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  1. #1

    Build a computer?

    I'm considering building a system and installing at least one distro of linux on it (possibly more than one so I can play with multiple ones without having to reformat the entire system), if I do it it'll be a linux only system.

    The thing is, I've never actually built a system and I was wondering if anyone could give me a general idea of the cost of building a decent system. I'm not a gamer, so it doesn't need killer graphics or anything, but graphics better than my blasted Dell's integrated graphics chip would definitely be nice. Mainly I just use my computer for internet, office suites, and just playing with random programs I find. Also, if anyone knows of any linux specific references on building a system that would be nice too.

    I've wanted to try my hand at building a system, especially a linux one, for some time now, but I don't really know anyone personally who could give me tips. Thus any help you would volunteer would be great.


  2. #2
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Yeh you can build a cheep system if you don't want games. I'm still using a 450mhz PIII system with 192mb ram & ati 32mb all-in-wonder card, and it works fine. I'd aim for 1.5 - 2 ghz though if you want WinXP on another partition, and also at least 256mb ram (512 if win Xp). What OS's do you want to run?

    And for the building side, I'd get an anti-shock glove just to be on the safe side (some conponenets still have powerful capacitors [contain charge when pc is off]). You just connect it to anything earthed, such as a radiator. If your carfeull however, it should be fine and I only use one now I build alot of PCs. Also, if your keeping the same case, then hoover it out and clean it before you put your new hardware in.

    Also, make sure your motherboard supports everything.

    If you want more help, then tell us the features you want (office, web ets), and what specs you want (hd size etc).

  3. #3
    Linux Guru antidrugue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Montreal, Canada
    Just make sure the system you'll build as component well supported in Linux. You can make sure here and there.

    Try to buy something not 100% bleeding, i.e. some hardware that as been out for less than 6 months. Still, if you do, that only means you'll probably have to compile your own kernel, not so bad.

    motherboard (nvidia or intel chipsets, match with the CPU's socket number)
    CPU (notice the socket number)
    power supply (antec is good)
    case (not relevant)
    RAM (kingston or some other reliable brand)
    hard drive (SATA is fast)
    dvd burner (never had a problem with LG)
    graphic card (nvidia as better linux support)
    floppy drive (i like floppies!)

    Browse the web, visit the manufaturers' web sites for all technical specifications. Once you have all the parts, read your motherboard's instruction booklets to know exactly how to build it.
    "To express yourself in freedom, you must die to everything of yesterday. From the 'old', you derive security; from the 'new', you gain the flow."

    -Bruce Lee

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  5. #4
    alan - I'm not sure which distro of Linux I want to use, one of the larger ones as the primary distro though, so likely one like Mandrake, Suse, or Debian maybe... Like I said not sure, haven't quite gotten that far in my planning yet. I would like to have a primary distro loaded that I don't change and then either a second HD for another version or a second partition for a nother Linux distro so that I can play with the different versions while still having a version I know I can work off of. I'm not really looking for a Win partition, I'll use my current computer for when I need Windows. Other than that, I really just want it because I am sick of MS Windows, plus I like fiddling with software

    antidrugue - Thanks. I looked at and just getting those components you listed... looks like I could build a desktop for about 650 that completely blows my low-end Dell, that just as much if not more out of the water... and my Dell is only 6 mo. old or so. How sad.

  6. #5
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by alance
    looks like I could build a desktop for about 650 that completely blows my low-end Dell

    You can build a pc for alot less than that. Heres some good components:

    DVD burner - NEC ND4550 (35 on

    HD - Seagate Barracuda (choose your size, and ide or sata) > they are realy good and reliable

  7. #6
    Linux Guru anomie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    I will second the NVIDIA chipset recommendation (and for motherboards I prefer Asus).

    I recently got a $1,300 credit for a well-known online computer parts retailer, and built three systems (two for me, one for my wife) for that amount. But I had an old Asus motherboard, AMD CPU and a few other parts already laying around, so that cut down the cost a little bit.

    I just went for lower-end stuff - e.g. AMD Duron, 13" LCDs, etc. - without buying cheap crap.

    IMO, you aren't going to save a lot of money building your own system (as opposed to buying a prebuilt Dell, for example). But you're going to have a hell of a time upgrading that Dell with its various proprietary hardware. And you'll learn something new building your own.

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