Work Smarter, Work Harder, Work Stations: The Custom Computer
We use computers for just about everything in the digital age, from communications to entertainment and everything in between—including a ton of work. So, when people need a computer, why do they just go out a buy a name brand computer that is cheap and easy to get? Is it because it meets the minimum requirements for the minimum cost? Is it because the big box store has a warranty? It really is just because most people are not sure what they may be doing with the computer, or how it really affects their day-to-day life.
There isn’t much appreciation for the computer until it fails. Then, to some, it is now the end of the world, and the center of the universe just imploded. It gets easier if you buy a custom computer that fits your needs. Or even build it yourself. Here are 8 fundamental reasons to have a custom system built to make life easier and to get the hard work done smarter and faster.
1. Custom systems do not come with bloatware. When buying a pre-built system, you succumb to bloatware 99% of the time. From the software Dell overlays over your copy of Windows, to HP's custom drivers, there’s a ton of additional software associated with a pre-built system. You don’t need any extra deals, or anyone doing data mining on your computer, and these software can do just that. It uses up the resources you want, to play your favorite game, or it could interfere with your work, so your best bet is to get a custom system.
2. Custom towers allow for better upgrades. Grabbing that pre-built Dell computer offers little to no room for upgrades or expansions. The moment that system no longer meets the minimum requirements for the job, game, or whatever else you are using it for, you have to buy a new one. If you build a sweet gaming rig with a Thermaltake Core WP200 case, or any of the modern PC cases on the market, there are expansion areas for anything you need or might need in the future: more drives, water cooling, expansion bays for media readers, good space to keep the system clean, and the Thermaltake has some wheels to make it a bit easier to move. Function isn’t the only reason to build a custom PC—these cases make the system look cooler, too!
3. MORE POWER. There is nothing better than have a good computer with a solid quality power supply that weighs a ton. A quality power supply will make sure that your system doesn’t fall victim to the power fluctuations of the processor and video card demand during intensive gameplay or 3D-rendering job you have. It also lets you keep adding more drives, more parts, more lights, and will partially protect your computer from surge issues.
4. Standardized parts that will not have you replacing the computer. Custom systems are built with standard parts that can be easily replaced, so you don’t need to throw the computer out. If the power supply fails, it gets replaced with another standard ATX power supply with the same wattage, not the Dell power supply that has its own special size. If your RAM goes bad, you can put another stick in that is the same speed but doesn’t need to be a specific HP replacement part. Custom systems allow for flexibility and customization levels that cannot be matched by pre-built systems, and that makes it easier maintain throughout the lifespan of your machine.
5. Performance. Yesterday, I had someone looking to buy a refurbished computer to meet the minimum specification for a financial software for stock trading. He wanted a $300 to $400 refurb with an i5 processor in it. However, that is a used computer that was a box store one we rebuilt. So, instead, I suggested a $1200 custom i7 processor with a solid state hard drive that would perform at the speed he needs the software to operate at. He didn’t like the idea until I told him that he can lose a $2000 trade in the time lost on the refurb struggling to run the software in the financial market. Custom systems are cost effective, are designed to fit what you need, and focus your money in the right places. These systems are built with better video cards for gaming, more hard drives for file serving, and more standardized parts to deliver the performance you need, in your budget.
6. Special Needs. There are a number of custom case options that have filters for air filtration into the case for industrial areas. There are custom microcomputers that are built as thin stations for low profile and minimum requirements for data entry. They are also built for 4 to 8 monitor stations to display video, workspace, dispatch systems, financial markets, and more. All of our developer stations have 4 monitors to maximize our productivity. Building custom systems allows for each and every special need of the job, service, or entertainment to be met, and usually within your budget.
7. Reliability. Custom systems use better standard parts and have a lower failure rate. Most hardware bugs are issues with the development of the name brand system getting rushed out the door by the company sending you a software patch later. We see very few custom built computers fail in our shop. Most of the time, if they are in it, it is an issue with Windows. The largest repair jobs we have come from HP. Check out computers on Consumer Affairs before you pick a brand.
8. There is nothing better than custom lighting and steampunk.
So, the moral of the story is if you want to work smarter and harder, then you need a custom system to match the performance, and it has to fit your unique work and look. It may cost a little more, but you will get more bang for your buck because of the higher quality parts and the performance. It may even save you money since you won’t miss that $2000 trade difference you had to do. A computer that doesn’t fit the need fills the closet—and what good is a closeted computer?