Solved How do I build a PC from the ground up?

December 28, 2011 at 20:07:33
Specs: Windows 7
I'm semi-familiar with computer hardware. What I'm looking for is a good guide on how to build a computer from the ground up. I'm hoping to lower my costs with a little know-how and some elbow grease. Any suggestions on where I can get the good info?

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✔ Best Answer
December 29, 2011 at 05:59:46
Go for the build, but educate yourself first. As most stated above, you can build a pretty hot system, with more reliable hardware, and focus on better core parts and the parts of the system important to you (such as targeting it for gaming, photoshop, or other uses). Read links supplied above, Google 'best gaming build' of other important key words and read. When you begin to get an idea on what hardware you may want, go to Newegg, Tigerdirect, and similar, 'build' imaginary systems on paper and read customer reviews on the components. Reselect components using only those with 4 or 5 'stars' or 'eggs' and review again. Avoid getting some really great components and then 'cheaping' out on one, like the power supply, memory or graphics card, and not getting the full potential out of the system. Post the top two 'systems' you choose here (take a month or two if needed, don't rush) for review and recommendations.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.



#1
December 28, 2011 at 20:42:08
Building a computer from the ground up is likely to cost you more than buying one of the shelf.

The market is so competitive these days that all the major manufactures have deals with with the likes of Intel, AMD, Niidea and Microsoft and the rest to supply components in large quantities at reduced prices. There is no way you as an individual can do that.

If you want to build a computer for the experience fine, but dont expect it to be cheaper.

http://www.google.co.uk/#sclient=ps...
Stuart


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#2
December 28, 2011 at 21:24:46
I disagree with StuartS, it's cheaper to build your own system than to buy a pre-built system like dell or hp.
Tom's hardware built gaming system for $ 600(system builder marathon), go and find pre-built system with similar specs then compare the price.

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#3
December 28, 2011 at 21:26:11
The advantage to building your own is that you get to "cherry pick" the hardware rather than being at the mercy of OEM builder. It may not be cheaper, but if you know how to chose your parts, it will definitely be better. One current problem is the high cost of hard drives. Due to the massive flooding in Thailand, the prices have tripled & stock on hand is running low. It's said that it will take about 6 months for the market to recover. 1TB drives are now roughly $150 or more.

Have a look at these articles from Tom's Hardware:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...


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Related Solutions

#4
December 28, 2011 at 23:53:26
For eg this dell alienware AAS-3506MSB is $1650 at newegg. This system can't run old crysis or the new crysis 2 at the maximum settings. For the same amount u can build a monster system which can play any game at the maximum settings.

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#5
December 29, 2011 at 05:59:46
✔ Best Answer
Go for the build, but educate yourself first. As most stated above, you can build a pretty hot system, with more reliable hardware, and focus on better core parts and the parts of the system important to you (such as targeting it for gaming, photoshop, or other uses). Read links supplied above, Google 'best gaming build' of other important key words and read. When you begin to get an idea on what hardware you may want, go to Newegg, Tigerdirect, and similar, 'build' imaginary systems on paper and read customer reviews on the components. Reselect components using only those with 4 or 5 'stars' or 'eggs' and review again. Avoid getting some really great components and then 'cheaping' out on one, like the power supply, memory or graphics card, and not getting the full potential out of the system. Post the top two 'systems' you choose here (take a month or two if needed, don't rush) for review and recommendations.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
December 31, 2011 at 03:11:30
This is about the level of performance I'm shooting for so I don't have to upgrade for 2-3 yrs. Any tweaks, substitution, etc. suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Case COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Compucase Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and Four Fans-1x 230mm front RED LED fan, 1x 140mm rear fan, 1x 230mm top fan, and 1x230mm side fan $159.99

PSU CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply $129.99

MOBO ASUS P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 Motherboard ATX, Socket H2 (LGA1155), Intel Z68 Express, 2200MHz-DDR3 (O.C.), SATA 6.0 Gb/s, RAID, 8-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, CrossFireX Ready $144.99

Processor Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I72600K $299.99

RAM Kingston HyperX 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K4/16GX $84.99

HDD1 Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD CSSD-F120GB3A-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $159.99

HDD2 Seagate ST310005N1A1AS-RK 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $169.99

Graphics Card EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $499.99

Disk Drive SAMSUNG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Combo Model SH-B123L LightScribe Support - OEM $59.99

Monitor ASUS VH198T Black 19" 5ms LED Backlight LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 ASCR 10,000,000 :1 Built in Speakers $109.99

$1,819.90


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#7
December 31, 2011 at 05:46:13
I do not know that you need to spend that much on a case and 4 fans are not needed, especially the side fan.
I prefer Western Digital hard drives over the Seagate ones (reliability) with their Black series my first choice.
You have not mentioned your use so I cannot comment if you have gone overboard on the graphics or memory, but they cannot hurt you if you do not mind spending the money.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#8
December 31, 2011 at 12:16:44
My main focus here is to make a computer that will run any current game at max settings with no lag.

I went with this case for max space & cooling. That way I can over-clock the CPU and/or add a second GPU.

I was looking at the WD drives as well.

Question: To my understanding, this motherboard has an ethernet connection. Does that make having a dedicated LAN card unnecessary?


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#9
December 31, 2011 at 13:46:16
To my understanding, this motherboard has an Ethernet connection. Does that make having a dedicated LAN card unnecessary?
If your level of knowledge is such that you have to ask a question like that I would suggest you buy a computer of the she shelf, You could save to yourself a lot of wasted money.

I agree about the four fans. They will almost certainly end up fighting against each other. Side fans are a complete an total waste of money and space.

Stuart


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#10
December 31, 2011 at 16:22:42
The network connection is on and has been on motherboards for quite a while now and is well integrated.
You really do not need that much memory for gaming but it is cheap enough to leave it in.
If you are planning such a rig and plan on overclocking (other than mildly), look into a better Air/Fan type CPU cooler than stock.
The cheapest case I ever purchased is about $30. and the most expensive about $59. (plus fans since I choose quiet efficient fans).
One exhaust fan in enough for most systems, the max I would recommend would be one back and one top exhaust and one bottom front intake, but that is typically overkill. Never side fans.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#11
January 4, 2012 at 11:27:03
@Fingers: Thanks for the info. I did read about individual heat sinks/fans for overclocked CPU's. I'll check that out. As far as cases, any good reason to go for mid-tower or full tower with the setup I'm looking to build?

@Stuart: No need to be snide. I guess I could have worded the question better. The point I was tryng to get at was whether integrated cat5 connections on mobos were good to go for high-transfer rate applications like online gaming or if a dedicated NIC was better. I work on multi-million dollar sonar systems for the navy, so I get electronics. I just haven't dealt with desktop hardware in a long time and am out-of-date.

Thanks for the input about the fans. I can see the logic of a front intake fan with 2 output fans on top/rear to keep things cool.


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#12
January 4, 2012 at 11:50:08
cat5 connections on mobos were good to go for high-transfer rate applications like online gaming or if a dedicated NIC was better

Makes no difference. Where the internet is concerned the LAN connection is the least important when it comes to bandwidth. Besides the an on board LAN connection is as dedicated as a separate NIC. Neither does anything other than what it is designed to do.

Most LAN connections have a bandwidth of 100 Mbs

The fastest Internet connection you are likely to get is 50 Mbs and usually a lot less. It is the connection between you and your ISP that is the bottleneck, not the LAN connection and for gaming, how fast the graphics card can process the data that is being thrown at it..

Stuart


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#13
January 5, 2012 at 22:28:30
Thanks Stuart, that was what I was looking to find out.

So, any favorite brands of cases and fans, anybody?


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#14
January 6, 2012 at 05:12:53
4 of my last 5 builds were CoolMaster cases.
There is not a lot of difference in price on fans between the lowest and the highest, I usually stay in the middle. I look for dual ball bearing fans, low noise, high CFM's, and good online reviews on Newegg and TigerDirect (things like short wires, multiple defectives, and being noisy means keep looking).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#15
January 6, 2012 at 09:03:18
So, something like this with included fans would probably be good?

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...

-Or would you say that finding a case with no fans and hand-picking quality ones is slightly better?

I think along with this setup I would put a CPU cooler in as well, which would add another 120mm fan to the top vent.


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#16
January 6, 2012 at 20:52:12
If you have a top vent (many do not like them) you must use an exhaust fan there of you will constantly have a dust problem. There is always the chance something will spill there so it is not suitable for every person/application. Many do not like the bottom mounted power supply because heat tends to rise and the tendency is to orient the power supply to intake air from below the case (DO NOT DO THIS) which will always suck in dust, rather if you use it, orient the power supply to draw air from within the case and exhaust out the back. I use one this way and it works fine for me, but next time I am going back to a top mounted power supply without the top vent. The one you show also has the cover over the front which can be annoying to open every time you want to access DVD drive, USB ports, or nearly anything else. I would look further for a different one.
I JUST looked now and it seems that all of the new Coolmaster cases they are showing are bottom mounted power supplies, How about this one:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...
I think that the top front USB ports and the eSATA as well as the power button will be easier than bending for lower mounted ones and the eSATA port will be useful in the future for external drives.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#17
January 11, 2012 at 11:34:26
Awesome info. I think I have a solid grasp on the tower & its components. Any tips/preferences for video. So many different I/O choices these days. Fortunately, the high-end video cards seem to support all the current monitor I/O choices. Anybody have an opinion on monitors (brands, type of I/O preference, etc)?

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#18
January 11, 2012 at 14:16:31
Do not know who I agree with so I will give my own opinion

Firstly the argument about price ie self build verses buying one off the shelf

You might be able to source cheap parts but they would have to be very cheap to compete with off the shelf (off the shelf also has an operating system, monitor , mouse, keyboard etc) these are often forgotten about when you self build.

But people who decide to self build usually have at least some of these things so that should keep the price down but I still think you will be out of pocket with a home build but this is compensated with the experience and also being able to select better parts.

Home build for me always

A good tip if it is your first build is to buy a motherboard bundle (mobo, memory and cpu) might save you some cash and limit the chance of compatibility with these vital components and you can always move to a full build at a letter date when you have your first up and running.


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#19
January 11, 2012 at 18:03:30
I think I'm going to hold off on buying the 2nd HDD for media until prices come down. Definitely going with a 120gb SSD for the OS and other apps. I have a WD 1TB external attached to my laptop already so I'll just hang on to that for now.

Here's a software question: Any reason to NOT buy the OEM version of an OS? Newegg has the 64bit Windows 7 Home Edition OEM for about half of what the "standard" version goes for. Is there an issue with going this route?


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#20
January 11, 2012 at 19:42:54
I think most builders use OEM versions of Windows, I do. I think there may be an issue or limit on reinstalling for down the road, but you can and should create a repair disk, a password recovery disk, and when all is set you should make an image of the drive on your external that you can always go back to. The most I have needed to date (4 Windows 7 builds and one upgrade for various family and extended family members) has been the repair disk and system restore. I believe you are required to purchase the OEM W7 with at least one computer component as part of their contract with MS (a spare SATA signal wire would do).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#21
January 11, 2012 at 19:50:14
The only problem you are likely to get with the OEM version is that if you need to contact Microsoft for technical support you wont get it, they will refer you to Newegg. To strictly conform with the licensing requirement an OEM version is supposed to be sold in conjunction with hardware, hard dsik, motherboard etc. Some retailers got round that restriction by throwing in a cheap $5 mouse. Otherwise the software is exactly the same as the full retail version.

If by chance you have a full version of Windows Vista, but not XP, you can buy the upgrade version and get it even cheaper.

Stuart


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#22
January 15, 2012 at 02:54:06
Thought I'd share this with you guys. I did some searching and came up with a few articles that all said the same thing. Basically, pre-Windows 7 the license agreement read so that if you were a self-builder then you could use the OEM. Apparently, Microsoft changed its agreement and you don't have a "legal" copy of Windows 7 if you bought the OEM disk from Newegg or w/e. I imagine it doesn't matter unless you need customer support, but folks that like to play on the safe side may want to splurge for the full version.

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#23
January 15, 2012 at 05:21:09
I remember reading the warning on the outside of the OEM packaging before unsealing it and the wording was a bit convoluted. If I remember correctly, Microsoft does not support the consumer using the OEM installation but there is also sufficient mention of support for the 'system builder' by Microsoft on installations and 'preinstall' set up for multiple builds. Furthermore there is a system in place of rewards that when a builder achieves a certain number of builds they can get certain 'stuff' (software) free for personal use. Since I never expected to reach that level (4 Windows 7 builds to date) I never went further than researching it.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#24
January 27, 2012 at 16:57:37
So, just placed my order at Newegg, total after rebates $1600 (also came with free Kaspersky AV, a boom-mic headset and a 4gb thumb drive)

COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811119196

GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128502

EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1461-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video ...
Item #: N82E16814130661

OCZ ZX Series 850W Fully-Modular 80PLUS Gold High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 ...
Item #: N82E16817341044

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
Item #: N82E16819115070

Kingston HyperX 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K4/16GX
Item #: N82E16820104169

Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F120GBGT-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820233191

Refurbished: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1502FAEX 1.5TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822236117

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
Item #: N82E16823109148

ViewSonic VA1906a-LED Black 19" 5ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor
Item #: N82E16824116512

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Item #: N82E16832116716

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel ...
Item #: N82E16835103065


Now hopefully I can get it all pieced together without messing anything up. Thanks all for your help. I'm going to take the next few days and watch lots of youtube and read more forums in preparation.


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#25
January 27, 2012 at 21:08:33
Good Luck.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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