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How hard is building you own computer?

By shandeleo
Sep 4, 2013
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  1. I need to get a new computer and thinking about putting one together myself. I'm studying computer animation and just killed my laptop trying to put a new fan in it. I'm a lifelong mac user, but I'm thinking I may be able to put together a better machine than, say an iMac, for the same price. How hard would this be with no experience or knowledge of hardware (see above story about laptop fan) and not a ton of time? Is it plug-and-play, or is thre soldering and stuff involved? Where would I start?
     
  2. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,473   +622

    Everything is plug-and-play, no soldering required. Look at youtube videos. Square peg goes in square hole. It shouldn't take longer than a day to research and put it all together (if you ordered the right parts).

    Yes, iMacs are overpriced in regards to their specs.

    But, how did you break your laptop replacing a fan? :(
     
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,117   +1,523

    terry5880 likes this.
  4. shandeleo

    shandeleo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I stripped the screws and broke off the pins to the power chord, then (I think) when I went in a second time, forgot to take the battery out and shorted out the logic board. Not a good moment for me.
    Could you recommend any prefab PCs that would be good for that budget?
     
  5. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,473   +622

    Dunno, pay extra $100-150 and get your parts built by the shop.
     
  6. shandeleo

    shandeleo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Any recommendations on how to find a good shop?
     
  7. Islander

    Islander TS Member Posts: 40

    Google map PC shops in your neighborhood (your zipcode or w/in 50 mile radius of your address, etc.) and go to craigslist with the list of shops (or Better Business Bureau). Might work.

    Frank
     
  8. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,026   +913

  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 3,473   +622

    Don't know. Here in Australia, there is no Newegg or Amazon, so we use a handful of large PC shops which have an online store. We can pay extra to some of them and get our PC built by the shop.
     
  10. hopgop1

    hopgop1 TS Enthusiast Posts: 192   +22

    Also as regards to tutorials, I found Austin Evans on YouTube very helpful, he has some simple build videos (watch those as a rough guide but mainly use the newegg videos JC linked) and busts some PC building myths :D. I found his videos very helpful and he is the person who persuaded me that building my own PC would be better than buying it pre-built. I plan on building my own in October, I also had help from the techspot community in my own thread.

    Also if you have trouble choosing parts like I did, I'm sure everyone can help you, like they did with me.
     
  11. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,026   +913

    Yeah you can get a much more powerful and reliable PC if you build it yourself since you can chose your components for the best price that fits you.
     
     
  12. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    Fairly easy - I've built or rebuilt at least 4 over the years. You got to like to troubleshoot. The last one I built fired right up with no issues at all. I have been using it ever since.
     


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