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No more builds for me.

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August 14, 2011 10:40:58 AM

In 2007 I built my own rig.
I spent almost $6k on all the parts, best of everything, supposedly...
After all the crap I've been through I'll never do it again.
So many claim you save so much money by building your own and that by purchasing high quality components you'll have a much better system.
Well I'm hear to say that it's all B/S. After spending all that money I had nothing but problems and no support, except for specific manufacturer support which leaves something to be desired.

Here's the system:
Case: Gigabyte Aurora 570
M-Board: EVGA nForce 680i SLI
CPU: Intel Core2 Extreme Quad Core QX6800
Memory: 4 GIG Corsair Dominator DDR2
Video: 2X EVGA GeForce 8800 Ultra (SLI)
H/D: 3X 150 GIG W/D Raptor
DVD burner: 1X Phillips Blu-Ray/1X Phillips DVD
CPU cooler: Ultra Ultra ChillTech
P/S: Ultra X3 1,000W

Like I said, I spared no expense.
I'm not going to go into all the ugly details but I've had nothing but problems since the build leaving a very bitter taste in my mouth. One really bad taste was when I had to RMA the motherboard and found out when I got it back that I had to buy another O/S because the one I had registered was for the bad M/Board and not transferable...

Since 2007 this rig has nickel and dimed me to death.

From now on I'm buying pre built systems and will add things like video cards, extra RAM, drives etc to suit my needs.
Mainstream system builders like Gateway and Dell put together matched systems and unlike so many haters say about how horrible their parts are, they aren't bad and all the systems I purchased in the past performed perfectly and I've owned a few over the years like Sony, Dell and Gateway.

I know everyone will nail my butt to the wall on here but all I can say is I didn't save money, I didn't get the performance and all I got was a migraine from it all and an empty wallet.

Anyone looking into their first build, don't do it!
Go buy a decent PC from a respected manufacturer and then purchase upgrades that you really want, you'll thank me in the end, especially when you have problems and only have to make one phone call to the Co who built your system and not have to call multiple manufacturers to get help.

Home built systems are for tinkerers, not for people who just want their system to work.
I'm not trying to diss home builders and over clockers, just let people who've never done it before be forewarned that building your own isn't for everyone.

Just had to vent, don't take it personal... ;O)

More about : builds

August 14, 2011 10:46:30 AM

P.S. anyone needing parts? I'm parting out my old rig.
I figure the 2 nVidia 8800 Ultras should still be worth $50. After all, I only paid $700 a piece for them, LOL!
Related resources
August 14, 2011 10:47:39 AM

joeman42_43 said:
u mad bra?


Not mad, just bitter, very bitter, LOL!
August 14, 2011 10:55:32 AM

kentuckyranger said:
One really bad taste was when I had to RMA the motherboard and found out when I got it back that I had to buy another O/S because the one I had registered was for the bad M/Board and not transferable...


If you're talking about Windows 7, I had no problem activating it on a completely new build (not a single recycled part). If you're talking about vista, hell, add it to the list of grievances for that piece of ***. Nonetheless, you should call Microsoft and get this issue solved, afaik you are allowed to transfer the license to a new pc as long as the old one is dead. Double ditto for a motherboard replacement.

kentuckyranger said:

Mainstream system builders like Gateway and Dell put together matched systems and unlike so many haters say about how horrible their parts are, they aren't bad and all the systems I purchased in the past performed perfectly and I've owned a few over the years like Sony, Dell and Gateway.


Ummm, no. Even boutique builders like Alienware (now that they're owned by Dell) use less-than-ideal parts whenever they get a chance to cut costs.

From the Falcon Northwest website:
Quote:
No "watered down" hardware - Some big PC manufacturers use "watered down" versions of the name-brand components you want. For instance, a special version of a motherboard or graphics card that cuts a few corners to save them a few bucks. You'll pay for these later in missing features, slower performance and lack of upgradeability. Beware, many of these look similar to the good stuff. Be sure to check model #'s of the hardware you want.
August 14, 2011 11:16:47 AM

Yes, it was Vista...
As for "Watered down versions" I guess you could use that argument and I won't argue the point. Yes, you won't be able to do as much, but you can upgrade the system with better parts i.e. GPU's RAM etc once you get the system, that's why I never get the upgraded stuff like CPU, GPU, RAM etc. Well, I do get the RAM upgrade because I figure it's all matched when the system is specked out by the manufacturer of the PC.

I did have fun building my own, until I had so many problems getting it to run and yes, I blame allot on Win Vista.
But allot had to do with the M/Board, it was a POS from the get go.
I hope nVidia has improved their QC because the 680i M/Board was junk.

I might build again, but I'll never build another like the first, it really was overkill and I never got close to the benchmarks I should have, I guess because of Win Vista and a crappy M/Board.
August 14, 2011 11:39:36 AM

yer most of your parts seem like that they would be fine and then it comes to the nvidia mb ive never like their motherboards and as for win vista it should have never been brought out. dont let this put you off though im sure you can build a computer quite easy it was just bad parts that let you down.
August 14, 2011 12:25:42 PM

start fresh and small. get win 7 home, you can pick up C2duo's/quads for £30/£130 quid these days..thats...im guessing around $60/$240 ish? (cant convert in my head) find a DDR3 skt LGA775 mobo for the cpu, DDR3 ram and a GTX260/290... Im building a budget pc for my GF, i have a 30quid gygabyte board, 2.5ghz duel core cerleon and 2gb ddr 800mhz ram and an 8800GT(which i bought for my self a few years ago, since upgraded to a GTS250) with that set up, i can OC the cpu to about 3ghz. It wont be a crysis killer but itl run casual games, some APB, a few lego games, borderlands and such at a nice 25fps plus. Yes its out dated, but my GF isnt a hard core gamer soe she doesnt need all the newest and shiniest stuff about.

as for me, im thinking of upgrading my C2Q 2.3ghz (OCed to 2.81 with a pre set), asus p5kpl, 4gb ddr 2 ram and windows XP pro to an i5 2300, a Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 and 8gb of G.skill Ripjaws + windows 7 64bit

i didnt think till after i had ordered her new bits that if i go ahead with mine, i could have saved my self £90/100 and just given her my old stuff =D. Such is life.


if you do decide to get back into building, start small and cheap, work your way up and best of luck to ya.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 14, 2011 5:54:04 PM

Ya bra, enthusiast and bench markers make the market unpalatable for us casual users, to the point where you have to fork out unnecessary extra to make the i5/i7 run well. The pinnacle of fail is when the average Joe somebody rocks up to a LAN party with his rather naive i3 build, and gets similar performance to another somebody's $2000 build.

To invest much more than $1000 on a build is a pathetic investment, when the quest for performance leaves one wondering why the budget builders get very good levels on a fraction of the cost.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 14, 2011 5:59:35 PM

n00b.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 14, 2011 6:02:25 PM

Sounds like bad luck + doing it wrong. Building a system is still the way to go.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 14, 2011 6:09:53 PM

+1^ , just buy more intelligently next time.
August 14, 2011 7:10:27 PM

Building a rig by yourself is quite an undertaking, especially if it is your first time. I think the general guideline is to start with cheaper builds (for around $500) then work your way up to the more expensive builds as you gain more experience. It is situation like yours that can leave an extremely bitter taste in your mouth.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
August 14, 2011 7:12:21 PM

Really, your system is a nightmare in retrospect. I can't fault you or your advisers though.

We here on this forum have progressed over the last three or four years. More is known about what makes a good build and there is more help in choosing and building your own rig.

So, let me pick it apart a bit.

EVGA nForce 680i SLI
The NVidia chipsets ran HOT and were prone to issues. We stopped recommending them about 3 years ago. SLI was just a bad idea for this reason for a period of a year or so, until the Intel chipsets started supporting SLI.

2X EVGA GeForce 8800 Ultra (SLI)
A couple hot cards... I bet they were jammed together on that board also. Not very many cards from the 8800 series left around these days... they have been surpassed quickly and most have burned out. Still, they were great performers at the time.

Ultra X3 1,000W
Got at least one good review. Ultra fell from favor due to some shady practices including deliberately mislabeling lower wattage units as higher wattage units. I wouldn't trust one these days.

Generally a good system now shouldn't cost more than about $2K, and can be done for less. A good chunk of that should go into a PSU and case that can be used in the next build.
August 14, 2011 7:29:44 PM

kentuckyranger said:
In 2007 I built my own rig.
I spent almost $6k on all the parts, best of everything, supposedly...
After all the crap I've been through I'll never do it again.
So many claim you save so much money by building your own and that by purchasing high quality components you'll have a much better system.
Well I'm hear to say that it's all B/S. After spending all that money I had nothing but problems and no support, except for specific manufacturer support which leaves something to be desired.

Here's the system:
Case: Gigabyte Aurora 570
M-Board: EVGA nForce 680i SLI
CPU: Intel Core2 Extreme Quad Core QX6800
Memory: 4 GIG Corsair Dominator DDR2
Video: 2X EVGA GeForce 8800 Ultra (SLI)
H/D: 3X 150 GIG W/D Raptor
DVD burner: 1X Phillips Blu-Ray/1X Phillips DVD
CPU cooler: Ultra Ultra ChillTech
P/S: Ultra X3 1,000W

Like I said, I spared no expense.
I'm not going to go into all the ugly details but I've had nothing but problems since the build leaving a very bitter taste in my mouth. One really bad taste was when I had to RMA the motherboard and found out when I got it back that I had to buy another O/S because the one I had registered was for the bad M/Board and not transferable...

Since 2007 this rig has nickel and dimed me to death.

From now on I'm buying pre built systems and will add things like video cards, extra RAM, drives etc to suit my needs.
Mainstream system builders like Gateway and Dell put together matched systems and unlike so many haters say about how horrible their parts are, they aren't bad and all the systems I purchased in the past performed perfectly and I've owned a few over the years like Sony, Dell and Gateway.

I know everyone will nail my butt to the wall on here but all I can say is I didn't save money, I didn't get the performance and all I got was a migraine from it all and an empty wallet.

Anyone looking into their first build, don't do it!
Go buy a decent PC from a respected manufacturer and then purchase upgrades that you really want, you'll thank me in the end, especially when you have problems and only have to make one phone call to the Co who built your system and not have to call multiple manufacturers to get help.

Home built systems are for tinkerers, not for people who just want their system to work.
I'm not trying to diss home builders and over clockers, just let people who've never done it before be forewarned that building your own isn't for everyone.

Just had to vent, don't take it personal... ;O)


Many people build systems based solely on performance and that is just plain stupid. Reliability should be factored over performance 100% of the time. I fear for the new builders here who listen to some of the "recommenders" here telling new builders to buy video cards which run super hot and super loud, ssds which outperform other ssds on the market but have numerous consumer complaints and driver problems (yes I'm talking to you if you have ever recommended OCZ).

People should read reviews, consumer opinion, and then still be cautious when buying parts. "recommenders" should read reviews, consumer opinions before recommending any part(s) to someone.


August 14, 2011 7:58:05 PM

Intel "Extreme" CPUs? Top-of-the-line graphics?

That's like getting an i7-990X paired with SLI GTX 590s/HD6990s on a ROG board... NOT NEEDED AT ALL. i7-2600K with GTX 560 Ti on any good P67 mobo will do the trick.

In other words, you've wasted a lot of money on overkill parts and now you regret it and try to convince others to stay away from building..

...well, that's why there's Tom's. People come here looking for someone to help them figure out their build.

I've built my first rig this year, before I was only working with outdated laptops. However, I was always messing around with desktops when I had the chance and a year before I built my rig, my friend asked me to help him choose a gaming laptop, and I've learned a LOT while helping him. Shortly after, I started picking parts for my own build, and the only thing that stopped me from getting it was Sandy Bridge and new GTX500 series cards. Once they became available, I re-thought my build and bought it, and it's great. The only mistake I've made was the CPU - looks like it's too powerful, but that'll only come in handy in the future.

TL;DR version: just about anyone can learn about how to build a decent PC with minimum errors.

So, for their own sake, I hope that no one listens to you and stops building. No offense. Don't build an overkill system, NEVER rush the purchase (aka "BUYING TOMORROW, NEED ADVICE!!!!!111", like some people do on the forums) and always look for reviews and advice, and you'll be fine.

Second that opinion about 8800s... hot and noisy. Just got a burned out one from my friend: it burned the same way most of them did - by default, the fan runs only @ 30%, so Far Cry 2 finally killed it. And you'd never think it's on 30%, because it's LOUD. Card works, but nothing except 1024x768 and artifacts all over the screen... I wonder if it'll still work as a PhysX processor =)

That's a good example of faulty equipment. If my friend would've read about the 8800 and its fan danger, it would've lived.

So every PC builder should read about his parts, whether you're planning to buy them or already have them running.

That said... all this cost $6K back then? That's a LOT.

Don't get me wrong, it IS sad that your build failed and I'm not being sarcastic or offensive... but don't you DARE say that ready-made PCs are the way to go. They're overpriced poorly balanced pieces of junk. I've seen too many Dells and HPs with i7s and i5s stuffed on a crappy board with locked BIOS and a lame entry-level GPU in a boring low-grade case for about $1000 to believe that's true. Don't make your failure delude anyone.

BTW, calling tech support is LAME... I once called Dell to find out whether an Alienware I was considering has an onboard RAID controller and they were taking a long time to find out that info for me, and you know what that clerk said in the end?

"Oh, controller? You mean, a *joystick*?"

THAT was a moment which I can safely describe as choking me with laughter. Still think "calling to the Co who built your system" is useful?
August 14, 2011 8:03:18 PM

It took you 4 years to vent? Is the timing because you are ready for a new PC? There is always a certain percentage of people that experience migraines with prebuilt PCs. There's no guarantee that buying one, instead of building one yourself, will be problem free.

The others (above) have pointed out that there is more good info today for building one yourself, and you can still save a lot of money doing it for a gaming build.

I built a new PC in November and bought most of the parts at my local Fry's. I was planning on only getting the motherboard there (and pay for the extended warranty), since it is the most likely component to have a problem, but their prices for many other parts matched NewEgg's prices. I researched every part and it all worked from the first boot on.

So, regardless of whether you get a prebuilt or build yourself, you gotta consider the problem of buying locally or having to deal with shipping if something goes wrong. With prebuilt's you either gotta figure out what part is the problem and ship that back or ship the entire PC.

I would recommend a prebuilt only for noobs that don't know how to assemble a computer.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2011 6:46:23 AM

I regard myself as a step upgrader, I am not a hardcore gamer so for me I never buy high end GPU's for the reasons that 1] Very expensive for not much benefit, 2] Energy and heat a) Need a big expensive PSU b) High amp drains and heat. 3] GPU's are not good future proof components, a GTX 590 in 2 years will be more than likely off the market.

I buy the main essentials first, then have expansion in the future for more RAM, possibly a CPU change and of coarse a GPU change for another mid-high card in the future. Right now, all I want for christmas is a SSD.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2011 6:53:57 AM

I lololololololol'd when I read this. I built my build 2 years after your first. My 955+790FX-GD70+CMV8+CoolerMasterSilentPro700w+300GBVelociraptor(worse part of the build I was ignorant)+Antec 902+Patriot AMD G-series DDR3 1333 4GB+5850 OC'd to 1000/1200

Best thing ever. No problems at all and running Win7 silky smooth. Edits photos like a charm, places BC2 at max on 1680x1050. I think sir. You are just unlucky and just selected bad parts. Proximon pointed out your flaws quite well.
August 15, 2011 7:49:44 PM

First off I'm not a Noob.
I've built allot of smaller systems for friends, this was my first big build for myself.
I researched parts for over 3 months before buying. It was after the fact that all the problems came out about the M/Board and it was while I was in the middle of having problems of my own.

My argument is that when building new systems, like if I was to put one together today, you can read all you want but if it's a bad product you won't know until it's too late and you've spent the money.

When you buy from a reputable Co and things don't work you have so may avenues to get things right that you just can't get through separate manufacturers.
I have a friend who purchased a Gateway and had problems with it.
When it was all said and done, Gateway sent her a new PC.

Granted, smaller systems work better because the parts aren't as new and have a track record. But when you start building big rigs most parts are very new and there's that scary limited knowledge risk you take when purchasing those high end parts.

When I built my system I went with what I'd read and yes, I made some wrong decisions. My biggest problem is that after you buy you're stuck with it, Co's will only replace, they never refund. So, if you get stuck with a sub par item, you're stuck, unless you want to spend more money an something else and eat the sub par parts cost.

When you buy a Co built system you only have to deal with the Co that sold you the computer which really is a relief when things go bad.

I jumped the gun when I said I'd never build again, I would, but only small systems with parts that have a solid track record.

As to my 8800 Ultras, they where obsolete 2 months after I purchased them, so goes computer technology, LOL!

The big punch line to my build is I was going for a future proof build, LMAO!
I think what my biggest problem has been is dealing with my F/U M/Board, it never worked right from the start, I knew I should have went with the Asus PN 32-E SLI, it was my second choice, LOL!.

As for my hot case, it's never been an issue because I used the ventilated window instead of the plexiglass. I knew right from the start that if I used it with the 2 8800's I could have grilled hamburgers on the top of the case.
I also modded the case and added a fan that took the heat from the GPU's right out the back of the case so heat was never an issue.
The biggest problem was the M/Board which now I can't get a replacement that is very good as for performance. In fact, I think that the ones available now don't support SLI anymore so, so much for the 2 GPU's.

I'm going to keep looking and maybe someone knows where I can find one with SLI support and an LGA775 socket.
If I get a new M/Board I'll need to get new RAM and a new CPU, I can still use the 8800's because they still work fine, but I also know that a $200 nVida card will blow away both 8800's together.

I think my biggest problem was timing. Why? because only 3 months after my build, everything changed, like computers often do.
But if I had waited I could have got a system that cost less and lasted longer before becoming obsolete.

Will I ever build again? Most likely yes.
Will I ever build a monster rig again? It depends...

All I know is that if you're a casual user looking to save money, make sure you know what you're getting into before you start buying parts over selecting a pre built system. One rule you need to know before you build yourself is that when things go wrong you're on your own, other than manufacturer warranties.
If you're going it on your own you need to understand at least the basics of what makes a computer run.

Home builds are great, just make sure you know what you're doing before making the leap.
Otherwise, you'll be much happier just buying pre builts because there's always some tweaking when building your own and if you don't know what you're doing you'll soon drown in all the technical aspects surrounding computers and what makes them work.

Thank God for sites like this, but without basic knowledge you'll need a big bottle of Tylenol... ;O)
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2011 8:44:07 PM

surely the lesson is "DONT SPEND 6K ON A COMPUTER"

after the first 1k performance gain per dollar is woeful and gets progressively worse

and to add insult to injury, no matter how much you spend it will be old junk in a year ....or less
a b B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2011 10:01:34 PM

speaking as someone who has not bought a prebuilt computer since the end of the 1980s, I can only say I'm sorry you had such a bad experience.

I personally NEVER build a system with a time horizon past 2 years, though I'll stretch to 3 sometimes.

building your own is just better. In my sig, I have the latest build for myself, which cost $600, plus windows (and reusing my old monitor and keyboard). It is a POWERHOUSE in every game I throw at it... 62 FPS in APB, 59 FPS in Dragon Age II, 48 FPS in Second Life, 240 FPS in DC Universe Online, 65 FPS in Duke Nukem 4Ever, 48 FPS in 8-man teams in COX, 150 FPS in LOTRO, all at the highest quality levels.

Why would I need more than my $600 PC for anything?
August 15, 2011 10:38:48 PM

Very good points and it also reflects that it was the wrong time to build such a rig.
At the time I built it, products where on the edge and very expensive.
Now days, I could build the same rig for about $2k.

I know that there are many items still very high, but the big problem is that there's no real reason for such parts.
It's like the i7 processors, I can't see the $999.00 price because the lesser CPU's are so close , especially if you do a meager O/C.
Also, I can get away with only one GPU for less than $300 with enough power to run anything without worrying about SLI.
I use photoshop CS5 allot which uses GPU resources, only problem, it only uses the primary GPU in an SLI configuration so the second card is a moot point.

Like I said before, my timing couldn't have been worse when I built my old rig.

Also, after trying to build a time proof rig I found out real quick that there is no such thing.

The bottom line with my old build had everything to do with the M/Board, it really sucked. The chipset was crap, the SATA controllers where even worse and overall it was just a bad board all together.

If I had waited about 4 months the build would have went very different.
When I decide to build again I'll be looking for items with more of a track record instead of new shinny stuff.

I did go overboard and pissed away my money, I know that in hindsight but hey, it looked good when I built it, LOL!

I'm not saying don't build yourself, just keep in mind what you're getting into before you take that leap because you'll get in over your head before you blink your eyes.
Being computer savvy and the headaches I went through,I'd hate to see what someone just looking into building their own with limited knowledge would go through.

Building your own PC is fun I have to admit, it's like building a kit plane, just make sure you know what you're getting into.
I knew what I was getting into, I just got real disappointed when the hardware didn't live up to the hype.

Y'all have to admit that in the last year things have slowed down a bit and it's allot easier to get hardware with a track record then it was in 2007.

I shouldn't have said run away from building your own because it's still fun to do, even more than it was then.
It's just that when things go wrong and you get stuck with crap there's not much you can do because all the manufacturer will do is send you some new crap to replace the crap you already wasted your money on.

I'd say that the most important things you must look at before building is the M/Board and power supply.
You get that right then the rest is a cake walk, as long as you make sure the RAM and CPU are compatible.
I just wish I could still use my old CPU because it was a screamer and far ahead of it's time.
August 16, 2011 12:06:42 AM

kentuckyranger said:
First off I'm not a Noob.
I've built allot of smaller systems for friends, this was my first big build for myself.
I researched parts for over 3 months before buying. It was after the fact that all the problems came out about the M/Board and it was while I was in the middle of having problems of my own.

My argument is that when building new systems, like if I was to put one together today, you can read all you want but if it's a bad product you won't know until it's too late and you've spent the money.

When you buy from a reputable Co and things don't work you have so may avenues to get things right that you just can't get through separate manufacturers.
I have a friend who purchased a Gateway and had problems with it.
When it was all said and done, Gateway sent her a new PC.

Granted, smaller systems work better because the parts aren't as new and have a track record. But when you start building big rigs most parts are very new and there's that scary limited knowledge risk you take when purchasing those high end parts.

When I built my system I went with what I'd read and yes, I made some wrong decisions. My biggest problem is that after you buy you're stuck with it, Co's will only replace, they never refund. So, if you get stuck with a sub par item, you're stuck, unless you want to spend more money an something else and eat the sub par parts cost.

When you buy a Co built system you only have to deal with the Co that sold you the computer which really is a relief when things go bad.

I jumped the gun when I said I'd never build again, I would, but only small systems with parts that have a solid track record.

As to my 8800 Ultras, they where obsolete 2 months after I purchased them, so goes computer technology, LOL!

The big punch line to my build is I was going for a future proof build, LMAO!
I think what my biggest problem has been is dealing with my F/U M/Board, it never worked right from the start, I knew I should have went with the Asus PN 32-E SLI, it was my second choice, LOL!.

As for my hot case, it's never been an issue because I used the ventilated window instead of the plexiglass. I knew right from the start that if I used it with the 2 8800's I could have grilled hamburgers on the top of the case.
I also modded the case and added a fan that took the heat from the GPU's right out the back of the case so heat was never an issue.
The biggest problem was the M/Board which now I can't get a replacement that is very good as for performance. In fact, I think that the ones available now don't support SLI anymore so, so much for the 2 GPU's.

I'm going to keep looking and maybe someone knows where I can find one with SLI support and an LGA775 socket.
If I get a new M/Board I'll need to get new RAM and a new CPU, I can still use the 8800's because they still work fine, but I also know that a $200 nVida card will blow away both 8800's together.

I think my biggest problem was timing. Why? because only 3 months after my build, everything changed, like computers often do.
But if I had waited I could have got a system that cost less and lasted longer before becoming obsolete.

Will I ever build again? Most likely yes.
Will I ever build a monster rig again? It depends...

All I know is that if you're a casual user looking to save money, make sure you know what you're getting into before you start buying parts over selecting a pre built system. One rule you need to know before you build yourself is that when things go wrong you're on your own, other than manufacturer warranties.
If you're going it on your own you need to understand at least the basics of what makes a computer run.

Home builds are great, just make sure you know what you're doing before making the leap.
Otherwise, you'll be much happier just buying pre builts because there's always some tweaking when building your own and if you don't know what you're doing you'll soon drown in all the technical aspects surrounding computers and what makes them work.

Thank God for sites like this, but without basic knowledge you'll need a big bottle of Tylenol... ;O)


The #1 way to lose money is to somehow try and maintain different components of your system (besides PSU). I don't want to sound harsh but if you want to do any gaming with any recent games, the first thing you have to do is trash your WHOLE system. Buying component parts to maintain a LGA 775 socket or those ultras is foolish and ultimately will cost you money.

Save, save, save, and then upgrade.

People have these attachments to their first major builds like its their first son....at the end of the day, it's a piece of hardware that will become obsolete with the only suitable destination being a trash bin.

I see people holding on to their first oldsmobile car and replace every single major part which adds up to the price of a new car....but at the end of the day, they are still stuck with their 1990 oldsmobile with a new engine, new brakes, new transmission, new etc.

It's really ridiculous.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 16, 2011 8:50:17 AM

I don't get how buying a prebuilt pc solves the issue of being stuck with bad parts? If you buy a motherboard with a 3 year warranty (longer than most prebuilts have), get a replacement, but want to get a different motherboard...you sell the warranty replacement and take a minor loss. If you buy a prebuilt, you will only ever get parts that work with your specific model replaced under the 1 year warranty. It's not as easy to find new parts because they're all proprietary, and sending it in for repair means you're out of a computer for much longer than it takes to make a trip to microcenter.

I like that you have stepped back from the "no more builds for me" stance of the title, but these justifications for going prebuilt instead are weak.
August 16, 2011 6:32:14 PM

I predict that kentuckyranger will be building his next computer. Just like me, and many others, he will look at Dell's (and Alienware's) gaming builds and scoff at the limited choices and prices. Then he will check out the boutique builders, like CyberPowerPC and IBuyPower, and realize he can save $300 by building it himself.

The basic human needs for control and saving money will take over. And hopefully, he will select affordable components instead of splurging on the fastest ones that offer that extra 5% speed for hundreds more.
August 16, 2011 8:23:14 PM

Dang you DX!
You're most likely right. Like I said before, the parts out now have been out for a little while and have some sort of track record.

My next build will be better because the parts I'm looking at now have been around long enough that I can make a better decision based on how those parts are working.
Not to mention parts are allot less expensive than when I built my rig in 07.
I was riding the top of the new tech wave and Co's where naming their price for the new stuff.

It's funny you mention looking at Dell and Gateway, I did look into them, I didn't like what I saw, LOL!
Heck, you can't even spec out a Gateway anymore, you have to pick what they got and that's it, stupid move on their part.

We'll see how it goes...
In the mean time I flashed my BIOS and got my system back up and running for a little while.
It'll give me time to save all my photo work before it crashes again.

This time I might stay away from nVidia M/Boards, it depends on how good they are now...

Building isn't for everyone, but it is fun... ;O)
a b B Homebuilt system
August 16, 2011 8:46:05 PM

NVidia is entirely out of the motherboard business now, except Tegra-based tablets.

My suggestion is lay out a budget, Peopl here can help you from as little as $300 up to ridiculously expensive builds ($5000 render stations, for instance). but for a standard home PC with gaming and such, $600-1000 tops is where you shoudl aim.
July 5, 2012 1:04:08 AM

kentuckyranger said:
In 2007 I built my own rig.
I spent almost $6k on all the parts, best of everything, supposedly...
After all the crap I've been through I'll never do it again.


I won't criticize/critique your post/build in detail, but I will point out things to do or avoid when building a system, since I've literally built hundreds of systems at this point (I'm 42 years old, and I started building PCs in 1992).

First, I almost always buy parts from a trusted, local PC store, rather than online. Why? Because you can return/exchange parts that are defective right away for no cost. That $10-$20 you're saving online gets eaten up by shipping, especially if you have to pay to ship a defective part back. Also, troubleshooting defective hardware can be time consuming, as it sometimes requires trial and error, and a two-week turn around time for shipping, and then shipping a part back is just way too long. I once had to buy and exchange 3 Asus motherboards in a row because they were all part of a bad batch. Because I bought them at a local computer store, I was able to test and return all three of them the same day, with no money out of pocket for shipping!

2) Set your budget for EACH component and stick to it! Remember that building/upgrading your own computer is a marathon, not a sprint. No matter how great any component on the market is, it will be 2 generations old within about 2 years. So you don't want to over-pay for negligable increase in performance for any part of your system. For example, I used to have a ceilng of $300 for a CPU, and $300 for a graphics card. I would not spend any more than that (before tax). Nowadays, considering the very much diminished extra gaming performance you get by spending more than $300 on a CPU, I still stick to that budget limit for CPUs, however, GPUs have become both more important to the overall performance equation in the last few years, and also seem to require a budget closer to $400 for the best bang for the buck. We'll probably see the bang-for-the buck point fall back down towards the $300 mark once nVidia releases GTX660-class chips, but the point is, set your budget for every basic component and really try to stick to it. That way, you'll be putting money as efficiently as possible to work for real, noticeable gaming performance.

3) Once I've found the best bang-for-the-buck basic model of a component, I do a 'sanity check' for relative value vs. the rest of the system. For example, you can get a really awesome 1.2 kilawatt power supply for $300, but if your power requirements top out below 750watts max, even with 2 graphics cards in crossfire/SLI, and you can get a good quality 750TX Corsair power supply for $110, what's the point of spending that extra $190? That's $190 you could have put towards a better graphics card or CPU or more ram, etc.

4) Read several reviews (if possible) for the part you're looking to get before you finally decide to buy it. I read 10-15 reviews of a basic model of graphics card, (GTX670, for example) so I can see what the strengths and weaknesses of different manufacturer's versions. I now value quiet very highly in a graphics card, so I will pay more for the better custom cooler (Gigabyte Windforce/Asus Direct CUII over stock/loud fan coolers).

5) Read several different forums to see if people are happy/unhappy with their product, and never go by just one person's comments. 1 person could have gotten a defective one, but 6 people saying the product sucks is usually a decent sample to operate by.

6) Best of luck with your builds!
July 6, 2012 1:50:51 AM

Very good summary by Anubis44....It's always a tradeoff between parts when you stick to a budget...lesser CPU or faster GPU, "good enough" vs. the hottest on the market...staying one or two tiers below the "best" can save enough to build TWO computers depending how it's budgeted...and most people wouldn't notice the 4fps difference anyway.
Like a 2500k vs 2600k...realistically both are great but why get 2600k when 2500k gets so close...plus diminishing returns on cost vs performance...

I also agree about research, and the anticipation you can get from balancing out parts until you have them on hand!
a b B Homebuilt system
July 6, 2012 7:52:47 AM

I love it when people say they will stick to pre-builds because of quality and/or support. Support is a joke, and that is if you are inside the proper warranty period. Sometimes they can fix the issue, sometimes they get it to work. I've had mixed results with pre-build warranties.

However, when I built my own, I found a new wonder. Something breaks, send it in to be replaced. Not a single item in my computer has less than a 5 year warranty. Some even have a lifetime warranty. When something breaks, I just send it in and BAM! Replacement is here within days. Not bad. Plus, so much of it is instantly done via internet, so no talking to someone who speaks little English. <3

Building a system isn't for everyone, but please don't bash it. My computer would have cost me $3000 had I gone the pre-build route. I built it for less than $2000, including parts to spare for another computer that I ended up building for my mom.

Just because you had a bad experience, doesn't mean its a retarded mistake for everyone.
August 24, 2012 5:30:17 AM

Even though this is an old thread I will join in. Maybe I just got lucky, but I just spent a chunk of change on my first home build -- It was worth it because I have always wanted a bad ass gaming system and now I can finally afford it. I have not had a single problem with the machine. I mean, as long as you get compatible parts, it's not rocket science -- it's pretty easy in fact.
August 24, 2012 11:33:01 AM

Nowadays you can get hardware that have huge warranties. My MoBo for example has 5 years on it. Its a lot safer to build computers now. That being said I agree with others you did put more then you really needed into the build so it was just asking to be troll computer.
August 24, 2012 2:41:58 PM

Yeah I cannot understand why this guy, who for all intents and purposes appears to be a casual PC user, would spend six thousand dollars on a homebuilt PC. I mean, were you going to be doing rocket science with it or gaming at some insane resolution? Going from a 6K homebuilt to a ***-box Dell is really going from one polar extreme to the other. You know there is such a thing as moderation.

If you want a gaming beast, 2,500 will get you everything you could ever need, and even that is overkill. It may have been different a few years ago when OP built his first computer.

I will get killed for this here, but if you don't care about cost and you want to put the absolute minimum amount of effort possible into maintaining your computer, just get a Mac. They have good quality control, and they run like a toaster, all you have to do is plug them in. And, contrary to what people say, I have never used an antivirus for my mac and I have never had a virus. That includes having visited some extremely seedy websites multiple times with no problems. If you don't care about gaming, don't care about processing power, want the easiest, lowest maintinance computer possible, and can afford it, Mac is a good option for some people.
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