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Buying my first PC...


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#1 Codaeus

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 05:31 PM

I'm wanting a full size tower with dual-HDD. I've been told this is not available 'out-of-the-box'. Google/Yahoo searches seem to confirm this, as I couldn't find any brands/model numbers at all. I've also been told that the only options are special-order from factory or go to a custom-build (computer) shop. Since I cannot get a PC ready-to-go, I'm wanting to know just what is possible with special-order or custom-builds. Can I specify a specific brand/model number of a video card (for example). Someone told me no, and that factory will not even say the brand/model number of what they intend to chose for you (til you buy it, and get the spec sheet). If true, is it the same for custom-build shops? I need to know a lot more about both options, so any advice, links to other sites, etc., is much appreciated!

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#2 DaChew

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 06:22 PM

I went to the dell online store and customized a

Studio XPS 9000

Intel® Core™ i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)

Genuine Windows® 7 Professional, 64bit, English

6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 6 DIMMs

1TB Performance RAID 0 (2x500GB SATA 7200 RPM HDDs)

ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5

$1,649.99
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#3 tg1911

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 08:05 PM

You could select the brand of the components you want, with a custom build, if they carry the components.
You could always buy the computer that has the specs you want, and add an additional harddrive.
Very easy to do.
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#4 strolln

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 10:02 PM

Why the requirement for dual HDDs? Do you want a RAID configuration or what? Virtually all towers could easily have a 2nd drive added. Another possibility is to partition a large single drive in to 2 partitions so that it would appear as 2 drives. Please tell us what you are trying to accomplish and why you have the requirement for dual drives.

Edited by strolln, 11 July 2010 - 10:03 PM.

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#5 Codaeus

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 03:18 PM

Why the requirement for dual HDDs? Do you want a RAID configuration or what? Virtually all towers could easily have a 2nd drive added. Another possibility is to partition a large single drive in to 2 partitions so that it would appear as 2 drives. Please tell us what you are trying to accomplish and why you have the requirement for dual drives.


I want the dual-HDD for a dual-boot OS (without the partitioning hassle). Ideally I would want one internal hard disk drive and one removable (frame/carraige-based) HDD; but would settle for two internal ones. Sorry, don't yet know what the RAID stuff is...no PC hardware book I've found so far is up to date enough, & yet to go through Wikipedia for all the hardware terms. I only get 1 to 2 hours a day on public computers. I'm a deadly slow typist. Just don't have the time. I suspect RAID has something to do with back-up (if so, I'm planning on an external HDD for anything that can't be done with CDs or DVDs).

#6 Codaeus

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 02:17 PM

You could select the brand of the components you want, with a custom build, if they carry the components.
You could always buy the computer that has the specs you want, and add an additional harddrive.
Very easy to do.


So if a custom build shop doesn't carry the specific brand/model number, would such a shop typically allow one to provide that component?

#7 Codaeus

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 02:27 PM

I went to the dell online store and customized a

Studio XPS 9000

Intel® Core™ i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)

Genuine Windows® 7 Professional, 64bit, English

6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 6 DIMMs

1TB Performance RAID 0 (2x500GB SATA 7200 RPM HDDs)

ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5

$1,649.99


Let's say, as example, I want a dual-HDD (one internal, the other frame/carrier-based), an ATI All-In-Wonder (either model number X1900, X800GT, or 2006 PCIExpress), & dual-BEOS chip. I assume Windows XP Pro SP2 is no longer possible, so I would require Linux (either Linux Mint7 or PCLinuxOS 2010) on one HDD, and the other HDD left 'blank' (i.e. ready for local tech to install XP Pro). Would you think all this is possible for special order from a factory...or would custom build shop be necessary...or would neither do it?

#8 Blathnat

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 04:09 PM

One of the most important things that ordering from a manufacturer like Dell is that all of the components and drivers are matched for compatibility. When you start choosing a complex system based on what you want from the components, a fair bit of research is required so that you aren't running into BSOD's later from conflicting programs and drivers. Choose a case that is designed for effective cooling as well.

Dual-boots can't be a remarkable nuisance as well. I have XP sp3 on one drive and Win 7 on the other. You need an antivirus and firewall on each boot, which depending on the set up, causes issues. There are constant Microsoft updates that have to be done on each side, as well as antivirus definitions, among a multitude of others.

If you have to reboot after installing something, again depending on the setup, you have to babysit the thing to make sure that it doesn't reboot into the wrong operating system.

I got heartily tired of it. :blink:

#9 Bezukhov

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 05:29 PM

I still don't see any problem. I purchased an eMachine ET1161-07 over a year ago for less than $400. Just a couple of months ago I added a second 1 tb HD just for laughs and it was the simplest thing in the world to accomplish. Both the original HD and the add-on can dual boot Vista and Ubuntu 10.04. And IMHO partioning isn't a difficult process at all.
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#10 Queen-Evie

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 04:21 PM

Have you checked with computer shops to find out what a custom build would cost?

Most have a "stock" build, and you can request extras.

If you have a keyboard, monitor and mouse, use what you have.

Also ask about the warranty period and what is covered. Both my custom systems have a 3 year warranty (I've gotten a hard drive and power supply replaced on my computer under the warranty). In order for the warranty to be good for the 3 years, I have to take the systems to the tech every 6 months so they can clean out the innards.




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