Building Computers from Parts Rocks

I was just thinking about computers I've owned, and six came out of boxes, ready to run. An Atari 800, and Atari 1040 ST, a Mac Quadra 660 (I think), a Mac iBook, a Mini Mac, and a Compaq budget PC. The rest were bought used, found in the trash, built from parts, or were kits or kit-like (barebones kits that took disks). I'm not sure how many computers I've owned, total. Probably between 20 and 30.

Now, I'm trying to make a purchase of computers for work, and I'm realizing that buying computers from these computer vendors like Dell and HP sucks. They're expensive and give you crap you don't need, but hold back on speed and memory. They jack up the price on everything, especially really useful things like SSDs.

The one downside of DIY is sometimes you get shitty parts at a great price. I'm using a Gigabyte main board that crashes. Maybe it's the RAM from G.Skill. (Probably the board - some IO freezes, but other IO keeps operating, and there's no app crash. More features = more failures.) [Update - it was the software, not the hardware. The main problem has been with ACPI, lately.]

I've had good luck in the past with Intel, ASUS, Biostar (which people say sucks), ABit (again, bad rep), and a few brands no longer around. Intel chipsets are my favorite, followed by NVIDIA and ATI For RAM Micron, Kingston and Transcend have worked best. For hard drives, they've all had ups and downs, and Samsung is edging out Seagate and WD.

The most solid system so far is an Intel CPU, Intel mobo and chipset, FreeBSD. When it's not overloaded, it doesn't crash.