Re-using parts: Great way to make good PC's

April 22, 2010 at 03:23:56
Specs: Windows 7, E7500 @ 3.2Ghz / 4GB
Were moving house soon and for the first time in years we will have a PC in a common area for anyone to use. Since the PC we currently have for this job is getting ancient (1GHz Cel/384Mb 13" CRT) I decided I'd put together a well equipped PC as a surprise for the family, this includes a monitor etc.

Looking around It dosnt seem to make much sense to buy new parts, I'm putting together a PC that I'd be happy to use on a daily basis and it's going to cost less than $600. The only new things will be the copy of windows, RAM, HDD and case.

Its nicely outfitted too:

C2D E6300
Asrock 775Dual-VSTA
2GB DDRII
X1650 Pro (AGP)
500GB WD Black
Windows 7 Home Premium

With a sturdy case and a 19" BenQ LCD (4:3)
Damn good value IMO and should keep everyone happy for years.

I'm just wondering how many people here actually assemble PC's with second hand/recycled parts? Talking full systems with monitor. The only compareable new system I found in the range of $600 did have a faster CPU and an extra gig of RAM, but would have a slower HDD, onboard graphics and not include windows or a monitor. The recycled PC is a much better all rounder too. I could save an extra $75 and re-use a spare 200GB HDD I have, but every PC I've had is slowed down by the HDD. The WD Black should keep the old girl purring along smoothly and boost loading times.

Opinions? Comments? Your 2 cents?

Mattwizz3
P35-DS3R
4GB DDR800
E7500


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#1
April 22, 2010 at 10:41:31
I have a steady flow of "old" parts & regularly throw together socket 7, socket A, socket 754, socket 370 & socket 478 systems for next to nothing. Operating systems & software are free. IMO, only suckers pay for software ;-)

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#2
April 22, 2010 at 11:49:58
It all depends. If someone comes to me and wants a computer built we discuss what they want out of it versus cost. I never throw away a part that still works. If all you want is to check your email and read headlines then you don't need windows 7 ultimate and 12 gigs of ram. Win 3.1 and 64 mbs will do. It will do it slowly but it will do. Some people don't care they just have to have the newest or latest on the market. Or maybe they just want brand new with warrenty. Right now I have enough parts that I could probibly throw together 3 pc's for less than $50 total not including my labor ofcourse. Granted these will not be top of the line gaming machines but they will run.

As for the cost of software,...........well I leave that to the imagination. Sometimes, when needed, Buddha does provide and sometimes uncle Bill is paid for his services.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#3
April 22, 2010 at 13:25:25
The Jukebox in our garage is mostly made of old stuff.

It was once powered by a G4-867 on OS 10.5, but in an effort to completely "de-Macify" my home, I gave that machine away and rebuilt the Jukebox around:

my old Asus A7V600 board and Barton 2800+
2GB PC2700 memory
Radeon 9800 Pro
a stripped 19" LCD panel on DVI, mostly for visualizations and album art
a stripped 6.5" panel on VGA, for song choice, settings, etc.
an old 40GB for the OS (music is stored on a file server in the house)
linksys wireless N card--new
Windows 7 Home Premium OEM--also new

The above is wired to my old Pioneer stereo amp, which outputs to an equally old Velodyne sub and a newer pair of Polks.

24 yr old collection
Vinyl: 68 | CD: 730 | DVD-A: 27 | Laserdisc: 38 | DVD: 465 | HD-DVD: 61 | Blu-Ray: 140
Latest: Toy Story 1&2 (BD). Mark Knopfler-Shangri-La (CD/DVD-A combo)


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#4
April 22, 2010 at 13:57:30
jackbomb your the first person I've heard of "de-Macify-ing" their home. I macified it just to see what the hoo-ha was about and wasnt particularly wowed. So its collecting dust under the house..
Also jackbomb, I have my main computer set up with an old Audio system too, a nice old Sansui 800 Receiver from 1968, better than any PC speaker setup! I also set up an old Akai AA-1020 for my sister in her room too. Probably the cheapest and best way to use a PC for music.

As for software, I'm happy to pay the OEM price for the operating system and all the other software I use really is free.
I used to get my OS through 'different avenues' but decided that it wasnt worth the trouble. I figure if I'm going to use it every day for at least 2 years its worth $130, thats 6 cents a day, or roughly 10 seconds off my pay at work every day :P

So I'm OK with paying for it.

Mattwizz3
P35-DS3R
4GB DDR800
E7500


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#5
April 23, 2010 at 12:53:03
Like likelystory, when building a custom unit for someone else I always discuss needs vs cost. I'm not going to build a $4,000.00 gaming rig for someone who just wants to surf and do email. Conversely, I would try to sell a gamer a rig made from old PC parts I have kicking around.

I have a bunch of PC's in my home office. My main rig, which is also a gaming rig and I have 4 others plugged into my kvm switch. Those range from PIII to PIV class machines (at least two of them have AMD CPU's) and I also have two more similar machines sitting around just in case.

I also keep a supply of parts for the older PC's. Things like a spare PSU or two and to be honest, the two PC's I have kicking around are there for spare parts mainly. When we moved here 5 years ago, I went through and tossed all the old x86 and Pentium class parts away since I hadn't owned, or touched one, in a few years.

An "average" home user doesn't require a gaming rig and would probably find an older computer would fit all their needs as nicely as it would fit their budget.


jam

Operating systems & software are free. IMO, only suckers pay for software ;-)

I'm REALLY hoping the wink means you're joking....


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#6
April 23, 2010 at 14:37:08
@ Mattwizz3

Your receiver is a few years older than me...lol

"better than any PC speaker setup!"
Probably much better. I had a listen to Logitech's THX certified(!) Z5500 5.1 set not too long ago and was not at all impressed. All I heard was bass--and it wasn't even good bass, it was boomy, cheap-sounding bass that overpowered the set's pathetic little satellites. How the hell can THX put their seal of approval on products like these and keep a straight face?

Klipsch used to make decent PC stuff, but even their top ProMedia sets can't match the clean output of a simple amp/bookshelf/active sub setup.

24 yr old collection
Vinyl: 68 | CD: 730 | DVD-A: 27 | Laserdisc: 38 | DVD: 465 | HD-DVD: 61 | Blu-Ray: 140
Latest: Toy Story 1&2 (BD). Mark Knopfler-Shangri-La (CD/DVD-A combo)


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#7
May 6, 2010 at 15:11:35
"I'm REALLY hoping the wink means you're joking...."

Sorry to disappoint you, but I do NOT pay for software - EVER.

Yo ho ho, matey!


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#8
May 7, 2010 at 05:30:17
My basement music rig is an old Slot A Athlon 800 feeding a Sansui 5000 receiver connected to a pair of Pioneer 3 way speakers with 15" Woofers. Also have a Dual 1090 turntable/changer and a couple of Sony reel to reel decks.

The computer is connected to the LAN and the net. I use Winamp to play my MP3 files.


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#9
May 7, 2010 at 07:50:16
jam

Does this mean you use only open source Operating Systems and applications?

I sure hope so!


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#10
May 8, 2010 at 12:44:59
"Does this mean you use only open source Operating Systems and applications?"

Once again, sorry to disappoint you.


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#11
May 8, 2010 at 14:55:41
Not saying a word. I have the right to the fith amendment right?

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#12
May 9, 2010 at 05:14:57
OtheHill, I was trying to get my hands on a Sansui 5000 not long ago very nice receiver.

I put the computer together last week and its quick, It actually gets into windows faster than my main rig thanks to the WD Black. The only difference from the original listing is I ended up with a dell 19" monitor.

Mattwizz3
P35-DS3R
4GB DDR800
E7500


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#13
May 9, 2010 at 05:55:04
jam

You've been hanging out here in CN for quite some time and until today, I thought of you as being someone I could respect. Someone with integrity.

I was wrong on both counts!

You're a thief and I'm sorry but I can't respect a thief. In fact, I despise thieves.


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#14
May 10, 2010 at 13:54:01
I prefer the term 'pirate'.

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#15
May 10, 2010 at 14:59:40
I prefer the term 'pirate'.

That's no surprise.

But pretty it up however you like, it's still theft and that makes you a thief.

If you don't like being called a thief, then perhaps it's time to stop being one?



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#16
May 11, 2010 at 05:08:03
A little extreme Curt R. I have plenty of respect for Jam for what he does here, and his source of software has absolutely no effect on that. I pay for OEM versions of software by choice. I used to get software the same way as Jam but decided that since I could afford it and could find it cheap enough it was worth buying.

Seriously though, $300 for Win 7 Home Premium is hardly an enticing price for anyone, in my opinion NO software aimed at a mass market (ie: every PC under the sun) is worth more than $200 a pop. When it first came out in the shops around here I saw 7 Ultimate for as much as $700, who in their right mind would concider paying that.

IMO a fair price would cut piracy by a large margin.
Just as a side note though: Half of the people that download pirated material wouldent pay for what they download anyway, even if they couldent download it. So its not an actual loss for the software company, just a theoretical loss. 70 cents of what you pay MS is for the bit of plastic that goes in the CD tray, the rest is for a licence to use their software.

Mattwizz3
P35-DS3R
4GB DDR800
E7500


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#17
May 11, 2010 at 08:04:19
A little extreme Curt R

You can say so if you like but I don't think so. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck, and most importantly, jumps up and tells you to your face, "I'm a duck" then you have to call it a duck...........right?

He openly, and freely admitted he steals software.
People who steal are thieves.

Had he said he sews mens suits for a living, I'd have called him a Tailor. Would that be extreme?

I have plenty of respect for Jam for what he does here

I always did have too. I still do have for the help he gives people. I just don't have any for him personally anymore is all I'm saying.

I used to get software the same way as Jam but decided that since I could afford it and could find it cheap enough it was worth buying.

I have tried software out that I hadn't paid for. But as soon as I decide I want it, I buy it. If I don't want it, I delete it. If I want it but it's too expensive, I don't even try it out. If I object on other grounds (don't like the company and refuse to support them) I don't buy it.

I suspect that is what most people do who aren't thieves.

Seriously though, $300 for Win 7 Home Premium is hardly an enticing price for anyone, in my opinion NO software aimed at a mass market (ie: every PC under the sun) is worth more than $200 a pop.

I'm not sure where you're buying your OS's but I just bought Windows 7 Pro (64 bit) for my wife's new gaming PC for $149.00.

The same place sells
Premium (64 bit) = $115.00
Ultimate (64 bit) = $198.00

Oddly enough, XP Pro is still $197.00 on their site (that's 32 bit too btw).

http://www.b-com.ca/home.php?cat=377

Anyhow, if you object to the price of something, you can just not buy it. That's always my choice.

But the maker/programmer/artist has the right to charge what they feel their product is worth.

IMO a fair price would cut piracy by a large margin.

You make a good point. The only thing is, you're preaching to the converted. You have to convince the manufacturer's and get them to drop their prices. I'm already with you on this.

Just as a side note though: Half of the people that download pirated material wouldent pay for what they download anyway, even if they couldent download it. So its not an actual loss for the software company, just a theoretical loss.

This is an interesting way to justify stealing. But in the end, it's still stealing if you take it without paying for it.

What you're not thinking about is the fact that while the thief may not have to pay for what they're stealing, everybody else who legitimately purchases that same produce pays for what the thieves take

How so you ask?

Simple, they raise the price of the product to compensate for the loss they incur. Every company/business I know of does this. They know people will steal from them and they estimate how much they will lose yearly and adjust their prices accordingly. So in reality, it's the thieves themselves driving up the cost of an item. If people would all quit stealing, prices wouldn't be so high at the outset.

You don't actually think the companies being stolen from are going to eat that loss themselves do you?
So thieves aren't actually stealing from the company, they're stealing from you, me and everybody else who abides by the law and pays for what they want.

In the end what it boils down to for me is (and I freely admit I see things in a very black and white way, I don't deal in shades of grey) is there is right and there is wrong. No matter how you justify it, stealing is both legally and morally wrong. Everybody knows this including the thieves themselves with very few exceptions.

In the end it boils down to a simple question. How do you feel about someone stealing from you personally?

I know of nobody, thieves included, who would be happy to come home and find their house empty of all valuables.

If jam came home from a weekend away and found his house broken into and all his electronics and computers stolen he'd be fit to be tied. He'd be outraged and so angry that if he could, he'd beat the thief (or thieves as the case may be) so badly they'd be in the hospital if he didn't outright kill them (I know how it feels since I've had things stolen from me). Yet, he manages to find a way to do the same thing to me, you and every other person alive who pays for what they want in life and now you're here telling me I'm "extreme". If you truly believe that, then you've no idea how the system really works, and more importantly, you've probably never had something you value, something you sweated and worked for, stolen from you.

So think about what I've said for a minute. Check into how businesses and companies recover income lost due to theft and then come back and tell me if you really think I'm being extreme.


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#18
May 11, 2010 at 10:48:40
Curt

I was with your until "You don't actually think the companies being stolen from are going to eat that loss themselves do you?
So thieves aren't actually stealing from the company, they're stealing from you, me and everybody else who abides by the law and pays for what they want".

If the cost of software, music, or a movie were fixed, then your rational would be correct.

However, this supposition is wrong.

Case in point. The movie industry is selling DVDs of movies for $5 in China. If the cost were more than that, they wouldn't do it.

There are many business models. You can sell on price point and make it up on volume or you can charge through the nose and get the development costs back with fewer captive customers.

The same drug companies sell patented brand name drugs overseas for 25% of what they charge in the US. How can they do that, you ask? The answer is that the actual cost to manufacture is just pennies. They charge what they do because they can get it.

Microsoft MUST recover the cost of OS development in order to stay in business. After those costs are recovered each copy sold is pure profit.

How much do you think the OEMs pay for their versions of Windows? A clue would be what they charge you if you need to buy replacement disks. Generally, $25 to $50 a pop. This includes other software like MS works.

The point is, all vendors are going to charge what they feel the market will bear. They are not losing money because of piracy. They are making LESS money, because of piracy.

All that said, I do agree that this is a moral issue and each user must look inward to justify what they do.

Some folks would still pirate if the cost of Windows was only $50 or $20. That said, I would venture to say that as the cost is reduced the compliance will increase. This has been proven in the music industry.

I am of the school of thought that most pirated software would not be bought if somehow pirating was stopped. I also buy into the concept that there is a difference between copying a copyrighted work and stealing tangible property.

If next month My ISP caps my internet use you can be assured you won't see me here any more if it is going to cost me extra on my bill.

I don't know what motivated jam to make such an admission. That said, it is his business and I don't believe for a minute that it is costing paid users anymore. There are enough security measures in place to assure the developers that won't happen.

What the people in a position to do so should be doing is stopping the commercial pirates. That is where the cash is at.


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#19
May 11, 2010 at 12:54:23
OtheHill

I have a friend who's family owns a corner convenience store and has since the 50's. I have another friend who manages a very large grocery store. Both have told me that they do raise prices to defray the cost of theft. They are allowed (at least here in Canada) to claim a certain percentage on income tax to cover loss due to damage or spoilage. But it's not a whole lot of $$$ worth and usually doesn't even come close to covering the cost of the actual losses.

I assumed..........and yes, my dad told me more than once what assuming does so you would think I would know better by now...........that all businesses do the same.


I still think it does affect the selling price, but I can't prove it and what you say makes a lot of sense so I'm going to accept that you have the right of it and leave it at that.

What really kills me about this is, I'd wager money that jam is an otherwise honest, decent, stand-up kind of guy. Yet he, and other people like him whom I've met, known, and discussed this with, seem to be able to justify stealing software and not have it bother their otherwise accurate sense of right and wrong.



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#20
May 11, 2010 at 14:25:55
The difference is the stores actually lost merchandise to thieves. Stock they paid for. Microsoft loses nothing but a potential sale from piracy. Hope you can see the distinction.

People cheat on their taxes too. That does cost everyone else money.


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#21
May 11, 2010 at 14:28:30
"I don't know what motivated jam to make such an admission"

I've dropped plenty of hints about it over the years, I just finally decided to just say it outright.

If it makes you feel any better, I do NOT sell software. I sell hardware & charge for my time assembling it. Any included software is completely free of charge & is for demo purposes only.


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#22
May 11, 2010 at 15:20:39
jam

I pretty much knew where your were coming from. I am just surprised you have admitted it here. If nothing else, aren't you worried about big brother looking over your shoulder?


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#23
May 12, 2010 at 02:34:46
I don't know. If jam had popped in and said " Hey I went to Staples and walked out with X number of XXXXXXX software that I didn't pay for" then yeah I would rather look down my nose at him.

I copy lots of things to dvd, movies, music, software, etc....
I buy high quality dvds to do this. I pay maybe 40 cents per dvd if they are printable or lightscribe. Now these are for my personal use I have never sold anything. I have given away many copies of tv shows if that counts. I am a race fan so I copy all the Nascar races. They make it a point to announce that it is illegal to do this so I guess I am a thief as well.

Now given the fact that I get my dvds so cheap I am betting if I buy in bulk, say a million or 2, I might be able to get them for less than a penny each. The cost to create an OS say Win 7 as an example can't be it seems more than 50 million. Given the fact that Microsoft has been in business doing this for a while when it came to starting windows 7 they did not have to go looking to hire a staff of overpaid educated people, they didn't have to build an office building, they didn't have to etc... etc.. etc..
The material cost for them was not that high. I have no figures and I am not interested in looking them up but I am betting that from the time windows 7 was released until now over a million copies have been puchased. At just $100.00 a copy that would have been a heck of a profit margin.

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Full
Newegg = 268.99
Staples = 299.99
Amazon.com = 249.99
Best Buy = 299.99
Wal mart = 249.99
This is what is listed on their websites now. I know it can be gotten cheaper and you can go cheaper than the full version. I am using Windows 7 Ultimate retail version that No I did not pay for. My old boss did and he paid 314.29 for it because he had to go to a certain retailer (he thinks they throw him a bone now and then) locally.

As for they way theft is dealt with at the store level. A small mom and pops place can be hurt by this because they may not be able to afford the insurance but all the larger businesses such as wal mart not only have tax loopholes set up to cover loss do to theft but they also have insurance they can claim loss against. My cousin works in loss prevention at wal mart. He said there is some paperwork to do but the company gets their money back. I bet they do still roll the cost over to the customer though.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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