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Reliable site that can build me a custom computer?

  1. Nov 14, 2004 #1
    So, my current computer was bought in Summer 2001. It's got Windows ME, 1.5ghz P4 (not that bad), and 128mb of some weird type of Ram. Needless to say it's not all that good. So, I'm in the market for a new computer, and was wondering if any of you oh-so-smart people knew of any websites that could build custom computers that are equal or superior to Dells etc. for the same price or a lesser price. Also, if ya'll could, I'd like some reccomendations for specs that I should be looking for in this computer.

    Here's what I need/don't need:
    I don't play games like Counter Strike, or anything else that needs great graphics, and honestly, so long as I can see things clearly, graphics don't matter to me. However, I'm big into music, so I want a high quality sound card. Also, I record music on my computer, and music recording needs *lots* of memory to preform well (though I already have the program I use). A built in CD burner is essential, but I don't need a DVD drive or a DVD burner. When using the computer, I'm generally multi-tasking alot: playing music, having many websites opened at once, having conversations with people, downloading music etc., so I need something that won't crash on me when lots of stuff's going on. I've already got a fine set of speakers and a good monitor, so I don't need new ones.

    What I was thinking I'd need:
    2.5ghz AMD Athlon processor
    512mb DDR Ram
    80GB hard drive
    Some form of Windows XP (unless there's a relatively cheap Mac out there)

    Those four things are about as far as my computer knowledge goes. I don't really know how other things affect my computer and which are good/bad. So, any guidance is welcome.

    Also, I wouldn't like to spend more than $600 on a new computer if that's possible. Again, it's just the CPU I'm looking for, not a monitor or any other peripherals.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2004 #2
    With those limited requirements (mostly audio & editing, browsing) you could get away with just a new sound card and some more memory for your current rig....

    The "weird" memory is probably Rambus which costs more than the common DDR stuff, but it would still be cheaper overall to just upgrade your current system.

    Edit: from newegg.com you could get 2x256MB sticks of Rambus-800 for $170 and then a nice sound blaster audio card for ~$80 or less (going from my memory). So around $250 for 512MB Rambus and a top audio card.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2004
  4. Nov 14, 2004 #3
    Thing is, I'm running ME, with all the crap that entails...
    I've thought of upgrading my memory and soundcard, since my processor's ok, but I'd still get all the random shutdowns and failings of ME. With upgrading to XP, I'd end up spending like $450, and at that price, I figure I'd better just get a new comp.
     
  5. Nov 14, 2004 #4
    I have ME on a PC at work and it is dire! XP has its faults, but it can be a superb OS for a user who wants what you do.

    I agree with the spec you list - and go for the best sound card you can afford. It is graphics cards that are expensive, so you should be able to get a very good system at a cheap price if you avoid 'top-notch' graphics cards.

    To multitask, whilst playing quality music, buy the fastest processor you can afford. I too rate the Athlon - the new Athlon 64 processor looks awesome....
     
  6. Nov 14, 2004 #5
    wasteof2, For $600 you won't get a system that would equal to or be better than Dell. Unless you like E-machines which are pretty cheap that's one thing I recommend though I've never used one.

    Why not just get a Dell Dimension 3000. I configured one within the budget you mentioned and I got a measly $717 bucks.

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/dimen_3000?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

    Here's the specs:

    Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor (2.80GHz, 533 FSB)

    Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition - way, way better than crappy ME

    2Yr Ltd Warranty, 2Yr At-Home Service, and 2Yr Technical Support

    SAVE $50! 1GB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM at 400MHz - more memory the better

    160GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive - lots of space for your music

    Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 48x CD-RW Drive

    Sound Blaster® Live! 24-bit ADVANCED HD™ Audio - good decent soundcard

    No speakers

    Dell keyboard and mouse - Free
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2004
  7. Nov 14, 2004 #6

    GENIERE

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    Build it yourself; all it takes is a Phillips screwdriver. If you’re timid, there’s always the HS nerd dying to demonstrate their technical expertise. Still apprehensive, go to a local computer show, many vendors will custom craft a PC for you while you watch. Google ”computer show” to find one in your local area. Definitely get rid of ME and buy the OEM version of Win XP Home Edition available at Newegg for about $90.00. There’s less expensive sites but Newegg is ultra reliable and has a “no questions asked “ return policy. For a DYI, it’s a good source for all PC components. AMD offers the best bang for the buck even if you believe the Intel “equivalent” is superior. I think it’s premature to go the 64 bit route due to lack of a windows operating system and other software but to be honest, Santa Claus is bringing me one (components only).
     
  8. Nov 14, 2004 #7
    Building a computer for a total beginner or having somebody you don't know build it for you is too much hassle. You will run into problems. I don't recommend it, unless you truly know what you're doing.
     
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