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Help with building a new PC

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So my old computer is on its way out and I've decided that I need an upgrade but would really prefer to build my own. I have a few questions though, some may seem silly to some of you. - Do you ha…
Pauladin91 Avatar
8y, 5m agoPosted 8 years, 5 months ago
So my old computer is on its way out and I've decided that I need an upgrade but would really prefer to build my own. I have a few questions though, some may seem silly to some of you.

- Do you have to buy USB ports, standard jacks etc seperately or do they come fitted to the case or something?
- Is thermal paste required?
- How can I distinguish what parts will work with each other, e.g graphics card and motherboard, processor and hard drive.
- I'm ideally wanting a computer that will have a HDMI output so I can connect it to my HDTV and play HD movies, so its 720p, is this at all possible?
- Oh and I'm wanting something along the lines of 3g ram, 500gb hard drive and a dvd drive that can burn onto DVD+R DL, will this be expensive and what how much do you think I'm roughly going to be expected to pay?

Thanks for your time, whoever answers, if anyone lol.
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Pauladin91 Avatar
8y, 5m agoPosted 8 years, 5 months ago
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#1
Well first I have to say that it will probably cost you more to build it yourself than to buy one pre-built.

There was a Dell system unit on here recently that cost £200 that would probably cost you or I £250 or more to build (Dell get the parts cheaper by buying in bulk). Here it is

http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/252131/dell-vostro-200-desktop-base-2ghz-d/

If you do decide to build....

A PC case comes with some of the connectors (USB etc), others will already be on the motherboard. The connectors at the back (USB, sound, ethernet etc) will be on the motherboard. Those at the front like USB, sound etc will be on the case but need to be conected to the motherboard by wires (provided with the case).

If you buy a "retail" boxed CPU it will come with a fan and probably wont need thermal paste (my Retail Intel E2180 with Fan did not need paste). If you are going to buy a separate fan (or want to overclock) you may need paste.

Knowing what goes with what does take a bit of time to learn.
* An Intel CPU wont fit on an AMD motherboard and vice versa.
* A hard disk can have an ATI (PATA) connector or a SATA connector
* A graphics card can be an AGP card or a PCI card

You only learn these things by reading books, looking at web sites, buying magazines, talking to friends and so on.

To use HDMI you need to find it pre-built into the motherboard

The total build cost can be between around £250 (low end) and £500 or more depending on spec and if you include operating system etc.

For example you can get a graphicas card for £15 (or even "free" on the motherboard), or can pay up to £200 or more JUST for a graphics card.

FIRST decide what you want to do with it (basic computing, games, video editing etc). This defines the parts you have to buy (for games you need a good graphics card for example).

THEN decide roughly what you want to spend (obviously you need to spend more for a "gaming" rig than a basic office machine),

THEN go to say ebuyer and pull together all the parts and see how much it is all going to cost.

Before parting with any money ask on here (or other forums) if your list of selected items will all work together.
#2
Here is a PC I built earlier this year to give you an idea of prices. Obviously prices will have changed in the last few months.

This is a "family" computer for doing general home tasks, if you wanted to play games for example you would have to get a better spec

Case: Coolermaster Elite 330 Black Case With CM eXtreme Power 460W PSU - £43.00 (EBuyer)

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L - £59 (Computer fair)

CPU: Intel E2180 - £53 (Computer fair)

Memory: 2GB Rendition - £32 (Computer fair)

Hard Disk: Maxtor Diamond Max 21 80Gb - £26 (Computer fair)
(This is just for the operating system. I added a larger hard drive for "data")

Graphics: PowerColor X1650PRO 512MB GDDR2 128Bit DVI PCI-E - £24.00 (Ebuyer)

DVD - Samsung SH-S203 - £22 (could have got it cheaper) (Computer fair)

Operating system: Vista Home Premium - £34 (this was a mis price on a web site) (Scan?)

So that come to £293 WITHOUT Screen, Keyboard or Mouse (now you know why I said the Dell at £200 was such a good deal)
#3
Two suggestions:

ONE: Buy Micro Mart magazine (W H Smiths etc). This is a sort of "Exchange and Mart" for the computer business.

Lots of articles about building PCs, plus details of lots of computer fairs.

They also have a web site here: http://www.micromart.co.uk/

And some forums here: http://forum.micromart.co.uk/
(See the "System Builders and Upgraders forum"). Note you do need to register, easy and free.

You can ask on here about your build as these guys are really knowledgeable, and you get quick answers.

TWO: Go to a computer fair and find a stand which sells all the parts.

Ask them what parts go with what. Some stands will even put the PC together while you watch (if you buy all the parts from them).

I live in the Midlands and go to fairs run by these people: Excalibur Computer Fairs

http://www.theshowguide.co.uk/

They run a show each Saturday at the Motorcycle Museum near the NEC for example.

But if you look at Micro Mart magazine they list all the computer fairs all over the country.

The fairs usually cost £3 or £4 to get in, but due to competition between sellers the prices are usually very cheap and you can easily save that amount if you buy anything.

These fairs also sell blank CDs, DVDs, printer paper, software etc far cheaper than your local shops.
#4
Thank you ever so much for the explanation and will register on that forum. I presumed it will be cheaper to build but I see I'm wrong :(, at these computer fairs, is it generally second hand parts? I was thinking about looking on ebay also. So from what you've said, I can be expected to pay alot to have a HDMI output and it needs to have a motherboard that can do it, what i thought is that it was all on the graphics card as I'm sure i've seen some cheapish ones posted on here that list that they have a hdmi output. Could be wrong on that one though. I'm not wanting it to play games besides perhaps fifa09 and football manager, but it must handle playing media, running photoshop and multi-tasking easy without struggling to keep up. Oh and I already have windows XP so an operating system isn't needed.
#5
Pauladin91
At these computer fairs, is it generally second hand parts?


No it is always new parts, fully boxed etc from very reputable suppliers (many people at the fairs also have shops) .

There are sometimes one of two stands selling second hand parts, and sometimes second hand laptops and laptop parts, but by and large all the stands are selling new parts.

Some stands do sell everything, from case, motherboard, memory, CPU, hard disks, DVD drive etc and as I said, will put it together for you in 10 minutes or so.
#6
Pauladin91
I was thinking about looking on ebay also.


You are best going to a reputable internet site like ebuyer, scan and so on.

Ebuyer for example are about as cheap as you can get and are very reliable

I have used them a dozen times and never had a problem and everything arrives very quickly.

http://www.ebuyer.com/
#7
Pauladin91
So from what you've said, I can be expected to pay alot to have a HDMI output and it needs to have a motherboard that can do it, what i thought is that it was all on the graphics card as I'm sure i've seen some cheapish ones posted on here that list that they have a hdmi output. Could be wrong on that one though.


I have not built a PC using HDMI so not an expert. I know it is available on some motheboards, but may also be available on some graphics cards as well.

It should not cost you a lot to have a PC with HDMI.

I am not sure if you are aware, but some motherboards have the graphics "built in" to the motherboard (this is usualy called on-board graphics) so you dont need an extra graphics card.

If you do want to play games etc then you may want to buy an extra graphics card (and turn off the graphics on the motherboard) and I guess decent graphics cards may have HDMI built in.
#8
Practically all modern graphics card support HDMI via an adapter (which typically comes with the card) as far as I'm aware, if you don't need sound over the HDMI link then anything with a DVI connection (i.e. practically everything except some cheap vga-only motherboards) will work as it uses the same picture standard as HDMI so a DVI to hdmi cable works fine.

1. Look at the back of your current case, you should see a verticle rectangle near the top containing most of the ports. The ports are attached to the motherboard and the bit of metal surrounding the ports is provided with the motherboard to fit into that standard sized rectangle so there aren't any unsightly gaps.

The 'slots' below it are for the various expansion cards like the graphics card, sound card, wireless card, TV card etc.

As mentioned above any ports on the case come with wires to connect them to the motherboard internally.

2. Thermal paste is required, but unless you're buying a high-end heatsink it will generally come with your heatsink (which will come with the processor if you buy a retail version).

3. You need to know which parts connect to which to start with, if you're looking on the CPU details on which memory you can slot in it you won't get far. But generally you'd just go along a chain. Start with a part that's important to you like a CPU. Say you choose an Intel quad-core CPU, that will say it's a socket 775 CPU so you can look around and read a few reviews and then choose a socket 775 motherboard. Now that motherboard will have a certain type of memory sockets like DDR2 so now you need some DDR2 memory.

You'll find for most components there's a standard interface such as SATA for hard drives and PCI-E 16x for graphics cards which 90% of the components availible use and that the few availible of other types are generally just availble as upgrades for older systems.


If you've only got very basic requirements like a DL DVD-writer, 3GB of ram and a 500GB hard disk then you'll probably need to pay no more than £400 (not including monitor), possibly as little as half that depending on how much quality you require.
#9
>2. Thermal paste is required, but unless you're buying a high-end heatsink it will generally come with your heatsink (which will come with the processor if you buy a retail version).

You dont ALWAYS need thermal paste.

My Intel E2180 Retail box came with CPU and Intel fan.

The instructions said you DONT need thermal paste, and I did not use any, and the CPU has run fine for 6 months.

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