PC Building Guide FAQ: Part 1

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muthu

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If you need to build a new pc means please go to consulting with good quality pc manufacturer. because lot of latest versions will be updated everyday. suppose you want idea about pc building means go to search some search engines are helping to yours..........

------------------------

Muthu
 

Link Building

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ricco48442

When I buy an Intel CPU, it comes with a fan and has a little pad on the CPU. Am I supposed to remove this pad and add Arctic Silver if I'm going to use a different cooler?

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Paul_Lilly

When purchasing a retail CPU, the thermal pad will come pre-installed on the bundled heatsink's base, not on the processor itself. If you plan to use the stock cooler, you can opt to use the pad, or clean it off and apply thermal grease, such as Arctic Silver 5. Same goes for some third party coolers - grease/pad will either come pre-installed, or they'll sometimes throw in a tube of their own stuff. In either case, I personally prefer to use Arctic Silver 5, and always have a tube on hand.

To clean off the pad, I recommend gently scraping it off the surface with a non-abrasive material, such as a plastic library card. Then moisten a q-tip with isopropyl rubbing alcohol (preferably greater than 90% concentration) and clean the surface in a circular motion. Follow that up with a dry q-tip and repeat the process until no more gunk is being pulled up. Alternately, snag a kit of Arctic Clean and follow the provided instructions (the stuff works great).

And finally, following Arctic Silver's instructions for applying Arctic Silver 5, which can vary by CPU. The method's changed over the years, from applying a thin layer over the surface, to using a small dab roughly the size of a grain of rice in the center, to now recommending you apply a thin line across the IHS for multi-core processors. Be sure not to use too much, as the goal is to fill in the microscopic nooks and crannies.

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theqman

Thanks One4yu2c. I was just about to apply some grease to my newest Xmas build and thought I'd check to be sure the amount to add was still "about the size of a BB".
Now I find it's a thin LINE for dual cores.

Thank you VERY much for the link!

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suckyn00b

I find it funny that people are arguing over OEM vs DIY. Basically, if someone is reading this magazine/website, then they are above the average OEM level. They either already are DIY (like myself), or people who genuinely have an interest in learning how computers work. They may not know the hardware side of things yet, but obviously they have an interest. Its nice to see that Maximum PC continues to submit articles once in a while for the new computer builders/modders out there. I know when I first started reading this mag several years ago, I was way over my head. Over the years I have learned most of the terminology, but it can be very frightening for new people. I salute Maximum PC for writing content to help new people into this exciting area. As long as there are humans on this earth, DIY will never die out because this is where innovation comes from

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EvilHomerGD

I've been building my own PCs and PCs for friends now for almost 8 years. I like the fact that I can pick and chose EVERY component of a system when I build it myself. Instead of getting stuck with proprietary or crappy hardware, I know that I am getting good quality hardware that I can easily upgrade whenever I choose. If all you want to do is surf the web, then by all means, go for that Dell... But if you want to be able to play all of the latest game titles, including yet-to-be-released titles, you're better off building your own rig. I can easily swap out my 7900GS for that 8800 Ultra (which is coming soon!) to get better frame rates in BF2 or what ever game I am playing at the time because I took the time to build my system with my needs in mind, carefully selecting the hardware that was right for me.

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Vatalias

I am so glad I found this site!!!  I am the person you speak of
wanting to get to learn more about how the computer works
>>>going to school for structural engineering<<<  It
all started around November when I built my first system.  I had no help
or anything and spent god knows how many hours researching differnt
parts and kits and specials and so on.  I ended up going to
Tigerdirect.com and choosing one of their gaming systems and then
tailored it to my preferences based on articles I read or opinions I got
from people I game with.  Up untill about a week ago I never knew how
much was involved in the design of the things people over look, i.e. air
flow, PSU, fans and case design as well as materials used on it.  I
have actually been thinking about taking some classes on the design of
computers, but there is a problem, I HAVE NO CLUE WHERE TO START!!! 

Before
I ramble more I am getting ready to build my second system and have
done even more research on it, and the only problem that I am having
with my self is, I am basing it off of the EVGA P55 FTW, but at the same
time I am stuck on wanting it to be inside of one of those sexy Cooler
Master HAF 932 <found a site that made me get stuck on this,
casemod.com>  So let me toss this build at ya and get your take on
it.  I know there is courners I can cut whilest keeping those two
componets in mind.

Case: Cooler Master HAF
932--->$139.99
Mobo:
EVGA P55 FTW
SLI+Physx--->$229.99   >>before
rebates<<

CPU: Intell Core i5
750--->$199.99
RAM:
OCZ PC3 12800
4GB--->$93.99
HDD:
WD 1TB Caviar Green, Sata 3G 64mb
Cache--->$79.99
PSU:
Ultra X4 750w Mod, 135mm fan, SLI+Xfire Cert, +80 Bronze--->$129.99
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5750 1GB
DDR5--->$139.99
Optical Drive: MSI DH-20AL 20x DvDRW
Drive--->$29.99Total: $1053.92 (before S+H)                     

 So yea there it
is.  Any suggestions or what not to where I can get the price down?  I
would even love some suggestions on cases if there is something that can
get the same kind of reviews as the HAF 932.  Mainly chose that one,
because everything I read said that was more or less the top rated case
at this time.

Well thank you very much and I can't wait to see
what kind of response this will get, then again I may have reached the
TLDL point and I am just rambling on, lawl.

QUICK ALT+F4,
ALT+F4!!!!!!

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schneider1492

If you plug a usb header on wrong your mobo led will stay off and your computer will act like the psu is dead. i swapped psu's twice then figured it was the mobo, the usb header was the second thing i unplugged and the computer started booting.

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blackzarg

<3

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sc123

You left out the number one reason people don't build their own computers any more - cost. It's simply cheaper to buy a computer from Dell (for example) than to build your own. You may find the odd configuration that is the exception to this rule, but generally speaking the days of being able to DIY and save are over. I won't even go in to the difference in hardware and software warranty between the two options.

That being said, I have built several of my own computers and it is an interesting experience. As time progresses however, it is a less necessary experience. As any techie will tell you, the vast majority of troubleshooting these days revolves around software - not hardware. In the future this hardware will become even more reliable, as will their drivers - thus removing more of the need for greater hardware understanding.

Still, for those out there still interested in the "experience", this is a great starter article.

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schneider1492

I call Bull$#!%. i built a grate gaming rig over a year ago for less than $1500 (that includes a retail OS) and almost all of my components have a lifetime warranty (this isn't generic stuff either: EVGA, Corsair, Western Digital...) dell still cant offer something comparable for that price, not to mention the crapware you have to remove, and no OS disk only a restore disk! on top of that, with a Dell, stairing at it wrong can void your warenty. Unless you wand a $200 glorified web browser Dell is a total rip!

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Paul_Lilly

There can be a cost advantage in going with a big boutique OEM, but for those tempted by price, I'd warn that you're often locked into proprietary parts and ho-hum components (think Celeron and integrated graphics) - much of the 'value' stems from the bloatware.

The DIY route is still capable of building a mini-powerhouse on a budget, including a modest gaming rig, and I'd put an comparatively priced homebrew up against a cookie-cutter OEM any day...

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big_montana

The only time anyone would be saving by purchasing from Dell, is the time it takes to order, receive and assemble your rig. Now, your own home brew rig will more then likely out perform a Dell, and will also be more reliable. You also do not have to worry about dealing with Dell tech support when something does go wrong (and believe me, something WILL go wrong) and try to translate what Minesh in Mumbai is telling you into coherent English.

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sc123

Use PC Decrapifier to easily remove bloatware. Proprietary parts can be a drawback, granted, but I'd rather have one source for hardware warranties than a more flexible motherboard. At the rate sockets and slots are changing, motherboard upgrades are less and less important. I'd be willing to bet that I could price a Dell cheaper than a comparable DIY rig nine times out of ten and that the Dell would perform just as well as the DIY rig and save the owner a ton of time.

Just my thoughts...I wish they weren't true!

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Paul_Lilly

"I'd be willing to bet that I could price a Dell cheaper than a comparable DIY rig nine times out of ten and that the Dell would perform just as well as the DIY rig and save the owner a ton of time."

That's a bet I'd be willing to take (minus the time factor, obviously). Dell's lower end machines sport both Celerons and onboard graphics, and even their base $1K rigs don't get away from craptastic graphics. Let's look at what $1K gets you from Dell versus DIY:

Dell
Intel Core 2 Duo E6320
Windows Vista Home Premium
2GB DDR2-667
GeForce 7300LE
320GB SATA
16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW)
19" Widescreen LCD
Keyboard/Mouse
1 Year Warranty
$999 + tax = $1,058.94 shipped

DIY
Intel Core 2 Duo E6320
Windows Vista Home Premium
2GB DDR2-800
EVGA 7600GT
500GB/16MB SATA
18X DVD/CD Burner w/ Lightscribe
19" Widescreen LCD
500W Fortron PSU
$1,041 shipped (Newegg)

I won't quibble over pennies and over-emphasize the DIY configuration actually saves a few bucks, but I will focus on the bang/buck. The DIY sports a stronger, more upgradeable foundation (including SLI support), faster RAM, almost double the amount of hard drive space, much faster videocard, Lightscribe burning capability, and though the Dell centralizes the warranty process, some of the DIY components come with up to a lifetime backing (RAM and videocard) compared to Dell's 1-year.

I'm not saying there isn't a market for bulk OEMs (they obviously exist for a reason), but for those willing to go the DIY route (the intended audience of this blog), you can outclass the prebuilt guys with a little bit of elbow grease.

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sc123

1: Your DIY list doesn't include a keyboard, mouse or motherboard.  There are usually other small cables and components that are needed as well that you didn't mention.  This would easily add another $100 to the cost of your DIY machine.

2: I was able to build an Inspiron 530 with your DIY specs or better for $839.00, and Dell doesn't charge tax unless you live in TX.  That's 20% (or more) less than you DIY machine.

 

So you see, you simply can't build a system cheaper than you can buy it from an OEM these days.  I'm sure there are some exceptions, but I believe that is the general rule.  I think it's fair to tell people that they can build it themselves, but it will cost them a bit extra to do so.  You can IM me on the forum if you want to see the exact quote from Dell.

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Paul_Lilly

You're taking prices and parts of a DIY build from 2007 and comparing them to the price and parts of a prebuilt one year later?  That's not just wonky, that's misleading.

Now more than ever you can build a very capable PC on an extreme budget.  DDR2 is at an all time low, Intel and AMD are engaging in a price war, and components in general are very affordable. And that says nothing about the many mail-in-rebates that are out there.

My original quote stands: "The DIY route is still capable of building a mini-powerhouse on a budget, including a modest gaming rig, and I'd put an comparatively priced homebrew up against a cookie-cutter OEM any day..." But since you're dredging up a post from 2007, let's go ahead and see if my same sentiments still apply today:

Dell Inspiron 530

Intel Q6600 (2.4GHz, 1066FSB)
2GB DDR2-667
500GB/7200RPM
16X DVD Burner
Intel 3100 Integrated Graphics
Keyboard/Mouse
19" LCD
Vista Home Premium
$805 shipped

Prebuilt (Newegg)

Intel Q6600 (Retail)
Gigabyte P35 Motherboard
2GB OCZ Gold DDR2-800
750GB/7200RPM
20X DVD Burner
Nvidia 8800GS Videocard
Antec Sonata III Case w/ 500W PSU
Keyboard/Mouse
19" LCD
Vista Home Premium
$779.40 shipped after MIR

So for less money you get a better motherboard, faster RAM, a bigger and faster hard drive, a faster DVD burner, far superior graphics, a non-proprietary and reliable case/PSU combo (this aspect can't be stressed enough), and all the other essentials. Take away the mail-in-rebate factor and the prebuilt jumps just above the Dell, but that can easily be negated by downgrading the videocard (which would still beat Dell's solution) or going with integrated graphics, like the Dell does.

On top of it all, the above comparison represents a budget matchup, an area where OEMs typically hold an advantage.  The gap only gets wider once you move up to a midrange or high end PC. Not only that, but I unnecessarily pidgeon-holed myself when configuring the prebuilt so we could have an apples-to-apples comparison, but another positive in the prebuilt's favor is that your component selection is much wider. Had I set out to build the best possible PC at a comparable price point, I would have ditched the aging Q6600 in favor of a more modern dual-core in Penryn flavor and spec'd out a budget box with a healthy dose of overclocking headroom.

In short, the same sentiments that applied last year still apply today, and then some. Or should we wait another year before pitting the above DIY to a prebuilt machine? ;)

 

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sc123

Lol - that's a big "oops" on my part, I didn't check the date - I was wondering why you chose that processor :)

Anyway, I went back and put together a machine on the Dell site based on your revised specs and came up with a matching system at $1,019.  The only thing slightly lesser in the Dell system is the video card, which is an ATI HD 2600 XT.  I didn't take the time to double check your Newegg pricing, but I would like to know what the "before mail-in rebate" pricing is.  MIR's suck - I really despise them and would be willing to pay a few dollars more not to have to deal with them.

However, if your price is correct then it is clear that at least on this particular configuration the Dell system is $100-$200 more.  I think that the more high end you go the lower that margin will become until you get to around the $2,000 mark and then you'd probably be unable to build a machine cheaper than an OEM.

Did I mention my Dell comes with Micrsoft Works 9 and outsourced tech support? :)

I think a very interesting article would be me vs. you in a pricing war.  Several different types of systems and see who can outprice the other.  I bet I'd win most of them :)

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Paul_Lilly

It was $857 shipped before rebate. That's slightly higher than the Dell, but again, better parts all around.

sc123 wrote: "I think that the more high end you go the lower that margin will become until you get to around the $2,000 mark and then you'd probably be unable to build a machine cheaper than an OEM."

Quite the contrary. Let's go ahead and configure a $2,000 Dell and see how it compares to a DIY machine:

Dell XPS 730

Intel E8400
2GB DDR3-1067
Radeon HD3870 (x2 in CrossFire)
750GB / 16MB Hard Drive
16X DVD Burner
Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer
Mouse/Keyboard
19-in-1 Media Reader
Vista Home Premium
$1,959.95 shipped

DIY (Newegg)

Intel E8400 (Retail)
2GB OCZ Gold DDR3-1333
Asus HD 4870 (x2 in CrossFire)
Gigabyte GA-EP45T-DS3R Motherboard
Samsung 1TB / 32MB Hard Drive
20X DVD Burner
52-in-1 Media Card Reader
Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer
Logitech MX518 Gaming Mouse
OCZ Elixir Gaming Keyboard
Antec 900 Case
Antec TPQ-850W PSU
Vista Home Premium
$1,760.83 shipped ($1,675.83 after MIR)

As previously stated, the higher up the pricing tier you go, the larger the separation between a DIY rig and a prebuilt OEM. Not only does the DIY cost $200 ($285 after MIR) less than the Dell, but it absolutely destroys it in performance. Once again, we're looking at a bigger and faster hard drive with more cache, faster RAM, a better motherboard, faster optical, and the HD 4870 videocards downright demolish the HD 3870 parts in the Dell. Even the mouse and keyboard are better than what you get with the Dell, and with the prebuilt, you still have $200 more to play with. Or drop down to a pair of HD 4850 videocards and increase that budget to $400. Either way, you can start looking at the X48 chipset, 4GB of RAM, a digital camera, 5.1 surround sound speakers to complement that soundcard (onboard audio would have been fine, but the XPS 730 didn't give that option), and a wealth of other options to choose from.

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sc123

I get $1,849.00 on that Dell system.  I don't know what we're doing different, but your prices are consistently higher when you're configuring Dell systems.  I wonder if it is because of CA's various additional environmental fees being factored in.

It should be noted that if you are willing to give up some speed in the RAM you can get an otherwise comparable XPS 630 for $1,659.00 - which even beats your MIR price.

I actually went to Newegg and built exactly what you did, and my final price was $1,839.36 ($1,754.36 after MIR).  I'm not sure what is going on, but it seems that your prices are always different than what I get - higher on your Dell pricing and lower on your DIY pricing.

Based on these price differences, if averaged out, it's pretty much a wash.  I guess it just comes down to a few simple factors:

1) Do you WANT to, and CAN you build your own machine?

2) Are you willing to put up with the annoyance of having to call different vendors for each piece of hardware should you need support.

3) Do you mind not getting a 1yr warranty on everything you purchase, as you would get with the Dell machine.

4) Do you mind not having any kind of OS support, as Dell provides during the warranty.

 

I suppose if someone answers "no" to 2-4 and "yes" to 1 then they should built their own machine, otherwise I think Dell is a better choice.

I admit that I was suprised to find the DIY as low as it was - I expected it to be much higher.

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Paul_Lilly

Be sure you're entering your ZIP code with the Dell - my quotes include both shipping (free) and tax (not free), and $1,849 represents a pre-tax price. As for the Newegg parts, sign in to Newegg and then click here.

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Pureoverclocking

i be waiting for the next part can wait good job maximumpc

who Made http://www.hardwarelogic.com/

Like It

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brucelocious

So you subscribe to Maximum PC, opened an account on the forum, and currently find yourself debating whether you feel confident enough to build your own dream machine, or have someone else do it for you

Yeah Yeah, this is Definitely me.

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TheDude

Great start can't wait to read more!!!

"Let me explain something to you. I am not Mr. Lebowski. You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So, that's what you call me. You know, that, or his dudeness, or duder, or el duderino, if you're not into the whole brevity thing." -- The Big Lebowski

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