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  1. #1
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    I'm planning to build a computer for the first time. I'm finding the process of learning about individual components and such to be fascinating.

    I'm curious to hear success/horror stories from others who have built their own system.

    Feel free just to make random comments as well!

    Take Care,

    Adam

    P.S. If anyone is interested in hearing what type of components I'm planning on using, I'm happy to post that as well.

  2. #2
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    I once tried about 1 year ago to build a computer. I bought all of the parts and put it together, but it stalled half way through installing win 98 every single time.

    The thing is I know how to build computers and have done it before. Must have been a bad part or something so I sold the parts, lost about $100 and kept my slow Pentium II 233.

    Still using it today, but I have cable access and 128 MB of Ram now.


    Wish you luck!
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I have built my current PC...
    People say watch out for static, I just keep the case earthed. But I did burn out a controller on a hdd when I didn't have it screwed in and the circuitry touched the case and caused a short circuit.. It ruined a perfectly good drive. But luckily I was just copying the stuff from my old comp onto my new one and I had all the data backed up..

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by adam_shep
    If anyone is interested in hearing what type of components I'm planning on using, I'm happy to post that as well.
    I'd be glad to hear

  5. #5
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    It's a great learning experinece - you learn how the computer works and what parts go into it. Personally, I don't think that it is a money saver, but it is worth it since you get a customized PC.

    I had a few troubles making my PC: I had to replace my motherboard 4 times but it never helped. Finally, I got a replacment CPU from Intel and it fixed everything. (Tip #46: buy a boxed CPU with a warrenty: intel had great tech support.) The idea is to start simple and get more complicated. Unless you get a bad part (truthfully, it is rare) then the chance of your computer failing is very slim. (Tip #82: static electricity rarely effects components.)

    Later,
    Owen

  6. #6
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    I have built 15+ Computers. Once you get the basic process down, it is really easy to build them. Haven't wrecked any parts in the process either *knock on wood*.

  7. #7
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    I used to build inexpensive computers for friends and family. Before Celerons and Durons and companies like E-Machines you could build a decent machine with Windows for hundreds less than retail companies. I would only profit about $100 dollars per machine, sometimes a steak dinner was my price.

    I would go to computer shows and buy all the parts and piece them together.

    Recently I have had friends bring me 3 or 4 older unworking machines and for $50 bucks, I'll give them back one working machine and get to keep the other working parts, which I use to help other friends. Makes for a good supply of spares just in case something happens.

    I currently have 3 extra 14 inch monitors, 16 power supplies, 4 S3 4 meg PCI video cards, 18 various sound cards, various modems including a 2400 baud external, 3 extra CD-ROMs including a 4 Disc 4X model NEC sold (thinking of using this actually), 6 floppies, A 300 Mhz M2 Cyrix and motherboard and several Pentium Class motherboards, 20 or so mice and keyboards and 4 cases, about 100 feet of various cables and hundreds of screws, motherboard mounts and jumpers. Nothing spectacular but will keep enough parts to keep any system up and running in a pinch.

    All in all I think I have built around 50-60 machines in my time. About 5 years ago I was thinking of starting my own "Gateway" type company. Pay people like $20 per machine they built up to a maximum of 8 per day, using my parts. Once they got the hang of it they could easily do 8 machines a day. Then I would sell the machines and keep the profits.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I used to build quite a lot of PCs to earn myself cash!
    I would buy the parts from mail-order resellers (occasionally computer trade shows/fairs etc, but not often), and put the machines togethor.
    I don't do it so much now...I don't have as much time as I used to, but I still do occasionally.
    I reckon I have built about 35 - 45 PCs in total....including the one I am writing this on now

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Originally posted by abahta
    Originally posted by adam_shep
    If anyone is interested in hearing what type of components I'm planning on using, I'm happy to post that as well.
    I'd be glad to hear
    I'm not planning to get the parts for a while yet, so this is still subject to change. But for now, it looks something like this.

    Motherboard: Abit KT7
    CPU: Athlon Thunderbird 800Mhz
    RAM: 128MB (Considering PC100, since its cheaper than PC133, and I'm not sure that there will be a very noticeable difference)
    VIDEO CARD: Maybe a Matrox G400 (Allows dual monitors with one card), Maybe a cheaper card. I'm not a big gamer.
    SOUND CARD: Sound blaster live or value.
    SPEAKERS: Don't know.
    HARD DRIVE: Not sure what kind. 20-30 gigs probably, 7200rpm.
    FLOPPY: Just a normal floppy
    CASE: ATX, some kind.
    MOUSE: MS Intellimouse Explorer (I have one of these now, and I really like it.)
    KEYBOARD: Don't know, just a keyboard.
    MONITOR: Depends on the money I have. I kind of want the Iiyama Visionmaster 450 19inch True Flat screen. But it costs $600+

    Things are bound to change, however....

    Any comments?




  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard
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    You might be better off with a bit more RAM, but besides that it looks great. I did notice you left out a few things (modem, power supply, fans, etc) but those don't matter much anyway.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    In college I built several hundred at a computer store that sold mostly clones. It is pretty easy.
    Jim Lewis
    To BE or Not to BE, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barium Enema
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Originally posted by abahta
    You might be better off with a bit more RAM, but besides that it looks great. I did notice you left out a few things (modem, power supply, fans, etc) but those don't matter much anyway.
    I plan to add RAM when I have more money.

    The case will come with a fan and power supply (300W probably), and the CPU will come with its own fan and heatsink.

    I'm planning to have either a DSL or Cable connection, so I don't need a normal modem. What do I need in terms of hardware for DSL or Cable?

  13. #13
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    Most Cable/DSL providers give you a special modem you can use. Usually, this requires an ethernet adapter.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Motherboard: Abit KT7
    CPU: Athlon Thunderbird 800Mhz
    RAM: 128MB (Considering PC100, since its cheaper than PC133, and I'm not sure that there will be a very noticeable difference)
    VIDEO CARD: Maybe a Matrox G400 (Allows dual monitors with one card), Maybe a cheaper card. I'm not a big gamer.
    SOUND CARD: Sound blaster live or value.
    SPEAKERS: Don't know.
    HARD DRIVE: Not sure what kind. 20-30 gigs probably, 7200rpm.
    FLOPPY: Just a normal floppy
    CASE: ATX, some kind.
    MOUSE: MS Intellimouse Explorer (I have one of these now, and I really like it.)
    KEYBOARD: Don't know, just a keyboard.
    MONITOR: Depends on the money I have. I kind of want the Iiyama Visionmaster 450 19inch True Flat screen. But it costs $600+
    Well, first off get the ABIT KT7-Raid. Its just a little bit more money, and you get $200 worth of stuff (ATA100 Raid), which would cost $200 to buy seperatley.

    Secondly, get PC-133. It is faster, and if you want to overclock (800-1ghz easy).

    Also, get an IBM Hard Drive. My Maxtor just went kaput on me, so after I get a new 15G IBM, I'll be designing a website then purchasing a new computer. Make sure you get the IBM Deskstar 75GXP Series. ATA100 (KT7 has ATA100), and 8.5ms Seek Time (fast), 2MB Cache (quite good), and 7200RPM. They come in 15, 20, 30 45, 60 and 75G Flavors.

    Get an In-Win Q500 Case - its around $80 most places and they are good cases. More than enough for what you need to do, and since you don't do case mods (www.virtualhideout.net), it's more than enough. Comes with a 300 Watt Power Supply.

    Get a GeForce 2 MX Dual Head. Its got better performance and its only $180, not to mention its a few fps off than a GTS Model.

    There is no such thing as a SoundBlaster Live or a SoundBlaster Value, its a SoundBlaster Live! Value, made by Creative Labs. Great sound card, but I'll be plopping in a $150 dollar card into my computer.

    SONY, NEC, Mitsumi, Teac are all good floppies. Be sure to benchmark it so I can take a look to see what's faster (note: end sarcasm).

    If you plan on getting a cable modem or DSL connection, then you are going to need a Network Interface Card, aka NIC. You can get them from the cable companies with your installation, but any one will do. Make sure its 10/100 BaseT, and 3Com and Intel make good ones. D-Link, Netgear and Linksys are all cheap and are just as good.

    You will have an external box that will use RJ-45 Cable that will route it from your dsl/cable modem box to your computer.

    Adam Lysne
    fiber@virtualhideout.net

    [Edited by Adam Lysne on 09-23-2000 at 02:48 PM]


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