Need advice: Build or buy? (Low-end system)

Just build it!

…and just how would for instance Dell help you with data loss or backup? They wont do a damn thing about it so the argument is off topic if you’re trying to convince him to get a branded computer. btw, if you want a branded PC I’d rather go with FSC (Fujitsu-Siemens Computers) than Dell.

If you not compelled to go Microsoft, then a “Linux Office” using on whatever version of linux you prefer, may be another alternative - the licence terms are certainly good (install as many as you like, all 100% above board) - certainly, the “evil twins” of a Microsoft OS and MS Word are overpriced in comparison - now if certain task-specific software is only available on MS, than that does demand Windows as the OS (I wouldn’t bank on running critical software under WINE on Linux), but Openoffice coulkd still be used as the Word processor, spreadsheet and presentation graphics solution - a fully usable database is looming in version 2, but currently, it has an interface to many existing database solutions.

Dell wouldn’t help you…the point is that the responsibility is no longer associated with you. I don’t know how many times someone tried to claim it was “our fault” at the mom-n-pop shop I worked at for their issue, because “we built the machine”, when in reality it was a buggy program they installed, or they didn’t keep their antivirus software up to date or had none, or they didn’t back up Johnny’s term paper and the hard disk died. My argument is not off-topic at all, had Dell been willing to help with these issues, I would have pointed it out. As I said before “The responsibility ultimately rests with the end-user”, but I’ve seen too many times where someone was blamed by association. My second point was that a lot of people find system-building fun, until they are expected to provide long-term support for that system. If he’s going to build one, it might be a good idea to know what he could be getting into on that end before he decides to.

Well, based on my experiences I beg to differ. I’ve built several systems and I get very “support tickets”. To make it easy I’d say about 3 questions per month by e-mail, cellphone, im and maybe one “on-site” that’s not urgent and all these have basic/semi-advanced knowledge. Just hide programs/settings that are sensitive in some way and make virus database updates scheduled, install a preconfigured firewall that doesn’t ask questions and replace IE with Mozilla/Firefox and you’ve a lot less to worry about. Quite simple…

There are many places that you can buy computer components from.

There is even cheaper places than DELL and NEW EGG.

Serach for computer parts of which ever brand or make in google and you will find mnay places that willl sell and build you a computer with warranty plans etc.

Here is a few to try out.


Starting with the top in my opinion.

These 3 places are the top 3 in Canada and is one of the best if in Ontario Canada or I guess any other province as they are spread out.

United States

Starting from the top in my opinion.

What about this:

And for the Monitor:

Just a suggestion on the refurb computer but it would be away to get a decent system for pretty cheap. :slight_smile:

I personnaly would suggest buy a ready made computer with raid already on it. I built my computer and i got a huge kick of excitment out of it and cant wait to make my new one in 3-4 mounths time :bigsmile:
He won’t need anything special except anti-virus such as Norton; and if connected to the internet then and firewall as well also recommend Norton (Norton systemworks :bow: )
don’t forget to set auto-updates

Hope this helps

Well I wanna have fun too so I’m going to build one. My dad already uses me for tech support anyway. His computer use is actually not that critical so I’m not too worried about it.

Boy, this has bad news written all over it. I’m with the other guys…Given that you have not built a system from the ground up, have him buy a “brand name” system for business purposes. This is not the opportune time to build a system “for the fun of it.” There are countless little variables when setting up a new machine that can lead to numerous problems (minor and major). The physical construction is the easy part. It’s getting all the software to setup properly and “play nice” with each other that is the challenge. If you are not used to this, you could end up wasting alot of time and money trying to sort through these problems. For this reason, the best route is to purchase a system from a company. If he, you, a friend, or family member wants a personal home system, then have your fun under those circumstances.

Just my 2 cents…

It’s getting all the software to setup properly and “play nice” with each other that is the challenge.

Well, you have to start somewhere and getting it decently isn’t hard at all if you read up (what drivers to get, how to setup a firewall, obtaining patches, small tweaks etc). Since it’s going to be an office machine not much can go wrong, I mean how do you screw up an Office/Word Processor installation, Mail client (unless he uses Webmail) and additional software.
Whatever he decides to do it’ll be fine I guess.

Thanks for your concern bro, but he also has another computer he can use (the one he’s using now) if the one I build doesn’t work. Plus, I’m pretty computer saavy, I have an electrical engineering degree, work for a company that configures computer systems, and have been a big computer user/modifier all my life. I think I can handle this challenge. If worst comes to worst, I give him my new dell and take the one I built for myself. It’s all good.

Plus, as long as I buy compatible components and they all come with drivers (which I imagine they must), then really how hard can it be. I’m not assembling a state of the art system here.

I will be sure to let you all know how it turns out. I’m doing it within the next week or so probably.

Just so you know, you’re better off downloading drivers off the net since they’re most likely updated.

Thanks for the tip. :wink:

Okay, I picked out all of the pieces. Please let me know if you guys see any incompatibilities or if I’m missing anything. I decided to go with the Celeron D because I want something familiar, compatible, cool running, and I’m not planning on overclocking anyway. I’m pretty sure that the CPU and MB are compatible but please let me know if they aren’t. The 160GB HD is for me – gonna give my dad my 80GB. I think I have all the necessary cables (IDE, etc) from other computers. I’m planning on using the DVD-RW drive for backing up and I like that the MB has built in RAID if I want to implement that later.

Intel Celeron D “320” 2.40 GHz, 533MHz FSB, 256K L2 Cache Processor - Retail

BIOSTAR “P4VMA-M” PM800 Chipset Motherboard for Intel Socket 478 CPU -RETAIL

Rosewill 184-Pin 512MB DDR PC3200, Model RW400/512 - Retail

SAMSUNG 160GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive, Model SP1604N, OEM Drive Only

NEC 1.44MB Black Internal Floppy Drive, OEM

NEC 16X Double Layer DVD±RW Drive, Black, Model ND-3500A BK, OEM

CODEGEN Black/Silver Micro ATX Mid-Tower Case with Front Panel USB 2.0 ports, Model “1012-CA” -RETAIL

I’d rather get a mainboard using either Intel, SiS or ATi chipset since I’ve never heard good rock solid story about a VIA chipset and an Intel CPU, anyone remembering the Apollo series for Penitum 3? :slight_smile:
Are you really sure you want a Codegen PSU? They are really low end and known to be unreliable. Since you want integrated video I’d suggest that you get a Kingston/Corsair stick because video chipsets tends to be a bit picky.
Keep in mind that integrated graphics tend to kill performance greatly.

Okay, I switched to a Corsair memory stick and the CPU linked below.

I’m gonna take my chances with the Codegen PSU. I like the looks of the case and it’s cheap. If the PSU goes, I’ll replace it.

Any other comments?

Should do fine.

Hey, so my system didn’t work. If you want to try to help, please check out this thread I’m not too worried…YET.