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Old 03-18-2011, 04:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building My First Computer

Hello everyone!

I'm going to be building my first computer and am going to be using it for general usage.

By general usage, I mean web browsing(running up to 5 tabs at once), online video like YouTube, online audio like Pandora,, and Skype and also maybe some online Flash-based games. My plan is to install Ubuntu on this computer because I'm on a very low budget and my needs are very low as well.

I have a few questions?

First of all, what is a "barebones kit" in the computer building world?

Also, I have a found a "barebones kit" for $199.99 and it fits my budget and it seems to come with every part needed to build a computer. Can you guys verify that it comes with everything needed to build this computer, that the parts will be fast enough for my needs listed above. Also please tell me the reliability of this computer.

The barebones kit can be found at Biostar N68S+ Quad Core Diablotek Barebones Kit at

The kit says that it includes the following parts:
Biostar N68S+ Motherboard
AMD Phenom X4 9100e 1.8GHz AM2+ OEM Quad Core CPU
Masscool Socket 939, 940, AM2 CPU Cooling Fan
Lite-On Internal 24X DVD Writer
Centon 2048MB PC6400 DDR2
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB Hard Drive
DiabloTek PSDA400 Power Supply
Diablotek CPA-9611B ATX Mid-Tower Case

Thank you and please tell me if you see anything else good or bad in this kit.

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Old 03-18-2011, 06:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building My First Computer

Don't buy the DiabloTek Power Supply. Here's a review of a DiabloTek 650 watt that's really a 300 watt.

Diablotek PHD650 650W Power Supply - Diablotek PHD650 650W Power Supply Review | [H]ard|OCP

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Old 03-23-2011, 11:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building My First Computer

A barebones kit can contain whatever components the seller chooses - some only include a few - like case, psu, mobo, ram, and CPU - and others are more complete like the model you selected. It appears that your unit has all the parts necessary to build a basic computer except the operating system. You will need to add that. Also it does not appear to include the cables from the mobo to other components - SATA cables to the HD and optical drive. Also you should check to see if the heatsink has a pad on the bottom to place directly on the CPU or if you need to get some special paste for that.

Slaymate has identified the one bad item in the lot. But you can easily replace that with a good unit that does not cost too much:

Corsair Builder Series 500w - $40 - CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 (CMPSU-500CX) 500W ATX12V v2.3 Active PFC Power Supply

The rest of the components are not bad - not good but not bad - and the price is very good. The components should make up a system that lets you do your tasks at a reasonable pace. They are not top brand name products and so I would not expect as much reliablilty with your components. That said there is no reason to expect them not to work. You get what you pay for. That is a lower end system in performance (although more is not needed for the apps you listed) and lack of brand name parts. But the price is exceptionally low so it still represents good value for the price.

You might consider later upgrading the system by adding 2 more GB of memory and a basic graphics card.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building My First Computer

Tom's Hardware Guide is currently doing there "System Builders Marathon". They have posted model builds for $1,000 and $2,000 budgets and within the next day or so should post one for a $500 budget. You might want to watch for the later at their site - when posted it will be in the list of new articles in the upper left corner.

Tom's Hardware: Hardware News, Tests and Reviews
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