If you're in the market for a new computer and can't build it yourself, it pays to understand a bit about the parts that go into a computer, and what the going rate is for the parts in any particular machine you might be looking at buying.
Buying a pre-built computer is fine if you choose the right one. They often come with sub-standard parts — particularly in important areas like the power supply — but you can find good options. Shops tend to charge anywhere from $50 upwards of $200 for putting it together, with $100 being about average.
Some shops border on the ridiculous though. As an example, here is an advertisement on gumtree for a pre-built computer (google cache link in case the ad disappears). Here's a list of the parts included in the computer, with approximate "going rate" prices for each of the parts that can be purchased locally in South Australia:
- CPU: Intel i3 6100 $160
- Motherboard: unknown, assume middling H110 $90
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 2133MHz $50
- HDD: WD 1TB $70
- ODD: DVD-RW $20
- Case: Coolermaster K282 $60
- PSU: Corsair VS350 $50
- OS: Win 10 Home $140
That comes to $640. The price being asked? $1149! That's nearly double the retail price of the parts, or a build fee of $500.
That's a very expensive deal. Don't get caught with stuff like this.