Hi. I’m new to this board. I used to buy pre-built computers (Compusa, Gateway, etc.); however, I built the last two. My current computer is about three years old with a P4 3.4 Ghz processor, 1GB dual channel ram, 160GB Sata 1.5 HD, ATI9800AIW Pro video card.
I’ve been thinking about either building a new computer or buying something like a Dell (I can get an organizational discount and save quite a bit). However, I like the total customizability of doing it myself and I want excellent performance. I know Dell/Gateway used to take a lot of shortcuts and use a lot of proprietary, limited edition stuff.
The good thing about diy pc's is that you get to pick out the part that you like, not the parts that the manufacturer throws together.
Are you going to overclock the pc?
Regarding your selection:
Do you have a need for 2 PATA/IDE connectors? Since you're getting a new harddisk to replace the old, I suppose, your parts don't need 2 PATA/IDE connectors, except for the dvd burner which is probably PATA/IDE. I suggest you get a SATA dvd burner if you can for about the same price. The SATA data cable is thin & easy to plug in & unplug. Same for the SATA power cable.
If you don't need 2 PATA/IDE connectors, the best choice right now is P35 chipset. GA-P35-DS3L with no raid is a good start. Or DS3R with raid.
The rest looks good, other than the power supply. Get a Corsair 450W VX if you have no idea which one to get or one of these in tier 1/2 with about 500W:
So long as you have a 2nd pc to research any build issues (beep codes) I'd highly recommend building it yourself. The molex connectors make things easy and all you really have to watch for how you route your cables.
1: Don't forget to factor in the cost of the OS
2: The inclusion of the 56k modem scares me. Try to get it to a location that has some sorta high speed connection for your 1st run of updates, you're gonna need it.
3: If you're really in love with this case I'd replace the fans with a 120mm exhaust, 80/120mm front intake and 80mm side duct intake. They can still be all blue and shiny if you want but quieter fans are always better than the cheap loud ones that typically come with these cases. Up to you, I prefer Spire and Panaflo personally.
4: Same goes with the PSU, most OEM PSUs are cheap, loud and unstable. I've never had any issues with the Enermax Liberty line. At last count, I'm running 5 of them throughout the family and all run fine.
Thanks for the advice everyone. As I mentioned, I have built a couple of computers. The computer I’m currently using I built about three years ago. But now with all of the new technology such as the duo and quad core processors as well as PCI express slots, I thought I would get a second opinion on the potential setup I listed above. I especially appreciate the advice on the power supply and the case. I actually love my current case, but it’s not being sold anymore. So, I thought I might actually build the new computer in the old case and transfer the old computer into a new case. My major concerns included finding a nice motherboard for under $200, a nice case with side window, and a good reliable and adequate power supply.
I’m not a gamer, but I would like a decent video card without making the cost of the build too much. But in case I add a 32” LCD HDTV for a monitor, I want something that can drive it with no problem. I’ve also thought about buying something prebuilt. Years ago, prebuilt meant limited edition and proprietary parts which weren’t very upgradable. However, perhaps much of that has changed. Here’s a Dell system that I can buy at a great price through an organizational discount.
OptiPlex 745 Minitower Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor E6700 (2.66GHz, 4M, 1066MHz FSB)
Operating System(s) Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2, x32, with Media, English
Memory 2GB DDR2 Non-ECC SDRAM,800MHz, (2 DIMM)
Video Card 256MB ATI Radeon X1300PRO, Dual Monitor DVI or VGA (TV-out), FH
Keyboard Smart Card Reader USB Keyboard, Black
Mouse Dell USB 5-Button Premium Optical Mouse, Black
Boot Hard Drives 250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s and 8MB DataBurst Cache™
Floppy Drive and Media Card Reader Options 1.44MB 3.5 Inch Floppy Drive
Speakers Dell™ A225 Speakers, Black
Modem Dell V.92 PCI Data/Fax Controllerless Modem, full height
Removable Media Storage Devices 16X DVD+/-RW and 48X CD-ROM, SATA, Roxio Creator™CyberlinkPowerDVD™
Hardware Support Services 3 Year Limited Warranty plus 3 Year NBD On-Site Service
Monitors Dell 20 inch UltraSharp™ 2007FPW Widescreen, Adjustable Stand, VGA/DVI
That’s why I asked if I should buy a prebuilt Dell or Gateway, etc., or build it myself using the parts I listed above (with a few changes based on your suggestions). Thanks again for taking the time to read and respond.