Custom built PC

  ljstevens 12:04 27 Jan 2006


Im looking to either build or buy a custom PC, but i really am not sure where to start. Ive got a spec which my friend drew up and im going off of that. Can any one recomend anyone that is cheap or would it be better to build it myself?

  Gongoozler 12:15 27 Jan 2006

Hi ljstevens, custom build is never cheap - but you do get what you want. Tell us the spec and I'm sure you'll get all kinds of advice. I would go for self-build every time, much more fun, much more satisfaction with the finished job, but also higher risk.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:20 27 Jan 2006

If you are not using it for gaming you will find it cheaper to buy from a company. I have assembled a few computers but I found it dull after the first one and no cheaper than buying a ready made one. You can buy a Dell for around the £400 mark and Novatech sell cheaper towers. Post what you need the computer for and you should get some accurate replies.


  martytoon 12:20 27 Jan 2006

You could also try PC Specialist. Via their website you can quite literally design your own PC which they will build for you. Prices appear quite competitive and customer feedback is positive. click here

  ljstevens 12:21 27 Jan 2006

This is the spec i was told to aim for, the PC is for audio playback and editing.

The soundcard is a Echo Layla.

CPU AMD Athlon64 X2 3800 512K Retail Socket 939

RAM Corsair Twinx 2x512MB XMS3200 Pro

GFX Matrox G550 32Mb Dual head AGP

MB ABit AX8 V2.0

System HD 120GB Maxtor D/Max ATA133/7200 8MB

Audio HDs 200G Maxtor DMax+10 SATA150/7200/8M 8MB

Optical Lite-ON 52x52x32x16 CDRW DVD Combo

HDD quietness Scythe Silent Box Heatlane HDD Enclosure

CPU cooler Zalman CNPS7700-ALCU 120mm Super Flower Cooler AMD and P4

Quiet case fan Acousti Products AFDP-12025B 120mm case fan

Quiet PSU QTechnology Ultra-Quit PSU400W, 120mm fan

Case 4U rack mount case

  Totally-braindead 12:33 27 Jan 2006

I build my own as well, I enjoy it and have learned a great deal from it. Its really not rocket science, the tricky bit is choosing components that work well together. The actual assembly is easy enough really, as the parts in general won't fit in the wrong place.
There are certain rules that you must follow when installing the software etc but in general its not too differcult.
One thing though, a custom PC costs more than a run of the mill bog standard one, maybe thats stating the obvious but what may not be obvious is thats its cheaper to pick a system from a company, add or alter components and buy it from them than it is to buy the parts seperately and build it yourself.
If the thought of building interests you but you don't want to jump in at the deep end then you could consider a barebones system from the likes of Novatech click here you know the processor will work with the memory etc, all you then have to do is decide what graphics you want, hard drive etc.
Whatever you do decide to do make sure it has either an AGP slot or a PCI Express graphics card slot whether it has onboard graphics or not. If it has neither then you're stuck, and if later on you wish to play a game and the onboard graphics can't handle it the only thing you can do is buy another computer.

  Totally-braindead 12:45 27 Jan 2006

Pardon my ignorance but what is special about the graphics card you intend using click here £73 seems expensive to me for what looks to be a rather old card. The sound card is what I presume is most important in your setup as it appears to be very expensive. I would get 2 seperate optical drives though, a CD writer and either a DVD ROM or a DVD writer, mainly in case one of them packs in, you can use the other one until you get a replacement.

  Ironman556 12:53 27 Jan 2006

click here

I've had 2 Sapphire cards and never had a problem, the first was a 9600Pro 128MB as at the bottom of the list, and I only upgraded because I wanted more GPU power for games. Cheaper and can still perform well enough to handle new games decently, so should be more than enough for what you need.

  gudgulf 13:35 27 Jan 2006

A few comments

The Abit AX8 v2.0 is,as far as can see a PCI-e(PCI express) motherboard so an AGP graphics card wont fit.

As Totally Braindead points out the Matrox graphics card you have in mind is outdated,expensive and a very poor specification.Not to mention the fact it is AGP and wont fit the motherboard you specify.Most budget PCI-e cards available will be a better choice and many support dual monitors,if that was the reason for picking the Matrox.

The memory is good....but you could consider the Corsair XMS Cas2 memory rather than the Pro version.It is just as good but cheaper.The pro version has better cooling and is aimed more at gamers and overclockers.

You seem to be looking at as near to a silent pc as possible and that spec looks good for that.

Whether you need a hard drive silencer box is debatable.....modern SATA drives are very quiet in operation anyway.

Is there any particular reason for picking an IDE drive as the main system disc? There are faster SATA drives around which could speed up the whole system......look for NCQ(Native Command Queuing) and 16MB cache such as click here

With a bit of tweaking to that specification you could get better performance for less cash or upgrade to the faster Athlon X2 4200+ processor for the same price.

My personal preferance would be to build it can be sure you get exactly what you want that way.It can cost more,but given your implied need for quietness I can see you might have problems getting exactly what you want from a proprietary dealer/manufacturer.

  ljstevens 14:41 27 Jan 2006

So gudulf what would you change on that spec?

i really need peoples opions and help cos im not the best with pc's

  gudgulf 17:24 27 Jan 2006

Could you give a budget and a bit more info on the exact usage?

I notice the spec you give includes a rack mount case,and that the sound card breakout box is also rack mount size.

Does that mean you are fitting it into a rack,or using it in studio for recording purposes as well?

That sound card looks more professional than most.....but if you are mainly using it for audio playback does it outperform the latest X-Fi series of SoundBlaster cards?

Sorry for so many questions but the more info we have the better we can advise.....and I wouldn't want to send you down the wrong path by recommending things that don't do exactly what you want.

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