How do i build my own computer?

so far it seems that everyone who has built their own system has been happy and has never gone back. The only problem is that i have no clue where to start or if i should build my own system instead of getting an alienware machine. If i was to build my own i wouldn't want to mail order anything in case it didn't work and i don't know of any places around Boston that sell mass computer parts. And i have no idea what the best components are and how to test them. I really need some help on this one, if i can get a big enough kick in the ass and if i really save that much money than maybe i'll build my own......please help.
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  1. My experience says that you have about a 10% chance that at least one part will be deffective. If you order through reputable site, returns are not a problem. And you can get them MUCH cheaper that way. Check you have a question concerning a vender, ask someone in here.

    Video killed my Radio Card!
  2. Bulding is PC is easy. Like a model kit. There really simple too do. They cost less too. Well you have to get research on prices. Try <A HREF="" target="_new">PriceWatch</A>well there is 2 ways to get the parts cheap. 1 a computer show *cheaper then the internet* but then you have to know what your getting or the Internet have to have a credit card + look for site with a good Resale rating. Well round up all your parts then start building it.


    1st)Cpu put in Cpu Socket on Mobo.
    2nd)Put HSF on CPU
    4th)Put Mobo, Floppy, Hard Drive, CDROM in the Case *note Plugin in your ATX power connector make sure your Mobo has no power till your done installing the hardware then turn power back on...*
    5th)Push your RAM into Your DIMM's slots
    6th)Put your add-on card in Video, Sound, NIC, etc.
    7th)Connect Harddrive, Floppy, cdrom cables to the Mobo
    8th)Clear CMOS Jumper
    9th)Plug in your Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers, Monitor, USB, etc.
    10th)Boot into your bios and Configure it to your likings
    11th)Load Windows
    12th)Install Drivers
    12th)Setup Internet
    14th)Install Windows updates
    15th)Install Games + Programs
    16th)Come back to THG saying thx Rcf84 and the Gang :*)

    thats all really for a basic setup.

    Nice Intel and AMD users get a Cookie.... :smile: Yummy :smile:
  3. Put the memory in BEFORE you install the motherboard. It's better to install them while the motherboard is on a flat surface. I've done it both ways, but after reading some of the horror stories on here I think I'll stick to ONLY doing it before the MB is in the case.

    The basic thing to remember is that you don't want to fry your equipment with static discharge so go to Radioshack and buy a ground strap. Alternatively, leave the power supply plugged into the wall (to ground the case) and tap the powersupply with your hand periodically. Make sure it's NOT on though. If you are paranoid, it's ok to play the drums on your powersupply while building the PC.


    <font color=red>Yeah, I took a crap on your lawn. Whatcha gonna do about it?</font color=red>
  4. First you go here: <A HREF="" target="_new">Pricewatch</A>

    Then you go here: <A HREF="" target="_new">Resellerratings</A>

    I have ordered just by the lowest price, but truth is that you take a risk by doing that. Some vendors just are horrible at taking orders on non-stock items, not shipping until the prices have dropped, returning items for 15% restocking fees even when they shipped it broken or defective, etc. So check the site and make sure you buy from a vendor with a decent score.

    <font color=red>Yeah, I took a crap on your lawn. Whatcha gonna do about it?</font color=red>
  5. Building a new computer is not as easy as you think. Jumpers on components, DIP switches, RAM timings, HD's configs, BIOS setup, voltages, hardware installation, and getting right/compatible components are just a few of the issues. I would suggest doing a LOT of research into this topic. There are reams and reams of info out there on computers. Hell, you could probably write a book on HSF/thermal glue alone. I spent 4 months delving into the field, learning all I could, before building my first computer. Granted, I did not have any help at all from people, and I also wanted the BEST system at the time. This required extra research into all mainboards, narrowing down chipsets to the one I desired.

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Boondock_Saint on 08/01/01 01:53 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  6. the only problem i ever had on my first self-built comp was that when i put the screws in the motherboard (to the case) it wouldn't turn on. it was a grounding problem, i was supposed to put these little red circle things where the screws go
  7. Go here - <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> - and look down on the left side, there are some guides. Then read as much as you can, and I mean as much, everywhere! Ask questions, on this forum, and on others. Then start looking at computers (you must have at least one right? Or are you typing at school or something?). Then trial and error. I built mine after only about a week of looking at it. I learned by looking at one I already had. Plugs usually only go in one way. Plus, motherboard manuals, some, have great explanations.

    Now with the jumpers and everything, I bought an Asus CUSL-C, which is jumperless, and came configured default pretty good, so it started right up, no jumpers! There are some for overclocking, but you aren't going to do that yet. This is for an Intel Pentium III chip though. Can anyone else recommend an easy mobo for AMD? One that comes almost ready to go out of the box?
  8. You really should take your computer, if you have one, and start taking components out and reinstalling them. That way when you are ready to build your pc it won't be so strange. You don't necessarely have to reinstall your mobo (actually, don't mess with it if it's working), but all the cards, memory, powersupply, drives, etc will be good practice.

    I didn't read up on anything when I build my first PC, but I had done the above, and I wasn't overclocking so the motherboard I bought was jumperless and hastle free.

    <font color=red>Yeah, I took a crap on your lawn. Whatcha gonna do about it?</font color=red>
  9. hey guys, thanks for the input. I have actually had a lot of experience with the actual insides of my current computer. I have upgraded cd-rom drives, ram, HDs, Sound cards, and video cards. It's not the installation part that i'm worried about. I more worried about choosing the right parts. It seems as though if you ask someone what they think the best parts are, they could tell you something completely different than the next guy, or at least that's what i'm finding with motherboards which i'm having an extremely difficult time trying to understand and choose. I want one with power, speed, reliability, and the ability to overclock if i want to in the future. I recently read a review of the Asus A7m266 and it said to forget about it if you want to overclock, and it only has 2 dimm sockets which is not a very nice upgrade path, but a lot of people seem to recommend it. I would just greatly appreciate any recommendations on any parts or where i could get some recommendations. I am thinking of buying the parts from, what do you guys think of that? thanks again for your help
  10. Hi folks, I've been following the comments here. I am also getting ready to make my first PC, or make one substantial upgrade. I sure appreciate the comments here and will take the advice. I am leaning toward the AMD 1 gig chip. I've been concerned about all the negative comments regarding the VIA chipset. Am I correct that the AASUS A7A266 avoides the VIA USP problems. This board uses the ALi® M1647 chipset. I currently have one of the first PIII, with 450 mhz and 100 mhz fsb. I figured that 1 gig with 266MHz FSB would keep me humming along. Most of my use is a bit of web page design, some Access use, a bit of MP3 recording, and back up onto disk. I got burned once without backup and I don't want that to happen again.

    What is the easiest way to find out if my vidio and sound card are compatible with my new mopo.

    Thanks again for the advice, and I will continue to research and view here for tips.

    Best regards, Paul
  11. After 2 weeks of reading this forum to get Ideas for a new Computer for myself I decided on the Asus A7M266 AMD T-Bird 1330 CPU, have just finished setting it up with no problems what so ever. The most important thing is to install the software and drivers in the right order.

    As far as Mail order goes this is the only way I use (have built and upgraded about 10 in the last couple of months).
    I live in New Zealand and even bought the Ram from in the USA it arrived in NZ 3 days later. I must add that it was cheaper with freight, customs etc than what I can buy Generic stuff for here (Thankyou Crucial you are tops)

    Best advice is read and reread, take your time don't rush, make notes of all what you do and don't panic if something doesn't go wrong which you do have a fair chance of it happening, if it does just post here and you will get the help you need, the satisfaction of building one yourselve is what spurred me on with my first one 12 months ago.

    INTELigence is gained by obtaining aMD
  12. Parts? Uh, oh, now you gonna open a can of worms!!!! J/K. With parts, the only way to choose is to (this is how I do it) look on the internet to the respectable hardware sites (Like THG, sharkyextreme, not sharkysextreme (doing that will get you to a f'ed up porn site) or Look at what boards they review, and what they recommend. Then come onto here or other forums and ask people what their experiences have been. If all positive, go for it! If some negative, then start weighing the negative problems. IS it something you can live with, or is it only happeneing here and there, etc. Then start coming up with a list of stuff, and when you are done compiling, come here and display your list, I am sure the AMD experts here will tell you if you have a good setup or not (I am more experienced with Intel. Not "experienced" but more experienced).

  13. Anandtech is porn site ???

    Nice Intel and AMD users get a Cookie.... :smile: Yummy :smile:
  14. Hey thats cool about importing from crucial, was thinking about doing that myself. Had no luck finding a crucial dealer here in Oz.

    Crank it up... way up!! I need that power.
  15. Well I must say I dont get that excited about the reviews at

    Crank it up... way up!! I need that power.
  16. well here is my views on anand. Intel and Amd compete to make anand a baised site. $$$ and $$$ and $$$... Well "Anandtech to the highest bidder"

    Nice Intel and AMD users get a Cookie.... :smile: Yummy :smile:
  17. No, is a porn site.
    I think that's what he meant anyway. I'm not going to go there and make sure.

    Whoever thinks up a good sig for me gets a prize :wink:
  18. well i think there both baised.

    Nice Intel and AMD users get a Cookie.... :smile: Yummy :smile:
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