I am looking to build my own desktop, and am trying to build a good one for cheap, but I thought I would double check if there are any pitfalls that I should look out for as I will be putting Redhat Linux 9.0 on it once I finish.
Hi. The best advice I can give is to check to make sure
the hardware you are going to use is supported. I can't over-emphasize this, because hardware that only "sort of" works, is almost worse than hw that doesn't work, because you'll spend hours trying "just one more thing" and ultimately your experience will be a bad one.
I was thinking of things like I know some nic cards aren't supported.
I just put together a machine from a very cheap board/cpu combo from Tiger Direct (www.tigerdirect.com
) -- the Biostar M7NCD w/ Athlon XP 2400+. It's cheap and very fast. The mb has a built-in NIC, but you have to get the drivers from NVidia (www.nvidia.com
) in order to use the card -- at least, I was unable to get it to work even with all the suggestions I read here, until I installed the nvidia driver. I gave up before then, and bought a 3COM PCI card for $39 which worked right out of the box...
Anyway, any suggestions and advice is much appreciated as this is my first computer building from scratch as well.
Like I said, make sure the hw you are buying is supported. Don't forget to get CPU fans (!). If you get a mb like I did, it will already have NIC and sound built-in, so that makes things a bit cheaper.
My configuration has now:
Biostar M7NCD, Athlon XP 2400+ -- $126
Avus Titanium case -- $30
This case is not very well constructed, but it is
even has a power supply. However, I put in a quiet power supply...
Cables Unlimited super quiet socked A CPU fan -- $19
Seagate 120G quiet drive -- $140
eVGA GeForceFX 5200 128MB AGP 8X video card -- $60
Excellent card, and very cheap! Also, it doesn't have a fan, so it's
Zalman quiet case fan (92mm) -- $8
I bought this for a different machine, and the 92mm format is too big
for the mounting holes on my case -- so I used 'superglue' and it
Zalman quiet 400W power supply --$88
Actually, it's completely quiet. I bought this also for a different
machine, which as it turned out couldn't accept the supply :-<
Ultra 512M PC3200 DDR 400Mhz memory -- $50
CDRW/DVD/floppy -- from another machine, I don't remember what I paid for them originally.
So my cost for a completely brand new machine, less monitor/keyboard/mouse/cd-dvd/speakers, is $521 (more or less). And you could do cheaper if you didn't get the quiet power supply...
The other parts are scavenged from other machines. You might be able to do a little better with pre-built systems, but I doubt you'll do much better.