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Guest lobo13

Computer Help!

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This may have been asked before, but,I can't find where.I'm computer literate, but, not a computer geek. Simply put:What/Where is a buy-it-off-the-shelf computer system that I could buy for under $1000 that would run FS9 very well, and FSX at least "reasonably"/"fairly" well without major amounts of involved tweaks to the computer, but is enhanced by tweaks within MSFS? Not planning on buying scenery additions (well, maybe Fscene4X, if it is worth it....is it???) that require higher end power, but just maybe some of the downloads here on avsim.I want to spend time flying, not trying to get the computer to work miracles. Don't really have the ability to do the computer stuff I read on these forums. Willing, and able, to spend some time adjusting settings within MSFS as needed.I've flown MSF sim's for over 20+ years and currently own up through FS9. I've laid off the sims for about 3 years now, for the most part, and am ready to buy a new computer, hoping it could be one that would run the sims once again. Last computer (this one) I bought (~3 years ago) is a laptop, and just doesn't have enough power to enjoy it. I would like to get back to the sim....it was a load of fun!My brain gets "cooked" reading all the info on the best computer components, building the computer, etc. I just want a reasonable fun experience with an off the shelf computer for under $1000.Can this be done? Any recommendations out there? ALL help will be appreciated!!! Thanks!Lobo13 :)

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Since no one else has posted a reply, I'll give you my experience, Lobo13. I started simming Christmas Day of 2006 when my stepsons gave me a copy of FSX. I loved it, but it soon became apparent that my poor little Emachines Celeron wasn't "optimized" for that version, to say the least. After reading many opinions, posts, blogs, etc., I bought a copy of FS9 from Amazon and started using that sim. That was two years ago now and the literally 100s of posts I've read thus far here and elsewhere have convinced me it was the smartest move I could have made. I had only bought one or two addons for FSX so I was basically just out the cost of the game itself.That having been said, two complete computer systems later, see my system specs below. That's my new homebuilt, and my E8500 is not a quad-core CPU, but my uber loaded FS9 simply sings on it and I've been told FSX would most likely run quite nicely on it too, so if you want to you can start shopping with what I've put in my box (that's what I did - started with another simmer's specs -- the ATI card is new, I just sold my nVidia 8800 GTX, but that an entirely different thread). If I were to buy preassembled and off the shelf today, I have never had a problem with Dells and they are rock solid right out of the box. So are Alienware. I guess those are the two places I would start, because first and foremost if you go that direction you need to be sure you have good cusomer support: after all, that's what you're really paying for there.But at age 51, having finally built my first computer from scratch, I don't think I could in good conscience recommend either one of those above a good, solid $800 homebuilt like mine. The E8500 and ASUS motherboard make overclocking easy, and once I got all the parts seated and talking to each other properly, the rest has been a breeze.Search my name in the Hardware forum here at AVSIM and you can read all about my travails during my first build, just a couple of months ago. Most of my problems came from impatience and panic due to inexperience, but I wouldn't trade all I learned from those one or two nights for anything (and that's all the time it really took -- the rest was tweaking and my perfectionist attiude).Hope this helps, and let us know how it all turns out for you.

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IF your building your own,I suggest a e8500 based system, with 2GB memory and a 8800GT video card.Asus motherbord.For a case and power supply the Antec Sonata III.XP or Vista.Should be about $750 or so.A local PC shop should build it for you if you dont want too.Else, just get a off the shelf e8500 CPU based system with a similar video card.Will run FS9 like a dream and FSX will be about as good as it gets too.

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>My brain gets "cooked" reading all the info on the best>computer components, building the computer, etc. I just want>a reasonable fun experience with an off the shelf computer for>under $1000.>>Can this be done? Any recommendations out there? ALL help>will be appreciated!!! As others stated, a sub $1000 computer to run FSX is best accomplished by assembling purchased components. The best way to judge a shelf computer is to review it's components, and the CPU/video card combination needed for a good flight simulator experience is as already stated by others, although there are more options and other components to consider.That said, the only computers that I've seen advertised under $1000 that contain the components necessary for a good flight simulator experience are from CyberPower. This is not a recommendation, it's my observation.ArtBiostar TF560-A2+, Athlon 64X2-6000+, 4GB RAM, Geforce 8800GTS-320MB, 500W PSU, 250GB HD, FSX(SP1-SP2), Audigy SE sound, Vista Home Premium 32 bit, CH Yoke & Pedals, 22" WS LCD monitor

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>>>I want to spend time flying, not trying to get the computer to>work miracles. Don't really have the ability to do the>computer stuff I read on these forums. Willing, and able, to>spend some time adjusting settings within MSFS as needed.>The other thing to always keep in mind is that you will NEVER have the "perfect" computer. There is always the latest, greatest FILL IN THE BLANK (CPU, GPU, memory, etc., etc.) just around the corner. The biggest mistake you can make at this point is to not do anything.

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Thanks guys for all the help! Any additional input from anyone is welcome!!I was just going to ask if anyone had used cyberpower.com, and I see here it is referenced. I was looking at a "Gamer Infinity 1000" on their site, configured as below:*BASE_PRICE: [+815] CAS: Hot !!! Apevia X-Telstar Junior 420W Case w/ Temp Display and Fan Control (G Type Black Color with Side-Window) CS_FAN: Extra Case Cooling Fan [+3] (3 x Fans [+6]) CPU: (Sckt775)Intel

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Darn, that's actually not bad ... At All. Being a do-it-yourselfer, I thinkin' 'How dey do dat so cheap?' It really looks fine.Ask 'em if the bios is Fully accessible. If so, that E85 will go to 3.4 even with the stock cooler. Try to get the 64bit operating system. It'll save you lots of grief down the road. Nice box.

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>I was just going to ask if anyone had used cyberpower.com, and>I see here it is referencedYou can probably pull up some reviews with a Google search on CyberPower. From what I've seen, they're no better, no worse than most computer makers. I've found that they are all pretty good at filling orders, but there may be some issues if something doesn't work.>I could get the nVidia 8800GT card for about $10 less, if you>really think it is better than the listed ATI Radeon HD 4850>card?I tend to feel safer with the nVidia based video card for FSX.>Also, this is with Vista 64-bit....should I stick with the>32-bit?? It's only $19 more to get this as 64-bit.From what I hear, 64 bit is great for FSX, but I can't speak on how your other applications and peripherals will work. You will definately want more memory to take advantage of it.>Also, is this motherboard, with Crossfire chipset (whatever>that is) not as good as the ASUS motherboard?? The ASUS is>also a little less money.The Crossfire chipset allows you to have two AMD/ATI video cards. You need a SLI chipset for two nVidia video cards. There is really little advantage to use two video cards (except to use 3 or more monitors), so it doesn't really matter.>I think I can add more memory from Crucial.com for much less>money, if I decide I need to.....and I probably>will...right??Right. Just purchase more to match what came installed.>I added 3 extra cooling fans....is that necessary??The power supply provides one exhaust fan. One rear exhaust fan is usually included with the case. One input fan added on the front of the case is all that needs to be considered. Larger size fans (120mm) with ball-bearing shafts tend to be quieter. You can verify what is included when ordering.What you list sounds like a great value. Good luck.ArtBiostar TF560-A2+, Athlon 64X2-6000+, 4GB RAM, Geforce 8800GTS-320MB, 500W PSU, 250GB HD, FSX(SP1-SP2), Audigy SE sound, Vista Home Premium 32 bit, CH Yoke & Pedals, 22" WS LCD monitor

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Thanks Sam and Art!I've read a little about cyberpower, and it seems that the machines are good to great with very good prices, the sales service is excellent, but the technical support is very poor (sometimes not being called back for as long as 6 days?!?) and the building and shipping of your machine takes a looooong time. I think tech support would be important, so, I'm a little hesitant.Does anyone know of anywhere else I might find such pricing on such a decent setup? I've looked at Dell and Alienware, but I would say the pricing is definately higher at these two. Anyone have suggestions of any other sites I might take a look at??Thanks again for all your help and advice!!!!Lobo

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>Does anyone know of anywhere else I might find such pricing on>such a decent setup? I've looked at Dell and Alienware, but I>would say the pricing is definately higher at these two. >Anyone have suggestions of any other sites I might take a>look at??AVA Direct, WYDAN, PC USA, iBuyPower, Velocity Micro & ABS to name a few. As far as support goes, everyone appears to be questionable except Apple, but for those prices you should expect it.ArtBiostar TF560-A2+, Athlon 64X2-6000+, 4GB RAM, Geforce 8800GTS-320MB, 500W PSU, 250GB HD, FSX(SP1-SP2), Audigy SE sound, Vista Home Premium 32 bit, CH Yoke & Pedals, 22" WS LCD monitor

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Thanks again, Art!I found this at PCUSA. What do ya think? Qty. 1, Fully assembled and tested. Shipout in 3 Days. 3-Year limited warranty plus lifetime tech support.- Qty. 1, aBX: [ CA-IMJ233P ] ( Front USB, Audio ), Black w/ 400W PSU- Qty. 1, aBX, 550W Power Supply [ PSU ]. Model: BLACK-550- Qty. 1, Intel Core 2 Duo E8500, LGA 775, 3.16GHz, 64-Bit Dual-Core, 6MB Cache; 1333MHz- Qty. 1, Intel factory Auto-RPM Silent CPU Air Cool- Qty. 1, Asus GeForce 7100, 6GB Max, RAID, HDMI, Audio, GbLAN, Video. [ P5N-EM HDMI ]- Qty. 1, 4G (2x2GB) PC6400 DDR2/800- Qty. 1, Geforce 8800GT:1024MB- Qty. 1, 500GB SATA-II 7200RPM- Qty. 1, 20x Dual-Format/Dual-Layer LightScribe DVDRW Driver- Qty. 1, 20x Dual-Format/Dual-Layer LightScribe DVDRW Driver- Qty. 1, 12-in-1 Flash Media Reader / Writer- Qty. 1, Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio PCI Express, 7.1 Channels , PCI Express [ 70SB104000000 ]- Qty. 1, 2.0 Systems: aBX MM2. [ 669-8817 ]- Qty. 1, Intel, 1xPort(s), 10/100/1000, PCI-Express Interface. [ Model #.: EXPI9300PT ]- Qty. 1, 56K V.90 Fax/Data/Voice Modem- Qty. 1, Windows Vista Home Premium - 64 Bit Edition - w/ DVD setMy questions are:Which ASUS MB is sufficient? Is this one OK? They have a choice of about 6, up to 8gb.This system has a 500GB HD, 4GB RAM (in two slots, leaving two open), TWO DVDRW drives with lightscribe (this is a recorder, correct...has to be, I reckon, with lightscribe?...and i assume will record + and -R discs when it says RW?....also, will this record a CD as well??? I know I can ask when I call them, just wondered if a drive says DVD, will it also record a CD?), and a full GB of memory on the 8800GT card!!, and Vista 64 bit.Seems like a really good buy, I just need to be sure of the MB choice.Oh, it's priced out at $1051 shipped.Has anyone dealt with PCUSA tech support, or purchased from them, and happy??The saga continues, but, I sure do appreciate the help and advice. I looked at one other of your suggested sites, and this one was much better...I'll look at all of them in the meantime. Thanks so much!!!!Lobo :)

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>My questions are:>>Which ASUS MB is sufficient? Is this one OK? They have a>choice of about 6, up to 8gb.Since you are going with Vista 64 bit, why not have the capability for 8GB RAM? All of the Intel chipsets listed are touted by Intel as performance grade. The P5K-VM will also give you a firewire 1394 port. I believe you had this on the CyberPower rig.>TWO DVDRW drives with lightscribe (this is a recorder,>correct...has to be, I reckon, with lightscribe?...and i>assume will record + and -R discs when it says RW?....also,>will this record a CD as well??? I know I can ask when I call>them, just wondered if a drive says DVD, will it also record a>CD?)The DVD RW drive will record CDs as well as DVDs. I usually just get a DVD read-only drive for the second, but I see there's not a big difference in price.The on-board sound is not good enough? I've read bad reviews about the X-Fi Extreme PCI Express x1 sound card compared to the PCI version. The price is right, and it could take some load off the CPU. It might cost a few dollars more to add it yourself.Also, the on-board LAN is not good enough? This is included on the motherboard.>Has anyone dealt with PCUSA tech support, or purchased from them, >and happy??Some years ago, I purchased a computer in a similar manner from NuTrend (no longer in business) and was completely satisfied. I think these companies are similar, especially ABS, but I have had no further experience since I now prefer to purchase and assemble the components myself.ArtBiostar TF560-A2+, Athlon 64X2-6000+, 4GB RAM, Geforce 8800GTS-320MB, 500W PSU, 250GB HD, FSX(SP1-SP2), Audigy SE sound, Vista Home Premium 32 bit, CH Yoke & Pedals, 22" WS LCD monitor

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1) Is the PS 400 or 550? 400 is not enough. 2) Also, this appears to be an Nvidia chipset mobo. This can be a problem. 3) There's no real need for 2 RW/opticals. One of those opticals will do it All. 4) Onboard sound is always adequate. The addon sound is not necessary. 5) FS cannot use more than 4Gs of ram, even with Vista 64. For FS, there's no need for 6 or 8Gs. The 1st one might be a better rig. But I'm still impressed. Maybe next time I'll just buy one!

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>1) Is the PS 400 or 550? 400 is not enough. The case comes with the 400W PS. They throw it away and install the 550W PS.>2) Also, this appears to be an Nvidia chipset mobo. This can>be a problem. It seems strange that all of their MB have on-board video (disabled). I suggested the Intel chipset model (any input?). What's the problem with a nVidia chipset?>3) There's no real need for 2 RW/opticals. One of those>opticals will do it All. A second read-only is sometimes handy and faster for copying CDs and DVDs, but I agree.>4) Onboard sound is always adequate. The addon sound is not>necessary. Agreed.>5) FS cannot use more than 4Gs of ram, even with Vista 64. For>FS, there's no need for 6 or 8Gs. Four GB RAM installed now, but with capability for adding in the future. Don't forget multi-tasking.>The 1st one might be a better rig. But I'm still impressed.>Maybe next time I'll just buy one! Nah. Still more fun to put it together yourself with more options from which to choose.ArtBiostar TF560-A2+, Athlon 64X2-6000+, 4GB RAM, Geforce 8800GTS-320MB, 500W PSU, 250GB HD, FSX(SP1-SP2), Audigy SE sound, Vista Home Premium 32 bit, CH Yoke & Pedals, 22" WS LCD monitor

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>Agreedx2. If we promise to help, think we can talk 'em into>building one? >>http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWi...tNumber=7159746Almost thou persaudest me, Sam!! Ha! I really appreciate the good input from you guys. It's good to have the benefit of the knowledge of true home-built machine guru's.I'll look again for and Intel ASUS MB. I didn't catch that the one I spec'd was a Nvidia based MB. Thanks for the heads up.In the configuration I was looking at on pcusa's site, it came spec'd with 2 DVD writers/drives, so I left it such, thinking that it might be more convienent when copying cd's DVD's and also as a backup if I had a failure of one. The cost was mnior to keep it.I didn't know about the sound....I'll just keep things with onboard sound from now on when I spec one out.Sam, why do you think the first on spec'd might be better? Is it just the motherboard?Also, I'll assume the MB's have the LAN hookup. See, how dumb I am with this stuff??? You want ME to try to "build" one?!?!? Now, that's a challenge...heh heh. I know it would be a great learning experience, but, I know I would definitely need help! I reckon I'd still need some convincing that I could do it. Is there a post on the forum, or elsewhere, that is a good guide for a noob to use in trying to home build a "gaming" computer??Thanks, Sam, for the wishlist. Looks like you had to go through a few items to get enough stuff in stock. Thanks for the effort!You guys are tops in my book, and I'm sure others are looking in on the thread and gaining info as well. I really do appreciate it! I'll keep looking a little more, and may have some more questions, if you will allow. Maybe I will be able to spec out one that looks ideal for the money, not overkill, and will run the sims quite well! I know more than I did, for sure, and will try not to repeat the same mistakes in spec'ng the next one.Thanks again!!!:) Lobo :)

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Yea, the mobo was it. Asus is the manafacture. They make both Nvidia And Intel based mobos. Intels are better. Intel's current "chipsets" (that Asus will use to manafacture the complete mobo) are the P35,P38, P45 and X48. There are all ~ the same. It's just marketing trying to lure the noobees. Shame on then.I have a hard time strongly recommending a do-it-yourself to save $200. 3 year tech support and hardware warranty is hard to beat. You really gotta shop to get that piece by piece. However . . . in the long run, builders make out Big Time. For instance, that $900 Newegg build provides performance that would cost $7000+ from Falcon NW or Alienware . . . if you could get it at all. That Q6600 stock-clocks at 2.4Ghz. Me (and everyone else) is running that quad core CPU at 3.6Ghz, 24/7. That gives a full 50% increase in FSX performance. Home building will yield the knowledge to overclock these MaGicaL CPUs. ThaT is where the Real value is hidden.

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Got ya! Can you get one like I'm considering and just learn to overclock it yourself?? Here's my latest config...comes out to $896.50 before shiping...~$50 So, about $950 shipped...about $100 less than the last one, after some good advice from y'all.What do ya think? I got the Intel Asus MB this time around. Still a GB on the Vid card, 2 DVD writers, 550W PSU, 4 GB RAM, cheapest speakers they have...I'll get my own better ones, and the only sound chioce without additional cost...I assume it's the the onboard sound.$896.5 for Package 462: >> Configuration: # 1 Warranty : Fully assembled and tested. Shipout in 3 Days. 3-Year limited warranty plus lifetime tech support. QTY: 1 Case : aBX: [ CA-IMJ233P ] ( Front USB, Audio ), Black w/ 400W PSU QTY: 1 Power Supply [ PSU ] : aBX, 550W Power Supply [ PSU ]. Model: BLACK-550 QTY: 1 CPU Processor : Intel Core 2 Duo E8500, LGA 775, 3.16GHz, 64-Bit Dual-Core, 6MB Cache; 1333MHz QTY: 1 Cooling Fan : Intel factory Auto-RPM Silent CPU Air Cool QTY: 1 System Board : Asus Intel G33, 8GB Max,1394, S/PDIF, Audio, GbLAN, Video. [ P5K-VM ] QTY: 1 RAM Memory : 4G (2x2GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 QTY: 1 VGA : Geforce 8800GT:1024MB QTY: 1 Hard Drive 1 : 500GB SATA-II 7200RPM QTY: 1 Optical Drive 1 : 20x Dual-Format/Dual-Layer LightScribe DVDRW Driver Optical Drive 2 : 20x Dual-Format/Dual-Layer LightScribe DVDRW Driver Sound Card : High Definition 7.1 Digtial Surround Sound Speakers : 2.0 Systems: aBX MM2. [ 669-8817 ] Network : Integrated onBoard 10/100/(1000) Port(s) Modem : 56K V.90 Fax/Data/Voice Modem Operating System : Windows Vista Home Basic - 64 Bit Edition - w/ DVD setThanks again for the advice....it's invaluable.:) Lobo :)

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That one's fine. Actually, that's real close to Neweggs's part by part price. Geeze, how do dey do dat? Ask them if the bios is fully accessible. You will need to change the front side buss setting and the CPU's voltage. That's all there is to overclocking. The CPU will goto ~ 3.4 with those parts. If you want to spend another $75 for a better CPU cooler and fan, it will goto 4.0Ghz. Remember FS FPS increases 1:1 with CPU clock. I don't think a 4.0Ghz rig can be purchased off the shielf at any price, not "on air" (cooling) anyway. Here's the CPU cooler you will need to goto 4.0: http://www.directron.com/u120e.htmlGet the "Scythe" 120mm fan too. The price is right.

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>That one's fine. Actually, that's real close to Neweggs's>part by part price. Geeze, how do dey do dat? Ask them if the>bios is fully accessible. You will need to change the front>side buss setting and the CPU's voltage. That's all there is>to overclocking. >>The CPU will goto ~ 3.4 with those parts. If you want to spend>another $75 for a better CPU cooler and fan, it will goto>4.0Ghz. Remember FS FPS increases 1:1 with CPU clock. I don't>think a 4.0Ghz rig can be purchased off the shielf at any>price, not "on air" (cooling) anyway. >>Here's the CPU cooler you will need to goto 4.0: >>http://www.directron.com/u120e.html>>Get the "Scythe" 120mm fan too. The price is right.Thanks a bunch, Sam! How do dey do dat? I wonder too! I guess when you read reviews of these companies, it seems that you take a risk, maybe 50/50, of getting what you order and it being put together with some care, and it working properly. Not so sure the tech support is always accessible, or any good, and who knows about the warrenty. Not trying to sound negative, just what I've read. Probably one or two guys in a garage putting together PC's in a hurry and getting them out....eventually. Anyway, you at least get the "parts", and it has been "put together", and you've got a 50/50 chance that it is done correctly and ready to go. If not, I reckon you become a home builder and set it up properly on your own.I'm still unsure of exactly which way I'll approach it, but, I am grateful to you for taking the time to advise me!Lobo :)

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OK....I've talked myself into building my own! You believe it? Well, do. I've been doing a lot of researching and reading....and the attitude I see in you home-builders is worth aquiring. I feel I can do it....I've installed memory, hard drives(in the old days when you had to assign the address, IRQ(?) and other stuff I can't remember), and have even installed a video card somewhere in the past in an old rig I had. I'm old enough that I had to wade through the DOS days with computer use for work. If I can do all that, I can surely build a modern, low-cost gaming computer, right?!?I think I prefer my own tech support, and that of the great folks on this, and other forums, to the "iffy" support I'm reading about from these other companies I've considered. And, I should be getting quality, definitely gauranteed, parts....the parts I choose. Will also always be easier for me to upgrade in the future. I don't mean to tell you guys that....you all know it much better than me!The only part I might be weak on is the software setup...that is, the bios, and windows setup. If I have problems, I'll read some more and ask questions! This is getting exciting!!!I just want to "back up" just a little, slow down, and be sure of exactly what components are best for me, and do a little shopping. I'll come back with a list of components soon and ask for advice.I know Sam gave me a "wishlist"....I'll go look that over again...trying to figure what is in stock, etc. Are the prefered Vid cards the ones not in stock, or does matter, Sam?Are Newegg and TigerDirect about the only good places to look for parts?I'll be back! Thanks again for any help, and any suggestions from anyone who has not yet commented here will be appreciated!!Lobo :) :) :)

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good for you lobo. I was 51 this year when I decided to build my first 4 months ago and it was a great learning experience. Just follow the directions and be patient -- you'll surprise yourself.And, oh yeah, don't go cheap on the thermal paste, either -- get the $9.99 stuff. That's a joke, and if you don't get it, don't worry. You will. :-)

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After a year or so, you'll find you know as much as any tech support guy . . . and it will be specific to your system. Over a lifetime, you'll save thousands of dollars and have top end systems for the fraction of the storebot cost. Egg, Tiger, ZipZoomFly, Mwave, etc. All the big mailorder houses are good. Sometimes Frys has good deals too. Shop for warranty first, then price. I use XFX Vcards. They are lifetime and will replace anything. EVGA and others also have lifetime warranties. Asus mobo have 3 year and are fine. Almost all memory is lifetime. DDR2-800 is the stuff. Any lifetime brand is fine.Silverstone and PC Power and Cooling are the best Power supplies. OCZ is fine too, Good warranty and a bit cheaper.Edit. BTW, use your Visa CC. That will automatically add an additional year of warranty up to, from 3yrs to 4. Had a 1 year PS fail in the 2nd year. Visa just sent me a check. There will be moments of frustration, but too, years of enjoyment.

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Welcome. You are now a computer hobbyist.The question was asked about how CyberPower can sell a computer for near the cost of parts. They buy in bulk at ridiculously low prices. Parts for my last computer cost only $138 less than a similar assembled computer from them. However, I had the fun of shopping for each and every part.I recommend NewEgg as the best place to research part specifications and reviews, and assemble a list. Then do a search for best prices on each item. I usually end up getting everything from NewEgg. The power supply may the hardest item to decide on. It's best to limit this to reputable manufacturer's and get the case without a power supply.Each part has it's own warranty, and forums are far superior to most manufacturer's technical support. Help from knowledgeable users has been far more effective for me than from any manufacturer. ArtBiostar TF560-A2+, Athlon 64X2-6000+, 4GB RAM, Geforce 8800GTS-320MB, 500W PSU, 250GB HD, FSX(SP1-SP2), Audigy SE sound, Vista Home Premium 32 bit, CH Yoke & Pedals, 22" WS LCD monitor

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I buy almost all of my parts from tigerdirect.com. I know there are those who may argue with me, but they have the fastest delivery, best prices and will take almost anything back on return.

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