Thoughts on building your own PC for the first time

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by wrldwzrd89, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #1
    I decided to try my hand at building my own PC. Alas, this wasn't without troubles at every stage of the process... but I finally got the thing working!

    First problem came when buying the parts. Both the CPU and motherboard I wanted were out of stock when I went to buy, so I selected alternates. I then took the thing home. Started assembling it the next day. The assembly process was reasonably straightforward, once I figured out what goes where. Then came the first boot. YAY, it boots! BOO, it won't boot my OS install USB key. 4 hours of frustration ensued as I tried various methods to get it to USB boot. Finally, I stumbled upon a weird hack involving 2 USB drives and a small loader program on the first USB used to boot the OS installer on the second USB. That worked... but now the OS installer won't boot into a usable state, because it didn't recognize my graphics hardware. So, I fiddled with the boot parameters until I found a combination that worked, installed the OS, rebooted. Changed boot parameters again so I could log in... installed the graphics driver, rebooted, installed OS updates, rebooted, and... FINALLY, it works normally, after 7 hours total spent (2 assembly, 4 troubleshooting boot failure, 1 troubleshooting OS installer failure).

    The components I ended up using were: AMD A6 CPU, Gigabyte motherboard, 8GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, 64 GB SSD (which I couldn't install due to the thing not fitting properly in the case - I'm gonna buy a caddy to fix this), AMD-branded case, 650W Coolermaster PSU, monitor, speakers, keyboard, and mouse. All for under US$800. :D
     
  2. rasmusonline macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Ryanair's planes.
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #3
    Why not old fashion DVD install? Quick and to the point....

    Also, all you need is a 2.5" to 3.5" braket for your SSD
     
  4. avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #4
    Yeah, but don't you just love it when the computer is YOUR labour of love, YOU put it together. :D

    And you do love it until something goes wrong with it and then YOU have to fix it.

    Been there, done that. I'm totally over it now. :) I'd built some pretty potent machines as well. One was a i7 920 with 8gb ram and a couple of nVidia GTX295 video cards, each with 1792mb ram.

    It was great until it decided to do wierd things, OS freezing up. At that point I gave up and ordered a Mac Pro after one of the Apple stores let me have a good look inside one of their ones. I knew it was what I wanted - it gave me the freedom to upgrade as I needed, with help and support from Apple.

    The SSDs need a bracket to bring them up to 3.5" size. Most computer stores should have them.
     
  5. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #5
    Dude, why?! If you know how to build a i7-920 machine, you don't need to buy a Mac Pro. You do realized Mac Pros have overpriced everything? Add to that very limited GPU selection.

    All you needed was a bit of troubleshooting. At most $400 was the price to fix your computer. Remember, a 920 is still a pretty decent CPU for today.
     
  6. avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #6
    I've had the Mac for ages now, it is fit for purpose and does the job I need it to do really well. I rarely use Windows, I'm much happier in Mac OS. I have only a PC laptop left from 2006, otherwise, I'm all Apple.
     
  7. dasmb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    #7
    Mazel Tov. Everybody should build their own PC at least once, so they gain an appreciation for not having to be their own hardware technician.

    Before ecommerce and DIY retail stores, I used to buy all my PC parts from gigantic catalogs like PC Shopper and "Computer Fairs," where you were pretty much guaranteed to get a dud part half the time. It was a good deal, but not a great value -- most of my time was spent diagnosing hardware issues, tripping jumpers, mapping out IRQs -- all stuff you don't need to do anymore, but at the time I really could have used the stable hardware I've had since I turned Apple.

    My advice: never skimp on power and never skimp on ram. Spend more to get high power, reputable parts with guaranteed quality and performance -- those high priced PS are worth it, man!
     
  8. avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #8
    Exactly right. Those cheap parts might be cheap, but sometimes you find out why they are cheap when they decide to quit.

    Remember everyone use to benchmark their new build machines - it was something of a competition to see who could get the highest score. ;) A really good HDD is a must too. My Mac Pro seems to have a WD Caviar Black - which seems to be well regarded around the internet. My other HDDs I used in the Mac Pro are just old ones I had sitting around. A 300gb for Windows 7 and a 1TB Seagate which is used solely as the "data dump" drive. I dump my work on it and when I'm finished, I clear everything of it again.
     

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