Components for Building Computers From Scratch/barebones kit


QUESTION: I want to assemble my own desktop PC. I have done a couple of them, but it was 10 or 15 years ago. I guess I'll probably go with windows for an OS. There will be no gaming, just everyday use. I have some files, but not a lot by todays standards, so I don't need a lot of storage. I will probably go with something from tigerdirect as I have used them some and they have always been pretty decent with support when needed. My main focus will be reliability. I don't mind paying a little more for a better product, but I don't want a PC that can do something I'll never use.
Can you give me some ideas on where to start looking? I am old school ( if you can use that term with PCs) in that I like the standard case. Probably want room to add a TV card. I'll want a good video and sound card. I watch some music vids and listen to music while browsing. I will want smart card slots and, of course, a dvd drive.
Any ideas will be appreciated..........Phil

Tiger Direct is who I have used and New Egg. I like ASUS hardware, Seagate or Western Digital hard drives. I have most always used AMD processors. To me the more pricey Intels are a little better but not for the price. It is just like it was before, when choosing a processor you will look for socket type to insure compatibility. Not sure if you have been on there but Tiger Direct really has it broke down as to what you are going to use the computer for when they list their barebones kits.

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QUESTION: Keith, good response. I have used tigerdirect in the past and am looking at them now. Thinking about going with one of the kits. I looked at my PC yesterday and found that I have used up more than two thirds of my current HD(500g), which rather surprises me. I have some music and pic/vid files. Guess I have more than I realized. I am intrigued by the soild state hard drives. Pretty pricey, but what do you think about getting an external drive for my files and having tigerdirect substitute a SSD for the disc drive in a kit? Or would it be better to have the SSD for an external and use the standard drive internally? I did see a mini case that would probably work for me. Do the mini cases cool well, and can you put as many peripherals on them? What is the downside to a mini? I am going to need 7 or 8 usb ports.

In my opinion solid state drives are still too pricey to make them better than a normal drive. Example: You can get a 1TB Western digital hard drive for $70. A Seagate 480GB SSD costs $230. I would opt for a regular hard drive and an external drive. Check this external out:
You will have 2TB of storage for around $150.
About the case. The only way I would get a mini case is if space was an issue. If it is, I would fill every fan port in the mini case with a fan. If the case is very small you will have to get a low profile video card and other cards to fit in it. I would at least go medium size if space is not a problem.

Components for Building Computers From Scratch

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Keith Davis


I can answer most any question in this category for the home desktop builder and for most gaming PC builders. This includes what kind of case, cooling products, overclocking, all hardware, software, and safety issues. I can also advise on where the best sources for purchasing hardware are on the net.


100's of system builds from Win 2k through Win7 for customers as a self-employed PC technician with 100% customer satisfaction. Most experienced with XP and Vista.

4 classes short of my Networking degree.

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