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Subcategories for New Build Systems

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November 12, 2009 4:30:09 PM

I suggest adding a new subcategory "Information and Model Systems" under "Homebuilt Systems" to make it easier and more convenient for readers to find this information.

Move or copy two interesting and informative threads there, Proximon's "Guide to Choosing Computer Parts":

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

and Skora's System Design Guide:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269589-31-index-skora...

Then setup a separate thread for some basic model systems. The first might be a simple link to the systems in the THG model reviews allowing readers to see what usually are three in a wide price range with the performance results. Then their might be a set of threads based on budget and use, for example, Gaming and General Use (separately) at $600, $800, $1,200, $1,800, and $2,400 and plus General Use at $400. Hopefully the budget levels in these and the THG articles would conform, where applicable. This thread could provide more options, might present some divergent opinion from the THG articles, and would be updated more often.

A starting point or example might be the models included in Skora's link above.

Each thread might include both an AMD and Intel unit with some discussion of the differences. Or they might be different threads but I think the former would be more informative.

This would create about 10-20 threads and a moderator like Skora, Proximon, or other veteran (I use that term generally and not to refer exclusively to that THG rank) volunteer would be the "Design Engineer" to design and update the models.

The first two threads would be the original model and an updated one, followed by open comments. The updated model, reflecting the date of the last update, would come first, followed by the original model. The latter is included to make the flow of comments make sense. The original model itself woud be updated or revised periodically - as deemed necessary by the engineer - probably following major technology changes - at which time the old posts would be eliminated - or moved to some archive if that is deemed a no-no.

While readers could post comments to any thread, only the official threads should be allowed to avoid confusion and make it easier for the reader.

Final an introduction thread could be written to tie everything together, or skora's thread edited to do this.
November 12, 2009 5:07:34 PM

I'm going to have to chew this over for a while before I have an opinion. Right now I have about 3 conflicting opinions :) 
November 12, 2009 7:03:46 PM

Sorry, I should have included the stickee by Temco with recommended bills in the above discussion as it too has a loot of valuable information relative to the topic - he is himself already doing a lot of it.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269162-31-recommended...

I guess I missed it because it was in a separate subcategory - which is one of ths issues this would address - similar information in separate forum pages. Or does it all just belong in one or other of the exisitng categories with a highlighted reference on the top of the other?
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November 12, 2009 9:24:04 PM

I agree with Proximon... I have to think about this for a little while.

One thing I do think would help is changing the function / format of stickies. It would be more benefitical if they weren't linked to a specific subcategory but linked to the master catergory. When someone logs onto the Homebuilt Systems (General Homebuilt or New System Build) forum, that all the stickes show up in either one of the subcategories. The information listed by Proximon, jbakerlent, theAnimal and shortstuff_mt is just as important in the General Homebuilt as it is in the New System Build and vise versa for my sticky.
November 12, 2009 9:47:51 PM

I agree tecmo, but so far the only section to have ever allowed posting in the parent forum was Windows 7, because it didn't receive any sub-categories when it was created, and a bug prevented a thread from going to its assigned sub-category even after they were added.
November 12, 2009 10:38:21 PM

With respect to the multiple subscategories, nearly he same thing could be accomplished with a read me first reference at the top of each subcategory that cross linked the others - and then a little more coordination between the separate stickies with the information so they flow based on what the reader wants and don't unnecessarily duplicate and confuse.

The toughest thing is structuring to help readers coming with different objectives and levels of background knowledge, but that could be addressed with good organization and in the read me first stickee.

In part those stickees could explain the scope or coverage of the separate subcategories where the names don't make it clear - such as the the two in Home Built Systems. Which raises the question - what is the intended scope of each? Where do you go for instance, if considering upgrades to homebuilts? New builds?

I think often it is not defined and just left to the posters so as not to overly regulate. But not defining means things can get confusing and similar threads split. Is there any definition of what is intended for each one? Probably not because no one wants to have to read through them, But if the titles don't clearly differentiate then it can be an issue which might be minimized in those cases with the read me first.
November 13, 2009 3:07:48 AM

Thanks for the suggestions rockyjohn. Its always good to look at what is and ask if it can be made better.

The truth of the matter is, the information that can help people is out there and readily accessible. The issue isn't data organization, but user utilization. Short of making people read through the stickies before posting (like some EULA do to accept the terms,) people will either do their research before they post or they won't. Those that do will find good info.

If you lump all the good data into a single sticky and place them into a locked sub category, it will lead to less exposure and even fewer people noticing and using them. Yes, some threads are being missed in the same fashion you missed techmo's thread, but you still had access to other good links like Proximon's guide. Someone only looking in the New homebuilt will see other stickies than the General, but good info is there and they are cross linked.

There could be some merit in the mods moving the stickies only into the root forum. But if that would stop anyone from posting to the threads since we wouldn't want new threads being posted by anyone there, we'll have to use what we have.


November 13, 2009 4:45:18 AM

I have a lot to say, and can't seem to get it all organized :)  A bit sick I think. Maybe tomorrow ;) 
November 14, 2009 12:50:42 AM

Proximon said:
I have a lot to say, and can't seem to get it all organized :)  A bit sick I think. Maybe tomorrow ;) 

May this find you feeling better.
November 16, 2009 5:43:52 AM

Ah the skies have finally cleared somewhat.

For a long time I have entertained the notion of maintaining a few model builds. With these in mind, I answer various threads... and in the process I always find myself coming to the same conclusion.

This conclusion is that model builds are good to generate discussion and fun for us, but not much use to the people coming to the forums for help. It's very rare that I give out two builds exactly the same.

There are too many variables from one person to another. For instance, even the build I prefer for myself is going to be more processor-heavy than what most gamers need, but not all.
Besides balance in the build, we have price points, location, the weight a person gives to aesthetics, storage, etc.
I have made probably 50 model builds in the past. They are called newegg wishlists. They get used almost never, because they never seem to fit the next person.

However, when you approach the builds in the light of a framework for discussion, I think they are valuable tools.

Yes getting the stickies somehow applied to the master forum would be nice. My guess, based on history and guesses, is that the master forum exists but there is no tool in the interface to get you there.

I have decided that TH does need our own ranked PSU list, and I'm working on that now. It's a big project and I'm hoping to get a lot of discussion before it's all finalized... here, at JG, and perhaps AT also. Look for the post (or a PM from me pointing to it) by the end of this week.
!