How long does it take to build a computer

By awsskater892
Feb 6, 2007
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  1. Hi, Ive built 2-3 computers, and I am just wondering how long does it take you to build a computer, from start to finish (start being unpackaging all of the parts, getting the necessary tools together, and finish being plugged in and starting to install the O.S.) Im not really looking for a professional point of view because they do it all the time, Im talking about a person who has built 2-6 systems, and not old systems, newer ones which take more time, also Im not talking about water cooling systems. thanks alot! -Nick
  2. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,407   +6

    Maybe a week from ordering stuff to finish...depends whether you have issues building it or not.
  3. awsskater892

    awsskater892 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 212

    Sorry I wasnt very clear, I did not mean from ordering, I ment from already having everythign at your house
  4. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,407   +6

    Maybe 3-5 days. If no parts turn out to be DOA...
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,067   +13

    if you have all the equipment and parts... a few hours.
  6. ambivolent

    ambivolent Newcomer, in training Posts: 80

    usually takes me about 2 hours to get it done from start to finish
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,276   +177

    I'd say about 2-3 hours for hardware assembly, not including installing the O.S. It depends on how well the manual identifies the front panel headers to the on switch, reset switch, leds, etc. It also depends on how much thought you put into routing your cables for neatness.

    Of course, the third PC you assemble goes a lot faster than the first. :)
  8. awsskater892

    awsskater892 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 212

    thanks guys, I think im gonna go with the full, oem ultimate version of windows, you cant beet $200!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. tweakboy

    tweakboy TechSpot Maniac Posts: 518

    Depends if you are a guru you can do it in 45 min or so,
  10. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,083

    wrong thread

    lol..its ok i do that often with firefox tabbing

    I would say it is possible to do it in 15 minutes, with absolutely no flaws. Ive built 4 computers, my first took about 6 hours, and about 8 hours for the water cooling. My most recent took me about 45 minutes (hardware assembly), and the same water cooling system now takes me an hour to setup. Shows how much you learn from the first build.
  11. chuck4456

    chuck4456 Newcomer, in training Posts: 64

    45 minutes to put all of the hardware together. 3 hours to load in the OS, virus protection, antispyware and what-nots, 6-12 hrs of test runs. Following that, deciding the best way to route wires and cables, making sure air flow is exactly as you want it, final inspection. Close it all up and run it again! It usually takes a couple of days before you can give it the final seal of approval.
  12. nismo91

    nismo91 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 989   +6

    For the hardware should be around 1 hour if you're get used to.

    Btw you guys remember the "PC Assembling" contest held few years ago?
    As i remember there's one guy who could 'build' a pc in less than 10 or 5 minutes... incredible...
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,248   +213

    I had to think about this for a while.. trying to remember the computers I've built (not many) and how long it took. I think the first one I ever built was for a friend of my parents and I don't remember it taking very long, maybe 15-20 minutes.

    But then I think about my Athlon 64 build a couple years ago and I think it took me about an hour and a half, then some trouble shooting because the manual had the wrong pins labled for the power switch. Ended up figuring that out with a screwdriver.

    Then I built a Pentium D system for my Aunt that took maybe 20 minutes to get everything in, and then another hour or so on and off of attempts at getting the heatsink seated properly, really should have pulled the motherboard out of the case for that.

    My last build was a Core2Duo system, and I think it took about an hour, and everything worked when I fired it up!
     
  14. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,083

    Yeh, it really depends on alot of things. I build my parents a computer once, and i came to putting the c.d drive in, and to put it it i had to remove the power supply, and to remove the power supply i had to remove the mobo, and to remove the mobo i had to unplug everything, so basically after 2 hours of installation i had to retake it apart. I have also had some hard times installing after market heatsinks. The new socket 775 heat sinks save a lot of time though. Theirs a lot of different factors that may come into play.
  15. foozy

    foozy Newcomer, in training Posts: 267

    My first systems took one or two hours, simply because its good to be really, really careful during construction. I can pop out machines in 20 minutes now if i'm taking my time - 10 minutes if i'm rushing, but thats just your basic six part system. Little things like video cards, floppy drives, and jumper rearranging tack on time. there are tricks you learn after the first 10 or 20 machines, such as what parts to put in first and becoming manual-free. I have the layouts of a few motherboards memorized, so connecting the front panel takes maybe 30 seconds (it also helps to connect the front panel BEFORE you install the motherboard), whereas it used to take me 10 minutes to get all the pins right and wedged down in there.

    Its just like any other practiced skill. Don't forget though, its better to take 3 hours to build and boot up on first try than take half an hour and then have to troubleshoot for another four hours. Worse yet, taking 20 minutes and frying a cpu because you didn't seat things right.
  16. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,088

    I can do it in about 30 minutes with no cable management. It mostly depends on if your screwdriver has magnetics, if it dosnt it takes me as long as 2 hours :S

    Another large faactor is case size and type, small cases take longer cause u have less room to work with and large cases are well large.
  17. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,198

    I'd say give yourself at least an hour to do a professional, clean and well thought out build. The more time you take, the better off you are.

    Cleaning surfaces, cpu/heatsink, applying arctic silver with proper methods (coffee filters/isopropyl alcohol), planning drives, spacing, cooling, cleanly running cables and wires, wire hide/management, etc.etc.. all these things can be done quickly after you've done a few dozen.. but for someone that has only built 2-6 systems, they should learn their own best practices and take their time.

    So I'd say mask about 1-3 hours to do the truly "pro" job, especially if it's a motherboard,case, cpu and cooler combo you've never used or installed before. Do it cleanly, professionally... and if you're unhappy with how the wiring and cabling is going- by all means, remove stuff and do it over. There is no first place for "fastest" build.. but there is a first prize for how neat, clean and accessible a job you do the first time the system is taken apart to upgrade/maintain.
  18. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,083

    The top left mobo mount screw is almost immpsable to get in on a normal mobo with a non-magnetic screw driver. Ive spent half an hour trying to get that one in.
  19. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,088

    OMG I know lol. I got it in there somehow though, thats why I bought a nice screw driver that is magnetic :)
  20. foozy

    foozy Newcomer, in training Posts: 267

    As long as you can sort of drop it in at an angle you can screw it in fine, its especially easy with a precision screwdriver set.

    Another tactic is to put the screws in the holes before you set the board down into the case, and just be careful to aim it just right.
  21. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    One to two hours with the second hour for Installing Windows... But for what I consider a full install with antivirus, antispyware, adobe reader, driver updates, Microsoft updates, Office, Roxio or Nero, etc, it takes a full 11-12 hours.
  22. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,083

    Thats almost imposable to do without having half the screws fall out. You cant aim it just right because you always have to slide it to the left to get the ports on the back of the mobo lined up with the case.
    1 person likes this.
  23. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,487   +73

    At first it's going to take a while, once you ace it you'll become a Pro and it would be just building a new car engine.

    Case with PSU is better saves time
    MOBO to PSU is easy what takes time is to get the right light to show up on the case, it's a hit and a miss..
    OS, take time...
    Software an etc..

    At work it can take the whole-day, that's why you have to build more than one 8, 16, 32 if you got the space...
  24. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 651

    32.34 minutes

    Just finished 1 of 3 computers for a doctors office. I timed it via stopwatch from start to finish and it took 32.34 minutes. Including front panal connectors.

    However this was a simple build...Micro ATX board /onboard video/sound...1 hard drive....1 CD/DVD Drive and Floppy...

    The PSU was also preinstalled.....They are cheaper Antec cases, but did not have any of the tool-less install bays or anything.

    Also I was rather prepaired. I had all the parts layed out, all the tools I needed and the case laying on its side ready for work, hit the stopwatch and I started :D

    I didnt include cable managment, but I guess it was like 5 minutes tops....Not much to manage, just maybe 3 or 3 zip ties and a tuck here or there...

    I didnt really rush to try and beat the clock, just did what I always do as efficiently as possible.
  25. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,487   +73

    Corp america it takes longer than that...
    Ghost Builds
    PowerQuest Drive Image
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