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Building first PC

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  • Building first PC

    So after working a few months, I've saved up some money. I didn't know quite what I was wanting, but I decided I'd like a new PC.

    I'm currently stumped over whether to go with a site like alienware(I know its overpriced) or arbico, and get a full pre-built system...or to buy the components and build them myself. I've done simple things with hardware(Add/remove hard drives, add/remove graphics cards and the like). I've never tried starting off with a case, and adding the motherboard and all else in myself.

    I'm willing to spend £1,200 on it(absolute max, £900ish would be preferable). I can save a lot on the basis of No OS + No monitor/speakers/peripherals, and no anti-virus. All I want is a high end PC(I'd love one of those SLI chipsets) that not only performes but looks awesome.

    I've looked at several complete system sites...wired2fire, arbico, dell, alienware.

    If an extra £100 will save the hassle of ordering the parts and installing them seperately, then I'm willing to spend the extra money.

    So in conclusion, I'm wondering whether its worth it to buy it all seperately, and if its a complicated task. I'm also asking for reccomendations on websites to buy the PC from.
    ATM I am currently leaning towards a full PC build. So websites for that would probably be appreciated more

    One last thing is the courier service. I don't know how everything works. I struggled with finding a company that shipped to the Shetland Islands(Non Mainland-UK). I guess for where I live, I'll have to pay an extra premium. But I'm used to that

    Thanks for any help,

    BTW that Acer Predator thing is awesome. I want a case as sexy as that please
    Your order has been dispatched!

  • #2
    Yeah ! If you're going to build a new PC you go out right now and buy the coolest case around !

    It'll cost you an arm and a leg, and you'll have little money left for the really powerful stuff like cpu,gpu,ram etc etc etc

    But it'll be worth it, right?!?!?


    • #3

      I wanted something that looked good too. Thats all...

      Just tried building myself a new PC. The final cost of this one came to £1,192.55. Almost exactly on my budget.

      • *BASE_PRICE: [+1004]
      • CAS: Sigma Gaming Unicorn Mid-Tower 420W Case w/ Side-panel Window [-3]
      • CS_FAN: Default Case Fan
      • CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8600 @ 3.33GHz 1333FSB 6MB L2 ***Overclockable XXX*** Cache 64-bit [+96]
      • FAN: Thermaltake Blue Orb II CPU Cooler ***Overclockable S&S Dual Core & AM2 only*** [-14]
      • HDD: Single Hard Drive (160GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [-15])
      • MOTHERBOARD: (Quad-Core FSB1333) ASUS P5Q PRO P45 LGA775 CrossFire FSB1333 DDR2/800 Mainboard w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio ***Overclockable XXX*** [-55]
      • MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)4GB (2x2GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (OCZ Gold w/ HeatSpreader ***Overclockable S&S*** [+23])
      • POWERSUPPLY: 625 Watts Power Supplies (Enermax Pro 82+ 625Watt Power Supply (84 - 88% Efficiency))
      • PRO_WIRING: Professional Wiring for All WIRINGs Inside The System Chasis with High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU [+11]
      • VIDEO: ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB DDR5 PCI-Express Dual DVI-I & TVO
      • _PRICE: (+977)
      This includes VAT and shipping(Shipping was an extra £60 to Scotland Islands! ). I got a 5% final price reduction due to a special offer on this unit.

      This is coming from
      Your order has been dispatched!


      • #4
        You can get a good gaming rig and a big monitor for half that if you're not a sucker. Do they have Newegg in Icelandia-Mu or wherever?

        TIP: If your fancy case makes you the envy of your friends, you might try getting some improved friends.

        TIP: If you're going to chase unicorns, you must gather your party before venturing forth.

        NOTICE: You are about to waste money.


        • #5
          Is there something wrong about getting a good case? I just thought that If I'm going to spend this amount of money then I may as well get a good one that looks nice too. Why does everyone seem to think thats such a pathetic idea?

          No there is no "local hardware shop" here. No dell, no newegg. My only option is to buy this online.
          Your order has been dispatched!


          • #6
            Building your own machine can be very rewarding, I've been doing it for years, all I'd say is for cases, go to a computer fair or to a shop that displays them, see and feel them as many of the blingy cases are cheap and tacky.

            Additionally you need to consider fan placement and size. For example, 120mm fans will shift more air than an 80mm fan, you need enough airflow to cool your hardware as much as possible.

            I'm a fan of windowed cases, for the nice ambient glow you can get from coloured fans I've had blue, green and white so far. Additionally it's helpful when you glance inside to see if it's time for a spring clean.

            PSU's, go modular, it's fantastic to be able to cut down to only the essential cables and keep them neat and tidy.

            GFX, don't bother with SLI, you'll be on the bleeding edge for about a month, then you'll be the village idiot because a single card has been released that triples the power of your unstable, niche setup.

            Get a creative labs sound card, they have their own processors and I've found through my own tests that they use between 3-5% less CPU than other makes I've owned.

            Consider deluxe versions of motherboards, but limit yourself to the options your likely to even use, I.E will you ever use that SATA connection? will you ever use RAID? Chainsaws and I have bought the higher end motherboards for the past 2 upgrades and they have served us well so far.

            After market CPU coolers will invalidate the warranty on the CPU, so use at own risk.

            Consider silicone rubber mounts for fans, they reduce sound in my experience.

            Buy some cable ties, snip them off with nail clippers (small enough to get into little niggly places).

            When building the PC, make room and time. Take it slow, get the case mountings exactly right, think things through, test the box when the minimal components are in, when happy proceed to tie cables back neatly.

            Have fun with it, but be sensible on the cost, if your looking to be on the very edge of performance your going to pay for it through the nose.


            • #7
              Originally posted by DiP View Post
              Is there something wrong about getting a good case? I just thought that If I'm going to spend this amount of money then I may as well get a good one that looks nice too. Why does everyone seem to think thats such a pathetic idea?

              No there is no "local hardware shop" here. No dell, no newegg. My only option is to buy this online.
              Getting a good case is a very good idea.
              First off. Just because Chief there bought a lousy cheapo case
              and is regretting that decision is no reason to listen to him.
              He can't build a map, no reason to believe he can build a computer..
              Second. Moses. If he doesn't realize that there is no newegg in europe or that Newegg won't even ship there then there is no reason to believe he knows a computer case from a cardboard box. He's just mad because he pissed money away on his last cardboard box believing the street urchin who told him it was a computer.

              Three. Listen to Machine. It seems he has the good advice.
              Go with door number 3.


              • #8
                GA, a good case isn't one that looks cool

                And as to the map reference you're >definately< not MyHero anymore

                no reason to believe he can build a computer..
                Only been building them for the last decade, at work and at home...

                And what Machine (though these days i'm wary of creatives stuff, it doesnt seem to have a very long life for the cost) told you is quite correct, but just remember what I said about good cases don't have to look cool, it isn't just what's on the outside, it's those razor sharp edges on the inside you have to be aware of.

                Though one view is that modular is meant to give rail problems (according to the top end PSU makers - who don't make modular PSUs - and would break your bank account in an instant with their prices) it's because of this I always stick with non-modular PSUs.

                I have an e-atx case anyway so plenty of room for all those cables.

                And as Machine said, cable ties are a definite must

                Btw if you did end up re-considering pre-built computers Dell are very good for delivering to your areas (without adding any surcharges on !).

                Oh and don't believe them when they say they won't send an engineer out to your location - they do if you ask the right support worker (if you ever get through to one ).

                Chief (who doesn't work for dell before anyone asks).


                • #9
                  If I had such a sum of cash to spend purely on either building a PC or buying a pre-built <overpriced> PC then the only thing to think about in my opinion is the guarantees and the warranties.

                  If you build your own rig, which as Mach says is very rewarding and fulfilling, you'll have to keep all yer paperwork of all the components you've bought in case something fails or is incompatible.

                  Purchasing your rig pre-built means you go to one single place if anything goes wrong; Because, it will still go wrong.
                  -TuF- Emptying clan servers of their own clan members since 2010
                  - Agg moderator campaign supporter 2011
                  - #2 of 3 LANers of the Apocalypse!


                  • #10
                    Chief, My post was meant purely in jest and was my way of trying to get things back to something that could help dip out.
                    As your subsequent post and fixxers proves, it worked.
                    My work here is done. Carry on.

                    Tell me you didn't think it was funny?
                    >> the Myhero reference proves your paying attention.


                    • #11
                      just before u spend shameless amounts of money on a PC, i can tell you can get a pretty top end pc for about £600~ if you build it yourself
                      Never, ever, argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience


                      • #12
                        It's better to shop around DiP, there are places selling parts that use Royal Mail, which charge no surcharge to your area. There are others like who only charge something like £5 because they >don't< use City Link couriers (who charge dreadful surcharges to your area).

                        It pays quite often to make a fuss and insist on royal mail (by a fuss i do mean an absolute nuisance of yourself you understand).

                        Btw for intel cpus you should try to get the memory speed up near the FSB of the cpu. (So mines 1066fsb with 1066 ram etc).

                        For ram I reccomend Crucial, they're after care support is superb (and lifetime warranty) ! (and theyre based outside Glasgow so spares arrive/ get dispatched V. quickly).


                        And GA


                        • #13
                          Advantages to building you own case: You will have a better performing PC that meets your needs for a longer time.

                          Disadvantage: It will cost a little more then a pre-built when you consider most vendors tend to provide Monitors, printers, etc for the same price.

                          I myself prefer to build my own rather then buy pre-built.

                          A good component review site is Another might be (even if you cannot order from them, still helpful to see what others say about a particular product)

                          Would figure what applications you intend to use, and how long you want this PC to last until upgrading. If gaming, a good dual core processor ~2.4GHz+ should work fine. Would spend a little bit more on a video card then the processor- That seems to be a big bottleneck these days. If budget is tight, would make sure the Motherboard is SLI capable, but save the second video card for a later upgrade.

                          RAM- another vote for Crucial (good memory, and easy to ensure you got the right stuff)

                          Spend a little more to get a good quality power supply. Not all PSU's are created equal. Lower end ones may not provide rated voltages, provide "dirty" power, etc. These will affect system stability, performance, etc. Make sure sure you have enough juice (search the net for some PSU calculators if not sure).

                          On sound cards, would agree that they are worthwhile, and I typically use a creative card. There are other vendors then creative though, and might be worthwhile to look into them as creative tends to have issues with drivers, especially when it working with an OS like Linux. Also, if your budget is tight, would recommend leaving the soundcard for a future upgrade (assuming the motherboard selected has onboard sound). Also, creative tends to be more for media playback/gaming. there other cards out there that are better for hard drive recording. Of course, both can be run on the same motherboard.
                          Give some taffer fire, and you'll keep him warm for the night with one less reason to cause trouble for the master.
                          Set a taffer on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life, and have no need to bother the master.


                          • #14
                            Thanks everyone,

                            I've looked out some pre-built PC's for the last few days. I'll now try looking out the components to make my own builds. The part that worries me the most about this process is making sure everything is compatible, and installing it. I've never installed a motherboard before....or a processor.

                            Will look at dabs and scan, they are great sites(used for computing courework tasks many times).

                            I dont need to worry about the soundcard. I already have a Sound Blaster Audigy SE, it does fancy stuff(EAX, 24-bit) and hooked up to my 7.1 Creative Speakers, is quite a blast). I've already got people on my MSN who have built their own PC's, I'll give them a whistle and see what I can create. Will post up the specs whenever it is done

                            I've realised this is a lenghtly process, so I've raised the budget abit(Tax rebates, next month wages gives me some more money ). £1,400ish at a stretch.

                            Thanks again for all the help guys! Will try to look out for those Thebos
                            Your order has been dispatched!


                            • #15
                              I built my first pc a few years ago, and I was nervous about the same thing. All I can tell you is to read up on it. A LOT.
                              There are many worthwhile guides online and/or pc magazines that have walk through guides.

                              I am getting ready to build a new computer again.
                              Heres is how I make sure everything is compatible.
                              Figure out what processor AMD or Intel. check to see whats the latest and what you can afford. Check out what socket you'll need the motherboard to have to fit your processor.
                              Then look at motherboards to see what features you'll want
                              and what brand.
                              Next you check what ram the motherboard takes.
                              You'll need a power supply if the case doesn't have one
                              now we have case, motherboard processor and ram.
                              You'll need a video card. Make sure its socket fits motherboard also although most current video cards should be compatible with currrent MB. You'll need a Harddrive Sata or Ide? Most MB should handle either I believe. dvd drives and such and ur pretty much all set. READ the Motherboad manuel!!! Its full of vital information. Follow the instrusctions.
                              Don't get cocky...MAKE sure you read and understand all manuels.