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  • Building a New 'puter

    So here's the deal:

    I'm living in a different city for the summer and, since I didn't bring my old computer with me, I've decided that's the perfect excuse to bind a new one! However I have a problem: I have never built one myself before. Now, I do have some knowledge; I know what parts are what and I have switched out parts in my old PC before. I've been trying to look for information on building your own computer and haven't had much luck. So I need help. I am intending to build a high end computer. I will be using it to play current and future games. My school work also requires a fairly demanding set-up. Anything from books/websites to read on how to build, to parts advice is welcome. You have my many thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Building a New 'puter

    Nowadays it's pretty simple to build your own. Practically plug and play if you have a good knowledge of computers. Get a good power supply, video card, ram, and get a case that has enough room for good fans.

    Newegg.com is the best place for a lot of the parts, as well as a place that sells OEM operating systems, which is key. The processer and motherboard combos on that site are ok too. If you get a motherboard that has dual channel ram capability make sure to get the same brand and size of ram for each slot (somthing you should do regardless)

    Also, I like to use a boot drive for windows (like a 15 gb hard drive, that just stores the OS).

    The assembly is simple (just don't forget the little spacers for the motherboard, they keep it from touching the panel in the back...forget to put those in and you will fry your motherboard.) Assemble it in a clean environment, and make sure to ground yourself to something so you don't fry any components. Another good way to prevent that is just touch something metal each time you're about to handle a component. Read your motherboards manual so you know what every plug on it is, once you have the motherboard in, make sure to connect the power swtich correctly, etc.

    I would go intel nowadays, but I've always had pretty good luck with AMD. The specific processer families can be annoying, that's why I reccomend you buy a motherboard processer combo to ensure they're compatible. Make sure there is a big fan on your video card.... what else... Some of the trikier things involve making sure you use the right jumpers on the hard drives and such, and the initial drive mapping in windows can be a pain... I have no idea what vista would do, but in XP you may have to edit your registry some if you go with a boot drive because otherwise it will default your My documents and all of the temp files to the boot drive, as well as the default install location, which is not good when installing games. Tweak guides has some good info on optimizing windows on a new machine.

    As far as books on how to build them? I don't know of any, but it really isn't all that hard as long as you read the instructions for everything. I don't know if I was any help in this message, but I'm writing it quickly and in an unorganized manner, so yeah.

    What kinda of schoolwork has a demanding setup ?
    |TG-Irr| Dfg872

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Building a New 'puter

      Putting a system together is far scarier than it looks.

      Seat your mobo properly. Make sure to use the spacers and as many of the mounting holes as your mobo/case allow. This will keep the board from bowing when you press on it to install cards/ram.

      I know the little back plate can be a pain to install with some boards/cases, but take the time to do it. On one of my first systems i couldn't get it in so i didn't bother. Now that stupid open space makes me angry.

      Big mistake first timers make: Thermal paste.
      A single drop between the processor and heat sink!!
      Any more will cause the proc to over heat. The paste is meant to form a very thin layer between the proc and heat sink for instant heat transfer. If there's too much it will degrade and become an insulator instead of a conductor.

      USB pin outs -- some cases will have the whole USB thing together on one plug so its easy to connect the front pannel usb. If not, make sure you do it correctly. Wiring it improperly could ruin your USB hook up.

      Personally, I like to install the minimum for the first boot.

      HD, CDrom, thats it. Make sure you get all your mobo driver and firm ware in order.

      Once your system is up to date, install 1 component -- example, video card. Now work with that until everythings in order. Then install sound card, work with that until everythings in order. You don't want to hook everything up at once then start the system because you'll have tons of uninstalled hardware popping up, which can make the install process a mess

      When thats all done, wire things all pretty. Not only does it make looking at your master piece even grander, but it helps airflow to have a neat case. Consider how you have air moving about your case. Keep things in one direction. Typically, intake is in the front bottom of case. Exhaust is towards the back top. Make sure fans dont fight eachother inside the case or you'll get poor flow and turbulence that will add to heat build up.

      Lastly, name your beast.
      |TG|Switch

      Better known as:
      That noob who crashed the chopper.
      That noob who ran over the mine.
      That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
      That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Building a New 'puter

        Custom built all ready for computing:

        Abit IC7 Motherboard
        Pentium 4 2.4Ghz
        Radeon 9700Pro
        1.5GB DDR Ram
        1x120Gb Hard Drive
        Dual Layer DVD Burner (Lite-On)
        Floppy Drive
        Aluminum Case (ATX, light weight)
        400+W Antec Power Supply

        Runs great, latest software all installed. PM me for more details or if you just want parts etc...

        $400

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Building a New 'puter

          Wow, that computer must be like 5 years old.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Building a New 'puter

            Originally posted by Switch View Post
            Putting a system together is far scarier than it looks.
            er duh.

            Meant to say: Looks far scarier than it is!
            |TG|Switch

            Better known as:
            That noob who crashed the chopper.
            That noob who ran over the mine.
            That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
            That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Building a New 'puter

              Originally posted by sordavie View Post
              Wow, that computer must be like 5 years old.
              lol mine is similar but hopin to build new one soon

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Building a New 'puter

                The hard part is picking the parts that will go well together. Putting the comp together requires very little mechanical expertise. There are plenty of sites on the interwebs that will show you the basics, and the basics are all you need. A google for "building computer" should show you most of the decent ones.

                The reason to build your own these days is for performance, not price. If you want to get a cheap computer, then buy one from emachines or dell or HP etc. You start to save money compared to a store bought PC around the 1200$ price point.

                “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Building a New 'puter

                  Okay, so I've put together something that I think is workable/approximate price range and quality. I have attempted to explain myself for each part so pointing out where I'm being stupid would be really helpful. Also if anyone has the time, checking to see if what I have IS compatible would be hawt.
                  *Note: I have listed newegg links here but I am canadian and will be using local stores or ncix.com to get parts.

                  Mobo

                  I chose this mobo because it is SLI capable and while I don't intend on getting 2 GPUs immediately, I want to keep myself open to upgrades. Same with the 4 RAM slots. I'm only going to use 2, but it keep me open to upgrade (board max is 16 gb I think...)

                  CPU
                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115003
                  Lots of processing = what I need for work. This processor had better reviews in my reading than the other dual cores. I might drop down to a slower dual core to save money.

                  PSU
                  I'm having trouble picking one out. Basically looking for an SLI/650W one with modular cabling

                  RAM
                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820145098
                  Works with the mobo (checked the mobo user manual), and is reasonably priced. Dual channel 2 GB is what I'm looking for.

                  HDD
                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148142
                  SATA with enough space for all I need.

                  GPU
                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130082
                  DX 10 (I'm intending to go vista) capable and SLI workable for and 2nd perhaps later. Considering the 640 MB version.

                  Case
                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811119077
                  Lots of good reviews, including good airflow. Has everything I need (I'm not really looking for anything too fancy).

                  Okay I think that's everything. If I'm missing anything please slap me.... OH CRAP I need a DVD/CD drive... I need to sleep though 5 AM shift tomorrow!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Building a New 'puter

                    E6400 to save money is perfectly rational. Your main loss is in cache, since you can overclock the 6400 to the hilt. You'll need superior cooling and quality ram to reach what 6600 can do on air, but you'll still have a monster.

                    I have that video card; it's great, but if you use high resolutions (e.g., 1920x1080) the 640 is a good idea. I stepped back to 1440x1024 so I could keep the AA cooking. Also, lame DX9 and ...lol... Vista things will likely devour 320MB like Mr. Crosote and call you a bad name.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Building a New 'puter

                      I don't recommend overclocking - I had a 2.4Ghz [email protected] stock cooling for two years, then one day it died. Completely. The money spent in buying a better CPU / GPU is cheaper than the time (and possibly money) spent overclocking and tweaking.

                      There are good alternatives for gpus - I had a radeon 9700se (129at the time) that I was able to enable 4 more pipelines and upgrade to a 9700pro. Don't know what GPUs can do that now if any but it is a safe unlock.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Building a New 'puter

                        Overclocking a Core 2 Duo is a good idea. It doesn't run as hot as the P4 did and heat is a factor in a part's lifespan. The only reason to get a E6600 is the 4MB cache. I would recommend the new E6420 that has the E6400 speed but with a 4MB cache.

                        The 8800's don't really have any mods like the 9700 pipeline unlock. I don't know when you want to get it but there's a eVGA mail-in rebate for the 8800 640MB at ncix. It ends at the end of May and I'm not sure if there's another rebate for June.

                        - It's who you game with.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Building a New 'puter

                          That ram is hot. How did the prices drop so fast.

                          PS: Post your mobo link.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Building a New 'puter

                            Premium RAM is still expensive. Although, the Corsair XMS PC6400 C5 that I bought last year is about half the price now. It's still quite a bit of money but definitely a lot cheaper.

                            - It's who you game with.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Building a New 'puter

                              Originally posted by Slayer of Hippies View Post
                              That ram is hot. How did the prices drop so fast.

                              PS: Post your mobo link.
                              Whoops I'm dumb.

                              Mobo link:
                              http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131032

                              Also, is there any reason for me not to go with Vista?

                              EDIT: Raeducksssssssss

                              Comment

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