Build-it-yourself computer resources.

I have built my last two computers myself. The most recent was about 1.5 years ago. I just went to Fry’s and bought stuff that fit together and it all sort of just worked. I had no idea how much I should be spending or what the best ways to optimize performance were or what resources to use for researching components or anything. I just had a budget, found parts that fit the budget, and stuck everything together.

Now I’m in the market for a new computer, and I want to know more about that stuff. What are some good resources for great deals on computer components? What is a good resource for comparing different components, maybe with ratings and discussions about them? Is it even beneficial to build your own computer, or should I just buy a pre-built one, and if so, from where? I’m interested in playing Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 when they come out, and I’m currently playing World of Warcraft. I want a machine that will run those games at high settings. How much should I expect to pay for that?

NewEgg and TigerDirect are where you can find individual computer pieces.

Here is a walkthrough from TD how to build your own computer.

Here is a recent thread on if it’s practical to build your own computer. The answer was yes it is, but only marginally and that if you’d prefer to buy a prebuilt one, you’ll still be getting some decent bang for your buck.

EDIT: The biggest advantage of building your own computer was a significant increase in warranty length. As far as I can tell, three years is the default length of a warrant for an individual computer piece, compared to only one year when you buy prebuilt.

For parts.

Advice, guides, etc.

And to be a little more helpful:

Here is the Tom’s Hardware link to the building your own computer section of the site.

Here is AnandTech’s guide page.

And I couldn’t find anything that would specifically guide a newbie in the TechReport page after a quick browsing. They seemed very aimed at people who already know what they’re doing.

Most everything on which I rely when building a new computer has been cited already, so there’s that.

I’ve found that a good guide for current information can be found in one of the sites’ “Bang for the Buck” articles (e.g., “Best Gaming System for $1000”). They’ll usually discuss individual components and comparisons, in addition to the trade-offs made in their selection (both individually and system-wide).

Why is it that when I try to go to Tom’s Hardware, I get this screen? And when I try to go to the TH link that I posted, I get a 404 error.

WTF? :confused:

ArsTechnica publishes frequently updated System Guides, with three levels of price and performance: Budget Box, Hot Rod and God Box. You can usually find something to meet your requirements in there.

Bees, I just checked your links and they worked for me.

Tech Reports’ System Guide.

Your new link works. The original Tom’s Hardware link of yours gives me the same screen I linked to and the TH link I first gave still gives me a 404 error. :dubious:

I personally don’t care about games, so I won’t give you any hints about that directly. BUT there’s one hot thing available today that would be good for performance, and that’s solid-state disk drives. They’re pretty small (in capacity and size) compared to magnetic drives, so you probably want a standard drive for any large things (like most game installs), but if you can “cram” your OS and other essentials within 60 Gb or so - and there’s no reason why you couldn’t - you will enjoy a really noticable speedup for booting and general use.

But beware: not all SSDs are created equal, and some are outright stupidly slow for general use. Intel is a reliable brand with some good affordable drives - the X-25M G2 seems to be on a sweet spot regarding cost/performance - but see the anandtech site for comparisons of drives.

[slight hijack] I have a new used computer, and I really really really would like to swap my C and D drives to it. Can someone recommend the best way to do this?

Oslo, you really need to give more information. Are these physically separate drives, or are they partitions on a single physical drive? What is the model for the computer? Laptop or desktop? What kind of hard drive(s), SATA IDE, what?

ETA: This isn’t really a “slight hijack”. Pardon my “Jr. modding”, but just make a new thread and you’ll get better visibility.

I did. Didn’t get much traction. But you guys seem to know what you are doing, so …

Physically separate. “New” computer is a custom job with Intel board. Desktop. IDE both.

If you have ideas, probably best to bump the old thread.

Apologies to all.