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Posted: 9/25/2011 6:38:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/1/2011 2:42:58 PM EST by NEPatriots]
Building Computer Advice

I need a new computer, but I am not too thrilled with what dell has to offer on their website and I vowed never to by an HP product again after the last computer I purchased - it's a long story.

I am good with computers and thinking about building one, but I have never done anything like this before.

Where is a good place to start? Any advice?

Thanks.

Update: If I have a integrated video card, can I install an upgrade in one of the PCI slots?
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 6:40:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/25/2011 6:41:25 PM EST by pale_pony]
Oh damn, did you ever come to the right place...

I'm not the person to talk to here, but I have built several computer and, if an idiot like me can do it, you can too.

I'm sure the gurus will be here shortly.



Happy building!

ETA: For starters, you can begin looking at "Bare Bones Kits" from TigerDirect.com, NewEgg.com, or others like that.
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 6:46:25 PM EST
Yeah, I remember seeing a couple of threads in the past on this subject.
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 6:47:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/25/2011 6:50:29 PM EST by ccosby]
Originally Posted By NEPatriots:
Building Computer Advice

I need a new computer, but I am not too thrilled with what dell has to offer on their website and I vowed never to by an HP product again after the last computer I purchased - it's a long story.

I am good with computers and thinking about building one, but I have never done anything like this before.

Where is a good place to start? Any advice?

Thanks.


Do you want a gaming system, graphical workstation, basic web surfing machine, etc? Places like hardocp's hardforum.com are a good place to get info on computer builds.

If you just need a basic computer for web, email, basic word processing, etc then your best bet is a prebuilt machine. Check sites like slickdeals and watch out for a nice deal.

As far as assembling your own machine generally speaking it isn't very hard. The problem comes up when issues pop up. Troubleshooting issues with a new build if something is defective can be a bitch. Also the costs can add up quick if you go for quality parts.

Edit: I use to custom build a lot of machines when I worked in retail during college. I was one of the notebook techs but got stuck with the custom machines as well. When I started working with the firm I'm with now as a small business consultant I was part of the push away from custom machines for many of our clients. Just can't beat the business warranty on the major players.
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 6:48:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By pale_pony:
Oh damn, did you ever come to the right place...

I'm not the person to talk to here, but I have built several computer and, if an idiot like me can do it, you can too.

I'm sure the gurus will be here shortly.



Happy building!

ETA: For starters, you can begin looking at "Bare Bones Kits" from TigerDirect.com, NewEgg.com, or others like that.


I've helped a number of my friends with the barebones kits from TigerDirect* and NewEgg.

Personally, I usually buy the cheap computers they have, though - I can beat the price on Hardware, but not once I factor in the price of Windows 7.

*-Also check CompUSA's website when buying from TigerDirect - yes, they're the same company, but every once in a while something is cheaper on the other site.
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 6:49:51 PM EST
1. Decide your budget.

2. Figure out the machine's primary purpose

3. Pick a processor. (I reccomend an intel I-series)

4. Pick a motherboard compatible with that processor with the slots you need for memory, ggx cards, etc...

5. Fill those slots.

6. Profit.

It's really as easy as that.

Link Posted: 9/25/2011 6:50:48 PM EST
I've built a couple and it's a great way to go. I buy all my parts from newegg.com exclusively. Start by picking your processor and motherboard and build up from there.
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 6:52:47 PM EST

Do you want a gaming system, graphical workstation, basic web surfing machine, etc? Places like hardocp's hardforum.com are a good place to get info on computer builds.

If you just need a basic computer for web, email, basic word processing, etc then your best bet is a prebuilt machine. Check sites like slickdeals and watch out for a nice deal.

As far as assembling your own machine generally speaking it isn't very hard. The problem comes up when issues pop up. Troubleshooting issues with a new build if something is defective can be a bitch. Also the costs can add up quick if you go for quality parts.


I want something that I could game on if I decided to, but I am not a big gamer. My current computer cannot play a video , multi-task, or stream video without lagging or locking up.

I figured building would be a cheap alternative to buying an already assembled computer.
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 6:53:16 PM EST
Newegg

Everything you need is right there. Their prices are great.

Advice:
-Ground yourself to your case at all times when handling components. Last thing you need is a $200 paperweight that used to be a graphics card. They make wrist straps for this... but I'm too lazy to look up a link.
-Future-proof yourself. Don't skimp on important components. Get at least 8GB's of RAM and a TB of hard disk space. Quad core and up for your processor... I find AMD to be the best value.
-Make sure your power supply can handle your components power needs. Don't cheap out on it... I run a 750 Watt one currently.
-Make sure you have all the fans you need and then some. And for the love of God, don't forget to put thermal compound between your processor and heat sink. Oh yeah, buy a good heat sink too.
-Make a parts list before you order anything. Make sure the processor you've picked is compatible with the motherboard, and make sure the RAM you've picked is compatible with both. Specs can be found on the manufacturer's websites.
-Buy a GOOD surge protector. Nothing beats a $1400 paperweight because you bought El Cheapo's Fantastic Surge Protector on sale from the Dollar Mart.
-Build it on a surface not prone to static (i.e. wooden table) and don't stand on a carpet while building. Static is your biggest enemy.
-Have fun. It's an enjoyable experience and you feel all smart and such when you've done your first build. Build it to the specs you need and then some (as I said, future-proof. Upgrades are expensive)
-64bit OS is a must.
-That's about all I can think of right now.
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 6:53:47 PM EST
Building a computer is really simple - much like building an AR.

Start browsing newegg.com and tigerdirect.com for hardware. Shoot us questions if you have them. I think I'm sitting on 5 or 6 builds (can't really remember, they're scattered around the apartment) still that I've done over the years. It can get addicting and expensive.
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 6:56:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/25/2011 7:18:30 PM EST by isa268]
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 7:00:16 PM EST
Hardware has go so far ahead of software that you can build a decent puter cheap.

Link Posted: 9/25/2011 7:01:07 PM EST
tag for future reference - gonna be taking the plunge soon
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 7:12:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By NEPatriots:
Building Computer Advice

I need a new computer, but I am not too thrilled with what dell has to offer on their website and I vowed never to by an HP product again after the last computer I purchased - it's a long story.

I am good with computers and thinking about building one, but I have never done anything like this before.

Where is a good place to start? Any advice?

Thanks.


Budget?
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 7:14:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By tyman:
Originally Posted By NEPatriots:
Building Computer Advice

I need a new computer, but I am not too thrilled with what dell has to offer on their website and I vowed never to by an HP product again after the last computer I purchased - it's a long story.

I am good with computers and thinking about building one, but I have never done anything like this before.

Where is a good place to start? Any advice?

Thanks.


Budget?


I am poor...$500-$700 Will that be enough?
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 7:20:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/25/2011 7:22:33 PM EST by ccosby]
Originally Posted By NEPatriots:

Do you want a gaming system, graphical workstation, basic web surfing machine, etc? Places like hardocp's hardforum.com are a good place to get info on computer builds.

If you just need a basic computer for web, email, basic word processing, etc then your best bet is a prebuilt machine. Check sites like slickdeals and watch out for a nice deal.

As far as assembling your own machine generally speaking it isn't very hard. The problem comes up when issues pop up. Troubleshooting issues with a new build if something is defective can be a bitch. Also the costs can add up quick if you go for quality parts.


I want something that I could game on if I decided to, but I am not a big gamer. My current computer cannot play a video , multi-task, or stream video without lagging or locking up.

I figured building would be a cheap alternative to buying an already assembled computer.


On the lower end stuff generally you will pay more to built it yourself. The discount the big names get on the windows 7 license(unless you are going to run linux/bsd) makes it hard to compete.

For a basic machine I'd look at on the intel side an i5 processor(i3 if you want to go real cheap), real intel motherboard if possible, 4 gigs of ram, windows 7 64, antec case/power supply combo(many of the cheap cases come with real shitty power supplies that can cause issues), a sata hard drive and dvdrw of your choice, and a cheap video card unless you really want to do some 3d gaming. I'll let someone chime in on amd as I haven't kept up with them as much. For a standard user 4 gigs should be more then enough as will a standard sata hard drive(vs an ssd or sas). DVDRW's are pretty much a generic part so getting any name brand one is fine.

Someone said corsair power supplies which are good but unless you want a high powered machine an antec case with a 400 watt plus power supply will be a good combo. If going with intel I'd stick with the intel board as they generally are the most stable and will have more driver updates. As far as assembling them generally it is pretty straight forward. Just make sure you use the standoffs and don't screw the motherboard directly to the case where it can short(I can't begin to tell you how many times I've seen this done).

Edit: For 500 to 700 bucks I'd look at a prebuilt where you are pretty much gtg and they come with a hardware warranty. You should be able to find an intel i5 or an amd quad core in that range with 4 gigs or ram(or more), windows 7 64, a dvdrw, etc.
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 7:23:27 PM EST
Buy the "best" CPU, Video Card,motherboard, power supply you can afford upfront. Don't go cheap on those items with plans to upgrade later. It never works as planned and you're wasting money in the long run. Areas where you can "go cheap now and upgrade later" are RAM(minimum of 4GB though), Hard Drives, and optical drives(DVDRW, Blu-Ray)

P.S You'll also want to buy an external hard drive for backing up data. You should also buy a UPS to protect your PC from power spikes and drops.


Link Posted: 9/25/2011 7:26:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By ccosby:
Originally Posted By NEPatriots:

Do you want a gaming system, graphical workstation, basic web surfing machine, etc? Places like hardocp's hardforum.com are a good place to get info on computer builds.

If you just need a basic computer for web, email, basic word processing, etc then your best bet is a prebuilt machine. Check sites like slickdeals and watch out for a nice deal.

As far as assembling your own machine generally speaking it isn't very hard. The problem comes up when issues pop up. Troubleshooting issues with a new build if something is defective can be a bitch. Also the costs can add up quick if you go for quality parts.


I want something that I could game on if I decided to, but I am not a big gamer. My current computer cannot play a video , multi-task, or stream video without lagging or locking up.

I figured building would be a cheap alternative to buying an already assembled computer.


On the lower end stuff generally you will pay more to built it yourself. The discount the big names get on the windows 7 license(unless you are going to run linux/bsd) makes it hard to compete.

For a basic machine I'd look at on the intel side an i5 processor(i3 if you want to go real cheap), real intel motherboard if possible, 4 gigs of ram, windows 7 64, antec case/power supply combo(many of the cheap cases come with real shitty power supplies that can cause issues), a sata hard drive and dvdrw of your choice, and a cheap video card unless you really want to do some 3d gaming. I'll let someone chime in on amd as I haven't kept up with them as much. For a standard user 4 gigs should be more then enough as will a standard sata hard drive(vs an ssd or sas). DVDRW's are pretty much a generic part so getting any name brand one is fine.

Someone said corsair power supplies which are good but unless you want a high powered machine an antec case with a 400 watt plus power supply will be a good combo. If going with intel I'd stick with the intel board as they generally are the most stable and will have more driver updates. As far as assembling them generally it is pretty straight forward. Just make sure you use the standoffs and don't screw the motherboard directly to the case where it can short(I can't begin to tell you how many times I've seen this done).

Edit: For 500 to 700 bucks I'd look at a prebuilt where you are pretty much gtg and they come with a hardware warranty. You should be able to find an intel i5 or an amd quad core in that range with 4 gigs or ram(or more), windows 7 64, a dvdrw, etc.




Intel boards are made by foxconn...and they suck. Tell me when foxconn came out with a decent gamer board? Hehe never!

Link Posted: 9/25/2011 7:34:57 PM EST
My dad just built another computer and made some youtube videos of the build. He build a pretty powerful video processing system. All the parts were bought from NewEgg.

http://youtu.be/mLrGg1ial7k

http://youtu.be/T7jYSFaSZv8

http://youtu.be/LRrKporXSqI
Link Posted: 9/25/2011 7:38:28 PM EST
This may be of help, I wrote this page, and I work IT for a living........I directly oversee about 700 pc's of all makes and types.

http://www.btfh.net/hardware_list.html
Link Posted: 10/1/2011 2:43:22 PM EST
New question in original post
Link Posted: 10/1/2011 2:45:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/1/2011 2:46:22 PM EST by allenNH]
God places to start are the newegg.com and tigerdirect.com "barebones" combo deals. These will come with a case, motherboard, and cpu. From there you add memory, hard drive, video card, and other stuff of choice.

ETA: Yes to your updated question.
Link Posted: 10/1/2011 4:07:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By NEPatriots:
Update: If I have a integrated video card, can I install an upgrade in one of the PCI slots?


Yes, just make sure it has an open pci express x16 slot.
Link Posted: 10/1/2011 4:44:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By NEPatriots:
Originally Posted By tyman:
Budget?
I am poor...$500-$700 Will that be enough?

I'm thinking cheap i5 system with integrated video, then upgrade to a decent video card(and more RAM/bigger HD) later when you can afford it.
I've had good luck with Asrock and Gigabyte motherboards - they should have some decent lower end boards that will work well for you, although a slightly better MB won't cost that much more and gives a lot more options.
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