I might regret butting my head into this thread, but here goes. Please don't take my comments, criticism, skepticism and pessimism to heart. I mean well
I'm a college student at Rochester Institute of Technology, and I absolutely love building desktop PC's. I have enough money to get me through college, but I would like to make a little cash on the side doing something I love, so I figured I'd start here...
Googling RIT, it seems a pretty decent school and not very cheap. What are your expectations in terms of sales and volume. For example, are you considering building one PC to start and offer it at a specified price (say at 20% above cost) and go from there? Have you done the math? Do you know what your "competition" is offering at what prices? How many rigs have you built?
...I would like help selecting parts that are CHEAP and will build a computer that meets the following criteria:
- Can play BF3 on high settings SMOOTHLY, I chose BF3 because it is pretty graphical, but not the absolute best...
What resolution? If your target buyer is a typical consumer, you might expect a 22-inch monitor running @ 1680 x 1050 (though there are a lot of people on 24-inch monitors running @ 1920 x 1080 now). BF3 is currently one of the most potentially taxing games, but running it at 1680 x 1050 won't require a high-end GPU. Still, what do you consider "smooth"? Here is a bench with different video cards running BF3, high setting and FPS:http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU12/401
Smooth to some gamers is 60 FPS, while some people think 40 FPS is totally acceptable. With the above bench, 60 FPS = a Radeon 7850, which is about $175, while 40 FPS = GTX 550 Ti, about $100.
...- Can multitask fluently
- Can use taxing applications like photoshop or premiere...
All modern computers can do the above. Faster processor = faster applications = more money.
...Some general things I think are necessary:
- 8gigs of RAM (its cheap)
- Dedicated graphics card
- 250gb-1TB HDD
- Mouse, keyboard, monitor included
- Windows 7 will be installed on it, but I won't pay for that (I think I can get it for free through university)
- minimum 350w PSU...
- 8 GB of RAM is perfect if gaming.
- A dedicated GPU is a must.
- Currently, a decent 1 TB HDD ~ $80 while a similar 2 TB HDD ~ $100. The 2 TB is the arguable sweet spot right now.
- Mouse & KB & monitor can be very cheap or very expensive.
- Software that is not properly licensed is fraud. Windows 7 is ~ $100.
- The PSU requirements will depend on the parts. Imho, 400 watts is probably a safe minimum.
...I put together this running parts list I put together so far:http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hfK4
Any improvements I can make? Anything I screwed up? Please give suggestions!
kleinkinstein's build eats yours up because of higher quality parts overall. But prices change all the time because sales and deals. So you may have to be proactive, watch for deals to be had and jump on them quick. Off-hand, the Corsair PSU in kleinkinstein's build is $35 after rebate. When that deal is over, sooner or later a decent 400 watt PSU will probably go on sale for about the same price, but you have to be ready for it.
Also, imho it doesn't make sense to go with name brand parts if reasonably similar parts are cheaper because your potential buyer will probably not know or care. In other words, spend money where it counts. That said, often a name brand is more expensive because of quality control and customer service. If you have bad luck with a part (even the best name brands make a lemon or two), you could have a potential nightmare.
Stepping back though, where are you in the process of this potential venture? Have you considered much of a business plan or did the notion of building rigs just pop up or have you always been entrepreneurial in nature?
I may read like a jerk but I do have good intentions