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  • Building a Comp

    Ok, heres the deal. I'd like to get a new computer to replace this ancient 233mhz pentium (1) computer. But, instead of buying a new one, I figured I'd expand a little, and build one myself.

    Im going to dig up all my gaming magazines, and look in their tech sections for good name brand stuff to build it with, but I figured since a lot of you guys are into this stuff as well, I'd ask you what YOU like to use.

    Any tips and advice appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Garlisk's Fantasy Art Gallery
    www.usyetzer.com

  • #2
    Buy one.

    It's cheaper.
    The only constant is change.
    (And I wouldn't have it any other way.)

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll give you a generic template to start with, take the advice of others to fill in the actual details of brands and models.

      First off, define for yourself the purpose of the new box. Probably it's gaming with assorted additional desktop crap. Never lose focus on that goal, build your box in such a way that it fits the purpose in a minimal sufficient way.
      • Start with the mainboard, since this affects every else that follows. Buy quality here. Take legacy hardware/peripherals into account you want to salvage from older PCs (webcam? soundcard? scanner?).
      • Add CPU. Don't buy the latest and greatest, I even encourage a low end model that's on the brink of being out of date, but keep the upgrade way open. You save money in both the short and the long run.

        Remember, CPU performance is insignificant. Most of the time it will be scratching its arse and wait for input. Hell, today's video boards are stronger than CPUs!
      • Add memory. Don't be a niggard here, pump in as much as you can afford. Look at advertisings of large PC vendors. Use the double amount of RAM of them.
      • Video board will spawn a heated (haha) discussion. I'll just say I had only pleasant experiences with that particular company and their "way it's meant to be played".
      • Pick a convenient keyboard, mouse/trackball, joystick/controller and headset.
      • Split the rest of the budget across soundcard+speakers, HD, CD/DVD-drives or -recorders.


      Long term strategy: When you notice this box is too slow, upgrade the CPU. Maybe throw more RAM at it.
      "HTML is ON" -- LIKE HELL. I can use neither the < entity nor the <strong> element.

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      • #4
        I'm in no way rich, but I just built this computer and had money to spare:

        AMD 2400+ MX
        256 DDR RAM
        GeForce 4 MX 440
        40GB HD

        I already had a monitor, so that cut down on the cost. In the end it added up to about $700 CDN.
        It's not my fault everything you like is terrible.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CrouchingDork
          Buy one.

          It's cheaper.
          That's just dead wrong. For a given amount of money, you can build a far better system than you can buy. For a given set of system specs, a home-built machine will be much cheaper than an off-the-shelf one. Even moreso if you do some shopping around online for the best prices.

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          • #6
            I'd like to suggest using AMD. They're cheaper for the amount of performance you get.

            I'd also suggest getting a motherboard with a Nforce2 chipset, if you go with a AMD.

            When you go looking for parts check out www.pricewatch.com for good prices.

            www.tomshardware.com has comprehensive reviews of parts so you can compare their performance vs price.

            Finally when you're installing the motherboard or touching any of the insides make sure you're grounded or could fry something.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LaughingRat
              Originally posted by CrouchingDork
              Buy one.

              It's cheaper.
              That's just dead wrong. For a given amount of money, you can build a far better system than you can buy. For a given set of system specs, a home-built machine will be much cheaper than an off-the-shelf one. Even moreso if you do some shopping around online for the best prices.
              Depends where you get it from, if you're using parts off your old computer, and where you live.

              If you live in Canada, it'd end up being cheaper getting one from a super-cheap nearby store I know (You could get some crappy Dell machine priced at $1500 for probably a few hundred less there), than ordering it off the internet and having to pay shipping, currency exchange, and duty.
              The only constant is change.
              (And I wouldn't have it any other way.)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CrouchingDork
                Depends where you get it from, if you're using parts off your old computer, and where you live.

                If you live in Canada, it'd end up being cheaper getting one from a super-cheap nearby store I know (You could get some crappy Dell machine priced at $1500 for probably a few hundred less there), than ordering it off the internet and having to pay shipping, currency exchange, and duty.
                That could be, I hadn't considered costs involved with foreign shipping. In the US, though, it's ALWAYS cheaper to build your own, though, as long as you're not getting ripped off on the price of the hardware you're buying.

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                • #9
                  I suggest you get one of the Shuttle XPC barebone systems and save yourself a lot of trouble, especially the SN41G2 (Nforce2 mobo), and I echo Daxim's comments below about not getting the latest/greatest components.

                  I recommend:
                  • RAM > Crucial or Corsair > 512MB is plenty for most people (256MB minimum)
                  • CPU > AMD XP1700+ for now and upgrade to 3200+ in a year or so
                  • HDD > WD with 8MB cache
                  • Video > Nvidia > GF4Ti 4x00 128MB
                  • Optical Drive > Lite-On > 48x24x48x CD writer/DVD 16x combo drive (I just purchased this for $65 and love it)
                  No Linux, No Choice.
                  Know Linux, Know Choice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'd advise
                    AMD Athlon XP of about 2000-2400.
                    512mb of branded memory.
                    ATi Radeon 9700Pro graphics card (still very nearly the fastest, but a good lot cheaper than a R9800 or a FX5800).

                    If you're aiming to be a bit cheaper, get a Radeon 9500Pro or an nVidia Geforce FX5600ultra and again, about an Athlon XP2000 processor. Keep 512mb of memory though, a lot better value for money than bumping up cpu speed.

                    As for motherboards, I've not tried the nForce2, but the VIA KT400 is ok, if its from a good brand and up-to-date with the drivers. As for brands I'd have to recommend Gigabyte, they're rather reliable I find.

                    The Geforce4Ti's are still quick but they don't do DX9 - the R9500Pro is more or less the same price as a Ti4800SE (4400 w/agp 8x) as well.

                    Hard drives, well I'd have to say avoid Fujitsu and IBM. Brands I'd reccomend are Seagate, Western Digital and Maxtor. Make sure its a 7200rpm drive, preferably about 120gb.

                    And a good powersupply (350 or 400w, and a good brand... can't help there though sorry) and case help.

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                    • #11
                      Im upgrading my machine in a couple months, if I bought everything right now it would cost me 600 bucks

                      Im getting:

                      new motherboard, possibley one with integrated audio (dolby digital surround sound, which will be nice since I havent gotten to use my kick ass stereo for surround in a long time, T3 with surround sound, oh yes), but it also would have a slot for putting in a new sound card if the integrated gets on my nerves

                      new processor, going up to a 2.4 I think it was

                      new video card, geforce4ti 4400

                      possibley more ram and a new harddrive later, but thatd up the cost a little

                      600 bucks for all that is a pretty good deal, and a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a new PC

                      btw: www.pricewatch.com this site goes around and looks for all the lowest prices on computer hardware, its not always 100% true, but you can click the links and see for yourself, definetely worth checking out, I use it all the time
                      "Shivers running down my spine,
                      whos blood? I know its mine.
                      -I am The Hunted"

                      GBH

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                      • #12
                        I've built 15 computers in the past year, and i think i can help. any questions you may have, e-mail me at [email protected]

                        ANd i can give u tips on how yto make a lighted case badge (ohhhhh.... shiny.....)
                        "Just off the border of your waking mind there lies another time, where darkness and light are one. As you tread the halls of sanity, you feel so glad to be unable to go beyond. I have a message from another time."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CrouchingDork
                          Buy one.
                          It's cheaper.
                          Nah, not true. I prefer to build one myself, cause then I know what hardware I get, and I'm able to read reviews etc. to find out what hardware that fit best together. You really should read reviews of different mainboards, cpu's, g-cards and coolingsys, I'm sure you'll get a better PC then.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My rules : buy mind range stuff then overclock the eck out of it

                            only my first real PC was an brand PC, since then Ive build my own PC (well i choose the parts, they install them). That way you sure of what your getting. But you need to know your stuff, read alot of web sites first.

                            I get the most "parts list" i can get, then compare prices...(However, if you build a complet system i would suggest buying all from one place as to get a better service afterward).

                            As of now i have a AMD CPU, MSI motherboard(VIA chipset), Nvidia video card. If i would change i would go for :

                            low cost : AMD CPU 2400+ and up, with nforce2 mobo(from : MSI, abit, asus), video card nvidia-ti4200 from leadtek or somelike alike. Then again ATI 9500 could be fine too (look for the tip on the web somewhere, on how to transform an ATI 9500 into a 9700 for free "if u got the skilz" ) well money is THE factor here (some new nvidiaFX 5200 could be ok too, very cheap).

                            high end : Intel CPU 2,4 Gig ``revC``and up (the C model have ``HT`` and run at 800fsb). as for the Mobo an MSI, asus or abit again, with an intel i865 chipset should be fine (or his more expensive bro : i875) as for the video card ATI or Nvidia the more money you can put on one (but i would not thake the most expensive ones.... not worth it).

                            ram (DDR400) : 512meg (256 x2) or 1gig (512 x2).
                            HD : WD or Maxtor.
                            sound card : newest SB card
                            keyboard : logitech
                            mouse : MS

                            hummmm, damn now i wanna change PC too
                            [KYO] - Knock You Out

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                            • #15
                              actually, AMD outstripped Intel again last friday.
                              "Just off the border of your waking mind there lies another time, where darkness and light are one. As you tread the halls of sanity, you feel so glad to be unable to go beyond. I have a message from another time."

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