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Building a PC - Need Help from PC Experts

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Postby beanoX3 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:32 am

I'm a bit clueless on the Canadian thing too, but try searching for stuff on Pricewatch.com and Pricegrabber.com. The retailer's info should say whether or not they ship to Canada. Newegg.com (in Cali) is a popular store with good prices, but I don't know if they ship to Canada specifically.

Something else to note, sometimes the best way to save money is NOT to buy piecemeal from a whole bunch of stores. Certain places, it's worth it to pay the little extra to get several components from one store and save money on shipping. And sometimes certain parts are cheaper to buy in a local computer/electronic store when they have sales, like hard drives and video cards.

Compatibility isn't that much of an issue once you decide on a AMD or Intel CPU. Then everything kinda seperates itself, like the specific chipset for the motherboard and heatsink/fan combo. Everything else really has no compatibility issues that I can think of right now.

I don't know if you have a case yet, but at least make sure you don't get a case that's so cheap that it has no structural rigidity. My friend bought a real cheap one that came with a PSU for $15 total once because it looked cool, but it was so flimsy, it collapsed when he put a couple textbooks on top of it once, lol. The case shouldn't twist if you put a small bit of force onto it. And there's also the form factor to think about. Intel's new design is called BTX, which flip flops everything inside from the traditional ATX, so if you go that route, your motherboard and case needs to match. Large cases need longer cables on the power supply (PSU) too.
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Postby J2thez929 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:27 pm

You could just buy this Beast and call it a day
:-b
http://cgi.ebay.com/Working-266mhz-64me ... dZViewItem
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Postby beanoX3 » Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:13 pm

Oh yea, something that can really help is to buy a magazine called "Maximum PC." Sister publication of "PC Gamer" and they have a real good hardware section which also has a guide set up for how much it you can theoretically spend on different levels of performance PCs building yourself. They use real-time pricing for their parts in the guide, so the price levels aren't too far off. They also review a bunch of systems, so you can use their benchmark reviews to build a system suited to your desired performance level.
;-D
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Postby Goatwhacker » Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:43 pm

bobbing_headz wrote:Ok, first of all I'm looking to get parts somewhere preferably in Canada. I found tigerdirect.ca on my first search. They're Canadian but I really have no idea how good they are.

One thing I'm worrying about is the issue of compatibility. Is it a big problem when getting parts?

BTW, thanks for everything so far guys. You've been really helpful ;-D


I like TigerDirect and have used them a bunch of times but look closely whether you are getting a refurb or not, sometimes they bury it in the small print. Most refurbs work fine but in my experience have a significantly higher failure rate.
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Postby suppasonic » Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:08 pm

I built my first PC a few months ago and I really like it. Saved only about 100 dollars, but it was a great experience and now I can fix my computer if something goes wrong.

What is your price range? Budget, Budget Gamer, Mid level Gamer, High end, High-end gamer?

The trick is to get your list of parts, then wait for certain sites to have deals on those parts, a la newegg.com, outpost.com, and so on.

For example, I got my 150 GB seagate SATA drive for 60 bucks when I snapped at a deal. Look for places to have cheap packages of the processor you want with a mobo.
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Postby bobbing_headz » Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:55 pm

First off, I'm looking around mid-range aimed at gaming.

Second, does anyone know somewhere that goes in-depth about parts (website, mag, etc.). Lots of options to choose from and I really don't know much of the differences between them.
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Postby suppasonic » Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:31 am

No, but heres what you need:

Case: anywhere from 30-100 dollars. Look for frontal USB, cooling fans, and size. Probably want to buy this in person.

RAM: You have two options. Spend $90-100 on 1 GIG of Ram, or $180-200 on 2 Gigs of RAM. Corsair is the gold standard in this category, so I'd look for them if the price is reasonable enough. Make sure its compatible with your mobo. Look for one thats 667 or 800 speed.

Hard Drive: Do you want to store music or movies on it? 160 gigs is pretty cheap, and even many 300 Gig will cost under a hundred. Seagate and Toshiba are probably the best. Go for SATA over Ultra ATA.

CD Drive: Id get a DVD Burner. They are only about 30-40 dollars more than a regular CD drive, and if you burn two DVDs, you've already saved the price from buying the movie.

Mobo/CPU: Lots of options. For mid level, I'd suggest an Athlon Dual Core processor. Probably will run about $160+ for the proccesor. To be honest, I dont know much about motherboards. Just make sure it is SATA compatable and has PCI express, also supporting the processor and RAM.

Power Supply: Get a 400-500w one from Antec or Thermaltake or Ultra. Usually can be found cheap, and will be a major upgrade over a case power supply.

Video Card: Anywhere from $50 to $500. For this, I'd just search Newegg, and find the one that has lots of good reviews. Look for 256 or 512 mb on the card. I perfer nVidia.
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Postby joelamosobadiah » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:43 am

suppasonic wrote:No, but heres what you need:

Case: anywhere from 30-100 dollars. Look for frontal USB, cooling fans, and size. Probably want to buy this in person.

RAM: You have two options. Spend $90-100 on 1 GIG of Ram, or $180-200 on 2 Gigs of RAM. Corsair is the gold standard in this category, so I'd look for them if the price is reasonable enough. Make sure its compatible with your mobo. Look for one thats 667 or 800 speed.

Hard Drive: Do you want to store music or movies on it? 160 gigs is pretty cheap, and even many 300 Gig will cost under a hundred. Seagate and Toshiba are probably the best. Go for SATA over Ultra ATA.

CD Drive: Id get a DVD Burner. They are only about 30-40 dollars more than a regular CD drive, and if you burn two DVDs, you've already saved the price from buying the movie.

Mobo/CPU: Lots of options. For mid level, I'd suggest an Athlon Dual Core processor. Probably will run about $160+ for the proccesor. To be honest, I dont know much about motherboards. Just make sure it is SATA compatable and has PCI express, also supporting the processor and RAM.

Power Supply: Get a 400-500w one from Antec or Thermaltake or Ultra. Usually can be found cheap, and will be a major upgrade over a case power supply.

Video Card: Anywhere from $50 to $500. For this, I'd just search Newegg, and find the one that has lots of good reviews. Look for 256 or 512 mb on the card. I perfer nVidia.

Couple things to add.

Sound Card: Don't go crazy expensive, but get a decent sound card with 64 mb on the card. (If you have a surround sound system, it is definitely worth it to buy a card that has 5.1 surround outputs) ;-D

Vista: One wrench thrown into things is the fact that Windows Vista is coming out soon. The main upgrade will be that you need to have 2 gig of RAM for sure unless you buy the really dumbed down version of Vista. Read this article to make sure things are compatible.
Also remember on Vista that Microsoft ALWAYS undershoots system requirements. You can't practically run Windows XP with 64 mb of RAM as they originally showed the system requirements for XP. you can barely run it with 128 mb of RAM as they currently show you can. So I would say go for the 2 Gig if you are planning on upgrading to Vista. (Also, if you go to Vista, get Vista Premium. The lower version doesn't have ANY of the graphical bells and whistles. It looks pretty plain and isn't even as functional) But hey, just read that article above. ;-D

EDIT: Good call on the processor. Dual-Core is a MUST! Or 64-Bit if you are definitely going to Vista. ;-D
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