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  #1  
Old 05-06-2010, 10:00 PM
Hooch Tan
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Default Building PCs for Fun and, uh, Fun!

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-your-own-pc,2601.html' target='_blank'>http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...wn-pc,2601.html</a><br /><br /></div><p>"Before you start picking parts, a builder should clearly understand the machine's intended function. General purpose systems that deal with tasks like 2D games, Internet browsing, and document creation will obviously have modest hardware requirements. In contrast, high-end 3D gaming systems require better graphics, better cooling, and a larger power supply."</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1273169267.usr20447.jpg" style="border: 0px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>The the fundamentals of how to put a PC together has not really changed for decades, some aspects, like standards and specifications do change.&nbsp; I would venture to say that in general, cobbling together a computer is much easier today than it has ever been.&nbsp; Over the years, more and more functions have been integrated into the motherboard, meaning there are fewer parts you have to deal with in a standard configuration.&nbsp; Putting together a computer is a useful and informative exercise.&nbsp; While lots of people are content to treat PCs as magical boxes that give us access to Farmville, or wait until the worst moment to crash, knowing what goes into a computer and how it works is a great way to stretch one's mind.&nbsp; Does everyone have their "PC Builder" badge yet?</p>
 
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:21 AM
Rob Alexander
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I went the other way. I had built my own computers since the 386 days because I could get a much better computer for much less money. In recent years, I went to buying pre-made systems... first a couple of HPs and then a Dell. I did that because they were cheaper than I could build one for and computers are so powerful now that I don't need to be on the edge of technology. In the end, that was a mistake. My Dell XPS 420 is non-standard in almost every way so that even something as simple as upgrading the sound card means I'll lose the front headphone and mic jacks (because their connectors are proprietary). Other upgrades lead to similar dilemmas. Add to it that the case rattles noisily and is irritating to sit next to, and I consider my lesson learned. I'll be building again when I'm ready up upgrade this one.
 
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:49 AM
wshwe
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If you want to fix a desktop PC yourself I would buy a PC that used a standard case and standard parts. That would mean avoiding most small chassis machines. Another option would be to buy a PC that you can buy parts for online or from eBay. Most Macs would fall in this category as well as my HP tc1100 Tablet PC.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:19 AM
Lee Yuan Sheng
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Heh, have been assembling (building is a bit of a misnomer) PCs for myself for a long time now. About 10 years at least. Things got a lot easier when the ATX standard and ZIF sockets became common. Current build is a nice i7 920 machine. Just love me my aluminum cases.
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:07 PM
The Yaz
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I only delved into assembling a PC myself when my current desktop commited suicide (the power supply fried my motherboard when it died). It is the hub of my whole network; I manage the family's music collection, photo printing and backups from it and I didn't want to buy a new machine and rebuild those configurations from scratch.

I purchased a new motherboard combo'd w/the processor and heat sink (installed) from Newegg for $78 (I kept the same specs of the original since I didn't want to mess up my copy of Windows XP). I also bought two 1GB ram chips for $60. The new Power supply was modular and 350W so I wouldn't have to worry about overtaxing it again ($40).

So for under $200 I pretty much made myself whole. Unfortunately, it always boots up saying there is no operating system. Once I hit CRTL/ALT/Delete the Windows screen appears and I'm good to go. I've been told its something in the bootup or the BIOS that needs to be configured, but that's more than I'm ready to fudge with.

I just need to bide my time till I can get my daughter a netbook for her graduation from elementary school and reclaim her desktop

Steve
 
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:06 AM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Alexander View Post
Other upgrades lead to similar dilemmas. Add to it that the case rattles noisily and is irritating to sit next to, and I consider my lesson learned. I'll be building again when I'm ready up upgrade this one.
Sorry to hear that Rob - I know you really enjoyed that Dell for a while at the beginning. That's always the double-edged sword with big OEM computers...you've almost got to treat them like appliances that you more or less leave alone and simply replace when the time comes. Upgrading anything more than a hard drive or RAM, maybe a video card if you're lucky, tends to give you headaches.
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