Building PCs guide

Many people may ask, why build a PC when so many companies provide pre-built ones? The answer is simple. If you buy a pre-built one, the company chooses the parts for you. More often than not, the parts they choose are to get the highest values possible for the least money. For instance, one company may sell you a cheap PC claiming this:
2 GHz Pentium 4 processor fair enough.....
32MB graphics card ah - first hitch. Probably 3 years out-of-date, may even be onboard - you probably can't even play Quake 3 on it
Intel Motherboard at this price range it can only be the SD-ram board. This will reduce performance no end
128MB ram You try running XP on this, and it will stutter no end.
Windows ME The worst version of windows ever. Even they admit this PC can't run XP
Huge 40GB hard disc Okay, 40GB is well and good, but to save more money, it is probably a slow 5400RPM one.
As you can see, letting a company build you a PC is a very bad idea. Okay, some companies are much better, and you can tell a lot from the price, but you will almost definitely be cut short on graphics and motherboard. If you do buy pre-built, get a full detailed list of the parts and show it to someone in the know. If you like you can ask me
My guides are designed with 3 things in mind: performance, features and upgradeability:
Performance This is what the PC is designed to be able to do. For instance, the first PC is not designed to run current games, the last to play future games.
Features This is what the PC has in it. For example, all the PCs have DVD, sound, modem, network capability
Upgradeability This is another area where company built ones let you down. There is no point in buying a PC if when you come to improve it, you can't because it doesn't have something. For example, all have fully upgradeable graphics, sound and processor up to the latest available and most likely further. The first may be less so (it may have trouble with later processors) but it does only cost ?350
Finally - onto the guides !
The cheapest PC is mostly for word processing, internet, e-mail etc. It is not really suitable for playing current games, but it should be able to play some not so old ones. It is also upgradeable so that you can make it run newer games if you so choose. The price is around ?350.
The next PC is designed for people on a budget that want to do everything that the cheapest does, and play recent games. It is more powerful than the previous one, with overclocking possibilities. The price is aimed at around ?550
The last PC is designed for future games. It is very powerful, overclockable and upgradeable. It is quite costly (up to ?1100)
All 3 are just the PC itself. You will need to find your own monitor, speakers and software for it.
Last modified: 01/06/2005