Open Thread: What’s Your Hardware Strategy?

When I got started in this business, too many years ago now, there wasn’t a lot of question about how an alpha geek got a personal computer: you spent far too long reading specs, picking parts, having them shipped in, and then assembled it yourself. Oh, sure, plenty of people bought pre-built systems, but in my peer group at least it was assumed that you could do better yourself.

Things have changed, though – or so it seems to me. Now building a computer from scratch makes less sense for most web workers. Relentless price competition and Moore’s Law have pushed down powerful machines to affordability. But rather than speculate, let’s get your feedback: do you build your own computers these days, or buy them off the shelf? Do you spend any time customizing or installing components? Or would you rather just leave the entire hardware experience to someone else to figure out, and pay people to build and maintain your machines?