Building My First Computer

Page 1 of 1

5 Replies - 488 Views - Last Post: 29 June 2009 - 05:27 AM

#1 yadsmood  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 25-April 09

Building My First Computer

Posted 28 June 2009 - 06:16 PM

I am a going to be a freshman Computer Science student this fall and would really like to get a PC for gaming. I already have a laptop but its graphics card, among other things makes it useless for games. I was thinking it would be a really good learning experience to build my own PC. I thought it would also hopefully save me money by building my own.
I really donít know that much about hardware so I just bought Build It. Fix It. Own It: A Beginner's Guide to Building and Upgrading a PC from Amazon and am reading anything on the internet I can find.
I was wondering if any of you have any advice for me on what brands are good, what specifications the parts should have, what places have good prices, or any other things that could help me.
Thanks for your help in advance,
yadsmood

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Building My First Computer

#2 Quin  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular
  • member icon

Reputation: 19
  • View blog
  • Posts: 382
  • Joined: 16-October 08

Re: Building My First Computer

Posted 29 June 2009 - 02:30 AM

You'll want a processor that will last you for some years yet. You cannot switch out the processor on the motherboard.

Apart from that, I'd say do some research into other gaming PC specs... try and get a motherboard that allows AGP PCIExpress extensions (for graphic cards).

Do get named brands, nVIDIA, ATI spring to mind. Also decent RAM. Try and get at least 1GB, and if possible, in one chip.

I do like Dell though. Despite its evil-ness in trying to take over the world (like the rest of them), they do have all the drivers on their website to download and install - it helped me out a lot :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 Bort  Icon User is offline

  • Ill-informed Mongoloid
  • member icon

Reputation: 401
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,958
  • Joined: 18-September 06

Re: Building My First Computer

Posted 29 June 2009 - 03:37 AM

For processors, I always like AMD, preferably on an NVidia maotherboard, with (yup, you guessed it) NVidia graphics, PCI-Express as Quin says if possible. 1GB RAM is probably going to be the minimum of what you want, but more is better :)

Try to keep your CD/DVD drives and your hard drives on seperate cables. Apparently, this helps that data-read rate, although tbh, I've not noticed any difference really :) It is also meant to help when backing up to CD/DVD.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 moopet  Icon User is offline

  • binary decision maker
  • member icon

Reputation: 339
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1,185
  • Joined: 02-April 09

Re: Building My First Computer

Posted 29 June 2009 - 04:10 AM

View PostQuin, on 29 Jun, 2009 - 08:30 AM, said:

You'll want a processor that will last you for some years yet. You cannot switch out the processor on the motherboard.

Wat? Kinda.

You can switch out the processor for any other that supports the same bus and socket. Like I started with a 1.8GHz core-duo (iirc) and now I've got a 2.4GHz quad. In fact, if you get a good board that goes up to the faster bus speeds it won't cost that much more. Asus are pretty decent. Intel and AMD are pretty much on a par all things considered, both how good and bad points, so don't fret too much.
If you want to play games, get at least 2 gig of RAM, the fastest that the board will support. Budget yourself and check ther reviews on cases, PSUs, motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards and hard drives.
Pretty much any DVD drive will do, any sound card that's recent and supports the number of speakers you want.
Sound comes on most motherboards, but it's not usually that great, and adding an extra card is cheap and will give you a boost in some games.

You can always build a bare-bones machine to start with and then add features. This is what I did:
I got an old PCI-E graphics card from a friend, an old DVD drive and basic hard drive from spares.
I checked out cases in my local computer shop, found a few I liked the look of and bought one for a quarter the price on ebay. I chose it because it has excellent cooling and sound dampenning, and is built like a brick outhouse (an Antec P80, if you're interested, a few years old but great) - I got a basic Asus board that takes SLI so I could add a second graphics card, which I never did so this was pointless.
I spent the money I had on a monitor, because that's the bit that would be expensive to upgrade and I got the best I could for my money at the time. Keyboard and mouse, begged and borrowed from other people.
Then I got the machine up and running, found a nice desk and made it look pretty. Then over the next while I put decent graphics, sound, three more hard drives, better DVD writer, decent speakers, better keyboard, etc, on it.

I think these days it's not that great a benefit in terms of cost to build it yourself, and obviously you don't then have the benefit of a warranty for the entire machine to fall back on, but it's excellent experience. Knowing something about how things are put together is an excellent foundation skill, and certainly it takes the fear of tinkering away. After you put together your first PC you'll find yourself much more comfortable ripping things apart to fix them in the future. Expect that, btw. Expect to close the box and turn it on and swear at it and open it up again a fair few times.

Oh yeah, and budget for an OS.
If you want to play games, you'll probably use Windows. A license for Windows costs $873623432.50 per hour. Approximately.

This post has been edited by moopet: 29 June 2009 - 04:12 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 Bort  Icon User is offline

  • Ill-informed Mongoloid
  • member icon

Reputation: 401
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2,958
  • Joined: 18-September 06

Re: Building My First Computer

Posted 29 June 2009 - 04:29 AM

View Postmoopet, on 29 Jun, 2009 - 03:10 AM, said:

You can always build a bare-bones machine to start with and then add features.


This is what I did. Technically, I still use the same machine I built in 1999, but none of the parts are the same any more :)

As for the OS, I picked up Windows XP from Ebay for pennies (and yes, it was a legit copy :P)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 xclite  Icon User is offline

  • LIKE A BOSS
  • member icon


Reputation: 899
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,162
  • Joined: 12-May 09

Re: Building My First Computer

Posted 29 June 2009 - 05:27 AM

The advantage to building your own is that you can always get the drivers you need, and you don't have so much crapware. You also don't have to worry about compatibility between proprietary parts (HP motherboards didn't always like other brands of RAM). If you go with LGA 775 (the last generation), you can get a really good deal - DDR2 memory is dirt cheap, you can pick up a great quad or duo core, toss in a heavy graphics card and a hard drive on a decent motherboard and you're good to go.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1