Boutique Computer Companies vs Self Build

Discussion in 'Tech Support & Showroom' started by Hootchie, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Hootchie

    Hootchie Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

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    First, can anyone recommended a reliable computer builder/company?

    Second, I have considered building a computer myself, but I am concerned I will have $1500 worth of parts lying around performing admirably as a coffee table. Is computer building pretty much plug and play? When you build a computer on websites such as pcpartpicker, will it come with all the necessary parts, cables, software, etc to make sure I can complete the task? I have never assembled an entire computer, but I have replaced power supplies, hard drives, CPUs and GPUs, so I would not be entirely incompetent.

    With my limited knowledge, would you build your own computer or buy from a computer builder?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Zorph

    Zorph Legendary Gamer Legendary Gamer Veteran Member

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    I have been building my computers for years. It is pretty much plug and play. Obviously you need basic knowledge and able to follow instructions. Don't bend pins when putting in the CPU.

    The biggest issue is getting into the BIOS and setting it to load off the USB to install Windows.

    FYI you can get Windows and/or Office keys for 5-10 dollars off ebay. They take the keys off old computers, it is a grey area but it works and saves some money. Watch some videos and enjoy the experience. It really isn't that hard.
     
  3. Yrroth

    Yrroth Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

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    It's always best to build your own. You take more pride in it. If you have a smart phone it's really easy to watch a few videos and learn BUT if you don't want to do that route the best is most likely NewEgg.com

    First decide the purpose of the rig;

    Case- how big do you want it and what are you trying to put into it.
    CPU - Intel or AMD
    Cooler - Water or Air
    MotherBoard - ATX MATX etc.
    RAM - How much do you need generally 8GB is enough for most unless your editing videos etc.
    Graphics card-carrying make sure it matches the MotherBoard.

    Power Supply use a computer builder website and add all the parts to get a estimated watts.
     
  4. Paradigm

    Paradigm Bearded Pirate Instructor Website Administrator Honored Mythic Gamer Tenacious Gamer WoW: Classic Heroic Gamer 2009 Original Member

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    I built my system, and @Yrroth is right ... I definitely take more pride in it. I can't say that it performs any better than if I had it build at Xidax or Origin, but it was definitely less expensive to do it yourself. Plus it's fun, and basically easy. Even creating a closed water loop is easy.

    It's not the PC that's difficult to build ... you'll definitely get more bang for your buck, and yes most of the stuff you order as components come with the necessary parts you'll need to install them. You really only need a small Phillips screwdriver or a multiple screw head driver to build a PC.


    It's the modding of your PC that you'll spend the most time on ... as you build it, your imagination runs wild (and usually runs with your checkbook) and you start to think about lighting and cable colors and different components. You might even want more fans, a fan hub, different components to put in your 3.5 and 2.5 drive slots, etc; It really becomes a piece of art and you are the artist.

    Most all mods can be found @ www.performance-pcs.com or www.frozencpu.com (the latter was out of business for a while, but they are back in the game now)

    If you have the luxury of time, I recommend building ... you'll appreciate your machine more. You get to pick everything from the ground up.

    Just watch videos and read product descriptions ... it's fun.

    ASUS has a great youtube channel on performance computers, how to build them and step by step instructions to guide you through just about any building process. Just type Asus Computer Building into the Youtube search box and you'll find what you need.

    I also highly recommend ASUS motherboards, as the BIOS can be flashed and updated without needing a power source or the PSU to be hooked up .... priceless feature when your computer goes down.

    Anyway, have fun with it!


    PS ... if you end up having it built for you, there are several reputable companies that do phenomenal work: Xidax, Origin, Cyber Power, iBuyPowerPC and Digital Storm to name a few. With any of these companies, you are able to choose most of the cases and components yourself, you just pay someone else to do the building.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  5. Within

    Within Legendary Gamer Legendary Gamer Veteran Member

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    You have already installed parts, so you know what the inside of a computer case looks like. Take a look at some of the assembly instruction videos (New Egg has a bunch, I really like the Tom's Hardware website, or YouTube). I think you might find it easier than you imagine. You will get a bigger bang for the buck shopping parts yourself. Plus you can get what fits your budget now and easily perform upgrades when you want. A pre-built doesn't always accommodate easy updating.

    I don't think I needed any cables, I probably had a couple extra. Most of the parts came with what they needed, motherboard came with some, and the power supply had all it required.

    It is only a small step below plug and play. Updating the bios and loading windows requires some preparation and for you to follow instructions. I did have some first time nervousness about hurting the CPU when mounting it (not bending pins), but it went smoothly. How much thermal paste to put on the CPU cooler (if you get one that isn't pre-applied) was confusing the first time I did it (too much? too little?).

    Since I have been building my own computers I have no fear of stripping them down or wiping my drives and reloading everything from scratch if there are any issues. I think the experience is worth it.

    Plus there are many builders in this community who like to help.
     
  6. Yrroth

    Yrroth Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

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    On top of what @Paradigm if your ever in Mumble and have a few questions come pull me out of the Revelation Channel. I love to build and can help point you in the right direction. I spent around 3000+ on my whole office I literally am on my way right now to pick a huge desk so I have room to work on building my business. Which will actually be a combination of Building Computers, Reviews, Etc. Lot of work goes into design. I am also looking into water-cooling. But the best thing to do is this:

    Watch YouTube videos. I spent over 20 hrs deciding on my build. It's a never ending thing when it's your passion. I have a closet full of old equipment that I just use to build test rigs and whatnot
     
  7. Yrroth

    Yrroth Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

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    Yea everything usually comes with its own cords but IMO definitely get you a Modular Power Supply so you don't have all the extra cables inside your case. Makes for a cleaner build.
     
  8. Paradigm

    Paradigm Bearded Pirate Instructor Website Administrator Honored Mythic Gamer Tenacious Gamer WoW: Classic Heroic Gamer 2009 Original Member

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    And if you do decide to build ... be sure to create a build log, a thread here on the forums where you document the build process. People that love to build PC's also follow and like to watch other people build their PC's.

    If you keep a build log, you'll also get lots of great advice and comments of encouragement from the people following your build ... here's my build log from two years ago. You'll see lots of people chime in with great advice and encouragement.

    http://www.tenaciousgamers.com/index.php?threads/build-log-project-phoenix.5486/

     
  9. Yrroth

    Yrroth Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

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    Build Logs are the best :)
     
  10. Hootchie

    Hootchie Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  11. Yrroth

    Yrroth Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

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    Nicely done. I still think a Corsair H100 would be best for the CPU cooler and wuitet
     
  12. Zorph

    Zorph Legendary Gamer Legendary Gamer Veteran Member

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    IMHO you are going with the best bang for the buck CPU cooler. Next step up that I highly recommend is the Noctua NH-D15. It is neck in neck with most mainstream liquid cool systems.

    Now it isn't as cool and it doesn't cool your video card. But it is a ton easier.
    http://www.relaxedtech.com/reviews/noctua/nh-d15-versus-closed-loop-liquid-coolers/1

    I think you can save some money and go with and EVO 850 SSD. The boot times and load times are almost the same. I was going to go m2 also but decided against it.
    You can also save a little going gold on power supply they are almost the same.


    Nice job btw.
     
  13. Paradigm

    Paradigm Bearded Pirate Instructor Website Administrator Honored Mythic Gamer Tenacious Gamer WoW: Classic Heroic Gamer 2009 Original Member

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    That's a rockin' system fo sho ... exciting to watch come together. The only suggestion I would have for you is that you might be gimping yourself on the PSU a little. It will limit your ability to upgrade and/or go SLI in the future. For less than $30 dollars more, I would probably opt for the Supernova 1000w Gold Fully Modular. Like @Zorph said, the performance difference between gold and platinum is more marketing than measurable :)

    Good luck with it!
     
  14. Yrroth

    Yrroth Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

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    See all the different thoughts on things (; I'm a water cooling type of guy.
     
  15. Zorph

    Zorph Legendary Gamer Legendary Gamer Veteran Member

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    If you plan on doing SLI in the future getting a larger PSU is not a bad idea. I went with the 650 because I have not found going with dual video cards worth it. But that could change in the future if they keep improving software. I know the benchmarks for Stardocks Ashes of a Singularity are great with dual video cards. But at this point I would recommend upgrading sooner. Either way you will have an awesome system.
     
  16. Taedalma

    Taedalma Cookie Monster Tenacious Gamer

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    A lovely build indeed. For your CPU, since it's a "K" it means it's unlocked and gives you free access to overclocking it.
    If you do indeed intend to do some over-clocking on it, I would recommend a water-cooler for it and you'll easily be able to push 4.0/4.1 GHz.
    If so, I also agree with the Corsair H100 that Yrroth recommended. It's a simple, pre-built all-in-one closed loop water cooler that simplifies water cooling for a novice. The only problem I have with it is that the actual tubing between the cooler and the radiator is a bit rigid so when bending it into shape, you feel like you're about to damage it. The H80 is also nice and smaller since it's a single rad vs dual rad. But unless you feel like over-clocking your system for say, CPU intensive games and CPU intensive workloads (video rendering and other production values), leaving it at stock is perfectly fine.

    Some common problems people have when putting together a new build is wondering how much thermal paste you need. Some people prefer putting a pea-sized amount in the middle of the CPU and allowing the heatsink to spread it out. Others prefer the single vertical line method. There are multiple videos testing the different thermal paste application methods and the difference in results are marginal. The only major problem is over-applying your thermal paste and allowing it to spill over the sides of the CPU heatspreader. Some thermal paste are conductive and as such, would cause short-circuits in either your CPU or the MoBo. Just be careful when applying it :)

    Another issue that gets debated is a neutral, positive, or negative air-pressure in your case based off of your fan orientations and their speed. The main difference is managing dust that gets in through the different nooks-and-crannies. Some people prefer a positive air pressure so it forces air out through the different holes and slots that adorn the case. Whatever you decide, just make sure your air flow makes logical sense. The most common way is taking in air from the front of the case, over the SSD/HDD and across the MoBo with all the components and out the back. It's the top and the side-panel fan (if any) that determines the positive/negative air-pressure.

    Also, seating the RAM. The first time I've ever seated a RAM stick into the MoBo, I was afraid of applying too much pressure but you have to put a surprising amount of force to seat it until you hear the RAM 'click' into place.

    It's also recommended you get an anti-static wristband when working on electrical components to ground yourself and prevent static discharges.

    I wish you good luck with your build and I look forward to seeing it being built!
     
    Within likes this.
  17. Yrroth

    Yrroth Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

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    Yea I have 7700k and I love my H100 with it. I've been seriously researching water cooling to build a custom loop. Mainly at Ekwb
     
  18. Hootchie

    Hootchie Tenacious Gamer Tenacious Gamer

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    Thank you for all the comments regarding hardware and technical application! Based on the recommendations, I have decided to Purchase the Corsair H100i GTX CPU cooler and upgrade the PSU to a gold 1000W.
     

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