Building vs. configuring

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
I want to avoid making compatibility mistakes as I haven't kept up with
computer tech, so I have customized a couple of systems on websites.
Most I have been to so far have items that can't be removed for the package
(Optical drives, keyboards/mice/speakers..even monitors, sometimes ).
I am starting to make lists of other's rigs and may end up buying components
but am looking for other sites to build/configure.

Any good sites ?

-Phil C

Re: Building vs. configuring

On Wed, 11 Jan 2006 05:05:26 -0500, "-Phil Clemence"

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Well if you can't or won't accept the parts in a bundle,
that's exactly why most build from scratch.  Mostly it
entails getting a list of parts and close-alternatives if
those alternatives all buying more parts from the same
place, since shipping a half-dozen items or more from same #
of places gets expensive.

The other issue is assembly and testing.  If you can
assemble it yourself you're more than halfway there, as what
any online shop would call "testing" can't begin to be as
thorough as you would do(and may end up doing anyway to be
sure you didn't get a lemon) because the amount of time to
do it would substantially raise parts costs.

The generic answer is if you want a box mostly built with
some guarantees, either buy a minimally configured one from
Dell or a good local shop then add whatever else you want in
it, or buy piecemeal at a better online parts source like (or search
for any other potential sources' customer ratings)

Re: Building vs. configuring

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The hardest part is finding CPU/MB/RAM that will work together.  There
are quite a few shops out there that sell "motherboard bundles" where
they do that legwork for you.  Some of them will even install the
CPU/RAM and test it before shipping the motherboard to you.  (MWave does
this for $9.)

Other typical gotchas:

AGP strangeness - Older motherboards used a different voltage for AGP.  
Older AGP cards might not work in newer AGP slots.  Or you could simply
get a PCIe motherboard along with a new PCIe graphics card and avoid the

Power connectors for the motherboard.  Pay close attention to this as
it's changed a bit over the years.  Older ATX motherboards simply used a
20-pin connector.  Then came the motherboards that require an additional
4-pin 12V connector.  And the newer motherboards support a 24-pin power
connector (ATX v2?).

Other then those issues, building a system isn't terribly difficult.  
But you need to know how to troubleshoot and be willing to do repairs

Re: Building vs. configuring

Quoted text here. Click to load it
That is one thing I was looking for :) Thanks

Quoted text here. Click to load it

THanks for the tip - I am going to go with PCIe
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I have built 4 over the years and fixed a few.
Each time I build a new one I have to study the cutting edge so i can try to
stay behind it but not cripple myself ;)
Thanks for the tips! Off to read some more message boards and customer
reviews ...
-Phil C

Re: Building vs. configuring

Quoted text here. Click to load it
I found a very good site for seeing price differences/ configuring :
They have a long drop-down list for motherboards when building, you can
guild barebone and Mobo CPU combo.
The "view" link beside each item did not work for me though. Well I was just
curious about the case ;)

Site Timeline