"I'm gonna buy a PC" advice thread #6,452,817,562

Yes they can, and you’ll probably be ok, but floppy drives are cheap enough that it’s worth having one. I’ve used my floppy drive about three times in the three years I’ve had my current machine, but every single time I would have been absolutely screwed if I didn’t have one.

I’ve used a floppy drive exactly once in the past 6-7 years, and that was
to recover from a bad BIOS flash (MSI mobo could boot even without a
BIOS!). Handy to have one lying around, but I only connect a drive if
really needed.

You can boot from just about anything these days, including USB.

I get really annoyed when shopping for a PC that you can’t turn certain things off. Like I really don’t need a new Video Card or a new Hard drive, but yet most systems don’t let me turn them off.

I dunno but I would build a PC “backwards”

Get a decent GPU:

6600 GT - 151 US

A Socket 939 CPU:

AMD64 Socket 939 Venice core 3000+ - 154 US

The boxed cooler is OK.

Now for a board - NForce 4 Ultra chipsets are very ok:

Chaintech NF4 Ultra board - 85 US

Decent Value Ram - the Kingmax is great.

2 x 512 MB KingMax PC3200 - 73 US (for both)

Subtotals up to 463 US so far.

Drives and stuff:

SAMSUNG SpinPoint P Series SP0812C SATA150 80 Gig - 60 US

NEC IDE DVD Burner Model ND-3520A - black - 49 US


570 US


Coolermaster black case - 70 US

I know this tops your 500 US price range, but with this system you will have sufficient power for the current gen of games on your desk.

You have 1 gig of RAM and much more important a 6600GT and a decent board, where you could easily upgrade to the upcoming gen of GFX cards. You also get a decent DVD writer, not only a ROM and the Samsung HDs are quality products.

The case is totally different to the OEM case the cyber ;) guys have. Note: the matching black DVD drive with your system. Dont fear to build it yourself, its not brain surgery and if youre not totally clumsy, you cant go wrong. You will eventually need a Floppy to install the SATA drivers or have a friend slipstream them on a Win XP installation CD.

PS: Seems to be a memorial day sale at Newegg. Could be running out.

Thanks everyone for the advice. I’m getting cold feet now that my checks are slowly dissolving, but I think I’ll still forge ahead and buy the damned thing anyway!

Grandmom is getting a new machine from cyberpowersystem.com. Hope she likes it, and HL2 that’s coming with it, free.

Here is the parts list of a new gaming pc I recently built. Some prices are a bit out of date:

bought part description price links
X cpu amd 64 3000 venice $150.00 http://www.monarchcomputer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=M&Product_Code=120205&AFFIL=TH&NR=1
X memory corsair 3200 valueram 1 gig $110.00 frys
X mb DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D $138.00 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?description=13-136-152&DEPA=0
X video card ati x800xl $300.00 http://www.compusabusiness.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=50881768
X heatsink THERMALRIGHT XP-90, 92mm panaflo H, zalman fanmate 2 $48.00 http://www.svc.com/xp-90-21.html
X case thermaltake tsunami $110.00 http://www2.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811133132
X ps antec neo 480 $50.00 http://store.yahoo.com/directron/neopower480.html
X floppy sony black $11.50 http://www2.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=0-N82E16821103116
X HD X 2 RAID SATA II Hitachi 250gb (NCQ) $254.00 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=100594-2&affiliate=yahoo
X optical Benq dw1620 $51.00 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827101632
X lights/fans 2 X antec light tubes, 2 X 3 way laser led $36.00 http://store.yahoo.com/svcompucycle/anblinledlit.html
X sound card audigy 2zs gamer $60.00 best buy
X speakers logitech z5300e $120.00 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0002SQ0AE/103-3951468-7260610?v=glance
X mouse logitech mx518 $50.00 best buy

total: $1,488.50

It might not be the cheapest system but I was looking for pretty big performance but still a good value.

I’ve heard very good things about these guys.[/quote]

I have bought a few things from them and everything has been great. I give them an A+.

Grandma got her system from cyberpowersystem.com. Mom, who is semi-tech-savvy, tried to put it together but failed. She called tech support; they said they couldn’t help because the problems she’s reporting are outside of what they shipped, therefore unsupported. So now it’s all me.

It’s an AMD64 system, came with no OS.

  1. She installed WinXP SP2 and all the drivers that shipped with the PC.
  2. She installed the 802.11b card from the old system into PCI slot 1. Computer did not recognize said card… at all.
  3. She installed said card into PCI slot 2. Computer recognized the card, connected to our wireless network, but now continues to lose the IP and disconnect every 2 minutes or so. And then it reconnects again.
  4. System says no sound hardware found. Motherboard has on-board sound. Speakers don’t work.
  5. She tried to install MS Office from a CD, but the installation repeatedly failed part of the way through (different spot each time), requiring a cold-reboot. It may have been an, erm, older CD.

Any ideas?

Hmmm…I was thinking of ordering from there, but that’s a bit scary. Did you order the XP with the computer, or did you buy it separately? They have a way to order it with the system, and I assumed they would install it for you, but I guess I could have been wrong. If I have to assemble the damn thing myself, what’s the point in paying like this? Just buy the parts.

No, I have my own copy of XP. Yes, it comes assembled with all the motherboard and device drivers included on a CD (or with URLs on a CD, or something).

Mom talked to cyberpowersystem tech support; they said they couldn’t help because the Linksys card wasn’t theirs, and the OS didn’t come from them either, so they can’t be sure it’s authentic. No support there. They said to call Linksys about the PCI slot problem, because that’s their turf, and didn’t address the sound hardware / speakers issue at all.

I called Linksys; they said their card didn’t work in our 64-bit system because it’s a 32-bit card and they don’t have 64-bit drivers yet.

And yes, it’s a 32-bit version of XP.

Wow, are they ever full of shit there.

Doesn’t this mobo have integrated lan?

Yes, and integrated audio. But no integrated wireless, and the parental unit (understandably) doesn’t want to run cables.

Mom picked up a $12 USB 802.11g. Works beautifully. Sound still doesn’t work, but that’s what holidays are for (free tech support from one’s offspring).

I had problems with my integrated audio at first, but it turned out to be a buggered WinXP install, couldn’t fix it and had to reinstall.

But yours might be simpler, like simply disabled in the bios or something.