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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 5/4/2004 9:33:41 AM EDT
Well I just spent 4 hours trying to boot up and log on. Think the old Compaq getting ready to bite it.

If I buy from Dealer I will go Dell or Gateway.

But seriously thinking of scratch building one, (with lots of help).

Local PC mech -with good reputation- says no problem and will give warrenty.

2,200-2,800 bucks for Dell & Gateway

1,500-1,900 bucks for local build

I don't want a complete system , just main computer alone,

What do you think?
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:37:20 AM EDT
Well if you gotta do alot of the tech support stuff go with store bought, otherwise build it.

I need to build one real soon.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:37:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2004 9:38:35 AM EDT by Atencio]
How powerful of a computer do you want? You can buy a Compaq or local store build for probably $500.00. If you want top or near top of the line stuff I would build myself. It boils down to if you want to hassle building yourself, quality of components, and the warranty.

For computer only, you could build a sweet machine for $1,500
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:37:44 AM EDT
Do it yourself for about half the price. goto www.pricewatch.com and throw it all together. After you hook everything up just make sure you have all the latest drivers and you will have no problem. especially if you use xp, dont forget to update xp first.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:40:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gotodengo:
Do it yourself for about half the price. goto www.pricewatch.com and throw it all together. After you hook everything up just make sure you have all the latest drivers and you will have no problem. especially if you use xp, dont forget to update xp first.



get XP service packs and security patches installed right away. Save them to disc rather than downloading from internet.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:45:20 AM EDT
I would go with the build-it yourself route, if your semi mechanical it should do. My 2 high school kids had zero computer experience and they build the computer I'm using now.

Most of the big system board mfg'rs have 800 number for help, I personally recommend MSI. You can pick the CPU speed(I recommend AMD, but their factory cpu cooling is noisy, but its cheaper) that is right for your budget. I would recommend the absolute minimum to get you by. Bare HD area really cheap, 250GB, is no big deal today. I would recommend that you get the best display board you can afford, here's where to spend the extra bucks.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:48:01 AM EDT
oh yeah dont forget to get at least a 400w power supply. and lots of fans.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:48:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gotodengo:
oh yeah dont forget to get at least a 400w power supply. and lots of fans.



If you shop around you should be able to get a 500w with case for about $30
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:52:33 AM EDT
I used to build my own, starting back in 96 or so.

I got tired of tinkering with it. Got tired of swapping out hardware when it broke, got tired of scraping my knuckles, and got tired of having to drop what I'm doing to go out and pick up parts.

I wound up ordering a dell about 2 years ago; first time since 98 I ordered a PC for myself that wasn't a laptop.

It's still running strong today; no problems. It's about due for an upgrade, but otherwise, it's still good.

Personally, it's worth it to me to pay some more scratch, so if there is a problem I can call someone and yell at them. (And get the proper parts next-dayed to me.)

If you have a local guy who's willing to build it and give you 24x7 support, then go for it. Right now, my parents have a local builder build their pc's...they have some issues and have to wait for the guy to not be busy so he can come over and fix it. (I told them my pc support days are long over.)

Each way has it's advantages and disadvantages...
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:55:32 AM EDT
If you are an adept builder I say go for it. I actually had enough parts from my last build to put together a 600mhz system for my kids. Now, it was not necessarily economical. The large chain computer store near me had compaq factory refurbs with tons of software loaded 2.4ghz systems for like $350. I just couldn't see wasting the parts I already had on hand. Depends on what you want to do, but for under $500 I have 80 gig HDD + the old 30 gig, a Celeron 2.4ghz processor, 250 megs ram with room to expand, and a 32meg vid card, built in sound and 4 usb ports plus onboard ethernet and a 17" flatscreen CRT monitor. Its fine for my games and my wifes business uses plus arfcom loads real fast.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:58:25 AM EDT
Dude, they are selling brand new Dell desktops with P-IV processors for $500. I just priced one about 30 minutes ago.

It's pretty hard to beat that - with the manufacturer's warranty.

CMOS
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:01:01 AM EDT
wtf? 32 meg video card? you cant play games on that if you want decent fps then you need at least 128megs on your video card and preferably dx9 ready. oh and get a gig of ram. you cant have too much ram and itrs cheap.

32 megs? what is that from 1999? my watch has more ram than that.


Originally Posted By shotar:
If you are an adept builder I say go for it. I actually had enough parts from my last build to put together a 600mhz system for my kids. Now, it was not necessarily economical. The large chain computer store near me had compaq factory refurbs with tons of software loaded 2.4ghz systems for like $350. I just couldn't see wasting the parts I already had on hand. Depends on what you want to do, but for under $500 I have 80 gig HDD + the old 30 gig, a Celeron 2.4ghz processor, 250 megs ram with room to expand, and a 32meg vid card, built in sound and 4 usb ports plus onboard ethernet and a 17" flatscreen CRT monitor. Its fine for my games and my wifes business uses plus arfcom loads real fast.

Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:07:20 AM EDT
Picked out what I wanted on the web from Dell at excellent prices. The the "in home" service contract. Have not had to use it. I've had this computer for over two years now.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:08:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2004 10:24:31 AM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:08:23 AM EDT
I looked at the Dell deals. I might check into it further but the last Dell laptop I had sucked.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:11:23 AM EDT
I like building them myself


Everything you need, nothing you don't


You can also customer tailor your PC to your needs and use the hardware you want.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:19:14 AM EDT
If you are a habitual hobbist like me, you'll build your own. There IS a slight learning curve to this, so be careful if you plan on making this your "Primary" computer. It doesnt hurt to find someone who DOES know what they are doing, and doesn't mind being harrased with questions.

Important Pointers:
- Have multiple hard drives. Store anything important to you on a seperate drive from your "system" drive. That way, when you inevitably(sp?) crash the OS, and have to wipe your system HD, all your data stays safe.
- include temperate monitors for your system. Most Mobos now have built in sensors, so download a copy of Motherboard Monitor to make sure you dont melt any components.
- Stay grounded when working on your system... Static electricity is not good.
- Read MaximumPC... They have a lot of good tips and tricks (and CDs w/ Free utilities) and reviews on equipment.
- If you are on a budget, focus $$ on a good Mobo to start. Upgrade video card and memory as needed.

Thats about all my .02cents
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:21:58 AM EDT
Build IT ! A monkey (or stupid pipefitter)could assemble these things, I've been doing it as a side gig for several years
Go here www.newegg.com Everything you need to know is included w/ the hardware. Dell & all those guys will give you a 1 yr. warranty, they don't tell you they have a 3yr. warranty on most parts, you have to pay them extra. Build it yourself & buy "retail box" parts & get the same warranty. At newegg you can research your parts & read reviews, these guys ROCK ! FedEx shipping, no BS return policy. Take the plunge, you'll be glad you did
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:23:39 AM EDT
I always have someone build it from scratch for me or, if I had to, I would build it myself. When I'm picking a PC I'm going to have for 3-4 yrs, I want to pick every component in it so I know the upgrade path. I would never buy a Dell, Gateway, Compaq or HP. That being said, I work with computers all day so I have lots of people I can ask questions about PC hardware.

My latest PC was assembled from scratch with all the parts purchased from zipzoomfly.com. (used to be Googlegear.com). I was able to have the IT guy at work slap it together for free. I spent @ $1850 for the following:

- Intel® P4 3.4GHz, 800MHz FSB
- Asus P4P8X SE Motherboard w/Audio, GB LAN, SATA
- Kingston 1GB DDR400 PC3200 RAM
- Asus V9950TD Ultra GeForce FX5900 Ultra AGP 8X 256MB DDR Video Card
- Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 160GB SATA 7200RPM Hard Drive w/8MB Buffer
- Sony DVD 16x + CD-RW 52x24x52 Combo Drive
- Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy LS Sound Card Retail
- Sony FD Disk Drive
- Microsft Multimedia Keyboard
- Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 4.0
- Antec SX635 BII Mini Tower Case
- (2) copies Windows XP Pro Full Version OEM (1 for new and 1 for old PC) ($138 each!!)

Pretty much a top if the line system and it screams!! I use it for surfing the net and playing games so I spent about 25% of the total cost on the video card.

BTW, did I mention I got everything in black to match my black rifles?
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:24:06 AM EDT
Alot of the companies like Dell use some of the cheapest parts they can get.

I had a computer with a motherboard from Gateway, lot o problems.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:25:01 AM EDT
I quit building them some time ago and bought a Dell. Maybe their politics suck, I don't know. All I can say is that my Dell works very well and I ordered exactly what I wanted on it. It doesn't give me any grief and I don't have to tweak it all the time. It readily accepts other makers hardware too. I put an NVidia card in it some time ago and it went right in and installed almost before I knew it. Some companies and government agency employees can go to Dell Premier and get a very good deal on one. If you know someone, you could ask them to order it for you. I don't think Dell cares if it's a family member or not, they just want to keep selling computers.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:27:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gotodengo:
wtf? 32 meg video card? you cant play games on that if you want decent fps then you need at least 128megs on your video card and preferably dx9 ready. oh and get a gig of ram. you cant have too much ram and itrs cheap.

32 megs? what is that from 1999? my watch has more ram than that.


Originally Posted By shotar:
If you are an adept builder I say go for it. I actually had enough parts from my last build to put together a 600mhz system for my kids. Now, it was not necessarily economical. The large chain computer store near me had compaq factory refurbs with tons of software loaded 2.4ghz systems for like $350. I just couldn't see wasting the parts I already had on hand. Depends on what you want to do, but for under $500 I have 80 gig HDD + the old 30 gig, a Celeron 2.4ghz processor, 250 megs ram with room to expand, and a 32meg vid card, built in sound and 4 usb ports plus onboard ethernet and a 17" flatscreen CRT monitor. Its fine for my games and my wifes business uses plus arfcom loads real fast.





See, I would except I don't live for video games. My favorite is still Redbaron 3D and it runs just fine on what I have. Maybe occaisionally Medal of honor, but thats about it. I actually haven't seen any newer games that I find remotely interesting, and for the internet and business documents, I just have no need for all that video processing power.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:34:19 AM EDT
You can't build yourself a mid-level computer for the price that you can buy a new Dell for.

If you are going to spend the money on a top of the line machine then roll your own.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:42:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 11:03:46 AM EDT
I just bought a Sony Vaio 2.8Ghz P4 processor, 512Mb RAM, 120 Gb HD, DVD-RW, CD-RW, CD-ROM. Excellent computer.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 7:46:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2004 7:51:39 PM EDT by DJbump]

Originally Posted By gotodengo:
wtf? 32 meg video card?
32 megs? what is that from 1999? my watch has more ram than that.



Not everyone is a hardcore gamer, so not everyone needs a 128 or 256 Meg vidcard. As a matter of fact, one of the PCs in my house still has a 4 Meg Trident vidcard in it, and it does everything that is asked of it.

Funny how it's always easy to pick out the youngsters on this board, ain't it?
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 7:49:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DJbump:

Originally Posted By gotodengo:
wtf? 32 meg video card?
32 megs? what is that from 1999? my watch has more ram than that.



Not everyone is a hardcore gamer, so not everyone needs a 128 or 256 Meg vidcard. As a matter of fact, one of the PCs in my house still has a 4 Meg Trident vidcard in it, and it does everything that is asked of it.

Funny how it's always easy to pick out the youngsters on this board, ain't it?



you gotta admit the "watch" comment was pretty funny.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 7:56:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2004 8:01:59 PM EDT by huggybro]
Check out the Dell 4600 desktops. Bought one about 9 months ago and it is great.
Keep an eye on techbargains.com for specials and discount codes.
You can pick up just the computer for sale for under $500. Try to catch it where the
shipping is free. The 4600 usually has the P4 2.6 or 2.8 processor with separate
video card. Sometimes you can catch a special which includes CD burner and memory
upgrade. Really a great computer.

Just checked out techbargains.com. They have the
4600 with 17" LCD flat panel for $699. It amazes me how cheap these things have gotten.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 8:10:38 PM EDT
1) Home built allways beats store bought. Better quality, you control what you get, and cheaper too...

2) If you MUST buy from a store, NEVER NEVER NEVER buy a brand name system. You get absolutely nothing worthwile in return.

If your brand name box fails, you either fedex it back or deal with a local contractor that the manufacturer sends out as their 'representative'.

If your locally built box fails, you go back to the storefront shop & deal with them...

3) Computers are not appliances. Therefore, you should NEVER buy a COMPUTER from an APPLIANCE STORE (American TV, Worst Buy, etc).
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 8:11:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2004 8:14:07 PM EDT by SNorman]

Originally Posted By Atencio:
How powerful of a computer do you want? You can buy a Compaq or local store build for probably $500.00. If you want top or near top of the line stuff I would build myself. It boils down to if you want to hassle building yourself, quality of components, and the warranty.

For computer only, you could build a sweet machine for $1,500



Yeah, $1500 would build a REALLY sweet machine.

For ~ $500/ea I built my wife and my parents Athlon 2500+ machines, they have both played any games I put on them fine.

I spent $1000 (the most I have spent on any personal computer!) just last month building my own system. For 1 grand this is what I put together:

AMD Athlon 64 3000+
512 MB DDR 400 RAM
120GB SATA drive
DVD reader/CD read/write
Quiet case with large quiet fans & rubber drive mounts, and front audio & USB ports
Motherboard with:
8 USB 2.0 ports
2 Firewire ports
5.1 surround audio w/digital output
2 IDE drive connectors
4 SATA drive connectors w/hardware RAID
Radeon 9600 video/128MB

I still haven't used it much yet, but it runs Flight Simulator pretty well!

Link Posted: 5/4/2004 8:12:32 PM EDT
Build it.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 8:34:20 PM EDT
Damn strait SNorman AMD XP2500 rocks ! And w/ SATA ..............I'll be it smokes
You can also OC the XP2500 to 3.2ghz w/ stability & just some minor heat gain.
90% of my builds are for people on budgets AMD chips on Asus MoBo's are are rock solid.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 9:23:57 PM EDT
Try these guys: www.ibuypower.com. They build you a kickass system for about the cost of building it yourself. Mine has been awesome for the last year and my brothers is two years old and still stable and strong. (though, damn games are starting to make my year old computer choke now on full detail.) They have a really good bizrate rating too. Price one out on their website and see how it compares to building yourself.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 3:31:54 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies, I've been leaning toward building . The wife has a gateway for school and work.

How about having an exterior power supply? I mean why keep all that heat inside the box. The Mobo will have it's own fan for the processor, and the box has a circulation fan also.

Maybe I'm thinking to far ahead.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 4:51:20 AM EDT
Desktops such... get a laptop. I have a Toshiba that the VA bought me for school. It's a POS as far as tyring to play game son it, but the convenience of a laptop can't be beat. My next laptop will be a Sager, maybe the pctorque.com/]8790[/URL.

A desktop is nice for a file server.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 5:17:01 AM EDT
I always build my own. It's too easy not to.

But building your own computer is like reloading ammo; you don't do it to save money. You do it for custom parts fitted to your tastes, budget and needs; learning experience and pride of workmanship.
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