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Rolling your own PC

Last response: in Components
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October 30, 2003 8:59:48 PM

I'm considering purchasing a desktop/or tower for under $300.00. Most of the choices in this price range are P3's with less than 1 ghz clock, 128-250 MB RAM and from 10-20 gigs hard drive. Some even come with a 15" CRT all for less than $260.

These specs are fine for now, but I'm wondering if - I should buy a box, boards, etc., and build one myself. I did this fifteen years ago - without much problems.

Cost, not specs are the main issue, my budget is $400.00. My usage is limited to word processing, the net, spreadsheets and photoshop.

If you think building a home grown PC makes more sense than buying one (in this price range) I'd like to hear your thoughts and recommendations for components/brands.

Thank-you. Appreciate it.

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October 31, 2003 12:43:47 AM

If you already own an operating system like Windows 2000 or Windows XP, and don't mind spending the time yeah go for building your own. I recently built a computer with:

Athlon XP 2000+,
Shuttle MN31N motherboard (lots of extras on this board),
40 gig Western Digital harddrive,
256mb pc 2100 ram (no name cheap stuff I found on sale),
Expensive heatsink and fan (Thermalright SLK-947U with Tornado 92mm fan - you can skimp here and save $30)
CD-ROM, floppy, and case with power supply
all for around $400 US dollars. I assume that you already have a P/S2 keyboard, P/S2 mouse and VGA monitor that you could use.

You won't need all of the Athlon XP 2000+ power for just email and wordprocessing, a P3 at 1ghz is more than enough for that. But with Photoshop you should really notice a difference.

Of course this doesn't factor in the cost in time spent building a computer like this. If your time is valuable, and you don't want to hassle with making, and maintaining your own computer then just buy one like you mentioned. If something breaks, then you can always go back to the manufacturer and get them to fix it.

You might want to ask this question in the CPU forum - higher traffic there so you should get some better opinions on what to do.

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October 31, 2003 4:30:19 AM

For $400 you can pick up a lot more used computer than you could build new!

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October 31, 2003 1:28:45 PM

I have to agree with Crashman. I was just doing that research myself last night for a friend. Windows just costs too much. :( 

The opposite side of that coin though is quality and expandability, which most dinky OEM systems like that don't have much of either. :\ At least with a home-built PC you can ensure as much quality and expandability as you like.

So really it comes down to what you need.

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It tastes much more like iron to me.
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