I've decided my current computer is decent, but not quite good enough. So I've decided I want to try to build my own computer. With a goal of becoming a computer engineer, I thought this would be a true test for me, and since I have been working with computers since I was a little kid and I know the insides pretty darn well, I think I want to try to build my own computer. Nothing special, nothing monterous, nothing crazy. Just a nice, fast, solid, modern computer.
Specs of my current computer:
Sony Vaio PCV-RX540
Asus TUSL-LV motherboard, 100MHz clock
1.20GHz Intel Celeron processor, 256kb L2 cache
512MB (256 x2) 133MHz SDRAM
60GB Ultra ATA/100 Maxtor HDD
ATI Rage128 Pro AGP X4 TMDS (16MB, 125MHz core clock)
Intel 82801BA/BAM AC '97 Audio controller (integrated)
Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC
CD-RW (read/write) (16x/10x/40x)
As you can see, it's not all that great. Processor not good enough, RAM not quite high enough, graphics needs a major update, sound card wouldn't hurt, DVD-RW drive would be nice. The main things I want to have better of. So I'm hoping to start building this beauty in around 6 months to a year. But I'm still torn between building it from scratch
(bare-bone case), or buying a good compouter and simply upgrading it. My budget is around $300-$800 range. Maybe even a thousand if I have to, but I'd really prefer to not go above 6 or 700-ish. I would be using it for:
- Basic gaming, nothing TOO extreme
- Graphic designing
- Audio/video playback/media features
Again, I'm not trying to build the Golliath of all PCs, just something simple and really nice. Here are the basic specs I'd want in my computer.
2.0GHz or so processor
1GB, maybe 2, of RAM
80gig hard drive should do fine
Nice sound, nothing too fancy
DVD burning and CD burning
Good power supply/cooling system*
The power supply is a must for me. I have an awkward fear of not having my PC properly cooled. It's like a phobia for me to use a computer with bad cooling. I just don't want my computer to freeze up randomly because things are overheating, or for it to shut down randomly at an important time because the processor is scortching hot. Good power supply and cooling are big for me.
I'll most likely be buying most of the parts used so I don't have to spend a ridiculous amount of money. So with all that explained, I have some questions that would be helpful if they were answered:
1. From scratch or buy a good PC and just upgrade? I'd just hate to start from scratch and get lost and have the entire plan go down the drain because of incompatibility, don't know how to get it going properly, etc.
2. Intel vs AMD, which processor should I go with? Which is cheaper?
3. Any good graphics card recommendations? (Again, I'm not going to be doing extreme gaming. 128 or so should be fine).
4. Is a good sound card really worth the time/money, or will a standard one do?
5. Are there CD-RW/DVD-RW combo drives? If so, recommendations? If not, recommendations for the individual drives?
6. Best hard drive brand? Seagate? Maxtor? Etc.
7. How many watts should a good power supply have?
Thanks for any help I may recieve.