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Author Topic: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread  (Read 205929 times)

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The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« on: 31 May 2006, 19:45 »

I know I had big plans for something like this a while back but never followed through with them.  That is pretty much because creating a living document about PC parts was and still is a very bad idea. So instead of re-inventing the wheel I thought that we could share with each other some sites we think are good for expanding practical knowledge about computer hardware, especially in regards to guiding a complete novice through their first computer purchase.

Quote from: In another thread I
As your attorney I advise you to check out these links immediately:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How_To_Build_A_Computer/Choosing_the_parts
http://shsc.info/PCPartsPickingGuide
http://www.overclockers.com.au/wiki/OCAU_Guide_to_Build_A_PC
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1967933,00.asp?kc=ETRSS02129TX1K0000532 - "A Beginner's Guide to What Goes on Inside that PC"

Then look up the prices for the parts on something like http://www.pricewatch.com or maybe just http://www.newegg.com


Anyone else want to throw in some useful links?

In about a week or so I'll compile them and put them up here in the first post, as well as removing the quote & putting my links in-line with the rest.  Hopefully between us we can come up with a decent info repository.
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The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #1 on: 31 May 2006, 19:51 »

I'll add a couple of new links for the Aussies on the board:

http://staticice.com.au is the best PC price search engine I've found so far.

http://www.overclockers.com.au is an Australian PC hardware news site catering mostly towards the enthusiast end of the spectrum.

http://forums.overclockers.com.au is the forums for the above news site, and is a very good forum for Australian overclocking enthusiasts. As such, sometimes it can be a decent resource for what is a good value part and what is coming up hardware-wise in the near future.
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The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #2 on: 31 May 2006, 21:12 »

http://www.anandtech.com Good review site

http://www.arstechnica.com Decent reviews, good forum, great tech articles
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The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #3 on: 01 Jun 2006, 02:52 »

www.overclockers.co.uk - Based in Stoke-on-Trent. I got to talking with them at a LAN party a couple of months ago, and they know their stuff.
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The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #4 on: 01 Jun 2006, 05:57 »

If you're tired of your CPU or other fans sounding like jet engines, http://www.silentpcreview.com
These guys know alot about cooling and other stuff too, just most of them are fanatical about noise reduction...
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The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #5 on: 01 Jun 2006, 17:03 »

Nice links so far.  I especially like the Silent PC one.  Saw it (or some site like it) ages ago but lost track of it.

Another good review site is http://www.behardware.com.  It has one of the best monitor sections I've found yet.  (If someone knows one better, please share!).
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Roots

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The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #6 on: 14 Jul 2006, 22:00 »

Just a little tip for every one who is new, and even some of the vet's of pc repair don't do this. [also it doesn't fall under posting links :p but I thought some people would like to know this stuff!]

DISCAHRGE BE FOR YOU TOUCH ANYTHING! I don't know how manny ram chips I have seen wasted because some one didn't ground them selfs...  A grounding strap helps too, kind of like a roach clips with with a wire comeing off it that hooks on a strap you can wear on your wrist, you clip it to the case. If you don't happen to have one, touching the case is better then nothing.

I have to say nothing worse then getting home your brand spanking new parts, then you go to install them and in the process you fry them from static shock.

Also make sure the power suply is off, unpluged, and discharged as well, I know with some of the btx mobo's they have a led that lets you know if there is some current going thew the mobo

Another good tip I can say is, when it come to trouble shooting, do what you think would be the stupidest fix first [ie the pc will not turn on, make sure it is plugged in!]

Anyhow some people may be like "Oh that is just too stupid.... Everyone should know that!" Well some people may not be the supper tech god you are I am just trying to help with a few basics... Plus no one likes getting zaped from a power suply... I have had it happen, not fun my arm was numb for an hour and I was the laughing stock of the lan party.
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not_inspired

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The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #7 on: 14 Aug 2006, 00:56 »

for anyone needing a linux crash cource especially in Ubuntu look at these

https://help.ubuntu.com/community

http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu_dapper
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #8 on: 29 Sep 2006, 21:48 »

I thought it might be useful to add an NZ link just in case any Kiwis come in here. A little regionally specific but it might just prove to be useful.

www.pricespy.co.nz

Absolutely brilliant site with all the latest prices and parts plus plenty of different retailers to buy from.
Never ever use supercheapPC. They're absolutely terrible.

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #9 on: 30 Sep 2006, 03:03 »

www.guru3d.com

It is t3h uber
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #10 on: 04 Oct 2006, 00:00 »

www.tomshardware.com Greatest hardware infomation site ever.
www.pricewatch.com Greatest lowest price possible site ever.

With Pricewatch you can't be stupid and trust every website out there. Actually contact them and get some info from the dealers and decide if their legit or not. They're fakes. If you don't want to handle that type of stuff, their other places. Dell, newegg(I hate newegg), ect.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #11 on: 08 Oct 2006, 08:27 »

(I hate newegg)

Really? I like Newegg.  I just bought a floppy drive and a GeForce 6600 from them and I am loving both.  I've bought from them before, and aside from shipping issues (actually UPS' fault) I been satsfied with every purchase.
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GileX

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #12 on: 24 Oct 2006, 04:47 »

lol @ j00. newegg rips you off like teh shit. can you say 500 GB SATA drive for $226 US. or maybe the 7900GT for $282 US. Find me better retail prices if you dare
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Scytale

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #13 on: 25 Oct 2006, 16:58 »

http://www.phoronix.com/

is a good site for Linux related hardware stuff.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #14 on: 01 Nov 2006, 04:07 »

lol @ j00. newegg rips you off like teh shit. can you say 500 GB SATA drive for $226 US. or maybe the 7900GT for $282 US. Find me better retail prices if you dare
I bought a 7900GT from Newegg in JUNE for US$269. What do you mean Newegg is a ripoff?
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m0o0oeh

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #15 on: 16 Nov 2006, 04:06 »

No links, but any problems, let me know and I'll try and help - spesh with Netgear issues or with hardware issues - I have had enough trial-and-error to know what I'm doing with them!

Joe
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alexalexalex

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #16 on: 16 Nov 2006, 07:02 »

www.overclockers.co.uk - Based in Stoke-on-Trent. I got to talking with them at a LAN party a couple of months ago, and they know their stuff.

I used to shop on overclockers religiously, but then I figured out that http://www.ebuyer.com is cheaper and they actually tell you how much delivery is going to cost. Now I compare prices on both sites before buying anything, but ebuyer nearly always wins!

also, hi.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #17 on: 20 Nov 2006, 00:15 »

http://www.anandtech.com Good review site

http://www.arstechnica.com Decent reviews, good forum, great tech articles
The forums on anandtech are good, too. Especially the hot deals forum.

I've ordered several thousand dollars worth of equipment from MWAVE.com and they've never failed me.
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FireStarter

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #18 on: 21 Nov 2006, 11:03 »

Or just PM me, I can even walk anyone through the actual assemply of a built from scratch pc through teamspeak or Ventrillo. I'm also up on about everything on hardware
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Cade

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #19 on: 19 Dec 2006, 11:09 »

for Australians specifically those in Queensland www.umart.com.au is a really good hardware site.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #20 on: 22 Dec 2006, 01:58 »

Yeah, and those around me (Sydney) should check umart.net.au instead.
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GileX

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #21 on: 28 Dec 2006, 16:50 »

I dont like umart, they have bad customer service. I am also good for anyone in sydney area who wants to build a computer as i have built many so far and to dennis i ment a 7950GT, my fingers refuse most commands i give them.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #22 on: 29 Dec 2006, 03:33 »

I dont like umart, they have bad customer service. I am also good for anyone in sydney area who wants to build a computer as i have built many so far and to dennis i ment a 7950GT, my fingers refuse most commands i give them.
wow. the 7950 for under $300 before the 8xxx series came out is an incredible deal.
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GileX

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #23 on: 29 Dec 2006, 17:45 »

Your'e telling me, i almost creamed in my pants when i saw it, thats why i'm the proud owner of an ASUS 7950GT. My work mate got an 8800GTX in to market it and he let me test it before he sent it out, it was like "F.E.A.R? psshhh can't you find a harder game". Plus it almost didnt fit in the damn case, that thing is HUGE
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nihilist

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #24 on: 03 Jan 2007, 22:53 »

I run 2 7800 GTXs.  It makes me happy.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #25 on: 12 Jan 2007, 11:01 »

I am considering buying a second xfx 7900GT for my system. But then, I'll probably need to buy a new power supply, and the vicious cycle of computer upgrades goes on.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #26 on: 17 Jan 2007, 09:15 »

my intense lack of moneys forces me to cope with a geforce 7600 gt 256mb. damn minimal cash flow :(
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nihilist

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #27 on: 18 Jan 2007, 06:37 »

Next computer will probably be CrossFire, not SLI.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #28 on: 18 Jan 2007, 06:46 »

Crossfire is only necessary for huge resolutions: if you play anything below 1600x1200, you won't need two cards. I'd also be careful when selecting cards in CrossFire, specifically in the 1900-series family, because the clock-speed on a single Crossfire-compatible card is lower than its non-compatible brethren.
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nihilist

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #29 on: 18 Jan 2007, 07:04 »

Except that I'd run my games at 2048x1536 if I could.
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Slacker

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #30 on: 14 Feb 2007, 20:11 »

http://www.hardocp.com/ Is a good site for reviews, articles, or whatever.  ;)
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #31 on: 17 Feb 2007, 05:23 »

I dont like umart, they have bad customer service

How have they given you bad customer service?
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Dymo

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #32 on: 19 Feb 2007, 09:12 »

Pricewatch has never done me wrong. To the person who said Newegg is a ripoff, ide like to see facts, because most of the time, the lowest prices pricewatch grabs are directly from newegg, sometimes tigerdirect, and abit of random websites. Newegg has awesome customer service and great shipping prices/times.

Tech spot is an awesome rescource for almost anything electronics related. Awesome forums and help guides.
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Method

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #33 on: 28 Feb 2007, 18:38 »

Quote
lol @ j00. newegg rips you off like teh shit. can you say 500 GB SATA drive for $226 US. or maybe the 7900GT for $282 US. Find me better retail prices if you dare

I smell a challenge. 500GB Sata drive on Newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148108
$149.99 Before taxes. First product I found on the list when searching for 500GB Sata...


Geforce 7900GT On newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150144
$219 Before Taxes, looks like where ever you get your hardware sucks. If its tigerdirect, I should slap you.
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nikefido

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #34 on: 13 Mar 2007, 10:31 »

http://www.anandtech.com Good review site

http://www.arstechnica.com Decent reviews, good forum, great tech articles

Great tech forum on forums.anandtech.com  ..  just stear clear of Off Topic and P&N !!
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Wipsomass

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #35 on: 14 Mar 2007, 02:50 »

Quote
lol @ j00. newegg rips you off like teh shit. can you say 500 GB SATA drive for $226 US. or maybe the 7900GT for $282 US. Find me better retail prices if you dare

I smell a challenge. 500GB Sata drive on Newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148108
$149.99 Before taxes. First product I found on the list when searching for 500GB Sata...


Geforce 7900GT On newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150144
$219 Before Taxes, looks like where ever you get your hardware sucks. If its tigerdirect, I should slap you.

I prefer fluidtek.com.au - dont order of the net though, you get really expensive prices but if u go in the store he always has huge specials that are the cheapest in syd - nsw - aust.....ect...

Newegg is also good.

If building a PC, head over to the atomicmpc.com.au website (tis 31337 Hax0r sh1t  :-P)

cheers,

Will :-)

(its a shame that my first post is in the computer section  :-(  )
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BatouKyo

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #36 on: 18 Mar 2007, 18:51 »

If you're tired of your CPU or other fans sounding like jet engines, www.silentpcreview.com
These guys know alot about cooling and other stuff too, just most of them are fanatical about noise reduction...


Haha... how ironic, I have the loudest small end fan there is. Vantec tornado, 65dbs put out in a 92mm fan that moves 131cfm. I love it each and every day that its on... simply because i know the fact that there is no overheating in my processor.

I laugh at those who denounce newegg.com.... pricewatch.com proves how awesome the prices are there.

Oh, and if this hasnt been mentioned before.... www.ocforums.com is the utmost place to look. taught me everything I know and has really helpful people. a few weeks reading this is a great way to learn about computers.



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Scytale

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #37 on: 19 Mar 2007, 07:22 »

Hey I'm looking to set up a new server at home, It'll be hosting MYSQL and Apache, it will be basically a test box for any development I'm doing. I may also host a lame personal homepage on it if I can be bothered.

I thought I'd ask for advice on what sort of hadware I should buy, being a server it'll be running headless without mouse keyboard, monitor etc, adminning it via ssh/VNC it'll also be running Linux, haven't decided which distro yet, maybe CENTOS, maybe Debian, main thing I want is to keep the price down.

I was looking at getting one of those motherboards with integrated everything, graphics, network etc. I was thinking about 1 gb of ram (probably overkill for what I'm using it for but...)

Anyway I'm after advice on what mother board, what processesor (prefrence would be Intel, but don't mind AMD) and what ram setup (I'm not that familiar with single vs dual channel etc).

heres my requirements:

-gigabit ethernet
-onboard raid controller.
-decent linux drivers
-decent mother board stability

I have a spare case and a 500w power supply.
I also have the hard drives.
 I'll be installing over network so no need for any optical drives,

 Everything else I'm asking for help with, ram, cpu, motherboard.

thanks.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #38 on: 11 Apr 2007, 13:53 »

This is a great thread, with a great set of links, thanks.

I'm seriously considering building a brand spanking new computer once I've got the funds to replace the lumbering dinosaur I've got now. Only problem is I know sweet bugger all about computers. Basically, I know crap all about what good processors, graphics card or whatever are. The links in this thread have changed that a bit, thankfully.

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #39 on: 28 Jun 2007, 21:45 »

Have you checked out the Ars Technica System Guides? The latest update was just this month, so everything there should be up-to-date, in terms of hardware trends. They've got several different DIY systems: The Budget Box (for when it absolutely positively has to be there on a budget of $800), the Hot Rod (juiced up for gaming, but within reason), and the God Box (for when you're putting it all on the company credit card).

I hand-built my computer two years ago based on their Hot Rod specs at the time, and it still plays all the best games.
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karbin

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #40 on: 22 Jul 2007, 22:54 »

Not sure if it's appropriate to put this here, but I co-run a small relatively new website to help people build computers. We have a basic guide to system parts, budget builds(computers for under 150), highlight current good deals and so forth.

http://www.pennywisepcs.com

I'd be happy to answer any questions.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #41 on: 23 Jul 2007, 08:28 »

I poked around a bit but didn't immediately find the $150 setup? I'm curious to see what you include.
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karbin

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #42 on: 23 Jul 2007, 08:31 »

Scroll down on the posts on the first page.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #43 on: 23 Jul 2007, 08:33 »

*hums a bit and feels slightly stupid*
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #44 on: 13 Aug 2007, 10:22 »

Might I also suggest http://www.zipzoomfly.com for parts and etc.  No tax and free shipping!
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Korandder

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #45 on: 28 Sep 2007, 22:35 »

For any Canadians, I have had good success with http://ncix.com/.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #46 on: 11 Oct 2007, 12:48 »

There's nothing wrong with newegg. They may not always have the lowest price on something, but frankly, that's true of every hardeware retail site I've encountered. Between rebates and constantly fluctuating prices, you're bound to save some pennies by always comparison shopping, especially with video cards. Heck, I managed to buy a Radeon 1950XT late last year for $200 from Newegg after rebates; that was hardly more expensive than the 1950Pro on offer (I think the pro was $190 at the time), despite being the superior card. About a month later I was hearing on forums that so many gamers made a run on the PRO due to it's status as an excellent budget card that apparently nobody felt the need to offer much in the way of rebates or sales on the PRO any more. Moral of the story: Worrying too much about saving money can drive people crazy and buzz doesn't always reflect reality. All you can really do is check out the actual prices on as many sites as is reasonable and stick to your budget.
« Last Edit: 11 Oct 2007, 12:54 by Whipstitch »
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OstermanA

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #47 on: 14 Dec 2007, 00:25 »

Things to do with any new (or old) Winwoes install:

1:
Open up the run dialog to open up msconfig, then streamline your startup list. A good resource for what each item is would be Bleeping Computer.

2:
Use the run dialog to open up 'services.msc', then optimize your services. For those of you who have never looked at the services list and are running XP Pro SP2, open it up, NOW, and disable the 'Remote Registry' service. It does exactly what it sounds like. Resource: The Elder Geek. Actually, The Elder Geek is a pretty good all around website, though I don't spend much time there.

3:
Download and install TweakUI. It gives you access to a whole lot of options that you can't really get to otherwise. Incredibly useful tool.


For all you Linux people out there, I have yet to find a website more useful than LinuxQuestions. A close second for Fedora users would be mjm wired.

As far as hardware goes, I'm kinda partial to Firing Squad. I know there are probably better places, but I've been going there for years, so it's kinda a habit. Meh.
« Last Edit: 14 Dec 2007, 00:27 by OstermanA »
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #48 on: 20 Dec 2007, 20:42 »

so I spilled beer on my keyboard and now the spacebar won't work. At the moment I'm using some old keyboard of my roommate's while trying to type a paper and I keep mistyping everything because It's unfamiliar. So, anyone have a recommendation for a relatively cheap (maybe 20-30 bucks or so) keyboard that doesn't suck ass? I had the Logitech Elite keyboard, which I really liked, so something similar with all the multimedia buttons and such would be ideal.

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #49 on: 31 Dec 2007, 10:50 »

I have a Microsoft something or other I got for 32 bucks.  Types quiet, volume controles, etc, etc.  It even has a calculator button.  I love it.  Of all the parts in my new computer (AMD FX-74, 7900GS), this is my favorite part.
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