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Old 11-08-2005, 09:53 AM  
jspchief jspchief is offline
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Building a PC

I'm getting to the point where my current PC just can't do what I want of it anymore. I'm considering trying to build my own rather than buying something out of the box.

Two reasons I want to build my own:
1. Price. Can I get a good gamer PC cheaper if I build it?
2. The experience. I like the idea of building something from scratch like that.

My biggest question is, how difficult is it? Specifically, how much do I need to know about computers? I've done enough internal upgrades on my current PC to believe I'll be fine with the nuts and bolts aspect of the job. But I'm not sure I'll be able to troubleshoot problems.

It's like bolting together an engine, but not knowing how to set the timing or get the right mix in the carb.

Would I be getting in over my head?
Is it any cheaper?
Any good resources (books or websites)?
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:16 AM   #2
dirk digler dirk digler is offline
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The first question would be what is your budget? If it is high then you can build your own if not Dell always has good deals on PC's which you can get for $400-$600.

IMO building a PC is ALOT more expensive than buying one from Dell, Gateway,..etc because you want the best mobo/cpu, ram, video cards, sound card, etc and that stuff isn't cheap.

But once you build your own you have alot of flexibility if you need to upgrade.

I build my own PC's and I enjoy it alot.

Do a search on google and I am sure you will be able to find alot of tutorials on it.

If you need any help don't be afraid to ask me.
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:25 AM   #3
jspchief jspchief is offline
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Well the last CP I bought was a $1700 Gateway. I figured my budget would be around $1000-$1500, hoping that would get me a pretty high end system.

I realize a $400 Dell will be a huge improvement over what I have, but I'd rather have something that isn't obsolete in 2 years.

I guess I'll look into it further and see what I find.
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:32 AM   #4
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Building is better than buying if you have the time and ambition.

For one, I don't know how many of the pre-built HP's, Dell's, etc. out there use AMD and you definitely want to get an AMD proc.

Assembling a PC is a piece of cake, you can do it no problem. As far as troubleshooting, you've got us.
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:32 AM   #5
jspchief jspchief is offline
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This is along the lines of what I had in mind. It's an $800 system, with some areas that I would upgrade form the start.

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...1822645,00.asp
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htismaqe
Building is better than buying if you have the time and ambition.

For one, I don't know how many of the pre-built HP's, Dell's, etc. out there use AMD and you definitely want to get an AMD proc.

Assembling a PC is a piece of cake, you can do it no problem. As far as troubleshooting, you've got us.
As soon as the snow starts flying, I have a lot of spare time. As for ambition, I love to get projects 90% done.

I think maybe it's time I got serious about this.
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:59 AM   #7
Saulbadguy Saulbadguy is offline
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I built my own PC. It is pretty simple.

http://www.anandtech.com

They have good hardware reviews and such, plus a HUGE technical forum, that includes hot deals on tech-related items.
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:40 AM   #8
dirk digler dirk digler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief
Well the last CP I bought was a $1700 Gateway. I figured my budget would be around $1000-$1500, hoping that would get me a pretty high end system.

I realize a $400 Dell will be a huge improvement over what I have, but I'd rather have something that isn't obsolete in 2 years.

I guess I'll look into it further and see what I find.
You can definitely build a kick-ass system for $1500 that will last you for a few years.
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Old 11-08-2005, 01:22 PM   #9
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If I were going to build another one i'd go with a Shuttle XPC barebone system (case/power supply/motherboard).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...465&Category=3
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Old 11-08-2005, 01:44 PM   #10
dirk digler dirk digler is offline
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Here is some ideas

ATX case - make sure it is ATX
400-500w ATX Power Supply - Make sure the power supply will work with your motherboard. Most are standard

ATX Motherboard - I prefer ASUS because there is no configurations that need to be done

AMB 64bit Processor - Depending on what you can afford the bigger the better. Make sure that it works with your motherboard.
I bought my last motherboard/cpu/memory bundle from MonarchComputers. http://www.monarchcomputer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv

1gb of RAM at the minimum of course the more the faster - Make sure it works with your motherboard
120GB or larger Hard Drive - Hard Drives are cheap so get the biggest you can afford
High end graphics card - I got a MSI NX6600GT-VTD128 Geforce 6600GT 128MB 128-bit GDDR3 VIVO AGP 4X/8X Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127150

It plays Battlefield 2 flawlessly.

Sound card - I prefer Creative Labs Soundblaster Audigy 2 or better
DVD-RW Drive
Mouse
Keyboard
Monitor

I think that is it.

My recommendation and I know some will disagree but I would tell you to buy a motherboard/CPU/RAM bundle because you know that they all work together and that is less that you have to worry about.

Just my .02 cents.
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Old 11-08-2005, 01:50 PM   #11
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$1500 will get you pretty much the best single core and GPU system right now, assuming you keep the old monitor, speakers, etc (unless you buy one of those $1200 processors).

If you don't want to build your own, I'd recommend checking out www.cyberpowerinc.com it's cheap and looks pretty good from what I can tell. Stay away from Dell/Gateway/etc...
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:01 PM
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:12 PM   #12
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Check out www.tigerdirect.com. It seems like a great place to buy stuff at reasonable prices to build a computer. Their U.S. warehouse is in Naperville, IL, about 2 miles from me, so I can check the website and then go to the warehouse to pick it up instead of waiting on shipping.

Tiger also has some insane gaming computers inside your price range.
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanman
Check out www.tigerdirect.com. It seems like a great place to buy stuff at reasonable prices to build a computer. Their U.S. warehouse is in Naperville, IL, about 2 miles from me, so I can check the website and then go to the warehouse to pick it up instead of waiting on shipping.

Tiger also has some insane gaming computers inside your price range.
I was going to buy some of my PC stuff from TigerDirect because they are super cheap until I read all of the horror stories and bad recommendations about them.

I would be very leery of them if I was you.
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:31 PM   #14
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I also wouldn't recommend tigerdirect..... bought son's laptop there. First one was cancelled and not a notification or refund of money. Went somewhere else to get it.
Might also try www.cyberguys.com Even compusa has parts to build what your wanting.
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:55 PM   #15
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dirk digler- a 6600GT is a high end graphics card? :chortle:

NVidia just released a new mid range card- 6800GS It should be on stores next week and is about as fast as the 6800GT.

My tips on a BYO pc-

AMD 64 or AMD X2
there is nothing else even worth talking about here.

Asus mobo for stability, DFI for overclocking

1gb of low latency pc3200 (2gb is still overkill, and DDR2 is coming Q2 of 06)

XP-90 or SI-120 + panaflo 92/120mm fan
no substitutes here, these are the best heat skink/fan combos you can get today.

LiteOn or NEC dvd burner

NCQ enabled hard drive with 16mb cache (almost as fast as a Raptor with more space and half the price)

onboard sound is fine unless you're an audiofile (and have very expensive speakers)

a GOOD NAME BRAND power supply. don't cheap out on that, it can kill yuo're whole system.
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