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Thread: Building your own PC

  1. #1
    Watt on Earth? Jemadah's Avatar
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    Building your own PC

    Hi guys,

    I want to build my own PC, I have never done this before, can anyone recomend any good sites or tutorials that will teach me the fundimentals I need to know?

    Thanks in advance

    Jem

  2. #2
    Harmony & Justice Veniogenesis's Avatar
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    Here are two sites I use on how to assemble a computer:
    http://www.buildyourown.org.uk/
    http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/

  3. #3
    Retired SCORM Guru PAlexC's Avatar
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    "What really bugs me is that my mom had the audacity to call Flash Kit a bunch of 'inept jack-asses'." - sk8Krog
    ...and now I have tape all over my face.

  4. #4
    Harmony & Justice Veniogenesis's Avatar
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    Tomshardware might be too crazy as an introductory site to building a computer.
    But that site is damn good.

  5. #5
    Retired SCORM Guru PAlexC's Avatar
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    He has a couple introductory tutorials. There's a good one about building a gaming PC for under $1k.
    "What really bugs me is that my mom had the audacity to call Flash Kit a bunch of 'inept jack-asses'." - sk8Krog
    ...and now I have tape all over my face.

  6. #6
    Domo Arigato! Ultima Designs's Avatar
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    See if you can get yourself a copy of Maximum PC Shows You How to...Build the Perfect PC. It was done a while back, but it's the best resource I've ever found.
    I really enjoy forgetting. When I first come to a place, I notice all the little details. I notice the way the sky looks. The color of white paper. The way people walk. Doorknobs. Everything. Then I get used to the place and I don't notice those things anymore. So only by forgetting can I see the place again as it really is.

  7. #7
    FK's Geezer Mod Ask The Geezer's Avatar
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    The whole process is fundamental. You need a tower with a powersupply, you need a motherboard and a processor, you need a hard drive, CD drive and maybe an A drive. Order the parts, all the screws and cables come with the parts. It takes a half hour to 45 minutes, and your up and running. It's not rocket science.

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    What type of PC do you want, as in what will you be using it for. If you want a workstation type PC and don't care so much about 3D.

    The process van be as simple as getting either a Mini-Itx board or Intergrated Micro-ATX board (You can get this with everything included with embedded CPU, these are somtimes called single board computers), snap in memory, attach the motherboard to your case, attach drives with IDE cables and plug in the power supply, then load your OS (If not already preinstalled on the HD- you can get various flavors of self hardware detecting Linux preinstalled on HD's for about $60-$70 that price is for Linux and the HD).

    If you are going for cheapest cost then the FIC and Via Mini-Itx cards with embeded C3 Ezra proccosers are about $99. On both of these boards the Fan is embedded with the MOBO or In the Case of the Via Eden's it requires no fan. The FIC/VIS EPIA versions run about $100 at Idot computer. The new boards that take Pentium M, Transmeta chips, P4 Chips, Ect are more expensive but have better performance.

    The CPU makes a differnce. If you are going for a Via C3 the Nehemiah C3 does a better job with the 3D and runs from 933 Mhz- 1.2 Ghz (highest speed as of this writting) but costs twice as much. The C3 Samuel was worst for 3D and multimedia and runs through 800 Mhz. Some of the Edens use Sammuals while others use Ezras (Run up to 1Ghz) or Eden chps. Also the C3's run on Socket 370 MOBOS (Read dirt Cheap and easily found MOBOS) are can be bought as an embedded CPU MOBO.

    The Transmetta chips draw even less power than the Via chips. There is the Crusoe up to 1 Ghz and the Efficeon (currently up to 1.6 Ghz). iBase makes a Min-Itx Efficeon board it costs about $400 though.

    If you are wanting to build a high end gamming machine then the simplified process is this;

    1. Decided what type of CPU you want- Athlon or P4. Purchase a CPU fan.

    2. Purchase compatible Mother board. You will want a Motherboard that supports your processor and does not intergrate graphics and sound. A MOBO that supports the Athlon will not work with a MOBO for the P4 and vice-versu.

    3. Purchase high end Graphics Card.

    4. Purchase LAN Card, HD, Sound Card, Ect.

    5. Purchase Case and Perphials. Purchase case Fan.

    6. Purchase and install OS- For a high end Gaming computer you most probably want Windows, as many games use Direct X. Note there are many games that have been ported/Are Native to to Linux - they tend use OpenGL, SDL, Ect.

  9. #9
    Running Plodding & Limping SpockBert's Avatar
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    not a tutorial but a good place to buy all the components: www.ebuyer.com

  10. #10
    Harmony & Justice Veniogenesis's Avatar
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    eBuyer and NewEgg are my favorite online stores. I've bought most of my computer parts from NewEgg.

  11. #11
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    http://www.idotpc.com has a lot of the Mini-Itx supplies for making form factor computers and extreme case mods. They even have DC-DC convertors (Used in Making Car Computers that run off of the 12v Auto's Bat). I've used them and they are pretty good about getting it out to you and in one piece, other stores that I have used has had problems doing that.


    I've noticed that alot of stores/sites don't carry the Min-Itx/Nano-Itx supplies. Some of the online stores don't even carry the Micro-Atx supplies.

    Pricewatch http://www.pricewatch.com/ finally added the Mini ITX form factor as a catagory just a little while ago.

    http://www.geek.com is also a good resource for computer parts.

    You should note that I have simplified the process as have the several Do-It yourself pages. I haven't talked about compatibility issues- I did a little bit but the first site that I hit did not.

    It is very important that you purchase a compatible MOBO and processor. A Socket-A MOBO will not work with a P4. Also some stores still carry Socket 7 Mobos. If you purchase one of these thinking you get a great deal be aware that the fastest CPU that will fit it is the AMDK6-III 550 Mhz, if you can find one. The Fastest chip that will fit a Socket 370 board is the Via C3 Nehemiah (Currently at 1.2 Ghz) chip. The Via C4 (Expected latter this year) is suppose to fit Socket 478 boards.

    Likewise you need to watch what type of Memory you get.

    Also some of the inexpensuve MOBOS with onboard video do not have an AGP slot. That means if you want to upgrade the Graphics card you need a PCI Video card such as the ATI Radeon VE. You also will have to disable the onboard video. The same for sound.

    One last note... If you think you will save money by building your own low end system disabuse yourself of that right now. Wal-Mart Online and other retailers offer complete computer systems for as low as $168 (no HD running Linspire on CD)- $245 (No OS or Linspire installed called the Web Stateion). I priced out how much I could build a complete system and came up with roughly the same cost as one of these rock bottom price systems offered by Wal-Mart Online and Sub 300 PC's.

  12. #12
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    Re: Building your own PC

    Building a PC is pretty simple...I’d look for a “recipe” that fits what u need if u don’t feel like researching. Ebay and pricewatch.com is the shiznat!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member mg33's Avatar
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    I built one last November for the first time and it was alot of fun. Tigerdirect.com has alot of barebones systems, etc. for building one. Making some upgrades in the next few months that I have not done since building. It is a 2.0 Ghz Celeron and was very cheap to build. No more than $400.
    The Atlantic Divide My band here in Chicago, USA. || We also exist here on myspace: myspace.com/theatlanticdivide

  14. #14
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    Most of those do-it yourselve sites don't talk about this so here...

    A quick Mobo Compatibilty Chart for PC's (not PPC);

    Socket 7 will fit the old Pentiums (75 Mhz - 233 Mhz) and old AMD chips. The fastest chip it will take is the K6-III (550 Mhz)

    Socket 370 is for PII-Early PIII. Also the older Celerons and the Via C3, Via Eden, and Via Antaur.

    Socket A is for the 32 Bit AMD Durons, Athlons, Semperons up to 2800+.

    Socket 478 is for the Intel 32 Bit Pentiums and higher end celerons. Also the non Itianium 64 Bit Intels are to use a Socket 478.

    418 Pin is for Intel Itianium 64 Bit

    Socket 603 is for the Intel Xeon

    Socket 754(754 Pin) is for AMD 64 Bit processors (Newcastle and Clawhammer) and the newer Semprons (Above 2800+)

    Socket 939 (939 Pin) is for AMD 64 Bit 4000+ Cpu

    Socket 940 (940 Pin) is for AMD 64 Bit Opteron.


    Okay so who are these chip makers...

    Intel- Number 1 in sales of chips worldwide, they make the Pentiums, Celeron (Low End), Xeon, and Itianium chips. They also make the Pentium M (Centrino) for mobile applications.

    AMD- Number 2 in sales of chips worldwide , they make the Athlon, Duron (Very low end to compete with Via and the Chinese chipmakers), Semperon (Low end), and Opteron (High end)

    Via- Number 3 in sales of chips worldide, they make the C3, Antuar, and Eden chips. The Via chips are aimed at the low end and for portable/set top devices (Embedded). The Eden is a fanless CPU. Via also makes chipsets for motherboards for other manufactures. The C3 from the Sam to the Ezra-T FPU ran at half rate, the Nehimah FPU runs at full speed . The 1/2 speed FPU makes the older C3 unsuitable for things like 3D games and Multimedia creation. They also created the ITX, Mini-Itx, and Nano-Itx form factor specification for one card computers. The Via Epia board is proabbly the most well known Mini-Itx Mobo, mostly becuase it is very inexpensive, draws little power, is very small, and produces very little heat- can safely use cardboard, wood, plastic ect as a case material so it is typically used in unique case mods.

    Transmeta makes chips for embedded applications such as Set Top Boxes and tablets.

  15. #15
    Official Vermont Photo Mod WannaBe_80z's Avatar
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    once you know HOW to build it(usually color coded) go to www.newegg.com best place to buy
    "Let us declare nature to be legitimate. All plants should be declared legal, and all animals for that matter. The notion of illegal plants and animals is obnoxious and ridiculous."- T. McKenna

  16. #16
    Watt on Earth? Jemadah's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, that was all very helpful.


  17. #17
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    Originally posted by WannaBe_80z
    once you know HOW to build it(usually color coded) go to www.newegg.com best place to buy
    No Mini-Itx or Flex-ATX Kit though. They also don't carry the Via chips or the Transmeta Kit. I'm actually amused that many of these stores don't break out their offerings by Form Factor.

    TigerDirect is a good all around online shop but you have to dig through the site to find what you are looking for if its not standard.

    I left off Socket 775 in the CPU Mobo match list, the Socket 775 is for the higher end P4s.

  18. #18
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    I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but after 13 years of building my own, I stopped.

    I buy new computers, now. It's cheaper. You can't keep up with the economies of scale that benefit the Dells of the world.

    P4, 2.8 GHz for $299. How can you compete with that? You can't. Take the cheap, fast system with a warranty, and walk away happy.

  19. #19
    (sic) Covenent's Avatar
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    Originally posted by random_fool
    P4, 2.8 GHz for $299.


    Got a link to that?

    Or was it a typo?

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by Covenent


    Got a link to that?

    Or was it a typo?
    No, not a typo...

    There's two places to watch.

    1) http://www.gotapex.com/deals.php (They post the newest, hottest deals each day - if you're patient, you can get some good stuff, very cheap. Top of the page today is:

    DellSB - NEW Dimension 3000 with 2.8Ghz P4, 512MB DDR SDRAM, 40GB HD, CD-ROM, and 2 Year Warranty for Only $389 after Rebate with FREE Shipping!
    - Add 15" LCD for $150 or
    - Add 17" LCD for $270!
    Yea, it's $90 more than I posted above, but I've seen cheaper (the Dimension 2400s, specifically, are the usual desktop models that go on sale).

    2) The Dell Small Business section, the PowerEdge 400SC server. It's their low-end model, and they like to discount it when they want to bump up sales. I bought my desktop machine at home (pe400sc) for $299. It is the P4, 800 MHz FSB, though the AGP slot is "unsupported" (you won't find it listed in the specs, but my Radeon runs in it just fine).

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