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Building a custom computer, selecting parts

By UgaUga ยท 10 replies
Oct 23, 2005
  1. I have been thinking of buying a new computer for some time now, and seeing as my current one is no where up to current standards, it seems I am forced to make a descision.

    First of all, I have been looking for a good site to buy from, and aside from newegg, I found Puget systems. To me, puget seems like a rather good choice, but they have much higher prices then newegg does, although it is understandable seeing as they boast a great many things, such as testing the computer beforehand for me to make sure the power supply and heating and whatnot is good enough. However, I'm still not sure if that is worth all the extra money.

    At the moment, I am willing to spend around $2000, give or take, on this computer, and I'm hoping for something that will last a couple of years.

    As for component parts, I have been thinking of 1-2gb of ddr ram, a hard drive with around 200gb of storage and a video card that should last a while, preferably good enough to play todays games on high settings. Also on my list of things I'd love to have is a dual core processor, a motherboard with SLI support, and multi-threading would be the cherry on top of the ice cream. The parts I am thinking about are:

    Asus A8N-SLI Premium [motherboard] (going rate: $234.54 at puget.com, $120/$165 at newegg.com)
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ DUAL CORE [CPU] (going rate: $455.64 at puget, $347 at newegg)
    Thermalright XP-120 [CPU cooling] (going rate: $92.35 at puget, $68.99 at newegg)
    1GB DDR400 CL2.0 2x512MB (OCZ PC3200 Perf. DC - 2x 512mb) [RAM] (going rate: $176.56 at puget, $113.44 at newegg)
    2GB DDR400 2x1GB (OCZ PC3200 Perf. DC - 2x 1024mb) [RAM] (going rate: $322.73 at puget, $253.50 at newegg)
    Seasonic S12 500W [power supply] (going rate: $139.75 at puget, $129.00 at newegg)
    Samsung SpinPoint P SP2004C 200GB SATA II [hard drive] (going rate: $153.47 at puget, $93.99 at newegg)
    BFG 7800 GT 256MB PCI-E [video card] (going rate: $508.39 at puget, $385.00 at newegg)
    Lite On 16X Dual Layer DVD+RW/-RW Black [dvd-rom] (going rate: $63.85 at puget, $42.45 at newegg)
    Windows XP Home SP2 [operating system] (going rate: $112.01 at puget, $92.95 at newegg)

    As you can clearly see, newegg has a major upperhand in price, and I'm leaning that way at the moment. However, I didn't include the shipping and handling price with the newegg prices, but they were mostly beneath $5. I am not yet confident that all of puget's extra bells and whistles, such as a burn-in processes, are worth it, but me not having to build it myself is still a strong consideration. That brings me to another question, how easy would it be for a more or less unexperienced person to build a computer from it's component parts, with the help of online guides?

    Also, I am undecided on what case would best fit for my configuration, and if i have enough power for the whole system (500W seasonic is what I am leaning towards at the moment). And how much of an improvement is it if I buy another video card to put into an SLI format, and is it worth the extra money? Thirdly, is it worth it to fork out another hundred bucks or so for a sound card, or will a in-built one handle things fine enough?
  2. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    Do you need a monitor and keyboard and other peripherals?
    If not then with $2000 you can build a helluva rig!
    AMD 4400 Toledo $526 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103546
    Asus A8N SLI $133 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131524
    Corsair (2GB) XMS TwinX2048 PC3200 DDR400 RAM $286 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145574
    XFX 7800GTX $489 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150100
    Western DIgital 200GB SATA HDD w/ 8MB cache $95.50 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144153
    Seasonic S12 600w SLI PSU $160 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817151025
    Lian Li PCV 100+ Aluminum Case $199 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811112051
    XP Home $86.95 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16837102151

    TOTAL $1975.45

    -4400+ Toledo because it has 2 x 1MB L2 cache.
    -7800GTX vice GT because it has the BEST performnce at a great price
    -A8N SLI insted of deluxe becasue if you don't need the extra SATA prots and 2 LANS etc. thenwhy buy them. The A8N SLI straight is the better deal.
    -600W Seasonic because you'll appreciate the power later. Believe me you will.
    -Way expensive Lian LI case because I'm a sucker and I love my PC V1000. I got mine for $166 at Monarch though.
  3. UgaUga

    UgaUga TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yep, I have a working monitor complete with a mouse, keyboard, and speakers. However I am planning on renewing all my cd drives and everything else in the current case, and will probably use it as a hand-me-down, so all of that is out of bounds for me.

    However, that seems like a very good system, but I'm still open to suggestions of course.
  4. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Make sure you don't combine the Lian-Li PC-V1000 with the Asus A8N-Sli Premium as the heatpipe used on the chipset will not work if put upside down (the V1000 has the motherboard placed upside down).
  5. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    It isn't that hard if you have a basic knowledge of pc parts and get compatible parts. What would be a problem would be if you'd accidentally get parts that weren't compatible and then have issues, or if you'd get DOA(dead on arrival) parts, and not be experienced in troubleshooting the problem. It would be cheaper to do it yourself, and if you got compatible working parts, and have read online guides it shouldn't be too hard. If you really are unsure and feel it would be a bad idea, the puget systems seem nice, since they have testing/warranty etc, just cost more. Another place to consider would be cyberpower, I think they're a little cheaper.

    On cyberpower, I chose the Gamer Ultra sli elite, with xcruiser case, enermax 535w psu, x2 4400+, 3 case fans, asus a8n sli, 2gb corsair VS, 1 7800gtx, 200gb sata hd, Nec 3520 dvd burner, etc, and got a total price of $1857. It also has free shipping since it's over $1499. You'd also get 2 free games, and nero 7 ultra free.
  6. UgaUga

    UgaUga TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I assume I have a basic knowledge of pc parts, however I have never had to disassemble nor assemble a computer before. I have yet to decide if all that extra money is worth it to have the computer built for me, but if it will garuentee I won't have to deal with and malfunctioning parts or compatibility, I might have to go with the more expensive option. It will be very hard for me to return any parts sent to me, seeing as I live in the middle of the atlantic and have to pay a shipping company to fly the computer to me.

    As far as I can tell, that is the same as newegg offers, cheaper, and they build and test it, and throw in some free stuff to boot. However, I didn't see an option for a OS in there, is that something that has to be ordered specially?
  7. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    vnf4 pretty much nailed it. The only thing I would add is that by building it yourself you will learn an incredible amount about your system and this will free you from tech support. This may be very beneficial considering your locale.

    Everyone here, who has built a PC, had to take that leap of faith and build that first one with no net. No one is born with the knowledge. Just had to get it online and hit the forums. Yeah it is a little scary, especially when it is just you, a couple tools and $1800 worth of PC parts. It is a great feeling, though, when that box boots up and I guarantee you will never, ever buy another OEM PC.
    I'd build the sucker if I were you.
  8. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    As far as OS, go to the main config page,
    go to the bottom, click on page three(software and services).
    It comes w/ xp home w/ sp2 and also m$ works 7.0.
    I guess that's preinstalled(it doesn't actually say so though).
    It also includes a warranty on down the page.

    It also says that all systems have 72hrs burn in before shipping.

    I'm not sure of where they ship though, I guess they'd ship to Iceland, but I don't really know, and didn't see any info about it.
  9. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +422

    Merc14 pretty much said it for me. There's a first time for everything. For me the assembly part was the easiest (even though I did manage to install the floppy cable 180 wrong). I repair cars for a hobby. The boot up, BIOS, formatting and installation of Windows was the scariest part. I managed to get through it though.

    BTW, I regret to tell you that Newegg does NOT ship to outside the USA (except Puerto Rico). So if you are in Iceland, Newegg is not an option.
  10. UgaUga

    UgaUga TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for the reply. I am still undecided wether to use NewEgg, or something else such as CyberPower systems. At the moment I am trying to get a general opinion from tech support forums such as this one, and I am leaning towards having CyberPower send me a custom rig. They seem to have good prices and service there.

    As for NewEgg not sending to Iceland, I know of a shipping company in Iceland that is based in Virgina that will send packages from the US to me. No worries about that, however it does cost.
  11. ralewis85

    ralewis85 TS Rookie


    I was searching on google and happened to run into this topic and would like to share my 2 cents about CyberPower.

    Last Aug I went and bought a $2000 laptop from them for college and personal/gaming use. Well here it is November and the laptop is completely dead, and Cyberpower refuses to help me at all. In fact I was searching on google to see if there are any pictures to help me disassemble this laptop and try to manaually fix it.

    Within the time the laptop did actually work, I had several problems with it, starting with the first day I recieved it. The laptop seemed to be perfect, except for one of the fans on the bottom was not working. So after calling tech support, they told me to ship it back. After getting it back, everything seemed to work fine once again, until my computer started to refuse to boot, the case started to crack, and burn marks began to appear in the casing from over heating. Cyberpower once again told me to ship it back for repairs, and this time 'claimed' they fixed all the problems, and did a 24 hour test to make sure it worked correctly, but as soon as I got the laptop back I notied that nothing had been fixed, and now my DVD drive stoped working completly. After arguing with the company some more, I was given a new DVD drive replacement.

    You would think this would be the end of my nightmares, but it gets worse. A few months later, the laptop began getting worse, and began having booting problems once more. I was able to get it shipped back once again for repairs, in hopes that everything would get fixed this time. After the company recieved the notebook, they went on to tell me that my problem came from using firefox because it is a P2P program and will mess up my computer....Needless to say, I was fed up with Cyberpower now. So I tried to argue my way into getting my laptop completely replaced instead of constantly fixing the current one, which apprently pissed off cyberpower, as they haulted the shipping on my laptop and requested that it be returned to them, just so they could ship it out once more and force me to pay for the shipping this time.

    Which brings me to the current time, where the laptop is completly dead.

    So I would stay clear of cyberpower, as they are a company who could careless about their customers at all.
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