Build or Buy? 61 replies

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#1 11 years ago

So I am thinking of getting a new computer, basically I'm going to completely replace my tower but I've already got a fine monitor and printer and such. So I'm wondering if it is better to buy the full tower and then upgrade the video and sound cards, the RAM, and the hardrive space, or should I start from scratch and buy everything seperate and build my own.

A few things to my personal case to consider. I'm not exceptionally techy when it comes to computers. I know my way around a tower and I can replace components and such but I'm not really well versed overall in the hardware aspect of computers. Second, I want to make sure I get Vista and I don't know if it would be better to get a computer with it installed or to buy the parts and then install it myself. Again, take into consideration that I basically know my way around a computer but I don't know much about the core software such as the OS.

In terms of games I suppose I'll use Oblivion as a benchmark though even it is a bit out of date. Iwant to be able to run Oblivion entirly maxed out without lag, or atleast without alot of lag, if this is even possible.

I'm not a noob to computers but to be frank I am a noob to buying them, so any help would be appreciated.




SteVen

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#2 11 years ago

If your capable of building your own computer and starting from scratch, go for it, its the cheapest and best way to go, and We'll give you some suggestions. If you want upgrade suggestions for your current PC. Tell us what your PC currently has and what your Mobo supports (PCI-E slots, Socket type, ect.). And your budget. If you want to buy a tower PC build for you and Vista in it right out of the box. I personally like cyberpowerpc. I woiuld check out the Gamer Infinity 8800 Pro. They have much better pricing than mainstream pre-built machines, such as Dell.




EpicLoad

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#3 11 years ago

The only problem with building your own system is that when you go back a few months later to look at the components you bought, you're gonna be pissed when everything has dropped like 20 or 30 bucks. And you really don't need to be a hardware genius to be the stuff together, it's usually pretty straight forward, especially if you read the manuals.




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#4 11 years ago

Thanks for the advice. When it comes to building a computer from scratch the main help I'll need is with picking a motherboard. Graphics card, RAM, hard drive and case I can pretty much handle I think. But for now I've got a few questions for if I went the buying a premaid computer.

Taking a look at the cyberpowerpc website and talking to one of my friends who built his own it looks like maybe I may be able to get a good deal there. Mainly I'm looking at the "Mega Special II" and the Gamer Infinity SLI GT. Originally I sort of wanted to go up to a Quad-core but I think a dual core would be plenty. MY friend has a quad core and he says almost all of the time one core does all the work while the other three sit practically idle. What I'm unsure of is a dual 8500 compared to a single 8800. Which one is better? Which one is better for the price?

Edit: You know, before I go ahead and buy a whole new computer is there a way I could simply upgrade this one to "Oblivion" standards?

Motherboard: CPU Type AMD Athlon 64, 2200 MHz (11 x 200) 3200+ Motherboard Name Asus K8S-LA (3 PCI, 1 AGP, 2 DDR DIMM, Audio, Video, LAN, IEEE-1394) Motherboard Chipset SiS 760GX, AMD Hammer System Memory 1024 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM) BIOS Type Award (10/29/04) Communication Port Communications Port (COM1) Communication Port ECP Printer Port (LPT1)

Display: Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce 6600 (256 MB) 3D Accelerator nVIDIA GeForce 6600 AGP Monitor Plug and Play Monitor [NoDB] (0)

Multimedia: Audio Adapter SiS 7012 Audio Device

Storage: IDE Controller SiS PCI IDE Controller IDE Controller Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller Disk Drive ST3160021A (160 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/100) Disk Drive Generic USB SD Reader USB Device Disk Drive Generic USB CF Reader USB Device Disk Drive Generic USB SM Reader USB Device Disk Drive Generic USB MS Reader USB Device Disk Drive HP Photosmart 2575x USB Device Optical Drive HL-DT-ST DVDRRW GWA-4083B (DVD+RW:8x/4x, DVD-RW:4x/2x, DVD-ROM:12x, CD:24x/16x/32x DVD+RW/DVD-RW) Optical Drive SAMSUNG CD-ROM SC-148A (48x CD-ROM) SMART Hard Disks Status OK

Partitions: C: (NTFS) 146674 MB (84328 MB free) D: (FAT32) 5931 MB (763 MB free) Total Size 149.0 GB (83.1 GB free)




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#5 11 years ago
Afterburner;3892119Thanks for the advice. When it comes to building a computer from scratch the main help I'll need is with picking a motherboard. Graphics card, RAM, hard drive and case I can pretty much handle I think. But for now I've got a few questions for if I went the buying a premaid computer. Taking a look at the cyberpowerpc website and talking to one of my friends who built his own it looks like maybe I may be able to get a good deal there. Mainly I'm looking at the "Mega Special II" and the Gamer Infinity SLI GT. Originally I sort of wanted to go up to a Quad-core but I think a dual core would be plenty. MY friend has a quad core and he says almost all of the time one core does all the work while the other three sit practically idle. What I'm unsure of is a dual 8500 compared to a single 8800. Which one is better? Which one is better for the price? Edit: You know, before I go ahead and buy a whole new computer is there a way I could simply upgrade this one to "Oblivion" standards? Motherboard: CPU Type AMD Athlon 64, 2200 MHz (11 x 200) 3200+ Motherboard Name Asus K8S-LA (3 PCI, 1 AGP, 2 DDR DIMM, Audio, Video, LAN, IEEE-1394) Motherboard Chipset SiS 760GX, AMD Hammer System Memory 1024 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM) BIOS Type Award (10/29/04) Communication Port Communications Port (COM1) Communication Port ECP Printer Port (LPT1) Display: Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce 6600 (256 MB) 3D Accelerator nVIDIA GeForce 6600 AGP Monitor Plug and Play Monitor [NoDB] (0) Multimedia: Audio Adapter SiS 7012 Audio Device Storage: IDE Controller SiS PCI IDE Controller IDE Controller Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller Disk Drive ST3160021A (160 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/100) Disk Drive Generic USB SD Reader USB Device Disk Drive Generic USB CF Reader USB Device Disk Drive Generic USB SM Reader USB Device Disk Drive Generic USB MS Reader USB Device Disk Drive HP Photosmart 2575x USB Device Optical Drive HL-DT-ST DVDRRW GWA-4083B (DVD+RW:8x/4x, DVD-RW:4x/2x, DVD-ROM:12x, CD:24x/16x/32x DVD+RW/DVD-RW) Optical Drive SAMSUNG CD-ROM SC-148A (48x CD-ROM) SMART Hard Disks Status OK Partitions: C: (NTFS) 146674 MB (84328 MB free) D: (FAT32) 5931 MB (763 MB free) Total Size 149.0 GB (83.1 GB free)

Yeah you could get a new AGP video card for your current computer and you should be able to play Oblvion well. And about the 8500's vs 1 8800, Go for the single 8800 it's much better then 2 8500's, 8500's are crap and 2 8500's are double crap. lol




EpicLoad

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#6 11 years ago

Honestly, I don't think you can really upgrade that PC to Oblivion standards. If you went with VideoSlave, you at least need a 7950. And to be playing it on a single core, that's outrageous. So, if you really wanted something that could run Oblivion in highest settings, you're better off with the Gamer Infinity SLI GT. Again, like SteVen said, you could build a better PC for less, especially compared to high-end gaming PCs.




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#7 11 years ago

Hmm if building is the way to go I'm cool with that, just might need some more guidance, atleast regarding the motherboard and processor. From there I should be able to make a good build.

Sorry for needing to ask so many questions but with the motherboard especially I'm really lost as I've never had to replace or upgrade mine. Any suggestions on what motherboard and processor combo to go with?




>Omen<

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#8 11 years ago

If you just want advice on whether to build your own, I agree, go for it. Just make sure you Google a few key things first like proper OS installation, as that seems to be your main concern. Vista is every bit as intuitive as XP to install. Your main concern there should be it's performance. There's a MS Vista hotfix now for some of the games that were having problems with the latest high end hardware, but you may want to wait until SP1 if you can to avoid frustrations. Also, be aware that curently there is more support for Vista 32 bit in some games than 64 bit. I bought an expensive Dell HTPC rig the first time I purchased a decent rig. It was right after XP came out. I knew very little about software or hardware back then and the Dell techs were stumped with even simple questions about XP. I ended up returning the system right away as their tech support was woefully inadequate. Even though I took a fair loss shipping it back, I feel it was the right decision. Before I bought my next rigm, which was a custom spec from a local builder, I learned a lot about XP and was much better equipped to handle little nuisances. I mention this because timing your purchase and learning about the OS you'll be using, especially if it's a new one, is key when you are in a situatuon like yours. That's all I will say as without a budget indicated, preferred brands, intended use other than gaming, we don't have much to go on as far as recommending a build config.




SteVen

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#9 11 years ago

Here are some nice, budget gaming rig parts. If you don't know much about brands and such.

Spoiler: Show
For a Tower/Case I currently use a Enermax and its worked very well. Although, you can never go wrong with a Lian Li. Newegg.com - LIAN LI PC-60BPLUSII W Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail For Powersupply's, theres many nice brands. Rosewill, Thermaltake,CoolerMax, but I personally like the price/power ratio of Rosewill's. 550W should be plenty. Newegg.com - Rosewill RP550-2 550W,ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply 115/230V CSA, CB, TUV, FCC, UL - Retail For motherboards, the mainstream and good brands are ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte. I would have ran off to find an ASUS, but I found this Gigabyte that couldn't be passed up. Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail For gaming CPU's Core 2 Duo's have proved to surpass Athlon X2's almost everywhere. So they are the way to go. Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail Memory of course top brands are Corsair, Kingston, and G.Skill. I've chosen the G.Skill because the price is very nice. Newegg.com - G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail For you Video Card DX10 and Nvidia pretty much go hand in hand. Not saying that ATI isn't worse, just that Nvidia has become mainstream for DX10. And EVGA 8800GTS has the perfect price/performance ratio. Newegg.com - EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail For a Harddrive, you can't go wrong with Western Digital, I'm sure 500GB will fill your needs. Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKB 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM Last but not least, a soundcard. Whats a great game without great sound? Personally, I've been using Creative products with no luck at all. They all have had problems for me. I've heard great things of Turtle Beach though. Newegg.com - Turtle Beach TBS-3300-01 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Montego DDL Sound Card - Retail

With a grand total of $1045 without tax or shipping. Vista Home Premium will probably add on another $200. About a hundred bucks or more cheaper than Cyberpower, but its your chose to build or buy pre-built.




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#10 11 years ago
SteVen;3893638Here are some nice, budget gaming rig parts. If you don't know much about brands and such.
Spoiler: Show
For a Tower/Case I currently use a Enermax and its worked very well. Although, you can never go wrong with a Lian Li. Newegg.com - LIAN LI PC-60BPLUSII W Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail For Powersupply's, theres many nice brands. Rosewill, Thermaltake,CoolerMax, but I personally like the price/power ratio of Rosewill's. 550W should be plenty. Newegg.com - Rosewill RP550-2 550W,ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply 115/230V CSA, CB, TUV, FCC, UL - Retail For motherboards, the mainstream and good brands are ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte. I would have ran off to find an ASUS, but I found this Gigabyte that couldn't be passed up. Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail For gaming CPU's Core 2 Duo's have proved to surpass Athlon X2's almost everywhere. So they are the way to go. Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail Memory of course top brands are Corsair, Kingston, and G.Skill. I've chosen the G.Skill because the price is very nice. Newegg.com - G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail For you Video Card DX10 and Nvidia pretty much go hand in hand. Not saying that ATI isn't worse, just that Nvidia has become mainstream for DX10. And EVGA 8800GTS has the perfect price/performance ratio. Newegg.com - EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail For a Harddrive, you can't go wrong with Western Digital, I'm sure 500GB will fill your needs. Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKB 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM Last but not least, a soundcard. Whats a great game without great sound? Personally, I've been using Creative products with no luck at all. They all have had problems for me. I've heard great things of Turtle Beach though. Newegg.com - Turtle Beach TBS-3300-01 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Montego DDL Sound Card - Retail
With a grand total of $1045 without tax or shipping. Vista Home Premium will probably add on another $200. About a hundred bucks or more cheaper than Cyberpower, but its your chose to build or buy pre-built.

Wow, thanks for the help. I'm not sure what I'm going to do exactly yet but your suggestions have atleast given me a good starting place to build off of. I'm going to talk with my two friends who recently built computers and my cousin who is actually in a computer field and see what more I can find out before I make a choice. Though I'll go up to around 1,200 if needed I''d be qutie pleased to keep it to about 1,000 and my cousin may be able to get me some discounts.