Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Should I buy or build? Help Please.

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 22, 2010 3:43:06 AM

Hello all,

I have seen several posts all over Tomshardware and the web of individuals putting together or buying systems for $700, $800. My church is in need of some computer systems, and I hope I can get some guidance and assistance from site members.

I am trying to purchase a laptop and a desktop. I am trying to find a laptop which would be used for basic stuff, like Powerpoint, future use EasyWorship or other software to project lyrics, text over video, use to play DVDs without skipping or hicups. Would like to be able to do basic video, audio, photo editing without any errors or difficulties. Burn DVDs/CDs.

I am also looking to get a desktop. The plan is to record sermons using non HD cameras: 1 MiniDV JVC GR-D372U or I also have 2 SD Memory JVC Everio GZ-MS120. Lately I have been using the MiniDV camera. We also have an older Videonics Digital Video Mixer (MX-1 NTSC) which I would like to use to record different angles. I connected the 2 SD cameras to the mixer via RCA connection and connected the mixer to an older laptop using an Honestech VIDBOX USB2.0 VIDBOX MN and I thought we could do some nice things with this older tech if only we had a nice system.

I started looking at HP and DELL systems, and most recently ASUS and Sony systems from Fry's, and the web. I thought of building too, yet I have never built a system before. This system would be used to edit the video, audio, and photos. I am not a pro. Video editing has been done on MovieMaker, Nero video editor app, and when I had my IMAC G5 iSight before the logicboard died, iMovie. Some basic audio editing using Audacity, played around with Acid & Reason. Photo editing done on Gimp, worked on Photoshop and would like to buy it in the future.

Even though I am not a pro and the content that I am shooting is not high def, I would like to purchase systems that have the ability to be upgraded in the future. I was hoping for some guidance, some suggestions, recommendations on brands buy or build systems. Not sure if I should stay away from certain brands, certain components, etc.

I was asked by the church board, what a system would cost, and after doing a little research I thought a decent system would cost $1600. So our goal is $1600.

What are the chances that I could pull it off with this budget? Coul I get 2 nice systems for $1600? Do I need anymore info in order to get some help, please let me know and I'll try to answer. Thank you so much for your time and assistance.

/r
Tex

I am sure these types of questions are always asked, I am sorry if I posted in the wrong location.

More about : buy build

September 22, 2010 5:37:32 AM

Hello, I'm not too specced up on laptops but I can help with the desktop.

If you want the ability to upgrade then you should build it your self. You also get much better quality components, save money and learn how some computer stuff. Also if you build it you will know how to upgrade it when the time comes so you will not need to pay someone. It is not very difficult either.

For you needs I'd say a quad core Athlon II would serve your needs best. This has the ability to be upgraded to the 6 core Phenom IIs in the future if need be. I'm unsure how much HDD space you require and whether you need a monitor.

Here is the parts list:

AMD Athlon II X4 635 2.9GHz $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI 880GM-E43 $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin 1333MHz C9 4GB $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seasonic SS-500ES $53
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 300 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony DVD Burner $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $447

I'm not sure if you require an OS (Windows), monitor, keyboard and mouse. If so please say so. Also is 500GB enough HDD space? Note you can upgrade it at anytime in the future.

How does that look?
m
0
l
September 22, 2010 1:13:55 PM

In case, if you wanna reduce the price :
1. AMD X3 440
2. Antec 200
m
0
l
Related resources
September 22, 2010 9:21:35 PM

Wolygon said:
Hello, I'm not too specced up on laptops but I can help with the desktop.

If you want the ability to upgrade then you should build it your self. You also get much better quality components, save money and learn how some computer stuff. Also if you build it you will know how to upgrade it when the time comes so you will not need to pay someone. It is not very difficult either.

For you needs I'd say a quad core Athlon II would serve your needs best. This has the ability to be upgraded to the 6 core Phenom IIs in the future if need be. I'm unsure how much HDD space you require and whether you need a monitor.

Here is the parts list:

AMD Athlon II X4 635 2.9GHz $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI 880GM-E43 $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin 1333MHz C9 4GB $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seasonic SS-500ES $53
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 300 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony DVD Burner $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $447

I'm not sure if you require an OS (Windows), monitor, keyboard and mouse. If so please say so. Also is 500GB enough HDD space? Note you can upgrade it at anytime in the future.

How does that look?



Punkinator,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post. Thank you for your suggestions and assistance. Yeah I am looking for a system that will last us a good amount of time and that can be upgraded in the future. Not sure yet if I should buy prebuilt or build it. You suggest that I build it myself, which I am not against doing. I know a little about replacing some components but I have never built a system from scratch. Wow, that component list you suggested looks really interesting, I do recognize a couple of brands =). Thank you for putting that together. I did have a few concerns when I thought of buy or building, and it is concerning the processors. I have been told that AMD runs hotter than Intel. Not sure if this is just preferences or if that is actually factual. Any thoughts? Also, along the same lines a couple people have told me that Intel and Asus motherboards are the way to go, again not sure if this is always the case. I do like the idea of either pairing an Intel chip with a Intel motherboard or an Intel chip with a Asus board, do you think this is possible to do and still keep the price low? I was thinking I could use have of the budget on the desktop, which is $800 and then the other half on a nice laptop. Regarding what I do have versus what I have? I have a keyboard, mouse, crt monitor for now, a couple 320gb external drives, 1 250gb drive from my iMAC G5 iSight, I can buy the OS WinXp Pro, or Vista or Win7 if they would be better than XP. Thank you so much for all your assistance and your time.

/r

Tex
m
0
l
September 22, 2010 9:27:39 PM

guanyu210379 said:
In case, if you wanna reduce the price :
1. AMD X3 440
2. Antec 200


Hello guanyu210379,

Thank you for the suggestion. I love the idea of reducing price. However, I still want the system to have the power to handle what I will be throwing at it. What are the biggest differances between the AMD X3 440 and the AMD Athlon II X4? And same ? concerning the Case Antec 200 vs 300? Is it just price? Once gain thanks for your time and help, I really appreciate it.

/r

Tex
m
0
l
September 23, 2010 6:14:07 AM

Hello, glad you found that useful.

Intel Processors are not very good for upgradeablity. The Intel Processor you would be looking at is the i5 750, though this runs on the socket 1156, which will not be receiving any new processors so the biggest upgrade would be to a i7 860. Also you would have to purchase a graphics card as you cannot get IGP.

AMD is just as good as intel, they include a better cooler with the processors so I would expect them to run cooler then intels. AMD generally has much better value for money.

Asus boards are good but intel boards are not. Many people do not like intel boards as they are apparently bad quality. Msi, Asus, Gigabyte, EVGA, these are all excellent companies who make good motherboards.

Windows XP will be fine. Did you need a monitor? A $800 budget is a bit high for your needs, you can all ways upgrade it later on. You don't seem to require a bigger hard drive as you seem to have a lot of external storage, aye?

The AMD Athlon II X3 440 has one less core then the one I showed. It is strictly for reducing the budget if the price it too high, this is because it will lose you some performance. Though you probably won't use all the performance of the X4 it may allow you to wait a bit longer before an upgrade.

I believe that the 200 is an ugly case, the 300 is very nice looking and I think it will be best. Though again if you require a cheaper budget then you can look at something else.
m
0
l
September 23, 2010 9:50:57 AM

Texican74 said:
Hello guanyu210379,

Thank you for the suggestion. I love the idea of reducing price. However, I still want the system to have the power to handle what I will be throwing at it. What are the biggest differances between the AMD X3 440 and the AMD Athlon II X4? And same ? concerning the Case Antec 200 vs 300? Is it just price? Once gain thanks for your time and help, I really appreciate it.

/r

Tex

The biggest difference is :
X3 has only 3 cores activated by the time you buy it.
X4 has 4 cores activated from the beginning.

But you can try to unlock or to activate the fourth core of an X3, not guaranteed it will be sucessfull, but it worth to try.

Antec 200 is cheaper, somehow a bit smaller, and has somehow less performance in term of air circulation compared to 300.
But I don't see why you should need high performance case.
m
0
l
September 23, 2010 10:14:42 AM

Texican, your real problem is not whether to buy or build. It's not what to build. It is who is going to support the systems?

This is an enthusiast forum. Almost always, for anything but a low-end system, we are going to say, "BUILD." It's hard wired in us. :)  But for most of us, we are hobbyists and gamers and we built because we can.

There are people here (alas, I am not one of them :(  ) who are absolutely great at system configuration for any realistic budget.

But if you build it, in all likelihood, you will be stuck supporting the system. And it already sounds like you are wearing enough hats. Case in point: My brother-in-law has a one-man, internet based, graphics design business. He is chief cook, baker, bottle washer, and bookkeeper. He has told me that also serving as his own hardware support is not a productive use of his time.

You need to balance that against being able to find an off the shelf system that will do what you need at a price you are willing to pay.

Now, assuming that you decide to build ...

the_punkinator's recommendations are pretty good. However ...

I don't particularly care for MSI motherboards. I think Gigabyte and Asus build better motherboards. You need more permanent storage. Use a 500GB drive for OS and programs and a 1 TB drive for data. Optical: there's not much of a price difference, but I prefer Samsung. For OS, get an oem copy of Win7 when you buy your hardware. After all, your laptop will have Win7 installed.

For most of us living in the U. S., newegg is our vendor of choice.

Wolygon said:

... but intel boards are not. Many people do not like intel boards as they are apparently bad quality.

No. Intel builds good, solid, stable motherboards. We do not like them because they tend to be poor overclockers.
m
0
l
September 23, 2010 10:21:48 AM

If you like to spend time with the insides of a PC then you should definitely build...but if you prefer to spend your time doing something else then just buy...
m
0
l
September 24, 2010 6:54:22 PM

Wolygon said:
Hello, glad you found that useful.

Intel Processors are not very good for upgradeablity. The Intel Processor you would be looking at is the i5 750, though this runs on the socket 1156, which will not be receiving any new processors so the biggest upgrade would be to a i7 860. Also you would have to purchase a graphics card as you cannot get IGP.


*Tex* - Thanks punkinator, gosh you guys know a lot about this stuff =). I really appreciate your time and also the info you are sharing. so is the i5 the equal to the AMD Athlon II X4 or are they really different? I had planned to get a better video card since I want to do video editing so that's ok, I thought IGPs are not as good?


AMD is just as good as intel, they include a better cooler with the processors so I would expect them to run cooler then intels. AMD generally has much better value for money.


*Tex* - AMD & Intel processors are just as good, could we say that they are equal? Or is that pushing it? So AMD gives you a better bang for your buck.


Asus boards are good but intel boards are not. Many people do not like intel boards as they are apparently bad quality. Msi, Asus, Gigabyte, EVGA, these are all excellent companies who make good motherboards.

Windows XP will be fine. Did you need a monitor? A $800 budget is a bit high for your needs, you can all ways upgrade it later on. You don't seem to require a bigger hard drive as you seem to have a lot of external storage, aye?

*Tex* - I had thought of getting an Asus P6T Deluxe V2, along with the Intel Core i7 930 2.8GHz, would that be overkill? Is that like my entire $800 dollar budget =)? I have an older CRT monitor, I can wait to get us a better one later. Yeah, I do have extra storage that I have been using, they are my personal drives. Now you got me thinking that I should get 1 or 2 others for the church. That way I keep things separate.

The AMD Athlon II X3 440 has one less core then the one I showed. It is strictly for reducing the budget if the price it too high, this is because it will lose you some performance. Though you probably won't use all the performance of the X4 it may allow you to wait a bit longer before an upgrade.

I believe that the 200 is an ugly case, the 300 is very nice looking and I think it will be best. Though again if you require a cheaper budget then you can look at something else.

*Tex* - So the Athlon II X4 would be in the long run a better processor. I would not want to lose performance. It seems to me the 300 case would be a better. Thank you for clearing things up. Sorry to all if the way I replied sucks, I don't know how. I'll figure it out I guess.
m
0
l
September 24, 2010 7:10:49 PM

guanyu210379 said:
The biggest difference is :
X3 has only 3 cores activated by the time you buy it.
X4 has 4 cores activated from the beginning.

But you can try to unlock or to activate the fourth core of an X3, not guaranteed it will be sucessfull, but it worth to try.

Antec 200 is cheaper, somehow a bit smaller, and has somehow less performance in term of air circulation compared to 300.
But I don't see why you should need high performance case.


*Tex* -

Hi guanyu210379,

Thank you for your reply and your suggestions. I like the idea of the 4 cores, unlocking a 4th core on 3 core chip sound complicated, since I'm not an expert =). I told Punkinator that the 300 case would be a better buy. I will not be doing any gaming on the machine, but at some point, I hope to do a lot better video editing and work on better audio and photo edit too, so maybe a high performance case could come in handy. Thanks.
m
0
l
September 24, 2010 8:12:12 PM

jsc said:
Quote:
Texican, your real problem is not whether to buy or build. It's not what to build. It is who is going to support the systems?


Hello jsc, I appreciate your time and inputs, thank you. =) ha ha ha, I had thought about that too, I would be the one supporting the system.

Quote:
This is an enthusiast forum. Almost always, for anything but a low-end system, we are going to say, "BUILD." It's hard wired in us. :)  But for most of us, we are hobbyists and gamers and we built because we can.

There are people here (alas, I am not one of them :(  ) who are absolutely great at system configuration for any realistic budget.


Yeah I noticed that in most posts that I have seen the answer is to build it yourself or have someone build it for you. Which makes perfect sense if you are a video/photo pro or a big time gamer, you want the best of the best and building it from scratch will most likely give you the best. I noticed that in many of the posts I have read, including the guys that have helped me out here in my posting have lots of great suggestions and ideas, they are very helpful. I would not know what combination of processors go with what memory or what drives or motherboard, ha ha ha this guys know.

Quote:
But if you build it, in all likelihood, you will be stuck supporting the system. And it already sounds like you are wearing enough hats. Case in point: My brother-in-law has a one-man, internet based, graphics design business. He is chief cook, baker, bottle washer, and bookkeeper. He has told me that also serving as his own hardware support is not a productive use of his time.

You need to balance that against being able to find an off the shelf system that will do what you need at a price you are willing to pay.


Yeah like I said I had thought about that too, I would be the one working on it, not just editing the videos etc, but anything needs fixing or adjusting, then I would be the one. I know how to do a little maintenance on computers but nothing to in depth. I can replace some components and perhaps even upgrade parts, but not any of the configurations or major settings. You know jsc I had been thinking about buying an of the shelf PC, finding the right one is where I hit the wall. I mentioned this earlier on when I first made my first post or second one, that I had thought of getting a DELL or maybe a HP. I had also started looking at Asus and Sony systems within a decent price range. Yet I have had no luck. Not sure about the Samsungs, Toshibas, Acer, however, I have heard lots of negative things about Gateways. When I mention the Samsung, Toshiba, Acer systems I was considering them for a laptop system along with DELL, Asus, Sony & HP. However, I don't think or know that I could get the two systems, a laptop & desktop with the $1600 budget. If you have any suggestions that would be great. I'll keep looking in the meantime.

Quote:
Now, assuming that you decide to build ...

the_punkinator's recommendations are pretty good. However ...

I don't particularly care for MSI motherboards. I think Gigabyte and Asus build better motherboards. You need more permanent storage. Use a 500GB drive for OS and programs and a 1 TB drive for data. Optical: there's not much of a price difference, but I prefer Samsung. For OS, get an oem copy of Win7 when you buy your hardware. After all, your laptop will have Win7 installed.

For most of us living in the U. S., newegg is our vendor of choice.


Yeah, I don't know much about components however I was impressed with the list. I mentioned the Asus board to punkinator, I have seen good reviews on Gigabyte too. I mentioned that I had external drives, 320gb, but those are my personal drives, so I will need extra drives, I like the idea of getting a 500gb for OS and apps and another terabyte for for data, they are sort of cheap right? I will need a dvd burner since we want to burn the sermons onto discs and have them available. Actually I have a burner, it's external one, does that make a big difference, hmmm transfering to an external? I think I can get an OS and MS Office for a really cheap price. I'm not to worried about the software. Yeah, I have noticed that people like Newegg, how does that compare to Tigerdirect? Just preference I guess.

Quote:
No. Intel builds good, solid, stable motherboards. We do not like them because they tend to be poor overclockers.


Oh so gamers don't care for the Intel boards because they are not able to overclock them or cause too many problems, ok. Thanks for that insight. JSC, thank you so much for all the info and your time. If you have any recommendations on an off the shelf system I would appreciate it that, Thanks.

m
0
l
October 7, 2010 7:48:02 AM

Hello sorry for abandoning your thread. I didn't reply because I figured someone else could take over.

If your still here, post and I'll help you some more. :) 
m
0
l
!