Author Topic: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop  (Read 114142 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

c14dude

  • Guest
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2006, 12:17:17 am »
vista is gonna be out before spore.

Offline SBD

  • Duck Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 3071
  • It stands for Ship-Borne Dive bomber, people.
    • View Profile
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2006, 01:58:31 am »
I probably won't have enough for a decent computer until Vista comes out anyway.

I live in perth by the way, which sucks cos all the expos and good computer places are in the eastern states. Go the Eagles!

Offline PatMan33

  • Fable Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 28788
  • M I RITE? STICKERS?
    • View Profile
    • DuckDuckGo
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2006, 12:09:10 pm »
This can be true if you don't know where to get your parts. A lot of the brick n' mortar stores will way over mark the price for each part, which can quickly inflate the end price of your PC. However, many online stores will give you good prices, and the larger ones will often give you good shipping prices. Here in the US I personally like Newegg, but if you're in another country I'm pretty sure you can find something similar where you are.
Building your own PC is definitly worth it, even if you spend the same amount as you would for a pre-built, because it will give you a huge boost of confidence with computers, and it gives you a new skill you can stick on your resume! :P

I have to disagree.

Unless you are spending serious cash on a computer, companies like Dell or HP or Mac will undercut anything you can put together because of the contracts they have with hardware and software manufacturers.


The only time you can beat them is when you build High End because they will grossly overcharge on those things since not many people buy them.

Offline Manna

  • Frogger Fanatic
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
    • View Profile
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2006, 03:32:13 pm »
I dislike buying dell and particularly HP because they have a tendency to be very difficult to upgrade. They'd prefer you threw the old one out and buy a new one.

Also, dell computers are very very good at dying body and soul just after the 4 year warranty runs out. I've worked in situations where they were still using the computers after the warranty and within 2 months 26 of the 30 comps had some part that needed replacing to make them work again. The computers I built myself are all still running. I trust the hardware I buy myself a lot mre than I trust dell's.
Dont look at me, I'm irrelevant!

Offline Fade2gray

  • Scramble Skipper
  • ****
  • Posts: 688
  • ...or just go bald
    • View Profile
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2006, 05:08:14 pm »
I have to disagree.

Unless you are spending serious cash on a computer, companies like Dell or HP or Mac will undercut anything you can put together because of the contracts they have with hardware and software manufacturers.


The only time you can beat them is when you build High End because they will grossly overcharge on those things since not many people buy them.

On price alone the pre-built comps will usually win. But what are you getting for that price? A bunch of no-name parts that are only in that box because they won out as the lowest-bidders, not because their parts are all that good or reliable. And what do those companies care if your machine craps out? You'll just end up paying for repairs and upgrades in an endless cycle that favors them, not you. By building your own you know whatís in there. You get exactly what you want, deciding where to spend and where to cut back.

As far as learning the basic skills goes. It can feel rather daunting at first. Personally, I had no one around me to give me any help or advice so I had to rely almost entirely on advice I got from people in forums and from a book I bought on E-bay called "Building the Perfect PC" by Robert Thompson. That particular book is a bit dated by now but it still has the basics. I'm pretty sure there are better books out there now, but if you can't find one then that one should be decent. Your best place to start though would be by talking to a real human being who knows what they're talking about.

Offline PatMan33

  • Fable Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 28788
  • M I RITE? STICKERS?
    • View Profile
    • DuckDuckGo
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2006, 06:34:36 pm »
You people have far too little respect for the Dell built computer.

They work well, they have okay support, and they are all most people need.


Just because you know how to build a computer and know how to make a good one does not mean you have suddenly hit a point where your crap smells like roses compared to Dell.


It is economics, a single person can not beat out a Dell deal on a mid to low range computer, and Dell makes a pretty good computer at a very competitive price.

Offline Manna

  • Frogger Fanatic
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
    • View Profile
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2006, 06:41:39 pm »
Of course they do, I'm just saying their hardware breaks almost exacrly when the warrenty runs out and they're pretty difficult to upgrade when they've just welded the hard drives to the side of the case and have their own custom power buttons n' stuff and...yeh
Dont look at me, I'm irrelevant!

Offline PatMan33

  • Fable Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 28788
  • M I RITE? STICKERS?
    • View Profile
    • DuckDuckGo
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2006, 06:45:45 pm »
I think that you either have bad luck or are buying into that "I can build a computer myself" superiority complex that oh so many of us seem to have when it comes to companies like Dell.

Offline Manna

  • Frogger Fanatic
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
    • View Profile
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2006, 06:51:32 pm »
**shrugs** I've worked in a lot of companies that buy nothing but dell. I've seen a lot of dell computers break. At uni, the department of edumacation buildings, a bunch of game companies and even here in our computer graveyard. I just dont trust dell.
Dont look at me, I'm irrelevant!

Offline Fade2gray

  • Scramble Skipper
  • ****
  • Posts: 688
  • ...or just go bald
    • View Profile
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2006, 06:51:38 pm »
Yes, its simple economics. You have to decide to either
A) Spend less money and a lot less time to get a pre-built mystery box and be entirely reliant on someone else to fix it if something goes wrong
Or
B) Spend a little more money and fair bit more time researching and building your own computer with parts you chose and feel are reliable, and be solely responsible if something goes wrong.

I can understand why most people go with option A. In our society you very rarely make anything yourself. Most people don't even realize they CAN build anything on their own. Most people feel that itís much better to purchase an inferior product and throw it away for a new one when something goes wrong. This attitude for most people caries over to PCs. If thatís how you chose to approach PC ownership that fine, itís your choice. I personally prefer option B and enjoy encouraging others to do the same. Even if most of the people I talk to still chose option A, at the very least they know that there IS another option and that it has its own set of pros and cons.


Anyways, Back on to SBD's situation. Does anyone know a good online parts store that he could use if he decides to build his own. From the link he give I'm guessing hes in Australia, so a parts store based there would probably be best for him.

Edit #2: Well, I did a little research and it turns out that there really is a "Building a PC for Dummies" and they're on Vol. 4.
Here's a link to the Amazon (US) Page (If I'm not suposed to link to stores then just tell me and I'll take it down)
http://www.amazon.com/Building-Dummies-Fourth-Mark-Chambers/dp/0764542478
And here's the other book I recamended earlier. Aparently they have a new edition out.
http://www.amazon.com/Building-Perfect-PC-Robert-Thompson/dp/0596526865/sr=1-2/qid=1160103189/ref=pd_bbs_2/102-6055191-7620928?ie=UTF8&s=books
« Last Edit: October 05, 2006, 07:56:54 pm by Fade2gray »

Offline SBD

  • Duck Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 3071
  • It stands for Ship-Borne Dive bomber, people.
    • View Profile
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2006, 11:32:23 pm »
the thing I'm most worried about is frying a $300 video card with static or something. I also have no idea how to do the BIOS thing either.

but i should be ok during actual assembly. I've used soldering irons plenty of times before, and actualy installing parts can't be that much  harder then installing dvd drives and fiddeling with RC helicopter controllers, can it?

has anyone seen The IT Crowd on abc? best show I've seen in a while.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2006, 12:01:48 am by SBD »

Offline Manna

  • Frogger Fanatic
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
    • View Profile
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2006, 11:35:30 pm »
You wont need a soldering iron. The hardest part is getting the CPU on the mobo and getting the thermal paste spread evenly IMO.

as for static, just touch the side of your case or your power supply before touching the hardware to ground yourself.

The BIOS will set itself up, the only thing you may need to do is just jump in and tell it where your HDD are on the IDE cables but its usually on auto by default so with a bit of luck it'll sort that out too.

Dont look at me, I'm irrelevant!

c14dude

  • Guest
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2006, 11:40:01 pm »
i say get a grounder braclet, best $8 i spent, its so much easyer

Offline SBD

  • Duck Hunter
  • *****
  • Posts: 3071
  • It stands for Ship-Borne Dive bomber, people.
    • View Profile
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2006, 12:03:09 am »
yeah. I've heard of those. Don't you plug it into the mains or something?

Offline Fade2gray

  • Scramble Skipper
  • ****
  • Posts: 688
  • ...or just go bald
    • View Profile
Re: Advice on buying or building a PC or Laptop
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2006, 08:04:47 am »
The BIOS will set itself up, the only thing you may need to do is just jump in and tell it where your HDD are on the IDE cables but its usually on auto by default so with a bit of luck it'll sort that out too.

Even that little bit can be easily avoided just by using an SATA drive. Slightly fast and more user friendly in my opinion. They used to cost a noticable bit more and be harder to find, but last time I checked on line I noticed that there were quite a few more available and that the prices had been dropping. Also, almost every Mother Board out there has SATA conectors on it now.

Well, just so you know what you'd be getting into SBD, here is a list of the major parts you'll need. (I'll probably forget something so please fill in the gaps if I do)
CPU (Central Processing Unit)
Mother Board
GPU (A.K.A. Video Card) (Some Mother Boards have built in video and sound, the video is usualy really bad so don't use it, some people also say using the sound bogs the computer down)
Memory
HDD (Harddrive)
CD/DVD Rom
Case
PSU (Power Supply Unit) (Edit:Depending on what case you chose this is sometimes included, though the quity of included PSUs can sometimes be suspect)
*Optional*
Sound Card
Floppy drive (why get caught with your pants down I say)
Edit: Heatsink (one usually comes with the CPU but they're usually not that good)
Edit: Case Fans (Again these sometimes come with Cases, and again included fans can sometimes be of suspect quality)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2006, 03:15:34 pm by Fade2gray »