Re: [users] buying a computer
On Wed, Jul 04, 2001 at 12:57:57PM -0400, Faheem Mitha wrote:
| The point of getting a preinstalled machine is to check that Debian works
| Ok with the hardware. It is strictly a hardware issue. As I indicated
Yeah, it is nice to know that it does work, before you spend the
| > seriously, if i were you, I'd build the computer yourself from parts
| > and then put debian on it from scratch - and use us for help.
| I do like the idea of building a computer myself. It would be very
| instructive, I am sure, and it is very much in the spirit of free
| software. And it would set me free from having to depend on other people's
| expertise, which is always a good thing.
| However, I must admit I am slightly intimidated by the notion. How
| difficult is it to assemble a computer from scratch? What kind of
| documentation do you need on hand? I would find it very reassuring to hear
| from people who have done this successfully with little experience. I
| would particularly be interested in knowing how difficult it is to find
| compatible components to fit together, and how much time fitting the
| pieces together actually takes.
I did this about 3 months ago. I bought the tower, mobo, cpu, video
card, and RAM. Those cost ~$400-$500. I later bought a nice, used,
monitor for $100. I already had hd, nic, keyboard and mouse. I got a
Duron 750 and a Gigabyte mobo to go with it. The only problem there
is Intel and AMD use different sockets (now) so the mobo must be
designed for the CPU you will put on it. Putting it together isn't
hard at all -- you put a few screws in the mobo to hold it to the case
and to ground it. The CPU snaps on fairly easily. Slide the RAM and
peripherals in and you're set to go. It's no harder than upgrading an
expansion card (ie NIC, video, etc) or hd. I made sure that I checked
websites like xfree86.org before I bought the stuff to be sure it
was supported. In hindsight I wouldn't have gotten the SiS6326 video
card because, though it works, it isn't great. I've heard better
things about Matrox cards. I also won't buy nVidia because of their
proprietary, binary-only drivers.
Make sure when you assemble it that you are well grounded (touch the
case a lot) and you don't shuffle your feet across the carpet. You
don't want to fry something with some esd (electro-static discharge,
not elightened sound daemon ;-)).
I recommend that you look around, see what hardware is available,
check hardware web sites and get opinions from this list. Also, if
you can, it is a good idea to take what you can from your old box,
such as NIC keyboard and mouse, unless you plan on keeing the old one