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How to build your own computer

A few members here and myself know our way pretty well around windows and the internet and can assemble a computer without directions. We don't know everything, but we'll be happy to help.

How to build your own computer

Postby Jake » 06 Feb 2011, 19:17 •  [Post 1]

Ever thought of building your own computer from the ground up? Why should you?

Well for one, building your own is generally cheaper and you can mix and match the right/ best parts without having to pay for a premium package for pre-built systems. Also you get a much better warranty (2-5 years generally and sometimes a lifetime warranty compared to just 1 year and extra for more when buying from a pre-built company). Just fill the forms of the individual components and mail them. Assembling a pc is super easy.. it takes less than 30 minutes!

Have you wonder which is better? Intel or AMD? or perhaps Nvidia or ATI?

Quite frankly they're all good. ATI Cards do play nicer with AMD systems though since same company but you can't go wrong with any combination.

However here are some important choices that you need to make.

1. Picking a good power supply.

Usually the ones that comes with cases are crap so I suggest buying a case with good ventilation and power supply seperately. I prefer Antec, Enermax, Coolermaster as good cases. (make sure it has enough space for all you want like long video cards). On the power supply side, SPLURGING HERE in a good powersupply is a very good idea. It can last you years. I've bought 2 power supplies in the last 12 years.. 1 Antec in 2000 and an Enermax in 2007. Make sure it has 85 PLUS rating and its has more than 1 12 volt rail. 2 or 3 is ideal. Antec, Enermax, Thermaltake, Corsair, OCZ, Coolermaster, Silverstone are all good powersupply makers.

2. Picking a good motherboard.

Gigabyte, Asus, Abit and MSI are the top 4 motherboard makers. I've had very good experiences with Gigabyte since they hit my price vs performance spot. But any of these 4 are good. Infact I'll give you 2 new companies name too.. ECS and Epox. All of them are good. Whichever motherboard you pick.. make sure it has 4 slots for RAM so you can put in 2 sticks now and 2 later on if you need and the appropriate INTEL/ AMD socket depending on the system you choose.

3. Picking a CPU

Spending more doesn't mean getting more here.. SERIOUSLY! The architecture matters more than the clock speed. For example an Intel Clarksdale 2.93 ghz vs a Clarksdale 3.06ghz is virtually identical but you might save $100 by going with 2.93 version. So just get one with multi cores. 2 or 3 is ideal for gamers, 4 and 6 cores are better for movie/ photo editors.

4. Video card

Well a lot depends on if you plan on gaming or doing a lot of graphic work. You don't necessarily need to splurge here. Its always better to get an older generation top of the line card than a current generation mediocre card. For example.. video card makers make their models in generations.. last years generations GTS 220, GTS 240, GTX 260, GTX 275 and GTX 285. This years generation.. GTS 420, GTS 440, GTX 460, GTX 475 and GTX 485. If you go with a GTX 275, it'll cost the same as a GTX 460 and give you more performance in comparison and usually cost you less in power consumption too.

5. Hard drive.

Don't be cheap here since it will hold all your data and if you like movies and pics.. get multiple hard drives if you want so you can have backups.. like getting two 1 terrabyte hard drives (or four 500gb hard drives) is a better investment than buying one 2 terrabyte drive.

6. Memory

Get at least 4 gigs of compatible with the motherboard memory that is tested. Gskill is a good price vs performance company. Corsair, OCZ are good companies too.

7. The little things..

You can reuse old keyboards, mice, monitors, cd or dvd roms and speakers. Save here as much as you want or if you have to buy research since you want one that's perfect for you. Everyone's answer will be different as to what's good. Personally I prefer Logitech keyboards, mice, Dell/ Samsung monitors, Lite-on dvd burners, and logitech speakers. Your preferences may vary and there is no right/ wrong answer here. However with monitors I highly suggest you try them out in a store before buying if just to see if its the right size for you and if the colors really pop.

Look here how easy it is to build..



And do not be afraid to ask us questions.
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Re: How to build your own computer

Postby Terry Tibbs » 06 Feb 2011, 19:50 •  [Post 2]

Please rate my setup...

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Re: How to build your own computer

Postby Jake » 06 Feb 2011, 19:56 •  [Post 3]

Gentlemen you can't fight in here, This is the war room!
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Re: How to build your own computer

Postby Jake » 06 Feb 2011, 22:04 •  [Post 4]

And I'm wondering what Terrys solution is if he gets flanked on the left side. ;)
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Re: How to build your own computer

Postby Terry Tibbs » 06 Feb 2011, 22:58 •  [Post 5]

LOL

I wish it was really my set up.... But then if wanted to put this much cash into a setup I'd do it better than this.

On a more serious note... All that IT and the guy uses Yahoo! Oh dear!

Wouldn't mind building my own PC as it happens... Maybe a hackintosh...

Would deffo have a big SSD.
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Re: How to build your own computer

Postby Admin » 06 Feb 2011, 22:59 •  [Post 6]

2 screens is a bit light, even they are big.
At my heyday, I had 8 screens and 4 boxes to work with.
My colleagues and I would sweat like swines in January with open windows... the AC couldn't handle the heat.
In the summer we had machines pass out due to the heat, it was like hell.
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Re: How to build your own computer

Postby Admin » 06 Feb 2011, 23:20 •  [Post 7]

about the PC rig, I'll pass on the diverse specialties (SLI, etc.).

One of the best performance-improving things you can do is putting your System on a SSD.
The felt speed of your system will be multiplied by 10!

The power supply has always been a problem for me. Within 9 months, my PC grilled 5 power supplies from SilentMaxx.
If the power supply is too weak, your PC will crash.

Heat: one of the biggest problems in modern PCs.
If you work non-stop on your PC, take all the fans and radiators you can get.
In my PCs, the factory-supplied CPU fans were usually ok (I had to replace one because of overclocking), the GPUs' cooling were often inadequate, with GPUs going as high as 80-90°C before failing at around 100°C.

Motherboards: be careful that there is enough space to put everything you need to put on it!
And read some technical reviews - the cooling on the northbridge some years ago was often insufficient and resulted in 2 fried boards.

RAM: test it thoroughly (can take a whole night with memtest) or buy certified RAM.

Then about storage: I now only go with RAID 1 (i.e. 2 mirrored disks, when one breaks, you can replace it and depending on the setup, the computer will run on only one disk and the rebuild the second automatically, as soon as it detects it has been replaced).
Best I would do if I had some cash now: System on 2 SSD on Raid 1, plus 2 HDDs on Raid 1 too.

HDD: There are consumer-grade HDD and server-grade HDD. The former tend to fail more often than the second which are built for 24/7 use. If you do not plan to use RAID 1 or 5 (read ahead), bu sure to buy the server grade HDD to lower the probability of a disk crash.

Again about storage, rather than store everything in the computer, I use NAS stations for storage (it is like a fileserver).
With gibabit ethernet, transfer times are acceptable and sustain HD video (if the NAS is fast enough) - of course with server HDDs.
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Re: How to build your own computer

Postby Jake » 07 Feb 2011, 00:12 •  [Post 8]

:lol: That's the advanced techie thing. My original post was aimed more towards beginners but if someone is more advanced they'd skip my post and go directly to that. :)

MAC's are more oriented for graphic and video artists but you tend to get less for more. Don't get me wrong.. mac's are good but you can do the stuff on a pc too for less money and its much more tweakable to your liking.

Also if someone is more adventerous or frugal, they can always use freeware from a linux distro like Suse (advanced) or Mandriva (beginner). It's addicting and yummy but too bad they don't support games like Windows which is what makes windows successful.

Just look at linux distro's compared to windows or macs.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... tributions Wonderful software that's free to use.. well most of them anyways.

The interface isn't much different from what we're used to:

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Re: How to build your own computer

Postby Jake » 07 Feb 2011, 05:50 •  [Post 9]

After you're done assembling the pc.. you need to load an operating system on it.. These 2 video's can tell you exactly how easy it is.



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