HP Envy x2 review: Hands-on
I desperately want to replace my aging Packard Bell desktop but every manufacturer seems to have fallen foul of somebody when it comes to support when things go wrong!
A lot of people suggest self build which seems a good idea if you know what you are doing,but what about the not so technically minded?
I have upgraded memory and replaced graphic cards so I'm not frightened to have a go but is there a good,up to date book to help with the build.
Any thoughts on the matter,all you experts out there.
Any help gratefully received.
Another way peg leg is to go for a Barebones system, just transfer all the PCI/AGP stuff over from your existing system together with CD/Floppy etc. It's quicker and easier than building from scratch.
Look click here
Although building your own is unlikely to be any cheaper than an of the peg model the sense of achievement more than makes up for it. I like you started out by upgrading my first PC, first more memory, and then a pci usb card. Next came a graphics card to replace the onboard graphics, things here didn't seem to go quite as smoothly several attempts to get anything to appear on the monitor ended in failure and much frustration ensued. I was ready to but it back in to the box and return it as faulty when in a flash of inspiration I suddenly realised you had to connect your monitor to the new card and not to the onboard graphics Do'h.
Anyway two years later and a dozen or so builds later I personally would never buy a ready made PC again.
It's not rocket science to assemble a PC (if i can anyone can) A little bit of research goes a long way.
Some interesting videos
Will perhaps give you some idea of what’s involved
Although it is usually not obviously cheaper than buying from a shop, I think you do ensure that each and every component is from a good manufacturer.
Most big companies save money down the line, and not just through bulk buying. Whether it's for the case, the PSU, on the RAM etc. companies need to maximise their profit margins, yet provide adequate systems. However, I'm still curious as to why the Tiny system got such a low worldbench score in the last edition of PCA ...
By building your own I think you generally get the better system, though on paper you possibly spend a bit more.
Thanks for your replies.
Sidecar kid, I did exactly the same thing as you regarding the graphics card,installed the card and then plugged the monitor back into the onboard graphics!!
Learning all the time.
Its 2 1/2 yrs ago now that I first started down the track of upgrading my PC which I have now almost completely rebuilt in a new case.
Its funny now thinking of the trepidation with which I approached opening and delving into the case for the first time to fit a soundcard.
I wouldn't say I am blasé now (since I still take care) but my attitude is much more relaxed and the confidence that has come with doing this work myself means I am unlikely to ever buy an an off the shelf PC again.
I realise that lack of an overall warranty can be a worry but each of the components are covered (some like my new Seagate SATA for up to five yrs) and as you gain in knowledge you also learn to troubleshoot problems as and when they occur.
Comparing the cost of builing your own and buying of the shelf is very difficult.
Alright there is little saving to be made if you compared the cost to build to the cost of the shelf, if you are talking about just the purchase of.
But when you built your own, not only to you get the satafaction that you built it, but how to you cost, the knowledge you've gained while you've been doing it. Knowledge that you will take forward with you, the more understanding you have of how it all fits together and works, the more saving you make in the long run.
Buy following components from microdirect click here for Â£318.59 (including P & P), put together in 1 hour (9 year old boy can do it)
Shuttle SK43G Mini Aluminium Barebone System for AMD Socket A, On Board VGA, LAN, USB2, Firewire, SATA RAID, 6ch. Audio. (BARSHUSK43G) Â£109.95
AMD Sempron 2600+ Retail Box inc Fan (3 year warranty) skt A (CPUSEM.2600) Â£45.99
Samsung TS-H552B Dual Layer 16x DVD +/-R/RW Black inc Software (DVDSAMHS552B) Â£31.70
120 GB Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 8MB Cache 7200rpm ATA133 (HAR120MAXID728) Â£41.99
2 sticks of 256MB DDR333 PC2700 RAM (elixir brand) (MEM256MBPC2700S) Â£36.50
Thanks for all your replies.
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