Hi, I am new to the forums and have never really looked into building my own computer until recently. I have a laptop that I use for school and would like a desktop at home to put all of my useless non-sense, basically to keep my work separate from my games. Unfortunately, my desktop at home is more or less useless right now. It has an AMD Athlon XP1800+ 1.4ghz about 512mb memory and around 40gb HDD. All in all, its nothing special and it needs an upgrade or a completely new build.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as possible I suppose
BUDGET RANGE: I am hoping that what I want can be done with less than $600-$700 after tax/shipping
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: GAMING more or less(HoN, Borderlands, SFIV), and just overall smooth functionality
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, Speakers, Monitor
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Preferred something within Canada, but besides that no real preference
PARTS PREFERENCES: I was recommended by a friend to get an Asus P5E mobo and an Intel E8500 cpu, and other than that nothing specifically. I found OCZ PC3-10666 Platinum RAM - 4GB, 2x2GB, 1333MHz, DDR3, Low Voltage, Dual Channel for less than $100 so that seemed pretty reasonable.
OVERCLOCKING: MAYBE, not aware of the exact functions of this. Will it save me money and compensate for a lack of speed with a lower cpu?
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes / No / Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768 or 1280x1024
So here is my dilemma: I am not sure whether it is more cost efficient to buy a pre-built desktop, upgrade my current desktop(if it is possible based on how old the hardware is), or just build my own.
If I buy pre-built I can upgrade it from there in the future when I have the funds.
If I upgrade my own I will save time and money on new things I do not necessarily need.
(I don't think this is likely as my hardware is quite out of date. I searched for the Athlon XP1800+ on the forums and all of the posts were from 2001-2003)
If i build my own I can make sure it has potential for upgrades in the future, but I will need completely new parts, especially since the main function of it will be gaming. Also, i fear that I will be spending more this way as I am not sure if my monitor will be able to handle a new video card and such.
ALSO, my friends were suggesting I just buy a new laptop instead of a desktop.
Opinions of laptop vs. desktop ?
Thank you in advance ! and if I am being to vague please let me know what you guys need to know. All help is greatly appreciated !
1) Yes I would build from scratch. Store bought computers are knowen as 'dead end' builds - ie. they lack the ability to be upgraded substancialy. and yes, it would not be worth while upgrading your current computer, I am using a XP2800+ and it has finally started falling apart so I am building a new computer too.
2) Build a desktop, laptops are fine, but you cant beat the price/preformance/experience/cooling of a desktop computer.
3)See if your budget allows for either an Intel i5 setup with a 1156 socket Motherboard or else you cant really beat the price to preformance ratio of a highend AMD system. I have gone for a AM3 socket Phenom II system, should be good.
My budget is around $500-600 but if absolutely necessary then i can go to $700.
I was thinking of a motherboard that would allow me to upgrade when necessary.
I can start off with 2GB of ram and up to 3 or 4+ if i can afford to later on/need too.