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#20176 - 7th Jun 2006 3:33pm How do u build a PC
scoop Offline
Wiki Addict

Registered: 18th Nov 2004
Posts: 7238
Loc: Leuchars
Im building my parents a new PC soon and i have a general idea what to do but could do with a little help

What exaclty do i need?
where is the best place to get it all?
How do you install all the harware before the OS is on?

The list of things i KNOW i need are as follows

Motherboard
Processor
HD
DVD RW
DVD drive
2 sticks of 1 gig DDR
Sound card
Graphics card
Network card
Main fan
Poocessor fan
Case

Do i need a floppy drive? it'll never get used

and can 2 hard drives be put inside?
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#20177 - 7th Jun 2006 3:56pm Re: How do u build a PC
AX_125 Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 10th Nov 2003
Posts: 3793
Loc: Home
My mb (Gigabyte) can support up to 4 SATA HDD's 4 DDR sticks of ram and PCI Express graphics card.

Unless it is a gaming/Multimedia machine, i would settle for onboard sound and graphics with 1GB Ram.

Might need to tweak the boot settings on the Bios, but it is easy to work out while reading the booklet.

Afriend of mine is selling a Pentium 3.2HT with 1.5 GB/Ram 6800GT graphics card with 5.1 sound card, 200GB SATA Hdd etc. Plays all the latest games on full graphics. I could get a price if you are interested.
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#20178 - 7th Jun 2006 4:12pm Re: How do u build a PC
scoop Offline
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Registered: 18th Nov 2004
Posts: 7238
Loc: Leuchars
I want this computer to play the latest gams on full graphics and hopefully still be up to date in a couple of years. My computers 2 years old and modern games are a push for it but it can manage em.

So i want this comp to have over 3 gig processor,over 150gb HDD, over 256mb graphics card,at least 1.5 gig of ram,quick DVD R,and,TBH sound card can be boggo as they wont be going nuts with speakers,it just has to play games and hold films etc
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#20179 - 7th Jun 2006 4:22pm Re: How do u build a PC
AX_125 Offline

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Registered: 10th Nov 2003
Posts: 3793
Loc: Home
if you buy one now, it won't be upto date in a couple of years as windows vista apparently needs an absolute beast of a rig to run it.

Have you considered a G5 mac?
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#20180 - 7th Jun 2006 4:28pm Re: How do u build a PC
scoop Offline
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Registered: 18th Nov 2004
Posts: 7238
Loc: Leuchars
no,can u build em urself? looking to get a fully operational machine for waaaay less than the shops would charge
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#20181 - 7th Jun 2006 4:31pm Re: How do u build a PC
MattLFC Offline
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Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
If you want to build a PC its easy, I would be more then willing to offer you all the help I can, ive built loads in the past.

smile

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#20182 - 7th Jun 2006 4:34pm Re: How do u build a PC
AX_125 Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 10th Nov 2003
Posts: 3793
Loc: Home
try scan.co.uk ebuyer.com or ebay.co.uk

Sometimes on ebay you can buy full systems for less than what you can get the parts for.
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#20183 - 7th Jun 2006 4:50pm Re: How do u build a PC
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
for the spec u want, your lookin at least £600

I'd go for an AMD Athlon 64 processor (£150-ish), Asus Rock mobo (£80-ish), 2x 512mb DDR PC3200 Ram (£60-ish each), Graphics card, dependant upon proferance, I'd go for a GeForce personally.

you might need a floppy drive to set up the OS (operating system) but other than that, they aint needed. Most motherboards have 2 IDE sockets so using 3 way IDE Cable, u could have up to 4 devices at anyone time, so DVDR, CD-RW AND 2 HDD's maybe? If you wanted to expand on that, you could get a SCSI Card and connect SCSI HDD's, but I use USB to IDE adaptors and have a 7 way PCI USB Card with 2 internal sockets to connect more HDD's internally. Hard drives - I find seagate are sh*t, some western digital models are sh*t, but maxtor ones seem to work best for my system and have been the most eliable for me. you should be looking to get one with a speed more than 5200rpm. Network card - a five from anywhere really. CPU fan might come with the CPU, if not, bout £30 for a decent 'un. If you feel confident enough, i'd go for water cooling on a high spec system, but you looking at an extra £200 at least, and unless you know what your doing, I wouldn't advise fitting it yourself. In terms of cases, whatever tickles ya fancy, just made sure the motherboard fits in it andif it comes with a PSU (power supply) make sure its at least 550w cas with all them peripherals, u'll need it lol.

Best place to get it all....I used to get stuff from Aria (www.aia.co.uk) or eBays good for bargins, both new and nearly new. If you can't find what you looking for, try buying a mag called Micromart, loadsa decent places to get stuff from there. Wouldn't recommend high street stores cas they is a bit of a rip off.

and finally...

How do you install all the harware before the OS is on?

The OS installs it all for you

sorry for the essay, but hope this helps smile
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#20184 - 11th Jun 2006 4:27pm Re: How do u build a PC
Ando Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Jan 2004
Posts: 441
Loc: FTO
Right first you'll need to buy the bits...

http://www.scan.co.uk is the best of the bunch I'd say in terms of customer service. When I set up the computer shop I used to be involved in these were the best guys by far for general items.

As the other guys have said; http://www.ebuyer.co.uk and http://www.aria.co.uk have got excellent prices. I normally buy my monitors through Aria as they're dead cheap and prompt with their service. A friend of mine had a lot of trouble with ebuyer, but I've heard a lot of good things about them. http://www.dabs.co.uk is okay too. Between them you should be able to get bargain parts. I wouldn't advise getting things from eBay just in case. Oh yeah, heard alot of good things about http://www.overclockers.co.uk !

Building a computer generally is quite simple, a few warnings before you kick off though...

Static kills chips!

Heat kills chips!

People not thinking kill chips!

So when building you can earth yourself using an earthing strap around your wrist or contacting the computer case which is set to ground.

Also something worthwhile bearing in mind, when the computer is plugged in the mains it is technically "on". So if you start pulling memory out or CPUs out you might start killing stuff, so keep those computers unplugged when you're working on them kids.

On the subject of what to buy, get a real decent case, I don'tmean one of those £20 jobs with the see through (who wants to see the dirty bits of computers anyways?), get a really solid case that's not going to slice your fingers off inside.

Here are two examples of some nice cases...

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=137412

Öand...

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=127841

The last one is pretty cool featuring dust filters etc, we used to sell a shed load in the shop as well and never got any returns. (I would bin the PSU included with it off though).

Another very important thing to consider is your power supply, you can get PSUs for a tenner, but they will be VERY poor, it can cause system instability and possibly have very bad consequences, I've seen crappy PSUs go on fire before now. One brand that I tend to use a lot is HiperPower, good quality and on the cheaper end of things...

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=408083

This is one with a bit of beef, if I was doing a build for myself I would be tempted to get this one...

Again as mentioned before ASUS are a good brand of motherboard, had a bit of a dodgy spell with some of their Socket A motherboards, but now they're spot on. In the firm I'm working in we're phasing ASUS machines in, and not had a problem so far...

I would also go for the Athlon 64. A note on the CPU, when fitting it be VERY careful, because you don't want to spend HOURS bending all the tiny pins back if you bend them trying to get the CPU in the socket, it should just drop in. Also, most CPUs (unless they're "OEM", which means they come with no packing etc), will come with a CPU fan. Normally the AMD ones are "okay" and come with a square of paste on the bottom of them with a tab over it, you need to pull this tab. If I had a quid for the amount of fan/heat sink combos with the tab still on and the CPU dieing I'd well, I'd probably have a few hundred quid...Also make sure you don't put the CPU fan on backwards, this can break the CPU itself and/or make it overheat.

Ram-wise I would go for Corsair, lifetime guarantee!

Your soundcard will more than likely be included on the motherboard, as will your Ethernet network card.

Before turning on too, make sure *everything* is seated properly i.e...

Graphics cards
PCI cards (the PCI spec' says they're hot swappable while the PC is on, but I wouldn't go there)
IDE/SATA connections
RAM (make sure the two while tabs on each side are in the grooves).

etc

As for what you want you're best of finding the bits in your budget and doing a google for some reviews.

Another thing I would strongly consider is buying a genuine copy of Windows XP, a lot of people don't take this into account and think they can just razz a pirated copy on their computer, but it's getting a ball-ache now patching windows if you're a pirate. Have a butcher's how cheap it is...

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Products.ASP?CatID=37&FilterCategories=92&Thumbnails=yes

Once everything is in the box alls you need to do is set up windows, you don't need a floppy drive for this as you can just boot from the CD, however some SATA hard disk systems require drivers for windows to find the controller, which, again on some systems come on a floppy disk, so it could be worth picking one up (considering they're about £4 these days).

Once windows is in, you need to install drivers for your hardware, and get some security software installed...

http://free.grisoft.com for your virus checker (AVG free edition)
http://www.lavasoft.de (Ad-aware SE, a not too bad spyware solution)
Windows comes with a built in firewall these days, it's not bad, not amazing but not bad, I would be tempted to buy a router (unless you already have one) with a built in firewall for a bit better protection...

Anyhoo, I think you should be okay...if you do get stuck you're always welcome to give us a message...

Just posting an edit. Sorry to disagree with you BeemerRacer28, but I've found that Maxtor drives arenít really very reliable; they're only a few quid cheaper than others like Western Digital etc.
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#20185 - 11th Jun 2006 9:32pm Re: How do u build a PC
scoop Offline
Wiki Addict

Registered: 18th Nov 2004
Posts: 7238
Loc: Leuchars
cheers for ur help mate. Ill speak with my parents soon to get them to pick a system from DELL so i can build them that exact sytem in a different case for £££ less
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#20186 - 11th Jun 2006 10:33pm Re: How do u build a PC
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
Quote:
Originally posted by Ando:
Just posting an edit. Sorry to disagree with you BeemerRacer28, but I've found that Maxtor drives arenít really very reliable; they're only a few quid cheaper than others like Western Digital etc.
I mostly buy bigger drives (i.e. over 250Gb) and I've had two western digital models fail on me within 2-3 years of having them. Maxtor seem to be more reliable for higher speeds and size, but if its a game playing machine, a large hdd isnt needed. Just have a look at reviews of models your looking to buy and see how they compare.
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#20187 - 12th Jun 2006 2:58pm Re: How do u build a PC
Ando Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Jan 2004
Posts: 441
Loc: FTO
Quote:
Originally posted by scoop2004:
cheers for ur help mate. Ill speak with my parents soon to get them to pick a system from DELL so i can build them that exact sytem in a different case for £££ less
To be honest if you use quality parts you probably won't save much money at all (Dell is very, very aggressive in the lower end of the market at the moment). However,- you will get a far more stable and serviceable machine for your money if you go for a custom build, also you'll have more of an idea on how to fix the thing when it all goes belly up.
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