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  1. #1
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    Mwave.com Hardware Assembly

    For a few years now, I have been using a company to build our PCs. I specify all the components (From the Mobo & chip to the case), we haggle over the price, and then assemble, test and ship them to me.

    I've had reasonably good service with them so far, but lately, I've been noticing that their prices are quite a bit higher than some others, so I've been shopping around.

    I've noticed MWave (a pretty highly rated web store that I've used before) has an assembly service. I was wondering if anyone had used them before and had any comments on their service. Especially for orders of multiple PCs.

    I realize that putting a PC yourself isn't that big of a deal, but we buy more than a dozen at a time, so it's really somethign that we want to pay someoen else to do (especially the CPU installation onto the Mobo and boot test!)

    Thanks for any comments
    Jim H

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    Re: Mwave.com Hardware Assembly

    I have bought several motherboard bundles from MWave and paid the extra $9 (used to be $7) to have them slap the CPU, HSF, and memory on the motherboard and bench test it. The advantage here, of course, is that it minimizes DOAs and the hassle involved with returns (I must note here that I have had to return items to MWave - not bundle items - and was very satisfied with the return process). You do get a small discount for the bundle, which pretty much is balanced out by the assembly and test. But, $9.00 is pretty cheap for a good warm fuzzy and peace of mind knowing it all should work, and work together (sometimes an issue with some memory).

    The disadvantage is that not all their motherboards are available in bundles, they use OEM fans (which are usually very good so may not be an issue) and they mount the fan using the OEM thermal pad - I don't like pads so I end up removing the CPU and use AS5 paste. They also slice an X in the motherboard box over the CPU socket to make room for the HSF when they put the bundle back in the motherboard box for shipping - which may or may not matter.

    Note too that the bundles normally come with the OEM version CPU - which normally has only a 1 factory year warranty - where the retail version has a 3 year. Again, may or may not matter - for the record, I have never had a CPU fail, OEM or retail - knock on wood.

    If I were building 10 or more identical PCs and MWave offered the mobo, cpu, and memory that I wanted in a bundle, I would certainly consider ordering bundles from them again as their prices are normally competitive with my two other favorite sites, ZipZoomFly and NewEgg. BUT, if I were in a hurry, it would probably be faster if not in bundles - it usually takes an extra day for a bundle to make it out their door. I could get a small assembly line going and assembly 10 bundles in a short afternoon, using my preferred thermal paste.

    So the bottom line, I don't think you can go wrong if you bought a bundle from MWave. You might be able to beat their prices elsewhere, but not by much - and possibly not enough to forego the peace of mind in knowing that it should work as advertised.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  3. #3
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    Re: Mwave.com Hardware Assembly

    Thanks, I am primarily concerned about the CPU/Mobo/Ram and a bench test. I skipped that on my last personal purchase, and I had issues getting the thing to boot properly. Nothing I couldnt' fix, but too much of a hassle to deal with on 15 machines, (especially, as you may have to fight for an RMA on any DOA hardware.)

    Mwave also has an $85 dollar assembly option that we are looking at. For that, you don't have to worry about an available bundle, they just assemble what you tell them.

    If they are good at it, them it would probably be worth it. If they have a bunch of monkeys slapping the components together and you have to fix each one when you get it ( assemble charges are non-refundable!), then it's not worth it.

    Jim H

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    Re: Mwave.com Hardware Assembly

    Well, it seems like now you are getting out of the purview of my last post. It seems now you are considering purchasing 15 complete PCs (or close to complete), using MWave as your PC supplier as opposed to a parts supplier. There is nothing really wrong with that, but I think at this point, your best bet might be to go to a local shop and negotiate a deal with them, to include at least 1 year support - for parts and labor. You have a lot of wiggle room in the type of support you request, from 24/7/365, 1 hour on site response with a loaner, to you take it to the shop and they fix it in X number of days. It might off-set that $1275 (15 x $85) that MWave would charge, Of course you have local sales taxes, but then no shipping.

    Something to think about - and help out your local community at the same time. Plus, wouldn't it be nice to be on a first name basis with a local person?
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  5. #5
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    Re: Mwave.com Hardware Assembly

    Gee, when you multiply that $85 setup fee by 15 , it starts to look like a lot of money. :-)

    You make a good point about local builders, but I'm not sure if that would save me any money, as I would have to pay the sales tax, markup, assembly and testing fees. And I would be worried about them wanting to me to bring a computer in to the office so they can "repair" it, or even worse, replace a defective part with a lower quality replacement.

    (Yes, I've had a previous bad experience, not as a customer of a local shop - but as an employee!)

    Jim

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    Re: Mwave.com Hardware Assembly

    Well certainly you would have to pick a reputable shop, about as easy as picking a reputable car mechanic! So, if you are not comfortable with any in your area, then that leaves you with the discount chains, mail order/Internet, or self-built.

    I think the low quality replacement parts point you bring up is valid in most cases - even Dell uses "refurbished" parts for repairs. Either way, you might have to take it some place or send it away and wait for shipping turnarounds. Or, pay extra for on-site. Much of that may depend on how well your company can afford the downtime.

    Note that if the issue is bottom dollar, you are going to be hard pressed to beat Dell - when you buy 1 million motherboards, cpu, etc. you get a pretty good volume discount - no way a Mom & Pop store can compete. And certainly, the big names, generally speaking, do make good computers.

    I suggest you look into what sort of volume discount you can get for your 15 units. Don't forget the costs of 15 copies of the OS, and what ever office productivity packages you will need (MS Office or the like). You can get substantial discounts on Windows when purchases with hardware - so make sure you purchase HW and the OS at the same time. Maybe you can get MWave to wave the assembly fee for a 15 units sell - can't hurt to ask.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

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