Mom & Pop, or Big Name Store?

MyungHee

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When I buy my computer I want to buy locally rather than order through Dell, etc. I like being able to completely customize my specs and I like working with local shops instead of big corporations.

So I just wondered what people's opinions were on buying from the small mom and pop store vs. buying from the local but a lot bigger guys.

I have the option of buying my computer from a small shop with a few guys who seem pretty competent, are friendly and know their stuff. I just found them by chance though so I have background on how good their product is.

There's another local place that's a lot bigger, makes computers for MIT and Harvard, etc and I've read reviews of them online that give them about a B+.

What's people's experience? Is it better to go to the small local guy who can give individualized attention and I could very easily just carry my computer in and talk to someone if I had a problem or is it better to go with the well-reviewed larger place with a known track record?

Sorry if this is way off topic but I thought what better place to get computer advice than from fellow Civ players? :goodjob:
 

MyungHee

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Where do you normally buy from?

And I know it's overkill but my current computer is 2.4 Ghz with 2gb ram and it slows down to a crawl in between turns and towards the end of the game. So I actually wasn't sure if the new specs would be that much of overkill or just enough.
 

vmxa

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Where do you normally buy from?

And I know it's overkill but my current computer is 2.4 Ghz with 2gb ram and it slows down to a crawl in between turns and towards the end of the game. So I actually wasn't sure if the new specs would be that much of overkill or just enough.

Go with the rig that has the largest L2 cache as that is the best enhancement for civ.
 

TheOverseer714

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Overkill is never too much. I have a friend who swears by the mom n pop home builds. Make sure they give you a warranty.
 

Quintillus

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Well, the first PC my dad bought back in '95 was from a local, one-shop store, and it also had by far the worst reliability. I don't know how many times it was taken in for repair for broken fans, CD drives, and floppy disk drives. Sure the shop got to know him over time with all the repairs, but it didn't change the fact that it kept breaking.

On the other hand, I'd be pretty confident in the quality of the local computer store that made it into being a regional chain. They're known for good service and have took considerable traffic from national chains in the city. Sounds somewhat similar to your Harvard/MIT company. It's somewhat corporate, but still has its plant in my city and employs workers there, so it's local enough.

There are plenty of people who do know how to make a reliable computer, so the small shop guys may well be just fine. Just make sure they aren't cutting corners on any cheap (as in, poor quality) parts. It'd be helpful if you knew people with positive experience from the shop. I'd be somewhat hesitant to go the small shop route.
 

Speedo

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Unless Mom & Pop is someone you know personally, go with big-name. With them you've got many more options if you have a problem, and much more leverage to work with.
 

Strider

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They have various conventions around here that usually have a representative from most of the major manufacturers. Generally if I buy computer parts I do so at one of them.
 

kuukkeli

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So I just wondered what people's opinions were on buying from the small mom and pop store vs. buying from the local but a lot bigger guys.

It's all about the reputation, not size. In my area the smaller shops tend to have better reputation so I mostly stick with them.

I have the option of buying my computer from a small shop with a few guys who seem pretty competent, are friendly and know their stuff. I just found them by chance though so I have background on how good their product is.

Presumably their products are the same as everyone else's. Competence is mostly about making tidier builds (arranging all the cables nicely, etc.), being able to help you choose the components you need and if needed being able to solve the problems. Usually the most important thing to find out about those small shops is how well they handle RMAs and other warranty business. Try to find people (forums, school, work, etc.) who have bought from them and ask their opinion. And remember - for every shop there will always be someone who claims they're the worst shop ever.
 

Shadylookin

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I would rather buy from a souless corporation like HP than a mom and pop store. If you get a hunk of junk from a corporation at least you know it will still be there 6 months down the line. I usually just get all my crap from newegg that way I dont' have to put my pants on or talk to people
 

lutzj

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I would rather buy from a souless corporation like HP than a mom and pop store. If you get a hunk of junk from a corporation at least you know it will still be there 6 months down the line. I usually just get all my crap from newegg that way I dont' have to put my pants on or talk to people

How do you go outside to pick up the packages?
 

GenMarshall

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I typically stick with the Big Name Stores.
 
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There's a store near me which is not only the cheapest, but has good support as well, so I always stick with them. They're probably halfway between 'mom and pop' and 'big name' though.
 

Shadylookin

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How do you go outside to pick up the packages?

my mother is usually the only one home during the day to get the packages. I guess if it ever came down to it then I would just have to go out in my boxers and let the ups man and all the neighbours behold my masculine form. or i could break down and put on my bath robe.
 

MyungHee

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Moderator Action: Moved to a more appropriate forum. ;)

(And I left your Civ-specific question in the other thread. :))

You're awesome, thank you. And I do appreciate everyone's ideas here as well as on the other forum regarding the L2 cache being a big factor. I feel so informed!

I think I'll go with the larger local store as they still seem small enough to respond to any problems I have. They have this neat feature on their website where after you build the configuration you can ask them to review it and ask them specific questions about the system. They got back to me right away on that.

Ah I love the internet! Although even more than that, I love the sun that finally came out today. It might entice me to put my pants on and go outside! :cool:
 

Maniacal

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I custom designed mine with help from this and another forum via NCIX. I bought a new motherboard, RAM and processor from NCIX two weeks ago and instaleld them myself, quite easy really, the motherboard's manual is extremely well written and tells you exactly how to install everything.

The pre-built ones from stores are not nesecaraly bad, just they aren't exactly high quality and they usualy have a crap and/or outdated graphics card.
 
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