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Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

Old 05-28-09, 12:12 PM
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Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

Seems like anytime someone wants info on companies that build custom gaming PCs, the advice is always to build it yourself. Yeah I know all the pros to it, personal pride, cheaper costs, freedom with parts.


But the fact is that buying a PC is a major PITA!! When I built my PC, it took me hours of research to find the right parts and make sure they were compatible.

Then time to build. Trying to mount the motherboard and making it fit inside the cutout holes took much effort especially when u are trying to be so delicate with this expensive item. Not to mention the fear of static electric frying the board.

After mounting the board and cutting my fingers on the sharp case edges, I installed the RAM. Now this is easy. The CPU is a real stresser. 200 bucks in a small square that can be easily flushed down the toliet if you press in too hard. The heat sink was tough as well. I kept pressing in the mounts and feeling the motherboard cave in. How much force is too much? And working with tiny screws and standoffs makes it very easy to drop the things inside the case.

Even if you succeed in getting everything mount, there is the cryptic motherboard manual and trying to figure out where all the power connectors plug into the motherboard. Slap it together and pray that it boots up. If it doesn't then the real misery starts trying to troubleshoot the problem.


As you can see, PC buying is not as easy as slapping legos together. Perhaps with a lot of experience, it becomes 2nd nature, but like most people, I dont have the coin for trial and error losses.
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Old 05-28-09, 12:17 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

Oh BS. You put the heatsink on the CPU before you put the motherboard in the case. It's easier that way. Get a heatsink with a bracket that goes on the back of the motherboard then you just screw down the heatsink with 4 screws. Done in 5 min. The only things hard about plugging in wires on the motherboard is the case accessories. Power, etc. And all that is labeled. I guess if it's your first time it could be hard. But if you just use common sense it's easy. Especially now a days when you don't have to worry about jumper settings. I've put together about 10 PC's and have never broke any peice of hardware because of it. Just don't be a spaz and jam shit in the case.
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Old 05-28-09, 12:26 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

I built 2-3 PC and my biggest problem was probably getting devices to work in Windows.

Now, based on my needs, I'll just buy computers. My days of PC gaming are behind me - besides graphics requirements just went nuts. Duals (or more) cards, each requiring their on power supply? My friend has a newish Alienware. Not only is that thing massive, but it could serve as a central heating unit if you threw some duct work on there!
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Old 05-28-09, 12:28 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

Cheap cases have sharp edges. I'm cheap but long ago I learned that's one place to spend some money. I got tired of leaving blood in the case.
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Old 05-28-09, 12:43 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

I agree that it can be tricky to put everything together and a real pita to troubleshoot things. Never got cut from the case though. The hardware overall is much better quality compared to ten years ago so parts should be more reliable these days.

But I think the time-consuming thing is the research and deciding what to get, waiting for parts, reading reviews, etc.

Still, it's more cost-effective for me to just buy Dell since I'm not a gamer.
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Old 05-28-09, 01:42 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

I have to disagree. Building a PC is very easy. Once you've done it a few times it's a piece of cake. As mentioned above, always install the CPU and Heatsink before mounting the motherboard into the case. Also add the RAM before mounting the motherboard. Look at where the holes line up on the board and the case and add your standoffs (if you even need them) and screw the board down. Start adding cards, HDD, and other drives. Shouldn't take more than 30 minutes to put a PC together.

Before attempting to build your own pc for the first time it would be wise to watch a video on YouTube or have someone who knows how to do it show you the ins and outs.
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Old 05-28-09, 01:46 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

I'd say it's pretty difficult to build a PC when it's your first time, especially if you've never done other basic upgrades to a computer and are unfamiliar with all the components, different standards, socket types, etc. Once you're familiar with the basics, it's pretty simple though.

I've never really had any problems installing a heatsink when the motherboard is already mounted though
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Old 05-28-09, 02:07 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

please... you have ATX boards nowadays

use to build computers back in the day with AT mobos, AT PSU's and rageddy standoffs

if you invest some money in a good quality case you wont slice up your fingers also don't go stingy on a power supply

you can have a system up and running in 3-4 hrs, assuming windows installs (this is the biggest pain when building...hardware issues)
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Old 05-28-09, 03:01 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

I had some help with a PC Gamer "Build your own PC" guide, but mostly I just looked at how my (then) current PC Was hooked up and went from there.

You do it once and get over the nervousness of slapping it together and then you gain more confidence.

The only painful part is having to do any troubleshooting.
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Old 05-28-09, 03:54 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

I can sympathize, but like others said it's more about gaining confidence than anything. It's easy to freak out when you read all these warnings about cracked chips, bent pins, etc. Once you realize components aren't as fragile as you imagine it's much easier to throw a system together.

I also agree that unless you're putting together a gaming rig it's not worth the hassle these days.
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Old 05-28-09, 04:33 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

It is easy if everything works the first time you put it together, what gets hard is when something doesn't work and you have to figure out what/why and then RMA it and wait for a replacement.

Anything that is complex is 'hard' the first time you do it, the key is to be patient, research and pay attention to what you are doing (RTFM).

If you cut your fingers, you were in a hurry and/or frustrated and probably bought a cheap case

I don't think I could even count the number of machines I have built over the years I worked for a custom computer shop for a couple years at the very start of my IT career and assembled dozens of machines on a daily basis for them. I then had my own business building machines, on top of what I built for friends and family over the years. I have seen it all WRT building machines, some are easy, some are not.

I still build my own because I want to (old habits...) I am undecided as to if there is an actual benefit, it all depends on your perception of value/benefit. To me there is value in just loading my own OS instead of taking a pre-load

There are so many minor variables in computers these days, that it is often hard to compare apples to apples when building vs buying pre-built.

Look at it this way, your next machine or even your next upgrade part will be much easier.
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Old 05-28-09, 04:58 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

Originally Posted by X View Post
Cheap cases have sharp edges. I'm cheap but long ago I learned that's one place to spend some money. I got tired of leaving blood in the case.
I only use Lian Li cases for my builds nowadays. They are solid aluminum and not cheap at all. The edges are also sharp as hell. Doing a build a few years ago I sliced a hand open and bled all over my mother board before I noticed I was cut. It was worth it though. Their cases look beautiful and cool the PC down greatly.
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Old 05-28-09, 05:04 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

Building a PC is the one thing I miss about being a Mac user. I'm started to get tempted to throw together a hackintosh, though.
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Old 05-28-09, 05:04 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

only issue i ever had was with a damn intel board with was of those fancy g3x chipsets

PITA

that mobo is buried somewhere in the storage closet

specwise/features that board was suppose to be the shit, but could never get it to load vista and it wasn't compatible with xp
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Old 05-28-09, 05:31 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

When I've built PCs in the past, I've ordered a motherboard/processor combo with the processor and heatsink already installed. That saves one of the bigger headaches and risks of building a PC, without really losing any of the benefits.

Other than that, I don't find it very difficult at all.
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Old 05-28-09, 06:32 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

the only part I've never actually done is mounting the CPU and Heatsink onto the motherboard. Only because the store that I buy everything at does it free of charge.

Isn't there some sort of compound you're supposed to put between the CPU and Heatsink?
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Old 05-28-09, 06:42 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

Originally Posted by SomethingMore View Post
the only part I've never actually done is mounting the CPU and Heatsink onto the motherboard. Only because the store that I buy everything at does it free of charge.

Isn't there some sort of compound you're supposed to put between the CPU and Heatsink?
Thermal compound is already applied to the stock heatsink/fan's that come with retail CPU's. Third party heatsinks usually have their own to apply, or most builders use something like Arctic Silver.
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Old 05-28-09, 08:34 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
I only use Lian Li cases for my builds nowadays. They are solid aluminum and not cheap at all. The edges are also sharp as hell. Doing a build a few years ago I sliced a hand open and bled all over my mother board before I noticed I was cut. It was worth it though. Their cases look beautiful and cool the PC down greatly.
I've often coveted those cases, but never had one. They're kind of expensive for me.

I'm extremely surprised they're that rough inside. I never read that about them and one would think that would be a major knock against the brand.
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Old 05-28-09, 09:09 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

That surprises me about Lian Li. I remember them from back in the day when I cared what my PC specs were. My next upgrade will be sometime next year, when I think it will be cost effective to build a rig that can edit HD video. (I looked into it last year, and everything that was in my price range was about half the power I needed).

Building your own, AFAIK, is not cost-effective, especially if you're a first timer and you're not being meticulous/anal about every component. I think it would be fun to build my own, and I've done every possible upgrade besides mobo and CPU. On the other hand, the local shop where I always get mine built ends up being almost the same price as if I ordered all the parts myself.
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Old 05-28-09, 09:49 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

For some reason I never liked Lian Li, at least maybe 10 years ago or so when most of their cases were just the ugly aluminum. I never liked the idea of putting in the CD/DVD drive that made it stand out against the aluminum cover.

Of course, people also loved the Cooler Master case style with the entire front being a grill or vent, and I hated that look too.
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Old 05-28-09, 10:06 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

I'm a girl and I build my own systems, its easy and fun and I love Lian Li cases, and have never cut my hands up. It will get eaiser the more cumputers that you build.
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Old 05-29-09, 09:28 AM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

I've built 3 systems and while I work for a high tech company, I'm as far from techie as you can get. I think the key is taking the time and making sure you don't cut corners on important things. While a case might seem like a great place to cut corners, it's the part that can cause the most frustration and depening on how small you are trying to get can increast the PITA factor exponentially. Ultimately the reason you build a PC is not to save money, but to get exactly what you want inside your case to meet your needs.

BTW . . . Software and OS has been my problems. I always bood, but it's getting everything communicating that makes me want to buy off the shelf.
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Old 05-29-09, 09:29 AM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
It is easy if everything works the first time you put it together, what gets hard is when something doesn't work and you have to figure out what/why and then RMA it and wait for a replacement.

Anything that is complex is 'hard' the first time you do it, the key is to be patient, research and pay attention to what you are doing (RTFM).

If you cut your fingers, you were in a hurry and/or frustrated and probably bought a cheap case

I don't think I could even count the number of machines I have built over the years I worked for a custom computer shop for a couple years at the very start of my IT career and assembled dozens of machines on a daily basis for them. I then had my own business building machines, on top of what I built for friends and family over the years. I have seen it all WRT building machines, some are easy, some are not.

I still build my own because I want to (old habits...) I am undecided as to if there is an actual benefit, it all depends on your perception of value/benefit. To me there is value in just loading my own OS instead of taking a pre-load

There are so many minor variables in computers these days, that it is often hard to compare apples to apples when building vs buying pre-built.

Look at it this way, your next machine or even your next upgrade part will be much easier.

Haha, yea it was a cheap case. I guess I'm not patient enough. I don't like having to browse constantly to figure out which hardware parts to combine together. With my first build, I ended up replacing the power supply twice, video card 4 times, and still got crappy performance. I skimped on the CPU, and now too much of a phobe to try and replace it.
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Old 05-29-09, 10:04 AM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

^ if you check out the hotdeals forum on fatwallet, there is a thread in there about building a cheap PC - I would not endorse all of the technical advice in that thread , however, for someone that wants a good deal on a machine that works for cheap, it has very helpful basic information ll in one place.
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Old 05-29-09, 03:36 PM
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Re: Building Your Own PC is Not Easy!!!

The first time I put together a PC, the company sent me the mobo, cpu, and heatsink already assembled together. And then I nearly screwed that up by screwing in the mobo without standoffs. Good thing I figured that out before I hooked up the power supply.

And the only good cheap cases are the expensive ones on sale with rebates. I've gotten three very good cases that way. Here is the most recent one: Cooler Master RC-690 - think I ended up paying 30 bucks with rebate.

Last edited by DGibFen; 05-29-09 at 03:40 PM.
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