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Thread: Fez ventures into a new area...

  1. #1

    Fez ventures into a new area...

    Due to the fact that I've never really had any money growing up (and I'm still growing up and I still have no money ), I could never really tinker with hardware. I couldn't risk breaking my computer, because if I did, I knew I could never afford another (my current one is a gift from my family).

    Anyway, I have a job, so I have a bit of cash -- but certainly not enough to buy a decent new computer for >$1000CDN. I recently found an ad in a local paper for a local computer company (as far as I know, they only have one location, so you've probably never heard of them: Tucson Computer Cop, and no, they're not in Tucson). They offer some DIY kits that are really cheap, ranging from $389CDN to $699CDN. Naturally, I'm looking at the $389 ones.

    Anyway, I can build a computer; I've upgraded my own enough to know that I am competent with hardware, just not experienced enough with a wide range of hardware to know what's good and what's not. So, I'm looking for some help -- which of these three is the best, and what kind of hardware should I look out for?

    Number One:

    PC Kit

    AMD Duron 900, HS/Fan
    Gigabyte 7ZMMH Motherboard
    S3 Savage 32M 3D Video
    Creative Labs PCI 128 Sound
    ATX Case, 256M SDRAM
    $389
    This is the one I have my eyes on; I can replace the soundcard with my SBLive, and the 256M ram is a huge bonus. Not sure about the mobo or vidcard, though.

    Number Two:

    Workstation Kit

    Intel Celeron 950MHz (Box)
    Gigabyte 6VEML Motherboard
    Integrated Video/Sound/LAN
    ATX Case, 256MB SDRAM
    $389
    This is the other $389 one. I'm deathly afraid of anything integrated, though, so I doubt I'll go for this one.

    Number Three:

    Duron SDR Kit

    AMD Duron 1100, HS/Fan
    Gigabyte 7ZXE Motherboard
    Nvidia TNT2 32M Video,
    AC97 Audio, ATX 300W Case,
    256M SDRAM
    $469
    I'm not really willing to go above $500, especially since these don't come with a monitor (I think), so this is the last one on the list. I'm not a *huge* fan of nvidia, but the card is still an improvement. Not sure about the AC97 Audio, but again, I could replace it with my trusty SBLive.

    If you guys want to know any more about these kits, you can go to http://www.tucsoncomputercorp.com (I know it's crappy, but don't sweat it too much). Oh yeah, and it's a canadian website, the prices are in CDN! So don't you americans go thinking the prices are outrageous, remeber you have to divide by 2 to get a good approximation of the price in USD.

  2. #2
    Guest

    Re:Fez ventures into a new area...

    I wouldn't want to own any of them honestly, but if I had to pick one of them I would go for the first one as it price / Performance wise will give you the most "bang for your buck".

    You will get better quality hardware if you buy seperate parts instead of these kits, and you'll only pay a small amount more.

    Btw don't get all to scared of integrated bits, in the old days that might have been a bad idea, but nowadays it's seems that it's much better, infact you can get some great deals with those everything and a videocard integrated mobos, and they make for a great coding box.

  3. #3
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    stryder144's Avatar
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    Re:Fez ventures into a new area...

    Hey, they look like nice deals to me. Hope all goes well.

    Cheers

  4. #4

    Re:Fez ventures into a new area...

    I still don't know conversions from CDN to USD, but that first one you could buy the part individualy for $220USD (The Duron 900). Why not buy the parts yourself from a wholesale company for cheaper? You could make an Athlon T-Bird system for about the same price as they are asking. ( I'm guessing that $389CDN is about $320USD ) Another thing is, those would be good kits if they provided a HDD. You could make an AthlonXP kit like that for a little under $400 with DDR. Also why get a kit with a soundcard if you're going to replace it? Just get a mobo without sound, or with cheap built-in sound.

  5. #5
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    Re:Fez ventures into a new area...

    I have to say, although the kits are not bad decent price and such), KernelKiller is absolutley right. If you go and find a couple online wholesale outfits, you can strip about $80 or so off. Do realize that if you go to the individual locations where you get the best proice - you probably will end up paying more due to shipping. But find a few places that overall are decent and have acceptable prices, and add the cpsts up w/shipping. I have ordered A LOT online and never had any real issues. Although, IMHO avoid FedEx. I dont know if they operate in Canada. But they are rough on the packages, where (oddly enough) even the USPS is a ton better (go figure - govt agency) and UPS is great. That is my expereince however...

    Oh, and since KK, brought it up -- do try and go for a T-Bird or an XP mobo. What you can do here is spend a bit more on the board to get quality, and get more DDR at first (ram is better for you I suppose anyhow) and when you get more cash, up your CPU when needed. Getting a XP 1Ghz is fine for now, if in 6 months you grab a 2.5 for the same price that you paid for a 1Ghz chip! Having the latest and greatest is expensive, but dropping one or two levels down gets REAL cheap.

    I built a REALLY nice box for a friend (cpu, ram, svga 3d, sound, nic, tv card, hd, cdrom, floppy) for just under $700. No CRT. So imagine what you can do with an existing hd, sound card and CRT. I like to upgrade a little bit at a crack. new hd. Three mo later, new burner, three more months more ram.... I get what I need most.

  6. #6
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    Re:Fez ventures into a new area...

    Yea , build you own !!! You'd be surprised how cheap you can get stuff now!!!!

  7. #7

    Re:Fez ventures into a new area...

    I built a computer last week. True, I had some spare parts around. But this is what I made (I think it was a good deal):

    Asus A7N266-VM ( http://usa.asus.com/mb/socketa/a7n266-vm/overview.htm )
    Note that it includes a GEForce 220 (32mb), Lan, sound, Digital Dolby out, etc. $99

    Athlon XP 1600+ $70

    ATX case $30 (ugly and crappy, but did the job)

    Volcano 6 heatsink/fan $17.99

    256mb DDR Ram $40

    Used an old 4 gig hard drive and an old cd-rom and floppy i had lying around (it was for someone who would only use the net)

  8. #8

    Re:Fez ventures into a new area...

    Hmmm, ok. I think I'm going to wait until I get to university (so my parents won't hassle me about spending money).

    I guess I'm going to abandon the kits idea. So I guess now the idea is to make a list of what kind of hardware I want...

    I don't really like ordering stuff online, just not comfortable with it (plus no credit card, which really rules out a lot of places. All I have is debit.

    There are a couple of really good local companies. BCOM Computers, Tucson Computers, and Best Computer Sales & Service seem to have pretty decent prices (and Tucson is the only company I haven't actually bought anything from).

    What's the difference between DDR and SDR?

  9. #9

    Re:Fez ventures into a new area...

    Ok, I'm confused. Why is it that a "Plextor 24x10x40x CD-RW IDE" is $229, when a "CD-RW DVD combo drive IDE" is $129? I would have expected that a drive that can read/write CDs and read DVDs would cost more than just one that can read/write CD

  10. #10
    Guest

    Re:Fez ventures into a new area...

    [quote author=Feztaa link=board=3;threadid=4314;start=0#42828 date=1027571729]
    Ok, I'm confused. Why is it that a "Plextor 24x10x40x CD-RW IDE" is $229, when a "CD-RW DVD combo drive IDE" is $129? I would have expected that a drive that can read/write CDs and read DVDs would cost more than just one that can read/write CD
    [/quote]

    Quality.... Plextor is a good drive the combo drive might very well be crap.l

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