System Builder's Guide 2005
IntroductionFor a while I, and through the forums, have been getting a lot of questions/requests to help choose parts for people's new computers. A lot of people are building their systems now a days instead of buying prebuilt, or want to be able to choose parts and have it built at the store. It is so much better to do so for a number of reasons. But the two major ones are, to save money, and to get what you want for what you do.
Yeah sure there are companies like Alienware, Voodoo, and Overdrive PC to name a few that build high-end systems. And if you can afford them, all power to you. But some people or a lot should I say, want to be able to build their system, to get exactly what they want, in case, parts, etc...and to be able to say "Yes I built that".
But some don't know where to start or just have questions of what should I buy? What is the difference between this and that? Well hopefully this guide will help you answer some of your questions.
Just a little side note: I am not saying one brand is better than another; it is a general recommendation of mine for better choices in certain circumstances. Each component has its own advantages and disadvantages. But this will give you a general idea of what brands tend to do better in performance or performance to value in certain areas. So here we go...
What computer do I need?Almost all people who build their own computers build them for gaming or overclocking. But not everyone does. So when someone asks me, "what should I buy?” I say what is it for? As I said before, most who build their computers game/overclock, but some use them for a workstation, and other just for emails and surfing the net/budget computer. But people, who overclock, probably have the list of parts ready and have no need for this kind of guide. There may be some who want to get into overclocking and need a guide like this to get them started though.
So say you want a computer for gaming, well now you got something to point your needs towards in parts wise. How much do you want to spend? Well, this plays a huge part in it. I will talk more of this though the topics of the parts.
AMD or Intel?
Probably one of the most confrontational/rhetorical topics in computers. Give you a tip, don't go to a forum and ask "What's better, AMD or Intel?" You won't get anywhere; you will just start a post war. You might get some people who are really helpful and give you the truth, but there will be people who are what we call "fan boys", who will fight and bicker and be assholes and... well you get the point.
So the question is, AMD or Intel? Well really, it comes down the personal preference. A lot of people like AMD. But others like to be in the nice warm feeling of the world's largest semi-conductor company, and plus they have been around for a long time. I have had both Intel and AMD, they both served me well. I have no personal preference, what ever has more performance and the better price wins me. So let's dig in and take a look...