View Full Version : Building My Own Computer
06-10-2008, 01:04 AM
i've been entertaining the possability of building my own computer for some time now, and i think that i am about ready to take the plunge and invest in a decent desktop. now, i've had a few dells built for both my parent's home use and my father's medical office and i'm more than satisfied with them, save for the price. i wanted to build my own in an effort to save money and get exactly what i want out of the machine. now, i know enough about computer and thier performance not to get had by a salesman but i'm not good enough to pick and choose the parts i would need to piece one together for myself. so i ask anyone here who actually know what they're talking about to help me out. what i'm looking to do with this comp is:
- run ms flight sim and x-plane at it's highest possible settings and have it run smooth as silk. those two are the only two games i really have any interest in playing.
- have a large screen resolution, 1280x1024 pixels or possibly widescreen.
- a tv card to be able to watch, and maybe even record the one tv show i watch. (can this be done?)
- of course be able to read and burn both cds and dvs, though i prefer having two separate drives for each media type.
- have enough internal storage space to eliminate the need for my external 300gb hard drive.
- would like a media card slot for my cf and sd cards (can this be done?)
- of course wireless internet, but i'm about to remove any linksys products from my life.
- usb slots both in front and back to support a wireless keyboard/mouse combo, yoke & throttle, printer and jump drive.
so for you geeks (i'm using the word lovingly) out there, can you translate what i need into actual products that exist today, and that won't break my bank account? oh yea, all this needs to run on windows xp.
06-10-2008, 07:59 AM
I've been building my own computers since 1998...I will write a novel in this thread at some point today...(although since I got into photography and found a girlfriend, I don't upgrade nearly as often as I used to...)
06-10-2008, 12:12 PM
1. Which flight sim? FSX on high requires a lot more horsepower than FS2004 on high.
2. 1280x1024 is no problem for any graphics card nowadays, should have no problem with resolution, but if you want to run flight sim smoothly at that res, you'll need a slightly higher-end card.
3. Where will you get the TV signal from? Do you want a tuner in your computer?
4. Burning CD's and DVD's are no problem, you can get a combo drive that does both for as little as $15-20
5. A 500GB SATA HD should be fine in your situation.
6. Media/CF card support is possible; I'm assuming you want it on the case itself.
7. Get a wireless PCI card for about $15
8. Budget? Exact $ would be much more helpful, but I understand if you don't want to disclose that.
Here's a VERY, VERY, VERY ROUGH sketch:
All prices are from Newegg.com and are from the time of this post.
Case: NZXT Tempest- Great bang for buck, goes above what you need. Pay attention to this. It determines how your computer will look. ($99.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... %2btempest (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146047&Tpk=NZXT%2btempest)
Power Supply: Anything around 500 watts will do, cheapest name brands (~$50)
Motherboard: EVGA nVidia nForce 680i Motherboard SLi capable, you always have room to add a second GPU and six USB ports ($190)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz ($210)
GPU: EVGA GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI-Express ($160)
Hard Drive: WD Caviar 500GB SATA 3GB/sec ($90)
RAM: Corsair XMS2 2x1GB ($31)
Optical Drive: Lite-On 20X DVD+-R Burner ($24)
Hope I'm not missing anything. Approximate total: $855
06-10-2008, 01:48 PM
i have FS 2002 and FS 2004. not really ready to go out and buy anything newer just yet, not for the amount of time i spend on it.
thanks heeshung, appreciate the help! time to take the info and get to work....
06-10-2008, 03:18 PM
I agree with most of these recommendations. You don't really build a computer to save money anymore...you do it because you can get a lot more for the money you do spend. You could buy a Dell for less than $800, but it would not be as good.
My computer would have been top-of-the-line in 2006, if I had it in 2006 :) It won't run FS2004 at maximum settings. But it will run well at reasonably high settings, and FSX is quite playable.
Buy everything from NewEgg. They're the B&H of computer parts...good prices, good selection, top-notch service.
The one thing I disagree with in heesung's post: DO NOT buy a cheap power supply. Go with a name-brand (I've had good luck with Antec), and get one with modular cabling if possible. A cheap power supply will die, and you will need to buy a new one, not to mention replace anything it takes with it when it dies. And modular cabling makes it much easier to put your system together. I've had good luck with Antec in the past (and present).
Get a retail processor that includes a heat sink. Stock heatsinks are usually sufficient if you have enough case fans, and it's easier than dealing with thermal paste if you've never put together a computer before.
You might want more than 2 GB of RAM. Windows XP will recognize up to 3.5 GB. It's nice if you do crazy things in Photoshop.
I have a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800 TV card. I liked it, but I don't really use it since I got a DVR.
Make sure you have a copy of Windows XP. The one you got with your Dell won't work. NewEgg will sell you a copy cheap if you buy hardware at the same time. Even Media Center Edition, if you're into that sort of thing.
06-10-2008, 03:32 PM
Exactly. That's why I recommended a cheap BRAND NAME PSU. adam's right in recommending 2 more gigs of RAM for another $31. Depending on your peripherals and components, XP will recognize varying amounts of RAM, up to 4GB. However, since it is a Q6600, you can get the 64-bit version of XP which will recognize ALL RAM.
I'm running on 32-bit, and my XP only recognizes 3GB of RAM. However, many argue that the other part of unrecognized RAM is still used to a degree.
Doggone it! Forgot the OS...
XP Pro 64-bit is showing $64 on Newegg.
06-10-2008, 05:43 PM
Two computer shows that make the circuit in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. I have gotten thousands of dollars worth of stuff for a few hundred:
06-10-2008, 11:57 PM
I build my current computer for about $800 bucks, heres my specs.
Intel E6750 @ 2.6 GHZ
OCZ stealth 600 Watts
320GB hard drive
You can build a similar setup for about $800-900 easily. The setup is locked on 30 fps with FS9, and it runs really well without any pausing or freezing.
I have it hooked up to my 24 inch monitor that runs about 1650 pixels wide, and I haven't had a problem yet.
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