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build it yourself?

by Vonmoldy / June 26, 2007 9:35 AM PDT

I am looking into upgrading my pc looking for a dual core system and be able to run todays games well it doesnt have to be cutting edge but still needs to look good and not be really expensive.
I am all for building stuff its pretty fun but is it worth it? I see dual core pc's at walmart for around 500bux would it be more cost effective to buy one of these and add a pretty good video card to it and some more RAM, rather than buying everything and putting it together.
Has anyone done this type of thing before?
I relate it to cars yes i could spend 125 grand on a porsche turbo if i had the money or I could buy a new 30grand mustang and throw some nitrous and a supercharger on it that costs 5grand roughly you may give up some looks or some cornering ability but have roughly the same performance for alot less money.
Thanks for your time.

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by Coryphaeus / June 26, 2007 10:08 AM PDT
In reply to: build it yourself?

Buy one built. Building is for the tinkerer, and I've built four. By the time I finish, I could have bought one already built, comparably equipped, cheaper. I built mine for fun. Companies can buy the components cheaper than you or I. Buy a good one and customize it.

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Buy or Build
by bowacl / June 29, 2007 11:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Truely?

This post has been my findings over the past 12 years.

My needs are moderate, the most intense games we have are Barnyard and Need for Speed which are now playing nicely on a 2 year old Sempron that I added a 256 graphic card and 512 more RAM to, the original cost of the machine w/monitor was $299, I still have the monitor in the box as LCD is preferred. It used to be I had to shop around for a computer that was upgradable, now it is more of a given, I never really found the need to have the most quality part in the machine, altho I have replaced a few power boxes I have only replaced one motherboard that got toasted by a failing power box.

A low end Compaq laptop I just purchased with 512 or RAM in it stated right on the box 1 DIMM, knowing that before I left the store with Vista on it I was going to at least need another DIMM for that other slot to be able to run even Vista let alone any of my programs too.

I have found eMachines over these years to allow for the most growing out of the box, HP middle of the road, Compaq and finally Packard Bell the least, now it seems most all I have seen allow for at least 2GIG RAM - with 4 being the preferred and a PCI Express slot for the video upgrade. I have less experience with Dell or Gateway as I have only had one Gateway, the one I have now and no Dell's altho I have people who do have Dell's, one needed service 3 times in the first year the other none in 3 years now. I buy, sell, trade computers for family and friends of all very modest needs so deal mainly with all low end computers, the part I have replaced the most in all these computers is the modem since they liked to keep them hooked up during storms and that is the first thing lightening looks for and RAM has always been installed.

I think the evolution in these 12 years is - in the beginning people were less likely to take the screws off the back of a PC case, now it's something that is done all the time so making the computer more upgradable is more practical.


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you won't save much money building it yourself
by ramarc / June 26, 2007 11:24 PM PDT
In reply to: build it yourself?

but you'll wind up with a pc that has exactly what you want and has better expandibility. that $500 walmart pc probably doesn't have a graphics slot or has a dinky power supply that couldn't handle a decent graphics card. the ram is probably slow and split between 2 slots so you'll probably be better off just tossing it if you add more memory.

your car analogy is bang on. just be aware that you can't build a pc that's cheaper than the $500 special. but you can build one that's faster/better than the $1000 system for about the same price.

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Build it!
by ChaseD13 / June 29, 2007 10:49 AM PDT
In reply to: build it yourself?

if you have opened up a case before and changed gfx cards etc...then you can build it. Ive done it 3 times, and it takes around 2hrs + time to install stuff.

like the above poster said
at 500$, you cant beat the store ones (unless you find a free copy of windows).
above 700$ and you can definitely out do any walmart pc. plus, you will have a cool (both temp and looks wise) case, your components will all have individual warranties etc..

Like i said, my experience prior to my first build was changing gfx cards, changing a psu and adding a soundcard.

My last advice:
Id check out's forums. find the homebuilt section and people often post deals of the best equip at the best price and where to get it. also, you can see if what you want is all compatible.

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Build it yourself.
by mlcgruhlke / June 29, 2007 11:00 AM PDT
In reply to: build it yourself?

I always build my own PCs and ones for my family and friends. The PC at Walmart or Sam's won't have all the bells and whistles. Furthermore, A lot of OEM pc's have onboard video which is ok for office, but not watching dvd's or gaming. Most of the cheaper end computers can have very cheap motherboards, power supplies can be lacking, as can memory, video cards, hard drives and sound cards. Best way to tell is go to Circuit City or Best Buy and look at that computer for $1500-1900 - you could probably build it for 1/3 the cost. When you build your own, you ensure you get ALL quality components, rather than the cheapest motherboard the manufacturer's could find. Remember, you get what you pay for. The last system I built was am AMD dual core with 2 gig of Corsair ram, Gigabyte motherboard, pci express video card with 512 mg ram, ATX case, 300 gb SATA hard drive, 550 watt power supply, 22" Samsung lcd dvi monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse, and Samsung dvd drives - the complete system cost me about $1200. Sounds like a lot, but it puts those in the store to shame...this thing smokes and easily upgradeable for the future (who would want to one asks eh?) The friend I built it for is very happy and he saved about $400.00 over the closest store bought system (and I used ALL name brand quality components). Remember, if you build it yourself, YOU can customize it anyway you want.

Build it yourself.

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Where do you get your parts?
by jpprice47 / June 30, 2007 12:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Build it yourself.

Do you get your parts online? Where is good place for parts to build your own computer?

Thanks in advance,

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Parts? Newegg!
by flcenter / July 2, 2007 9:32 AM PDT

I've found to be *by far* the best prices and selection. isn't bad either, but harder to search...happy shopping!

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build it urself
by rsternb / June 29, 2007 12:01 PM PDT
In reply to: build it yourself?

I just finished my latest build.
p5w dh mobo, Pent D, asus x1900xtx video card
2gb ram, 2-120g seagate sata drives
sony dvd-everything drive
floppy, case and 750w thermaltake powersupply plus
battery power backup unit 850 watt
spent more on the case that usual because I got a full
tower with a 350w pwr supply.
total $850
then the new dell 2407 at $609

this will do everything I want and more.
I have been building pcs since the mid 80's because I didnt
like the price nor the lack of quality in the stuff inside.
taiwan no name video cards and maxtor hard drives just dont
cut it.

you could build one for less and just as good depending on
your requirements. the video card is a high ender as is the
750w power supply and case. so I could have done it for about
$250 less.

shop around. knock ursef out dude LOL

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Build your own, you can decide what you want
by intrepi / June 29, 2007 12:36 PM PDT
In reply to: build it yourself?

I wouldn't buy a PC as it's bound to come with Windows unless you buy a Dell with Ubuntu from an American or US outlet as they are not available anywhere else. I'd rather pay more and get exactly what I want with the OS I want as most PC's are limited as to type of ram, amount of ram, no choice in motherboards or bios. If I were you, I'd buy a premium motherboard, 650 watt power supply, 4 gbs of ram, a good graphics board able to handle whatever you intend to throw at it, then buy the next higher model for good measure. I'd make sure you get a good box to set it in, then buy the drives you want, at the price and size you can live with. Being stupid will cost you more so don't buy into any of those rebate offers as most are scammers and the rest you could live without. Shop for the lowest price without any rebates as you won't likely see any anyway. All your related hardware, shop for each a piece at a time until you get what you want at the lowest price but don't buy junk as it will cost you more in the end and you won't be happy. Personally, I'd start with Asus, Enermax, Kingston, Nvidia, LG DVD drives, Zalman, Maxtor diamondmax hard drives, Logitech gaming high end mouse and a good solid keyboard like Logitech but unless you have a real need, stay with the wired hardware as wireless cost more, require batteries and may not stay the distance for as long as wired. If you press me for a wireless mouse, then I'd have to say go with Logitech's VX mouse as it takes a single AA battery and lasts for quite a few weeks and feels and works like no other mouse I've owned. Good for both laptops or desktops like mine. Make shopping for each item a task upon itself, don't shop too fast or for more than one item at a time as you will lose your focus and cave in to buy it at a higher price.

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Build or buy?
by dayman / June 29, 2007 7:14 PM PDT
In reply to: build it yourself?

If you wanted a bespoke car, you would probably have to build it yourself, unless you had a very big bank balance?
Just the same with a PC!
How many times do you see a ready made PC which tells you what motherboard it has? And this is the most important part of the system!
If you build your own you will know exactly what you have put in it,
and can tailor it to your requirements, just like a bespoke car.
It won't be cheaper than a purchased box, but it will be exactly what you want, and not a compromise.

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Build if you have the time.
by tubaloth / June 30, 2007 5:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Build or buy?

>>>I am looking into upgrading my pc looking for a dual core system and be able to run todays games well it doesnt have to be cutting edge but still needs to look good and not be really expensive.

When you say todays games what did you have in mind? Most games today are Direct X 9. These play just fine on most lower cost graphic cards. SOME games and more Future games are going to be Direct X 10. The only way to play these games is on Vista OS and have a Dirext X 10 Graphic Card.

Now most of the future games well probably be both Direct X 9 and 10 (for about a year). It really depends on the developer. This is why you need to know what kind of games you are going to be playing.

>>>I am all for building stuff its pretty fun but is it worth it? I see dual core pc's at walmart for around 500bux would it be more cost effective to buy one of these and add a pretty good video card to it and some more RAM, rather than buying everything and putting it together.

Is it worth it? That really depends on a lot of little things. Probably most is time. Do you have time to build a computer yourself? Do you have time to trouble shoot it your self (sense you are building it, there really isn?t any Tech support to call when things go wrong, unless it?s a certain part).
But you have to realize the computers you find in the store are made to be cheap. They are trying to cut corners where ever they can to bring the cost down. Like others said, the computer in walmart well probably have 512 of Ram, but what Speed of Ram, How many PCI slots does it have? Does it have a PCI Express x16 or just x4 and x1? This is one of the reason I like to build a computer is because I have complete Control over what goes into it. I pick the parts, and then when I need to upgrade I know what my computer can do because I built it that way.

>>>>I relate it to cars yes i could spend 125 grand on a porsche turbo if i had the money or I could buy a new 30grand mustang and throw some nitrous and a supercharger on it that costs 5grand roughly you may give up some looks or some cornering ability but have roughly the same performance for alot less money.

Yes you could, but the different really comes down to the quality of the parts. Yes your mustang well run, and probably good enough for what you need. But what if in a year you come to realize that your Mustang had a cheaper batter, or a older model spark plugs(sorry I?m more into computers then cars).

The point is you get what you pay for. When you buy a Dell at Walmart you are going to get some good parts, but you are also going to get some lower quality parts.

I have offered some suggestions to another user a couple of months back about building a computer (copy and paste)

To me it really comes down to Time. Do you have the time to build what you want and troubleshoot it if things go wrong. If you buy a dell you just call up dell and they walk you through the process(which still takes time).

Two stories.
My brother kind of out of the blue bought some e-marchine computer for ?School work?. With windows XP and only 256 of RAM at the time it wasn?t to bad for just typing up a word document. But it didn?t take long that my brother was wondering why this takes so long to load, or why can?t I play this game. I had to tell him his computer wasn?t build for that. It was build to be a cheap computer.
After just over 3 years the computer died (not sure if it was power supply or Motherboard). So I ended up building him a computer for around $500 that could do video editing. I probably should have had him spend a little bit more but now they have a computer build for what they plan to use it for.

Second story.
I plan on building a computer in a month for myself. Comparing the same parts with a dell computer I probably well save close to a $1000 building it myself. And I get to buy a cool computer case (

I good place to find deals on Computer parts is

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Build it, more fun and better for you
by Impreza WRX / June 30, 2007 10:01 AM PDT
In reply to: build it yourself?

You can build a Intel Core2Duo PC that will blow away those $500 Wal-Mart PCs for about $750, including the cost of Windows.

Building your own PC on a sub-$1000 budget is pretty easy. Here's a parts list for a Core2Duo system:

Your choice Mid-Tower ATX Case
The biggest fans the ATX case supports (if not included)
1 sheet of air filter material (to keep dust out)
Orion 580w Power Supply
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 Motehrboard
Intel Core2Duo Allendale E4300 (or for more power go Conroe E6420)
1 Small tube of Arctic Silver 5
2 GB Dual Channel Kit Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800 Memory
nVidia GeForce 7600GT PCI Express graphics (or 8600 GTS for Vista DX10)
Your choice Serial ATA DVD+-RW
WD Caviar 250GB, 320 GB, 500 GB (choice) SATA Hard Drive
Sound Blaster X-Fi Gamer (better than onboard)
Your Choice DVI LCD Monitor >17" and <10ms response time
Windows XP Pro SP2 OEM or Windows Vista Home Premium OEM
Don't forget a Keyboard and Mouse!

Buy all that and start assembling. There are lots of places to go and people to ask if you need help putting it together, which you may.

It's quite easy, and you will be delighted to see your assembled system start up for the first time.

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Is my Compaq Presario SR1050NX worth upgrading?
by mistercliffster / July 4, 2007 5:48 PM PDT

I just ordered The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for PC before I realized that my PC may not be up for the job. I looked at the computer requirements for Oblivion on their web site then went to and sure enough my computer does not have the RAM (I have 447.4 MB) or Video Card (I have NVIDIA GeForce4 MX Integrated GPU) it recommends. It said the CPU (AMD Athlon(tm) XP 3200+) was O.K. but I feel like I need to get the latest and greatest (the AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 6000+ looks nice). I also read somewhere that I cant upgrade my Compaq because some issue with the built in PSU. RAM isnt really the issue for me, its the video card...there are so many and the only thing I know what to look for is one that has AGP. So my question is: Should I get rid of my good 'ol Compaq for a custom computer or should I and could I upgrade it?

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Upgrade or not
by bowacl / July 5, 2007 12:39 AM PDT

* Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows XP 64-bit
* 512MB System RAM
* 2 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
* 128MB Direct3D compatible video card
* and DirectX 9.0 compatible driver;
* 8x DVD-ROM drive
* 4.6 GB free hard disk space
* DirectX 9.0c (included)
* DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card
* Keyboard, Mouse

The reason why your ram shows 447.4 is because some is shared with the integrated video and altho this would probably play the game it may not be at it's best, the integrated video may be 64 or 128 shared. Last year I upgraded a computer in this class for about $100, I added 512 RAM so it had a GIG and added an AGP 8X low profile 256 low power usage fanless graphic card. We have the game BarnYard and on all the other intergrated video computers here we could play the game but it had no background, the down side was some of our older games did not recognize the newer video card so we couldn't play them on it. When I picked the card I made sure to look for one that had onboard ram and was low power use. Your computer will be at it's max ram with 1GIG so that will be as far as you can go with that, it takes X4 type and you can probably pick a card up at for around $50, ram is also down right now so it's a good time to buy.

Recently we purchased a duo core AMD 4200+ with 512 RAM and integrated video and BarnYard plays perfectly on that. I used compatibility mode for a few of the old games but I was able to get around 30 kids games on it with out a problem, MS Motorcycle Madness being my biggest problem, I need to work on that one more. I did it all in a row accept for a reboot Quicktime wanted and played each game for a while to make sure they worked, of course I plan to add more ram to it but other wise for now will not add a video card.

As for buying a new computer, you have to weigh the costs and wants, would you rather put $100 into the computer you have and get a little more time out of it or $600-800 for a new computer? Also consider Vista is on all the off the shelf computers now, which for some has been a problem. I have set up three different computers for different uses, (Gateway Pentium D - home office, Acer Duo AMD - kids games, Compaq Celeron 520 laptop - travel, office, home) with this on it and have really had very few problems - no more then I had when I went from Windows 3.11 to 95 or Windows Me to XP. With all these operating systems I had some fall shorts and fall outs either hardware or software wise over the past 12 yrs.

Hope this helps,

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