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Want to build my own

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  • Tom's Hardware
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Last response: in CPUs
February 16, 2001 6:29:15 PM

i would like to build my own puter and i think i would like to build the one discussed on this site: "Dream Performance:Your very own Tom's Hardware PC!". however, the one thing that bothers me most is purchasing the correct components. i'm aware of sites like, but i'm not comfortable ordering the various parts from different vendors and worrying if i've messed up. are there any good vendors that you can suggest where i might get good prices and help on making sure i get all the best/compatible components. (go easy on me boys...i'm a real lamer). thanks,


More about : build

a b à CPUs
February 21, 2001 12:08:10 AM

There are a lot of sites that sell barebones systems.
Case MB and Cpu. these are usually burnt in for a short time and the prices are better than buying a piece at a time. I would have been better off if I had done that...
Then you can add componets such as sound and Vid. cards.
HD's, Floppy and whatever you want. Just choose your case Powersupply and Motherboard carefully. I bought the wrong MB now I cannot upgrade past a 600 CPU .. It was the same card but the older version. what a dummy I was. the newer MB is rated at 800. Durn!
February 21, 2001 1:27:36 AM

I've seen many sites which sells barebone and all of them priced higher than buying pieces seperately. It's also very hard to find one that lets you select good mobo and heatsink & fan and powersupply.
February 21, 2001 3:33:02 AM

Check out they have good prices and they have never messed up any of my orders (over $20,000 ordered and still going). Look at getting an asus av7 133 with a t-bird c processor the 266mhz fsb one they sell a 1.13 gighz if you want pc133. just a suggestion though.

Good luck
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2001 4:19:26 AM

Even more important than getting the right components is making sure that you earth yourself before working on your pc, static electricty is a killer of pc's, there wont be a spark or anything, it just wont go, ever, get a grounding strap or continually earth yourself on the chassis, with the power cord plugged in
February 21, 2001 9:52:44 AM

thanks for the suggestions. this is the kind a help i was looking for. goes... megatonone

a b à CPUs
February 21, 2001 1:03:46 PM

Tell you truth, may want to wait to you can get a retail Athlon C, I hear the OEM's are not as good...

AO Admin
The Dr.Twister Network
February 21, 2001 3:12:05 PM

thanks for the suggestions Quantum... i agree about getting a "retail" version but what's an athlon "C".

a b à CPUs
February 21, 2001 3:52:23 PM

Quite honestly I think it is a waste to build Tom's dream system. For a small performance increase you have to shell out a boatload of money. If you are rich and can affort to build the dream machine then by all means go ahead, but I would recommend building the standard fast as hell machine and spend the extra money on things like scsi hard drives and a CD burner.

If you are looking to build a really good system for a good price go with:

T-Bird 1000 or higher
Asus A7V
256 Meg PC133 (Which is cheap as hell right now)
SCSI HD and controller card or ATA 100 Hard Drive
Any GEForce 2 Ultra card

Also, if you are lookin to buy cheap parts I would recommend computer shows. is a really good place where you can find shows around you (depending on where you live). You buy them direct from vendors so there is no worry about online ordering.
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2001 3:57:40 PM

The Athlon "C" is the Athlon running at AMD-760 can read about it at just click processor and goto AMD-760 series....It has the Front Side Bus at 266 your guaranteed to get the 266FSB or is also made of coppermine which is a little it is a higher quality chip. (Special Thnks to Stable for my KNowledge :)  )

AO Admin
The Dr.Twister Network
February 21, 2001 4:02:44 PM

I agree with Deltat but I would go with the A7V133 266mhz fsb and a C chip. Just be sure to get them separately or call and make sure it's a c chip. You will see performance gain over the A7V but it will only cost you $10 at most.

Check it out

ASUS A7V133 $157.00
AMD THUNDERBIRD K7 1133MHZ(1.13GHZ) 266MHZ $240.00
PC133 256MB SDRAM DIMM $80.00
Total cost $477*
just 256 megs DDR 266mhz $303

if you have the money and feel the need to have the biggest and coolest get DDR if you are looking at getting the best deal go with a 266mhz fsb and pc133

*price quote from

February 21, 2001 4:16:37 PM

check before you order from any vendor online.

Also what everyone fails to mention is you better spend more ($150 bucks more) money on 300watt power supply and heavy duty heat sink/fan.

Go with an Intel system if its your first time building, alot less hassel getting up and running, and no guess work on what parts will work.

If you go the AMD route, be sure to ask your vendor if that part is AMD approved, make sure you ask at least twice because sales people like to answer yes to make any sale even if it screws you over in the long run.
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2001 4:27:13 PM

tell you truth...athlons really aren't too first comp i built was for a frend, was almost a copy of Tom's from Part 1 of that building a comp....

AO Admin
The Dr.Twister Network
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2001 6:10:55 PM

I think it is possible that Asetek paid to get the 'Power Box' article done to promote their Vapochill. Just as the 'Socket 5 - Tuning Old PC Systems' article, Powerleap paid for that one. Other possibility is Tomshardware owns part of these companies.
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2001 7:00:09 PM

Whoever said to go with an intel for your first buit computer is obviously naive. I built a T-Bird 1000 with an A7V board (not my first time building a computer) and the processor required no jumpers to be set, switches to be pulled, or bios settings to be messed with. I just popped the processor in turned the box on and it posted at 1000 MHZ with no work whatsoever. I am not sure if it is that easy with the use of boards other than the A7V but I am sure that it can't be that hard. Anyone who would go with an Intel chip based on the current market situation (i.e. astronomicaly large Pent. prices and T-Birds superiority in general) deserves to be tied to the back of a pickup truck and dragged through the streets.

But thats just my opinion :-)
February 21, 2001 10:41:34 PM

hey mbaha...thanks, i've checked out and based on the many sites i've visited the past 2 days they seem to have a very good selection and pretty good prices. i'm really not a gamer at this time and suspect i don't need the 1+g cpu, but what the heck, i've got my ego to deal with here!! thanks to all for the terrifc guidance for attempting my first build.

February 21, 2001 10:59:58 PM

hey deltat... i don't know if i mis-communicated in my original post, but the dream machine specs i meant to refer to are as follows (based the article on this site):{i know there was an article on a super fast dream machine, but that's beyond me]:

Motherboard Asus A7V, Socket A, VIA KT133 chipset $145.00
CPU AMD Athlon 800MHz (overclockable to 1000MHz) $109.00
Cooler Swiftech MC370-0A $25.00
System Memory 256MB PC133 SDRAM $83.00
Case ATX Mid Tower with 300 Watt power supply $55.00
Graphics Card Asus V7700 32MB, GeForce2 GTS with TV Out $230.00
Hard Disk IBM DTLA-307030, UltraATA/100, 30GB, 7200RPM $149.00
DVD-ROM Drive Toshiba SD-M1402, 10/40X ATAPI $85.00
NIC 3Com Fast Etherlink 3C905B-TX PCI (100Mbit/s) $35.00
Sound Card Creative Soundblaster Live! Value PCI $49.00
Accessories Mouse, keyboard etc. $30.00
Total $995.00

anyone care to comment on these specs considering i'm not a gamer?

February 22, 2001 4:42:26 PM

You can save over 100 bucks by dropping down to a Gefore2MX video card. since your not a gamer.

MX will do everything as well and GTS in most applications
February 23, 2001 1:01:17 AM

thanks fugger!!! you just saved me $100 bucks absolutely. tom's is one hell of a site because it has some great talent willing to help others including us lamers. thanks again, megatonone (excuse me, i just checked and you only saved me $94.00!! oh well...guess i'll just have to live with it.)

Megaton<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by megatonone on 02/22/01 10:23 PM.</EM></FONT></P>