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Old 02-21-2008, 12:05 PM   #6
stingerhs
Follow the Wolves
 
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: between my ears
Posts: 4,632
Current Game: Dead Space
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hey, thanx folks. i just try to help how i can when i can.
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stingerhs' Hardware Buying Guide
1. Give yourself a budget
this is the one thing that most computer builders mess up on. if you don't start with a budget, you're just about guaranteed to spend more than you want. the main reason, from my experience, is that its easy to get caught up in marketing hype to splurge for one or two "high end" parts where cheaper priced parts would've sufficed.
2. Plan your build
this step is probably the most crucial part of the buying process because this is where you'll have to ask yourself a number of questions to which you'll want to answer as honestly as possible. when you have an idea of what you need in terms of upgrading or starting from scratch, then start planning out the hardware.

come up with several solutions with different hardware, and vary the hardware enough so that it will encompass a number of price ranges. it helps if you're somewhat well read with hardware reviews at this point since you can have a good idea of what works and what won't. even then, you'll still want to go for a second opinion from some knowledgeable folks (like us) since a fresh set of eyes is good at picking things out.
3. Price your hardware
once you're done planning, get prices on your hardware from a number of different sources. don't just stop at NewEgg or TigerDirect and get everything you want then and there. shop around and look for deals. another site you can check is Ebay.com. yes, the prices aren't guarantees because its an auction site, but if you do your bids right, it is possible to save yourself anywhere from $10-100 which you can use for your budget. just make sure the seller has a good reputation if you're uneasy about it.

the biggest thing here is to watch the budget. if none of your original plans fit your budget, then you'll need to step back and reevaluate your plans. depending on your financial situation, you'll need to decide if its worth getting everything you want or compromising to fit the budget. again, its worth getting a second opinion here since there are some hardware components that are basically the same except for something simple like clock speeds, and that second opinion might know what that lower priced option is.

and the last thing with pricing is this: don't forget shipping costs. yeah, you can probably stay in the budget with just the part prices, but you need to include shipping in there as well. sometimes, what you thought was a deal is offset by higher shipping costs, and that's where some online retailers will get you.
and that's really about it. once you got everything in place, just order it and be done with it. it probably goes without saying that some assembly is required, but hey, that was your call.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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