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  • Retail Vs. Custom Computing
    September 1999
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    Introduction

    There are a lot of comparisons in today's computer industry. Mac vs. PC, Windows vs. Linux, Intel vs. AMD and others, but one debate that you here about, especially from intermediate users and beginners is the Retail vs. Custom Built debate. I'm going to show you guys about the differences of both the Retail Machine and the Custom Built Machine. Beginner's will especially want to take note because believe me, they are a lot of differences, and it can make or break you in the future when it comes upgrade time.

    Can You Say "Upgrade Capabilities"

    One thing that beginner's don't stop to think of when purchasing a system, is upgrade capabilities. But 9 out of 10 times it's because they don't know about the different technologies and what will become available later on. On the Retail side, they can take the basic upgrades such as: RAM, Hard Drive, Modems, Sound Cards, CD-ROM Drives, etc. But that's where it stops, because unfortunately most retail companies nowadays, make upgrades difficult to impossible to accomplish. Examples of this are: Manufacturer made motherboards, in other words, "proprietary motherboards" made just for the manufacturer's cases, video cards soldered on to the motherboard so where you would have to change the jumper to disable it to install a new one, and some even have the sound card and modem on the same card. Basically what this amounts to is that it saves money for the manufacturer's but it spells trouble for the consumer when you try to upgrade the machine in the future. Whereas Retail systems suffer from "non-upgradability", Custom Built systems or systems you build piece by piece are made from standard components which means you can upgrade every part in the system, and therefore you'll want to keep your system around longer.

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    Article Navigation
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    1. Intro/Upgrade Capabilities
    2. Quality Counts/Tech Support
    3. Under The Hood/Conclusion
    Article Info
    Author: Tommy Thomas
    Company: N/A
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