Building a new computer

Building a new computer

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:18 pm

Time for a new computer, mine is 10 years old and I've replaced the fans and drives more than once, now I'm having a problem with my USB ports are slower than all the devices I hook to it. What I do is run Excel spreadsheets, photo editing (no video editing), internet, and I would like to go and buy any new computer game and play it. What do you experts think, buy one at Walmart, order one, or build my own? If building one what components do I need and any special tools or training required? My tech experience is I have changed everything in a computer except the motherboard, so far everything was really simple to install and get up and running but I'm afraid to start from scratch. I am not a computer programmer. I already have a really good keyboard/mouse/monitor so I hate to buy a big box computer that comes with all that.
e.alleg
 
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:26 pm

Are you going to keep the operating system you now own? For me a big consideration is the Windows license and what it allows you to do about moving it to new hardware. Usually the most desirable license is a full retail OS. It is also the most expensive. That's why many of my computers are still running Win 2000. Doesn't have all the license server BS when installing. I find understanding Micrsoft's OS license system impossible, other than send more money.
Yanche
 
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: tvb On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:37 pm

They are so cheap these days. Amazon always has some great deals. I'd buy new rather than bothering with building.
tvb
 
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:03 pm

Yanche wrote:Are you going to keep the operating system you now own? For me a big consideration is the Windows license and what it allows you to do about moving it to new hardware. Usually the most desirable license is a full retail OS. It is also the most expensive. That's why many of my computers are still running Win 2000. Doesn't have all the license server BS when installing. I find understanding Micrsoft's OS license system impossible, other than send more money.


No, I have XP service pack 3 and it updates every day. I don't like an OS that has to update daily, seems a little odd.
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: Hollyfeld On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:13 pm

I'd say build your own. It's easy-peasy and you save a bundle of money. It's basically putting everything onto the motherboard, connecting the mouse, monitor, keyboard, etc., putting in the OS disc, and then sitting back with a beer.

You could purchase a $1000 computer from HP, but you could build a computer that would smoke that one (blow it out of the friggin water) for hundreds less. Buy all the parts from Newegg and you have their warranty and the manufacturer's warranty. Everyone I've suggested this to has thanked me in the end for the money saved and the experience (and fun) of building their own computer.
Hollyfeld
 
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: matlock On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:47 pm

dont waste your time go with a mac book.
I wont go back to any windows machine.
I just installed windows 7 on a friends computer today and compared to apples os i would still run a apple.
Just my opinion
Matt
matlock
 
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:48 pm

e.alleg wrote:No, I have XP service pack 3 and it updates every day. I don't like an OS that has to update daily, seems a little odd.

All operating systems, no matter the manufacturer will need upgrades as the security holes are discovered. Same applies to applications too. It doesn't matter if it's Microsoft, Apple or open source. If building a new computer I'd just use the XP you own with downloaded security updates. Save the cost of a new OS and put it into better hardware.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:57 pm

Yanche, what if I buy the best PCI video card they make (I think it's the Gforce 9600 1gb) do you think that will speed up things for gaming or will it be fruitless with only a single core processor (Pentium 4)? Right now I have a 32mb top of the line in 2002 card... No AGP slots so I'm stuck with PCI. I was on newegg lately and all the reading about quad cores 1tb drives 64gigs memory dual vid. cards liquid cooled Hemi V12 positraction dual quad lump coal hauler my head is spinning :cry: :?
e.alleg
 
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: Razzler On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:34 pm

e.alleg wrote:what if I buy the best PCI video card they make (I think it's the Gforce 9600 1gb)


That all depends on what game you're trying to play, like Sim 3 NO it won't run it.
Razzler
 
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:39 pm

I'm not a gamer so I can't contribute much about specs for gaming computers. That said as I see it, it's better to buy computers for computer things and video game consoles for game things. The game authors will be dam sure their game will run an the console it's sold for. But it may or may not run on your computer's video card. Just about any computer you buy today will be more than enough for surfing, word processing, storing images, etc. Prices are really low too.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:04 am

My opinion is since your last computer is close to 10 years old, I would just buy one. Look for good deals at http://slickdeals.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=9 or http://forums.anandtech.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16
but
If you can salvage some parts from your current machine you may want to build.

OS: I would absolutely go with windows 7 64 bit, xp is old and soon not to be supported. But you could save yourself $100 by keeping xp. But remember xp is a 32 bit os, unless you have xp 64.
Reason I'm mentioning that is with an xp 32 bit os you limit yourself to 3.2 gigs of ram.

You will want a minimum of a dual core processor. Quad core being preferred.

Any off the shelf machine can do what you want with the exception to gaming. But then you could just add a video card.

e.alleg wrote:what if I buy the best PCI video card they make

PCI? Not PCI e?

You say no AGP slots so I'm thinking PCI
Take a look at this baby http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814150460
Now thats a card.
cArNaGe
 

Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: SMITTY On: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:09 am

I have absolutely NO luck with computers whatsoever ..... I think next time I'll pay one of you fine folks to build me one! ;)

Every time I get a new computer, it's great for a month or so .... then it bogs down like a Yugo on a 12% grade on the freeway. Always little annoying quirks too. Never fails. This one is 6 months or so old, & I can't update windows (never was able to), now suddenly Quicktime stopped working & I cannot re-install it properly, & used system restore which caused Firefox to pop up 4 warning windows EACH TIME it was opened! :mad: :mad: :mad:

I'm so tired of screwing with these damn things!

Ok, sorry ....... carry on ...
SMITTY
 
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:11 am

I'd go to Best Buy. They offer warranty and sevice what they sell. If you can't build your own. :)
Scottscoaled
 
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: AdkCoal On: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:25 am

Don't bother building one unless the act of building your machine is something that you are vitally insterested in as either a learning experience or as a hobby. With the prices of machines these days it does not make sense to build. My preference has always been PC based machines. I never buy machines at WalMart or Best Buy. I always buy over the net and from either Dell or HP. Some people say that the support at Dell sucks. Since I am an IT professional, I do not use their support so I can not vouch for it. HP support is second to none.

Here are some additional hints. Buy as much memory as you can afford. If you are gaming make sure you order the fastest video card that is available. Norm Abrams says that you can never have enough clamps and I say you can never have too many USB ports so take those into account. Buy as much disk space as you can afford.

Good luck with your purchase.
AdkCoal
 
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Re: Building a new computer

PostBy: pvolcko On: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:25 am

There's two tricks to installing a motherboard.
1) Install the powersupply first.
2) Make sure the standoffs are lined up with holes. Move them around if needed.

Installing a CPU and heatsink/fan isn't difficult (buy a retail Intel or amd cpu kit which will include standard heatsink/fan, thermal paste, and instructions).

You should be able to piece together a low to mid end system sans kb, mouse, and monitor for $500-$1000. Mid to upper mid $1000-$1700. And up from there for high end.

If you're going to stay on the low end, I'd buy a premade system from Dell online or a dell or acer from a local retail chain. Stay away from HP and compaq. You won't be able to save too much building it yourself and you get some warranty/service benefits going this route.

If you're going to go with a mid or better system then you can save substantial money ($300+ easy) building it yourself.

Also, call around to local computer shops to see what they can do for you. You may pay a little bit of a premium but the pre and after sale service will likely be better than you'll get from other vendors and you're supporting local small business. YOu can also specify certain parts if you want to and they'll work with you in a way none of the others will, short of building it yourself.

As for Microsoft OS licensing... Here's the rules o' thumb:

1) If you think you'll ever want to move your OS installation to a new computer in the future (new computer means a new motherboard and/or HDD), buy the full retail, non upgrade version of the OS. You'll pay a premium for this version (often in the area of 2x OEM or upgrade price) but it offers you the most flexibility in the future.

2) If you don't expect to be putting together a new system before you upgrade the OS again, then stick with an OEM or upgrade version of the OS. This version means you can not install on a new system in the future (the OS is tied to the computer it is first installed on). If you suffer a motherboard or HDD crash then you will be able to talk them into renewing the license for another installation, but it will likely require talking to them and groveling a little bit. :) Such is the cost of a half price version of the OS.

If you want to play games, go with Win7 Home Premium 64bit. If you want to stick to productivity type uses you can stick with XP (might save $50, or you might not save anything since Microsoft aggressively prices new OSes to dealers/OEMs to encourage Win7 sales).
pvolcko