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Build or custom order?

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December 22, 2006 7:01:06 PM

I'm considering building my first computer, but I'm wondering if I should just purchase a custom built computer from an online vendor instead (cyberpowerpc, polywell, ibuypower, etc)? I was looking to spend about $1000 - $1200. I don't do any gaming but I plan to do a lot of video editing.

Are there certain things I need to watch out for when purchasing from an online vendor? Are there any reasons why I should build my own computer, if I can instead purchase most of the parts I want from an online vendor that will build it for me?

Also, are there any sites out there that provide recommended configurations based on cost and type of use, like sample builds with compatible components?

More about : build custom order

December 22, 2006 7:58:15 PM

Quote:
I'm considering building my first computer, but I'm wondering if I should just purchase a custom built computer from an online vendor instead (cyberpowerpc, polywell, ibuypower, etc)?


I would suggest that you build yourself, any company has to make money, and if they sell all there stuff at face value there not making anything. for $1200 you'll get a pc thats worth about $1000 if you custom order the build.

theres this one part site that will build you pc for you for like $20 or something, all you have to do is pick out the parts (we can help you with that) thats a pretty good deal, the problem is i cant remember the name of the site, im sure somebody here does though, i first heard about them in this forum.
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December 22, 2006 8:04:01 PM

Quote:
I'm considering building my first computer, but I'm wondering if I should just purchase a custom built computer from an online vendor instead (cyberpowerpc, polywell, ibuypower, etc)? I was looking to spend about $1000 - $1200. I don't do any gaming but I plan to do a lot of video editing.

Are there certain things I need to watch out for when purchasing from an online vendor? Are there any reasons why I should build my own computer, if I can instead purchase most of the parts I want from an online vendor that will build it for me?

Also, are there any sites out there that provide recommended configurations based on cost and type of use, like sample builds with compatible components?


Choosing what goes into your computer is the duty of every informed user :wink:

It is cheaper to build if you consider what you are getting for the money.

If you have little faith in your abilities there is always the option to purchase the parts and have a local shop tech throw it together for ya for a reasonable fee... CompUSA charges about $125 to build and load OS, and drivers.

As far as sites that recommend what configurations you should consider... you are there.

These people know the most intricate details about the current selections offered... with that said here are some choices:

ASUS P5B-E Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 $ 150

Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz $220

BUFFALO Firestix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) (Micron D9s) $245

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3400620AS 400GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s $140

ENERMAX Liberty ELT500AWT ATX12V 500W Power Supply 90V~265V $105

HIS Hightech H195PRQT256DDN-R Radeon X1950PRO 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 IceQ3 Turbo HDCP Video Card $220

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel $50

ZALMAN CNPS 9500 AM2 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink $50

Total $1180 before S/H
December 22, 2006 8:04:17 PM

I think he could get a much better value from building his computer than from the computer you listed from directron. First he said that he would be doing a lot of video editing not gaming so I would build one without the crossfire cards, but still with a decent single card option, larger harddrives 500-1000GBs, a dual core most likely a core 2 duo for a processor and if he was going to vista anytime soon 4 gigs of ram instead of 2.
December 22, 2006 10:19:37 PM

Build. You learn a fair bit too! And of course by building you know whats what and wether you can upgrade to component X in the future etc :D 
December 22, 2006 11:07:09 PM

While I build all my machines, My labor rate is up near $100/hr and it is cheaper to buy a bare bones machine and have the retailer assemble and install the OS and new drivers.


It is cheaper for me to add extra hard drives and memory.
December 22, 2006 11:38:02 PM

Quote:
I'm considering building my first computer, but I'm wondering if I should just purchase a custom built computer from an online vendor instead (cyberpowerpc, polywell, ibuypower, etc)? I was looking to spend about $1000 - $1200. I don't do any gaming but I plan to do a lot of video editing.

i would recommend u get a core 2 6600 (300$), this mother board : GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 Socket T (LGA 775) :gigabyte mother board 140$ , a 7900gt for (250$), 2 gb ram (200), and u ll have 310$ left to pick a case, powersupply, hardrive and shipping.. probably ur best bet i think
December 23, 2006 12:12:25 AM

Quote:
Quote:
i would recommend u get a core 2 6600 (300$), this mother board : GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 Socket T (LGA 775) :gigabyte mother board 140$ , a 7900gt for (250$), 2 gb ram (200), and u ll have 310$ left to pick a case, powersupply, hardrive and shipping.. probably ur best bet i think


7900GT??
...... nah.
December 23, 2006 12:55:43 AM

haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....noob....

get a fire gl or quadro...what evr floats ur boat(ati or nvidia)
December 23, 2006 1:40:39 AM

I was considering building it myself - until I found a refurbished Dell xps 410 for at least three hundred less than what I could build it for. It doesn't have SLI, but later, I can put a 7900 GT KO card in it if I want - the psu will handle it just fine.

RTK
December 23, 2006 1:52:05 AM

Quote:
I think he could get a much better value from building his computer than from the computer you listed from directron. First he said that he would be doing a lot of video editing not gaming so I would build one without the crossfire cards, but still with a decent single card option, larger harddrives 500-1000GBs, a dual core most likely a core 2 duo for a processor and if he was going to vista anytime soon 4 gigs of ram instead of 2.



What I posted was a possible option, I knew he'd get deluged with suggestions of what everyone thinks from their point of view he should build, but does he have the ability to build his first machine?

If he does have the ability, he doesn't have to ask these questions, he's already done his own research and this thread wouldn't even be necessary, just because you can build your own doesn't mean everyone can, I know some brilliant people in their fields that couldn't begin to build their own computer.

That FX57 machine at Directron with 2gb of RAM and dual video cards won't have any problem what so ever doing video editing or anything else he wants to do with it, so its a viable solution if he decides building one from scratch is too much to undertake.
December 23, 2006 2:42:11 AM

Quote:
haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....noob....

get a fire gl or quadro...what evr floats ur boat(ati or nvidia)


nah get a 7900 for some gaming and video editing thanx. gg
December 23, 2006 4:06:32 AM

Quote:


What I posted was a possible option, I knew he'd get deluged with suggestions of what everyone thinks from their point of view he should build, but does he have the ability to build his first machine?

If he does have the ability, he doesn't have to ask these questions, he's already done his own research and this thread wouldn't even be necessary, just because you can build your own doesn't mean everyone can, I know some brilliant people in their fields that couldn't begin to build their own computer.

That FX57 machine at Directron with 2gb of RAM and dual video cards won't have any problem what so ever doing video editing or anything else he wants to do with it, so its a viable solution if he decides building one from scratch is too much to undertake.


Certainly... and perhaps after reviewing the posts we would hope that if he does not have the ability presently... he would be able to put somewhat of a picture in his head on where we are all going with our suggestions.

Because frankly... that is exactly how I started... reading you fine folks' posts... following your links... reading every credible Hardware review page I could find...

But i could have simply asked what to build... either way... I saw enough of these posts over the last year to know I need not pose the question.

Slizide... all the suggestions here will be good ones... and if not... they will be flamed in 5 minutes.

Are you getting an idea?
December 23, 2006 1:43:41 PM

I meant no offence in my post to you, to be able to build a computer from scratch probably requires more common sense than anything else, if you have a high level of common sense you will more than likely be just fine with undertaking your own build.

My sig is a link to some build your own guides, I suggest you study the How Tos and see if building your own is the route you want to go, if the How Tos get the building excitement juices going then go for it, if they're completely confusing to you then maybe building your own isn't such a good idea, because if the simple step by step is too much, what do you do when you push the power button to boot the machine and nothing happens.

You'll be back here asking for Help!

I've been helping people here for years with their computer problems, but its a lot easier when a person understands the system, thats why I suggest studying thoroughly first.

The cheerleaders probably won't be around when you have serious trouble, because their builds may have gone flawlessly, and when they powered up everything worked just fine.

Think about that!

It doesn't always go that way!

What do you do then?

Building your own, there are good hardware suggestions in this thread, however even if you decide to build, I suggest waiting until Vista is released and build a couple of months after the release when DX10 video cards have dropped in price and Microsoft has had time to get the bugs out of Vista with Updates.

Even if you have no intentions of going Vista and staying the WinXP course for awhile, video card prices of present hot DX9 cards will drop in price, allowing you a better video card choice,[More for your money] and AMD prices will continue to drop even after Christmas, because of Intels lead advantage with the Core 2 Duos.

Bottomline if you want to build your own, study first from available How Tos, and research into the hardware for your own build, instead of taking someone elses choices, keep in mind a lot of suggestions are aimed toward the overclocking realm for the best performance with their suggestions, and you may have no intentions of O/Cing period, so take the time and educate yourself so you know whether the suggestions you're getting are good or not.
December 23, 2006 2:27:17 PM

I have to agree with 4ryan6. With Vista being released on January 30, 2007, building a PC is sort of pointless right now. Once DX10 is released and more DX10 GPU's being released, all current DX9 GPU's will drop in price. What is $300 now might be $200 or even lower by March.
December 23, 2006 2:57:27 PM

The advantage of using a vendor to build your computer, is that if something goes wrong, you can take it back and get it fixed under warrranty. If you build it yourself, you only bought a pile of parts and the vendor has no further responsibility, and it is up to you to identify the offending part, system or setup.

Luckily we have many large computer shops in our city which have very competative prices compared to online sellers. You select the parts and give them your OS and they will build it and set it up for $30 to $40 over parts cost. If it stops working, you can bring it in to their service dept. If a part breaks or you have a setup or OS problem, they can quickly analyze it and correct at no charge.

I know in the U.S. many consumers prefer the on-line brokers, but unfortunately you would have to ship your computer back and forth at additional cost, time and risk.

I have built my last few computers myself as I have been swapping and upgrading parts, etc. But if I were buying a new complete computer, it may be $40 well spent to have a pro, build it and set it up for you.
December 23, 2006 7:57:07 PM

Hey everyone, thanks for all of the responses! I definitely have a better feel for what I want to do. I'm actually not planning on buying anything until around June of next year, but I wanted to start looking into it now because I know if I decide to build a system I'm going to spend a lot of time researching everything..

I think I have enough computer knowledge and common sense to build a machine, and I think I would really enjoy building my own computer. I'm hesitant to try it though because I know it'll be very time consuming to research both the how-to and the type of parts I should get, since I'm fairly new to all of this. Also like a few of the posts said, there's a chance that it won't work after I put it together, which means even more research and/or money to get it fixed..

Anyways, (assuming that I decide to build) I think I'm set on getting a Core 2 Duo, at least 2 GB of ram and a large hard drive (400+ GB). That's about as far as I've made it in the decision process.. :)  But I don't know if I should get the E6300, E6400 or E6600. Would the E6400 or E6600 be worth the extra money? Or will the E6300 be good enough based on how I'll be using my computer? Also, I don't want to spend a lot of money on a video card that I'm not even going to utilize, and it seems like there's a million different types to choose from..

Well, I've still got about six months to decide, so that should give me enough time to study the how-to guides and try to pick out the parts that I want. If after six months I'm still overwhelmed by the idea of building a computer myself, I guess I'll give in and get an online or local vendor to build it for me. :) 
December 23, 2006 9:23:04 PM

Quote:

Also, I don't want to spend a lot of money on a video card that I'm not even going to utilize, and it seems like there's a million different types to choose from..



Got some news for ya... Video editing needs good graphics... I suggested a card that had 512mb of RAM... something you will be greatful for having when your system does not bogg down.

There are a few decent cards out there with 512mbs I just went with the best I could find to fit in your budget.
December 24, 2006 11:54:52 AM

Quote:
Got some news for ya... Video editing needs good graphics... I suggested a card that had 512mb of RAM... something you will be greatful for having when your system does not bogg down.

There are a few decent cards out there with 512mbs I just went with the best I could find to fit in your budget.


What the hell are you talking about?

Video editing does not really require a good graphics card. Certainly not 512MB of video RAM. Video editing performance is bound to the CPU. The only time I can think of when the GPU comes into play is when special effects are being used; such as some type of particle effect to transition from one scene to another.

A 7600GS with 256MB of RAM is good enough, hell it's more than enough for mere video editing.

Perhaps you confused video editing with 3D rendering. In the case of 3D rendering, you certainly need a power OpenGL video card to do rendering. A workstation class GPU is preferred over a normal gaming GPU.
December 24, 2006 12:17:01 PM

You are asking a group of people who build computers for a hobby whether you should build or buy. To get the whole answer you should ask Dell the same question.
December 24, 2006 2:23:16 PM

Quote:
You are asking a group of people who build computers for a hobby whether you should build or buy. To get the whole answer you should ask Dell the same question.
:trophy: Post of the day! :trophy:
December 24, 2006 4:08:06 PM

Newf you've been a member for 1 year (and one day now)! :mrgreen: :trophy:
December 24, 2006 4:29:31 PM

Quote:
Got some news for ya... Video editing needs good graphics... I suggested a card that had 512mb of RAM... something you will be greatful for having when your system does not bogg down.

There are a few decent cards out there with 512mbs I just went with the best I could find to fit in your budget.


What the hell are you talking about?

Video editing does not really require a good graphics card. Certainly not 512MB of video RAM. Video editing performance is bound to the CPU. The only time I can think of when the GPU comes into play is when special effects are being used; such as some type of particle effect to transition from one scene to another.

A 7600GS with 256MB of RAM is good enough, hell it's more than enough for mere video editing.

Perhaps you confused video editing with 3D rendering. In the case of 3D rendering, you certainly need a power OpenGL video card to do rendering. A workstation class GPU is preferred over a normal gaming GPU.

My apologies... yes 3D rendering with vertex shaders, texturing and AA was my thoughts... I shouldn't respond to posts after 2:00 in the morning :oops: 

As I do very little Video editing I will refrain from contributing to said topics in the future. :( 
December 24, 2006 5:45:51 PM

Thank you. :) 
December 24, 2006 6:57:13 PM

Quote:
haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....noob....

get a fire gl or quadro...what evr floats ur boat(ati or nvidia)


nah get a 7900 for some gaming and video editing thanx. gg

For video editing? I'd say a 7600. Light gaming shouldn't be a problem with that either. Or even like an x1600xt or something.

lewbaseball07: You've got OS X coming? Which version? I've got 10.4.8 and it works great... but there's some problems with the whole HSF+=>NTFS thing.
December 24, 2006 7:54:27 PM

I'd build. First of all its cheaper since you have to pay a company to build it. Some vendors will charge only $50 though for the build. But building yourself has certain advantages:

1) You get to choose exactly the brand and models of every single component.
2) You get all the manuals boxes, screws, accessories of every component.
3) You can do all the cabling and make it look good and practical.
4) You can use artic silver 5 or equivalent and scrape the pink pad off
5) You get the satisfaction of building it yourself
6) You get to partition the hard drives yourself to your liking
7) The list goes on and on and on.....

For video editing I'd consider the Intel processors. They seem to generally do better at video editing. You can try the Toms Hardware interactive CPU charts and compare AMD to Intel at video editing.

I'd go Abit motherboard. I lvoe Abit and I only suggest Abit.

2GB of RAM for sure.

You might want to sconsider one of those Fire GL or equivalent 3d cards designed for editing. I'm not sure if they would help at all for video editing though? Maybe onboard video would do just fine.

Get yourself a nice 21" or so widescreen LCD. 2 LCDs would be awesome for dual screen. Definitely the way to go for video and photo editing, HTML programming, etc....

you want as much hard drive space as you can get. Video editing will require tons for recording. You want to pick up the Seagate 750GB for sure. Seagate is the way to go. If you want to spend the money consider a SCSI solution or fibre channel or something like that. Business class hard drives.

Plextor SATA DVD-RW
!