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I won't disagree with that, but in my experience, I've yet to encounter a case where an OEM system turned out to be cheaper than buying all the parts separately.
But then again, it's rather rare an OEM - especially a brand name like Dell - has a PC to sell that only contains parts you can purchase elsewhere. They all tend to have some proprietary hardware with no equivalent that will skew the prices.
OTOH, if you're buying in large enough quantities, yeah, it'll be cheaper in the long run if you get something pre-built than if you have to take the time to put a bunch of PCs together yourself.
The other thing...personally I despise not being to open a case just because I'm assumed to be so incompetent replacing a hard drive will void the warranty.
Same parts, from the same manufacturers? Where do you live, where consumers are gouged so badly?
The only (non-laptop) system I've ever bought pre-built was a cheap Acer Aspire something or other. But cheap is the key word here. For one, it came with a Seagate drive, which I would never buy on its own, despite Seagate typically being consistently somewhat cheaper than other brands.
Taking a new Dell with Windows 10, cleaning the drive and doing a clean Windows 10 install, takes much less than an hour. 15 Minutes if you install a quality NVMe SSD. All crapware gone. Windows 10 immediately activated. What is the big deal getting rid of crapware?
Ok: I assume you have a Diskpart script to clean and repartition the drive before you install Windows, but that is something you only need to prepare once. I have been using the same script for more than 8 years.
Taking a new Dell with Windows 10, cleaning the drive and doing a clean Windows 10 install,
So, you've paid for the licensed version of Windows 10 that you're blowing away, and--if you have a clean Windows 10 install disc--that means you're installing from a retail or MSDN or similar disc...?
What is the big deal getting rid of crapware?
Ask that to the average user. You know, the type who still has the default wallpaper.
So, you've paid for the licensed version of Windows 10 that you're blowing away
You have never done this - have you? No. You do not blow away the license you paid for. My precise procedure for a new machine is:
1. Unpack the machine and hook up monitors, keyboards, etc.
2. Connect network cable so the OEM Windows 10 gets registered with Microsoft as soon as I turn on power and register with Microsoft using my MS account. (A MS account is nice but NOT essential.)
3. Turn machine off. That's it. Windows 10 is now registered for that machine with MS for ever.
4. Replace the system drive (if you wish). It has no effect on the machine's MS license.
5. Using Diskpart clean and repartition the system drive.
6. Using a Windows 10 installation tool that is a free download from MS, do a clean install on the newly partitioned system drive. This step takes 15 or so minutes if your system drive is a good NVMe SSD. Once again you may or may not opt to use your MS account and password.
7. When the first clean version of Windows is up and running, check Windows activation in Control Panel >> System. You will see that Windows 10 is activated!
8. Then I usually do the Windows updates that can take a while.
Try it if you ever buy an OEM in the future. It works!
Yes, you need to be computer savvy to mess with disk partitions, etc. For this reason I get called in whenever a family member scores a new machine. I enjoy helping.
By the way: Diskpart is a dangerous tool in the hands of the inexperienced. Research it well before using it, to avoid disasters!
Right. I wasn't sure if you were completing the process of getting the system activated first with the OEM version, and then blowing it away. You're right, if you let it go through that process first, then yeah, the "free" installer from the MS site will recognize the system as already activated with that license.
It does means however it's lot more time-consuming than it needs to be - by the time everything is said and done, Windows has been set up twice. Plus the download time (a 4GB+ download in my case is a roughly 2-hour endeavor). At least you can hang on to the ISO...
I once had to replace the disk drive in a laptop that was designed in such a way that you had the take the entire system apart to get to the drive, including removing the main board. What a nightmare! Took me many hours and afterwards the WiFi never worked again.
Dell used to use quality components but like every other manufacturer has gone to saving every cent possible on all but their high highest-end models - all products.
In fact just last week I was looking at laptops, (not just Dell). It's sad the mid-range models I was looking at from every manufacturer all have at least one, usually more, compromises in quality/performance. To get a truly uncompromised laptop really meant buying high to highest end.
In the end I bought: dinner - after wasting a whole day on research decided to give up on buying a crap-top.
Until recently I had an old i3 Dell, (gen 3 or 4 - "M," 2 cores without hyperthreading), that noticeably outperformed [a batch of] 8th gen i5 Dell Desktops one of my clients purchased year before last. CPU benchmarks were lower on the i3 but just running win 7 or 10 the laptop ran noticeably MUCH faster. desktop hard disks were supposedly faster but real life came out measurably slower (even without a stopwatch), boot/shutdown time: i3 by a lot, program startup: i3 ... I ran visual studio on the i3 laptop: always instant responsive (couple of seconds to start), very very useable. Tried vs on one of the i5 desktops - almost threw up (both me and seemed the desktop too).
I have no idea why (yes: all 'tuned' the same etc). On paper that i3 was a dinosaur, the i5's "modern."
Laptops really seem suck more and more every year.
after many otherwise intelligent sounding suggestions that achieved nothing the nice folks at Technet said the only solution was to low level format my hard disk then reinstall my signature. Sadly, this still didn't fix the issue!
This (and the original slow SSD) takes me back to when I was managing a small group of 50 computers. We were obliged by Corporate to switch to Dell and I started to see really weird performance differences between different, but similar, models - some being slower than the old PCs they had replaced.
I called in Dell and the technician who came swapped out the motherboards in the 'slow' units - suddenly they ran normally. When I asked what the problem was the answer was rather shocking... "Often they discover that there is instability or lockups due to errors in m/b design and chipset implementation. To remedy this they often insert enforced wait cycles in the CPU or slow it (or the bus) down and fudge the bios to falsely report correct speeds. If the client doesn't complain they leave it be and if they do they get a corrected m/b"
This smells as bad as the VW emissions scandal, but it was more than 10 years ago so I'm not in any way suggesting that things like this are still happening today.
Incidentally we never saw that particular technician again.
One of the first items I checked was the speed of the M.2 SSD. I was very disappointed. Dell had supplied the machine with a SSD that ran barely faster than clunky old SATA SSDs. In fact the sequential read speed was slightly slower than her old SATA SSD.
Somebody's spoiled. I'm happy with any SSD. I still have machines that boot off of spinning drives.