D. J. Bernstein
Computer hardware



Price Grabber collects prices from many online merchants, and customer reviews of the merchants, into a single well-organized database. It isn't perfect (for example, it claims incorrectly that Gateway offers free shipping on various items), but it's pretty damn good.

Computer Shopper used to be a physical magazine; it was the premier source of computer advertisements before sellers discovered the Internet. It's similar to Price Grabber now.

Price Watch is not as well organized as Price Grabber and doesn't seem to have any advantages.

mySimon. Similar to Price Grabber.

Reseller Ratings collects customer reviews of merchants.

Computers and accessories

Warehouse States Often ships same day if you order before this time (Pacific) Notes
Allstar CA 14:00
CompSource OH 11:30 I've purchased an online UPS from CompSource. No problems. 2011 update: I'm now dealing with blatant $5000 fraud from CompSource. Don't order from this company.
Essential Computer NY 11:00
Ebuyer AZ 13:00
eXpansys Don't order from these clowns: after you place your order, they'll demand that you fax copies of your credit card and your credit-card statement.
Hitechcafe Old components at low cost. Interesting.
Hyper SCSI components.
Kingston CA, CT, GA, IL, NJ, NC, OH, TX, VA, WA 15:00 Kingston memory directly from the manufacturer. Prices seem generally good; apparently resellers aren't receiving much of a discount.
Krex I'm told that many items are not actually in stock.
MicroWarehouse CT, IL, NJ, OH, TN 20:00
NewEgg CA 12:00, with $3 extra charge Often the best prices for components, as shown by Price Grabber.
Outpost CT, OH 21:00
PC Connection MA, OH, TN 23:00 (Sunday 08:00) My usual source for prebuilt computers and accessories. I've purchased a laptop, three LCDs, KVM switches, a keyboard, a mouse, various network cables, some batteries, and a modem from PC Connection. The prices were always reasonable. One LCD didn't work (nasty electrical zaps, smoke pouring out, etc.; probably the power adapter's fault) and was quickly replaced. One LCD didn't show up on time and wasn't trackable; PC Connection promptly shipped another one overnight, paid for return shipment of the first LCD, and refunded the original shipping charges.
PCMall CA, TN, WI 19:00
PROVANTAGE OH? I've purchased an online UPS from PROVANTAGE. No problems.
ShopperWiz FL, MA I've purchased a projector from ShopperWiz. No problems.
Spartan, also known as PC Progress IL Most items are not actually in stock.
Techonweb CA, MA, TX
ZipZoomFly (formerly known as Googlegear) CA unclear Often the best prices for components, as shown by Price Grabber. Good selection, and can be used as a single source for all computer components. However, ZipZoomFly doesn't seem to keep up with downward swings in RAM prices. Don't combine nearly-free-2-day-shipping items into a single order with items that should be shipped ground; you won't be able to specify per-item shipping.

Some other potentially interesting places: 8anet.com, adamant.com, bzboyz.com, cpusolutions.com, digitalstormonline.com, fticomputer.com, globalcomputer.com, gogocity.com, goroyalpc.com, knowledgemicro.com, motherboardzone.com, mscomponent.com, partspc.com, pcdirectsource.com, pcinfinity.net, pcnation.com, shentech.com, tufshop.com, ussa.com.

Custom computer assembly

Minotaur (VA), Jon Mitchiner. Optional assembly, $45. I've purchased one computer from Minotaur. Excellent service. No problems. Highly recommended. Unfortunately, now closed.

Multiwave (CA). Optional assembly, $80. I haven't tried Multiwave yet. A friend reports that Multiwave shipped a set of computer components, including a case, with manuals and extra cables in a loose static-free bag inside the case; the bag should have been tied down.

Micro X-Press (IN). Optional assembly, $40. I purchased five computers from Micro X-Press, totalling about $10000:

One computer had Samsung memory instead of the Kingston memory I ordered, and some of the computers had TEAC CD-ROM drives instead of the IBM drives I ordered. The memory modules would probably have been Samsung modules in any case, and I don't really care who makes my CD-ROM drives, but I don't like substitutions behind my back.

Treasure Chest Computers (AZ). I purchased a $2500 computer. A few pieces, small but critical, were missing. TC doesn't assemble systems any more.

ASA Computers (CA). Optional assembly. I purchased a $3000 computer; they forgot to include one of the two $300 disk drives. Oops.

Other companies that I might try for computer purchases: Axion (TX). Bunta (CA). Champaign Computer (IL). Envision (KS). KC Computers (NY).

Companies that I stopped investigating because they didn't respond to requests for quotes: Acme (CA). Hardware Pro (CA).