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Convince me to build my own PC... (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Nov 22, 1999
My motherboard & video card died on my old system. I went and got quotes from local stores. One was high the other was okay but cheaper components.
I found a components store and starting thinking about building my own. Here's what I could get.
MotherboardAsus A7V66 Via
RAM Crucial 256MB PC2100 x 2
Video Generic GeForce 2 MX400 TV 64MB
Sound Sound Blaster Value 5.1 OEM
Hard DriveWestern Digital 40GB 7200
CDRW LG 16x10x40
EthernetGeneric PCI 10/100
Case Antec SX1030 300W
OS Windows XP Home
Here are my dilemma's:
From reading other posts I know the Asus A7V66 is old and the A7M266 is better but I'm pretty sure I can get it when I order the parts.
Heatsink/Fan - since the AMD is OEM I need this. What to get and what kind of cost?
Case - Is a server case appropriate/needed?
I've never dealt with this company before and they are 6 hours away from my city. I'll pay with credit card but I'm still leery eventhough I have no reason to question their business.
Pre-built systems have a 3 yr warranty. Do components carry a certain warranty or is it buyer beware. I'm not worried about putting it together but would like a little piece of mind.
I know this sounds like a killer system but it will still cost me about $1600 CDN. Is this good, bad or ugly?
Thanks for your help,


Senior HTF Member
Apr 18, 1999
Real Name
Im going to build my first system soon also
Asus A7V266
Athlon XP 1800
512 PC2100 DDR
Geforce 3
Santa Cruz or a SB Audigy Sound card
16x DVD
Any hard drive i find a good deal on :)
Cheap modem
Already have a CD-RW and Ethernet card
Win XP Home
Using pricwatch like many have suggested ive found pretty good deals.
Also for Retail boxed processors for like $50 cheaper then retail check ubid. All the Athlon XP's have gone for like $50 less then retail stores(the price the OEM version usually is). OR wait like a month. Im hearing from many stores that Retail boxed computer partsarent selling that great so prices will probably go down for these tiny stores on pricewatch.
So keep a eye out

Rob Gillespie

Senior HTF Member
Aug 17, 1998
The A7V is about to be superceeded by a new version with the KT-266A chipset. The current edition of that mobo uses the flawed KT-266 chipset which apparently is very slow.
Ignore. Wrong mobo.
[Edited last by Rob Gillespie on October 24, 2001 at 07:43 AM]


Stunt Coordinator
Nov 22, 1999
Thanks Andrew, I was hoping to find another Canadian dealer. If you can believe it NCIX will build the system I want for cheaper than if I bought the individual components and put them together myself.
Still more than I wanted to spend but it's going to be a system I'll be more than happy with.

Steve Owen

Second Unit
Jan 7, 1999
If you're thinking about building your own PC, you should check out jncs.com . I've bought from them a couple of times. Small company, but great service and support plus reasonable prices. The thing they specialize in is motherboard bundles... motherboard, CPU, and memory all pre-tested and verified to work together.
[Edited last by Steve Owen on October 24, 2001 at 01:49 PM]

Tom Johnson

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 8, 1998
Here is another vendor that is great for building your own. It is in the US though. You can get a barebones system cheap and putting everything else in is very easy. I would highly recommend this for the first timer. They also stand behind their products. My first system from them had a problem with the MB and the promptly replaced it at no charge and no hassle. http://www.valexpc.com/


Senior HTF Member
Oct 31, 1997
I built my AMD PC last year and love it! That said, I just built my girlfriends Intel PC and if you don't want too much hassle with potential incompatibilities, I would recommend the Intel 850MVL mobo. It's fast, supports the new 478 pin P4 config, built-in UDMA100, and uses up to 4 slots of RDRAM. Plus there's a flavor that has built-in LAN and sound. With my ABIT board I had nightmares installing a Soundblaster card. finally had to buy a cheap Guillemot card.
If you don't plan to do heavy 5.1 sound, I'd recommend this route. Trust me, I love my Athlon, but P4 prices have started to drop near AMD prices, and RDRAM isn't as ridiculous as it used to be. For under $1000 this is the PC I built:
Pentium 4 1.5GHZ 478-pin
Intel 850MVL w/ LAN & AC97 audio
256MB (2x128) Kingston PC800 RDRAM
Maxtor UDMA100 40GB 8.7ms HD
InWin P4 case w/ 300W P4 approved power
Leadtek GeForce2 Pro 64MB video card
Sony 1.44MB floppy
Pioneer 116 DVD-ROM
Plextor 12/10/32A CD-RW
Apple Pro Keyboard (love the feel of this and works with USB on Win2K)
MS optical mouse
Add another $200-$300 for a 17-19" monitor.
Good luck! Oh and you may consider waiting. AMD just released the new XP Athlons that run cooler than the old Athlons. And P4s are about to go Northwood core, which increases their on-die cache to 512kb and provide a 10% increase over older P4s and also run cooler.

Colin Dunn

Supporting Actor
Oct 10, 1998
Indianapolis, IN
Real Name
Colin Dunn
When you build your own PC, each component you buy will have a manufacturer's warranty. I don't know about Canada, but in the US, those warranties are usually 1 year.
Here are the pros/cons, as I see it...
- You get exactly the hardware you want, instead of an OEM picking whatever's cheapest that week.
- You can get a better system for the money than if you buy one pre-built. Instead of the OEM's markup, the money goes into buying "best of breed" components. You'll end up with a good 3D accelerator instead of cheap on-board video, an SB Audigy instead of crappy motherboard audio, a 24X CD burner instead of a cheap CD-ROM drive, etc. Having good peripherals can make a world of difference in how much you enjoy your PC.
- All components are standardized. Many "name-brand" PCs have proprietary cases and power supplies you can't reuse when you upgrade.
- You don't get a manufacturer's warranty. Each component has a separate warranty, and they are a shorter term (usually 90 days to 1 year, at least in the USA).
- You are your own tech support. The individual component manufacturers may have support lines, but you need to be able to diagnose your own computer problems.
- Some research is generally needed before you order. This is something an OEM will do for you, but you have to do yourself when you build a PC. Check newsgroups and discussion forums to see if there are any known problems with the equipment you want to buy.
- - -- - -
Colin Dunn

Tony Woods

Feb 6, 2001
As much as I love my Geforce 2, IMO you should get a Radeon, Radeon 7500, or 8500 instead when considering a HTPC. The ATI cards have superior image quality and DVD playback (better quality and high frequency RAMDAC). BTW, the 8500 is new and is set to go head to head with the Geforce 3 and Geforce 3 Ti 500! (cheaper too i think)
Another route would be to wait for more nForce based mobo's to come out. They will include onboard video (geforce 2 based) and very high quality sound (5.1 digital out and the like).

Joel Mack

Senior HTF Member
Jun 29, 1999
Be aware that ATI has a long history of being very slow with driver updates. I've been bitten 3 times by promises that "this time will be different". Never again.
If you're looking for a good video card for HTPC use, you can't do much better than a Radeon. But if you're gaming, stick with Nvidia...
Your mileage may, of course, vary...
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