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To build or buy? Opinions requested


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#1 Booh-kitty

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 05:25 PM

I was really proud of the great deal I got on the desktop I have now. I DID get a good price for everything I got. Being the spendthrift that I am, I just had to brag about my great bargain one day with someone. This person turned out to be a techie geek. He told me he had just built his. His did all mine did and more, but he paid little more than half what I paid for mine!!


I made my mind up right then and there that I was not EVER going to buy a system again! I made it my business to start learning more about the internal workings of a computer. Boy have I learned a lot!

So I was talking today to this guy who has a Masters Degree in computer science. I was telling him that I didn't want to buy another system again, I wanted to build one. It's not really all that hard to replace components on the motherboard, as long as you make sure everything is compatible and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. This guy tells me that I really shouldn't do that, that I could really cause a lot of damage to something trying to do it myself.

I've never screwed anything up before on my computer.......except that time I downloaded a torrent. I've nearly always fixed everything myself, not just computer stuff. And built a few things along the way. Why should building a computer be any different?? I've found it's not really that much different than a car. Make sure you get the right part, install it according to specs..............what's the difference?

NONE of the super techie geeks I know went to school to learn how to do any of this stuff! An old friend of min is a self-taught guy that writes software for HP now!!

So tell me what you think, what is your experience?
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#2 Adams A Plus

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 05:49 PM

I have been building computers for over 10 years. The only computers I would buy is a Laptop. I would never buy a desktop. They are not to hard to build depending on technical knowledge. Not to mention its a good way to learn
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#3 the_patriot11

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 07:48 PM

Ive taught myself how to build computers by dismantling old ones and mix and matching until I figured out what did what, and then getting online and reasearching different technologies and components to figure out what does whoat and how. Most modern computers are fairly easy-they will only plug in one way, if you have to force it your doing it wrong, is pretty much the rule you need to follow. Whats more important is quality and compatibility of parts. My advice is this:

#1 Decide what you want the computer to do, I.E. Gaming, media, etc.

#2 figure out your budget, and build within it.

#3 Rule of thumb I always follow and advise others, if your on a tight budget, NEVER skimp on the power supply or the motherboard. These are the backbone of your computer, you want a good quality PSU and board that will not only last forever, but allow for future expansion. Slam in a cheap micro ATX board, and in 2 years when its old and outdated you will have to buy a new one (provided it still works) instead of being able to upgrade the components that are slowing you down. Good board with plenty of bells and whistles means it will stay current longer, and youll be able to upgrade it as necessary later. You can skimp on everything else, cheap ram, smaller hard drive etc, those are easy to upgrade later and usually, cheaper as well. On top of that, RAM typically when it goes bad it just goes bad, the PSU when it goes bad runs the chance of frying everything its hooked up to.

#4 Get the highest quality components you can afford. No, dont waste the money on crossfire setup if your not gaming, but dont buy a bottom of the line video card either, if you go ATI try to find one in Saphire or ASUS brands if possible, and if you want NVIDIA go EVGA or PNY be my recomendation. Motherboards, I tend to recomend Gigabyte or ASUS, RAM Patriot, Corsair, or OCZ typically, and PSUs I tend to recomend Coolermaster or ANTEC PSUs.

#5 consider your case. You dont have to go extravagent on it, but I see a lot of people dump money in these big fancy cases that look cool, but lack functionality (decent cooling, ease of work, etc) So look at the cases I would recomend micro ATX or bigger, consider ease of work, cooling, and looks, you do want one that you like to look at-you just dont want that being your only feature.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#4 Booh-kitty

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 09:39 PM

Good board with plenty of bells and whistles means it will stay current longer, and youll be able to upgrade it as necessary later.


What about the socket for the CPU? As I understand it, a motherboard can only be with one type of socket. I know that if I were to upgrade to the I7, it would fit the socket in my current motherboard.

I want to eventually upgrade to an I7.........one day............but right now I have a coreII quad. different socket. New mobo, right?
Whether you think you can or can't, either way you are right.
-Henry Ford

#5 the_patriot11

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 04:30 AM

that is correct, while some boards have 2 sockets (server boards usually) they are both the same type. And the CPU has to be made for that socket, you cant plug a LGA 1366 CPU into a AM3 socket, it just wont work. But there are some exceptions, many AM2 socket motherboards will accept most AM3 CPUs (but not vise versa) So it goes into doing your research and making sure all your parts are compatible. As far as I know, if you currently have a core2 quad, then chances are your socket is LGA 775, to my knowledge they never made the core 2 line in the newer LGA 1156 sockets or 1366 sockets, they were designed for the i3/i5/i7 lines. Now, its possible Im wrong Im not a big intel guy so someone who deals more with them may know more, but to my knowledge, the core 2 series was released only for the LGA 775 socket.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#6 llelouch

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 08:35 PM

I like building one. Don't worry it's not an extremely hard task.
The reason I prefer a build one over the dell or hp desktop computer is I can upgrade it more easily. Branded pc usually don't have the best components out there. One disadvantage of building one is buying the expensive OS.

#7 Booh-kitty

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 09:02 PM

Lucky for me, I HAVE an OS installation disk for Windows 7 :)
Whether you think you can or can't, either way you are right.
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#8 the_patriot11

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 09:11 PM

As long as its retail your fine-if its a OEM version of windows and has been previously used, you will need another one. Windows classifies a new computer as replacement of a motherboard, any any time you switch computers with a OEM version of windows, according to license law you need to purchase a new copy of windows. If it is retail, then as long as its only installed on one computer at a time, your fine.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#9 Booh-kitty

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 10:55 PM

I know all that about OEM licensed software. I have 3 versions of XP and one Windows 7 64 bit, all retail. I did actually pay for them. An OS is no problem.
Whether you think you can or can't, either way you are right.
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#10 Blaze413

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 09:53 PM

i would definitely build my own system...ive only built 3 computer (waiting on parts for a 4th) it does save u money and as long as all the things are compatible such as ram, cpu socket, etc... putting it all together is no big deal and i really cant see how it would mess stuff up like that guy said lol i mean if it doesnt fit then it dont work...the only thing i can tell he is talking about can be one of 2 thing

1. u dont know ure own strength

or

2. u have anger magement problems and jst try to cram in in a slot

also when buying a motherboard just look under *details* and it should tell u all that u will need to know such as the socket type and the ram it excepts so that not much of a big deal either...and u really do save money, especially if ure coming from *custom built pc* websites....i was going to buy from LanLabs online but then just for fun decided to part out the exact same pc on newegg.com and found out that if i built it myself i would save over $500 no joke...needless to say bye bye lanlabs! lol

another good reason to build ure own is updatability...since u know what ure getting piece by piece...for instance u can get a higher whatt psu for maybe a better graphics card down the road..and warranties, since ure buying it by the part...u have at least a 1 year warranty on every part (most even come with 3 year) that u dont have to pay extra for

just my opinion....o and i would add Corsair to the recommended psu list :)

#11 trashcan7

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 11:16 PM

2. u have anger magement problems and jst try to cram in in a slot


LOL

anyways, I just finished building my own computer, even though I haven't turned it on to test yet (still need to get RAM). My past experience only includes installing RAM and an ethernet card or something. Scariest part of it was installing the heatsink - took a TON of pressure to get the clip on, and a half hour of sitting there before I mustered up the courage to try it
Just make sure to read EVERYTHING (all the manuals), and online guides help, too (just google "how to build a computer").

#12 Blaze413

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 06:22 PM

lol ya heatsinks suck but there are also a lot of youtube vids about it...just type in "how to instal a motherboard" and stuff similar and there r vids that can walk u through it step by step

#13 symbi

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 10:56 PM

I have a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and I learned exactly nothing in any of my classes that helped me build computers! I'm glad I got the degree but it prepared me to either become a programmer (not my style) or get a master's degree in computer science, but not to apply for technician/admin/support type jobs. You will be fine :-)

There's no better way to learn about the hardware than to research components and brands online in forums like this, then start buying and build it yourself. I suggest making a list of two or three well respected brands for each of the components you need, then shop by price only within those options. If you look by price alone, you can end up with substandard parts that will not last as long or even worse, cause damage to other components. Already some great recommendations here - just ask about specifics and people will be glad to help.

#14 killerx525

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 09:01 AM

that is correct, while some boards have 2 sockets (server boards usually) they are both the same type. And the CPU has to be made for that socket, you cant plug a LGA 1366 CPU into a AM3 socket, it just wont work. But there are some exceptions, many AM2 socket motherboards will accept most AM3 CPUs (but not vise versa) So it goes into doing your research and making sure all your parts are compatible. As far as I know, if you currently have a core2 quad, then chances are your socket is LGA 775, to my knowledge they never made the core 2 line in the newer LGA 1156 sockets or 1366 sockets, they were designed for the i3/i5/i7 lines. Now, its possible Im wrong Im not a big intel guy so someone who deals more with them may know more, but to my knowledge, the core 2 series was released only for the LGA 775 socket.

The Intel Pentium G6950 is actually a LGA 1156.

Edited by killerx525, 07 January 2011 - 09:01 AM.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#15 the_patriot11

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:32 PM

Some heatsinks are easier to install then others to, do some research on them. I personally dislike the clip style intel heatsinks, I like the ones that come with the backplate that installs behind the motherboard, makes installing them much easier and dont have to worry about the clips wearing out and breaking and letting the heatsink fall (I have a LGA 775 heatsink like that. Rather annoying) Anyway, ya wikipedia is your friend. Doesnt hurt to just browse through newegg for a couple hours and look at all the different stuff and the reviews about how they install etc. Ive actually found in some cases the reviewers give better advice on how to install a heatsink/component better then the manufacturer does.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.





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