First time building a computer

So, I'm completely new at putting together a computer and I want to build a gaming computer. I've never really even opened up a computer and did something with it.. so is it easy to build a computer? I have general knowledge of computer and have experience in building car/gundam model kits(lol) so I'm guessing it can't be TOO hard.. anyways, I was looking around for parts and so far I am thinking

processor: 3.16 core2duo, 3.33 core2duo, or 2.5 core2quad? is it worth to pay 70-100 more for the 3.33/quad? if so which one should I get?
case: or (liquid cooling?)
hard drive:
motherboard: any or other suggestions?
video card:
ram: is this enough, or get 8?
powe supply: enough?
CD drive: , what's the SATA slim thing, can I like put 2 of these in 1 drive bay? I'm not sure how it works..
operating system: Vista home premium 64 bit.
Price: around 1000-1300 dollars depending what I get.
do tell if there's anything wrong with this build or if something is missing.

also, what tools/safety will I need? I saw this computer building kit for like 40 bucks.. is it really necessary?
thank you.
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  1. id reccomend going with a budget nehalem build with the 2.66 ghtz quadcore and a 4850x2
  2. There are faqs available, but my ability to post links has been unsuccessful. I've been building my own for 16 years; first, download the motherboard manual online before ordering your motherboard. Read it. Can you understand it? This may sound like a foolish question, but some are written poorly. Second, when you get the motherboard, test it first before installing it in the case. I place mine on a phonebook, installing the cpu/heatsink (retail boxed cpus come with a thermal pad; no need for paste), one stick of memory, and video card if you aren't using onboard video. Connect the 24 pin atx connector, 4 or 8 pin 12v connector, video card connector from the power supply (if required -usually a 6 pin plug) and finally the monitor. Plug in your power supply. Move the on off toggle switch on the back of most power supplies if nothing happens when you first power it up. Touch the pin cluster that contains the power switch lead, reset, power led, etc with a plain flathead screwdriver until it fires up. Hit an "f" or "del" key as instructed on the post screen to enter the bios. Set the boot order, and check the memory voltage. I only use corsair, crucial, kingston, or samsung pc6400 that runs at 1.8 volts; they work with most newer ddr2 boards. If you're good to go at this point, save the settings using f10 and exit. Turn off your power supply or unplug it, and proceed from there. If your case is new and empty, I install the hardrive and optical drives first if they don't interfere with the motherboard installation, so you're not handling any heavy objects that could damage the motherboard if you accidentally drop them. Then install the motherboard backplate (same as i/o shield) by removing any default backplate that is on some new cases. Sometimes you twist them back and forth until they pop off, then press the new backplate in evenly with the ports facing the proper way. Then, check the position of the brass or "hump" standoffs, and remove any that don't line up with the empty installation holes in your board. I grab either the cpu heatsink or northbridge heatsink (if used) and carefully angle the board into the case against the backplate. Remember, all memory sticks and cpu/heatsink are already installed before you mount the board. Then check for any loose wiring under the board and carefully remove it before tightening the mounting screws. You don't have to use them all; as few as four to six will be all you need. Now, if your power supply isn't in the case yet, now is the time to install it. Standard atx power supplies fit about 98-99 percent of all cases; I use only antec, corsair, enermax, seasonic, or pc power and cooling; all are good. The reason you install the power supply last is that the wires are long, and extra ones have to be tucked out of the way, unless your ps is a cable select model, with removable wires so you use only the ones you need. Once the board is mounted, then install any cards on the pci or pci-e slots. Then your power supply 24 pin atx connector, the 4 or 8 pin 12v connector, and the power switch cluster leads from the front of the case. Most important is the power switch lead; if it's in the wrong position, the computer won't power up when you hit the case power switch. If you're completely lost at this point, find someone who has done this before, or buy a dell (which is cheaper than any homebuilt if you don't order options). Trust me; take it slow, and don't be in too big of a hurry. The first time is always the hardest. Be patient, and you'll be rewarded with satisfaction when your system fires up for the first time.
  3. hmm. building it seems pretty easy.
    I'm pretty satisfied with what I said I'm going to get. I'm just wondering if there's anything wrong, and which case/processor I should get.
  4. building a computer is the adult equivalent of the toy you used to play with as a kid that had blocks with different shapes and holes with different shapes.
  5. How do I install cooling?
    Should I get the liquid cooled case? or just the regular one.. :/
  6. oh, is there a chance that I could completely mess up and break the computer. I hear things about static electricity and how it could mess up your hardware. o_O
  7. Do you plan to do SLI? If not, save some money and change the motherboard. Get a P45 motherboard. The ASUS P5Q Pro is a good choice.
  8. Um, I plan on using SLI in the future when I get another monitor ;o.
  9. All I've done to avoid static damage is touch the case (or a ground) to discharge and then do that again every so often. It has worked for my many builds.

    As for the actual building, something always has to go wrong. In my most recent upgrade I received a ATI 4850 with a short in it. The best advice I can give you is go slow, be cautious, and don't force stuff. I've bought from both TigerDirect and Newegg over the years and like them both, though Newegg definitely has the edge. For the aforementioned 4850, I talked to them and they sent me a new one (from a better brand) before they received my old one for no charge to me. Talk about good service.
  10. Wow that was a great post o1die. I'm sorry that lxseto93 did not thank you for spending all your time writing such a detailed description of how to build a system.
  11. lol sorry. thanks o1die for the guide. ;o
    anyways, I'm kind of confused about the drive bays and how they work.. can I fit 2 of the slim CD drives in 1 drive bay? is liquid cooling hard to install? I might get the liquid cooling case but it's quite expensive... also, any suggestions on other cases that could be better?
    and is the power supply I posted good enough?
  12. lxseto93 said:
    lol sorry. thanks o1die for the guide. ;o
    anyways, I'm kind of confused about the drive bays and how they work.. can I fit 2 of the slim CD drives in 1 drive bay? is liquid cooling hard to install? I might get the liquid cooling case but it's quite expensive... also, any suggestions on other cases that could be better?
    and is the power supply I posted good enough?

    Its usually one drive bay per drive. But they usually have at least 4 cd bays and then like 4 bays for hard drives (some have more some have less depends on the case). I would not use liquid cooling, thats just a waste. Its really only needed for extemely super OCing which i doubt you will do and more expensive computers. And personally i wouldnt spend $180-$270 on a case when the actual total cost is $1000-1300. BUt if you really really like that case its your money.
  13. o1die covered the basics very nicely.

    For your first build, stick with air cooling.

    Regardless what Intel's instructions say, install the CPU and HSF before you install the motherboard in the case. Intel and quite a few other manufactures use a push-pin HSF mounting system. You cannot ensure a properly mounted HSF without inspecting the back side of the board.

    Install the RAM, then breadboard (that's assembling the components without a case) the system. That ensures that you are installing tested (by you) components in the case. I always breadboard.

    I didn't check the link for your case, but if the PSU mounts in the top of your case, turn the case upside down before you mount the PSU. That way, it's impossible for the PSU to fall on anything.
  14. What kind of cooling do I get? Do I just get the fan thing and stick it on the processor? o.o
  15. A very good choice for an HSF is the Xigmatek HDT-1283. It uses the intel pushpin mounting system. Xig also sells a mounting bracket that fits on the backside of the motherboard to mount the HSF. Get it. Much better than pushpins. newegg carries both. I don't know about TD.
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