Build my computer

Build my computer

KingOfPain
KingOfPain

June 21st, 2002, 7:53 pm #1

Got to run to work. This looks like a good start -

Note that it's Dell Canada so the prices is in CDN iirc.

What would your choices be from what is offered for the system?

Remember to stay around 2k CDN ;p

Anything comparable to this system?

Comments?

http://ausoladcacm.us.dell.com/castorey ... GC_CHS2AW7


TIA

KoP
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Nystul
Nystul

June 21st, 2002, 9:16 pm #2

Those Canadian prices really throw me for a loop!

Anyways, the GeForce 4 MX-420 is a budget card and should be avoided unless you are willing to upgrade it at some point. Considering the price difference to get the better cards, that might not even be a bad strategy, but don't think that it is a decent card just because it says GeForce 4. It would be good enough to run NWN, and that is about as much as I will say for it.

-Nystul
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Lissa
Lissa

June 21st, 2002, 9:28 pm #3

Got to run to work. This looks like a good start -

Note that it's Dell Canada so the prices is in CDN iirc.

What would your choices be from what is offered for the system?

Remember to stay around 2k CDN ;p

Anything comparable to this system?

Comments?

http://ausoladcacm.us.dell.com/castorey ... GC_CHS2AW7


TIA

KoP
Here's what I put together using Price Watch. Note, these prices are not the lowest possible so as to give you a good range to look at.

Athlon XP 1800
MB - Abit KX7-333
256 MB DDR SDRAM 3000
Fan
GeForce 4 4400
SB Live
45 G IDE Hard Drive
56X IDE CD Rom
Floppy Drive
NIC
Case

Sum total price, around $850 American (which should be under 2k Canadian unless the exchange rate has really got all to hell...)
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Charis
Charis

June 21st, 2002, 10:18 pm #4

Got to run to work. This looks like a good start -

Note that it's Dell Canada so the prices is in CDN iirc.

What would your choices be from what is offered for the system?

Remember to stay around 2k CDN ;p

Anything comparable to this system?

Comments?

http://ausoladcacm.us.dell.com/castorey ... GC_CHS2AW7


TIA

KoP
Not a bad machine, that would keep you happy for a while

* Get 256MB Ram, absolutely. (not 128)
* Agree with Nystul's comments
* While Lissa is correct, if I were KoP I would go with Dell. I was going to build my own, picked out exactly what I wanted, then at last minute went to Dell for comparison sake. Wow, what configurability. I wasn't stuck like with some other brands with hideous options, but could get exactly what I wanted. Price difference between that and buy your own was smaller than the hassle factor (for me). When I read about Cy's DIY woes, I'm glad I got the Dell, and wouldn't hesitate to repeat my choice. The only other thing I would do is buy it pre-configured with the OS I was actually planning to use. I saved 50 bucks my buying it with WinME since I already owned Win2K and could install it myself. 16 hours of driver hell, brought on myself.

Buy, buy, buy! (PS, I just bought NWN!
Charis
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Joined: March 5th, 2001, 7:01 pm

June 21st, 2002, 11:43 pm #5

Hi,

Price difference between that and buy your own was smaller than the hassle factor

Well, since I have no idea what you consider a reasonable price for a hassle factor, I can't comment on that. However, my experience with the last four computers I've built is that I could not get the same from any of the manufacturers for about 20% more. Now, this isn't comparing 120GB no-name HD with a DeskStar, etc. If you don't consider the difference in price between brands, then you can fool yourself. Typically with a pre-built you are paying prime oat prices for grain that's been through the horse. Most OEM versions of video cards, sound cards, etc, are often stripped down or have some features missing.

One main additional benefit of building your own is the ability to maintain and upgrade the computer over its life. This often puts you in a position to extend the life of the machine when one subsystem falls behind par. This also means that you don't have to replace keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. with each upgrade.

So, while it may be worth it to some to let someone else worry the hassles, unless you buy a machine from a company like Alienware or Falcon, you probably will not get the same quality components and assembly as you will get from a home built. And if you do buy from a company specializing in high end (i.e., gaming) machines, then you'll pay a premium.

Nothing wrong with that -- but don't fool yourself or others.

--Pete

PS It's not that hard and there are some good guides. http://www.pcmech.com/build.htm looks to be oneof the more complete
Last edited by --Pete on June 22nd, 2002, 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lissa
Lissa

June 21st, 2002, 11:52 pm #6

Not a bad machine, that would keep you happy for a while

* Get 256MB Ram, absolutely. (not 128)
* Agree with Nystul's comments
* While Lissa is correct, if I were KoP I would go with Dell. I was going to build my own, picked out exactly what I wanted, then at last minute went to Dell for comparison sake. Wow, what configurability. I wasn't stuck like with some other brands with hideous options, but could get exactly what I wanted. Price difference between that and buy your own was smaller than the hassle factor (for me). When I read about Cy's DIY woes, I'm glad I got the Dell, and wouldn't hesitate to repeat my choice. The only other thing I would do is buy it pre-configured with the OS I was actually planning to use. I saved 50 bucks my buying it with WinME since I already owned Win2K and could install it myself. 16 hours of driver hell, brought on myself.

Buy, buy, buy! (PS, I just bought NWN!
Charis
...buying from an OEM means you will get a lot of junk parts in the machine.

I know for a fact that the MB in Dells are propritary pieces of crap. Likewise, they give you a very low end heat sink for your processor. The CD is typically a laptop style CD Rom drive. The NIC will also be an low end generic item. The RAM will likely be low end as well. The monitor will also likely be generic.

You can buy name brand parts and get a far better machine for only a slight increase in price or possibly a cheaper price.

Putting a computer today is far easier than it was 10 years ago. 10 years ago, the only way to buy a computer was through an OEM because hassle was much higher. Now, hardware is so easy to put together that so long as you are careful and properly ground yourself (just touching the case while you are putting the machine together), anyone can put a machine together as they try to make everything as idiot proof as possible (of course, there are some very creative idiots out there... ).
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

June 22nd, 2002, 1:06 am #7

Hi,

Price difference between that and buy your own was smaller than the hassle factor

Well, since I have no idea what you consider a reasonable price for a hassle factor, I can't comment on that. However, my experience with the last four computers I've built is that I could not get the same from any of the manufacturers for about 20% more. Now, this isn't comparing 120GB no-name HD with a DeskStar, etc. If you don't consider the difference in price between brands, then you can fool yourself. Typically with a pre-built you are paying prime oat prices for grain that's been through the horse. Most OEM versions of video cards, sound cards, etc, are often stripped down or have some features missing.

One main additional benefit of building your own is the ability to maintain and upgrade the computer over its life. This often puts you in a position to extend the life of the machine when one subsystem falls behind par. This also means that you don't have to replace keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. with each upgrade.

So, while it may be worth it to some to let someone else worry the hassles, unless you buy a machine from a company like Alienware or Falcon, you probably will not get the same quality components and assembly as you will get from a home built. And if you do buy from a company specializing in high end (i.e., gaming) machines, then you'll pay a premium.

Nothing wrong with that -- but don't fool yourself or others.

--Pete

PS It's not that hard and there are some good guides. http://www.pcmech.com/build.htm looks to be oneof the more complete
If you are going to use a Windows box, you had best build it your self.

Folks like Dell and Gateway have piss poor quality control. It is not entirely uncommon to get a dead drive of some sort or some malfunctioning piece simply because somebody hooked it up wrong or a zillion other reasons. Poor drivers, etc etc etc. There are to many things that could go wrong. I know somebody who bought a laptop from Dell and it took 9 tries of sending it back and forth to Dell's repair service before it finally worked properly. (Machine would boot, then, hard freeze after the ram check.) They replaced the ram, replaced the mobo after try #4 I think, and, on the last try, sent an all new lap top. Only problem is now, he is being charged for 2 lap tops and is currently threating to strangle somebody at customer support if they don't get this snafu fixed.

Better to look after the loose ends your self, provided you know what you are doing. It really is not to hard. It's sorta like playing with legos or an erector set. Everything snaps together nicely most of the time and usually works.

I dunno if the tech tv site still has it, but, they had a downloadable series of videos that shows step by step how to build a peecee for under a 1000 bucks. Seemed to be a nice enough gaming rig at the time, some of the parts may have changed by now but the basics remain the same methinks.
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Joined: September 16th, 2000, 11:32 pm

June 22nd, 2002, 1:39 am #8

Got to run to work. This looks like a good start -

Note that it's Dell Canada so the prices is in CDN iirc.

What would your choices be from what is offered for the system?

Remember to stay around 2k CDN ;p

Anything comparable to this system?

Comments?

http://ausoladcacm.us.dell.com/castorey ... GC_CHS2AW7


TIA

KoP
At least according to http://www.all-nettools.com/tools5.htm

My first suggestion to you is that you build your own computer. I concur with everything Pete and Lissa said, and so won't go over why again.

Note: all of the following prices are from Pricewatch.

Mobo: I recently upgraded my own machine, and picked out an Epox 8K3A+ mobo. I love it. It's been very stable, and there were absolutely no problems with it. It has some USB ports, and RAID capabilities, which I liked.

Price: $67

CPU: Athlon XP 2200

Price: $223

RAM: Kingmax 256MB PC2700 DDR RAM

Price: $51 (I'd recommend getting two, so $102)

Video Card: 128MB GeForce 4 Ti 4600

Price: $289

Hard Drive: Western Digital 7200 RPM Ultra ATA100 60GB

Price: $83

I don't know what else you'd want to get. It's up to you. You could keep your old mouse, keyboard and monitor and whatever else.

Total Price: $764 USD

OR

Total Price: $1,161.28 CAD

Hope this helps,

-Hocus

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Carbon
Carbon

June 22nd, 2002, 5:44 am #9

Got to run to work. This looks like a good start -

Note that it's Dell Canada so the prices is in CDN iirc.

What would your choices be from what is offered for the system?

Remember to stay around 2k CDN ;p

Anything comparable to this system?

Comments?

http://ausoladcacm.us.dell.com/castorey ... GC_CHS2AW7


TIA

KoP
While we're in this thread, here's a problem I'd like to pose to the people who have bought such items recently: I am looking to replace my CPU, which necessarily means I'll be replacing my tired Super 7 motherboard and PC100 memory, too. Essentially, I'm in a similar boat as KoP, but with a tighter budget and no desire for a completely new computer.

I don't want to spend more than about $150-$175 total, with a hard upper limit at $200 US.

I would be happy with any processor that breaks the 1.1 GHz mark, though I would prefer AMD over Intel and from the higher-end processor families (Athlons or Pentiums) instead of from the value lines (Durons or Celerons). I'm flexible on both of these points, though.

As for the motherboard , I need enough room for a modem, NIC, sound card (if any of the above aren't integrated), IDE card (I have 5 IDE disk drives that I use, so I need some spare channels), and MPEG decoder card, so at least 5 PCI slots, fewer if things are integrated. As for the connections on the back, I'll be happy if it just has the standard keyboard/mouse ports and USB, though parallel would be nice since my printer sucks in USB mode. Non-DDR RAM is almost a must due to the budget constraints, but would be a nice way to upgrade in the future, so it would be a bonus if the mobo could accept it as well as non-DDR SDRAM.

I've looked around at Pricewatch and have seen some things, but I simply am not knowledgeable enough about the current generation of hardware to recognize the good buys from the cheap stuff.

Essentially, I am looking for the components that were good at some point last year; I don't need the fully tricked-out Athlon XPs running on the motherboards with the integrated RAID, FireWire, and Surround Sound hookups with 1024 MB of DDR-SDRAM. I don't really want to settle for knockoffs and unreliable generics, either. I'm not really looking for specific model XYZ from company ABC (but if you can supply that, so much the better), more just a general guide to which brands, models, and/or online retailers I should look for (or avoid).

Thanks,

-CC
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Nystul
Nystul

June 22nd, 2002, 8:46 am #10

That's a tight budget for an upgrade, good luck with it

If you buy from an online vendor, it may be a good idea to check them out at http://www.resellerratings.com You can get a decent idea there of what kind of service you can expect if anything goes awry. Most of my hardware dealings were done with http://www.newegg.com and I don't have any complaints (they ship only to the States though).

As for the hardware itself, I would have to do a bit of price hunting to make any suggestions. One concern I would have: how big is your current power supply? Not having enough power would be a bad thing, and if you need to buy a power supply it will make that budget even tighter.

-Nystul

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