I wouldnt mind buying the pieces and building it up, i know a few people that could help me and know their stuff, but i dont know all the parts I need.... or whast all that good (esp for bang for the buck).. and I only have like 76 days left till I leave for college
Unless you can't find what you want I wouldn't bother building. If you are jsut upgrading a component or two or three, its different. But often when you make a Mobo jump you can end up being forced to replace memory, power and sometimes your case. Sometimes that decision may trash youre ability to use older cards (like an ISA modem).
I stopped building my own years ago. Just the purchasing process is a hassle. You usually need to show at multiple shops for the lowest prices (which is the only way to beat the cost of a preconfigured system). That often means buying from tiny Internet outfits or travelling PC-expos. And when you start having troubles that is where it get bad. Small vendors are often the worst about returns and replacements.
And the work is time consuming and frustrating. A mis-mounted motherboard can cause intermittent shorts that produce bizarre untraceable errors.
I've bought 3 Dell refurbished now and they've be problemless. I was also able to getting more top-line component, that I wouldn't have paid for otherwise. (top CPU speeds come at a premium that is simply not worth the money). There's something to be said for popping open a box and having a graeat deal of software already installed for you and a year's warranty to boot.
In fact, in the time it took to raed this thread, I could have ordered a PC online.