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Peachy

Build your own or buy?

Who built your computer?  

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One of these days, I'll have enough money and knowledge at the same time to build a decent computer. I didn't realize at the time I bought my current MoBo that it had something called RDRam. When I got it I was surprised that my Dimms would not fit in it. Then, I learned that 800MB's per second wasn't as fast as it sounded because it's in series instead of parallel. Now I'm stuck at 128MB's of ram and I have the option of running a little slower with PC100's on a Dimm riser that blocks my CPU cooling or pay the extra bucks for Rimms that are hard to find as single sticks. They are made faster in newer boards by using 2 identical ones in parallel, but my i820 operates only in series. I have succesfully run it with just the one 64MB stick (just to make sure).By the way, my board is very overclockable, so, that is another reason to build your own. I have a PII 350 running at 483. I eventually want to upgrade to a PIII 1GHz processor when I can find the right deal. It is a slot 1 so I would have to get an adapter. It may be easier for me to be satisfied with what I have till I can get a different MB.My video card is another story of what happens when you don't research. I bought the cheapest GeForce 4 I could find only to realize for a couple dollars more you get DDR memory instead of SDRam on the board. Of well, I'm not a serious gamer anyways. It does the job.I've also recently decided to move over to Linux and that brings up hardware issues. My ISA sound card isn't well supported. I did get my Win Modem working though.Live and learn.

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LOL..I had to laugh..I buy orphan or refurbs and give em a home....out of 9 only 3 were bought new.

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:'( Build your own. Sense of pride and accomplishment, yes it is. I have had two given to me, one was older than I am (I think), it was military surplus, had MMX right on the front of the case. Have no idea what that meant but it did not take me but a month to wipe it slick. Don't know what I did but it would not work no more, it even had one of the old 5.25 floppy drives in it. Second one ended up as parts for my first good one built by a shop. Watched him for a couple of weeks and the thought was born. "I can do this" now about 30 or so machines later, I think I got it down, not so sure about the OS's though. What I

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I'm probably in the minority here, but mine have always been from one of the big boys, IBM, Compaq, HP, or Apple. A local retailer recently started promoting a BYOS, build your own system, department. I though it would be interesting to build my own system. When I started looking at the costs, I can get a system that will do what I want from Dell for about $600. To build the same system would end up being well over $1,000. I just can't justify the cost difference.

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opppps ... wrong key .. What I have learned is that it is a good idea to have an idea of the end result. Is it for just home/small business and some web surfing. Is it for high end gaming and graphics design work and as I think Peachy said or someone did ... speed is not the prime factor. Unless of course you can afford to connect up on a T1 or T3 line. I say that because most connections I have had d/l at 1.5mbps DSL an up load at 384kbps DSL , dial ups vary a lot, so that hauling butt machine that has a P4 cranking out at 3.6ghz is nice on the desk but not fully utilized on the web since the connection is not as fast as the machine is. But to each their own.

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I must've been busy (not around) when this poll was put out. But I can see where much of the knowledge around here comes from. to date, 46 of YOU do DIY machines. I guess after the initial learning curve, the experience builds a great foundation of knowledge. My current home system was built by a specialty shop my former employer knew/did business with. got to pick all the parts, and the system came ready to install. so I had to pick the "mom and pop" choice. After reading this thread, I will surely build my own next time. probably when the 64-bit starts taking over and the "old" stuff gets even cheaper.

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Guess I've run the spectrum too: first pc was mom-&-pop,then two 'big boys' (one thru a local dealer,the other at Costco :thumbsup: ),& now,my two yr. old from a build-it-yourself shop online. It's been perfect for my needs,&,like a good spouse,puts up with my quirks as I put up with its :) . It has an AMD Athlon 1150 on a nForce2 chipset. I listen to a LOT of music (I have an internet broadcast stream,so I'm always trying fresh material/checking rips from cds/etc.),& given my less-than-perfect hearing to start with,the audio quality is fine. I'm no Graphics Genius,but they look good to me,which is what 95% of people want. No hassles,just good basic stuff that works.Someday,I hope to go to a 1.8-2.4 Athlon & take the DDR Ram from 512 (480 available w/the chipset) to 1 gig. And,a 60-70 gb hard drive would be nice...Love & Peace,Clarence

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I've been rolling my own since the mid 80s.I've usually worked with a full tower case, as I find it much easier to work with.I then upgrade in small steps...once I get the motherboard up and running, I'll pile on the peripherals.I've never got the latest and greatest, but I do have an adequete machine for the little bit of futzing around I do.I'll probably start the cycle over again this year...my AMD Thunderbird board is maxed out at 2200+. I'm waiting for the 64 bit boards to come down in price a bit, as well as development of software written for it.AMD Thunderbird 2200+1 gig PC3200 memory2-120 gig hard drives (Maxtor ATA 133 with 8 mb cache)CD-R/RWDVD R+R-R/WGeforce 4400 128 meg DDR

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Right now I have a bunch of systems; my main PC is a 2000-model Dell L566cx, but it's only half original parts (I've upgraded it like crazy...) The next system I get will probably be a DIY system, though. I also have another desktop system (486) of unknown origin that I've been upgrading and recently rebuilt from scratch, an IBM PS/1 (another 486) that I modified a lot... I also have two laptops (a Pentium and a 286), but I haven't upgraded those (although the Pentium has been upgraded, I got it from a friend ;) )

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My last computer I built myself and it is still running great. My new computer is a Dell 4600 with a P4 3.0 ghz chip. I find that it is not cost effective to build your own any more with the prices of new PC's being so low. It does not feel the same however when I use the Dell as when I use my home built. The one that I built seems like a little part of me is in it while the Dell is just another PC. I will vote DIY.

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Actually the first pc I built was a Sinclair ZX81 - it had 2k of memory and a membrane keyboard - I'm betting most here have not even heard of it. :hmm: The second one i built was a fast AMD 486 dx 40 and the latest is the one I'm on now. AMD XP1700+ that I built in 2002. :happyroll: The next will be built within the next 3 months and will be a AMD XP3200 :angry: MikeHerIA62

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I'd build it myself the hardest part is the configuration on the componests even new mobo'ds don't cooperate with hardware but the good news it's getting somewhat better slowly but surely! putting it together takes from 2 to 5 hrs most times it always helps to have a live pc as to where you can suft the web in order to trouble shoot *stuff*but building your own boxes is the only true way to get a custom System!Hang n there or hangout & stay Cool with a Hot chix had betters Enjoy this Life Cause it's the only one you'll get! save 4 the hereafter :thumbsdown:

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the last machine we bought in our house was an IBM286 in 1988. Everything since then, leading to my current 5 machines (assortment of P-II, P-III, P-iV) has been upgrades. The first couple of times i bought the parts, but then I found a local shop whose prices were within 10% of the best web prices I could find (currently newegg.com), who would assemble and test for free. So, for example, to upgrade a P-II, I just ordered a MB/processor/memory/case/video-card combo, for about $50 more than the best web price. For my $50 they will build it, make sure it works, and support it if it breaks.Why do I spend the $50? Because if I order and assemble the parts and they don't work, I don't really have the equipment to debug it, I also avoid the hassle of mail-order returns. Call it 'comfort insurance' 8-}Just my $.02/j

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I bought a system three years ago and, about a year later, got the silencing bug. I wound up switching parts for silent parts until I got it reasonably quiet. When it became time for a new system, I wanted to build as silent a system as I could, so spent a good four months researching the components whilst waiting for the bank balance to go up a little, and the cost of my chosen components to come down a little. I've just completed the build, which is my first, and it is, I'm very happy to say, silent! I learned a lot from doing it and, although it was more difficult than I expected and frustrating at times, I'm glad I did it that way.

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I've just completed the build, which is my first, and it is, I'm very happy to say, silent! I learned a lot from doing it and, although it was more difficult than I expected and frustrating at times, I'm glad I did it that way.

Just thought I would come back and post a link to my web page detailing the build of my system. As I said, it was built for silence and each component was selected on that basis.AMD64: the silent beastNow it looks like I'm going to need a new monitor too. Hmmmm, those 21.3" SyncMasters seem pretty nifty...

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Geez, suspended hard drives? Is there a difference in noise level? The Antec Sonata Piano Black Super Mini Tower case uses rubber grommets to dampen the hard drive vibrations in the drive cages. That could have been another alternative. What happens if the clips loose their grip? I shudder at the thought! ;)

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The difference is huge! The case I have also has grommets on the HDD cage but they're basically playing lip-service to silence. Suspending has completely decoupled the drives from the case and the elastic absorbs the vibrations. So no seek noise gets through to the case. As for the clips slipping, I've checked and rechecked; they're fine. I can lay the case on its side (which I did last night to remove the video card - bloomin' AGP clips that you can't see!) and the drive cage stays suspended. It's quite a common technique amonst silencing enthusiasts actually.

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The only computer I own that I didn't build myself is my laptop, and when they start selling kits for those... ;)

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I went to your site Cams to see the silent case and got distracted by the cats and horse, my favourite animals.Oh yes, nice case too!

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I was going to build one, but when I tallied up the price, and it was almost as much or more than a factory built system. That quickly changed my mind. Then I saw an ad on specials for the 4th of July. It is from Global. They were offering a 64 bit, AMD chip, with a mother board that has all kinds of expansion capabilities. The power supply is 400 watts. It comes with a DVD + - R, RW double layer drive, a 120GB SATA hard drive, The sound and video is integrated, but can be shut off in favor of a board. Network is integrated. The support chips are NVIDIA. It comes with Win**XP Pro, and one gig of ram. There is a connector on the board for a couple of Floppy drives, and it supports parallel hd's as well as SATA drives. The case is roomy enough for expansion. The whole thing went for ONE GRAND, minus a penny. Shipping is free.The setup is about as close as what I was about to put together, and for a lot less money. I was initially going to order a bare bones system, but this changed my mind.I guess that I will add another hard drive to install 64 bit linux, and I should be well on my way to happy computing.

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This thread hasn't been updated in a while. I think the economics have changed even more, and nowadays it makes sense to build your own if:

  • You have done so before, have a nice case and reusable parts and want to upgrade.
  • You are building a high end game machine and want to control all the inputs carefully.
  • You want to run Linux and not buy Windows as part of the package.
  • You want to have fun and learn something about computers by building one.

I went through this exercise recently when I got a new desktop to run Windows 7. I was able to buy a fairly nice business grade Acer i5 system and tweak it a bit to improve graphics for less than the parts would have cost me.

Edited by raymac46

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If you want it done right, do it yourself. ;)

 

That being said, CompUSA (Tiger Direct) has quite a few really nice package deals for desktops lately. :yes:

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My No.1 is in a state of constant upgrade. While the case is about 7 years old, it has had 2 mobos, 3 graphics cards, 2 RAM upgrades, 3 power supplies and many drives. Still looks the same (except for the 3 different monitors). :)

Building your own is fun and rewarding.

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Hello,

 

Like everyone else, build for home PC. I do prefer to buy laptops (most vendors allow sufficient customization to get what you want) as well as buy desktops and servers for work.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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Yes, DIY is my favorite way! Been doing that since my very first IBM Compatible computer!

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I think that historically, looking at the power user group, it has never been about 'money'. The computer hobbyists tend to do it more for enjoyment, choosing quality components etc. Having said that, when you consider the present market conditions, DIY makes sense only for the computer hobbyist these days. The cost of a desktop PC these days has become so low that it's much better for the average user to buy one rather than build.

 

For my needs, I would prefer to build.

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My last build was a Shuttle XPC. I wried in switches in the back in order to allow me to turn the front panel LEDs off if I chose (Why people put lights and LEDs in their cases is beyond me). That little machine is chugging along almost constantly. The only repair I've needed to make is a replacement CMOS battery.

 

Adam

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a friend builds the servers for his work, the case looks like what ibm is entombing their rack-mount servers in.

he builds to the same specs as a dell, hp or ibm, but claims he saves about 50% of the cost...

 

my theory is, are the hard drives, ram, mobo, power supply, etc as durable?

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Perhaps not, if he is cutting costs by that much. The profit margins on PCs are razor thin, so a big manufacturer is not making much money outside the hardware and software costs.

 

Adam

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