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One of advantages of building your own is the ability to upgrade.
I just upgraded mine to 32G memory 1T SSD in preparation to go from Win7 to Win10.
Plus you don't have to clean all the crapware from it.
Did a little mechanic work today.
Put a rear end in a recliner!
I have bought numerous Dell units over the years and on the whole found them quite reliable. However, they do come with a bunch of crapware installed, so the first thing I do, is to run the Diskpart "clean" command on the system drive and then do a clean install of Windows.
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.