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Buying Parts for a Decent Computer.


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#1 Issac

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    come to my house and build me a pimped out computer plox XD -Di

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 07:34 PM

I'll probably write a guide on how to build one later, but here goes.


It is smart to be careful about where you buy your parts, and what parts you buy. There are a few things you should remember when you plan on building your own PC, financially:

1. The best available is not always the best choice.
2. Be practical with style. It's easy to get ripped off on sweet looking parts.
3. Limit yourself. Set a price you don't want to go over.
4. Try to get what you need. Consider what you'll be using your PC for.
5. Try to best the most bang for your buck. And RESEARCH.


This tutorial will be split into sections for each of your essential computer parts.

A. Your computer case.
B. Your PSU (Power Supply Unit.)
C. Your motherboard and CPU (Central Proccessing Unit.)
D. Your RAM (Random Access Memory.)
E. Your video card.
F. Your sound card.
G. Your hard drive, cd/dvd drives, and floppy.
H. Everything else.

A. Your computer case.

This is a fairly short section. All you need to remember is to be practical with what you want. If you want to show off, expect to pay more. Google, Froogle, and do an ebay search for computer cases and you'll find various styles for various prices.

Price range: $20-$300


B. Your PSU.

You must be careful when selecting your power supply. If you plan to have a decent video card, a couple HDDs, and also a couple CD/DVD drives, plan on getting 400 watts+. If you just have a machine meant for playing low-end games, and mostly for school work/browsing the web, you're safe with 250 watts+. How much power you need all depends on what is on your computer.

Price range: $15-$150

C. Your motherboard and CPU.

As most of you know, this is the HEART of your PC. This is what really determines your PC's performance as this is what everything communicates through, aside from your RAM and video card.

As for your CPU, you have a choice: Intel or AMD.
Personally, I would go with AMD. It is less expensive and is pretty much the gamer's choice. Research before you make your choice, but keep in mind that Intel is more expensive. If you so choose AMD, you can either go with 32bit or 64bit. Please know that if you go with 64bit, don't only expect to pay more on the CPU, but also on all other onboard devices to go along with that power. It is the newer technology, and as a result, it costs more.

Now for your motherboard. I suggest that you get a mobo that does not have onboard video. That means that a VGA port, for your monitor, comes integrated with the motherboard. The reason for this is the fact that not only does it add to the total cost of the board itself, but the video performance will also be poor. It is a better idea to buy a video card so that you can control how much you pay for your graphics performance. Onboard sound doesn't really matter. If you want surround sound, you could buy a motherboard with the capabilities, but please note that this is pretty much on newer boards, and more expensive. Once again, it is a better idea to buy a sound card if you want to have a surround sound system.

Things you should look for on your motherboard include a AGP slot, which is where most video cards fit, and likely to be 8x/4x. Also, you want it to have slots for DDRAM. This, in my opinion, is the best choice and most popular type of RAM. Steer clear of DDRAM2, and you can research why. You probably will want the motherboard to be nice, big, and roomy. This is so that it won't be an angry annoyance putting it together, giving you room to breathe. If you so choose to go with PCI Express, watch the pricing. As I said, new technology.

Price range (For both combined): $80-$800+

D. Your RAM (Random Access Memory.)

As said in the last section, DDRAM is the most popular and wisest choice. You'll be likely be forced into using this one. How much you pay for it depends on how much RAM you want, and what quality it is. Corsair is my reccommendation, that or Crucial. They make good quality RAM, and sometimes you'll find value ram that's half decent on sale on various website vendors. If you are going to be a serious gamer, like Half Life 2 and the likes, I suggest 2 sticks for 512MB PC3200, or DDR400. They're both the same definition.

Price range: $20-$300+

E. Your video card.

I would suggest going for a video card within the range of $90-$150, as those are currently the mid-range cards. They're good for playing the best games offered right now. If you were to but one for $500, you'd be set for games now and 2-4 years from now, but is the extra dishing out of cash worth it? I find it better to buy a new card every couple years.

You have a choice between nVidia and ATI. Once again, the gamer's preference is ATI, but they're really both good. I bought an nVidia manufactured by Albatron, and it hasn't failed me.

Also remember that the VRAM on the video card is a big number, but NOT the most important. You want to look for the proccessing power of the card itself. Look at the more detailed specs when shopping.

Price range: $40-$500+

F. Your sound card.

This one is pretty simple and straight forward. If you don't stick to your onboard sound, I would highly suggest buying a Creative SoundBlaster card of any type. SoundBlaster Live! is the value card that many go with, which is pretty inexpensive. It's around $30-$50. However, higher end sound cards, which most do NOT need, can be up there.

Price range: $30-$300+

G. Your HDD, CD/DVD Drives, and FDD.

For starters, the hard drive. Most go with IDE/ATA, but some go for SATA (Serial ATA.) Research them both and decide what you want, the price differences aren't that bad. If you DO choose SATA, remember that you need onboard support for it. Either that or a PCI card that has SATA ports. The price mainly depends on your hard drive capacity. Most go for 80GB-120GB, but some go for higher capacities like 250GB. It's your choice on how much you want to spend.

Price range: $40-$300

Now for your CD/DVD drives. If you buy a DVDRW, or DVD Burner, you'll be able to do everything you need to do. Burn CDs, DVDs, and read them both likely. But go with you need. Will you be watching DVDs on your computer? Will you be burning DVDs? Will you be burning CDs? But if you look hard enough and wait, you can buy a DVDRW for as low as $40. That's how much I paid for mine off newegg, and it hasn't failed me since. CDROM drives, the most simple, go for as little as $15.

Price range: $15-$150+

If you look on ebay for used and cheap FDD, you might find one for 5 bucks. The most expensive that I saw them for was at CompUSA for $20. -_-;; Some believe FDDs are optional, but it is my personal belief that they are essential. All a matter of opinion.

Price range: $5-$20

H. Everything else.

This really is everything else. If you have a previous PC, you can skip this unless you want to buy a better monitor/keyboard/mouse, or something.

For monitors, it is suggested to buy them used. You can find them really cheap on ebay or even at garage sales. Look to see, look to save. If you want a flatpanel, expect to pay MUCH more until the new market settles down.

Price range: $0-$600+

As for your keyboard and mouse, look on ebay. You'll find them cheap here if you look hard enough. If you want a wireless keyboard/mouse, expect to pay more.

Price range: $0-$100+

Anything else like scanners, printers, NICs, and other such things I won't go over.


In closing...

This is pretty much rough draft. I decided to type this up randomly. Please PM me if you want to make any corrections, suggestions, or additions. All input is welcome. Good luck on saving money! :D

Edited by Issac, 15 September 2005 - 01:13 PM.



Still <3 Sam, 'cause she's awesome like that. xD



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#2 TKDGOD150

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 09:20 PM

I think for the motherboards, i think it might be wiser to go with PCI express, because it seems to me that the newer video cards coming out are only coming out with PCI express for the SLI (scaleable linking interface) or dual video cards. I think another big factor is thinking about the future also because if u get some old parts and maybe want to upgrade later on, it not be complatable later on. Also, it seems that for prefference on hard drives, the newer computers (like Dell) come with SATA drives, because i think they are faster then IDE? Also for the flat-screen comment, I think I read on CNN that the prices are like leveling off now. Don't believe my word on that one. Anyhow, good summary :D
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#3 Issac

Issac

    come to my house and build me a pimped out computer plox XD -Di

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 09:50 PM

Unfortunately, SATA isn't that much faster than ATA. However, the wires are MUCH smaller, and I like that very much. :P


Still <3 Sam, 'cause she's awesome like that. xD




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