General discussion

should i buy now?

hello! i'm just wondering when is the best time to buy computer parts that will be build summer 2011 or before summer. next year because I dont have enough knowledge yet to build a pc. But on Spring 2011 Semester, i will be attending Hardware Class which will give me enough knowledge and confidence to build one.
I'm asking this because Black Friday is coming soon and I want to buy nice parts that is on sale but will still be great next year. For example, should I buy graphics card on Black Friday or there will be better deal next time because new cards will be released?
I hope you understand my dilemma. I just want to save money and have great pc components at the same time. Thank you.

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The good news is

This question is asked often. The answers don't change so let's get the usual answers.

1. You need a new machine and don't want one.
2. The sale is on and it's what you wanted.

Hope that clears it up. Again, this question has been asked for decades and not much has changed.

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Buy parts now that will not be used for six months.

What happens if one of those parts is bad or does not fit?

Do you expect the merchant to take it back?

Take the class......get confused.
Build the machine on paper.....get confused.
Go shopping......get confused.

Terminology is a killer when shopping for parts.
Talk to folks.....research terms....modify your build on's cheap.
When you think you've got it right....and you probably don't....go shopping.

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Buying parts now for the spring - not a good idea.

I think that you should wait until you're ready to build.
Last year at this time I paid $60.00 for a new 160G Seagate hard drive. Last week I got a 500G Seagate for $39.00
Prices change, Tech changes .. You'll pay a premium for a new motherboard with USB3 support now. By next spring, USB3 will be standard and prices will drop.

Everytime Intel or AMD update their processors the older ones drop to approximately half price within 6 months.

(I remember paying $275.00 for a 1.2G hard drive in 1996 - my how times have changed)

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Thank you everyone for convincing me. I was so confused what to do. Now im decided to just wait. I think i know the components and what to buy. Confidence is what i'm lacking and wanting to save a lot. Hehehehehe. Thank you all

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Consider used parts as well
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Internet forums may be helpful

There are internet forums where people ask questions about building computers, like about the best system board (and other components) for their budget, what parts go together, what else they'll need that they don't know about yet, and so on. The experienced builders help the novice builders.

The other argument against buying parts now is that you never know when the hardware companies are going to release that system board with more capabilities, or that graphics card that is lower cost but higher performance, or drop prices on current stuff.


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Some not all

Unless its a case, Ps , Keyboard, Hd, I would shy away on mainboards , ram, etc. Good deal on a monitor would not be a bad start. If you plan to do 3-d the monitor must do 120hz vertical most low cost ones are still at 60hz. Processors, Ram , Video cards tend to be the fastest things to go obsolete. I have been building custom machines since 1984.

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ANYTIME is the right time

Don't worry about 'when'...there's ALLWAYS a new chipset around the corner,or some technology you'll me.Waiting on new technology will cost ya anyway.
I would buy the parts if i was you...even though you don't think your up to are.You'll see what i mean in your hardware course.
Use your old case,and buy outdated hardware !! YES,outdated,like a year old.The cost will be a fraction of retail,you can find everything still new in box(ebay etc).The performance will be very close to the latest avaliable.
The size of motherboards,and other hardware has been standardized for years...your looking for 'ATX' equipment.No worries,every pc you've ever seen is ATX size.They DO make a 'mini' atx..those are the shorter towers you see.All ATX cases will accept 'mini' atx as well.
Use an old case and CD-ROM if you wanna save some dough.CD-roms don't need to be fast...i've never seen software,or a movie that asked for more than an 8x.
All you need is a case,one cd-rom,a motherboard and cpu(u can buy them assembled if ya want),a hard drive,a power supply,a $3 fan to cool it,and misc cords.
e-mail me at if ya need info,like what wattage the power supply should be etc.I'd be happy to help ya.

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You'll be able to use your new skills to build your own...and it'll make ya feel good.
Buy obsolete(6mnths or older) hardware still n box off ebay or me.You'll pay 1/3 of retail,and have a blazing machine.

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which is better and still great next year?

ok! so now ive decided to wait. just want to ask another question. I will buy this parts 6 months from now. i want to know which is better because before i buy things, I read a lot about them first. So to focus myself on specific parts to read about, i listed what i think is good parts and will still be next year. what is your opinion?

CASE ? I don?t care which looks better but which is the better case overall.


MOTHERBOARD ? I don?t know which is better in the future.


VIDEO CARD ? the MSI seems better because of dual fan?


As for the Processor, I choose this

or if someone build me a computer, like a wishlist from newegg, that will be great. my budget will be up to $800 with OS. meaning it will be lower next year. thank you everyone!

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Your excited !..building your own PC is rewarding

Friend,DON'T buy anything untill it's time to build.Finish your courses first ! the meantime,do as you are and window browse.Get familiar with whats out there...actually,picking what you want is a good idea,just don't buy SIX months,it'll be half price,and still new in the box !

I was you long ago..i wanted a 'highly upgradable' PC,wanted to do it right.A case with space,a mother that could handle a wide variety of CPU's,5 PCI slots,etc.I found one for $,'highlly upgradable' is NOT the way to go anymore !!
In the old days,lotsa PCI slots were crucial..but now,one doesn't need more than a couple.I still have FOUR open !! i might grab a TV tuner card,but everything else is USB,or built in.Oh,don't bother finding a mother that supports alot of CPU's..cause they'll discontinue your CPU slot ! So,two years from now,any CPU's that fits will be a fortune cause they're discontinued.


Here's what you do.Get a sweet ATX case,with two CD bays,it's the foundation of your next 3 PCs !...grab a motherboard with lotsa ram slots,a fast CPU (even a combo).Onboard audio is impressive nowadays,so it'll do.I'd get one with onboard ethernet too(100mbps is fine)...but,WITHOUT onboard video,you'll waste it since vid cards r upgraded the most.Grab a GOOD 1GB video card (you can connect cards together.if u game,think about that when buying your mother,and vid cards) !
Grab a high RPM hard drive(7200,or 10,000 rpm).You can choose between ATA,and SATA styles.These refer to the type of connector.SATA is newer,and has a higher transfer rate than ATA,and they're cheap...but i find high RPM ATA hard drives do fine(CPU's can only handle so much data rate).I'm not an expert on HD's,get a second opinion (If you go with SATA,make sure your mother supports it).They have HDs that hold 2000 GBs of info.I'm very happy with 250 GB !
Grab any piece of crap DVD/CD burner,lol.I have several lying around.Don't even add them to budget,your buddy will toss ya one.(Two are supporting the corner on my desk since the leg broke)

Remember your budget,and how technology is waiting to ambush you.Make 300 bucks your ceiling,up to you.You know my e-mail..later.

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CRAP,i forgot...u need an Operating system,lol

Microsoft can shove vista and windows 7.My buddy runs vista..poor dude paid like 400 bucks ! I'd be mad if i purchased vista,and they announced windows 7.(this seems 2000,and milineum come to mind) I'm NOT impressed with these 'soccer mom' operating systems.Vista seems like XP with a facelift.I have little exp on windows 7 though.

XP is solid and stable,MS should keep improving on this stable OS via updates.I'd tell ya to find a 100 dollar copy of XP,but MS announced they're gonna leave XP users in the gutter,and force these down our throats.

Get LINUX,'s free.I know people who run it,and say it works fine.


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My standard advice.

My standard advice is to buy off-the-shelf and modify to suit. You'll avoid a lot of potential headaches, and have a machine you know works. And it'll be a lot cheaper.

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