User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 16

Thread: Building a PC

  1. #1
    "Oh, now he's a philosophizer" Baylorguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Helotes, Texas
    Posts
    933
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Building a PC

    Hello -

    So I have an urge to get a solid gaming PC but have been told by many that you can make one for much cheaper if you buy the parts from a vendor and assemble it yourself. For those of you who have done this... is it a difficult task? From the videos I have watched it seems the wire management part would be a pain.

    I am thinking of building around the AM3 platform with an AMD Phenom II processor. Also will be looking at a 750 watt power supply, 4 gigs of DDR3 memory and for now a single ATi Radeon 4890 1GB video card.

    Thoughts anyone? Any tips or some sort of direction in terms of a user friendly resource guide would be much appreciated.

    Phil

  2. #2
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Champaign, IL
    Posts
    3,935
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Bummer, you missed a rockin' deal a few weeks back. Had an AMD 940(?) for cheaper-than-usual with a free motherboard. I happen to know the motherboard works well because I'd bought it earlier when my last one'd died.

    Something worth keeping in mind: Hard drives can be a bottleneck. Make sure you pick up a SATA II drive, not any IDE one. The Western Digital "Black" line is pretty nice -- fast, not too loud, not too expensive, and supposed to have a 5 year warranty which is unusual for WD. Some people will tell you to run RAID. You can do that, but keep in mind that RAID is NOT a good backup solution.

    As for the power supply, I wouldn't necessarily shoot for a 750 watt unless you have a real reason. New video cards, new processors, and new hard drives all tend to draw significantly less than their older counterparts.

    As for the RAM, I'm still not sold on DDR3, but if you can get some cheap, I'd get three sticks and run 'em tri-channel. Not sure if it'll be worth it, though, to find a motherboard that'll support DDR 3 and pay more for the RAM, too. But, hey, if you can find a deal...

    As for a guide, I don't know offhand. I've just learned from talking to knowledgeable people and making mistakes. :P
    \(_o)/ ಠ_ಠ
    My Growlist
    NASC Website Come join in on the fun!

  3. #3
    "Oh, now he's a philosophizer" Baylorguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Helotes, Texas
    Posts
    933
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Est. In terms of the power supply and memory I am thinking along the lines of future proofing my PC. Can I crossfire 2 4890s with something less? Maybe 650-700 watts?

    Any other tips you have are greatly appreciated!

    Phil

  4. #4
    IronTom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Moore Co. North Carolina
    Posts
    170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've heard the Phenom is not a good platform to start with. I am an AMD fan, but the bad seems to outweigh the good compared to the Intel offering. The Phenoms supposedly run a lot hotter then the intel, while not giving any performance boost in comparison. This info is old by computer tech standards, so maybe AMD has remedied the issues. Something worth looking into though.

    Personally I would stick with dual-core technology for a little while longer. Like I said, I haven't been keeping up with the bleeding edge tech lately but I wouldn't be surprised if there was only a handful of applications that actually make full use of quad core technology yet. Unless you have a really, really nice budget for this project of course

    So go dual-core Intel, take the money you saved over the quad setup and get faster RAM/better MOBO. Ditto what EST said about the hard-drives. My choice would be one of those uber fast Raptor drives (around 80 gig) and big honking SATA drive (actually two not so big ones in RAID 0.) A RAID 0 setup speeds up access times for very large hard drives. If you only plan on having a few games the Raptor could be enough. If your gonna store a movie collection, get the dual SATA. You can go with RAID 1 if your worried about losing a drive (and the information on it.) For me, I'd rather have faster read/write times as I'm not worried to much about losing all the junk I download...

    I'm self-taught as well. Just used the inter-web. Tiger Direct has a lot of helpful information about what does what. They do have some nice deals too, but be prepared to have to send something back. My personal experience with Tiger Direct is they sell the factory seconds. Great pricing for stuff that might only have a cosmetic blemish, or a LCD screen with a dead pixel...New Egg is also good, but less informative. They don't have the second-hand merchandise, but the pricing shows it. I'm not trying to talk down either web-site, but thats how things look from my end.

  5. #5
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    7,506
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The last four systems I've had at home I put together myself. It's not difficult as long as you are comfortable with handling electronic equipment and doing your own trouble shooting. All you need are a couple screwdrivers and wrenches (pliers will do) but sizes are pretty much standardized, a flashlight and an anti-static wristband. It helps if your hands are small enough to get into tight places.

    You can indeed save a lot of money buying your own components, but lose a lot of that savings on shipping. If possible buy as many of your components from one vendor because shipping is usually cheaper that way. Buying a CPU and motherboard bundle can also save you a lot.

    Be aware if you fry or break something you'll probably have to eat the replacement cost. You may be able to convince the vendor it was DOA but don't count on it. Even if you do you you'll eat the shipping costs and maybe a restocking fee. There are vendors out there that will put together custom systems - you may not save as much but the pluses are you don't have to hassle with troubleshooting or worrying about frying something or scrambling to find a missing or longer cable or connector.

    DIY guides can be found online with PC Magazine, PC World, PC Gamer. Tom's Hardware Guide will have reviews on video cards, motherboards, CPUs and memory with an eye towards overclocking to wring out the maximum performance from the hardware.

    ASUS and ABit make solid motherboards and are very popular with overclockers and gamers.

    Your choice of case will make a difference too, cooling is a major concern with high performance systems.

    Do your research and read every review you can on you choices. Talk to fellow gamers.

    You can try using pricescan.com and pricewatch.com to find bargins. Online vendors I've used in the past are newegg.com and mwave.com. Many times you can find a bargain on for components Amazon.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  6. #6
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Champaign, IL
    Posts
    3,935
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Ah, well, if you're going to do crossfire, you'll probably need a rather large PSU, that's true. So, what I'd do is find all the pieces that I want, and get a ballpark range of what you'll need. Though there shouldn't be too much variance between different brand's 4890s, it's possible.

    A thing to note about future-proofing and Crossfire. In my opinion, crossfire isn't necessarily the best way to future-proof. A year or two from now, it (generally speaking) what will limit you isn't the clock speed of your video cards, but rather the fact that there's a new version of pixel-shader, or direct X, or something else that your video card doesn't support. But there're people who'd say it's worth it, but I'm not of that camp.

    In general, I'm not a big fan of "future proofing" to a huge extend because it involves buying more, newer technology that'll run you a lot more. I prefer better price-point range items, and then to upgrade as needed. This'll compensate for new advances that old hardware wont support (regardless of how much you paid for it back in the day.) Getting a good CPU is probably smart, but... Let me put it this way: I have a singe 4870, and a slower, dual-core processor and I can run very game that I've played on the very highest settings...

    But that's your choice, and there're people who would disagree with my opinion, I'm sure.

    I'm going to be installing a new AMD quad core in a computer in the next few days, I'll get back to you on temperatures. Sometimes it's worth looking at an after-market cooler for those 125W CPUs... But not generally.
    \(_o)/ ಠ_ಠ
    My Growlist
    NASC Website Come join in on the fun!

  7. #7
    IronTom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Moore Co. North Carolina
    Posts
    170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OH yeah, the fans!! Forgot the best part!

    The larger the fan, the quieter it is. Your gonna need a lot of airflow to keep all that shiny stuff running fast. Unless you go with a water cooled solution, but being your first time just stick with air cooled.

    When choosing cases look for ones that have fans in the front, back and preferably a place for one (or more) in the side. Especially if you think you may try overclocking. Mesh panels are good, as they allow free air-flow and let you see all those shiny bits you worked so hard getting in there. They also allow dust in and noise out too. I would stay with a more typical looking aluminum case. Then put LED fans in the front/sides for a little bit of bling

  8. #8
    swords's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Cernunnos Woods
    Posts
    8,120
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had my desktop built in 2006 or 2007 from an Ebay vendor in NY who sells barebones kits that you can order add-on parts to wind up with a custom PC ready to go. He built mine one week after calling me and discussing some of the options I was picking. It was delivered the next week.

    Intel Quad Core
    4 GB 800mhz RAM (can go to 8 GB but supposedly have to reduce to a slower speed)
    NVIDA 8800 GTX Video Card
    ASUS SLI Extreme Motherboard
    2x 500 GB 7200 rpm SATA II Harddrives (one is for programs and the other is storage I don't run them in tandem)
    two or three 5" fans to cool it all

    It's quiet and the fastest, non-buggy PC I've ever owned. Never had Photoshop crash on this PC in the middle of something, compared to those atrocious Best Buy PCs. I hate my BB laptop more and more every time I use it, slow piece of... The only thing I would have changed in my desktop is that I had the XP 64 bit OS installed and lots of older software won't work with the 64 bit system and I'm rather cheap to buy more overpriced "professional" software. New software seems fine to install but old stuff (like ancient versions of QuarkXpress) you can forget about. But that's not the builders fault, I had asked him to put it in not knowing XP 64 OS had these hangups and he didn't know I intended to keep using my 10 year old software! lol!

    I'd say if you can find someone to build the thing from scratch and let them do all the fiddling about to make sure it's up and running, do it. Then you just have to open the box and enjoy a good PC! And hey with the cost of components going down, it's probably 1/2 what it was when I had mine built!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. This is just 50" away from our building
    By jimscott in forum Greenhouses, Terrariums and Bog Gardens
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-04-2009, 08:14 AM
  2. Building a pond/bog
    By CopcarFC in forum Greenhouses, Terrariums and Bog Gardens
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-05-2005, 06:13 PM
  3. Almost done building first terrarium
    By wickedthistle in forum General Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-13-2002, 12:03 PM
  4. Building a bog -- question
    By sda in forum General Discussions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-05-2002, 11:38 AM
  5. Building a Terrarium
    By RamPuppy in forum General Discussions
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-08-2002, 01:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •