Trying to Build a CUSTOM PC

Hi, I’m interested in building my own pc but I’m virtually a beginner in that area. About 2 or 3 years ago I bought an Hp that cost me around 2,000 at that time and some people told me I could have made my own and got more bang for my buck.:sweat: I still use it but I would really like to build my own since it’s supposed to be more inexpensive and you can choose what you want.

Mostly, I would like to know what the best motherboards, video cards, and OS’s in performance even if they cost more. I’ve been looking at alienware pc’s but don’t know if they’re just hyped up with the price. Looking to spending about another 2,000 or a little more based on recommendations. I want to be able to play the newest pc FPS games coming out like Unreal Tournament or Call of Duty. Thanks

Check out the General Hardware section on

hey this isnt hard at all(I build all of my PC’s),there are also magazines in stores that have some decent guides too.

thanks, will check that site out. What’s the magazine that your referring to, or should I just scrounge around the pc mags at the store ^_^. Also, what would YOU recommend seeing as how you build them all the time?

I’ve built many computers and I recommend that site :lovin:

Check out Pricewatch. They have stats and prices on all types of components, and links to companies that distribute them. You can get shit cheap if you look around enough.

My current system only cost $150 to for MB / CPU / Case, though granted I had the rest already from my old system, and the new parts aren’t exactly new in terms of having been around. But still, good stuff.

I’m mostly looking to REPLACE my old pc with a hardcore gaming one. I’ve checked the hardforums site and am starting to get an idea of what I need to get. Still looks like I need a lot more research but, that’s ok I’m not in any hurry. Thanks for your help and any good, reliable online parts places would be much appreciated. and are the best places to get components. I’ve probably spent about $6k over the years at newegg.

I suggest getting a good quality case. My current case sounds like a fucking jet engine about to take off, the cheap fans inside rattle like crazy. This is particulary annoying if you leave your computer on all the time.

^My harddrive sounds like a coffee maker…[kkkkrrrt, krrrrtt] :sad:

Plus its a dinosaur in terms of technology. 501MHz.

I wouldn’t recommend magazines for information. They are usually outdated by the time they hit the store and are governed by advertising dollars.

I’ve found that one of the keys to getting a good case/psu is to not get combos; get the case and power supply individually.

So I pretty much browse through and find the most expensive case and power supply? Seeing as how more money means better most of the time, right?

that’d be a horrendous idea They usually have the best prices and are great at doing returns. My personal favorite is to return everything right before the warranty is up and get new hardware. You can usually get a small upgrade, but I’m not 100% sure about that since you say you want the best. I recently upgraded from a Radeon X1300 Pro to a 1650 XT for nothing but the shipping cost.

Tips: Listen to product reviews. Every time I’ve ignored multiple bad reviews and got something because it had a feature I really wanted or something, I got bit in the end.

If you’re torn between a couple products take your time and research them on a number of sites instead of just arbitrarily choosing one because you want it now. You might even save a dollar or two, since prices tend to fall on some items every week or so.

And no, more money dosen’t always mean better performance. For example, I think DDR is more expensive than DDR2 right now due to it being a legacy item. Also, for some things it’s best to do your homework and see if you actually need a product, or if a cheaper replacement will be adequate. Soundcards come to mind. Sure Soundblasters are nice, but a really good 7.1 card that costs a bit less might sound just as good when playing games or watching movies.

Most bang for buck as far as gaming goes: motherboard, memory (speed dosen’t matter as much as quantity) and CPU (cache and clock speed are more important than the number of cores, currently, and the AMD AM2 chipset is going to be around for another generation at least if you’re planning on going AMD, so you can easily upgrade to a faster chip later.)

And as far as video cards go, you’re probably going to have to spend most of your research hours on this subject, but it’s time worth spending. It basically comes down to NVidia or ATI. Back when I was somewhat in your shoes, a friend told me this bit of information and it still holds up pretty much to this day: NVidia = more pixel pipelines, less throughput per pipe and faster performance and ATI = less pixel pipelines, but faster throughput through those pipes, and better overall performance and capability. What I mean by capability is the ability for the card to perform well in a number of graphical operations. Currently, I think the pipeline counts are the same, but memory performance is the real difference lately. Still, some games will perform very differently on very similar cards, so again, do your homework. Listen to reviews that are specific to your hardware setup and the games that you will be playing. that way you can get real-world results instead of results fabricated in a lab setting. Me personally, I was once a die hard NVidia user until the Geforce 3. Then I installed my first ATI card (8500) in a friend’s PC and was amazed that the card stomped my Geforce 3 TI200 visually. Since then I haven’t used anything else but ATI, but I think I’m going to switch back to Geforce since games are becoming so demanding now and the faster Geforces are looking mighty tempting and ATI really doesn’t really have a response yet.

Tom’s Hardware covers every PC part in depth with a lot of charts and data to inform you.
Good luck and good gamin’. :tup:

Thanks a lot Manx! And to everyone who gave me lots of useful information. I will definitely read up on this in those other forums plus, they actually have a thread were people show their gaming pc stations and it’s really giving me ideas. ^_^’

Do it for the fun, but I am an engineer and my specialty is hardware, building computers, servers, clusters or whatnot, the actual physical building isn’t hard, now actually building a good pc, takes alot of skill, patience, then afterwards you try to exceed specs, through overclocking. Its a very delicate and time consuming thing. Otherwise your better buying a premade, prices are better than before, the price difference isn’t as huge as it once was. Though if your doing it for the experience then by all means go ahead.

You may want to buy a barebones system though, with the proc, already installed, you screw up putting it in the socket, and its gone, and loses warranty. Its not easy to kill it, but its a considerable factor of error.

Heres my baby, chilling until I put the H2O, and break some barriers, and waiting its gfx sister, otherwise its the way I like it, its a wavemaster case, and its a very nice, but don’t want to show it off ;), so you get the side view only 8P. has in-depth power supply reviews that go over ripple specs, overloading and all of the important shit.

As of right now, the best PSU for a single video card system is the Corsiar HX620 or HX520, and if you want a higher voltage PSU for crossfire or SLI (which I don’t recommend since it is a waste of money IMO), then you would need to read up more since I don’t pay attention to which are the best ultra high power PSU’s.

The best processors out right now for gaming are Intel Core 2 Duos or Quads. However, most games don’t push the quad core hard enough yet, so I recommend the Core 2 Duo to save some money.

For the graphic card, best bang for the buck is the Geforce 8800 GTS from nVidia. It will be under a different “brand” though since nVidia just makes the chip and reference card. Well known nVidia resellers include eVGA, BFG, and XFX. You can’t lose with any of those companies, but eVGA seems to have the lowest prices most of the time.

A good mobo is the Gigabyte DS3R, but it might have been updated by now. Check out hardforums or anandtech for more info on that shit. I haven’t been keeping up for a while.

This site right here is a good site to read about what ram chips are used in what brands: Basically you only want to buy stuff that ONLY uses some sort of Micron D9 chip, since those are the best ram chips for overclocking. I recommend Crucial Ballistix since Micron is Crucial’s parent company. Plus I own a pair of 1 gb Crucial Ballistix DDR800s and they are rock stable.

The case is all preferance, but Lian-Li and Silverstone make some NIIIICE cases that look pimp and slick as hell. Plus it’ll get you girls if you buy one (not really… but they are very nice cases :bgrin:).

For harddrives, I like Seagate because they offer the best warranty in the business (5 years). Make sure to get an SATA one, since PATA is dated as hell. Nobody who builds a new computer should buy that shit anymore.

For the CD/DVD burner, I like lite-on and NEC drives, but most of them pretty much will work fine. This part doesn’t matter as much unless you have some specific tasks you wish to do, but trust me, you will know if you need the certain features. If not, just get anyone that looks good. Oh stick to SATA if you can too, PATA stuff is being phased out slowly but surely.

Floppy drive - umm, if you need one go to goodwill? lol

@pc1x1 - damn, those lights damned near blinded me when I clicked that picture, lol.

It has a night mode, when it turns all UV, so they don’t blind me :rofl:, Ill take a cool pic of it without the flash blinding ya if you want. I made a little tornado inside with the fans, thats why you see fans coming from the bottom hehe, but I want to change it to H2O asap.

Mc, we’ll need pics!!! when you get started. But yea, don’t do Quads, mine is a Dual, because I build this baby a little while ago, while the Duals where the highest, and I am yet to stress them significantly nor there isn’t any considerable amount of software that takes advantage of the duals. Most of the time one of the duals is chilling. heh

That’s a pretty cool pc you got there. I don’t know if you have it installed since it’s a little hard to see but, is a liquid cooling system worth putting on a custom pc and how much more would it cost. Also, one of my friends said It was bloody hard to install right.