Building my own PC

#1
Right, sort of following on from another thread, Im considering building a new PC rather than go to Dell or whoever, as I like the idea of saving money. I have meddled in the past but never actually built one from scratch

Now, I want a good gaming machine, so my questions are.

1. Good motherboard and tower suggestions
2. Dual core processors - compatable fans?
3. One high end Nvidia graphics card or 2 side by side?

All helpfull suggestions welcome
 
#3
These days your better off buying a pre-built system, the big guys can buy in bulk for a lot cheaper than you can and can often give you machine prebuilt cheaper than you can do it your self.
 
#4
if you google build your own PC their are a couple of websites that let you mix an match parts. This cuts down on compatibility issues. if the price isn't right then google the parts and buy the cheapest but don't forget the anti static wrist strap.
 
#5
get a copy of micromart from your newsagent, its only about £1.50 and got some really good ads for building your own machine, then its simply a matter of specing up your pc, realising you cant afford that, working t out again a bit more realistically and then comparing against Dell pre-builts before you actually buy.
 
#6
Renski said:
These days your better off buying a pre-built system, the big guys can buy in bulk for a lot cheaper than you can and can often give you machine prebuilt cheaper than you can do it your self.
True enough, Renski, but you're also usually limited in terms of upgrading by buying a complete system. At very least, you won't get much idea what expansion potential there is until you take the top off. With a well planned self-build you've got the best chance going of keeping it up-to-date.

Sniffer, I don't do a lot of gaming so not really qualified to make direct suggestions but if you haven't already then take a look at MicroMart. It's out weekly on a Thursday (in the UK) and carries very well written hardware reviews and group tests. You get semi-technical features about how and why kit works as well (useful if you really want to understand how a certain bit of kit might help you).

It also has a lot of gossip about up-coming developments - useful if you don't want to build an upgrading dead-end. Oh, and forums at http://www.micromart.co.uk/ which also carry a lot of useful info.
 
#7
the_butler said:
if you google build your own PC their are a couple of websites that let you mix an match parts. This cuts down on compatibility issues. if the price isn't right then google the parts and buy the cheapest but don't forget the anti static wrist strap.
I never bother with that... just touch the copper part on a radiator before you start work on your pc... I've also heard of a few people who use that method.
 
#8
Drain sniffer - build your own.....

1 - you know what is in it and what you need to upgrade when the time comes

2 - you can choose what you want and dig for the best price

3 - satisfaction!

You need

1 case (ATX with psu minimum 450Watts)

1 Motherboard (with 7.1 Sound)

1 Processor for that precise Mobo (this is where you need to buy a decent processor and a good !! Mobo which you can upgrade in 2 years time with a better processor. Don't forget a good cooler if you are gaming or a silent one for multimedia.

2 GB of DDR2 Ram that fit your board (look at the speed of the RAM)

A GFX card (usually PCI-E) Look at £100 for a mid range card (an ATI X1950 PRO is a decent card with 256 min MB)

Take the optical drives from your old PC or buy decent new ones (they only cost a few £ anyways)

A minimum of a 150 GB S ATA harddrive and then put all the bits together.
 
#9
amazing__lobster said:
the_butler said:
if you google build your own PC their are a couple of websites that let you mix an match parts. This cuts down on compatibility issues. if the price isn't right then google the parts and buy the cheapest but don't forget the anti static wrist strap.
I never bother with that... just touch the copper part on a radiator before you start work on your pc... I've also heard of a few people who use that method.
Or make sure it's plugged in while working on it.

No, really..... plugged in and switched off t the wll socket gives you an earthed chassis which you'll be touching repeatedly while working. Even if it's plugged in and switched on all the nasty mains electricity should be contained in the PSU with a maximum of 12v DC on any wires outside that which is safe (for you, but not necessarily for components you're plugging in).

But don't blame me if you manage to fry yourself :D
 
#10
Everyone has different ideas, but broadly speaking fastest cpu you can afford with at least a 590 sli chipset motherboard, most powerfull single gpu you can get (8800 gtx, currently) will handle anything out there and theres room for another if you find it wont. 4 gig mem is a must the benefits are huge and its cheap as chips at the moment. Biggest HD you can afford after the parts i mentioned first are added. Then case.

Fans - i suggest its best to buy retail cpu's which have the fans on them that you require. Unless you plan to overclock, but i'll leave that as a seperate discussion.

Consider your monitor though, you spend all your time looking at it. Samsung do a good 22" for about £250 then there is a dramatic jump, 24" best is the dell 2407 or after that the Dell 30" 3007, both are high res 1900x1600 and 2560x1900 but the later requires a very good card to power games at that res.

I guess you build the pc with priority i said and then see what you can get for your money with regards to monitor.

I found £957 for a decent pc with 22" monitor or £1350 ish for fastest Athlon system with 8800 gtx.

Quad core or Core Duo is faster at cpu level by a fair bit, but the additional cost does not translate well to anything you can do with it. Games will play the same to the naked eye but you will see improvements in encoding video and audio, if thats your bag, but even then only about 20% over an Athlon 6000 x2. (Quad core is £775, Athlon is £146) Word processing and internet remain unaffected.

I have Asus 590 sli, Athlon 5200 X2, 8800 GTX, 4 gig Mem, 1.5 tb Hard drives (3 x 500) and it runs eveything i do on it just fine, including streaming HD to my Xbox 360 in the living room. Games run perfectly at max res(up to 2560x1900 where the game allows), although i noticed a little bit of pressure on things like F.E.A.R which may need a second 8800 in time. But the Nvidia DX10 sli drivers are not out of beta and the existign vista drivers need a fair bit of work before they are as good as the XP ones, so it may be down to that.

Only costly expense is a decent PSU (energymax is best) Tagan are utter shite, my first one blew and dont even get me on to lifetime warrenty - which it would appear doesnt exist.

While the main players will build you a PC thats perfectly good they dont use the best bits until you are at the top of their range and then you pay for it and then some.

Build your own, always, if you want an above average games machine. Otherwise always buy a pre-built one as they are much cheaper IMHO.
 
#11
amazing__lobster said:
the_butler said:
if you google build your own PC their are a couple of websites that let you mix an match parts. This cuts down on compatibility issues. if the price isn't right then google the parts and buy the cheapest but don't forget the anti static wrist strap.
I never bother with that... just touch the copper part on a radiator before you start work on your pc... I've also heard of a few people who use that method.
So I get up from my desk go around the dining table crouch down(never so easy these days) :D and touch the copper part of the radiator. Sorry think I'll stick to the earthing strap :D
 
#12
Take a look at http://www.aria.co.uk/ mate. Barebones/Shuttle systems and save yerself a lot of brain ache

Plenty of good advice and user reviews. I'm in the IT industry and have been dealing with them for over 5 years. No complaints Sir.
 
#13
spunkymonkey said:
amazing__lobster said:
the_butler said:
if you google build your own PC their are a couple of websites that let you mix an match parts. This cuts down on compatibility issues. if the price isn't right then google the parts and buy the cheapest but don't forget the anti static wrist strap.
I never bother with that... just touch the copper part on a radiator before you start work on your pc... I've also heard of a few people who use that method.
Or make sure it's plugged in while working on it.

No, really..... plugged in and switched off t the wll socket gives you an earthed chassis which you'll be touching repeatedly while working. Even if it's plugged in and switched on all the nasty mains electricity should be contained in the PSU with a maximum of 12v DC on any wires outside that which is safe (for you, but not necessarily for components you're plugging in).

But don't blame me if you manage to fry yourself :D


While your at it you might as well lick the capacitors :roll:
In fact, why not go the whole hog and stick a bit of cable into the top hole of your socket, then wrap it round your wrist??

Get a wrist strap, check the earthing on your radiators and clip yourself to a copper part of the rad. Scratch off a small area of paint first.
 

Tankie2ndrtr

Old-Salt
Kit Reviewer
#16
Hello, not sure if you have built or bought your own PC by now so ill post anyhow.

1. Good motherboard and tower suggestions
2. Dual core processors - compatable fans?
3. One high end Nvidia graphics card or 2 side by side?


1. Asus M2N-SLi Deluxe

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-144-AS&groupid=701&catid=5&subcat=806

2. AMD X2 6000, some ppl woudl go for a core duo intel chip but for vale for money and some one not really interested overclocking this is a vry fast CPU

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP-195-AM&groupid=701&catid=6&subcat=803

3. Definatly go for 1 card, this is the one major componant you cant skimp money on you will get what you pay for !, expect 300 380 pounds ish.
i would say an Asus EN8800GTX as is is a very quick card and DX10 ready important for future gaming. there is an option to go SLI (side by side) later however it WILL play the most demanding games on MAX !

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-118-AS&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=877


As regards to tower, a normal ATX case with good air circulation and preferably made of metal!. pay around 30quid.. remember lots of fans !
Hope this is a help, if you have any questions regarding building or trouble shooting feel free to mail me !
 
#19
I'd say it depends on what you are wanting it for. If it's just for surfing the net, email etc then you can't beat a prebuilt machine with windows xp for price. If you want to do more with it like gaming, video editing, photoshop etc then going for a build your own is a good cost effective way to do it, plus you'll learn something in the process.

I find that the best way to start is to sort out a budget first before asking away in forums.

So first off I'd ask what budget you have and what you want from the machine?

Remember that for building your own you will need.

Power Supply (top of the list - never skimp on it)
Motherboard
CPU and cooler (thermal paste maybe)
Case
Memory
dvd rom (rewritable usually)
hard drive
keyboard
mouse
speakers
monitor
graphics card
Operating system

And lot's of patience but it is worth it.

For a minimum spec machine these days to cope with modern games and be upgradeble I'd say as a rough guide

CPU Intel core2 duo 2Ghz+
2 Gb DDR2 Ram
Geforce 8800gts

I've used Scan, Komplett, Tekheads, Ebuyer for parts - Overclockers tends to be a bit more expensive although they do have some good weekly offers. One tip I will give you is to try to get all the parts from the same supplier as this cuts down on P&P.

I've built a few comps in my time. When I first started getting some info I found a great site called Hexus.net. I've been a member since 2003 and can vouch for the sound advice given.

Have a quick look in this forum because there should be people who are in the same situation as you and this will give you some ideas

e.g http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=113777

If you post in the hardware forum with a budget, what you want it for and what parts you need to build one then you'll get some really good detailed breakdowns with links to sourced parts. The Hexus community is pretty good that way.
 

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