How much money can be saved by building your own system?

Hey I am just wondering how much money can be saved, I look at places like www.cyberpowerpc.com and it doesn't seem that much more expensive to get them to build it, but I have not done a direct comparision.

Can any of you tell me how much on average you can save by building your own system ?
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  1. Quote:
    Hey I am just wondering how much money can be saved, I look at places like www.cyberpowerpc.com and it doesn't seem that much more expensive to get them to build it, but I have not done a direct comparision.

    Can any of you tell me how much on average you can save by building your own system ?


    Nowadays, building your own is not only about saving money. In the very low end, its very hard to compete with Dell's $299 low end Celeron PC. However, as any that has bought this machine will tell you, its not very good. Building your own is more about picking every part on your system and knowing exactly what you have. Most prebuilt systems do not use the latest parts or even very high quality parts for that matter. Open up any value PC and be prepared to find lots of compents with brand names you have never heard of in your life.

    When moving out of the value space, custom built can save you money, especially if you already have Windows and Office ready to install. Windows is around $150 and Office is around $250 when purchased OEM, so this adds around 20% to the cost of most prebuilt PCs.

    Basically, the higher end the PC is (especially when you get into flagship models) you can save money doing it yourself. For most other people in the midrange, Dell will generally be cheaper (especially when you consider you can usually get a free LCD out of them), but doing it yourself gives you a better PC.
  2. Quote:
    Hey I am just wondering how much money can be saved, I look at places like www.cyberpowerpc.com and it doesn't seem that much more expensive to get them to build it, but I have not done a direct comparision.

    Can any of you tell me how much on average you can save by building your own system ?


    Well, it depends on what you want out of your PC. I built my own system about a year ago and if I had purchased the same system from a few different places and I saved at least a few hundred dollars. If you want a top tier gaming machine you can save quite a bit of money by building your own as opposed to buying a machine from Voodoo PC or say Falcon Northwest or even Dell and Alienware (although if I am correct, I've heard that Dell bought Alienware recently).

    The great thing about building your own is you have the complete freedom of picking and choosing exactly what you want to go into your system, most places don't give you near as much freedom as you have if you build your own.

    Tell us what you want to do with your system and your budget and I'm sure that me as well as other members of this forum would be glad to help you out.
  3. here is what I had planned out.

    $1425.00
    CASE : NZXT Nemesis Elite Aluminium Mid-Tower Case 420W W/Window, Temp.Display & Fan Control (SILVER COLOR)
    CPU : (939-pin) AMD Athlon™64 X2 4200+ Dual-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
    MOTHERBOARD : (Sckt939)Asus A8N5X nForce4 Chipset SATA RAID PCI-E w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio
    MEMORY : 2048 MB (1GBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY (Corsair Value Select)
    VIDEO CARD : NEW !!! NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GT 256MB 16X PCI Express Video Card
    VIDEO CARD 2 : NONE
    LCD Monitor : NONE
    HARD DRIVE : 160GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8M Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive
    Hard Drive 2 : NONE
    Optical Drive : (Special Price) LG GWA-4161 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
    Optical Drive 2 : 16X DVD ROM (BLACK COLOR)
    SOUND : Creative Labs SB Audigy SE

    included with that system is an upgraded power supply (500 Watts), and a logitech keyboard.

    How much cheaper would it be to build it myself ?


    ALSO, I am using this machine for gaming primarily, mostly source based games but I would like to venture out into games such as CoD2 or BF2.

    Also I only really care about framerates as well, appearences are nice but I need my system to run smooth.
  4. Also, don't forget that in the cost of pre-built systems, the vendor has factored in a cost to cover the warranty. Since most of us tinker about with our PCs, you'd invalidate your warranty pretty quickly on a pre-built!
  5. Quote:
    here is what I had planned out.

    $1425.00
    CASE : NZXT Nemesis Elite Aluminium Mid-Tower Case 420W W/Window, Temp.Display & Fan Control (SILVER COLOR)
    CPU : (939-pin) AMD Athlon™64 X2 4200+ Dual-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
    MOTHERBOARD : (Sckt939)Asus A8N5X nForce4 Chipset SATA RAID PCI-E w/GbLAN,USB2.0,&7.1Audio
    MEMORY : 2048 MB (1GBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY (Corsair Value Select)
    VIDEO CARD : NEW !!! NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GT 256MB 16X PCI Express Video Card
    VIDEO CARD 2 : NONE
    LCD Monitor : NONE
    HARD DRIVE : 160GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8M Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive
    Hard Drive 2 : NONE
    Optical Drive : (Special Price) LG GWA-4161 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
    Optical Drive 2 : 16X DVD ROM (BLACK COLOR)
    SOUND : Creative Labs SB Audigy SE

    included with that system is an upgraded power supply (500 Watts), and a logitech keyboard.

    How much cheaper would it be to build it myself ?


    ALSO, I am using this machine for gaming primarily, mostly source based games but I would like to venture out into games such as CoD2 or BF2.

    Also I only really care about framerates as well, appearences are nice but I need my system to run smooth.



    I just priced out the system that you posted. I went to Newegg since thats my favorite place. But to answer your question all of that plus a basic logitech keyboard and 500w thermaltake psu (which is probably a lot higher quality than what they'd upgrade you to)

    the total price came to $980 (shipping included to my zipcode)

    saving you from 400-$500 on where ever you were going to buy your system. With that saved cash you could make it into a better gaming rig. Running SLI cards.. getting faster corsair xms memory. still be less than that place you were going to buy it from. However the pc DOESNT include windows. If the one you were buy did then add $130 to the price I found.
  6. all i can say is its cheaper if you already have a pc and can reuse part on my system below i saved around 300-400 quid.
  7. Firewater, quite frankly, if are unable and/or unwilling to do the simple 10 minutes worth of research in going to Pricewatch or Newegg and expect people on here to do it for you, maybe you should just get the pre-built system.

    There is such a thing as asking for guidance. There is also such a thing as being lazy.
  8. The question is not straightforward. One can almost never do this comparison, because pre-built computers will protect the details of the specific componants, the motherboard for instance. When you build your own you can find out a lot about your choices on boards like this. So in the home built world you could easily consider a $50 mother board or a $150 motherboard, and based on details available in part specs or from testimonials here on the forum you might very well choose the $150 motherboard.

    A person deciding to buy the pre-built because its $100 cheaper is simply doing without the understanding of the difference.

    On the other hand, anyone knows that if you buy a 1000 motherboards you get a better price than buying 1....so clearly the pre-built guys (at least the big guys) can price their parts WAY below what you end up with as a homebuilder. Especially if you have to buy the most plebian aspects of a system....like case, keyboard, mouse, these things are below the radar, and probably thown in for free with dells, but you pay actual money for them in the homebuild world.

    That's not an issue for most of us because we re-use those componants commonly. My floppy drive was originally out of a 486dx33 system. My case is an ATX Midtower that dates back to the start of the ATX standard.

    True, when front mounted usb and audio controls came out I was jealous, but I found a cute front addon unit that keeps my case in the game.

    And the final point.......I don't build my own to save money, whether it does or doesn't. I do it because I enjoy the shopping process, and the build process. I get a great rush from imagineering a system, shopping, seeing the parts arrive, and then seeing it boot after a sweet assembly success.

    Enjoy!

    Bob
  9. Quote:

    And the final point.......I don't build my own to save money, whether it does or doesn't. I do it because I enjoy the shopping process, and the build process. I get a great rush from imagineering a system, shopping, seeing the parts arrive, and then seeing it boot after a sweet assembly success.

    Enjoy!

    Bob


    ok building and what not is fun the first time or two.. but i think the rush is gone after that. and getting excited at seeing parts arrive might mean u should get a hobby
  10. "Also I only really care about framerates as well, appearences are nice but I need my system to run smooth."

    If playing games, decent framerates (above 30 fps always, closer to 50-60 fps are even better) are what make a game play smoothly, without stuttering, hitches, pauses, etc....

    Fortunately, with a 7900GT, you should not have to worry about framerates on any game available at very good resolutions and settings.....
  11. Quite frankly I would have an easier time taking your post into consideration if the person who posted above you didn't answer my question. However, since he did I can simply dismiss your post.

    So I can save about $500, not bad. I may just build the thing on my own, I'm still a little hesitant. I'm sure Tom's hardware has a thorough installation guide, though I would still be hesitant simply because it would be a lot of money to lose if I screw up.

    Also, I heard with the motherboard I want to get the onboard sound is just as good as the Soundblaster card, so I can save the 40 or so dollars that cost. Can any of you confirm or deny this?

    Most of you have been a great help and I appreciate that.
  12. Quote:
    ok building and what not is fun the first time or two.. but i think the rush is gone after that. and getting excited at seeing parts arrive might mean u should get a hobby


    Your comment is intriguing. You suggest the existance of a universal template for a stimulus and its resultant pleasures. I think you are suggesting that if I find it still fun after many builds, then I'm flawed (as compared to the universal template)? And its the flaws I would correct by "getting a hobby". You could be right.

    I think my hobby will be philosophy of the universal template to happiness.

    Now lets begin. I look forward to exploring the extra happiness derived from being one with the universal "is", vs the menial and less "significant" happiness derived more directly....from a direct measure of ones pleasure index. As the Borg, the honeybee, and the ant have demonstrated the power of the "collective", there could be something important here that I've so far dismissed.

    Cheerio fellow collective members. Thanks for your contribution!

    Bob
  13. well i would stick with the onboard sound unless you have a well tuned ear and have the proper speakers to support it.

    just follow the directions that come with everything and you will be fine.

    its not that hard you can build a computer in two hours if you are taking your time, make sure to tough the case before you touch any internals.

    try not to assemble it over a carpeted area. use you kitchen w/ tile or wood floors. it helps if you drop pieces.
  14. I didn't consider building my own computer for the same reason. Because I had never done it and if I messed something up, I would lose alot of money.

    I never really looked at what it took to build your own system, and now that I've researched it, it seems pretty simple.

    I was originally going to buy a pre-built from iBUYPOWER that was going to cost around $2600 after all was said and done. Compare that with the $1800 cost of a computer I'm building, plus the fact that not only it's cheaper, but has a better processor, and there's no competition.

    I'm actually looking forward to building it. Clearing out a nice, large space, checking that I have the necessary tools, and making sure everything is compatible is fun. I can't wait to get everything in the case and boot it up. :D

    I'd say the only thing I'm worried about is setting up all the software and making sure it works, but I'm sure with some more reading that shouldn't be a problem.

    I'm planning on ordering all my parts sometime this week, and when I get around to building it (in about 2 weeks) I plan to take some pictures and document the whole process.

    Good luck. :D
  15. make your own pc ------------>you may have trouble building it
    buy a pc from someone -------> you will have trouble upgrading.

    especially with dell or gateway
  16. FYI, Cyberpower's customer support was terrible when I got a pc from them. It took me all day to get to talk to someone and they then made me do my own trouble shooting.

    They also sent my bro a used PSU when his died a couple weeks after he bought a new pc from them.

    They have good prices, but their support is (at least was) terrible.

    BTW, saying that getting excited about seeing computer parts means you need a hobby... that's just downright low. I've built many pc's over the last few years for both myself, friends, relatives and for business use and I get excited each and every time I get parts. It's like Legos, only with a purpose.
  17. Quote:
    It's like Legos, only with a purpose.


    Wonderful analogy. I've been building computers since ~1994 or so. I've lost count of how many at this point. Whenever parts are on order and not yet arrived, its like waiting for Christmas morning...getting home from work and seeing the box is a rush!

    Perhaps the person who criticized me sees themselves as "world weary" based on experience, and that makes him/her feel mature....I know folks like that.

    Anyway, joy to all, however one finds it!

    Bob
  18. I guess what it comes down is that I am nervous that I am going to screw up, and that its going to suck to eat the 1000 or so if I make a mistake.

    I'm not very technical savvy, I'm just a competitive gamer. I know a decent amount but when it comes to hardware but I'm really not sure when it comes to building.

    I'll probably get the cyberpower, despite the fact how much money I can save, just for peice of mind.
  19. Firewater, I understand completely. I can also relate....I was very nervous on my first build.

    In fact, my very first homebuild was only slightly mine. I knew a person who had a little home based business at the time, and I paid her to build me a pentium (with a screaming clock speed of 133 mhz). Because I was interested, I asked if I could watch the build. After that I began to do little upgrades, and from then on, I felt it was ok to do it myself.

    Each "lesson" I faced resulted in me learning more and more. Since I valued that, and since non of my "lessons" cost me more than $100, I look back and see that whole thing as great fun.

    But for the first build, its a lot more fun if you have the company of someone who's been there, for sure.

    Either way, enjoy your computer!

    Bob
  20. If you're looking lower end, like $400-700, forget it, just buy one from Dell, Gateway, etc. Above that, the more you spend, the more you can save.
  21. Warranty, If you're afraid of building it this can be your saving grace, 90 day to 1 year warranties on prebuilts (unless you pay crap loads more for an extened one), vs 3 year on most custom built parts, screw it up, send it back and say it was doa and try again!
  22. Can you point me in the right direction of a good do-it-yourself guide ? I may reconsider.
  23. Yeah, check out the configs on ibuypower or whatever, go to newegg, select the same components, go to the manufacturer link off newegg for the mobo, and any of the other devices you're not sure about, and check out the manuals, the mobo manual tells you almost all you need to know.

    All you need is a phillips head screw driver, a nice open table, and some time. Computers are easier to build than a level 2 model kit, and you don't need the instructions even as almost everything goes in only one way. And make sure you get the case standoffs in the right place before you screw down the mobo, they are all labeled so it's not too hard!
  24. Theres plenty of diy guides on the web do a google. Your main question was already answered which could have been googled or researched as well. Now you're just being lazy it seems.

    And before you go and get insulted by me stating that. I was the one that priced out the system for you previously. Either you take the leap into learning how to build your own system or stick with prebuilts. Or if you want you can pay me $300 on top of the part cost and I'll build it for you =b. But you will only have factory warranties on the parts.

    Just build your own its not hard at all and the motherboard come with instruction manuals tab A in slot A.. tab B in slot B
  25. Biulding your own is not about saving money. Go buy a Dell deal for that. It's a hobby, and you will get a better computer if you buy the right parts. I configure systems every day. What was it you want to do with it?
  26. Everybody is an "expert" on the internet, which is why I asked here. I'm sure there are plenty of guides, but I want to know what people here have used simply beause I know the Toms Hardware community is pretty knowledgable.

    If I were being lazy, why would you price the system for me? Doesn't that just fuel my "laziness"? You do the "work" for me then boast that I am lazy, then why did you do it :roll:

    Really doesn't make any sense to me. Oh well.
  27. Quote:
    Biulding your own is not about saving money. Go buy a Dell deal for that. It's a hobby, and you will get a better computer if you buy the right parts. I configure systems every day. What was it you want to do with it?


    To answer your question, I am a competitive gamer, mostly HL2 or source based games, but I want to expand to CoD and BF2.

    I just want perfect framerates, graphics really don't mean that much to me (not saying that graphics are bad, I just really care about framerates).
  28. I don't think people here ever used guides other than mobo manuals to get the right pinouts on the power light! Really it's not that hard, you don't need a step by step guide as it probably wouldn't cover everything you will be doing anyway as most builds differ slightly from each other.
  29. "I guess what it comes down is that I am nervous that I am going to screw up, and that its going to suck to eat the 1000 or so if I make a mistake. "

    It would take a pretty awful combination of mistakes and/or bad luck with lightning strikes to destroy $1000 worth of parts...! :-)

    Yes, building your own system does involve the occasional risk of receiving/returning a DOA mainboard or video card, etc., but, it's worth the risk, IMO...

    Building any decent mid-range gaming system, you can usually save at least $300 by assembling it yourself, as no middle-tier manufacturers are going to sell such a system without a ~20% profit for themselves, and understandably so...
  30. I should probably make a new thread for this, BUT if I do decide to build the 4200+, what kind of cooling should I put in it?

    Cyberpower was going to toss in 3 extra fans for about 9$, how do you install those fans if I wanted to get them?
  31. If you plan on spending more than 1000$, building your own is the way to go; but a 300$ system from Dell can not be beat.
  32. You screw them in and plug in the fan connector to the fan header on the mb, a single case fan in the front and a single in the rear is all you will need, along with the boxed cpu cooler. You're thinking this is harder than it is, it's like asking "how do I install my windshield wipers" relax and just buy the stuff already! :)
  33. $1425.00
    NZXT Nemesis Elite - $120
    AMD Athlon X2 4200+ - $335
    Asus A8N5X - $77
    2048 MB (Corsair Value Select) - $136
    NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GT - $300
    160GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8M - $75
    LG GWA-4161 16X DVD±R/±RW - $ 38
    16X DVD ROM (BLACK COLOR) - $22
    Creative Labs SB Audigy SE - $30
    $1133 plus shiping from newegg
    No OS and 7900gt are out of stock (only a BFG OC for $330.)
    Putting it togather is easy. It will take an hour or two. Intalling all the software may take a day or more.
    you can shave another $100 off with a 3800+ X2, no DVD-ROM and a cheaper case.
  34. I would say that if you get excited when new parts arrive (I still do after nearly 30 years) that you have *found* a hobby.
  35. I work in the pc retail business. Here is our breakdown:
    PC System Cost:
    $500-$1000 - 10%-15% Markup
    $1000-$2000 - 15%-20% Markup
    $2000-$5000 - 25%-%100 Markup

    Do the math and save!
  36. Firewater, and since you're so new to this, I would highly recommend not trying any overclocking just yet. That's step 3... let's work on step one. Everyone above has said the things I would have. Listen to them, they do this as a hobby and for employment. It basically comes down to one thing: YOUR CHOICE. We can't make it for you.

    My first computer upgrade was from an Intel 286 (8 MHz) to an Intel 286 (12 MHz) -- it took a m/b upgrade. That was a true 50% gain back in the days when everything was CPU-limited. 8) It counted my 1MB of DIP memory at POST like no one's business. The thrill experienced could only come from a DIY project. Everyone has to start somewhere.

    As stated before (I forget who), building your own is not about saving money anymore. Large companies will always have you beat because they buy AND sell in volume. Even paying their overhead they can still do it cheaper... however, if you want a better system, you need to build it yourself. Plus, it will give you pride in a job well done (once finished).

    Good luck Firewater. Whatever you decide, let us know. We can continue helping you in the process (some aren't annoyed by helping others). But you need to decide right now what it's going to be. We can do no more until then.

    We wait...
  37. Well, it depends on what kind of system you want to buy. If you're buying a regular desktop like Dell, Gateway, etc. then you save money. But you're into a gaming machine then it better to make build one and save you more money in the process rather than buying a high performance gaming pc from Alienware, Falcon etc. I built my latest gaming rig and cost me $3000 and searching through those gaming rig builders and with the same set up as mine rig, it cost around $4000 to $5500 depending on the company. Basically the extra cost are for assembly and the name. So I save money by building my rig and in the process got some knowledge and how to during assembly. So from my first build several years ago I built all my computers then not just for saving some bucks but it's fun as well. :D
  38. Build it yourself and OVERCLOCK IT!

    That's how to save money.
  39. Jesus, is it so hard to get people to read the previous posts BEFORE posting themselves?

    Anyway, As long as you're careful, you won't screw it up. One thing to remember is that static electricity is your enemy. Now, I've never used one of those static grounding wrist straps, and I've never killed a part, but if that's something you're worried about, then its a cheap investment in security.

    But PCs are very easy to assemble. Like it was said before, everything only goes in one way (except IDE cables sometimes, but most of them have the tab on the cable and the notch on the socket, so even those will only go in one way). Read the manuals, especially the motherboard one, as it will tell you exactly how things go in to it and what all those pins and jumpers are for.

    I've built half a dozen so far (independant, rebuilt my own many many times) and I still love it, so you might find that you enjoy it also.
  40. I just wanted to let you know something about cyberpower. I have dealt with them for a long time. I have had 4 PCs through them. I have been happy with all of the PCs and had no major problems (a fan replacement here and there) untill recently. My 6800gt died suddenly just over a year after purchase. It was still under warranty with cyberpower and they said send it back and they would send me a new one. I did this in late december. After waiting a long time in early Febuary they sent me the same broken card back and claimed it was a new one. I am sure it is the same card because i had noticed upon packaging it that it had a bent prong on the heat sink, this one did too and had dust under the fan showing it was used either way. Obviously it still didnt work. I contacted them and they claimed no blaim (actually called me a lair!) and said send it again. They have not sent the card as of yet and i recieved comfrimation that they have had it for almost a month now (25days). I have been unable to get in touch with anyone at cyberpower on the matter. I have wrote many emails, left voice messages, and called many times( some times they just never answer during posted business hours) and have had NO response. I have no idea what has happened to this company recently, but something has. They have turned into a very unreliable company. I have reported them to the better busniess burrow and am just waiting for something... BUYER BEWARE.
  41. You can't beat newegg's RMA. Most stuff is for one year. I just RMAed a Hitachi Deathstar HD, it was just over 11 months old and no longer made. I got a refund. :D
    I could have sent it to Hitachi, but newegg is good to me.
  42. Actually me pricing it out for you when no one else was willing to at the time. That was me being nice and giving you step in the right direction. But for you to then ask people in a post for a diy guide to convince you to build the machine. Thats when it seems you are just lazy and dont want to do the research yourself.

    Frankly if you aren't willing to take the to do your research. Then to take the precautionary measures o make sure you don't fry your parts. And finally the last step in actually building your machine. Just buy a prebuilt. IMO I don't think you're the right candidate to build your own machine without someone holding your hand. How many posts have there been now on this thread? The topic was how much money can you save. Myself and another posted the same rig showing you'd save roughly $400.

    Its fun to build machines for some like me, but I'm far from being an expert in the matter. I suggest either biting the bullet and building your machine. Maybe asking which components would make a good rig or what not. But the topic of back and forth .. "should i" "shouldnt I" is getting old.

    Give them an inch.. they take you a mile. (very true in this case)
  43. Perhaps I will just buy the stuff from Newegg. I found a guide to install the stuff online, which I will print out later. http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/step/5/

    Does guide apply to the PC I am building now ?

    How is dealing with new egg if your stuff is messed up? Clearly, its cheaper, but how is their customer service ?
  44. They are the best. They will not help you with tech support, but people in many fourms will.
  45. Quote:
    Actually me pricing it out for you when no one else was willing to at the time. That was me being nice and giving you step in the right direction. But for you to then ask people in a post for a diy guide to convince you to build the machine. Thats when it seems you are just lazy and dont want to do the research yourself.

    Frankly if you aren't willing to take the to do your research. Then to take the precautionary measures o make sure you don't fry your parts. And finally the last step in actually building your machine. Just buy a prebuilt. IMO I don't think you're the right candidate to build your own machine without someone holding your hand. How many posts have there been now on this thread? The topic was how much money can you save. Myself and another posted the same rig showing you'd save roughly $400.

    Its fun to build machines for some like me, but I'm far from being an expert in the matter. I suggest either biting the bullet and building your machine. Maybe asking which components would make a good rig or what not. But the topic of back and forth .. "should i" "shouldnt I" is getting old.

    Give them an inch.. they take you a mile. (very true in this case)


    No one is asking you to post in this thread, you are choosing to make my indecisiveness your business. If its getting old, do not read it. Problem solved. Not everyone can afford to lose 1,000$, so if I appear hesitant or indecsisive, then so be it. Several of the posters have accomodated this, if you choose not to then by all means STOP READING AND POSTING IN THIS THREAD.
  46. LOL you're very welcome for me answering your question in the first place. And actually you did ask for posts in this thread when you made it originally then turned it into a worry wart posting.

    If you fried a total of $1000 worth of parts on a pc build. I'd laugh.That woudl be a total melt down and we could use you in the military to disrupt enemy nations computer networks by leasing you out as a pc tech. Most cases you blow the board or crack the cpu not the ENTIRE thing. Hardware is much more durable than it used to be but still takes a bit of care. I'd guess if you ruined anything it would be 1 or 2 components at most. As a hobby I've built roughly 15 pc's now and have a blast doing it. I price them out all the time thats why i did that for you.

    Btw newegg is a great place to order from. Usually the lowest prices on the web with the best customer service. I've had to return a few items and it never was a hassle at all.

    Just don't call them up wondering if you should order this or that part with them on the line hehe.

    Since you are a comp. gamer I would suggest a smaller case to bring to lans. But something that can support enough space for your parts. It also lowers the price.

    Case: Aspire qpack (dont use the carrying handle)
    MOBO: Asus ASUS A8N-VM CSM (its not an overclocker but its stable)
    Ram: Corsair XMS 2-2-2-5 2x1gb
    CPU: your 4800 x2 or even better would be a opty.
    HD: WD 74gb raptor (os and games)
    HD2: Seagate 250gb or larger
    GPU: Nvdia 7900GT

    may not be the best but its a solid compact system and easily upgradeable in the future. Then again i could be wrong.
  47. One other thing that wasn't mentioned was the amount of crap the prebuilt companies put into your system. I bought a laptop from Dell a couple of years ago. Upon turning the laptop on, a plethora of offers were on my system, from AOL to Disney. All crap. I deleted all the annoyances until I thought nothing was on my computer. A check on my computer revealed 3 GB of HD being used. Since I have my own copy of XP at home, I reloaded the OS, which of course erased everything Dell put on there. After getting everything setup nearly identical to the way it was before, a check on my computer revealed 2 GB of HD being used. So even trying to erase it, Dell had 1 Gig of crap left on my drive!

    But it gets better. Recently, I bought another laptop from Dell for my sister. This time, when I turned on the laptop, it wouldn't even go into the OS unless I accepted 6 months of crappy AOL internet service. I turned it off, back on, same thing. The hell with that. I reloaded that OS too, with the aforementioned XP disk I had at home. I think it's only fair to mention that both the laptops work fine now, and me and my sister really enjoy our laptops. But the point is, when you buy prebuilt, you don't own the software, you are at the mercy of the company that sold you the machine.

    Building your own machine gives you the comfort of choosing exactly what gets put on your machine without any hidden programs running or being forced to accept stupid offers just to use your own PC.
  48. Quote:
    Can you point me in the right direction of a good do-it-yourself guide ? I may reconsider.


    http://sysbuild.corsairmemory.com/report.aspx?id=2

    This one says it all.

    Others have given all the info you need to make your decision. Just keep in mind one or two things...

    ... cables ... you may need to buy additional cables if they don't come w/ your mother board, especially if you buy an "OEM" hard drive, CD/DVD drive, or Floppy Drive. CD/DVDs need two cables, one for data and one for audio (OEM models probably won't come w/ the little audio cable). And even if your mother board comes w/ all the data cables, they're probably the old ribbon style, and most self respecting PC builders will opt for the rounded cables instead. Expect an additional $10-$15 in cables.

    ... monitor ... this can be a BIG ticket item where the big retailers can take advantage of their buying power. Hopefully you already have an old monitor lying around that you can use w/ the new setup.

    ... thermal grease... you may want to purchase a qulaity tube of thermal grease. If you buy an OEM CPU, you will definitely have to buy a tube of thermal grease. Expect another $5-$10.

    ... software ... $100 for WindowsXP home edition (OEM) $150 for WindowsXP Pro (more or less). Dell and Gateway would include this free. You probably want some anti-virus-spyware-spam software too. Dell and Gateway include a few months free, you will have to come up w/ $30 per year for Norton or McAfee. Word/Excel etc... I recomend you download open office instead of buying. The extra software bundeled by the big retailers is generally worthless, and anything else you want you would have to buy or steel anyway.

    ... warentee/support ... you are your own tech support. You can't call India and get some online guru to talk you through troubleshooting. It's all up to you. Shouldn't be a problem if you buy quality goods and install everything correctly.

    That case... I wouldn't let that Nemesis case in my house, never mind display it prominantly in the living room or office. It looks like a quality case, but it's ugly as sin. But hey, to each his own.
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