If one assembles all the parts in a case and a part is defective or improperly inserted, is there a diagnostic of some sort from NewEgg to identify the problem? I know that Dell has a software module called "Dell Support Center" which tests all parts and diagnoses failing or defective parts.
Maru, that dell support center is a placebo - garbage software, that doesnt do anything of substance.
If a part is improperly inserted, your PC wont start.
If a part is defective, youll KNOW it, it will just take time to narrow down WHICH part.
POST, power on self test) then the hardware is working. The checks that happen during POST ensure that a CPU is properly installed, at least one memory stick is properly installed and powered, that the motherboard chipset is alive and functioning, and that (on nearly any consumer motherboard) some sort of VGA adapter is powered and working.
There are additional tests for more specific (and more subtle) failures. Stress tests (for example, the last couple screenshots in the photos I posted earlier) help ensure that the CPU is being properly cooled. Memtest86 will run exhaustive checks of the memory. There are a few different tests to run for video cards, and a couple of disk performance benchmarks. Note that few if any OEMs run any of this second set of tests. In general, all they normally do is check for valid POSTs. If all you do when building is check for a valid POST, then you're not really making a huge mistake.
Again, system building has come a long way since the days of the 286. There was a time when building a new system required that you examine a motherboard schematic and install jumpers to set the bus speed and multiplier of your CPU. And installing a required actually pressing the pins of a CPU module into a chip socket. Now, you just place the CPU into the socket (no force required), flip a lever, and the motherboard itself will figure out the bus speed and multiplier. Engineers have spent a lot of time making these things drastically easier.
From now on, I am going to refer to you as Maru in this thread...The 'prefix' Sir is now out the window on this subject...lol...
Slow, what are the differences, if any, between an i7 and an i5 processor? I was looking to maybe get a i5 3550 Ivy-bridge processor, it is about the same price as the afore mentioned i5 2500 Sandy-bridge processor...
In the last 30 years using Dell, IBM and Radio Shack (TRS-80), the seller always solved the problems one way or the other. I didn't really have to know how to detect problems or how to solve them.
From the NewEgg videos, I'm convinced I can easily build the unit but still have no confidence of what to if something happens after the unit is built. Does NewEgg have a post build support plan?
When you build your own rig, you assume a lot of responsibility for your own support. There are warranties, of course, and I have seen review after review praising new egg for going above and beyond to support customer questions and issues, but frankly it's mostly on you to get the build right.
It is, however, remarkably easy to do this, especially with the internet at your disposal for every burning question you may have. Yet, if this onus is too much, you personally may be better off with a big box store and a pre built unit.
If you live near a Fry's Electronics I'd recommend that you head in there and speak to one of their people. They will have prebuilt systems and you won't have to wait or deal with hangups. Newegg is awesome don't get me wrong, but if you haven't built a PC before I think you'd be more comfortable in a store talking with someone who has. If you find a better deal they'll match it and they won't hassle you at all about any returns.
Duplicate. Please delete.
www.overclock.net (I go by the username Maestrotogo)
The Ivy Bridge chips (3xxx series) are about the same price as Sandy Bridge chips (2xxx) largely because they aren't that much more powerful than the Sandy Bridge versions. They are a bit more efficient and have upgraded video capabilities, but not much else.
I just watched the NewEgg 2nd video where the PC is assembled. I notice they fast forwarded the part where all the wires are being connected. My conclusion, for me I'm staying with a Dell OEM. Remember, the old saying, one cannot teach old dogs new tricks.
You young folks can have all the fun assembling this and connecting all the wires. I'd prefer to read a good history eBook on my Amazon Kindle instead.
Hey, some of us have to keep Dell in business.
I think that old saying is nonsense.
well this is the rig i'm playing on, and you can part it together for under 500 bucks.. and honestly if you did it new with 500 bucks, you could probably improve a few places.. But i'm saying this as this computer runs the game flawlessly, and actually plays every game i own perfectly and on full graphics.. Including a couple of new games with ultra high end graphics.
Vista 64.. (no it does not suck as everyone says, It is just a bit quirky, but as far as stabilty goes, i have ZERO problems gaming on it) though if ya are buying new, i would just pick up windows 7, just make sure you get the 64 version.
intell 8400 chip, though you can most likely find a slighty improved chip for cheap, look for something priced about 100 bucks, and just get a nice aftermarket heat/sink fan, (should cost about 30 bucks or soo) But a nice alluminum/copper heatsink and aftermarket fan, with some new thermal paste is the way to go.
an asus mother board.. Not sure which to grab at this point, but about 100 bucks is all ya need to spend. Just make sure you get the right board for the chip you buy, and make sure it has good slot placement. A sight like www.tomshardware.com can help ya with that. I just love asus products as i have never had any issue with them using all asus stuff together.
some nice corsair ram, 8 gigs, is priced well atm,, try to get a double 4 bank, so you can have an extra bank open to double your ram in a couple years for a nice upgrade.
asus nivida GTX 550 TI, to me it is just not worth paying the 100+ extra for the 550. this card does everything ya want on any modern game. save the 100 bucks, and in 2 years spend another 100 and upgrade to a new version, you are better off.
HD I like going with sea gate, they are good drives, and have good customer service if you get a bad one, or it breaks 3+ years down the road,.. ship it back and get a replacement for no cost other than shipping.
cases.. Do not spend much on these,, I'm running a 500 watt power supply, that i have had for, as long as you keep your system simple, aka 1 vid card, 1 HD, a dvdR, you will have no problem, though honestly, you should be able to get away with an extra HD if you want. But these days with a 1 terra bite, are you really gonna fill it? You can get a good case for about 50-60 bucks with a power supply. My case is a full tower and has a cool plexiglass side cover and more than enough fans to keep it cool.. I paid 55 dollars for it.
this entire thing you can build for under 500 bucks and have no problem playing any game there is. dont waste your cash over paying..
You could loose another 100-125 on chip... a chip a bit lower, will almost have no effect on gaming. these days, EVERYTHING is all about the vid card.. the chip just calculates AI, and these days, any 4 year old chip will handel what game companies are doing. My intell 8400 is going on 5 years old, and has no problems. You can get a chip that is 2-3 years newer, for under 100 bucks.
Case/ps you can also save a little money if you want..
Basically, what you do is make the computer with a couple planed upgrades.. You get a good board, with a low end chip, but make sure the board can handel the better chip.. then when those good chips that are 400 bucks drop to 70 bucks in a couple years, you pop it in with a new vid card, and poof brand new system, for about 200 bucks 2-3 years down the road.
Basically if you have to buy the OS, you should beable to fund something for about 600 bucks, shipping included, from www.newegg.com. All parts you buy will or should have a 3 year factory warrenty.. which is typically a year longer than most computer manufaturers pre-built
That said, I agree with others that you seem to have misunderstood the complexity of the task. For my build, which is admittedly a more complicated build, the entire process of "connecting the wires" took about 15 minutes. I spent another 30 minutes with the totally optional task of bundling them together and routing them behind the motherboard tray.
Counting up the "wires": One ATX motherboard cable, one ATX12V CPU power cable, two 6/8pin video power cables, a pair of USB headers, the front panel wires and three sets of SATA power and data cables for a spindle hard drive, SSD, and optical drive.
For a normal build like the OP has, there will be a grand total of seven cords to connect, and none of which can be mistaken for the wrong cord. My TV has the same number of cords, and several of those can be interchanged in ways that result in the TV not functioning pro
SirMaru at least gave it a little bit of a chance by checking out the vids. It's just not his thing and he's not interested in it. As long as he's not trying to misinform someone (like the OP) anymore, then it's certainly fine.
At the end of the day, if your Dell runs Civ and your other apps just fine and you're satisfied with it, then stick with it.
By the way, SirMaru, I forgot to mention that I liked your earlier analogy regarding automobiles. Most of us just buy them from a dealer and have others fix/maintain them. Others like to build and/or fix/maintain cars themselves. Whatever the user's preference is, if they're satisfied, then that's it. Personally, outside of checking/adding different fluids, I don't really like to do any customizations with my car or try and fix anything; I let others fix and maintain it. It just doesn't interest me and I'd rather do other things with my time (plus, I don't like getting dirty). Sure, others that do repairs themselves save money and others that build and tinker with them probably have more efficient and powerful machines for what they invested into it. But, it doesn't bother me at all... I'm satisfied with my car. As long as it's dependable and gets me from point A to point B safely. Also, I certainly wouldn't tell mechanics or automobile enthusiasts that their work isn't worth it just because I feel that way towards myself.
Also, in part 2 of that video, the guy is applying thermal paste the wrong way... or at least, not the best way.
Won't spreading it out like that create air bubbles? Plus, it'll probably ooze out the sides more. Though, it probably doesn't make much of a difference unless you're doing some heavy overclocking and need every bit of cooling efficiency.
I've always found this video very educational: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyXLu1Ms-q4 (even though he needs to use more arctic silver in some of his examples)
Also, I've read lots of different methods regarding the application of thermal compound. This site explains it all and is what I go by: http://www.arcticsilver.com/methods.html
So, basically, with modern Intel desktop processors, the way to go is the vertical line method. But, there's also "tinting" involved, which nobody ever discusses.
Slowtarget .... what do you do? Is it worth it to follow the guidelines written by Arctic Silver?
The discussion used to be much simpler. You just needed to supply enough grease to cover the center of the CPU. Now, there are a number of different factors which change how you might want to do things.
Quad-core Core2 CPUs put two dual-core chips side-by-side in the same package, so the target was no longer just the center, but an oval. You needed to ensure better edge coverage, and the line method jpbar mentioned was the most common solution to that.
Then Heatpipe-Direct-Touch heatsinks came out, and the line method could cause problems with them. With those, the best solution was to pre-fill the crevices in their surface, then apply three or four small lines of grease to the heatsink right along the heatpipes.
A new generation of greases came out, the "hotspots" on the CPUs changed again, and things are a little more sane now.
First off, I don't use Arctic Silver 5. It's not the best performing grease on the market and it is one of the most difficult to apply. I usually suggest using Arctic Cooling MX-2/4. My latest build uses IC Diamond 7. Since I had a flat-interface heatsink and a nice thick grease, I use the small-blob method. This puts a small blob (about two grains of rice) in the center of the CPU and uses the pressure of the heatsink to spread it in a fairly symmetrical circle. Since the grease doesn't affect electronics (unlike AS 5), I can allow excess to spill out the sides without worry.
More importantly: When any of the methods are done reasonably properly, the difference in performance is around 5% at most. If you're trying to avoid air bubbles, the most important thing to remember is to not lift-and-reset the heatsink after the first attempt. If something goes wrong, you need to clean the CPU and heatsink and start all over again.
"More importantly: When any of the methods are done reasonably properly, the difference in performance is around 5% at most. If you're trying to avoid air bubbles, the most important thing to remember is to not lift-and-reset the heatsink after the first attempt. If something goes wrong, you need to clean the CPU and heatsink and start all over again."
That cinches it for me. I'd probably have the grease leak all over the motherboard and be allergic to it as well. Thanks.
I am glad this discussion caused me to watch the 3 NewEgg build videos. That at least will allow me to intelligently talk to Dell CS if required. Those videos were well worth the time to watch them. Whether folks decide to assemble their own rigs or buy an OEM, it pays to watch those videos.
Last edited by SirMaru; 06-01-2012 at 08:24 AM.
Dollars to doughnuts your Dell PCs all use stock heatsinks with the standard, pre-applied compound..
Haha...Originally Posted by SirMaru
Haha... y'know, that thought crossed my mind as well after posting it. It's not the most attractive subject for giving new, prospective builders confidence. Not that I'm trying to hide anything or maliciously deceive anyone, it's just that, as you said, usually it's already applied to the heatsinks and it's something you don't have to worry about.I was trying to avoid this topic. If you want to scare someone away from building, try to discuss the application of thermal grease with them.
Reasons being that I don't feel like upgrading anytime soon, I don't want to have to pay for Windows 8 upgrade when I can just get Windows 8 with my PC and I would like to get an i7 so that way I don't have to worry about the processor for a good long while.
Also: I went to Fry electronics and tried to get a sense of what they had to provide and what some of their prices were, as well as, maybe a little more idea on what to purchase. The only thing I came away with was someone trying to make a sale and not to help me build something in my price range. After telling the guy that I wanted to price something out and build a light gaming machine for around $700, he ended up pricing a worse machine than I could build on NewEgg for over $900. (on NewEgg I created a $620 machine). The guy also tried to sell me a $100 motherboard, when I saw a $50 that said AM3+ compatible (yes I was thinking about getting a new AMD processor) he said that it wouldn't work with the FX Series processor because the box only had the picture logos for the 2 previous generation processors. But if the board was AM3+ capable and the same board is on NewEgg as compatible with the FX Series then it would have been just fine. The sales guy also rolled his eyes when I asked about price matching the parts.
So all-in-all the only person that cares about what you want is yourself and maybe a few people that are willing to help you have a good experience. This guy wanted the commission from selling me my computer and didn't have my best interest in mind. So when I finally do get a PC in the fall, I will definitely be buying and building myself.
Do you expert builders favor New Egg or Tiger Direct and why?
Here are the Tiger Direct kits:
I won't need a new PC for myself until next spring. I still have an open mind.
Now, the moment you start caring about things more than convenience, things get fuzzy. That $1300 Apple (assuming an iMac) actually has worse gaming/overall performance than the $800 build we came up with at the start of this thread. If you didn't need gaming performance, you could shave off another hundred dollars or so, and end up with far more value. If you had $1300 to spend and wanted the best you can get for that, then you could blow that Apple out of the water. And, while Apple does use higher quality parts than most OEMs, the all-in-one form factor does have a tendency to less reliability/longevity than an ATX form factor build.
So, yes, buying an Apple for your grandson does sound like a great idea. Suggesting that it's a great idea for everyone else is silly. Suggesting that its a great idea for the OP is... simply wrong.
NewEgg has --in my opinion-- slightly better selection, a more consistent selection, less out-of-stock events on popular items, and more aggressive sales. Also, they have a notably better customer service department. That said, my only interaction with their customer service in ten years has been a single replacement which was cross-shipped the same day I reported it.
Just installed a new PSU and video card in the newer of my new computer...wow is all I can say...very pleased, and very likely to build a new gaming computer in the next few months...you convinced me Maru...have gotten pretty familiar with Paul from Newegg...