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A good place to get a Comp?

Posted by Sky36 [send private reply] at August 06, 2001, 02:33:35 PM

Hey Im new here and I was trying to think of something computer related as my first post. Soo here goes. Wheres a good place to get a relativly cheap computer. My sisters going off to college and she needs one not anything really powerfull or anything basically just needs word processing and stuff. Hey maybe I should get my own computer too instead of practically running the family PC. Well thats about it.

Posted by gian [send private reply] at August 06, 2001, 05:19:23 PM

Well, I'm building a machine for just under $500 New Zealand dollars. It's nothing really special, but it will serve my purposes. My advice to you:
Go for AMD, here at least, the stuff is a lot cheaper like motherboards and the chip. Don't be scared to buy unheard of brands, as long as they are from a reputable dealer. I found a man in a Mexican alley way who sold me my motherboard, he didn't speak a lot of english, but he seemed nice enough :-)

Posted by Sky36 [send private reply] at August 06, 2001, 06:39:40 PM

Very Interesting. I dont know if my I have time to build my sister a comp though I could probably make one for myself though. Thanks for the suggestions.

Posted by CHollman82 [send private reply] at August 06, 2001, 09:05:56 PM

Time? it takes 15 min. to build a computer, just make her install windows herself. But if you really want to buy one I'd rather buy one from the back of a guys truck than from an OEM (Compaq, Dell, etc)

Posted by Sky36 [send private reply] at August 07, 2001, 04:54:40 PM

I mean I dont know where to start with building my own computer i've never done it before (shame one me). Oh well any ways I dont think my parents would go for buying one from the back of some guys truck either.

Posted by gian [send private reply] at August 07, 2001, 05:19:08 PM

CHollman82: WHat do you have against OEMs? I wouldn't buy a Compaq, but Dell builds fairly decent machines... IMHO.

Sky36: It's not that hard... Try and find a book on the topic. I would advise, if you are a newbie, that you get a computer shop to assemble some parts, like the motherboard, then you just do things like the hard drive, modem and cdrom etc.

Posted by CHollman82 [send private reply] at August 07, 2001, 06:00:44 PM

You wanna now how to build a computer? First, find a motherboard (with no onboard audio or video, it's always low quality), to do this you need to know a couple of things, what type of processor you want, what type of memory you want, and what type of IDE interfaces you want. The processors easy, get an AMD Athlon, the other alternative is obviously intel (yeuch). For memory you have your choice between standard SDRAM or DDR, DDR is a lot faster, but a lot more expensive. For most people pc133/150 SDRAM is good enough. Make sure the board has a UDMA-100 EIDE interface, you could also get FireWire or SCSI, but for most people it's not necessary (they're just really fast) or if you want them later you could always buy a controller card. Okay, assume you decide to get an AMD motherboard with 3 SDRAM slots and a UDMA-100 interface. Now you need your processor, get a >= 1ghz Athlon W/ a heatsink/fan. Next you need some memory. I would recommend 256/512mb Kingmax TinyBGA pc150, you can get 256mb for about $100. The last necessary components for your computer are the power supply and hard drive. Get at least a 20gb Ultra ATA-100 hdd and a 300 watt AMD approved power supply. Oh, I forgot the case, check out www.colorcase.com, get either a mid or full tower atx case, NOT A MICRO ATX or mini or whatever they're called because your MB won't fit in it (a lot of cases come with a power supply). Now for the optional stuff. Monitor: really doesn't matter what kind, but I recommend a 19" Viewsonic. Mouse/Keyboard, get an optical mouse. Drives (CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD, ZIP, tape) get whatever you need. Video/Audio Get whatever you can afford but a Geforce3 and SB Live are ideal. Ok, so all that shit is sitting in boxes in your living room. First unpack the case. Put the motherboard in the case (it only goes in one way). Put the processor on the motherboard, connect your heatsink/fan, plug the fan into the one of the fan headers (3 pin). Shove your RAM in the slot (it'll fit tight the first time, use some force). Mount all your drives (upper right part of case when its on its side and bottom is facing you). Connect the IDE cables between the Motherboard and your drives. Mount the power supply (usually in top left). Connect the main power cable to the motherboard, and the little ones to your drives. Connect your video card to the AGP slot, your soundcard to a PCI slot (and modem or anything else you have). Close up your case, plug all the crap into the back, turn it on and enjoy.

Posted by Sky36 [send private reply] at August 07, 2001, 09:30:20 PM

You have convinced me I am going to look into building my own computer. Thanks CHollman for the post im sure it will help. As for my sister she will most likely just buy one from some store somewhere or off the Internet. Hey by the way how much does all that stuff usually cost?

Posted by gian [send private reply] at August 07, 2001, 09:37:43 PM

As I said, I'm makingone for about $500 New Zealand Dollars... which translates into approximately the same amount of American dollars, as I am buying from local suppliers.

Posted by eternaldisciple [send private reply] at August 07, 2001, 10:14:37 PM

Don't forget to hide behind something in case CHollman's advice wasn't comprehensive enough. Having your power supply explode and send shrapnel into every surface isn't fun. You should also look into some kind of anti-static mat, though it's not really necessary. Just don't set the MB on anything metal when it has the CMOS battery in it.

Posted by RedX [send private reply] at August 08, 2001, 01:17:10 PM

An anti-static mat isn't necessary. I would advice to get an anti static bracelet (If this is incorrect English, it still sound better than an "anti static arm wrap-around-kind-of-thingy)
These are cheap, and protect the CMOS IC's. Static electricity is leathal to CMOS IC's. At least make sure to touch something grounded. And if possible don't work in a room with carpet.


Posted by gian [send private reply] at August 08, 2001, 10:43:42 PM

Or wear polarfleece clothing :-)

Posted by CHollman82 [send private reply] at August 09, 2001, 12:05:01 AM

Ok, Ive taken the liberty to check some prices for you.

From www.econopc.com:

AMD Thunderbird 1.4Ghz 266FSB CPU w/ASUS A7V133 Motherboard & Heatsink/Fan

-That covers your motherboard, processor, and heatsink/fan

256MB (32x64) SDRAM (PC-133) Generic

-There's 256mb of pc-133 RAM

IBM 20GB Ultra DMA/100, 5400RPM

-20gb Ultra-ATA 100 HDD

Mitsumi 3 1/2 1.44MB Floppy Drive

-Floppy disk drive

LiteON 52X IDE CD-ROM Drive

-CDROM drive

Viewsonic 19" G790 .26dp

-Monitor (it's high, I know, swap it for a 17" if needed)


-Nice video card

From www.colorcase.com:

Neo Classic I (Black)

-Sweet case (my case) They have many to choose from, pick your favorite

Power Supply Standard 300W

Black PS/2 Keyboard

-My Keyboard

From www.microsoft.com:

Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer

-My Mouse

From www.gamespot.com (hardware section)

Philips Acoustic Edge (soundcard)

I have an SB Live but gamespot rated this number one with SB at number 2
plus it's cheaper

Well, that about covers it, let's get out the ol' windows calculator

Monitor - 515
CPU/MB/HSF - 280
Video - 175
HDD - 90
Mouse - 60
Sound - 60
Case - 60
RAM - 45
CDROM - 40
PS - 27
FDD - 15
KB - 15

For a grand total of $1382

Wow, thats a bit much wouldn't you say.

Okay, lets see scrap the cool mouse for a $15 model

- 45


drop the monitor down to 17" (What I use)



Do you have a floppy and CDROM already? if so:

- 45


Drop your video card to a voodoo3 (used, since they stop making them, very nice still)



Not bad, I garuntee you can't find a better OEM machine for the money.
(Obviously I was trying to drop the price to the sub-1000 range but I wouldn't recommend sacrificing the video card to do so, however if you have to try to find a cheap 3dfx voodoo3/5, they're very nice and since 3dfx mirged with NVidia (makers of the GeForce chips) people will sell you them cheap)

Posted by Sky36 [send private reply] at August 09, 2001, 12:36:24 PM

Yeah I did some reasearch my results were about exactly the same. Now I have to save some money. Lol actually I need to get a job will have to be next summer but that will give me time to find stuff for good prices. Thanks

Posted by Sky36 [send private reply] at August 09, 2001, 12:37:27 PM

Oh I forgot to ask gian what are the specs for the computer your making?

Posted by gian [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 02:09:58 AM

It's an AMD Duron, with ~64MB Ram (More when I get more cash) and a Gigabyte MB. Most of my computer's specs depend on how much money I can save.

Posted by buzgub [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 03:05:10 AM

It was ditto for me... I conned my parents into paying half the $$$, so I only needed $600 for the computer, the specs of which are quite similar to those outlined by CHollman. Now, I've got an AMD 1.2 ghz thunderbird in a gigabyte GA-7ZMM motherboard with 256 megs of ram and an asus 7100 geforce2mx base model (did I mention the 12 spin DVD???). It took me a while to find a place which actually didn't cost a fortune. They run swap meets every week where everything is cheap, but I wanted to get it from a single retailer.. but hey, I found one.

By the way, folks, over here that V7700 GEFORCE 2 32MB AGP (PURE) for $174.95 would actually cost about twice that :( and it was 600 bucks for the CPU and a bottom-of-the-line-but-still-reasonably-modern motherboard.

The fact that I'm still using the 15 inch monitor that came with the last computer cut a bit of my price though. A larger monitor woudn't fit in this bloomin' desk, though, so there was no point in spending that extra money.

Posted by gian [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 03:14:27 AM

I found a fairly decent Gigabyte MB for $214 NZD

Posted by buzgub [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 03:18:42 AM

I paid $200 for the MB.. works a treat, and I didn't have to buy a soundcard.

Posted by gian [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 05:03:12 AM

Bleeueurgg.... onboard... anything.... euuuchhh.

Posted by buzgub [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 05:14:16 AM

yeah, but If I hadn't got that, i would have had to wait another fortnight, and I was getting _really_ impatient. At least I don't use the cruddy onboard video :)

Posted by gian [send private reply] at August 10, 2001, 05:15:59 AM

buzgub: I can't say _I_ take great pride in my computer sound, but I really hate onboard video... maybe onboard NICs are the only thing that are reasonable.

Posted by sphinX [send private reply] at August 14, 2001, 01:07:05 AM

and yet sb live value cards are currently $99AUD...so that's like $45US??? things are getting heaps cheaper

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