Biggest PC Building Mistakes From The Community


Although we are a community of PC builders, some of us novices, some of us experts, there is unlikely any among us who can honestly say they haven't made a mistake in a build. Some of us have been fairly lucky, and the worst mistake we ever made was to buy an incompatible component for a build, while others have seen their systems literally go up in flames.

To share in the amusement of our own mistakes and those of our community, we asked readers and forum members to submit their biggest PC building blunders, and we have picked out the best of these to list here. We hope you enjoy reading and discussing these stories while remaining polite and respectful. After all, sometimes mistakes are the best learning experiences, whether those mistakes happen to us, or to others.

I'll kick things off with my biggest PC building mistake. It was only about three years ago, and I decided to give Crossfire a try with two AMD Radeon HD 7850 graphics cards. I inserted the two cards in my motherboard, connected them with the Crossfire cable, started up a game and noticed that one of the GPUs had almost immediately hit 100 degrees!

Turns out the motherboard I used had the PCI-E slots slightly too close together, and the cooler mounting screws on the second GPU had blocked the fan on the primary GPU from spinning. Not only that, but from the force of trying to spin, one of the fan blades cracked clean off. You can imagine how dumb I felt.

If you've finished laughing at my blunder, let’s look at some of yours. The stories are organized into hardware categories with five stories in each section. We've also left the story submissions as they were submitted, which is to say, unedited.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.