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Do homebuilt computers work?

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June 16, 2011 9:06:07 AM

Hello
I am looking to build my own computer but I have heard many horror stories about systems failing and breaking etc.
So I am wondering about the succes rate of new builds.
If you have built your own PC I was wondering if it worked the first time or if you had any problems and were able to fix them.
Did it take experience to be able to build a PC without any hitches eg got it right on the first, second, third.

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a b B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2011 9:36:59 AM
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Fundamentally builds fail because people aren't as knowledgeable as they need to be. You need to be able to determine what parts to buy and how to go about fixing things if they go wrong.

There are plenty of posts on this forum asking if a particular parts list will work. Largely people get it right and people only need to reply with tweaks to the system.

Thrown into the mix is the chance of particular components being "dead on arrival" commonly known as DOA. Sometimes it's not always clear what is going wrong so you need patience and be willing to research issues.

If you've read enough upfront, have a good set of components and they are all functioning correctly (which is the norm) then it will be clean sailing.

Excluding upgrades, I've built 6 systems from scratch. All of which went largely smoothly purely because I educated myself. It gets easier on sequential builds for sure.

When you build the machine it's overall success is purely determined by you. This can be daunting for people but being able to have full control over your machine is great.
June 16, 2011 9:49:27 AM

Rusting In Peace said:
Fundamentally builds fail because people aren't as knowledgeable as they need to be. You need to be able to determine what parts to buy and how to go about fixing things if they go wrong.

There are plenty of posts on this forum asking if a particular parts list will work. Largely people get it right and people only need to reply with tweaks to the system.

Thrown into the mix is the chance of particular components being "dead on arrival" commonly known as DOA. Sometimes it's not always clear what is going wrong so you need patience and be willing to research issues.

If you've read enough upfront, have a good set of components and they are all functioning correctly (which is the norm) then it will be clean sailing.

Excluding upgrades, I've built 6 systems from scratch. All of which went largely smoothly purely because I educated myself. It gets easier on sequential builds for sure.

When you build the machine it's overall success is purely determined by you. This can be daunting for people but being able to have full control over your machine is great.


Thanks I can definatley see a few articles in my future :) 
I did have a look at some parts, do you think this will work


Corsair HX-850 Power Supply $219.00
ASUS P8P67-M PRO Motherboard B3 $159.00
Intel Core i5 2500K $219.00
G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL (2x4GB) DDR3 $105.00
VTX3D Radeon HD6950 2GB (sli later) $269.00
Samsung SH-222AB SATA DVDRW Drive $29.00
CoolerMaster Hyper TX3 $25.00
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB WD2002FAEX $165.00
CoolerMaster HAF 932 Case $159.00

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a b B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2011 10:45:40 AM

You've picked generally okay parts there. I've never heard of VTX3D in graphics cards, must be an American only thing.

But other than that, you've got some solid parts there. The only thing i would say is, do you really need 2TB hard drive? If so then fine, if not then move down to a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB drive that will more than halve the price of the HDD.

Also, just for nitpicking reference. AMD cards like the 6950 you referenced do not SLI, they Crossfire. SLI is Nvidia's multi-GPU technology. Some may pull you up on that in the future, so i'm just giving you the heads up now.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2011 12:49:38 PM

I agree with Griffolion with the card manufacturer. Consider choosing a better known company as far as my understanding goes they get first choice of batches so they can offer better warranties and overclocked versions. I've always been impressed by HIS versions of ATI cards.

If you aren't aware I should make clear that you need a 64bit OS to use more than 4GB of RAM.

Depending on your budget you may also want to consider a SSD. Have a look at this SSD list for some good ones.

Apart from that it all looks great. That's a solid PSU, you've correctly picked up the B3 version of the motherboard and that i5 will do nicely. Well done.
June 16, 2011 12:49:55 PM

Go for it! You will feel great when its up n running and will end up with a MUCH better pc than buying an overpriced prebuilt from hp or dell. And you will have all quality components that you can easily upgrade as time goes on.
That list looks like youve been doing a little research already, but keep reading. Also look into a ssd for your boot drive n freq used programs. Instead of a 2 tb, maybe get 2x 1tb and run them in raid. Have you looked into amd. The new 990fx mobos are out and there is a new cpu coming out probably next month.
When it comes time to put this fun stuff together just look on youtube for some good step by step tutorials and take your time. It's easier than you think. Good Luck!
June 16, 2011 12:56:52 PM

Oh and please go to radio shack and buy a grounding mat w wriststrap. Assemble your parts on the mat. This step is often overlooked and i would imagine causes some people to write a negative review of "doa" when it was probably their fault. These components are delicate but you will be fine if you use precautions
a b B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2011 1:00:03 PM

raistlinn said:
Oh and please go to radio shack and buy a grounding mat w wriststrap. Assemble your parts on the mat. This step is often overlooked and i would imagine causes some people to write a negative review of "doa" when it was probably their fault. These components are delicate but you will be fine if you use precautions


Wrist straps are a silly gimmick, just rub your hand on a radiator or some other grounded metal object for 3 seconds and you're sorted.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2011 1:10:38 PM

^ regularly, not just once :p 
But I add my weight to the ' Do it!!' bandwagon, once you learn to assemble it yourself, you'll never buy a shopbuild again
Moto
a b B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2011 2:45:24 PM

I have never used anti static wrist straps nor earthed myself using a radiator and never had a piece of circuity suffer static damage. Ever.

I just avoid touching the circuity and try and hold anything with a PCB by the edges.

However that's not to say grounding yourself is a bad habit.
June 16, 2011 4:06:10 PM

For 1 it depends on the climate that you live in, so don't discourage people from using them. And grounding yourself doesnt mean the surface you are building on is neutral. I'm an electronic engineering major and I never heard a professor say grounding yourself is silly, ever
June 17, 2011 12:52:22 AM

I might go to a 1tb drive I can always upgrade later :) 
VTX3D was a very cheap brand that was on the website I will be ordering from, pccasegear.com (I wish I could order from newegg but I live in australia) I think I will go for a better brand grapgics card.
I did look into an SSD but I will have to see how my budget pans out, if I can I will.
I'm not looking to build till mid august so if AMDs chip is even faster and is in my budget I will definately look into it.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2011 4:16:57 AM

Here's a suggestion you might consider regarding the hard drive upgrade you mentioned. If you start with a 1TB drive now and find that you still need more space later you can buy another 1TB drive(same brand and model for best reliability/compatibility) and then configure it as a Raid 0 setup for a total of 2TB of space. The only thing you should make sure of BEFORE you convert it to Raid 0 is to make a system image backup so that you can easily restore your OS without having to reload it and reinstall all of your programs.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2011 5:54:44 AM

Buy an SSD for the C drive instead. Or just a fast smaller drive.
June 17, 2011 6:30:28 AM

If I can't get a SSD I will upgrade in the future, mabye a year or two and then I'll just do a clean install. I don't think I will get a smaller faster HDD I would prefer to wait and get an SSD
a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2011 7:22:37 AM

In response to your question OP, homebuilt computers work. My gaming desktop is probably 5 years old. I have upgraded video card, ram, etc. Tonight, just dropped an Athlon II quad in it for likely one of it's final upgrades.

I've got an old AM2 sli board(Gigabyte m571 sli-s4 rev 2.0)
Athlon II x4 640
4gb ddr 2
1 tb Seagate hard drive
Ultra LSP 650 watt power supply
GTS 450 video card


In response to the question, do homebuilts work, if you take the time, plan them out, they can last you a very long time. I will probably get another year or so from this machine for gaming, so 6-7 year life for an old gaming pc isn't bad.
June 17, 2011 7:30:14 AM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
In response to your question OP, homebuilt computers work. My gaming desktop is probably 5 years old. I have upgraded video card, ram, etc. Tonight, just dropped an Athlon II quad in it for likely one of it's final upgrades.

I've got an old AM2 sli board(Gigabyte m571 sli-s4 rev 2.0)
Athlon II x4 640
4gb ddr 2
1 tb Seagate hard drive
Ultra LSP 650 watt power supply
GTS 450 video card


In response to the question, do homebuilts work, if you take the time, plan them out, they can last you a very long time. I will probably get another year or so from this machine for gaming, so 6-7 year life for an old gaming pc isn't bad.


Thanks to everyone I will definately build insed of buy a prebuilt
June 17, 2011 7:31:29 AM

Best answer selected by candlelarbra5212.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2011 7:34:51 AM

great! Look forward to helping you through any issues you may have, check out the stickies for some general advice as research before you start
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/288241-13-read-post...
sections 3 and four will be most useful, but also read through 2.3 for choosing parts too
Moto
a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2011 9:20:47 AM

Op, where do you live? If in the US, check and see if you have a store called Microcenter near you. Even it's an hour or two away, may be worth it to drive there for you. Many times they have deals for example, if you buy an AMD chip, you get a board for almost free, or buy any chip and get 40 dollars off a motherboard.

Also, they have a 30 day return policy, so you have problems, they take care of you. I've worked on quite a few machines, and find if you get hooked up with the right associate, they are very knowledgable and helpful, and they will usually want to help you, as they make a commission from whatever they tag as helping you with, and prices are competitive with newegg.
June 18, 2011 10:39:47 AM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
Op, where do you live? If in the US, check and see if you have a store called Microcenter near you. Even it's an hour or two away, may be worth it to drive there for you. Many times they have deals for example, if you buy an AMD chip, you get a board for almost free, or buy any chip and get 40 dollars off a motherboard.

Also, they have a 30 day return policy, so you have problems, they take care of you. I've worked on quite a few machines, and find if you get hooked up with the right associate, they are very knowledgable and helpful, and they will usually want to help you, as they make a commission from whatever they tag as helping you with, and prices are competitive with newegg.

That souds great but I live in Australia I have a few local PC shops so if I get in toruble that can be a last resort
!