building a pc

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Ipaqman, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Ipaqman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    #1
    hey everyone,

    i am currently using a iMac and a powerbook g4. i was looking to build a computer for myself and it has to be a pc because you can't build macs. i know this is a mac forum, but i have been using macrumors for a long time to help me with questions about my mac. i am not going to be switching to a pc, i just want to build a computer. i was wondering if anyone knew of a site that shows you how to chose the different parts based on your needs? this would make it much easier for me to help chose the different parts.

    thanks for all of your help. i am still going to use my mac because in my opinion it is much better than a pc. i will only be using my pc for movies and gaming.


    regards,
    ipaqman
     
  2. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #2
    Buy everything from www.newegg.com. There's no place better on the Internet to shop from. If you need help choosing components I can give you some advice.
     
  3. Ipaqman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    #3
    i was planning to buy my components from frys. is there a internet site that tells you what components to buy based on your needs?

    regards,
    ipaqman
     
  4. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #4
    Ah, Frys, you would probably save a sizeable chunk of money buying from Newegg. Whatever floats yer boat though.

    Umm, there isn't any sites that have a solid list I can think of. What are you looking to do with this PC?
     
  5. Ipaqman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    #5
    watch movies
    internet, email
    flash, photoshop
    video editing
    some basic gaming
     
  6. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #6
    Cant you already do this with your mac? :D

    The components are for you to decide depending on your budget. Tom's Hardware Guide has lots of information on lots of components.

    Personally, I prefer AMD setups since you get more performance on the dollar, but thats my preference.
     
  7. ToddW macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    #7
    pcperspective.com
    amdmb.com

    are good places and good communities to get advice from. Also, I would order from newegg.com fry's is a ripoff, you spend way to much over there. if you have any questions feel free to give me a pm, i would be gald to help. i build systems for people all the time and can give you some pretty good advice.
     
  8. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #8
    All this can be done with a mac.
    So if you want to build something, why not build a mac?

    First you need to find a used powermac g4 as cheap as you can. Then you can replace: the CPU with a dual something, change the HD and the vid card and you will have an almost new mac! If you want a real challenge, do it with a cube!

    Building a pc when you are inexperienced (as you are) is a big mistake. You will soon understand the meaning of: incompatible drivers, unknown drives or video cards, etc... A real pain! It doesnt happen every time but can happen. In my case it happened 3 out of 4 times, so you are warned.

    Of course, you know that you have to buy all the licences of the software you want to use on the PC since you cant use the ones from the mac on it... And there are no real video editing on the pc (dont even dare compare anything to FCE). And btw, why do that on pc when you can do it so easely on a mac? Not a single videoshop I know how has been in contact with final cut want to stay with pcs, they are all moving to mac. FC alone is the reason...

    I think you should really ask yourself why you want a PC, you might be throwing away a lot of cash for something that is going to become a doorstoper in a month...
     
  9. Ipaqman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    #9
    todd w,

    thanks for your help. i have to by the components from fry's because i am going there with my uncle who knows a lot about building computers. he is helping me build it and i want to go there to look at and pick out the components. i looked at new egg and there prices are very similar to fry's prices. if i want a pc computer for watching movies, using photoshop and flash, listening to music, surfing the net, email, and doing some gaming what are my best choices for computer components. i have already looked at buying a sony 19" LCD monitor from circuit city for $600. is this a good choice?

    let me know what components i should look at that would meet my needs.

    thanks for all of your help.

    regards,
    ipaqman
     
  10. CramSoup macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
  11. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #11
    Well to really know how good of a deal that sony is I would need to know exaclty what modlel it is to see how good it really is. 600 for a 19 LCD is dirt cheap. I paid 500 for my 17in lg flattron (one of the best 17in on the market). I would also look at sites like www.tomshardware.com and http://www.sharkyextreme.com/ for part reviews and to see what goes good with what. also a good forum that is very helpful is http://www.sharkyforums.com/. When you go there the stuff they are going to want to know is what you bugget is what you plan on using it for. From there they are very helpful.

    As for building it really easy I just built my first computer and I was pretty overwhelmed at first not know what to do at first. with all the parts. I had friend help me. I had gotten in a bad Mobo that I had found out what was wrong with it after a week so I had to taredown and rebuild and it was a piece of cake. Just relax it really pretty easy.
     
  12. itsumo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Try here:
    http://www.anandtech.com/guides/

    They have a number of guides that recommend various components for different levels of system (entry, mid-level, etc.) That should help you get a better idea of what you're looking for, if you know how much you're planning to spend.

    Really, building a PC isn't difficult as long as you take it slowly, step-by-step. As long as you've got your uncle (or a PC-owning friend) to back you up if you get lost, you'll be fine.

    You'll need drivers for your soundcard, video card, and any other specialised components. The disks you get with them will do OK, but when you feel more adventurous you should definitely download updated drivers from the manufacturer's website. It can make a huge difference, especially with display drivers.

    Again, if you feel a bit overwhelmed, the standard Windows drivers will do in a pinch. So you don't need to panic about it if you just want to get the dam thing up and running. You'll be missing out on a lot of functionality and optimal performance if you don't install them eventually though.

    Just spend a bit of time reading up about components - Tom's Hardware is pretty thorough - and get an idea of what you want and how much you want to spend. And if you're getting Windows go for XP - it actually works most of the time! 98 is a bit tricky (do you fancy re-installing and wiping your hard drive every few months? :) ), and don't even THINK about 98ME. It sucks.
     
  13. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    When getting an LCD monitor, make sure it has a response time of 16ms or less, otherwise it is not going to be very good for gaming.

    I recommend getting:

    -AMD 64 cpu (a lot better value for money than the P4, although dont get the 2800 AMD64).
    -Radeon 9800pro, Geforce6800GT or X800XT (these graphics cards give you the best value for money at the moment.)
    -120GB SATA hard disk, if you get a bigger hard disk, Windows has a problem reading it because it can't recognise more than 137GB.
    -at least 512MB(2x256MB) PC3200 RAM, although it would be better to go for 1GB (2x512MB) PC3200.
    -Creative Audigy sound card, if you can spare the cash, go for the Audigy 2ZS.
     
  14. m.r.m. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #14
    anandtech gives great info on pc parts as well (as tom´s hardware guide). there are also good reviews on which components make sense for which budget and so on.

    one tip, try to find a case that has vents at the top. that way you can operate the whole pc with just ONE fan (cpu - i recommend buying a ZALMAN fan). as a video card, i went with the sapphire 9600xt ultimate, because it comes with a heatpipe (no gpu fan). usually one would have to dismantle the video card´s fan and fix a heatpipe and void the warranty that way. not the case here. the reason for all this is the most silent computer you can think of and afford as well. a company called SILENTMAX offers fanless power units as well. the reason for the vents at the top of the case is, you do need to move the hot air out. this way you can do it with 0dB noise. otherwise get 2 case fans (one front and one back). if you get case fans (which makes sense if you don´t mind the slightly higher noise level), make sure to have the video card in the correct slot in the mainboard that it is in the airstream. that way you can significantly reduce the temp. of the gpu (airstream moving over the heatpipe). :D
     
  15. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #15
    www.techbargains.com gets you info on the best sales going on...

    For example, this bare bones system (supports up to an AMD Athlon 3200+) for $40.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #16

    fyi, apple uses lg panels and they use the exact same one in the apple 17" display as the one you are useing

    and also why do you want a pc?i would understand if it was to play allot of games but for light gameing a mac is fine.

    building a pc is cheap but it's not without it's flaws driver compatibility bios screw ups, and not to mention haveing to deal with windows and all those 30,000 odd viruses, how old are your macs? if you have an old tibook (below 667MHz) or an old (pre 1GHz imac) i can understand you need for speed but dont run out to build a pc that wont last long and wont be nearly as good as a refurb dual 1.8 g5, and you'll have to virus check constantly.

    you money would be better kept saving for a g5 that you can upgrade at some point in the future. building a pc just for the sake of building a pc is pointless, yes it souds cool but it's a comlete waste for your needs.

    if you want this pc just for gameing thats ok (a console would be better but still) just don't try to justify your purchace by makeing up uses for it that your macs can handle perfecly well, one of my freinds listed the same uses that you did and all he dose with his amd 64 radeon 9800 system is sit behind it playing counterstrike all day wateing his life.

    sorry to seem harsh but i dont know your circumstances and from what you have provided it looks clear that all you want to do is to build a pc for the sake of building a pc and if thats why you want to do it there is no point because the novelty soon wares off.
     
  17. BubbaJones macrumors regular

    BubbaJones

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    East Coast
    #17
    Start Here.

    AMD

    This will start you off with a list of approved motherboards, power supplies, and heatsinks. There are some videos on how to install the CPU + Heatsink. From there just get a basic video card and memory (Lots, cuz windows is bloated). Most motherboards come with onboard audio and ethernet so there is less to buy. Pick up a cheap hard drive and "aquire" Windows (which I assume you want to use) and away you go. I'd use c|net for shopping as they offer some protection to buyers that use their site ( link).

    Oh, and please don't do any video editing on the PC. MS Movie Maker is awful. I'd stay away from photo editing too. Watching movies and playing games are the only things you should do on a PC.

    Have fun!

    BubbaJones
     
  18. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #18
    Good deal. I paid a little over 100 less and still got an Apple monitor. Edu discount would of put it at the same price but the addaptor word of costed me another 100.


    Also dont go cheap on the ram you will live to reget it. Make sure it DDR400 (PC3200) and get a name brand Coirsar and kingstong are what I would say go with and get some with a CL of 2.0. This is among the times you dont want to trust the no name brands.
    Make sure you get a good powersupply. Antec and Enenmax are the best (they are worth the cost and are the most reible).

    Again I will repet dont go with no name stuff on anything. Namebrand is the way to go.
    Asus MIS abit I know are good brands for mobo. I am using an ASUS mobo and it is great.

    www.newegg.com is a good place to go to get an idea of pricing and the good parts. Outpost.com is fri's sight but it is a lot harder to navigate. Since it looks like you want it for gaming I going to say go with AMD since AMD is the chip for games. Also I believeAMD is still running this deal where when you by and AMD 64 with an aproved mobo you get a free copy of far cry with it and when you are playing it you may laugh at all the mac people wishing that can play it. It is a great game and I am very much enjoying it.


    Also make sure you get an AV software for it and I would recomend having a firewall if you running broadband (hell anyone running broadband should have a firewall).
     
  19. Ipaqman thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    #19
    hey everyone,

    i have picked out most of my components, but i am having some problems picking out memory. do i buy 2 X 512MB or 1 X 1GB. also which is the best brand to chose from for the best price.

    also if i get the AMD 64 is it better than the P4 for viewing movies. as far as the monitor goes i am debating between the:

    sony
    http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.j...session.new=Yes&goTo=detail&BV_UseBVCookie=No

    dell
    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/...age=productlisting.aspx&instock=&refurbished=

    which is a better choice?

    i have decided on the lubic airplane case. is it any good?
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...Q131-6100+BL&SRCCODE=INKQUIGO&CMP=KNC-INKTOMI

    thanks for your help.

    regards,
    ipaqman
     
  20. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #20
    I dont think it really matter what processor you use for movies both are just as good and DVD programs are not CPU inteive at all. So I would not sue that as a reason
     
  21. Bakey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Location:
    O Donny Boy
    #21
    Just updated NAV and its "Virus List" informs me that I'm being protected from 67812 viri as of today... ok, so many will be similar strains of a common virus; but nonetheless there you go!!

    Sheesh, if only I could afford to go the whole Mac nine yards my world would be a safer and happier place!!!! Soon my friends, sooooonnn... at least I've made a start with an iBook ;)
     
  22. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #22
    There was a similar thread about this subject just a few weeks ago. Do a search for it. It had some good info.

    There are several good reasons to build your own PC. Especially to supplement a good Mac. But having done so myself, let me just say that you will never appreciate your Macs more. You'll be lucky if you only have a few headaches. And that's if you know what you're doing.

    Don't let us scare you, though. :p Good luck! It can be fun.

    At least you can learn something.
     
  23. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Home of Al-Qaida
    #23
    LOL, thanks for the laughs on Mac folks having headaches piecing together a simple PC system. It's like people used to driving AT being forced to drive MT.

    Anandtech.com's weekly buyer guide's excellent for beginners (or people not familiar w/ PCs) on what parts to get. Also check out their Hot Deal section of the forum for the lastest component bargains. If you don't wanna wait for the deals, Newegg.com's the place to go. Stay away from barebone systems, they use the cheapest parts. You can do better by buying the parts yourself.
     
  24. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #24
    Because really investing a lot of money in high quality parts makes sense... cuz it is a pc... and it will maintain its value for days to come. :rolleyes:

    Barebones systems are cheap parts... that's the idea. I'm not sure what you mean by "do better." Does paying more equate to do better? A stable system is a stable system, paying more just to satisfy some ambiguous definition of "quality" is just silly.
     
  25. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #25
    General when you dont spend the money the system is not stable. From the looks of when I built my sytem I could of gotten a dell with simlur specs for about the same cost but the diffence is my computer would still be faster and more stable since it uses better parts and faster parts. Quiltly is worth the cost. there are a lot more to the parts that computer specs dont tell you. I have a 120 gig HD with an 8mb catch. Ram there are other things that matter. Paying extra is general worth it cost and will save the headach later.

    When you ask people who know what they are doing they will recomend certain parts and certain brands but those good brands general cost more and are woth there cost. Never go with no name brands on computers. Name brand is the way to go
     

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