Recently, I have had to start replacing outdated machines at my office. Looking for a deal, I checked to see what I could get pre-built versus what I could get from off-the-shelf parts. I have no affiliation with any computer vendor, any manufacturer, or software studio. This is not a comprehensive review, either, just a bit of the experience I have had with one single vendor and building two of the exact same machine.
TL;DR –> Building your own computer means that you don’t have to put up with any pre-loaded turdware.
Check out Newegg.com. They have supercombo deals, where basically they pick all the pieces for you and even discount the final price. I shopped around, but not a lot. Maybe you can find a deal better than the one I got, but Newegg does make it easy for a n00b, putting compatible components in a single combo.
Installing Win 8.1 is not difficult. I can’t get over being required to have an account with Outlook or Hotmail. Maybe I just went through the install too fast to find out if there was an option not to do this.
I opted for a combo that included an Asus mobo with an AMD APU, nothing special, but definitely more powerful than what I’ve been using for the last few years. Also, using off the shelf parts, I have the ability to freely upgrade, unlike the Best Buy special I got last year for the same money—it’s all soldered to the mobo.
And now, the best possible part of this whole experience, I don’t have ANY manufacturer bloatware pre-installed on my machine. I don’t have a bunch of stuff I have to disable at startup. I don’t have to go through and uninstall stuff I didn’t want in the first place. And I bloody well don’t want to try McAfee free for 30 days or whatever.
So, build your own computer. Everything plugs right into its slot, so it’s dead easy. The build (less the OS installation) takes an hour (two, if you’re slow like me), and you can get exactly the machine you want without all that other guff.