Building a computer



trying to build a good computer the way i want it, need info. on it like does the tower matter, cd burner memory on it good graphics programs whats the highest space drive you can get or should i just buy a computer all ready together which way is cheaper to do?


wathever you do… NEVER BUY AN ALREADY BUILD COMPUTER or even worse, a brann-computer like COMPAQ AND PACKARD BELL, they really suck, you’ll have nothing but trouble…

The best processor you can buy is an athlon or duron, if you really want the best of the best, you should buy an athlon 1,4 GHZ, they even outperform the 1,7GHZ intel pentium4 an are twice as cheap!

The best writer… buy a plextor, can’t go wrong. But I would wate a little bit, a 24x writer will be out very soon!

Buy 512MB ram, really cheap nowadays.

For your tower question, pick a middi sized one, the’re large enough. You only need a maxi tower if yuo have so much to put into or if you are a CASE MODDING FREAK!
I wouldn’t pick a mini or desktop, the’re pretty small.

What kind of graphic programs are you talking about, 3D or 2D?

The largest drive I know, is about 180gig SCSI, but it’s really expensive… I think a 42 gig HD will do just fine…

hope this will help’ya!


I got my own computer business in Canada (Quebec) and I can help you get a good machine. 1st, don’t buy a ready-to-use computer such as HP, Compaq, IBM or whatever if you are a gamer. A “home-made” computer is always better and may be cheaper because you wont have to pay for things that are useless to you… Of course, you have to select proper brands in order to have a quality computer. I’ll go through all computer parts to make a basic computer.

First of all, I suggest you to talk with your friends in order to choose between Intel Pentium or AMD Thunderbird / Duron, which are the CPU. From my point of view, both Intel and AMD are pretty good CPUs. Forget about Intel Celerons processors, don’t buy a Celeron, this is the slowest thing ive ever seen. Intel processors are more expensive than AMD ones. Therefore, Intel is the most stable cpu you can get. AMD is also pretty stable but you may (or may not) have some compatibility issues with new Graphic cards especially and some USB devices. AMD is way faster than Intel cpus at same frequencies (ie: 1ghz Intel < 1ghz AMD in term of speed). So my suggestion would be to buy a AMD Thunderbird 1.3, which is about 30$ more than Intel PIII-1ghz.

Motherboard: This is the heart of your computer. Majority of bugs / slow moments / incompatibility problems may be cause of a bad mainboard. From my point of view, Asus is the best price/quality motherboard on the market. To fit with a 1.3ghz, you must buy the ASUS A7A266, which allows you to get DDR memory or PC133 memory, depending on what will be the main use of your computer. DDR memory is often use for network servers or for people who will use 3D applications or enthousiasts gamers.

FAN: Let’s talk about this important part of your computer. There is 2 types of fan in a basic PC. First, you have the CPU FAN, which is attached to your processor. this fan is almost the more important part for a healthy computer. A good brand of fan will prevent your cpu to overheat during its operation and will maintain it at a lower temperature than noname brand, which will longer the life of your processor. Of course you may not find this brand in your local computer company, but I suggest you the ELAN Vital (FSCUG 3) or the Cooler Master DP5-6H11, which are noiseless and temperature effective compared to noname brands.
You also need a second fan to fit in your tower. It’s called secondary fan. Noname brands are good to put there. It’s a MUST anyway.

Memory: You’ll need PC-133 memory to run your computer at a good speed. I suggest you to buy 256 megs of RAM, which is cheap nowadays. Almost all blue screen of death problems and computer problems such as random reboot or freeze is directly caused by bad memory. Therefore, it’s really important to buy a MAJOR brand in order to have a stable computer. Major brands are: Kingston, Corsair, Viking and Hyundai. I highly recommend Kingston for being the best memory brand ever made and available almost anywhere in the world.

Tower: To answer to your question, the tower is also important when you are buying a new computer. Not important in term of design, but in term of Power Supply. 300W power supply is a MUST. 250W supplies are too low. A mid-tower should be your best choice. Although it must have some good air-traps or holes to let the air / fans functionning properly.

Hard drives: I suggest you a 40Gb HD. With 40gb, you should have way enough space for storing CD images for multiple burning process. A 7200rpm drive is also a must-have, since its speed is much more faster than old 5400rpm drives. ATA/66 (which means 66megs per seconds) will be enough for your needs. ATA/100 drives are usually more expensive and doesn’t really improves the overall transfer rate / speed of your computer.
A good brand to buy is Western Digital WD400. Maxtor, Quantum, IBM, Seagate and Fujitsu are good brands too. The drive must be IDE of course.

Video card: okay, this is a big part of your computer. But again, if you don’t plan using 3d Apps then you can save big money. My choice would be: Asus V7100. This card will give you real nice graphics on any games and pretty good performance too for its low price.

Sound Card: Sound Blaster Live! Value is by far the best choice… Available at around US$60 .

CD-Writer: I suggest the Plextor 12/10/32a. This is what I have. It just rock.

CD-ROM: Although your cd-writer can read cds, I highly recommend you to buy also a CD-ROM. That way you wont use your burner len for reading music / data cds and then you wont decrease the life of your cd-writer. A good and cheap choice is the LG cd-roms. Asus 50X cd-roms are not bad too.

Modem: If you are not connected with a broadband connection, then you may need a new 56k modem. USRobotics is a good choice, but ACER FM-56PM is even the same and its cheaper.

1.44: Don’t forget your floppy disc!

DVD-ROm: May be a good buy. But, if you do not plan to watch DVDs on your computer monitor, then its useless. Unless you buy a TV-OUT graphic card and plug it to your Living Room TV. If you want to buy a TV-OUT graphic card, then buy the ASUS V7100/T model which will be around 50$ more than the original V7100.

Well that’s about it… I hope you’ll find these informations useful and will guide you trough the rest of your buying plans… If you need more infos then contact me at :

Interesting links:

Have a nice evening!



I just put together a decent system last year…Duron 850 processor, 46.1GB Hard Drive, 256MB RAM, 8x DVDROM, 12x10x32 CD-RW, G-Force2 Vid Card w/ 64MB Video Mem, Creative Soundblaster Live! Platnium, a full tower case w/ 5 CD bays, 6HD bays, and a floppy drive, all together w/ an ABIT motherboard w/ onboard system monitoring…eg: CPU fan speed, CPU temp, system temp, etc…It works good for me…Except for the darn CD recorder… :frowning:


Man that is comprehensive I’d say. You covered just about everything. But dont forget too mention, a larger monitor helps people with poorer eyesight to see the images on the screen better. 17’ monitors are relatively cheap these days.


yeah, just put in 2 orders for 17" monitors and the total cost (including s&h) was about 280…humm…that seems …not …humm, should have just waited till I went down to MO… $120 for a 21" Crap. well, i’ll get that one in 3 week then. ; ) stupid shipping. (oh yeah, base price was 115 for the 17")

as for the computer, ALSO make sure that it can support your hardware (cpu and ram) my brother got screwed out of 512 mb of ram (so I had to put it in mine). :stuck_out_tongue: His only supports 3 - 256’s
while mine is 3 - 512’s

make sure its a good motherboard too…i would say anything but Tyan (well…just not Tyan). You cant overclock them very good. (motherboard wont LET you—ie, you CANT change the voltage–only thing you can overclock is the cpu–and not by much…and it DOES screw up–because not enough volts)–also tried getting a slocket for it, and changing the voltage on it that way, lets just say, “The motherboard has the last word, on what your CPU is gonna run at.”.

And DONT forget to order a floppy!!! (that happend to me TWICE)


I guess you’re new to Computers so i would advice you to buy and Intel based system. They are more stable and doesn’t have heat problems like AMD’s. it is not that AMD’s processsor are bad, but they are indeed not the best way to make your first computer.
The problem relies in the chip quality. When Intels processors are getting too hot, they will shutdown, AMD’s will melt like a Powerplant on the loose :eek:

But if you are after Speed AMD is the way to go. But if you’re unlucky you’re probably go many times to your PC shop with problems.

AMD is cheaper, but if you want Quantity instead of Quality then it’s your decision.

Please guys, don’t dis me. I know what i’m talking about. AMD is faster but when you’re talking about reliablity then Intel is a better choice.
The best example is that AMD’s chips are bannned for Hospital and mission critical operations and equipment.


Yes well, the dude ain’t gonna run a hospital, now is he?
It’s true though, intel chips are a bit more stable, but with the latest athlon and duron chips, they are almost as stable as the intel chips.
The price on the other hand is something totally different, the’re waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to high. AMD chips are A LOTH cheaper and way faster(athlon 1,2GHZ is as fast as a 1,7GHZ pentium4 and sometimes even faster than an (overclocked)pentium4 1,9GHZ!), and the’re almost as stable, if you don’t run a hospital or are an overclocking-freak (wich I guess you aren’t, and even so…), buy an AMD processor, you won’t be dissapointed.


I also started a PC business in New York “Shadow Kasters”, John aka Shadow2k said it mostly all. Im not sure if he mentioned it but when you get your case make sure you get a good power supply especially if you get an Athlon at least 300 watts even if you dont its good to get 300 Watts and better. About Intel Vs. AMD well we have it all, and in what you want you can go with the AMD everyone talks about stability etc. I havent seen my AMD crash more then an Intel, Windows can do that for you. Amd is relativly cheaper and its the way to go it is still quality. Some people feel better with their Intel. In benchmarks you can always see the truth especially in video cards but to be honest your human eye wont notice the difference, unless you want to print the results frame them then post it on your wall its up to you. Ram is so cheap these days that I wont have to elaborate on that. Video cards go for which ever Geforce you can afford and Burners I go for Plextor and TDK. BAck to the processors go for what ever you can afford a high MHZ P3, a P4 or the T bird. Leave the Celerons and Durons alone.


ok how about this…

What processor would you guys recoomend for lets say DiVX encoding, from DVD or whatever?

I am about sick of intel myself … But would they be more reliable for fast multimedia work??

One other thing, what if I wanted to buy a CPU and had NO intention of overclocking it?? Which would be best for that case?


The reliability is waaaaay over rated, the AMD chips really are almost as stable as intel’s you know…


Sure AMD is cheaper and faster. Thats also the reason why AMD blinds people all over the world.
Many People thinks with their wallet.

Sure AMD works for you guys, and AMEN for that.
But i wouldn’t trust it for a moment.


Originally posted by Zyron
[B]Sure AMD is cheaper and faster. Thats also the reason why AMD blinds people all over the world.
Many People thinks with their wallet.

Sure AMD works for you guys, and AMEN for that.
But i wouldn’t trust it for a moment. [/B]

Nope, it’s intel who’s blinding the people. Many people still think that if it’s cheap, it’s not good, ofcours this ain’t thrue.
ex: Microsofts products are expensive, just because they cost a loth, you’r not gonna say that windows is better then linux now will you?

When are people like you going to realise intel’s just playing with you, trying to rip you off…

btw, I’m not saying pentium sux, just way too expensive.


Actuelly Intel doesn’t have any special things to offer me, (or blind me with).
Intel sells it’s products as is.
But i would be a tragic loss (for both sides) if AMD stopped making processors.

So i still depend on AMD to make my favorites processor cheaper so Intel doesn’t fuck me up by raising prices.

And AMD needs Intel so they don’t try to fuck up it’s costumers too.

So i guess we need each other.

Remember that neither INTEL or AMD cares about their costumers only their wallets.


yup, that’s the fact


I have used AMD for years since K6-5 and I saw minor problems then, with the floating points and in comparisons to Intels SSE instructions. AMD has overcome now. I have had a Tbird for close to over a year. No problems whatsoever. My PC has been used for Divx Decoding, forever burning, webdesign. Games are awesome. Somewhat photoshop. NO problems. FOr the price of an AMD you cant really complain.