Newest Review: ... I was unsure of some aspects of my specification so I posted on the PC Specialist forum and got some good, jargon free and ... more
Repeat customer. PCS just as good 7 years later
Member Name: Chepstow
Advantages: Kept fully involved in build & delivery process, total flexibility of spec, everything stress tested
Disadvantages: You need to know what you want
I ordered my old PC about 7 years ago from PC Specialist, and although is was great at the time, the software/bloatware industry has forced it into retirement. (Also I wanted to do some pretty heavy datamining and gaming which needs some serious firepower).
PCS were good at the time when I ordered my first custom PC from them in 2004 (I think), but by 2011 it was definitely feeling underpowered. I started looking at the competitors from the mainstream (e.g. Dell) and specialist (e.g. Overclockers) suppliers. Although their headline prices looked cheap, by the time I had assembled my dream spec, either they couldn't supply the kit, or were more expensive than PCS.
Also the "workflow" reporting system that PCS use means you can see exactly where your order is in their internal accounts / stockpicking / assembly / testing / despatch process, just as if you were the factory manager. There is a live report screen showing average despatch lead times as well as your own order progress report.
Strangely of all the components I had ordered, it was delays in delivery of the 850W Corsair power supply which put a 2-day spanner in the works. I had emails and the online reports to show what was happening, but it was all resolved within the forecast 12 business days order>despatch time frame. (You can pay more for fast-track assembly).
The only weird bit was the delivery (which PCS sub out to DPD) - both my monitor and the PC were handed over to DPD on the same day, but the PC arrived a day later than the monitor. That would have been awkward if I had needed to take a day off to receive the delivery.
And the PC itself? Works perfectly, all set up with Windows 7 and test report loaded on the desktop to prove everything works. Goes like warm s--t off a shovel. Superb. Happy to recommend PCS to anyone who wants to specify their own ideal PC.
Summary: If John Lewis built custom PCs, they would do it like this.