I’m considering building myself a PC. (!)

I figure it’ll be good for experience, because really, I don’t have much of a clue of the hardware side of things. 🙂 I then had the further thought that I could turn it into a gaming machine. And have some distro of Linux to mess around with on another partition.

I don’t want to spend too much on it, mind you…it’s hardly going to be my primary computer. Just enough to run most current games adequately would be a good start. So with that in mind, could any of you recommend anything to start off with? 🙂 Brands to avoid, what sort of mobo/processor/etc, that sort of thing. I still have yet to figure out even where I’m going to put this, but hey.

I know you can get switches so you can use one monitor with two computers, but is there a similar thing for USB?

3 thoughts on “*gasp*

  1. I’ve been toying with building myself a new one. Take some of this with a grain of salt, because I’m not a one-man IT purchasing department or anything, but:

    Maxtor seems to make consistently good drives. Other manufacturers have ups and downs. Caveat: Though it’s not really even their fault, Maxtor is one of the major drive makers (but not the only one) that is now conducting a massive recall of some 60-GB drives they produced. So check around on that issue before you buy any drives.

    Good motherboards: Pretty much everybody likes Abit or Asus (I like Abit myself, but I have nothing against Asus, I just don’t know their product). Some like Super Micro. Intel is way overpriced, but you probably figured that.

    CPU: If you buy AMD, you get more bang for your buck, but make sure you also get plenty of cooling power with that. Whether you get AMD or Intel, the top-speed high-end processor probably isn’t worth the money for you — consider saving youself a lot of money by going a step down on the high-end line, or getting the top-speed economy line. Look at getting a dual-processor board.

    Get your RAM from Crucial, unless somebody’s giving you a bunch free of charge.

    Sound, video, keyboards, mice, buy whatever you think looks good and/or works well.

    Do you really need DVD-writing capability? If not, you save yourself $200-300 by getting a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive instead of one with DVD-writing on top of all that.

    Get a board with integrated USB and FireWire (duh), but skip integrated sound and video unless you’re really economizing (see comments above on sound and video — this is entirely a matter of taste/money).

    Linksys makes good cheap tulip-compatible Ethernet cards. Or, almost any LUG meeting probably has someone with a couple of old 10BT cards they’ll let you have free. Do you really need 100 BT capability? Or, are you going wireless? If so, think about peer-to-peer rather than blowing $150 on an AP just to connect two computers together.

    When all’s said and done, you should be able to build a top-end gaming PC for $800-1000, a nice system with good media capabilities for $600, and a functional but somewhat limited system for $300-400.

    1. I was talking to a friend, and gathered this list of components…let me know what you think. 🙂 (I won’t bother quoting prices, because they’re in AU$).

      Intel Pentium IV 2.4GHz, 800MHz HT
      Gigabyte GA-8IG1000 mobo
      QF50B ATX P4 300w Case

      Leadtek GeForce 4 Ti4200 128MB, 8xAGP, VIVO
      Corsair 512MB DDR RAM, PC 2100
      Western Digital 60GB 7200RPM IDE HDD, 8MB Cache

      (I haven’t forgotten the floppy or CD-ROM, but they’re pretty generic components. 🙂 And I don’t have any need for a DVD drive).

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