Most PC manufacturers get their components from China where the wages are extremely low, the working conditions are horrible, and there are no quality control standards. The quality and reliability of a PC is based solely on the components that are inside. If you go to the box stores this is exactly what you are getting, the cheapest thing they can possibly get. As such these PC’s are also not designed to last very long or to be very reliable because if they were why would you buy another one? Now we have to look at the other side of the coin. If you buy a custom built PC it will often cost 2-3 times the price of the cheap one that you get at the box store. OK, well then you ask yourself the big question – “If they are so cheap and I can get 2-3 for the price of 1 then why would I buy the more expensive one?”
This seems like a really good argument but is it really? After all what is the real cost of a PC? Unless you are pretty computer savvy you have to pay someone to set up the PC ($250 – $500), get Windows configured, upgrade to the correct version of Windows (about $100+) load the programs you need like Office (about $200+), get it on your business network, remove all the garbage software that comes in it and make it yours. OK, now that $400 computer that you thought was cheap is getting pretty expensive. Roughly $1000+ and still counting, but wait it is not over yet. Now that same PC, because it is made so cheaply is not designed to actually perform for 8-12 hours a day like you need your business to run so it starts slowing down and crashing after about 6 months. You just figure, OK, that is what computers do and I will just hire the local geek to come fix it. Now you are spending a couple hundred dollars for the computer guy to come get it running better again. When he comes in and starts working on it he tells you that “I got it running better but you really should think about replacing it because it will not last.” I know what you’re thinking – that guy is just trying to sell me another PC because that’s how he makes money. OK, you are running again and now another 6-8 months goes by and your PC dies. Oops! It is out of warranty and you have lost everything on it. You lost all of your data and you don’t have a backup or your backup doesn’t work. Now you have to make a choice: pay a data recovery company $2000 to recover your data? What do I do now? Go to the box store and start the vicious cycle again? This is what most people do and this is what the box stores and PC makers count on. I almost forgot one key element. The IRS says that a PC is supposed to be depreciated over a 3 year period. Uh, OK, I guess the bill just got bigger.
Now the other side of the coin. You purchase a “Business Grade Workstation” designed and built from higher quality components and is designed to last for 3-5 years and you get a good backup plan (I will talk about this more in the future) and a management plan to ensure the health of your network and you enjoy a lot less stress and are able to focus on what is really important, running and growing your business. The downside is that you will spend more money up front but you will also not have to get up every morning and wonder if you are going to be able to go to your office and have a productive and hopefully profitable day or if you are going to be pulling your hair out and spending a lot of money to make repairs that should have never happened.
Always remember that just like the cost of the computer is dependent of the quality of the components, so is the cost of the Tech and his skill sets that you hire to work on it.