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.


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.


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


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

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

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

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.

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.

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 :)

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

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

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

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

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.

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'.

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.

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?

Does it matter?

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

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.


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.

Since he was wanting to build his own machine, I assumed that he already knew what he wanted the machine to do, and anandtech can give a lot of info to tell him how to achieve that. As far as the power supply goes, that's what I was referring to when I said 'and various configs' meaning and whatever else he decides to put in the machine.
I used the Intel/Amd decision for one reason. I've worked in a computer store as a system builder and repair tech for most of my adult life, and there are a lot of people who take the whole cpu brand loyalty thing personally. Therefore, I remained neutral on the subject.

I probably could have stated it better, but my info was correct.

heh heh......

The information itself wasn't disputed. Anandtech is certainly one of the many good tech sites on the internet which can be used to inform your decision making about which components to use.

It's simply the order of the decision making processes which were the subject of my comments. Far too many people focus on the processor to the detriment of other components in the system. Far too many people consider 'fast' RAM as their second consideration. But both those things have far less impact on a system's capability for specific tasks than other components in the system, such as hard drives and display cards for example.

Let's face it, you can use the 'fastest and best' processor available, but if you don't also include the other components which make a computer suitable for the task you wish to perform, then the computer itself is still going to be a 'dud' for the purposes for which it is intended!

I agree with you completely there :)
these days you gotta have a fast hard drive, fast video card, and fast ram, if you're going to see all of what even a 1.6 GHz processor can do.

Thankfully Ive a good friend who knows pc's like the back of his hand....((which is impressive because he's blind...XD well he really isnt but I felt the need to be stupid)) Anyway...he helped me go through the process, get all the spaghetti string where it needed to go...man o' man was that a pain....


cheers catweasle.

The cheapest way to build a new PC is to buy already working one.
It saves you ALOT of time and EVEN MORE psycheatric treatment bills. (Traumatic ones are optional, while others are mandatory)

The safest way to build a new PC is to buy everithing (including somebody to put it together, while you are taking an afternoon nap 60 miles away in a atomic-blast-proof underground bunker)

The dumbest way to build a new PC is to buy 5 year old parts.

The best posibble way to build a new PC is not to.

And the worst one is to spend (atleast) a week tryin' to figure out what goes where (with the leg bone connected to the knee bone...) while your'e naked and biting on the grounded wire trying to prevent ESD from frying your blood-tears-n-swet-earned-money-paid-with new bits and pieces, while you are just realizng that you need to buy an extra extesion cord (necessary to make the lenght and that 1 extra power socket you're missin') at 2 a.m. sunday (followed by 3-day national holiday)....... wait while I wipe my tears ..... and daydreaming (after a pint of coffe that kind of dreaming is the only one you'll get this week) of travelling back in time to assassinate the inventor of the transistor.

The choice is yours to make.

The cheapest way to build a new PC is to buy already working one. - sometimes yes but depends what you will use it for.
It saves you ALOT of time and EVEN MORE psycheatric treatment bills. (Traumatic ones are optional, while others are mandatory) - what?!

The safest way to build a new PC is to buy everithing (including somebody to put it together, while you are taking an afternoon nap 60 miles away in a atomic-blast-proof underground bunker) - um? ok?

The best posibble way to build a new PC is not to. - and that doesn't even make sense

I strongly disagree, I build gamer PC's and they are defiantly cheaper to build your self than buy a brand new system. PC Parts are cheap if you know where to look, (computer expos are a good place, or even froogle.) Not only that, it only takes about 45mins to put the thing together, and another hour or so to install OS, and Drivers, and BAM! You got yourself a high spec computer for around £500-£600, and then you can sell it on eBay and make as much as £1000 off it. Dell (and other companies) may sell cheap computers, but if its I high spec you desire, your better off building it yourself. But if you’re only going to use it for word processing etc, admittedly, you may as well buy an assembled one. I don’t know what this guy is talking about but it sounds like a load of bolox to me.

Some people are scared to even take their case off and peer inside, but I assure you, building PCs is simple and easy.



I've been puting them together from 486 on.
No damage, no fuss, no second tries (if you don't count win installation) so you don't have to preach me somthing I know.
I'll let you in on a little secret.

But I'm sure you knew that.

45 minutes from scrach - yeah, right.

Install windows hour or so - in ya dreams. Try XP Pro (not sp1 or sp2) on nforce4 without floppy drive.

And the prices are same one way or another, only the brand PCs have stuff we don't need (like Windows) and don't ones we need (like extra 5 audio chanells).

I’ve built so many PCs I could probably build one in less than 45mins actually; I mean there isn’t exactly much to do. Chuck in motherboard, PSU, drives, then connect cables and away you go.

When I built my PC I was quite surprised that it only took about 50mins to complete the windows xp pro (64-bit) installation. Obviously you are working with lower spec PCs without raid configs.

Well what I was saying is your gonna save a hell of allot of money if you build a "gamer PC", instead of buying one. Trust me on this ok, i've built and sold about 35 PCs on eBay now, and as I said before I made nearly a grand on some of them.

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