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  • Info on building a PC

    I need to get a new desktop PC and I'm going back and fourth on whether I should just go to the store and buy whatever looks good at a reasonable price...or if I should buy piece by piece and have my friend build it for me (he's a good friend and a huge nerd so he says he'll do it for a 12 pack and dinner)...

    How much money can I save by having it built rather than just buying one at retail price (or another question is how much more performance could I get out of the same amount of money) and what types of components should I be looking for? I'm looking to stay below $1200.

    Things I do on the computer:

    Download and listen to a lot of music
    Read a lot of sports sites
    Read a few forums
    Follow fantasy teams
    Some occasional horse pron
    Play a lot of poker (I usually have 4-8 tables open at any given time)
    Play Counterstrike Source a few hours a week (I may move to a next gen game at some point, but gaming isn't really that important to me, but yet I'd still like to get a mid/higher end vid card)

    Usually when I'm on the comp I'll have about 10 things running at once - between poker, ventrilo, music, aim, web browsing so I'd like to get more than enough RAM. That's really all I know.

    I'll be using a 24" monitor as well and will need to run 1900X1200 smoothly.

    If a techy type of person here could make some suggestions I'd appreciate it. I can ask my friend to help, but it's almost 4 AM and I'm pretty sure he is asleep

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Charlie Sheen; 03-31-2008, 03:19 AM.
    You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."

  • #2
    I build my own desktops. Fairly easy to do as long as you do a little research.

    The most intensive application it sounds like you'll run is Counterstrike, which isn't much of a system hog at all being an older game. If you plan on playing something like Team Fortress 2 though, you'll want some horses to run on a 24" monitor at that resolution.

    First question is: how much do you want to spend?
    Second question: what do already have? Unless you already have an ATX case and 500w power supply, I'm going to guess that your cheapest route might be buying from a big box store instead of building your own.
    I like cheese.

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    • #3
      Sheen:

      Unless you have a computer case and power supply ready to roll, you're going to have a hard time topping this for bang-for-the-buck:

      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16883229024

      Newegg is the best company on the planet online for doing computer stuff. They ship fast, they ship accurate, and in the million-to-one that you need to return stuff, their customer support/RMA department is second to none.
      I like cheese.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the help trig, that comp you listed is pretty similair to another I've been looking at not a bad price at all.

        How big of a difference is there between the duo core and the quad core processors?

        If I were to go quad would my computer have much longer shelf life or are the processors similair enough that for someone like me and the things I use my computer for, it wouldn't make much of a difference?
        You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Charlie Sheen View Post
          Thanks for the help trig, that comp you listed is pretty similair to another I've been looking at not a bad price at all.

          How big of a difference is there between the duo core and the quad core processors?

          If I were to go quad would my computer have much longer shelf life or are the processors similair enough that for someone like me and the things I use my computer for, it wouldn't make much of a difference?
          The one drawback of buying a premade computer like this one is that it puts a definite expiration date on itself; boxes like this usually aren't too expandable. I'd say that out of the box, the only areas you could really expand and extend the life of this computer are RAM and graphics.

          But that's good news. Any time I build a box, I'm looking for the bottleneck: "What's the slowest/least-powerful component here that's going to slow things up?" On the computer from Newegg, the CPU is WAY down the list of bottlenecks, compared to other areas. You can add RAM (it's a Vista box, so I recommend you look at adding RAM right away; memory is cheap right now anyway) and then maybe change out the video card (which may require you to also buy a new power supply) pretty easily in a year or two and then still get another year or two out of this. Airshark would tell you to buy a quadcore processor. I'd tell you to hold off unless there's some game on the horizon you can't wait to play. Other than Crysis, I can't think of a single game that makes good use of the quad processors, and in reality programmers are just now making good use of dual-core cpu's.
          I like cheese.

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          • #6
            My brother built me a computer a bit stronger than that for around $500 a couple months ago. Everything was bought off of Newegg... just talk to your buddy about what to buy and he should be able to find you good products for reasonable price on there.

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            • #7
              www.dell.com

              Unless you want a hard-core extreme gaming machine, these days the money saved by piecing a PC together is not worth the time you will spend purchasing the components and putting it together.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ItsOnlyTheRiver View Post
                My brother built me a computer a bit stronger than that for around $500 a couple months ago. Everything was bought off of Newegg... just talk to your buddy about what to buy and he should be able to find you good products for reasonable price on there.
                Puppies.

                He might've built you a good box, but not one like this for $730.

                Prices from Newegg:

                8400e CPU: $249.99
                Mainboard: $77
                2 GB RAM: $50 (averaged)
                8500 GT (512mb): $80-85
                DVD/CD Drive: $30 (averaged)
                Hard drive: $85 (averaged)
                Power supply: $15
                Case: $60 (averaged)

                That's about $600, without considering whether you need a keyboard or mouse. It also doesn't give you the 1 year parts/labor warranty...and the prebuilt desktop is guaranteed to run out of the box, which is always nice.
                I like cheese.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by triggercut1 View Post
                  Puppies.

                  He might've built you a good box, but not one like this for $730.

                  Prices from Newegg:

                  8400e CPU: $249.99
                  Mainboard: $77
                  2 GB RAM: $50 (averaged)
                  8500 GT (512mb): $80-85
                  DVD/CD Drive: $30 (averaged)
                  Hard drive: $85 (averaged)
                  Power supply: $15
                  Case: $60 (averaged)

                  That's about $600, without considering whether you need a keyboard or mouse. It also doesn't give you the 1 year parts/labor warranty...and the prebuilt desktop is guaranteed to run out of the box, which is always nice.
                  Yeah, I don't think my CPU is that strong. It still runs source, though. We should play sometime, Nate.

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                  • #10
                    I build all my own computers. You're not going to save any money doing it yourself, particularly since you'll have no overall system warranty. The reason you build your own is because that's the only way you're going to get EXACTLY the machine you want. If you can find a prebuilt box that does what you want, it's very likely to be cheaper than anything you're going to build yourself.

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                    • #11
                      Buy a dell.

                      A Buddy at work just bought a Q6600, 1GB Ram machine with a 24" LCD for $620 shipped. Then he added 4 GB Ram and a 9600 graphics card for less than $200 combined.

                      In total, that's a kickass machine for around 8 bills.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by triggercut1 View Post
                        Puppies.

                        He might've built you a good box, but not one like this for $730.

                        Prices from Newegg:

                        8400e CPU: $249.99
                        Mainboard: $77
                        2 GB RAM: $50 (averaged)
                        8500 GT (512mb): $80-85
                        DVD/CD Drive: $30 (averaged)
                        Hard drive: $85 (averaged)
                        Power supply: $15
                        Case: $60 (averaged)

                        That's about $600, without considering whether you need a keyboard or mouse. It also doesn't give you the 1 year parts/labor warranty...and the prebuilt desktop is guaranteed to run out of the box, which is always nice.
                        Don't buy this video card. It's a piece of shit. For any new machine expected to run games, I wouldn't even consider a video card less than an 8800 GT 256 or a 9600GT. I'd even go ATI (say a 3850) before I'd waste a nickel on an already-obsolete card like an 8500 GT.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Airshark View Post
                          Don't buy this video card. It's a piece of shit. For any new machine expected to run games, I wouldn't even consider a video card less than an 8800 GT 256 or a 9600GT. I'd even go ATI (say a 3850) before I'd waste a nickel on an already-obsolete card like an 8500 GT.
                          Reading comprehension: that's the card that ships with the premade box, offered there for comparison's sake. It is more than enough polygon pushing to handle Counterstrike Source, and if he decides he wants more, he can get more.
                          I like cheese.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by triggercut1 View Post
                            Reading comprehension: that's the card that ships with the premade box, offered there for comparison's sake. It is more than enough polygon pushing to handle Counterstrike Source, and if he decides he wants more, he can get more.
                            This is bad advice. It's $85 wasted when he finds out that his new box can't run a bunch of current games acceptably. You can go to the $110 level and get vastly better performance.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Airshark View Post
                              This is bad advice. It's $85 wasted when he finds out that his new box can't run a bunch of current games acceptably. You can go to the $110 level and get vastly better performance.
                              You have a remarkable inability to hear or read anything typed by anyone else in a thread like this. Did you even bother to read what the OP wants to use his computer for?

                              Did you pay attention or even realize that I was just pricing that card for comparison's sake to show the individual costs of the components in the premade box I'd linked to upthread?

                              Did you comprehend it?

                              No, nevermind. You didn't.

                              Yes, Sheen follow Airshark's advice (or at least say you are) and buy a $1200 desktop to do email, web browsing, and play a 4-year-old game.
                              I like cheese.

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