APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week, thursday night when direct deposit goes in. BUDGET RANGE: 500-600
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (FFXIV Specfically), Watching Movies, Surfing the net
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: cyberpowerpc.com
PARTS PREFERENCES: From what little research i've done I would like to stick to AMD cpus for value and radeon gpus
OVERCLOCKING: no SLI OR CROSSFIRE: no
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Trying to get a new desktop to play FFXIV when it comes out. Currently my laptop melts at the thought of even running the benchmark. Looking to only spend about $600 else the wife kills me. Minimum specs as of beta: Windows XP/Vista/7, Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz or AMD Athlon X2 2GHz, 2GB of RAM, 15GB HDD space, NVIDIA GeForce 9600 512MB or ATI Radeon HD 2900 512MB and DirectX 9.
Any help building a system would be wonderful. Thank you.
Thank you very much, that is pretty much what I have tried to build on their website and came out a little over $600. Just reassures me that I was making decent choices on the gpu/cpu as I am terrified of trying to build my own computer and resorting to buying a pre-built. Any personal opinions on cyberpowerpc? I see a lot of good reviews but also a lot of bad.
Well, to keep their prices down they cut some pretty sharp corners. Their default PSU, for example, is crappy.
If you have even passable manual dexterity and can even recognize tools, you should be able to build a PC. There are a lot of online guides to it, including videos on YouTube. Most things only connect one way. Read through some of the guides and stickies on these forums, and maybe you'll decide to give it a shot. There are a lot of people on here who can help you too.
I have never owned a CyberpowerPC but have read good reviews and would go there if not building my own. However I did BYO about two years ago and second the the suggestion that you consider going that route.
BYO is really not that difficult - it is basically plug and play. Did you ever enjoy playing with Leggos, Lincoln Logs, or blocks? Building model airplanes, wood projects, or working on a car? If so you should be ready - its more about interest and attitude than apptitude -unless you are a real klutz.
If you are short on time or in a hurry, then perhaps buying a BBO - built by others- machine is the way to go. But if you treat it like a hobby and would find some satisfaction in doing it yourself - then it is worth the time invested. It will also pay considerable cash benefits - a little up front, but more so when you decide to upgrade in a few years and then only need to purchase a new mobo, CPU and memory for a major update.
Also note that parts selection is actually one of the most time consuming and difficult parts of BYO. Once you have that licked you are already over half way there.
As Jtt mentioned, there are a lot of good sources for info on the internet, including the videos on YouTube. In additon, you will find your mobo comes with a lot of instructions for installing it, the components connected to it, and the OS. Your case should come with instructions for installing items in it - such as PSU and DVD writer. I preferred the comfort of purchasing a book to take a more thorough approach and have suggestions for troubleshooting. You might want to go that route too, although I now see I also wasted a lot of time with it.
Here is a THG presentation that shows how easy building it - and a guide to the basic steps:
Be sure your PSU has enough voltage on the 12 volt rail.
If gaming I recommend at least 8/8/8 1600 mhz RAM.
For your resolution a 512mb Video Card should suffice.
I always use Sound Cards on my gaming builds.
In your budget range I think you should stick with the 1333 MHz memory and would not use a sound card - although consider adding one later as budget permits. Upfront I would spend the money on the graphics card before getting the sound card or faster memory.
What l4d meant was to be sure the PSU has enough amperage on the +12V rail. Of course, a cheap brand (like Raidmax, or Xion, Apevia, or Powmax...) may have a liar-label on it. Look for a PSU with full range active PFC (no little red voltage switch, unlike the base ones Cyberpower uses) and 80+ certification. For any single video card other than a high-end Fermi or HD5970, a quality 500W-550W PSU is sufficient. Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, and Enermax are among the better brands.