Building a PC....what parts?

Discussion in 'Community' started by MacAztec, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #1
    Ok, my dad and I are going to build a gaming PC. We were wondering what parts to use. The machine will also be hooked up to the stereo to play music throughout the house. I was thinking something like this...

    Athlon XP XXXX+ Chip
    Gigabyte Motherboard
    Sound Blaster 5.1 Sound Card
    Radeon 9000 or 9700, or GF4 Ti Graphics
    80GB HD
    Windows XP? (or NT or something, not linux)
    512MB DDR RAM
    Some nice looking, not to big case

    What do you guys think? The reason I am doing this is that to upgrade my G4 400 with a nice processor, it would be 600 dollars, and I still have a crappy graphics, and slow bus.

    I can build a whole new PC for cheaper, and a faster computer than my mac. Dont worry, my mac will still be used for everything but gaming and pirating :)
     
  2. macktheknife macrumors 6502a

    macktheknife

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    #2
    Hey MacAztec, I'm actually going to build a PC myself this weekend. Your list looks more or less complete, as I have come up with a similar shopping list already. I would estimate the cost of building my Athlon 1.5 Ghz PC with 1 GB RAM and 60 GB HD to be about $800 or so including a 17-inch monitor. My friend who's helping me build it (and he's built hundreds of PCs) thinks $800 is too liberal of an estimate that we could probably lower if we cut a few more corners.

    I'm actually building my PC for gaming purposes in addition to running some PC-only software (VPC is OK, but far from adequate), and I think a home-made PC is a good solution. I will post an update on my efforts by the end of Sunday to let you know how it turned out.
     
  3. funkywhat2 macrumors 6502a

    funkywhat2

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    #3
    Looks good. Will you have a CD Burner in it? If so, I like the Yamaha CRW-F1. I've got one and it's very reliable. Burns at 44X, and supports DiscT@2 labeling. Also, what kind of speakers are you looking at?
     
  4. MacAztec thread starter macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #4
    Well

    Does anyone know of a good site that has nice Athlon cases (black), for under 100 dollars?
     
  5. vniow macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    I accidentally my whole location.
    #5
    Well if you're going to hook it up to a real stereo then ditch the Soundblaster card, it's horrible for anything but games, if the receiver has an optical in on it, get a Sonica from M-Audio.
     
  6. pilotgi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #6
    You didn't say what chipset was on the Gigabyte motherboard. The best one out there right now is the nForce 2. Second best, and just out, is a board with the SIS 746 chipset.
     
  7. cubist macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #7
    You might get all that stuff for $700-$800.

    You're not buying any software for it??? No keyboard, mouse, or monitor?

    That's what I hate about PC people: They're never honest about prices.
     
  8. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #8
    I would also settle with the Ati cards. The Radeon 9000 is faster than all of Nvidia's Geforce 4MX graphics chips, the 9500 is mostly faster than all of the Geforce 4 Ti chips (except the 4600), and the Radeon 9700pro is faster than anything out there (also pretty expensive).

    One thing that you might want to look into is getting the cheaper Radeon 9500 128mb and modding it into a full 9700. It's not guaranteed to work, but you can download software programs than can convert it to the full 9700.

    Don't bother with NT. NT is dead. If you're going for an operating system, choose XP or 2000, as a last resort. The Athlon XP 2200+ chips are the best value as well so you might want to look into that.
     
  9. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #9
    don't make the mistake I made...get a GOOD power supply thingie :)
    Well i think that list is complete...but what's wrong with linux?!
    nice black athlon cases...no. I have a very nice customized aluminum case though...
    Wait wait you forgot something (that you don't really need)....ever consider watercooling?
     
  10. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #10
    www.newegg.com

    Foreverything. :D

    Also You can get a low clock Athlon and overclock it, that is very popular with PC users.
     
  11. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    #11
    Newegg rocks! they even have a small mac section!

    Listen to übergeek. She's right about the power supply--don't get a crappy one, especially Enermax. They have been known to fry motherboards and they don't have a warranty that will replace any damaged equipment. I have an Antec case+power supply and they've been working perfectly for about two years now.

    You might also want to search for a quiet heatsink+fan for your Athlon. If you've been used to a mac all this time, you'll notice that a lot of pcs are LOUD. Of course, a quiet heatsink usually also means you won't be able to overclock your processor as much, but then you can always get the best of both worlds with watercooling, as übergeek has already said.
     
  12. firewire2001 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2002
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #12
    i've built a whole bunch of pcs over the years.. its a great thing to do..

    what sort of motherboard are you getting? make sure the processor uses the same socket as the motherboard..

    what sort of other parts?

    good luck
     
  13. guitargeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #13
    Tuxracer and Sim City 3000 do not classify as a gaming machine :p

    I could care less about games, but even I know that they're aren't a ton of them out there for linux.
     
  14. guitargeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #14
    Oh, and check out www.pricewatch.com for the best deal currently around. You get some pretty shady places on there, but some more legit sites too.
     
  15. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #15
    the athlon xp 3000+ has more cache, which is good, but a slower internal core so stick with a slightly slower athlon xp 2.xxx+ processors with less cache but the faster internal core

    in the end, it is still what is on the inside which counts...even though us mac people tend to get spoiled with nice looking computers

    if you want to cut corners, don't worry too much about the case because you can spend a lot on it...always make sure you have a pro end processor and the most ram you can afford

    ...especially for a gaming machine
     
  16. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #16
    here are my opinons on what you need for your pc. there are no athlon cases. as long as it is a standard atx case your set for any intel or amd machine. if you get a soundcard, get the audigy platinum 2 with the drive bay. its great and you get a remote control for your computer, very cool. go to www.exoticpc.com and look at the audi pc. it has a window and you can put cold cathodes in there like i did and it looks awesome. Go with xp pro, you will notice if you take care of your computer it is as stable as mac os x. if you have a burner in your mac, save the money and just use it. youll find that if you happen to burn games, macs a lot of the times retain the copyright protection and you will not need to crack the game. i would make sure you get a name brand powersupply. if yo dont it will be loud and crappy. make sure you get at least a 400w power supply or you will be crippling you performance on your computer when you play games. Also make sure your powersupply has a 12v lead on it or you will be screwed when you go to build you computer. also unless money is a big factor, get a intel machine. they are faster and just seem to work better. this is just my opinion, im looking for an arguement or anything. just from working back in service and my own machines amd's have had nothing but problems. although im sure many of you have the opposite experiecnce. but take into consideration my info on the cases, powrsupply and sound card.

    iJon
     
  17. void macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Location:
    Not here
    #17
    If you get a soyo dragon ultra platinum edition based on the kt400 chipset, you wont need that sound card, it has built in 5.1
     
  18. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #18
    i doubt it has eax technology though. eax hd is really where the audigy shines in games. oh yeah, when you get your pc aztec, go pick up a copy of Battlefield 1942 and the Road to Rome Expansion Pack

    iJon
     
  19. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #19
    okay okay ;) i like games too and that's why i have a windows pc still in my house ;)
     
  20. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    back in NYC!
    #20
    I'm a mac person, and I got my 2.4 GHz for $700 off eBay. I am
    being honest. That is with shipping too. Fully loaded and everything.

    That's what I hate about (some) mac 'people': They are totally
    biased and under-rate PC's and PC users. :rolleyes: .

    If you wanna see good prices on PCs check out eBay. U can get
    hella good PCs for hella cheap.
     
  21. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #21
    when i first started with pcs, there were packard bells, 90's era ibms and dells, and the os at the time was windows 3.1

    the pc world has improved considerably since then and ibm and dell got their hardware quality up a few notches

    and while windows xp is not os x, it is still a vast improvement from the days of windows 3.1

    defragging and doing the basic utilities on windows keeps things honest...and also, it's a good idea to reinstall the windows os from time to time

    as far as any mac operating systems go, i have never had to reinstall anything:D
     
  22. guitargeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    #22
    Windows is still the only OS I can think of where it's good to reinstall for maintenance reasons. That's just so backwards.

    I even had to reinstall XP because it was slowing down on me. PSH!
     
  23. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    back in NYC!
    #23
    I defrag about once a week. Would it hurt my HD or anything else
    if I did every night? Or would that be good?
     
  24. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #24
    if you heavily use it like as a cash register in a store...go ahead and do it every day like i did for one of my high tech clients

    but as a home user, once a week is good for windows for a moderate user

    once a month is usually not enough and doing it only several times a year is asking for problems

    i encountered a machine last week that had never been defragged...it was a pentium II 266 and the thing was so wrought with problems and it was slow and felt like a 486:p
     
  25. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #25
    one of my teachers once had a PC that was never defragged, checked for viruses or had the trash even emptied out. It took me an entire week to get the computer acting somewhat normal...:rolleyes: i don't blame her for not touching it...she's a mac user :)
     

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