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  #1  
Old 2004-01-27, 00:47
Dice125 Dice125 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
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Building or Buying a PC [help]

hey,

i've always wanted to build my own computer, but i never got the chance to do so because something keeps getting in the way.
but now that i have time, i've been thinking of building my own computer (PC).

but there's one big problem, i dont know crap about computer cases, HD, optical drives, watts/volts, etc etc.

if someone could support me with some
recommendations on which cases, parts, etc, i should look into getting, that would be VERY helpful.

if someone could also support me with some links on building my computer from scratch would be nice too.

this computer is basically going to be strictly for Music, ART, and internet ONLY. so i want the best at it, but at a VERY cheap price.

as far as buying a new pc goes. ive checked out the AlienWare stuff, and whoa, too much $$$. ive checked out a couple of other stuff but it just always has that "extra" thing thats not necessary to what im planning to do.

Thanks!

dice.s [ 125 ] @ kombo-teck.
  #2  
Old 2004-01-27, 12:51
tubeplate9 tubeplate9 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 0
Re: Building or Buying a PC [help]

I have thought about doing that myself but for about the same money you can get a computer that is already built. You might want to do a search online for building computers or the local bookstore. Sorry, can`t think of the titles off-hand. But, a couple of web sites that you might want to try are cyberpowersystem.com and tigerdirect.com.
  #3  
Old 2004-01-27, 22:06
Dice125 Dice125 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
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Hazard: 3yrs later...

nice nice nice,

thanks!
but because you guys are telling me that i should know my computer building first, im thinking seconds on weither i should build my own or not.

for the entire thing i want to spend at MOST $1500 USD. if it goes over that...ill think about it.
btw what ever happened to that mac like case for the PC? all i see is the ZTgroup's stuff.

---------------------------

i know that i can make a decent computer for about the high $600's buying parts from zipzoomfly.com. a guy from another board gave me this layout:

-Asus Pundit HT-READY Mini Barebone System
http://www.asus.com/products/desktop...t/overview.htm
$185

-Kingston 512MB DDR333 PC2700 Memory x2
$89.00 x2 = $178... 1 GIG

-Intel
  #4  
Old 2004-01-27, 17:07
EnochLight's Avatar
EnochLight EnochLight is offline
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 5,916
Warning: long...


:as far as buying a new pc goes. ive checked out the AlienWare stuff, and whoa, too much $$$.

I've been building PC's for about 7 years now, and the thing is you can't really build one for less than you would buy a prebuilt system for. Never could - unless you happen to have access to "at cost" parts from a distributor selling at no profit. ;-) Well, let me re-phrase that: you never could with quality parts.

The only reason I build my own systems is the ethusiest route: I love being able to customize my parts and have complete control over the components chosen and software/OS install. I probably spent 15% more building my own system than I would have spent if I had actually purchased similar machine from Dell or another name brand manufacturer.

So why do it? I compare it to mechanics who like to fix their own cars: just so long as you have the time, tools, and patience, you know what's going into it, and you know the person doing the repair isn't going to pull one over on you. That said, I had a huge learning curve at first - because "you" are your own tech support.

Lot's of DUI guides on the web; check www.tomshardware.com and read up on some of the guides. If you're in the US, the cheapest (and most reliable place) to purchase parts is www.newegg.com - great reputation and the only place I will shop online for parts.

If you decide to do it, some personal recommendations:

Hard drive: WD Raptor 10,000 RPM SATA 74 Gig for your OS - the fastest desktop drive available. This is the only primary drive for my OS I would ever consider to use right now if you want speed - but she's expensive...and so worth it! Use lesser expensive bulk drives for data (Maxtor is my preference).

Optical drives: Plextor is a good name brand, Lite-On happens to make a lot of the components for other drive manufacturers so they might be a good choice to. If you get a DVD burner, the +/- debate has mostly been settled (or complicated) by dual burner drives, but it appears as though the + format is a bit more popular.

Video cards: simple choice - ATI or nVidia (I prefer ATI cards as they seem to deliver better picture quality). Try to get as much onboard memory for the video card as you can afford - if you game. If not, 64 megs of RAM on your video card should be sufficient.

RAM: buy whatever is compatible with your motherboard, but make sure it can been ran in sync with your processor's front side bus for the best performance.

Motherboard: Asus, hands down. Personal preference though... ;-)

Processor: Intel or AMD, that is the question. AMD is more affordable, Intel seems to be the industry leader. AMD's new Athlon 64's are actually 64-bit ready CPU's, so that's always nice when the OS is ready to support it. Performance is neck to neck and subjective depending on the benchmark and reviewer, but AMD's latest Athlon 64's and Intel's latest Pentium 4's seem to be pretty comparible.

Sound card: if you want a quality DAW, stay away from the multimedia cards like Creative, etc. M-Audio and Echo seem to be pretty popular around here.

Hope that helps. Take everything I've said with a grain of salt, and read up.

Cheers,

EnochLight
  #5  
Old 2004-01-28, 11:33
drumyon drumyon is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 0
Re: Warning:

I've been building PC's for about 7 years now, and the thing is you can't really build one for less than you would buy a prebuilt system for. Never could - unless you happen to have access to "at cost" parts from a distributor selling at no profit. ;-) Well, let me re-phrase that: you never could with quality parts.


That is a VERY loaded statement. Basically YOU ARE your own "at cost parts from a distributor selling at no profit" person.
You find the parts for the least amount of $$$ (with free shipping) and put them together for yourself charging yourself nothing for the service (no profit margin).
Its very hard for the average street corner (or even mail order) VAR to keep pace with a SAVY computer person. A successful VAR will not be selling their machines by having the lowest prices. They will succeed only by either having some sort of inside track on parts and by offering something else to the customer to win them over, like a REAL service plan or extra software or simply by reputation (most often reputation alone wont cut it). Just look at the number of VARs (mail order included) who are here today and gone tomorrow (even ones with fairly decent reps).
With the prices on PC gear fluctuating by the minute and with all the wealth of search engines available for finding the absolute lowest prices on just about any PC component, it can make that really great pre-built system price pale in comparision to what one savvy individual with a internet connection, a browser and a spreadsheet could put together on a moments notice.
Personally I mostly recommend building your own machine to people who are already computer/hardware literate. It's really the only way to truly get ALL the components you want at the LOWEST price available.
However, I would NOT recommend this to people who are not computer/electronically inclined.

That's what MAC's are for...

Just Kidding!! Just Kidding!...
  #6  
Old 2004-01-28, 18:03
EnochLight's Avatar
EnochLight EnochLight is offline
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 5,916
Re: Warning:


If what you are saying is that a person with enough patience, perseverance, and knowledge can build a comparable system (or better) for a cheaper price that a vendor such as Dell, then I'd be hard pressed to accomplish such a thing.

I've seen package deals from Dell for a Pentium 4 2.6 Ghz system with 15" LCD around the holidays for less than $599. I couldn't have parted out a system myself for that price to save my life - not with quality parts anyway.

But I suppose if you happen to be "in the know" and can acquire such items at "less than cost", it could happen.

Me? I always tend to spend more building my own systems than I would had I bought a comparible - at least at first, seeing as how I recycle many of my parts (case, optical drives, sound card, etc). Then again, I'm one of those guys that buy a new video card every 12 months, and it usually tends to be the refresh of ATI or nVidia's fastest - which 'aint cheap! ;-)

I bought my wife a Mac; she loves it.

Cheers,

EnochLight
  #7  
Old 2004-01-29, 11:50
drumyon drumyon is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 0
Re: Warning:

If what you are saying is that a person with enough patience, perseverance, and knowledge can build a comparable system (or better) for a cheaper price that a vendor such as Dell, then I'd be hard pressed to accomplish such a thing.

------------
DELL has an advantage. They sell HUNDREDS of machines a day! It's hard to compete (and many small vars will tell you this as well) with that kind of volume.


:
:I've seen package deals from Dell for a Pentium 4 2.6 Ghz system with 15" LCD around the holidays for less than $599. I couldn't have parted out a system myself for that price to save my life - not with quality parts anyway.
-------------

Yep. They do have the deals (gateway, HP, emachines, etc etc... all volume sellers). But then again what self respecting computer nerd (myself included would settle for what they put in that box. A good experiment would be take a DELIVERED system and get out the microscope and spec out EXACTLY what was in that box and what you or I could by it for on the street. Personally, I would not buy a DELL or Gateway or whatever because sometimes these places, in order to provide you with the "deals" as you quoted above, will build those boxen with proprietary system boards which can make them somewhat incompatible with the rest of the world. Also, like any mail order var, you REALLY dont know what you're getting until you open that shipping carton and look inside. Which is why I prefer to aquire my own parts in the first place.

:
:But I suppose if you happen to be "in the know" and can acquire such items at "less than cost", it could happen.
:
--------

You have access to the same search engines that I do if you have an internet connection. Places like TomsHardware and Pricewatch are THE places to go to get the lowest prices and FREE shipping in most cases. Just get out that spread sheet to keep it all straight and you're in biz.


::Me? I always tend to spend more building my own systems than I would had I bought a comparible Then again, I'm one of those guys that buy a new video card every 12 months, and it usually tends to be the refresh of ATI or nVidia's fastest - which 'aint cheap!

-------
Well Im the same way. I dont skimp when it comes to my own systems either. But then again the cost of those "premium parts" gets passed to the vars as well. Buying a "tricked out" system from any var is gonna cost ya. If the good stuff is in the box you're gonna pay the money one way or the other. And most often youll end up paying more to ANY var (yes even DELL or gateway) for that higher quality due to the fact that the var wants its money out of the sale as well.
As far as DELL selling "tricked out" boxen (like one you would build for yourself) for cheaper than you or I could put it together for I'd be willing to say that they would be hard pressed to compete in an EXACT part for part comparison.
  #8  
Old 2004-01-27, 19:24
muogin
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Posts: n/a
CAUTION! Re: Building or Buying a PC [help]

Hello,

EnochLight gave some excellent advice, heck I may look to one of those 10,000 rpm raptors sweet!

BUT!

You definetly want to gain some experience on this before making any learning mistakes on expensice gear!

I learned my PC chops by building and rebuilding the most dumpster ready, boat anchor, couldn't pay people to STEAL comps, long before I ever even considered tweeking with expensive PRO parts.

If you can get your hands on somebody's TRASH computer and try to dismantle, reassemble a few times, get some library or amazon.com books, in fact I usually see a magazine on the stands periodically "How to build your own PC" of course that same sentence into google.com should get a bunch of cool results, check this link:

http://www.hardwarecentral.com/hardw...torials/109/2/

Also, the price thing, well Enoch is right but there needs to be some expansion on what he was saying!

IF you know what you are doing and know what parts to get you CAN build a MUCH better machince for WAY less than a top level DELL or such, especially if there are bells and whisltes you will not be wanting included in the Dell, Gateway package etc.

Big point, Enoch brought this up and only guys with experience on building comps know how important this is, ASUS, ASUS, ASUS! There are no other PC motherboards ok, just get that in your mind! IMO!

Little things like this are big factors to a beginner!

I myself just pieced together a monster PC setup that will arrive in the mail in a couple days 1011.00 shipped to my door.

That may seem like alot but every part is TOP Q, best Motherboard, Seagate drive, LiteonCDRW, top rated 420 w PS, server door case etc...

I will actually be posting the whole order once it is set up and running reason!

In fact even in that price I was able to kick the cheap soundcard and buy the Maudio 2496! Top video card etc. etc. etc.!

Totally ready to be expanded in the future etc.

Keep an eye on the boards in a few weeks I'll break down all the details.

Consider all this with you decision and you'll do well!

-Muogin

hey,
:
:i've always wanted to build my own computer, but i never got the chance to do so because something keeps getting in the way.
:but now that i have time, i've been thinking of building my own computer (PC).
:
:but there's one big problem, i dont know crap about computer cases, HD, optical drives, watts/volts, etc etc.
:
:if someone could support me with some
:recommendations on which cases, parts, etc, i should look into getting, that would be VERY helpful.
:
:if someone could also support me with some links on building my computer from scratch would be nice too.
:
:this computer is basically going to be strictly for Music, ART, and internet ONLY. so i want the best at it, but at a VERY cheap price.
:
:as far as buying a new pc goes. ive checked out the AlienWare stuff, and whoa, too much $$$. ive checked out a couple of other stuff but it just always has that "extra" thing thats not necessary to what im planning to do.
:
:Thanks!
:
:dice.s [ 125 ] @ kombo-teck.
  #9  
Old 2004-01-28, 06:13
Dice125 Dice125 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 0
Anyone for a go? [NT]

please?...

dice.s [ 125 ] @ kombo-teck.
  #10  
Old 2004-01-28, 10:59
lancehayes's Avatar
lancehayes lancehayes is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 17
Re: Anyone for a go? [NT]


Sure. But I live in Seattle and since this is not the sort of work you can do over the net or on the phone you'll need to mail the parts to me. And I charge $50 an hour (which is cheap by the way) for assembly work.
Sound good?
- DJDM
DJDM @ DJDM.com
 

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