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Building your own PC

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Catweazle
Grandad
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A recent question requested advice about building your own PC.

The website style is a little amateurish, perhaps, and some of the discussion of components is certainly getting a bit 'dated', but one of the most comprehensive system building guides I've yet come across is Rob Williams' My Super PC website.

http://www.mysuperpc.com/

In particular, the actual assembly instructions are quite detailed indeed, and the principles underlying PC assembly are pretty consistent no matter what system you're putting together.

http://www.mysuperpc.com/build/pc_parts_list.shtml


Another quite good (and a little more professional looking) guide can be found at TomsHardware

http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/20020904/index.html
http://www6.tomshardware.com/howto/20020918/index.html

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Catweazle
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Here's another cool guide that's been included on the Intel website recently:

http://www.intel.com/personal/digital_home/modder.htm?id=us_bod

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Soral 3.0
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90 posts since Jul 2004
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here's my personal favorite how-to guide:
http://www.pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,116993,00.asp
with a part by part analysis.
-Soral 3.0

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Dulaithol
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For me I just learn by going to google and typeing how to do ..................

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mmiikkee12
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And I learn from mistakes: dropping magnetic screwdrivers on bios chips and having to buy a new motherboard :)

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JANINE
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its easy. buy the haynes manual 'building your own computer.' i did and i've built 1

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Cup of Squirrel
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I talked a lot on IRC with other people who built PCs, they gave me advice on what to buy and what not to buy etc. Having people around to help you can be very helpful because you can ask questions instead of having to put up with the info you have. However, a lot of people's opinions differ, so you will feel a little "pushed around". Still, in all honesty it isn't that hard.

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JANINE
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exactly, but its easier once you know what you're doing. im at the end of a PC upgrade and repair course. im looking at building another computer very soon and a friend of mine has asked me if i can help him should he need it. its easy once you know how.

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jwenting
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Start small. First upgrade an existing PC with a new videocard, maybe add a harddisk or a CD ROM drive.
The next step could be installing some new RAM.

Soon you'll have all the experience to build a new machine from scratch, and all you need to build up is the courage to take a screwdriver to a motherboard and to plug in a CPU costing hundreds of Euros that looks incredibly fragile :)

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JANINE
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half the fun of it is learning what goes where and how it fits in and what it does.

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NuGG
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Ive built PC's with out aid of books and internet. Its easy.

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JANINE
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i only used the book as a reference once. after that i was well away. easy peasy

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NuGG
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Maplins is a good resource for you computer building needs, however it can be expensive. I personaly wouldnt go near PC world.

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JANINE
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i tend to use PCWorld more and Maplins only when PCW havent got a part i want. i suppose that only cos I get my brothers staff discount.

just out of curiosity where do u go??? always worth building a knowledgebase of parts companies.

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Catweazle
Grandad
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It'd be better to have such a 'database' in its own topic I think. this one is about 'How to build' rather than about 'Where to buy'.

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JANINE
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agreed, and definately worth a thought. maybe a thread should be started whereby ppl can add their 'most used' to the thread and build up a database that way. the company names, location and websites etc could be added.

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NuGG
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It'd be better to have such a 'database' in its own topic I think. this one is about 'How to build' rather than about 'Where to buy'.

Does it matter?

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JANINE
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Does it matter?

course it does.. Catweasle does have an extremely valid point.:mrgreen:

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Smittymator
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If you want to learn how to build a machine and at the same time, build the one that you will be happiest with, try this:

Go to www.anandtech.com

Decide whether you want Intel or AMD. (there are several reviews there that mey help you decide)

Read recent reviews on the following:

1. CPU's 2. Mainboards 3. Ram 4. HDD's 5. Video cards 6. Cases
(Note: there are several other components you'll probably want to check out, but these will get you started.)

This will give you an idea about what works with what, as this site provides a lot of info regarding that.
Once you pick out your mainboard and/or CPU, go to the manufacturer's website and view the manual on the product. Most mainboard manuals give you a fairly decent set of instructions on how to assemble your machine.

Intel and AMD both tell you what size power supply you need for each processor and various configs. This is really important, if the supply is too small, your system can reboot w/o warning, or commit any one of several other nasty little annoyances. I've had people RMA up to 5 mobos before they gave up and brought it to me, when all they needed was a larger power supply.

That should get you going at least. If you would like me to make a step-by-step tutorial for you, or help you decide what equipment to purchase, go to my site and post your request on the forum or email me directly.

-Smitty

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Catweazle
Grandad
4,257 posts since Mar 2004
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You got all that stuff wrong way round mate.

First thing is to work out what use the PC is intended for.

Second thing is to work out what components it needs to have to meet those uses. (The power supply unit needs to be adequate to power ALL devices in the PC, not just the processor)

Whether you choose an Intel or AMD processor (and motherboard socket type) is about the least important of all decisions to make.

You
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