Home PC Build or buy?

Finally convinced my wife to upgrade her really old laptop and even got her to agree to a desktop!

Any recommendations on where to get component from? I assume building is better than buying

Haven’t built a pc in years but my brother keeps doing it. Admittedly his are gaming spec desktops with graphics cards that cost more than my laptop… Probably overkill for your wife

He buys his stuff from:

He has got them to build it for him with the things he wanted. Twice they’ve called him to say some of the parts his chosen may not work together and recommended alternatives…

I’ve bought from ebuyer before but that was ages ago

Why does she need a desktop and not a laptop? Is this you trying to get a cheeky upgrade for yourself? :stuck_out_tongue:

Overclockers are very good. They’re my main supplier of builds and parts.

Last pc I ‘built’ was rehoming an Intel nuc i5 into a silent case. Been great for years now. And no fans!


She does heavy number crunching, big SPSS files and her current laptop is struggling.

Reason for a desktop is that as a freelancer she doesn’t really need to go anywhere and rarely goes to clients.

She is open to a laptop but I think desktop and two monitors would work better and cheaper

To be honest, for me it hasn’t made sense to build a pc for years. Just go a for a good business system from HP/Dell/Lenovo .

Very happy with a HP Elitedesk 800 G4 that I picked up in a sale.

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I have a friend that works for HP, he mentioned mates rates :wink:

If you going to source through HP then make sure that you get the Elitedesk or Elitebook range as they are the top business machines and they come with 3year warranty.

As for spec, the newer i5 are 6 core, and spec it with 16gb ram. It’ll be more than enought to cope with almost anything.

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Another vote here for HP elitebooks, I have several at work 5 years old that are still being used daily.

Important note for self-building a desktop is graphics cards are impossible to get hold of at the moment. Because of the rise of crypto currency, their value has tripled.

I would advise to buy a pre-built business desktop from HP or Dell.


Yep. When I got my new system last year I sold my old Geforce 750TI and intended to replace it with a 1050TI or a 1650. All sold out, completely and utterly. Not just nVidia, but also AMD. There is almost nothing at all.

I did look on eBay but even for the low end 1050 and 1650 you are looking at least double the retail price for a second hand GPU. But work work/business use then the integrated GPU in the processor is fine for most people.

And the second ones that are for sale are often fucked from mining.

Fun fact: the amount of power used for mining crypto in the whole world offsets any environmental saving from solar power generation.

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Cryptocurrency is the worst. Mining needs to do one.

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Unless you want\need a silly graphics card and\or need for gaming why go for a PC. Cannot member the last time I have seen or used a PC in any place of work. Even for development tasks, you can get a laptop with silly specs enough for you to do what you need and still be able to swap ram, and hard drive if you really want to do it. I have a soft spot for Lenovo. A decent range and well built.

The only caveat I can think of is price, you might pay more for a laptop of similar spec to a PC. Also even if she is a freelancer there will also be that occasion she wants to do work somewhere else and will happy she has a laptop.

In my view I cannot think of any other reason beside gaming to ever get a PC. For the monitors just use a hub that would allow you a single thunderbolt connection to your laptop, then multi hdmi to your monitors.

Another option for compute power is, get a basic laptop, but then spin up a Mammoth VM in Azure use it to do your heavy lifting, but shut down when not using so you keep your costs down. Works well if you are always at a base with excellent fiber connectivity. Not so well if you are cafe hopping.

No right answer, it always comes down to personal preference.


If you think you would enjoy building a PC that would be the main reason to do a self build. As far as I’m aware you won’t save any money and it will cost you time. Plus a PC from Dell or HP is guaranteed to work as a unit. So if it breaks you can send it back or have it repaired. On a self build all the components are guaranteed individually so you’d have to figure out what has failed and send that back. So it’s more faff effectively.

Building a PC is good fun though. There is no real right or wrong answer. Do whatever you want.

I upgraded an old laptop to use an SSD (a relatively simple procedure) and I thought I was MacGyver.


Thanks all for the good advice.

In the end the simplest and quickest option is to get her a laptop from hp.

I think moving to a desktop would be too restrictive. A laptop will still allow her to work from another room (say if the cleaner is over).

That’s important. I frequently have to decamp from our shared home office spce because @pricetta is always on the phone :rofl:


I’ve only ever ran SPSS on laptops and surface pros and despite having largish files even the old bricks we had coped. When I upgraded to an i7 surface pro it was flying :slight_smile:

Plus the extra benefit is when a project goes to shit, it’s easier to fling a laptop rather than a desktop out the window…

a logistic regression that took 20min on her laptop took 1 min on a macbook i have her for a while to test (she didnt get on with it nevertheless)

Whilst I had good sized SPSS files, I never dabbled with the more advanced statistical analyses so don’t know how resource heavy they are.

Great to see Bitcoin take a hammering today. Maybe we’ll get our graphics cards back to sensible prices soon.