Building a PC?

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Notorious
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Building a PC?

Post by Notorious »

I've been contemplating on building a PC as I heard it's generally cheaper and obviously more customized to fit your wants. It also helps in knowing exactly what parts you want. My question concerns the difficulty of being able to do such a thing. I have a decent amount of computer knowledge but certainly nothing over the top. I'm just curious if it's possible for an amateur to do or is it reserved for more of the hardcore computer people.
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pattywannamack
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by pattywannamack »

I built a computer when I was a freshman, and it is quite possibly one of the most cost efficient ways to go about having a computer. Not only does it cost less than most prebuilts, but you often get better performance, as the OS isn't boggled down with all of the bloatware and proprietary settings that prebuilts have. I am not going to lie, it took me a little while to get my first computer working, but then again all of the trouble shooting and research that I had to do in order to fix the problem immensely improved my knowledge in computers, and how they work.

With all of the online guides, and the tons of videos on youtube showing how to build a computer, it should be pretty easy to build one for yourself. The only tools that you need are a screwdriver, some common sense, and the capacity to follow directions, and you're good to go. The actual assembling of the computer isn't too difficult, as it only takes a few hours. The biggest challenge is finding the most cost efficient parts, and making sure everything is compatible with one another. If you need any help with that aspect please feel free to private message me, or just ask in this thread and I will help you, it takes a little while to figure it all out if you are starting from ground zero.

To purchase your parts buy them off http://www.newegg.com. They have the best prices, widest selection, and best customer care that I have ever seen from an online retailer. You can go to places like Fry's or Microcenter to purchase your parts, but they generally have a far narrower selection, marked up prices, and sometimes strict return policies.

If you have any more questions please just feel free to ask :mrgreen:
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Notorious
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by Notorious »

I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions in the future. Can I ask what your motivation was, and the price range everything ended up being? I know the actual putting together takes a few hours but about how long did it take you to decide on the exact parts you wanted to choose? I'm just a little apprehensive, since I'll have no customer service person to yell at this time around.
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GOODave
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by GOODave »

Notorious wrote:I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions in the future. Can I ask what your motivation was, and the price range everything ended up being? I know the actual putting together takes a few hours but about how long did it take you to decide on the exact parts you wanted to choose? I'm just a little apprehensive, since I'll have no customer service person to yell at this time around.
I've never built one, but my father in law has. He is as you have described yourself: More computer interest than the average bear, but he doesn't even have any IT type education other than the self-taught stuff he can find online. I do believe that if he can do it, pretty much anyone can. I've got three kids at the moment or I'd even try it myself.

Those "concerns" or "apprehensions" won't go away until you start.

So, to that end:

The only things standing between you and your newly built computer are air and opportunity: Take a deep breath ... and then make your opportunity.

Do, also, keep us posted in this thread of your progress. At least I will find those reports very compelling as you go through your decision making and your assembly.
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by 18echo »

Notorious wrote:I've been contemplating on building a PC as I heard it's generally cheaper and obviously more customized to fit your wants. It also helps in knowing exactly what parts you want. My question concerns the difficulty of being able to do such a thing. I have a decent amount of computer knowledge but certainly nothing over the top. I'm just curious if it's possible for an amateur to do or is it reserved for more of the hardcore computer people.
I built one in 1998 when I got sick of using an old 286 with DOS 6.2 and word perfect.
I jumped into the project with no more experience than changing out RAM and had no problems.

I kept the monitor, case and power supply which added to the savings, then went through a local computer and parts store for the board and Pentium processor and RAM, and a got pretty good deal through tigerdirect.com for a HDD and 56k modem.
All told I saved about 200-300 by not buying off the shelf that year.

Tigerdirect.com still has pretty good deals and amazing deals on clearance, Fry's does have some decent deals, and the guys in that section can usually answer questions.

Of course you'll see the big savings with a free OS, check out distrowatch.com for your flavor of linux.
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pattywannamack
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by pattywannamack »

Notorious wrote:I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions in the future. Can I ask what your motivation was, and the price range everything ended up being? I know the actual putting together takes a few hours but about how long did it take you to decide on the exact parts you wanted to choose? I'm just a little apprehensive, since I'll have no customer service person to yell at this time around.
Well my motivation was the fact that I wanted to have a nice gaming computer, but I couldn't get that due to the limitations that my prebuilt Dell had. For instance the power supply was too weak for a decent video card, the CPU couldn't be upgraded, the OS had a ton of bloatware, and I just got kind of sick of using a computer more or less controlled by Dell. Since it was a gaming computer, and I had a budget of two thousand dollars that I had saved up, I ended up spending fifteen hundred dollars total on the rig. But at the time it was all top of the line parts, and the next closest prebuilt price wise, was around twenty to twenty five hundred dollars.

I basically started from ground zero, so I wanted to learn precisely how each component worked, and then I had to go through reading a bunch of guides on how to assemble the computer. That all took a few months to do, but that was mainly because I was saving up my money and had nothing better to do in the meantime, than simply absorb information about computers. I probably could have figured it all out within a couple of weeks. Right now though I can come up with a price efficient, high quality build within a few hours and I haven't even spent that much time keeping up with computers these past few months.
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by not4u13 »

I used to build my own and I do believe you can build a pretty fast computer if you really know what you are looking for. The problem you sometimes have is when you run into driver problems it is a pain to hunt down the problems. Try and stick with mainstream components rather than cheap knock-offs.

For gaming computers I have seen the alienware and am pretty impressed with what you get for the price.

I stopped building computers and started buying emachines. I get a cheap one and then upgrade memory and video card. It is still cheaper than building your own and takes FAR LESS TIME. Support from eMachines is pretty good (well ... now they are Gateway).

My last four purchases were laptops though.

I would never buy a Dell. I absolutely hate their systems and hate that company.

I am contemplating a new desktop system and considering going the "build your own" route mostly because I want to tinker and get back into the bits and bytes of which components are best. There are so many options these days compared to when I used to build them (I stopped with the introduction of the PII). How much cache do you want on the MB, what BIOS, which processor (Intel vs. AMD ... quad core ... etc.), drive controller, audio, etc. When I was doing it there were different brands but you basically had known premium brands. Phoenix BIOS, latest Intel processor and how much memory was the question (not what type) and you chose either IDE or SCSI controllers (usually IDE was the better choice for price/performance).
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by AsIfYouKnew »

not4u13 wrote:I would never buy a Dell. I absolutely hate their systems and hate that company.
I have five Dells in my immediate family. They all work very well, and only an idiot would have a problem with a Dell. :mrgreen:
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not4u13
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by not4u13 »

AsIfYouKnew wrote:

I have five Dells in my immediate family. They all work very well, and only an idiot would have a problem with a Dell. :mrgreen:
:ROFL:

I know several people who feel the way you do. My bias against Dell comes from my personal experience in the corporate environment. As consumer PCs I suppose they may be just as good as any ... but I won't be spending my own dollars on any Dell. [-(
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Re: Building a PC?

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not4u13 wrote: :ROFL:

I know several people who feel the way you do. My bias against Dell comes from my personal experience in the corporate environment. As consumer PCs I suppose they may be just as good as any ... but I won't be spending my own dollars on any Dell. [-(
I'm with you Dell is terrible - especially their customer service absolutely horrid.
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by AsIfYouKnew »

not4u13 wrote: :ROFL:

I know several people who feel the way you do. My bias against Dell comes from my personal experience in the corporate environment. As consumer PCs I suppose they may be just as good as any ... but I won't be spending my own dollars on any Dell. [-(
No hard feelings. Just funnin ya.

BTW, I work for Dell. 8-[
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Re: Building a PC?

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Notorious wrote: I'm with you Dell is terrible - especially their customer service absolutely horrid.
Uh. Yeah. That is why they win alot of awards in customer service.
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Re: Building a PC?

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AsIfYouKnew wrote:
Uh. Yeah. That is why they win alot of awards in customer service.
Dell's (DELL) customer service ratings fall again

Posted Aug 15th 2007 12:15PM by Brian White
Filed under: Bad news, Consumer experience, Dell (DELL)
Although Dell, Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) has reportedly committed $150 million to improving the quality of worldwide customer support services (along with product quality), apparently that money has not yet had an effect. Proof may be in the pudding with a recent rating of PC makers that was conducted by the University of Michigan, in which Dell's customer service ratings slipped by 5% at a time when it should have improved.

The ratings have Dell near the bottom of all PC manufacturers, with an overall score of 74 out of 100. It's the same rating Dell earned in 2005 when it was under fire to improve customer quality and technical support. An experiment to outsource these positions to India backfired, when customers were infuriated by the sloppy English skills of those Indian employees and the breakdown in communication it caused.

The latest study that has been released from the University of Michigan concludes that Dell's customer quality really has not made any significant improvements since 2005. The question then becomes: with all the changes the computer maker has made to improve customer handling quality, where have all these efforts gone? Why are they not showing results? Perhaps not enough time has gone by, although with the hiring of 2,000 U.S.-based service employees this year, some tangible results should be evident -- if not now, then very soon.

source: http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2007/08/1 ... all-again/
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by AsIfYouKnew »

Notorious wrote:
Dell's (DELL) customer service ratings fall again

Posted Aug 15th 2007 12:15PM by Brian White
Filed under: Bad news, Consumer experience, Dell (DELL)
Although Dell, Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) has reportedly committed $150 million to improving the quality of worldwide customer support services (along with product quality), apparently that money has not yet had an effect. Proof may be in the pudding with a recent rating of PC makers that was conducted by the University of Michigan, in which Dell's customer service ratings slipped by 5% at a time when it should have improved.

The ratings have Dell near the bottom of all PC manufacturers, with an overall score of 74 out of 100. It's the same rating Dell earned in 2005 when it was under fire to improve customer quality and technical support. An experiment to outsource these positions to India backfired, when customers were infuriated by the sloppy English skills of those Indian employees and the breakdown in communication it caused.

The latest study that has been released from the University of Michigan concludes that Dell's customer quality really has not made any significant improvements since 2005. The question then becomes: with all the changes the computer maker has made to improve customer handling quality, where have all these efforts gone? Why are they not showing results? Perhaps not enough time has gone by, although with the hiring of 2,000 U.S.-based service employees this year, some tangible results should be evident -- if not now, then very soon.

source: http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2007/08/1 ... all-again/
Is that all you have? This document is nearly two years old.

Here is a link a little younger.

http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology ... index.html

Your turn.
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Re: Building a PC?

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AsIfYouKnew wrote:
Is that all you have? This document is nearly two years old.

Here is a link a little younger.

http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology ... index.html

Your turn.
So you make fun of my 2 year old article with your 2 year old article? Alrighty. I don't really want to argue as this isn't the thread for it and I don't really care. I had a Dell I went through their customer service reps in India, and it was frustratingly terrible. It's my opinion they were awful, and I wouldn't suggest anyone to purchase from them unless they've made strides in the customer service since I had one.
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Re: Building a PC?

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Notorious wrote: So you make fun of my 2 year old article with your 2 year old article? Alrighty. I don't really want to argue as this isn't the thread for it and I don't really care. I had a Dell I went through their customer service reps in India, and it was frustratingly terrible. It's my opinion they were awful, and I wouldn't suggest anyone to purchase from them unless they've made strides in the customer service since I had one.
Sorry if you missed the joke, but your article was 7/07, mine was 10/07.

When you call customer service, a lot of variables go into who you speak with. I have spoke a few times with people in India with mixed results. However, you are going to get that with nearly any company you buy a computer from.
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Re: Building a PC?

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Figure out what you want, then go here:

http://www.dell.com/outlet

I got a great game machine a year ago, $700 to my door. I couldn't build it for that.
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Re: Building a PC?

Post by not4u13 »

AsIfYouKnew wrote:Figure out what you want, then go here:

http://www.dell.com/outlet

I got a great game machine a year ago, $700 to my door. I couldn't build it for that.
I got the joke :D

It is funny how people sometimes feel about technology and technology companies. Some just love anything Apple but others can't stand it. I mentioned earlier that I have had great luck and good customer service from eMachines. I am absolutely certain that you could find a number of people that would disagree with me and have personal experiences to back it up.

I remember building some pretty scream'in 386/33 machines back in the day. They were still outperforming new AST Bravo 486/25 machines a few years later and were cheaper to build. They were outfitted with ESDI drives, the system board was fully populated with RAM and they had a nice video card for the time with on board memory. They were built for a corporate environment so they also had a network card but no sound card. They were the first "Windows" machines for the company and they were built for less than a comporable PS2. Parts were easy to come by so they cost less to support. Back in those days there was still a healthy debate for the corporate environment where IBM was trying to sell its legendary reliability at a premium, Microsoft was pushing the envelope on performance with Windows 3.x and corporate e-mail was becoming a must have application.

[note: edited to correct error on 386 processor speed ... I guess memory does fade when you get older]
Last edited by not4u13 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Building a PC?

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AsIfYouKnew wrote:
No hard feelings. Just funnin ya.

BTW, I work for Dell. 8-[
Is your last name Patel?

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Re: Building a PC?

Post by Logic.in.LN »

AsIfYouKnew wrote:
Sorry if you missed the joke, but your article was 7/07, mine was 10/07.

When you call customer service, a lot of variables go into who you speak with. I have spoke a few times with people in India with mixed results. However, you are going to get that with nearly any company you buy a computer from.
but who was #1 :D

hint

all companies ranked
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