Have you ever built your own PC?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by TechGod, May 25, 2014.

  1. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    #1
    I really want to make a a gaming PC with Windows 7.
    If you have made computers, how easy is it? Any warnings?
     
  2. dsa1971 macrumors regular

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #2
    I haven't built a gaming machine but I have built a few windows pcs. I never had much trouble. I bought most of my stuff on newegg and would read reviews there which would give me good indicators of problem areas
     
  3. Stooby Mcdoobie macrumors 6502a

    Stooby Mcdoobie

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    #3
    I've built a number of PCs over the years. Think of it as an expensive Lego kit -- if you have the correct parts, everything should fit together perfectly. There are plenty of guides online geared toward first time builders and you can use sites like this to make sure all your major components are compatible.
     
  4. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    #4
    If you are mechanically inclined a bit, it should be fairly easy. There really aren't that many parts and if you get a name brand motherboard, the instructions should be good.
     
  5. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #5
    I recommend against lesser known brands for components. I recently built a gaming PC for a friend using Fractal Design's Define R4 case and Fractal Design's Tesla R2 500W power supply. Fractal Design is a top tier brand. The case has 2 SSD-specific mounting places behind the motherboard, you must have the motherboard out in order to mount/unmount the SSDs in those 2 areas. Long story short, the power cable from their own power supply does not have the correct orientation to fit into the SSD mounting areas in their own case. That is called... epic fail. If this is what top tier in PC world is, then I don't even want to imagine what the lower tiers are like. This situation would be like if Apple's peripherals like keyboards and mice somehow didn't work with all of their computers.

    Don't expect the same level of detail in PCs. It just doesn't exist unless you custom-craft certain parts by yourself. Other than that, make sure you follow instructions and read the manuals. RTFM is highly advised. I didn't know the motherboard mounting holes had standoffs for that Fractal Design case. I must have screwed and unscrewed the motherboard screws like 4-5 times before I read the manual and found why it wasn't fitting properly.

    One rule to remember above all else, never ever ever ever force anything into anything. If you are applying excessive force, I guarantee you are putting the wrong component into the wrong place.
     
  6. dkersten, May 25, 2014
    Last edited: May 25, 2014

    dkersten macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Yep, lot of fun. You'll learn a lot about hardware and computers in general in the process. Check out Newegg's build a computer tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPIXAtNGGCw I believe there are three parts. If you have any other questions I suggest you head over to http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/ and/or http://www.reddit.com/r/AskBattlestations/ Both very friendly and helpful communities. Both have great information on the right side bar that should be able to answer most of your questions. And just in case you need a little more inspiration, I'm sure this can push you in the right direction http://www.reddit.com/r/battlestations/top/

    As for the easiness, its not too bad after watching the tutorial, especially if you're technically inclined. And remember, even if you do your research and get everything right, its possible that one or more of your parts will be DOA. Thats why I suggest you stick to sites like Newegg or Amazon when ordering parts because both have very good customer service and will work with you to RMA parts

    Edit: One more thing, as to SnowLeopard's advice about not forcing any parts, he is absolutely correct. The only exception would be the RAM. You have to put way more force into getting the sticks into the slot then you would expect. That being said, be very very careful putting the CPU in the motherboard as that is one part you don't want to mess up. One or two bent pins and you could be out $200+.

    If I think of anything else I'll update, and if you have any questions I'd be glad to answer them if I can
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #7
    It is very easy! Just take your time and plan your parts. Also, remember to be careful with CPUs and not to touch them on top. They are sensitive to oils from skin and the pins are very, very, very delicate.
     
  8. TechGod thread starter macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    #8
    Due to certain conditions, I can't be as careful as others. I may have to get it built: O

    ----------

    Thanks everyone that posted! Again to to a certain hand eye coordination disorder I have, I may have to get it built from a local however I will obviously choose all the parts.

    Thanks to the other person recommended PC part picker.
     
  9. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    Apr 19, 2014
    #9
    It's easy. The instructions included with motherboards and CPUs are generally very good and there are tons of tutorials online.

    Things to keep in mind

    1.) If it doesn't fit, don't force it. Almost all computer hardware is only designed to fit together one way (the correct way). It's hard to put something in backwards or upside down. That said, there are some exceptions and you can always break stuff if you apply too much force.

    2.) Ground yourself before touching anything. You don't want to build up static electricity and send it through the motherboard.

    3.) Plan your space. Make sure you have lots of it and keep some tin cans available to put screws in. Label the cans with the destination of those screws because a lot of times you will have different lengths and it can be hard to tell which ones go in which holes.

    4.) Be slow and thorough. There's no need to rush through it and trying to do so is not a good idea.

    5.) Perhaps most importantly, do your research ahead of time. Make sure you buy components that are compatible and that you have everything you'll need. That also means checking forums for issues. I found that an Asus motherboard listed by Asus as compatible with the AMD FX-8350 CPU actually was not compatible by reading a forum where someone had a problem and contacted Asus. Stuff like that can be a big time and money saver.
     
  10. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #10
    It really isn't all that hard. If you have a buddy who is knowledgeable he can drop the CPU in for you and you build the rest. The rest is all screws and plugging wires in essentially.
     
  11. TechGod thread starter macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    #11
    Great! I can get someone to drop in the CPU if it'sjust connecting the SATA cables and the GPU and popping the hard drives in there bay... It could be done by me(maybe not the CPU and GPU)
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #12
    The GPU is relatively easy. Much easier than the CPU. They are far less delicate and it just takes lining up. That may be hard to do, but a friend can definitely help you. I offer this as a possibility because the pride and joy you get when you first boot a PC you built with your hands is immense and you don't get that with a prebuilt system.

    All other tech guys will agree...
     
  13. TechGod thread starter macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    #13
    Believe me I am techy myself, and when I made my own motorised car with lights I was pretty happy to see it go as well:D
     
  14. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #14
    Glad to see someone else feels the same way.
     
  15. lautzki, May 26, 2014
    Last edited: May 26, 2014

    lautzki macrumors regular

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    May 21, 2014
    #15
    I recently built a budget gaming PC. The building process is really just like playing with Legos, the hardest bit is to get the right, powerful parts for not-so-much money.

    Here's my budget gaming PC specs:

    All the parts, excluding the case, were ordered from Mindfactory.de, priced around 700 euros (just under a grand in US dollars). Averaging around 40-50FPS in BF4 with Ultra settings ('Mantle' API gives a slight performance boost here). If you want Windows 7, that will naturally boost your price up a little bit - fortunately I got my W7 license for free via my university.

    You want to ground yourself properly before starting the building process (I have blown a couple of memory modules due to static electricity before). The easy way is to buy an anti-static wristband - the other method is to hook the PSU to your case, plug it in without turning on the power, and touch an unpainted part of the case from time to time.

    I went through the building process like this:

    Good luck and have fun building your PC!
     
  16. Lyn2012 macrumors regular

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    Dec 26, 2007
    #16
    Yes, I built my own PC a few years ago, and then one for a friend as well. I had never done this before but it went very smoothly. I found this website invaluable, you can even post your proposed hardware and more knowledgable people can comment or make suggestions about it. https://forum.buildyourown.org.uk
     
  17. dkr77573 macrumors newbie

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    May 26, 2014
    #17
    I built every PC I've ever used since 1999. Even laptops (I was an HP, Dell & Toshiba certified technician at the time, so I had a source for parts). Ironically, my newest PC was a pre-built. They had such good deals out there that I could not beat them building myself. Especially when you consider the warranty and OS cost. I ended up transferring everything into a better case. If you're looking for that great feeling of accomplishment, go for it. Otherwise, you may find decent pre-built alternatives. You might even consider a base build where you can add your own GPU, memory and HDD...etc.
     
  18. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #18
    I started building my own in '96. It really is a fairly simple process and all you mainly need to know is the order to install the components and lautzki did a very good job in laying out the basic steps.

    The CPU is also very straight forward as it and the motherboard are keyed for each other so it will only go in one way.
    As long as you take your time and breathe you will get through it no problems at all.
    Once you get 1 or two under your belt then you can start getting into wire management, better cooling setups, maybe some mods and really making it your own.
    Anandtech and Toms Hardware is your friend on researching and reviews on components.

    I remember using Pricewatch.com for everything, now Newegg makes it so simple to get decent prices, shipping and some ok user reviews, if a person understands how to use the review system.

    But don't worry, I sincerely doubt you will mess anything up, usually being fearful of doing something the 1st time makes us pay closer attention, it's once we get comfortable doing it a lot is when the "I should have known better" mistakes come.

    Have fun.
     

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  19. mwhals macrumors 6502

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    Sep 16, 2012
    #19
    I have build several PCs, including my last four personal PCs.
     
  20. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    Calgary, Canada
    #20
    I could probably build my own PC, but I have neither the patience or the money to do so.

    One thing I would suggest is making sure that all the parts you choose are compatible with the motherboard, by doing a lot of research.
     
  21. TechGod thread starter macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    #21
    Don't worry my parts are compatible, I did check!
     
  22. Judas1 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 4, 2011
    #22
    Just built one a week ago, and it didn't boot. Had to troubleshoot, which was a pain in the ass. Found out it was the motherboard. RMAed it, and now waiting for a new motherboard. I thought it would be a fun project, but by the end of it, I wanted to toss the whole thing out of the window. But now it'll be even sweeter when it finally fires up.:D
     
  23. mfram macrumors 65816

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    San Diego, CA USA
    #23
    That's what it comes down to. I've assembled several PCs. The last one only a couple weeks ago. Luckily, Fry's Electronics (local to me) stocks quality components to be able to build an awesome game machine. But if I had to mail order them, it would be more of a pain in the case where something doesn't work.

    The huge advantage of putting together your own system is that you have control over the components. It also allows you to upgrade piece-by-piece as time goes by (like the video card) instead of being stuck with your purchased configuration until the next big upgrade.

    My last PC, before being turned into the "guest" game machine had several upgrades during it's lifetime. Bigger hard drive, newer BluRay drive, new video card, etc. But when I noticed the BIOS date was late 2009, I decided it was time for a new machine.

    I always upgrade the motherboard, power supply, and case all at once. The fans on those components will wear out in time anyway.

    So what did I end up with? A screamer. MSI Gaming motherboard, i7-4770K, 8G, 250GB SSD, 3TB HDD, nice Antec case and power supply. I could re-use a couple components from the last mahcine: BluRay Drive, video card to save some upfront cost. Eventually I'll get a new NVidia card when the next generation comes out.
     
  24. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #24
    I only custom build my desktops. There's just no reason not to. It's about as hard as building a lego set, and you end up with a PC that doesn't have any bloat or adware.

    The last time I built a PC was in 2009, and it cost me $300 for a bare-bones system. I've been upgrading that system for 5 years now, and it about keeps pace with a maxed out iMac in terms of gaming and GPU performance.
     
  25. Alphabetize macrumors 6502

    Alphabetize

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    Oct 6, 2013
    #25
    Building a PC is easy and lots of fun! I was a complete newbie to many hardware things with computers, and in the process, I learned a lot about them.

    Newegg has a series of videos on assembling a PC and it's really easy to follow. The best part is picking what components you want.

    Newegg video: http://youtu.be/lPIXAtNGGCw
     

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