Thinking of building a pc Watch

dh00001
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#1
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#1
as the title really, but as of yet im undecided if thats what i want to spend my money on.
i dont really want component recommendations yet but i really want to know; is it worth it? i know i would have the setup as i want it, and theres the satisfaction of having done it, but what if it doesnt work, and would i get as many software updates as with a prebuilt?
also would it be possible to have rough estimate of the costing involved? i mainly want a pc for my general day to day use and gaming.

just a general thread really, i need someone to sway me either way
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Tom
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Well if you're sure you want a PC at all, then yes, building it yourself is definitly the way to go. You'll save somewhere in the region of 30-50% on what you'd pay for the same thing in the shop, and you'd be sure yourself that you're picked quality (as opposed to generic, unbranded) components to go inside.

Plus, of course, it means you can put exactly what you need in there, without having to compromise to find the right deal at a shop. And, as you say, it's very satisfying when you get it working

What if it doesn't work? Well, so long as you choose the right components (which we can help with) there's not that much that can go wrong, really. Actually putting it together is like lego - the parts just slot into each other and it's pretty obvious where everything goes.

Personally, when I first did this, my biggest problem came not with the hardware side, but with software, as windows xp was very reluctant to install properly (turned out to be a problem with SATA drivers, in the end) but having said that I've just build a new one last week, with absolutely no problems at all - vista installed perfectly and with no hassle first try (the whole process, from a pile of boxes to a working PC took about half a day).

Software updates? Exactly the same as if you bought the PC in a shop. It's up to the software makers to keep their products up to date, and so long as you paid for the software, you'll get the updates like anyone else.

For general day to day use, you could probably build a perfectly acceptable PC for £150 without a screen. For gaming, think £400-£infinity, really.

I'd say for a good gaming PC that's top-spec without being quite bleeding edge, you'd be looking at maybe £500 ish, without a screen or software. I think vista OEM adds about £60 to that, and a screen could be free (old crt), £100 for generic 19", £200 for good quality 20" widescreen (what I'd go for), £lots for big expensive screen.



Anyway, I'd say go for it! Having built 3 pc's now, I'd never want to go back to the hell that is PC world, and deal with the morons there to buy a crappy product at an inflated price
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dh00001
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i do want a pc as i already have a laptop for work and stuff.

thats a great help thanks you know i think i might go for it
i didnt think of asking on here for compnants no doubt i will have a thread when ive done all my money sums :p:

i was looking at a 19" monitor but i want to be able to switch it to my tv if thats possible. my tv has the ports its just a case of being able to swap easily.

so what do i actually need? i think ive got the main things in mind but just want to make sure.
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Pyrrho101
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What you need;

necessary:
Case - to house everything
Motherboard - connect everything to (normally comes with ample cables)
CPU (Processor) - the brain
CPU Fan - to cool the brain (CPUs come with these, but not very good ones)
Main Memory (RAM) - to hold stuff short term
Hard Drive - to store stuff
power Supply Unit - to give life to the machine
Optical Device - DVD/CD drives

optional:
Graphics Card - required for gaming, or if the motherboard doesn't have 'onboard graphics'
Sound Card - required for better sound, or if the motherboard doesn't have 'onboard graphics'

if required:
Keyboard
Mouse
Monitor
Speakers

Can't think of anything else.
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dh00001
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what about networking? i would prefere it to be ethernet connected. would it be possible to have it with the potential for wireless without using a dongle?
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Pyrrho101
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(Original post by dh00001)
what about networking? i would prefere it to be ethernet connected. would it be possible to have it with the potential for wireless without using a dongle?
There will be ethernet connection on the motherboard (almost certain).
You can get a wireless PCI card as an extra. Same with stuff like TV cards, extra USB ports etc.
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dh00001
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ah excellent. what about the monitor thing. would it be possible to have two outputs and switch between them or would i need to physically change the cables?
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Pyrrho101
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(Original post by dh00001)
ah excellent. what about the monitor thing. would it be possible to have two outputs and switch between them or would i need to physically change the cables?
I don't think I'm wrong in saying that most modern cards come with two outputs as standard.
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Tom
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You were thinking of having a TV, and a normal monitor, right?

If your TV has a DVI connector it's really simple - the standard connector on the graphics card will work with that. If not, you can use an S-Video cable to connect it.

You can keep both TV and monitor connected at the same time (your graphics card will have enough connectors on it to connect both cables, no need to keep swapping) and you can change between which one you're using in Windows (I think you can just set up a hotkey if you like). You can even use both at once, and have two screens


edit: if you search, I think there've been quite a lot of threads on here about people building their own PCs recently, so you can probably get some of the basic info from them (but watch how old they are :p: - advice on things like which cpu or graphics card to choose gets out of date pretty fast!)
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dh00001
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(Original post by Tom)
You were thinking of having a TV, and a normal monitor, right?
yea thats right. it does have dvi. thats good, i know i can do it on my laptop i just wanted to make sure it would be possible to have multiple vd outputs on one unit.

quite excited about the prospect now i will be doing my money calcs later and seeing how long it will take etc.

is there anything i need in way of tools? some one was telling me i should only use antistatic equipment or something
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Tom
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I don't think you need to bother with anti-static stuff. Just make sure you ground yourself by touching something metal that's grounded (pc case itself worksfor that) before handing components and try to hold them by the edges. But honestly, I've never remembered to worry about it myself and I don't think there's any real risk in that respect.

As for tools - a philips (cross-head) screwdriver is all you'll need. Oh, and maybe a pair of tweezers for when you inevitably drop a very small screw into some inaccessible corner of the case and don't want to take everything out again to get at it :p:
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dh00001
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thaught so, cheers for your help no doubt i will be asking for componant suggestions at some point :rolleyes:
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username72629
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if you plan on using a tv as a monitor watch out for the resolution.

I use a monitor with a built in tv, not a tv with PC connections.

1680x1050 (monitors)
1280x748 (lcd tvs)
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dh00001
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i want to have a monitor but also have the option of flicking to my tv as and when i want.
and my tv goes to 1,920x1,080 so i dont think it should matter too much should it?
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username72629
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that should be fine.
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ChiefNX
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(Original post by Tom)
I don't think you need to bother with anti-static stuff.
Anti-static bands are only a couple of pounds - it's probably better be safe than sorry. It's more important when dealing with older computers than a new build though.
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