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Anyone ever built their own PC?


The_ ATL
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I got alittle more than I was expecting back from my taxes this year and my comp keeps booting me to the 'Blue Screen of Death'. I really only use my PC to play games and usually run multiple accounts.

I really dont know where to start and dont want to buy somthing I dont need. Was thinking of 3-4 gigs of ram and probably will need a 250-300 gig HD. Any advice? I've been looking on newegg as they seem to have the best prices.

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New Egg is a really good site, if you are looking to build your PC and are not that experienced, you may want to consider a barebones system. http://www.pcinfinity.net/ has some good deals and use good name brand parts (something to be wary of elsewhere) and makes it easy to spec out the computer to your needs. If you need any advice, just let me know.

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I'll check that out as I have no clue on where to start, thanks.

I looked at gaming systems on Dell.com and they were well over 2k in price. I feel I can build somthing very similar for less than half that. Like I said I only really need a great graphics car, more ram and bigger HDD and a good motherboard.

Just dont want to spend money on somthing I dont need but dont want to skip out on somthing that could be of better use.

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The_ ATL (3/24/2008)
I'll check that out as I have no clue on where to start, thanks.

I looked at gaming systems on Dell.com and they were well over 2k in price. I feel I can build somthing very similar for less than half that. Like I said I only really need a great graphics car, more ram and bigger HDD and a good motherboard.

Just dont want to spend money on somthing I dont need but dont want to skip out on somthing that could be of better use.

Games nowadays are CPU hogs from ****, don't neglect this aspect. I know it makes little sense, but believe me, pick out a rocking graphics card, you will need it in the nears future.

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Heres just my advice on a good, sound PC system that should handle PC games for a good while to come (in fact, this is basically the system I have)

700W ThermalTake Toughpower Power Supply - When you need to buy a second 8800GTS to keep up with the new standards in gaming, you will have to buy a minimum of 1000W. Its expensive at the moment. ($165 compared to $330)

ASUS P5N32-E SLI (based on an nvidia 680i chipset) Motherboard - $140 Newegg

Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 $190

2 sticks of 1 gig of Kingston DDR2 800 RAM $59

XFX GeForce 8800GTS $320

Harddrive can be any size you wish, if you download lots of crap, or have lots of games, and you never want to worry about space, get 500gb, its not too expensive considering the space you have available. $100-$150 for 500gb

Make sure you buy a case with good cooling capabilities.

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I've built all of my systems.  I don't care for the Dell and other systems, they end up being costly because of how they are put together.  For example, you buy a system with a top CPU, but one that comes on a cheap MB and stock type GPU. 

Depending on how much your willing to spend and how much performance you need the 8800's/SLI graphics are very nice, but possibly overkill. Same is true of the CPU, if you plan to run multi core and OC, then you'll need to invest in good cooling, possibly liquid cooling.

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Based on what you said you needed, I did a quick spec and came up with this

HS079500100250 Computer system with AMD Phenom 9500 1GB + 250GB + 16X DVD-RW +/- and much more 3 yr. wa

$499.00 $499.00

Processor fan: Thermaltake CL-P0391 Intel LGA775 & AMD K8 $49.99 $49.99

Processor: PHENOM 9600 $69.99 $69.99

WARRANTY: 3 YEAR (PARTS & LABOR)

networking: on board

sound card: sound onboard

video card.: nVidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB 2DVI $289.99 $289.99

optical drive: 20X SATA DVDRW

hard drive: 500GB SATA 7200 RPM 16MB $69.99 $69.99

memory.: Kingston DDR2-800 4GB $149.99 $149.99

power supply: A-Power Golden Deluxe 680W $31.99 $31.99

Case Fan: ARCTIC COOLING Arctic Fan 8 8 $9.99 $9.99

case: 6-Bay Mini-Tower

motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-DS4 $139.99 $139.99

Total: $1,310.92

You save a good bit of money going AMD and they generally bench test better. This is a very good processor, I have put it in several pc's and they outperform the Intel on a regular basis. I did not add a sound card, because unless you have a kick azz speaker system, it will make little difference, most people find the built in more than sufficient. I gave 4 gigs of RAM because it is relatively so cheap, you can save about $60.00 by scaling back to 2 gigs if you like. Basic case, get flashy and you have to pay more, I couldn't care less about the neon and such other garbage, I'm all for performance, but the option is there if you want it.

I saw, $0 shipping from Infinity.

Good Luck.

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I used to build my own because I always got more bang for my buck; however, that's really not the case anymore, so now I just by complete systems.

The only real plus to building your own is you get exactly what you want.

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Anansi (3/24/2008)
The Atl I don't know if your in the Atlanta area or not but right down the street from the big Chicken is a store called ginstar they have very good prices check out their website at ginstar.com also try tigerdirect.com.

I agree that ginstar is a good place, and if you are in Atlanta it is always preferable to be within choking distance of your parts place. TigerDirect=Good prices.....LOUSY Customer Service and shipping times.

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Thanks again for the advice guys, I kinda wanted to stay around 1k budget and then I need a monitor as well, the one I got is the crt kind and gets in the way.

I dont plan on doing any media other than the games which will only be 3 at the most (City of Heroes, Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer) and the gf will want to save some pictures on it from the digital camera.

Thanks for that quick build silentbob, truth be told I'd like to find one of those cases where you can see inside and the led look nice haha. I currectly have the 8600 GTX in mine now so not sure if that is good enough.

I live in VA where the only place like that is Comp USA but there are none within 100 miles of me now.

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The_ ATL (3/24/2008)
Thanks again for the advice guys, I kinda wanted to stay around 1k budget and then I need a monitor as well, the one I got is the crt kind and gets in the way.

I dont plan on doing any media other than the games which will only be 3 at the most (City of Heroes, Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer) and the gf will want to save some pictures on it from the digital camera.

Thanks for that quick build silentbob, truth be told I'd like to find one of those cases where you can see inside and the led look nice haha. I currectly have the 8600 GTX in mine now so not sure if that is good enough.

I live in VA where the only place like that is Comp USA but there are none within 100 miles of me now.

If Slim hasn't shut down your Comp USA yet it won't be long, I know there's a Microcenter around those parts, not the cheapest place but a decent selection. 

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"If Slim hasn't shut down your Comp USA yet it won't be long, I know there's a Microcenter around those parts, not the cheapest place but a decent selection." 

Yeah they have pretty much gotten them all now, I think the closest one is near Maryland. I'm better off just buying online once I get a clue on what to buy.

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Building isn't as hard as you may think with all the plug and play devices and auto set up features of todays components.

Check out Tom's Hardware Guide. Tom's been around forever and is the utmost guru in hardware reviews. He has many tutorials posted as help guides and a walk through building process.

http://www.tomshardware.com/

http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/index.html

The biggest issue to keep in mind is buying QUALITY parts. Cheap ain't always best and the highest priced usually isn't a better choice either. "Fads" come and go.

We were in the retail business back in the hey day when Gates released Win 3.1. Saw a lot of changes over the years and built many many systems. Last count was over 600.

I won't tell you what to buy, as that decision is up to you and personal preference, but I'll tell you what worked best for us.

The FIRST NAME and only name in motherboards is ASUS. Out of 600 machines, we only had one failure and Asus handled it like a dream. As a matter of fact, Someone here had an Asus board that was a month out of warranty last year and Asus made it good. They stand behind their products.

If you're building high end gaming, look at the WD Rapture 10,000 RPM SATA HDD's. They rock. I would suggest two HDD's, the primary for the OS and basic programs and a secondary USB back up drive for storage. If WD isn't a choice, then the only other name in HD's is Maxtor. (I have one in just about every machine I own.)

Video - GeForce is ruling the market......

Memory - Name Brand, refer to Motherboard manufacturers specs along with tested and proven brands. Asus will have these listed IF you use their board. Name brands include Kingston, as mentioned above, Crucial, Corsair, Micron and a host of others.

Again, check out Tom's for more info. OR

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/167

CPU's...... that's up to you, but Intel never failed in any system I built, unlike their rivals whom I won't mention. But that choice is yours.

Cases are cases, but power supplies aren't power supplies. What I mean is, make sure the power supply is rated by American Standards and not some off the wall supposed BS. The wattage should be "true".

That's the "core", the rest are just parts and pieces.

Good luck and happy building......

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I built a computer that ran all the games fine that you want to play (except warhammer, I'm not in beta for it). But yeah, Fry's and Newegg sell barebones Shuttle PC's for cheap, you just have to get the CPU, video card, and HD. I plan to get a Shuttle for a AMD processor from Newegg with a AMD 5600, I think I can get a whole new pc together for just under $450 if I can pull my video card and HD from my other pc.

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Thanks for the info Doc, I'll check those sites out. Like I said before I'm not botehred with bulding a monster just somthing that will work out for about  800-1k.

The comp I have now gives me intense lag in high traffic zones and somtimes kicks an account or just locks up completely if I try to zone at the same time.

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silentbob1272 (3/24/2008)
The_ ATL (3/24/2008)
I'll check that out as I have no clue on where to start, thanks.

I looked at gaming systems on Dell.com and they were well over 2k in price. I feel I can build somthing very similar for less than half that. Like I said I only really need a great graphics car, more ram and bigger HDD and a good motherboard.

Just dont want to spend money on somthing I dont need but dont want to skip out on somthing that could be of better use.

Games nowadays are CPU hogs from ****, don't neglect this aspect. I know it makes little sense, but believe me, pick out a rocking graphics card, you will need it in the nears future.

There's alot of really good info in this thread already, so I'll refrain from adding anything too much. The only things to remember are

1.) Get a good CPU. You're gonna want at least a dual core with 1.2 ghz processing speed

2.) Get at least 3 gigs of memory. You'll hear different arguments for different amounts, but 3 gigs is a pretty safe number.

Since this is going to be a gaming computer, the CPU is the critical piece, followed by the graphics card. You'll want PCI express for that, so make sure the motherboard supports that. In terms of what cards to get, I can't tell you much there. That unfortunately, is my least knowledagable area. For gaming though, look for units which have fans attached to them. Also make sure you're power supply is at least 500 watts. You'll need that to power the card.

I would also suggest trying to find a system that already has the mother board installed. If you go through newegg, that should be fairly easy. That's where I got the PC I built last summer from, and it's wonderful. It's not particulary hard to put a motherboard in, but it can be tricky, depending on the case you're putting it into. Just a thought. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. I'm always available for this type of project.

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Atlsport (3/24/2008)
The_ ATL (3/24/2008)
Thanks again for the advice guys, I kinda wanted to stay around 1k budget and then I need a monitor as well, the one I got is the crt kind and gets in the way.

I dont plan on doing any media other than the games which will only be 3 at the most (City of Heroes, Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer) and the gf will want to save some pictures on it from the digital camera.

Thanks for that quick build silentbob, truth be told I'd like to find one of those cases where you can see inside and the led look nice haha. I currectly have the 8600 GTX in mine now so not sure if that is good enough.

I live in VA where the only place like that is Comp USA but there are none within 100 miles of me now.

If Slim hasn't shut down your Comp USA yet it won't be long, I know there's a Microcenter around those parts, not the cheapest place but a decent selection.

That's interesting. There's a Micro Center right next to my house here in Denver, and it's awesome. Last year I got 4 gigs of memory and a dual core processor (1.6ghz, I believe) there for only $300 total. I guess it depends on when you go.

Oh yeah, if those are the only games you're playing, you probably won't need to update your video card too much. Older games don't need the raw power newer cards will provide. It won't hurt, but the difference in performance isn't that much.

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"Oh yeah, if those are the only games you're playing, you probably won't need to update your video card too much. Older games don't need the raw power newer cards will provide. It won't hurt, but the difference in performance isn't that much."

I just installed the GeForce 8600 GTS about 4 months ago because every other card I had would go bad for some reason. It has a fan and is pluged into the power supply so that one should be good enough. Warhammer doesnt run very good on my PC and Conan was unplayable.

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Open Source (3/25/2008)
Atlsport (3/24/2008)

I live in VA where the only place like that is Comp USA but there are none within 100 miles of me now.

If Slim hasn't shut down your Comp USA yet it won't be long, I know there's a Microcenter around those parts, not the cheapest place but a decent selection.

That's interesting. There's a Micro Center right next to my house here in Denver, and it's awesome. Last year I got 4 gigs of memory and a dual core processor (1.6ghz, I believe) there for only $300 total. I guess it depends on when you go.

Oh yeah, if those are the only games you're playing, you probably won't need to update your video card too much. Older games don't need the raw power newer cards will provide. It won't hurt, but the difference in performance isn't that much.

It's typically not the cheapest overall as compared to other places, but that's not to say you can't get good deals there. I just walked out of there yesterday with an Intel Q6600 Quad Core for $199.  As of this moment, NOBODY can beat that price, it's easily $40 to $80 less than what other places are charging locally and on the net. Had I bought all components there, I would have ended up paying more for the system despite the low cost of the processor.

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The_ ATL (3/26/2008)
"Oh yeah, if those are the only games you're playing, you probably won't need to update your video card too much. Older games don't need the raw power newer cards will provide. It won't hurt, but the difference in performance isn't that much."

I just installed the GeForce8600 GTS about 4 months ago because every other card I had would go bad for some reason. It has a fan and is pluged into the power supply so that one should be good enough. Warhammer doesnt run very good on my PC and Conan was unplayable.

Interesting. As I said before, video cards are my lowest area of knowledge in terms of PC's. Also, I'm a console gamer, so I know more about games on those than on PC's. I would be willing to guess though that the problems you're having with Warhammer and Conan have more to do with the processing power of your current PC than the video card itself. Do you happen to remember how much embedded memory the video card has? Also, what were the required specs for the PC according to the game box? I've found those are always lower than what you'd need to run the game at level where you'd want to play it at. The box will tell you the bare minimum you need to run it, but that tends to be without shading, and a long load time.

Oh, one other thing I just remembered. If you decide to get a system with more than 4 gigs of memory, you're going to have to use a 64 bit OS on the machine. If you don't, you're computer simply won't see the memory above 4 gigs. Technically, it won't actually see above something like 3.43 gigs, but I run 4 gigs on a 32 bit OS, and it sees most of it. I'll refrain from going into detail on that. Though you shouldn't need more than 4 gigs of memory anyway.

Sorry it took awhile to respond to this. I had actually forgotten about the thread till a few minutes ago.

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Here's another suggestion, cannablize your old pc for as many parts as possible. Radio Shack was selling an enclosure which could turn your old internal hd into an external hd. That saves you from trying to transfer everything. Plus if the memory chips are compatable to your new board it can save a few bucks.

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