Self-build home PC Beginner

Hello, I'm sure this is a pretty common request. I've heard that self-building is better than buying a pre-made PC. The problem is that other than cutting it on and off or getting online, I'm computer illiterate as far as what the parts are and what each part does, lol. I was thinking of usuing AVA Direct, but have heard they're not that good. I wanted to ask if there are any experts here that can recommend what brands/parts to buy and what's compatible. I don't care about a gaming PC, but I would like to edit videos/music. It would also be nice to watch videos online without freezing and burn CD's/DVD's quickly plus Lightscribe. I don't want it to be too expensive (no more than $600 US) or too noisy. I already have a new internal hard drive (Seagate 1TB 7200RPM) so I don't need that. I tried to use it on my present computer, but the PC is too old and slow and wouldn't accept it.
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  1. Hey musicfactory! You've come to the right place :D

    First off, can I ask you to fill in this form? It would be extremely useful for the both of us. I need in, you need help. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice

    Now that we have that out of the way, I'm going to give you a crash course on computing.

    CPU: The CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. Commonly referred to as Processor or CPU. This is one of the key elements in a computer. This is like an airport. It's the piece that routes the signals all over the computer!

    GPU: The GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit. Usually referred to as GPU or Graphics card. This is what tells which pixels to go where on screen. It's the second most instrumental piece in the computer. The GPU is usually an Add on card, but is sometimes built in to CPU or motherboard.

    Motherboard: This is the piece into which all the parts go into! it's the foundation for the computer. Usually referred to as Mobo or motherboard.

    RAM: Ram stand for Random Access Memory. It's kinda hard to explain, just know you need it :p Ram is referred to as ram.

    HDD: HDD stands for Hard Disc Drive. No need to explain this one. It's storage. Referred to as HDD or hard drive.

    PSU: PSU stands for Power Supply. It's like a factory to a company. It's an industrial piece that could care less about the fine tuned circuitry of the computer. It takes power from the wall and distributes it where it needs to go. Called PSU or power supply.

    And those are your essential components! Sorry if I went too basic, but I wanted to make sure you have a basic understanding.

    Anyway, fill the form, do a little research. I'll get back to you once we know more.

    PS Dont use AVA direct. Building yourself is cheaper/better/more fun.
  2. Thanks a lot for the info. I'll fill out the form as best as I can. If I think of something else, will add later. Thanks again for your help Striker.

    Approximate Purchase Date: (1-2 months from now)


    Budget Range: (No higher than $600 US) Before rebate.

    System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Internet, listening to music, burning CD/DVD/Lightscribe, mixing music, data storage, watching DVD/online video like Youtube, minor video editing)


    Parts Not Required: (speakers, hard drive, monitor, OS)


    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (whatever is recommended)


    Country of Origin: (United States)


    Parts Preferences: by brand or type (full tower, Lightscibe, corded keyboard & mouse, not wireless.)


    Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe (Unsure, but I will look up what this means.)


    SLI or Crossfire: No


    Monitor Resolution: (1024x768 for now, might buy another monitor in the future)


    Additional Comments: (I would like a quiet as possible PC. Also maybe a non-plain looking tower, but this is not totally necessary. Would like several USB inputs, and good sound quality.)
  3. Alright! Thanks for the info. Might I ask what your sound setup is? You may or may not require a sound card depending on what sort of outputs you need.

    But onto the build! I have concocted something that will easily fit into your budget, is pretty quiet, and has the sexy looks ;)

    CASE: Antec 300 Illusion $55 (or $70 if not on sale)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

    PSU: Antec Earthwatts 380w 80+ $40 (note you will need power cord.. Recycle from old PC or buy for like $3 at a walmart)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371033

    RAM: G.Skill 1333MHz 2x2GB $40
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231253

    CPU+mobo: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz dual core & Gigabyte H67M-D2 $209
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.660600

    DVD Burner: Sony Optaric DVD burner Lightscribe support $22
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118040

    And that's it! $404 :D You'll notice I didn't include a graphics card. This is because the i3-2100 has an onboard video chip which will be fine for your use.

    The PSU doesn't include a power cord, but I assume you have one from an old pc or monitor.

    I hope that helps to steer you in the right direction.

    Striker
  4. Hmm, seeing as he would like a very quiet PC, and the case may be at the $70 dollar mark when MusicFactory buys the equipment, would you say that throwing in an extra $20 wouldn't be a bad idea for a "Silent" case? It also looks quite "Schnazzy"

    White NZXT H2 or the Black?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146071
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146072
    ( Links listed respectively)

    Just basically a quick thought, what do you think?
  5. Ah nice to see you infidus! Glad we didn't scare you away :p
    And yes, excellent suggestion. I saw quiet as possible, but then I saw non-plain looking and my brain went ZOMG HE NEEDS MOAR LED'S!!!
    So yes, excellent suggestion. I think that case is a very nice one.
  6. Yeah, no possible way of scaring me away, you guys pretty much got all the parts for me! Just a quick question for you MusicFactory, do you by chance have a Microcenter store located near you? (Asking this question because the store often has unbeatable deals)
  7. striker410 said:
    Alright! Thanks for the info. Might I ask what your sound setup is? You may or may not require a sound card depending on what sort of outputs you need.

    I hope that helps to steer you in the right direction.

    Striker

    Thanks again. I have a basic 2 speaker stereo setup, but still would like extra inputs for headphones, maybe a musical keyboard, etc.
  8. MusicFactory01 said:
    Thanks again. I have a basic 2 speaker stereo setup, but still would like extra inputs for headphones, maybe a musical keyboard, etc.


    You should be fine regarding outputs for your headphones and speakers. You can connect your speakers to the back of the computer and your headphones in an output jack at the front since youll probably remove them quite often.

    A sound card is pretty advanced in terms of audio needs imo. Its like a video card except it does it for audio.

    If youre a casual music enthusiast, I dont see why you would need one.

    Im not very tech savvy tbh, but iirc, sound cards are really only necessary for people with really demanding audio needs like a multi-speaker setup with wtf amounts of surround. xD

    If youre just listening or editing music casually, I dont think you need a sound card.

    Ill see what the more experienced guys say.


    PS: You guys browsing this thread, help me with my computer too :P
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