewEgg, and they were similar in price. But they're if they're a pain to deal with, that may be a deal breaker.

Online? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24898981)

Try []

Mwave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24898983)

I have dealt with Mwave before, always without any problems..... Can only recommend (they are out of CA last time I checked)

overclockers (1) (1358393) | more than 6 years ago | (#24898995)

I got my bare bones Shuttle and associated parts from these guys: [] . I've also bought various part from: []

Re:overclockers (1)

garlicbready (846542) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899265)

overclockers are quite good, I managed to get the best pair of headphones I've ever had from there (Razer Barracuda)
I also use [] [] and []
as these are close to the Manchester Area in the UK

I recommend this company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899003)

I'll tell you, their store is easy to access, don't even need a car to get there. Just take tram 1, 3, 9 or 11 to JÃrntorget.

They have low prices, nice personnel, and they have the same sales tax for everyone.

Go go go!

Re:I recommend this company (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899153)

Hey, thanks! Just what I needed! (seriously!) I'll check them out on Monday. Walking distance from Vasaplatsen.

Re:I recommend this company (2, Funny)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899583)

And definitely accessible to an English speaker in Tennesee. Definitely.

Re:I recommend this company (1)

Liinux (1051016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899573)

I bought my first computer there prebuilt, and it had a severe cooling problem that had to be fixed, but usually I hold them in high regard. I think that I am migrating to Webhallen instead now for those PC parts they have in stock, mostly because of their new shop in town. Otherwise I use Komplett and fetch my stuff in the Big Postal Building.

Use Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899007)

Unfortunately, this means they have to hit me up for 9.5% sales tax.

You can avoid the sales tax, but Tennessee has a use tax for which you're liable: Tennessee Sales and Use Tax [] .


Mod parent up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899155)

Trying to skip out on tax isn't a good idea. And you do realize that one of us could very well contact your state department of revenue and point them to this post, right? Not that I would, but someone else might.

Re:Mod parent up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899191)

I just want to clarify. I am the author of post #24899155, but I am not the author of post #24899007

Another great news item on Slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899009)

Wtf? Great news!! No idea who this Soulskill is either.

Can't people take shit like this on forums or just ask their friends if they have any? May I suggest the store which is cheapest for the items you want?

Boho, 9.5% sales tax, what to do what to do? Ask millions of people on Slashdot!

Re:Another great news item on Slashdot (0, Flamebait)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899085)

I love you - you posted what i was going to post in a very concise manner. Soulskill == kdawson?

Slashdot isn't just for news - it's more for discussion but imho, this is a fucking stupid topic. Suck it up and pay the tax.

Re:Another great news item on Slashdot (5, Informative)

cyborch (524661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899143)

Did you notice the ASK SLASHDOT part of the title? It's not supposed to be news, it's supposed to be a question! I am not even asking you to RTFA, just read the damn title before you post!

Re:Another great news item on Slashdot (4, Insightful)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899189)

Boho, 9.5% sales tax, what to do what to do? Ask millions of people on Slashdot!

Don't bitch, if you had something else to do other than reading this thread you would be doing it :-)

Besides, this kind of 'news' are to slashdot what a bad referee is to football: You hate him, but he gives you a (socially accepted) reason to yell.

Wow... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899011)

9.5% Sales tax in Tennessee? I thought the Democrats were the hard hitters for taxes.

Looking for the right parts is important (5, Insightful)

Monkey-some (1178115) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899017)

Looking for the best parts is not something futile, some may tell you "hey just go to they sell everything packed you won't have any problem with winwisbutu 12.x" but it's not the case here.

The reality is that you are going to pay more for a low end system than if you buy OEM, but I suspect that you really don't care about that difference. You first have to check out thoroughly the different components, I myself have a system that is running since...well it's a PIV still running an AGP video card (was a good NVIDIA card so it's still useful for some casual gaming).

So check out the components, it's more important to put more in the Motherboard, less in the video card as you are going to change it in a one year time, so don't buy high end. CPU's are important too, check out the announces from the vendors (Intel, Amd) as usually new lines of processors send the prices down on existing CPU's.

and well otherwise I don't know about online vendors because I always went in a shop...when you custom build you always run into the risk of having components who are instable when packed together. It's a marginal risk nowadays but still...and it's easier to just get back in that small'ish shop (semi-pro shops in warehouses are best as they usually have the lowest prices and the highest geek ratio running them for the sake of spreading good systems out there) to get an exchange is easier than with online vendors who have that 30 days return policies/no scratch/...

Re:Looking for the right parts is important (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899601)

You left out the single most important component of all: the PSU.

I saw a video once of two PSU's, one generic and one a reputable brand. Both were rated 500 watts. When the current was raised to 300, the generic burst into flames. They cut off the test at around 650: the brand name PSU was still plugging away.

You'll note I didn't specify the brand, and that's because it doesn't really matter. Any PSU whose manufacturer is willing to physically put their name on is going to be worlds better than the chinsy shit most people buy without thinking.

It's not even really about the flame-bursting, although that's always a concern. Shitty PSU's tend to skimp on the little expensive internal bits that cut down on AC oscillations and line noise. Very bad for components.

If that doesn't convince you, then consider that the extra heat the generic, shitty, half-pound ones generate has to come from somewhere: wasted electricity. A decent PSU runs cooler because it's more efficient. A good, high quality PSU will generally be above 80% efficient; generic ones are usually around 60%. Excess heat in the case aside, that's a big chunk off your power bill.

Get a sixty dollar power supply; my last power supply lasted me seven years without a hiccup, and I only replaced it because I wanted SATA and PCI-E hookups.

You'll save fifty bucks in electricity in that time quite easily, and it's a lot less likely to fry your components with excess heat or line noise.

Sales Tax? (5, Interesting)

Spillman (711713) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899021)

Can you ship it to someone out of state and pick it up there?

I love Newegg, you may also want to look at

it may not be all from one vendor, but you may find a vendor who has everything you need.

How about Amazon... (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899031)

I know Newegg is popular, but I've always felt their restocking fees [] were basically insulting.

Which makes me wonder how competitive a shopping list you could get using another [] company which has a much better return policy (something I find I appreciate a bit more for my components).

Re:How about Amazon... (2, Informative)

ragethehotey (1304253) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899081)

I know Newegg is popular, but I've always felt their restocking fees [] were basically insulting.

Truly spoken like someone that has never run any sort of internet-based business before...there is an obscene amount of fraud when it comes to abuse of the return policy regarding pc parts and other commodity electronics.

Re:How about Amazon... (4, Informative)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899095)

We charge this 15% restocking fee for all returns for refund to encourage customers to purchase products they intend to keep. We offer RMA Replacement without any restocking fee to support customers who have received a defective product.

Insulting? More like them keeping their costs down so they can run their business better and provide a better service overall. Think much?

Re:How about Amazon... (1)

Hellershanks (1315357) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899635)

Well when you return the items, the restocking fee is there because many of them may be now opened. They have to sell them at a lower value than when they first sold them (notice the sections for returned items at a discount)

Go DeLL or die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899039)

It's the only place you need to go.

Local shops. (4, Informative)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899041)

Seriously. I know the guys that run the local shops fairly well. The prices are good, and if you have problems and you're not an arse about it, quite often you'll get even better value on the returns. For example, I bought a 200G drive a few years ago, which failed after six months. "Sorry", they said, "We can't replace that. We don't do them any more. You'll have to take this 250G instead." I suppose they have to keep their customers sweet if they want to keep their windows intact.

Just so long as you're not bothered about what else might be getting shipped over from India in big heavy boxes full of little light computers, it's probably the best way to do it.

Re:Local shops. (4, Informative)

s13g3 (110658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899275)


I've worked for a local shop on two different occasions, and I can tell you that it would be well worth your while to see if there is one in your area with good prices and knowledgeable employees.

If you live in or even near a large city with a number of wholesalers, then you should be able to get prices that are fairly consistent with what you'd pay on-line, but if the shop is honorable (talk to the employees and this should become obvious before too long if you know what you're about and have already done pricing), then it could save you a lot of effort in ordering errors and the like. They will often have parts or builds they prefer, and may even want to build the system for you for an extra fee, but as the parent said, you'll find the *GOOD* places will work hard for their customers and even fix things long out of warranty. You might pay a little more overall than you would if you ordered parts from wherever the single best deal you can get on any item on-line, but it can really be well worth it.

The trick is, knowing and finding a good, honest and knowledgeable shop to work with. Don't alienate them by trying to get them to match every price on-line, but talking to them will let them know you know what you're looking for, and let you decide if they're the right place to work with.

You can always default to getting it all on-line or a part here or there locally, but if you order from any single place, be it Tiger or NewEgg or Best Buy or the local store, you're going to pay a little more. I'd suggest supporting a local business, if you can. As long as the price is reasonable, I assure you it's worth it in the long run. Hopefully you'll never have problems, but no matter where you buy a computer or parts, odds are you'll eventually have a problem, and chances are your local shop will support and treat you better than anywhere else.

Re:Local shops. (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899639)

yeah, but if their customers Windows were intact, they wouldn't have any business

Believe it or not... eBay. (1)

PCMeister (837482) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899045)

Many system vendors have put up eBay stores to compete with the likes of NewEgg.

A quick search for: "gaming computer system" yielded some interesting finds. There was one that caught my attention as it lets you custom build your gaming system right from the bidding page. It had some rather decent selection of system boards (or motherboards for us non-PC [politically correct] older folk) and other components to choose from. Not bad at all as it falls in line with what you're looking for -- one vendor without nailing you with sales tax as they're not in your home state. The 3-year warranty is always a good thing.

Good luck!

Oblig. Disclaimer: I don't have an eBay store or know anyone that does for that matter, so this post is not a shameless plug. I'm also not associated with any computer hardware vendors.

My 2 (1)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899049)

MWave [] and ZipZoomFly [] are both very good alternatives to NewEgg [] .

A few... (5, Informative)

WedgeTalon (823522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899051)

As a fellow Tennessean, I'd first like to point out that Neweeg is still a great choice. I order from them regularly because:
1) They are usually still nearly the cheapest
2) They ship quick
3) If it ships from their TN center, I have it the next day
4) Their customer service ROCKS
5) Their website is the best of any I've used.

If I don't use them, I will use either mwave [] , ZipZoomFly [] , or (if you don't mind open-box items) Tech For Less [] (just remember to leave a comment when ordering that you know wtf you are doing, else they will hold your order until they get ahold of you).

I've also used ProVantage [] a time or two, but really only when they had a good deal.

Re:A few... (0, Offtopic)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899089)

Where in Tennessee are you? I'm in Memphis; I realize this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but I couldn't help but be curious.

Re:A few... (1)

WedgeTalon (823522) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899115)

Over on the other side, just outside of Knoxville.

Re:A few... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899325)

I use Newegg, Zipzoomfly, Tigerdirect, and Amazon. Occasionally though, Best Buy and Circuit City have good deals running online. Also, try google searching "promo codes" for whatever vendor you choose, I saved about $20 last time because I found a promo code for Tigerdirect.

Re:A few... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899343)

Just outside maryville here.

And sales tax be dammed. newegg is THE best retailer to deal with. ever. hands down.

the money i've saved when getting things replaced instead of just being 'shit outta luck' like i would be with many other retailers. is well worth the sales tax.

even on big ticket $1000 items. i'll still goto newegg first. and buy there if they have what i want.

even on items that newegg says up front that they will not support and you need to deal with the mfg direct. newegg still helps you out a great deal.

you just cant beat newegg. they know how to do it right. even if it does cost a little extra.

Re:A few... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899371)

Exactly. They just plain make it worth it.

By the by, do you know of any good local tech stores? I've wanted to pick up a couple things in a pinch, but the only local stores I know are Digitek in the downtown Knoxville area and Computer King in the West Town Mall area. And both are, from what I've seen, crap. Not to mention a good 20+ minute drive from me.

Re:A few... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899361)

I live in Nashville and I concur with the above statements. I pay 9.25% tax... you must live in Hitemwhentheirdown County.

Suck it up and use Newegg. I shop around, find it cheaper, and still go back to Newegg. When a company gets it really right, I stay with them.

I love Newegg but I don't buy harddrives from them (2, Interesting)

identity253 (839185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899441)

...anymore. Something has changed in the last couple of years, both the Seagate and Western Digital drives they sell are getting abnormally high failure rates reported back in the product reviews.

After getting a few drives that were packed with just crumpled paper around them, I believe that the responsibility for the higher failure rate may lie more with Newegg's handling and packaging than with the manufacturer's quality control. I still order almost all of my parts from Newegg for all of the reasons that others have mentioned, but I've started getting my drives from CDW [] instead. Each OEM drive I've ordered from CDW has come packaged in it's own plain brown cardboard box, held suspended in plastic shock absorbers like retail boxed drives do.

I could be wrong, of course, and it was only a few months ago I decided this, so time will tell.

Re:A few... (1)

WallaceAndGromit (910755) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899619)

Love newegg also, use them frequently. Have also used these two occasionally with good success... [] []
Although, I will admit it has been about two years since I have used either of those two, so YMMV.

Re:A few... (1)

CaryTheSane (877911) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899633)

Thanks for your input. When its all said and done, I may end up with the Egg as well, for all the reasons you give. I just thought that there might be another online store out there that /.ers had vetted, and found to be good. Lots of people have had good things to say about mwave, I'll have to check that out. is good for built PCs (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899065)

Rather than "build myself" from parts, I wanted someone else to build & test with quality parts I specified. It was surprisingly hard to find a site to build what I really wanted at a good price.

Eventually I went with and ended up with the PC I really wanted.

I got an nForce with 8800 GT and power supply wattage I specified. Since I run Linux on the box, they nicely let you buy sans Windows.

I took the system apart enough to make sure all the components were really what I ordered and they were. The system just worked. I got Ubuntu installed without too much hassle.

I built a Shuttle box before with parts from newegg and it was stressful when something doesn't go right (fortunately for me it was just difficulties getting every cable plugged in given the small form factor--and not bad parts).

The tax is worth it (1)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899105)

I've had too many poor experiences with other hardware vendors to even consider not going with newegg. I hate to not really give you an answer you're looking for, but trust me on this one. After ordering from a few other peeps online you'll go back to newegg. Everyone goes to it for a reason.

My personal vendor (4, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899107)

There is this guy I know who delevers everything I ask. Prices are good. It is just a bitch to drive down to the docks and for some odd reason he only takes cash in small bills in a brown paperbag.

He is a wise guy and explained that an insurance also would be great and he is right. I haven't been beaten up since I took that insurance. A good fellow, always talking about his family and such.

Re:My personal vendor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899257)

I lulled

Trading Forums (3, Informative)

JohnSearle (923936) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899123)

I usually buy most of my parts from Trading Forums, such as [] or [] .

The prices offered are almost always below what a store offers. Plus, if you decide to go with people selling used instead of new (both are available), you can get it at only a fraction of the cost.

I've been dealing with people from those forums for a couple years now, and they've saved me hundreds of dollars.

Security is the only real issue, since people can rip each other off... but as long as you trade with people that have a good (high) reputation, then you're normally safe. Moreover, a lot of products are sold with transferable manufacturers warranties on them, so you can buy safely, knowing that you're covered for a bit. I have yet to be ripped off after quite a number of full computer builds.

- John

pricewatch (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899129)

I use to find the cheapest vendor for one or two of the higher ticket items. If I'm trying to keep my vendor list short, I then investigate the prices of those winning vendors for the other items on my shopping list and compare those prices against pricewatch's best. For big price hikes, I use separate vendors; if it's only a few bucks, I keep the vendor list low.

Go the cream skimmers' way (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899149)

I recommend Apple. The hardware is always very well thought out, and as a big plus you get a working operating system + usable desktop environment.

10% is a lot (1)

Caboosian (1096069) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899201)

But for Newegg's service, honestly, I'd still be ordering from there. Building a new computer is almost always expensive - but it's hard to put a price on service. Sure, you could go with Tiger, but when that one part is three days late, or that one HDD clicks when you put it in, do you really want to deal with Tiger?

It's quite a premium to pay, but service is something that is really important to me. If I order a $200 video card, I want to feel safe knowing I'll be able to return it. Again, that's just me, but you should definitely be asking yourself how much service is worth to you. At the very least, keep that question in the back of your mind - it could definitely come back to bite you in the ass if you don't.

Hole in the wall private shops (5, Informative)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899231)

Every city has at least one or two. The best are the crack in the wall places with a guy in the back surrounded by parts.

Some of the items you'll buy will be a great deal, others maybe not, and yeah, you'll have to pay tax. --But you won't pay for shipping, (which, if you're buying lots of goodies, will probably cost a fair bit, though probably not 10% of the cost of a well-equipped new machine).

But nothing is nicer than being able to run out on a gut-feeling of inspiration and pick up a stack of parts that same afternoon. Speaking as a geek, I have to say that walking out of a shop with an OEM hard drive packaged in nothing but an anti-static bag is one of the best feelings in the world. --I realized on one of those occasions why my girlfriend loved shopping for clothes so much, and it was with a bit of wistfulness that I recognized I only shopped for computer bits once every few years, whereas for her cruising the used-clothing stores was a weekly fix. Comfort shopping is silly, but it's also human, so when you do end up spending a whack of money, it's nice to jump in and get right into it.

There are other advantages when you buy from a local, private vendor. If you change your mind about a part, or if a stick of memory is faulty or whatever, you can always go back and hash it out with the owner. Either he'll tell you what you did wrong, or replace the part, and he'll nearly always remember you. A human connection is great; you don't have to fill out impersonal forms and take a number or stay on hold or any of that lousy nonsense. You've got a guy right there who wants to help you, partly because he doesn't want to have to give your money back and partly because he's also a geek who instinctively wants stuff to work right. And sometimes you'll meet a really cool person where it's fun just to chat and trade opinions and such; more than once I've gone into a shop with a well-considered shopping list only to have the guy behind the counter say, "Oh, we don't have that mother board, but check it out! We do have this one; it works great and it costs less than the one on your list, plus it has this extra feature which is really cool! The manufacturer just put out the next model, so they're trying to sell off their previous one, which is why it's such a great deal." I've picked up some awesome hardware that way. So I'd say it's well worth the extra expense (if it even adds up to that much when you take shipping into account, and any unexpected in-house deals or whatever), to buy from small vendors.

I will say, however, that buying on-line does generate a sort of Christmas day feeling, where you get to wait in eager anticipation for stuff to arrive, plus you get to build exactly the system you want because you can be really specific about the parts. But I prefer the more adventurous side of going out to find parts yourself. I think it might satisfy some kind of latent hunter/gatherer gene inside us all.

By far, however, the absolute worst way to spend money on computer parts is to go to a big, corporate, well-lit box store where the guys have little name tags and same-color shirts. Ugh! --I mean, that's fine for laptops and big screens and such, but for hard drives and mother boards and video cards and bags of little screws? What a waste of an experience! I'd rather use an abacus than build a computer from parts obtained in a damned box store. Not to mention that it's nearly always a LOT more expensive that way. Nobody can beat them on price for big items which they order by the shipping palate, but for smaller parts. . , there's simply too many to choose from, so they stream-line their stock and charge you up the wazoo for them. And anyway box stores, you know, have no soul.

Anyway, I hope everything works out for. Enjoy!


PC World is by far the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899235)

Especially if you're an un-hinged Linux "weirdo".

Summer Tax Holiday (1)

Digero (974682) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899243)

In Massachusetts, we have an annual tax-free weekend during the summer. A quick google search suggests that Tennessee does the same thing (perhaps even one in the spring as well?)

You've missed the one for this year, but you might want to keep it in mind if you ever want to buy something expensive from Newegg in the future... or if you're really in no rush to get a new computer.

The best shop is the one nearest your house... (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899247)

If something doesn't work out* you can go over there and deal with it personally. Isn't that worth 10% extra?

[*] And there's a fair chance it won't, no matter who you buy from.

Laptops (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24899251)

I've used Cables for Less several times, and they were prompt, and inexpensive. I was leary, at first, of using an online vendor, but would recommend then unhesitatingly.

Newegg and CDW (1)

dj42 (765300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899283)

Newegg and CDW. I have bought at least $100K from Newegg for myself and others (business and personal).

A strange question... (2, Insightful)

KlausBreuer (105581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899297)

...especially considering that Slashdot is read world-wide, and (for example) us Europeans usually do not order from the US onliners (not just the different voltage, but postage and, especially, border taxes).

Me? I found a street dealer I trust. Pay about 10% more than online, but he's really worth it.

Re:A strange question... (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899341)

...especially considering that Slashdot is read world-wide, and (for example) us Europeans usually do not order from the US onliners (not just the different voltage, but postage and, especially, border taxes).

You might be surprised to learn that even after taxes, most electronic-related items are significantly cheaper in the US. There tends to be a policy to price products equivalently in the number of dollars and euros. Right now, that works out to about a 42% premium for the privilege of paying in euros (and the UK gets it even worse with similar 1:1 pricing but a 76% premium for paying in pounds).

For example - typical song pricing on itunes is 0.99 euros in europe, but 0.99 cents in the USA.

That itunes pricing should be illegal, damn WTO (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899607)

If USA sold usa food to outside usa at 76% markups , rather than global single pricings on markets in US$, then it would be illegal.

Its like selling raw oil for $180 outside usa.

newegg (4, Informative)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899375)

... once you know, you newegg.

Start with items with lots of reviews, read the most critical first. 4. profit.

zipzoomfly and mwave (2, Interesting)

teldar (952697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899383)

I, like many people, have bought from both of these. However, I buy just about everything from newegg as their customer service makes their prices nearly secondary. I would pay a couple dollars more per item to buy from them. I doubt there's another company in the U.S. with customer service anywhere near as good. T

single vendor doesn't guarantee 1 shipment (2, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899433)

. I'd like to use the fewest number of vendors (preferably only one), so that all the parts arrive at the same time

This isn't necessarily true. the vendor may have some of the parts you want, but be waiting delivery on others. You could end up in one of two situations:

  • waiting an extended period until your single supplier can ship the whole consignment at once
  • Getting one shipment for the parts they can provide instantly, then one or more when the other parts arrive.

Niether is satisfactory IMHO. Go with several suppliers, either check their online stock from their website, or ask "can you ship these parts today?" (2, Informative)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899447)

I recently used these guys: []

I "discovered" the brand when shopping on Newegg, but didn't see the exact config I wanted. So I went directly to the vendor's website and found that their gaming systems were EXTREMELY mod friendly with a wide variety of choices for components. So I mixed and matched and had them test it prior to delivery. The end result was a pretty tricked out quad-core core2duo box with lots of RAM and fast video for WELL under US$1K.


sounds like (1)

ramul (1103299) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899449)

sounds like market research in disguise if you ask me

Australia (3, Informative)

evanism (600676) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899467)

I love UMART - (now after a recent rebrand).

Their site is a tad ordinary, but they are everything you want in a vendor, they are CHEAP (not necessarily the super cheapest, but close enough to the mark not to matter), they will NEVER fork you over on refunds, go the extra distance to find that weird douverlacky and are prompt with their service.

I've used them extensively (about $100k for heaps of orders) both personally and professionally. They will sell you the bits, make suggestions if they don't quite work (like the mobo or ram is off), make the box for you if you're tight on time/skills - and do tidy work on it too (cables all neat, things tucked away, stickers put on, little touches)......

What I like is that they don't mind overclockers. I've pushed gear a bit too hard occasionally and they don't give you any shit about it.

They do a great job and I recommend them very highly. I'm not an employee or shill if you're thinking that, just a very highly satisfied multi time customer (and work admin/buyer/CTO)

Re:Australia (2, Informative)

khing (936015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899501)

sorry, i modded 'funny' wrongly. I blame my cold hands.

anyway, i'm seconding umart for Australia. I've bought from them a few times, and I really appreciate their quick reply to emails, their extremely efficient service, and their speedy (and reasonably cheap) shipping.

Yes they are a little bit more expensive than the cheapest around, but they are still cheap enough that the extra few dollars for the better experience doesn't matter.

Kingston for memory (3, Informative)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899547)

As far as I know, the memory business is a giant scam. The high priced stuff like Kingston and some others have the least defects- thus are prime binned for a higher price, and the cheap stuff causes problems as soon as it is installed as it was sorted into bins that were under-spec. Memtest86 has consistently proven this to me.

no complaints about (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899549)

newegg, or thinkgeek...what little product related to hardware they do sell.

big caveat: a $14 power supply isnt going to be worth a damn, and you cant fault the seller for trying their best to bring cheap product to market. the customer demanded it, after all.

You have to pay tax anyway (4, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899555)

You still have to pay Use Tax even if you buy something out of state. []

So, just buy from Newegg and make your life easier..

A kinda-related question (1)

repvik (96666) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899567)

I'm building myself a quad-core AMD machine, and I'm wondering whether or not to go with the 64-bit version of Vista. I know I "should avoid windows like the plague" and all that crap. I'm running ubuntu on my laptop, htcp and routers, but this PC has to be Windows. So... is the 64-bit version of Vista "good enough", or do I have to stick with the 32-bit version? I tried 64-bit XP a few years, but nothing really worked. Has this improved?

Pointers on experiences and such is welcome, pro-linux rants are wasted.

Finding good vendors..... (2, Informative)

mjb (8536) | more than 6 years ago | (#24899609) and are your friends.

The first one to find the best price, the second to make sure that the guy with the best price isn't a crook.

Hope that helps,


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