well i've got a "generic" mouse and a "generic" network card. they both work fine in win98 and linux so i'm happy.
but it's scary **** if you see "generic" motherboard or "generic" sound card... I had this computer built to spec so I got exactly what I wanted (well, almost. they couldn't get the 1MB MB so i had to settle for 512k).
You said building a computer is a risk. Well crossing the street is a risk! driving on the freeway is a big risk!I'am going to build my first pc and I'am sure I'll make some mistake's.But if you at least don't try.You'll never know if you can do it.That's what this website for these guy's and gal's have a brain full of tech support here. I think most of them have probably built several system's if not more. Do your resereach I've been browsing this site for about two week's now.I'am going to post my hardware list and let the member's go over it and if something don't jive they'll let you know.But if you think it is still to big a risk go buy some proprietory machine.YA let them decide what they'll put in it for you.Been there done that!I'll take the risk.
I just had to add a variation on Nightowl's comment: I'm an English major--if *I* can build my own computer, you sure can.
I'm right in the middle of the process myself (five hours last night, and it's almost to the point I'm ready to plug it in). This is the 1st one I've built, so I'm struggling with it. The advice about Band-aids is sound. My hands look like I've been playing with a bunch of frisky kittens.
It's a learning experience. Assuming I don't zap something with static discharge, I'll wind up with a much better machine than if I'd taken the same money to a store and said "what can I get for this?"...
I spent a lot of time fuming and swearing last night--as with anything else, you can't expect to do it perfectly the first time around. Next time I will know to install the drives BEFORE I put in the motherboard and hookup a bunch of connectors and realize I can't get to the screws on one side of the drive bays (grrr...).
As for the proprietary machines your source favors... they don't use special proprietary parts in order to make everything work together or work better; they use special parts so you have to go back to them, bulging wallet in hand, every time you want to upgrade.
Must agree with Geoff! I wanted to "roll my own" PII 333 but here (in Japan) it was simply impossible to source parts as cheaply as the made-to-order folks can do it.
I went to all the computer discount shops with a list of specifications that matched the made-to-order firm's list. The quoted cost was WAY over and above the assembled unit that I finally bought—you also have to remember that Japanese labour isn't cheap!
These guys import directly in such large quantities that they get phenomenal discounts.
I didn't have the fun, but I did save cash and got a guarantee (which has already paid dividends—I don't trust those i740 VGA cards any more!)
Nevertheless, when the time comes, I'm DEFINITELY going to make my own!
I say build your own. It's cheaper to build, it's cheaper to upgrade, and you can put in the best quality parts that you can find. I built my last 2 (out of 3 computers) and my current system is a monster.
And even if you get something that doesn't work (your fault or not) then just send it back DOA and get a new one.
Well, I haven't really "built" a computer, per se, but I've upgraded the hell out of the one I have now. New motherboard, CPU, Video card, and memory. The rule of thumb is stated often above. ALWAYS GROUND YOURSELF. If you THINK you're not grounded, ground yourself again. That said, we can move onto the important stuff...
Do not sacrifice quality for price, but you don't have to buy the most expensive thing going, either. A good quality motherboard can be had for between $80 and $120. A good CPU depends on what your ultimate goal is. (I have an AMD, but you may prefer Intel). A good Hard Drive will probably be the most expensive thing you buy. After which, you'll want to invest in a cd-rom drive and , ugh, a floppy. Of course, there a a few more options with floppies now (Sony's 200MB floppy, Imations LS-120), which opens up your choices a little. Personally, I'd go with th LS-120. 32MB of RAM should be the minimum you're looking at, and, of course, you'll need a video card, a sound card, and a case to put it all in. Good luck, and stop by here frequently for any help you need...