Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Timberville, VA
    Posts
    1,438
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Would you do this?

    I'm thinking about building a PC (my first attempt), and I'd like to re-use some of my hardware. First, some background: A few months ago, my HP Pavilion 763n burned up its hard drive. I took it to a local PC builder and repair facility. They found my power supply was shot, too, and they said I'd have to order a new HP proprietary power supply if I wanted to keep the case. I chose instead to buy a new case with power supply and a new IDE hard drive. They swapped out the MOBO and other components from the old case, reinstalled WinXP, and I was back in business in less than 24 hours. My machine has the original (about five-year-old) DVD writer, CD-ROM, and floppy drive, which I rarely use. I also run an external Seagate hard drive (less than two years old) thru a USB port. I'd like to keep my drives, so I'm thinking I want a MOBO that can hook into both IDE and SATA drives. I may also want to add a second HDD (SATA), but that can wait.

    I don't do games, so I don't need a processor with screaming video capacity. I also do not plan to adopt Windows Vista...not just yet, anyway. (The cost of Vista is one factor, and the cost of replacing my scanner is another.) However, I work a lot with still photos (I use Adobe Photoshop Elements), and I've been bitten by the PC-as-DVR bug. I want to build a new machine to serve as both PC and TV, and I want to use it to record TV shows. I have a nice new Sony 19-in monitor which I think should work pretty well for TV. I use Comcast for both TV and cable Internet. I think what I want is one of the Hauppauge products as the video card.

    So I'm thinking I can "recycle" the new case, power supply, and hard drive, the five-year-old optical drives and the floppy drive. I'll need to buy a new MOBO, processor, memory, video card, and so on. BTW, I've taken the advice of others in this forum and looked around mwave.com. Trouble is, I have not a clue how to shop for stuff like mother boards and processors. My questions: Would you try this project yourself? I know I can buy a new PC for less than I'll probably spend on this project, but a new $300 PC probably won't have the muscle I think I'll get by going this way. Beside, I like the idea of building a PC myself. Your thoughts?

  2. Subscribe to our Windows Secrets Newsletter - It's Free!

    Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Re: Would you do this?

    > Your thoughts?

    Start by thinking very hard about what features of a PC are important to you. Then have a look to see what is the cheapest PC you can buy that meets all these needs. This will usually be cheaper than building your own. If you decide to build your own then you need to think about what you will do if the parts don't all work when you put it together. If you don't have a ready supply of spares to do some testing then it can be very hard to tell whether you have a faulty motherboard / CPU / Power Supply etc.

    Last time I needed a PC, I wanted one that was very quiet, and after I had looked at what I could buy I found that I could build a quiet PC cheaper than buying one, but form most standard PCs it is still cheaper to just buy a ready built one.

    StuartR

  4. #3
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    A Magic Forest in Deepest, Darkest Kent
    Posts
    5,681
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Would you do this?

    Hi Lucas

    The project you talk about was the thing that first got me the IT bug. I was lucky as I had access to a PC graveyard at work and they allowed me the pick of the bunch. In fact the PC I am sitting at now is a customised Dell Tower.

    My girls "need" a good graphics card as the onboard was not high enough spec for their Sims games, I don't think you have that problem. Any additional stuff added or changed was looked at on a part by part basis and how much money I had at the time. It sound like you have all the right parts, it sounds like what you want to do is going to be memory hungry, get the largest RAM you can afford and the fastest CPU that will fit the board....you will get the bug, I promise you.

    PS...never believe a shop when they say the power supply is dead....80% of the time it is the internal 5 amp fuse that has gone. We get it all the time with some of our base servers, we just rip out the power supply, find a clean bench and take the covers off and add a fuse from a defunct PC ready for the scrap heap
    Jerry

  5. #4
    4 Star Lounger SteveH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Chelsea, Gtr London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    587
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Would you do this?

    If you are using your PC to record TV (this especially applies to digital) you need a monster CPU. We are currently using a dual core 2.4 GHz and are still getting a few dropouts <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15> (We suspect the aerial cabling is picking up interference). You will absolutely eat up HD space as well (each program running to 4-5 GB)
    (If/when high-definition TV becomes generally available you can probably treble those file sizes)
    Steve H
    IT Lecturer/Access Developer
    O2K SR3/O2010; Win7Pro

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •