Tweak3D - Your Freakin' Tweakin' Source!
How to Build a Computer [Part 1 of 3] (Page 3/4)

Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Posted: February 16, 2000
Click here for Part 1 of this guide

Click here for Part 2 of this guide

Click here for Part 3 of this guide

Even More Stuff...

Video Card - Your best bet here would be to go with an Nvidia based card if you're willing to spend a little extra money, or a 3dfx Voodoo3 card if you're on a budget. All of them are good, and what you get really depends on how much you are willing to spend.

Sound Card - You really have two top-of-the-line options here... the Soundblaster Live! series of cards by Creative Labs and the Aureal Vortex 2 based cards. Both cards are very good and deliver excellent audio quality.

Modem - Depends. I generally recommend external modems because they are never software-driven, but if you can find a good internal hardware modem you are golden. Just a hint, if it's new, internal, and under $50... it's probably a software modem. Diamond still produces some internal hardware modems, and 3Com has just come out with a hardware 'gaming' modem.

Keyboard - This is really up to personal taste - here's what you should look for in a new keyboard:

- Comfort
- Full sized backspace key (size of two keys)
- PS/2 or USB - not AT
Editor's note: Cordless keyboards are very cool! Watch out at LAN parties though.. :)

Mouse - Microsoft mice are my favorite - the Intellimouse series of mice is excellent. Go for one of the USB models if you can. The other option we recommend is the Logitech Mouseman series. These are very nice, too. Mousepad? Visit Ratpadz! These are excellent mousepads for gamers and they last forever.

Monitor - Once again, this is something you are going to need to decide on for yourself. I personally recommend getting a monitor that is 17" or greater and maintains a frequency of at least 85 Hz at your chosen resolution (1024x768, 1280x1024, or 1600x1200). For around $200 you should be able to find a cheap 17", and for about $400 you should be able to find a decent 19" monitor.

Operating System - For right now I recommend Win98 (not second edition...). Windows 2000 has all the trappings of a great OS if companies choose to support it properly - so you may want to keep that in mind as well.

Other parts - extra IDE cables (you'll understand later), some kind of lock-tie (twistie-ties work as well if you can't get lock-ties), and any fans you intend on installing. You may also wish to go out and grab some extra case screws if your case didn't come with enough of them.

Tools - There are a variety of different tools you may need while building your system. Here are a few of the most common ones:

- Flat head screwdriver
- Magnetized Phillips head screwdriver
- Regular Philips head screwdriver
- Tweezers

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