How much money can be saved by building your own system?

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conroe

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Biulding your own is not about saving money. Go buy a Dell deal for that. It's a hobby, and you will get a better computer if you buy the right parts. I configure systems every day. What was it you want to do with it?
 

FireWater

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Everybody is an "expert" on the internet, which is why I asked here. I'm sure there are plenty of guides, but I want to know what people here have used simply beause I know the Toms Hardware community is pretty knowledgable.

If I were being lazy, why would you price the system for me? Doesn't that just fuel my "laziness"? You do the "work" for me then boast that I am lazy, then why did you do it :roll:

Really doesn't make any sense to me. Oh well.
 

FireWater

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Biulding your own is not about saving money. Go buy a Dell deal for that. It's a hobby, and you will get a better computer if you buy the right parts. I configure systems every day. What was it you want to do with it?
To answer your question, I am a competitive gamer, mostly HL2 or source based games, but I want to expand to CoD and BF2.

I just want perfect framerates, graphics really don't mean that much to me (not saying that graphics are bad, I just really care about framerates).
 

michaelahess

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I don't think people here ever used guides other than mobo manuals to get the right pinouts on the power light! Really it's not that hard, you don't need a step by step guide as it probably wouldn't cover everything you will be doing anyway as most builds differ slightly from each other.
 
"I guess what it comes down is that I am nervous that I am going to screw up, and that its going to suck to eat the 1000 or so if I make a mistake. "

It would take a pretty awful combination of mistakes and/or bad luck with lightning strikes to destroy $1000 worth of parts...! :)

Yes, building your own system does involve the occasional risk of receiving/returning a DOA mainboard or video card, etc., but, it's worth the risk, IMO...

Building any decent mid-range gaming system, you can usually save at least $300 by assembling it yourself, as no middle-tier manufacturers are going to sell such a system without a ~20% profit for themselves, and understandably so...
 

FireWater

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I should probably make a new thread for this, BUT if I do decide to build the 4200+, what kind of cooling should I put in it?

Cyberpower was going to toss in 3 extra fans for about 9$, how do you install those fans if I wanted to get them?
 

michaelahess

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You screw them in and plug in the fan connector to the fan header on the mb, a single case fan in the front and a single in the rear is all you will need, along with the boxed cpu cooler. You're thinking this is harder than it is, it's like asking "how do I install my windshield wipers" relax and just buy the stuff already! :)
 

conroe

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$1425.00
NZXT Nemesis Elite - $120
AMD Athlon X2 4200+ - $335
Asus A8N5X - $77
2048 MB (Corsair Value Select) - $136
NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GT - $300
160GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8M - $75
LG GWA-4161 16X DVD±R/±RW - $ 38
16X DVD ROM (BLACK COLOR) - $22
Creative Labs SB Audigy SE - $30
$1133 plus shiping from newegg
No OS and 7900gt are out of stock (only a BFG OC for $330.)
Putting it togather is easy. It will take an hour or two. Intalling all the software may take a day or more.
you can shave another $100 off with a 3800+ X2, no DVD-ROM and a cheaper case.
 

spwatkins

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I would say that if you get excited when new parts arrive (I still do after nearly 30 years) that you have *found* a hobby.
 

sgamble

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I work in the pc retail business. Here is our breakdown:
PC System Cost:
$500-$1000 - 10%-15% Markup
$1000-$2000 - 15%-20% Markup
$2000-$5000 - 25%-%100 Markup

Do the math and save!
 

RicoSuave

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Firewater, and since you're so new to this, I would highly recommend not trying any overclocking just yet. That's step 3... let's work on step one. Everyone above has said the things I would have. Listen to them, they do this as a hobby and for employment. It basically comes down to one thing: YOUR CHOICE. We can't make it for you.

My first computer upgrade was from an Intel 286 (8 MHz) to an Intel 286 (12 MHz) -- it took a m/b upgrade. That was a true 50% gain back in the days when everything was CPU-limited. 8) It counted my 1MB of DIP memory at POST like no one's business. The thrill experienced could only come from a DIY project. Everyone has to start somewhere.

As stated before (I forget who), building your own is not about saving money anymore. Large companies will always have you beat because they buy AND sell in volume. Even paying their overhead they can still do it cheaper... however, if you want a better system, you need to build it yourself. Plus, it will give you pride in a job well done (once finished).

Good luck Firewater. Whatever you decide, let us know. We can continue helping you in the process (some aren't annoyed by helping others). But you need to decide right now what it's going to be. We can do no more until then.

We wait...
 

chuckshissle

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Well, it depends on what kind of system you want to buy. If you're buying a regular desktop like Dell, Gateway, etc. then you save money. But you're into a gaming machine then it better to make build one and save you more money in the process rather than buying a high performance gaming pc from Alienware, Falcon etc. I built my latest gaming rig and cost me $3000 and searching through those gaming rig builders and with the same set up as mine rig, it cost around $4000 to $5500 depending on the company. Basically the extra cost are for assembly and the name. So I save money by building my rig and in the process got some knowledge and how to during assembly. So from my first build several years ago I built all my computers then not just for saving some bucks but it's fun as well. :D
 

theaxemaster

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Jesus, is it so hard to get people to read the previous posts BEFORE posting themselves?

Anyway, As long as you're careful, you won't screw it up. One thing to remember is that static electricity is your enemy. Now, I've never used one of those static grounding wrist straps, and I've never killed a part, but if that's something you're worried about, then its a cheap investment in security.

But PCs are very easy to assemble. Like it was said before, everything only goes in one way (except IDE cables sometimes, but most of them have the tab on the cable and the notch on the socket, so even those will only go in one way). Read the manuals, especially the motherboard one, as it will tell you exactly how things go in to it and what all those pins and jumpers are for.

I've built half a dozen so far (independant, rebuilt my own many many times) and I still love it, so you might find that you enjoy it also.
 

mursh

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I just wanted to let you know something about cyberpower. I have dealt with them for a long time. I have had 4 PCs through them. I have been happy with all of the PCs and had no major problems (a fan replacement here and there) untill recently. My 6800gt died suddenly just over a year after purchase. It was still under warranty with cyberpower and they said send it back and they would send me a new one. I did this in late december. After waiting a long time in early Febuary they sent me the same broken card back and claimed it was a new one. I am sure it is the same card because i had noticed upon packaging it that it had a bent prong on the heat sink, this one did too and had dust under the fan showing it was used either way. Obviously it still didnt work. I contacted them and they claimed no blaim (actually called me a lair!) and said send it again. They have not sent the card as of yet and i recieved comfrimation that they have had it for almost a month now (25days). I have been unable to get in touch with anyone at cyberpower on the matter. I have wrote many emails, left voice messages, and called many times( some times they just never answer during posted business hours) and have had NO response. I have no idea what has happened to this company recently, but something has. They have turned into a very unreliable company. I have reported them to the better busniess burrow and am just waiting for something... BUYER BEWARE.
 

conroe

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You can't beat newegg's RMA. Most stuff is for one year. I just RMAed a Hitachi Deathstar HD, it was just over 11 months old and no longer made. I got a refund. :D
I could have sent it to Hitachi, but newegg is good to me.
 

harlequin6791

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Actually me pricing it out for you when no one else was willing to at the time. That was me being nice and giving you step in the right direction. But for you to then ask people in a post for a diy guide to convince you to build the machine. Thats when it seems you are just lazy and dont want to do the research yourself.

Frankly if you aren't willing to take the to do your research. Then to take the precautionary measures o make sure you don't fry your parts. And finally the last step in actually building your machine. Just buy a prebuilt. IMO I don't think you're the right candidate to build your own machine without someone holding your hand. How many posts have there been now on this thread? The topic was how much money can you save. Myself and another posted the same rig showing you'd save roughly $400.

Its fun to build machines for some like me, but I'm far from being an expert in the matter. I suggest either biting the bullet and building your machine. Maybe asking which components would make a good rig or what not. But the topic of back and forth .. "should i" "shouldnt I" is getting old.

Give them an inch.. they take you a mile. (very true in this case)
 

FireWater

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Perhaps I will just buy the stuff from Newegg. I found a guide to install the stuff online, which I will print out later. http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/step/5/

Does guide apply to the PC I am building now ?

How is dealing with new egg if your stuff is messed up? Clearly, its cheaper, but how is their customer service ?
 

FireWater

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Actually me pricing it out for you when no one else was willing to at the time. That was me being nice and giving you step in the right direction. But for you to then ask people in a post for a diy guide to convince you to build the machine. Thats when it seems you are just lazy and dont want to do the research yourself.

Frankly if you aren't willing to take the to do your research. Then to take the precautionary measures o make sure you don't fry your parts. And finally the last step in actually building your machine. Just buy a prebuilt. IMO I don't think you're the right candidate to build your own machine without someone holding your hand. How many posts have there been now on this thread? The topic was how much money can you save. Myself and another posted the same rig showing you'd save roughly $400.

Its fun to build machines for some like me, but I'm far from being an expert in the matter. I suggest either biting the bullet and building your machine. Maybe asking which components would make a good rig or what not. But the topic of back and forth .. "should i" "shouldnt I" is getting old.

Give them an inch.. they take you a mile. (very true in this case)
No one is asking you to post in this thread, you are choosing to make my indecisiveness your business. If its getting old, do not read it. Problem solved. Not everyone can afford to lose 1,000$, so if I appear hesitant or indecsisive, then so be it. Several of the posters have accomodated this, if you choose not to then by all means STOP READING AND POSTING IN THIS THREAD.
 

harlequin6791

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LOL you're very welcome for me answering your question in the first place. And actually you did ask for posts in this thread when you made it originally then turned it into a worry wart posting.

If you fried a total of $1000 worth of parts on a pc build. I'd laugh.That woudl be a total melt down and we could use you in the military to disrupt enemy nations computer networks by leasing you out as a pc tech. Most cases you blow the board or crack the cpu not the ENTIRE thing. Hardware is much more durable than it used to be but still takes a bit of care. I'd guess if you ruined anything it would be 1 or 2 components at most. As a hobby I've built roughly 15 pc's now and have a blast doing it. I price them out all the time thats why i did that for you.

Btw newegg is a great place to order from. Usually the lowest prices on the web with the best customer service. I've had to return a few items and it never was a hassle at all.

Just don't call them up wondering if you should order this or that part with them on the line hehe.

Since you are a comp. gamer I would suggest a smaller case to bring to lans. But something that can support enough space for your parts. It also lowers the price.

Case: Aspire qpack (dont use the carrying handle)
MOBO: Asus ASUS A8N-VM CSM (its not an overclocker but its stable)
Ram: Corsair XMS 2-2-2-5 2x1gb
CPU: your 4800 x2 or even better would be a opty.
HD: WD 74gb raptor (os and games)
HD2: Seagate 250gb or larger
GPU: Nvdia 7900GT

may not be the best but its a solid compact system and easily upgradeable in the future. Then again i could be wrong.
 

HoldenMcGroin

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One other thing that wasn't mentioned was the amount of crap the prebuilt companies put into your system. I bought a laptop from Dell a couple of years ago. Upon turning the laptop on, a plethora of offers were on my system, from AOL to Disney. All crap. I deleted all the annoyances until I thought nothing was on my computer. A check on my computer revealed 3 GB of HD being used. Since I have my own copy of XP at home, I reloaded the OS, which of course erased everything Dell put on there. After getting everything setup nearly identical to the way it was before, a check on my computer revealed 2 GB of HD being used. So even trying to erase it, Dell had 1 Gig of crap left on my drive!

But it gets better. Recently, I bought another laptop from Dell for my sister. This time, when I turned on the laptop, it wouldn't even go into the OS unless I accepted 6 months of crappy AOL internet service. I turned it off, back on, same thing. The hell with that. I reloaded that OS too, with the aforementioned XP disk I had at home. I think it's only fair to mention that both the laptops work fine now, and me and my sister really enjoy our laptops. But the point is, when you buy prebuilt, you don't own the software, you are at the mercy of the company that sold you the machine.

Building your own machine gives you the comfort of choosing exactly what gets put on your machine without any hidden programs running or being forced to accept stupid offers just to use your own PC.
 

SciPunk

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Can you point me in the right direction of a good do-it-yourself guide ? I may reconsider.
http://sysbuild.corsairmemory.com/report.aspx?id=2

This one says it all.

Others have given all the info you need to make your decision. Just keep in mind one or two things...

... cables ... you may need to buy additional cables if they don't come w/ your mother board, especially if you buy an "OEM" hard drive, CD/DVD drive, or Floppy Drive. CD/DVDs need two cables, one for data and one for audio (OEM models probably won't come w/ the little audio cable). And even if your mother board comes w/ all the data cables, they're probably the old ribbon style, and most self respecting PC builders will opt for the rounded cables instead. Expect an additional $10-$15 in cables.

... monitor ... this can be a BIG ticket item where the big retailers can take advantage of their buying power. Hopefully you already have an old monitor lying around that you can use w/ the new setup.

... thermal grease... you may want to purchase a qulaity tube of thermal grease. If you buy an OEM CPU, you will definitely have to buy a tube of thermal grease. Expect another $5-$10.

... software ... $100 for WindowsXP home edition (OEM) $150 for WindowsXP Pro (more or less). Dell and Gateway would include this free. You probably want some anti-virus-spyware-spam software too. Dell and Gateway include a few months free, you will have to come up w/ $30 per year for Norton or McAfee. Word/Excel etc... I recomend you download open office instead of buying. The extra software bundeled by the big retailers is generally worthless, and anything else you want you would have to buy or steel anyway.

... warentee/support ... you are your own tech support. You can't call India and get some online guru to talk you through troubleshooting. It's all up to you. Shouldn't be a problem if you buy quality goods and install everything correctly.

That case... I wouldn't let that Nemesis case in my house, never mind display it prominantly in the living room or office. It looks like a quality case, but it's ugly as sin. But hey, to each his own.
 

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