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Windows 7: Requesting tips on building PCs

27 May 2010   #1
FLaTLiN3D

MS Windows 7 HP 64Bit
 
 
Requesting tips on building PCs

Hello everybody,
I've recently had an undying urge to build my own computer, hopefully from scratch. However I simply don't have an excess of money. How do you suggest I get the most "bang for my buck"? I love gaming so it would have to be quite a decent computer. What parts do you think would be the best for me? Parts for everything I mean.... CPU, GFX Cards, Sound Cards, etc, everything new.

Also, is it cheaper to build them yourself or buy gaming computers pre-built? Say, from Newegg?

Thanks in advance,
FLaTLiN3D
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2010   #2
wallyinnc

Windows 7 x64 finally!
 
 

Hi Flatlin3d

Building them is more fun and you can get exactly what you want, although pre-built computers usually benefit from the volume purchase the builder can get, which becomes their margin. In other words, I haven't found a huge difference, but that might be because of the specs I picked (cheap, in my case)

It is difficult to recommend something, mainly without knowing how much you are willing to spend and what performance you expect. Also, please fill in your present system's specs, so we know where you are coming from

What I recommend: check Newegg's public Wish Lists. There is a huge number of systems that you can compare at every price level. When you have a base one in mind it is better to give advice.

I hope this helps
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2010   #3
danpass

Win 7 64 Pro
 
 

Quite frankly, budget will determine everything.

Do you have a max dollar amount in mind?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

28 May 2010   #4
Lordbob75

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Well, there are 3 things you should really NOT skimp on (especially for gaming):
1 Motherboard
2 CPU
3 GPU
(4) RAM
(5) HDD

I will assume you already have a nice monitor, KB, mouse, speakers, etc.

First thing you want to choose is your CPU. Pick your top 3 choices, and look for a motherboard that fits your top choice.
For the CPU, I recommend getting a good model, but don't worry about its speed! I say this because it makes MUCH more sense to simply overclock it instead. For that reason I recommend the AMD Phenom x4. Just make sure the clock multiplier is unlocked.
For the motherboard you want a high quality one. ESPECIALLY if you are considering OCing. Make sure it can take up to as much RAM as you want to add (ever). Make sure the RAM slots are compatible with your CPU (i.e. DDR, DDR2, DDR3), and it has the PCIe slots you need for the GPU (2 if you want more than 1) and the PCI slots for expansion cards.

Next up is RAM. Pick good sticks, but you don't need super high quality gaming modules. I use the base Crucial modules, and they work great. Again, the timings can be OCed later if you want, so you don't need the top of the line.

After this, your GPU. If you want good forward compatibility, go for the ATI 5870. The 5770 is good too if you don't want to spend that much. The 260GTX is an awesome card, but it does not have DX11. Again, you can EASILY OC your graphics card.

Last up would be the HDD. 7200rpm is standard, and fine in general. Get an SSD for the OS and games if you want, but they can be pricey. The 10000rpm Velociraptor might not be a bad choice instead.

The case is important too, as it can affect your temps. Get a case with good fans (or go Watercooling, but that is pricey). As long as it fits your stuff (watch out if you get a big GPU), it should be fine.

~Lordbob
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2010   #5
danpass

Win 7 64 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wallyinnc View Post
Hi Flatlin3d

Building them is more fun and you can get exactly what you want, although pre-built computers usually benefit from the volume purchase the builder can get, which becomes their margin. In other words, I haven't found a huge difference, but that might be because of the specs I picked (cheap, in my case)

It is difficult to recommend something, mainly without knowing how much you are willing to spend and what performance you expect. Also, please fill in your present system's specs, so we know where you are coming from

What I recommend: check Newegg's public Wish Lists. There is a huge number of systems that you can compare at every price level. When you have a base one in mind it is better to give advice.

I hope this helps
Here's one from that list called 'cheap gaming computer'

Newegg.com - Once You Know, You Newegg





.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2010   #6
johnwillyums

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I built my first one about 6 months ago and it was a lot easier than I thought. I also had some good help from this forum.
It was very useful to be able to get online for help if you are uncertain at any point.
I used my existing pc or you could get a friend with a laptop round.
Also I spent weeks researching components so I could be sure everything was compatible and I was getting the very best components I could afford.
I think it's crucial to look at everything, right down to the case fans as they can vary tremendously yet a good one costs the same as a rubbish one.
I agree with the earlier post that motherboard, cpu and gpu plus ram are very important but also the case you buy can make a lot of difference to how easily the build goes. Think big and preferably with a slide out mobo tray.
I also believe that a good monitor is essential. That's the bit that you look at all the time after all.
I spent about half as much on my monitor as I did on the pc components but it is a fantastic monitor.
Mind you, if you've got a good pc you can save for a top range monitor for later.
You need to give us a price and I'm sure you will get lots of recommendations.

Good luck, John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2010   #7
Tarka Dal

Stools
 
 

Watch out!
I made a new custom build last week. And, when I put it together it didn't work. I had to send the CPU, Motherboard & Memory all back as I had nothing to test the parts on. They found that the CPU was a dud and now I have a new one on delivery...

Shop at Laptops - Cheap Laptops, TVs, Netbooks & PC Monitors | Ebuyer.com for all your Computer needs and they dish out good service too. UK only!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2010   #8
metalmania31

Windows 7 Pro 64bit build 7601 SP1
 
 

Don't skimp on the PSU either. A bad power supply could ruin all of that. Of course that doesn't mean ago and buy the $250 psu. Many decent ones come in at $60-100.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2010   #9
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Research, research, research. A good start is to check out what parts the gaming PC makers use, that way you can figure out compatibility. I think decide on CPU 1st, that will determine your MB choices, then you can determine what Ram. GPU choice will be determined by what games you want to play, and at what settings. PSU will be decided by what the other parts will be, whether you plan to SLI or Crossfire (now or in the future). Better to go overkill a bit on PSU. Oh, and get an 80+ certified PSU.

Let's say for instance you decide on an 15 750 CPU (my choice, see my specs). Then you will be choosing from 1156 MB's. Then based on which you choose you know what Ram you can use, etc. If you build your own, research individual parts at the forums such as Tom's Hardware, Annand Tech, Overclockers Club, etc.

Have a look at AVA Direct, they have great configuration choices, and gives you good ideas at what should be compatible. Newegg often has good combo deals (CPU and PSU's, or Case and PSU's, etc). Ask questions, and work at the final config. You can then post at the various forums and ask them to review your choices. You will get varying opinions, but may actually find, for instance, a Ram choice you hadn't considered. And you'll get a varied real world usage sample.

Your 1st choice, when deciding on CPU will be AMD or Intel actually, those are vastly divergent paths! Good luck, best thing is don't rush, ask questions, narrow choices down, and then pull trigger. Get a total of parts then see if can make that same configuration at AVA direct, you may find (like me) that for $50 more than a pile of parts, and a windows install disc, you can get a professionally wired, configured, assembled, tested, OS and drivers istalled PC. With a 3 yr warranty to boot! I wanted to build my own, but for $50, just the 3yr warranty alone made that a no brainer! Good luck. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2010   #10
FLaTLiN3D

MS Windows 7 HP 64Bit
 
 

Okay I updated my system specs like you suggested.... I'm not really sure about a price range at the moment, pretty much however much money it takes me. I'll just save up or whatever. Do you think that This is a good choice perhaps? Good choice meaning I'm getting what I'm paying for. It has good reviews, but I'd like some third-party advice.... The iBUYPOWER's seem to be decent machines for a relatively low price, but is the hardware worth paying for? I'm completely computer-illiterate when it comes to hardware. I don't know what is better than the next unless is an obvious choice. I don't necessarily need to build it myself I suppose, it would simply bring unnecessary complications to the entire upgrading process.

Tell me what you think,
FLaTLiN3D

Edit: The motherboard IS the main part inside of the computer, correct? Meaning the largest part, big green rectangle with leads and such?
Could you explain to me what each part looks like and what type of port it goes into? I know what the RAM sticks look like, I can also visually recognize the PSU, and HDDs, but that's about it. What does the CPU look like? I'm asking because if I do decide to upgrade my computer I need to make sure which part is what.... I also know what the fans and the heat-syncs look like, but those are obvious.
**Also, when working on computers, is it really necessary to wear static-electricity eliminating gear? Because I fiddle with the inside of my pc all the time and it works just fine.**

What do you think of this comparison?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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