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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
    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
    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
    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 (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

    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
    Kind Mastermind
    stryder144's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Denver, CO

    Re:Fez ventures into a new area...

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


  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
    Good Guru
    Schotty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Milwaukee, WI

    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
    Join Date
    May 2001
    New Jersey

    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 ( )
    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

    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

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

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