Pros and Cons of building your own computer?

By mretzloff
Jan 28, 2008
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. So far I've always bought computers. I've owned a Compaq and a Gateway, and currently own a Dell and an HP.

    I read an article in some PC magazine while in the library one day, and saw how easy the author of the article claimed building your own PC to be.

    I'm asking this: what are the pros and cons of building your own PC?

    Thanks.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,455   +288

    Pros: You know and have hopefully researched every component you buy, you know how to replace things if they fail, you potentially get higher quality parts, more customizable, the sense of accomplishment.

    Cons: Can't build the low end systems as cheap as you can buy, you are your own tech support, no system wide warranty (although individual parts should be), you have to supply your own OS.
  3. mretzloff

    mretzloff Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 130

    Overall is it better to build your own computer? Would it be worth it even for a person with intermediate (above average but no where near expert) computer knowledge, such as myself?
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,514   +856

    Swear to God..., It went Down like this..........And Believe Me... I'm No Expert...

    I came home from center city about 3:00PM, had coffee, went to the super market and bought bread and milk. So now it' maybe 4:45PM. Another cup of liquid productivity, and I decided it was time to throw some parts I collected together and call it a computer.
    So, pop the faceplate off the case, jamb in the DVD burner, mount the HDD in the cage, locate and arrange everything else, then nuke a chicken pot pie for dinner, chow down real quick, and get back to it.

    Mount the CPU and heat sink, pop in 2 sticks of RAM, and then install the board in the case. Scratch my head some more while I try to get the PSU wires routed. Finish up with the IDE and SATA cables, and make sure the case front wires are on the headers correctly. Get some more Coca-Cola.

    Now I hook up an old Emachine keyboard, and ball wired mouse. Pull the monitor from another box, plug it in, then light up the surge suppressor. Hit the power switch, the fans go on, the machine posts and polls the system, but stalls with a boot error. Makes sense, since there's no operating system. Cycle the DVD tray, pop in a copy of Ubuntu 7.10, and hit enter, then accept the first menu choice it gives, (it's already highlighted, run live or install), and hit enter again. Three minutes after that and it's trying to run a live session of Ubuntu, and I'm feeling really feeling good about myself. It's only 10:15PM now and I type about 5 words a minute. (The HDD had been wiped and would have needed to be formatted before continuing. But, it's getting treated to a new copy of XP Home, so the format and install of Linux would have been pointless).

    Granted this was a very simple build, it's far from finished, and I have a couple of them under my belt, but the process is fool proof, at least if you're not really a fool.

    To top it off, the machine is pretty much exactly what I wanted.
  5. M0R0NI

    M0R0NI Newcomer, in training Posts: 92

    I would say yes! The reason is because you will gain much better computer knowledge when you do this on your own.
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,281   +24

    Building a PC is good for all the reasons specified by SNGX. However, I don't really see the system-wide warranty as a con, since that usually is for only about a year or two, while the warranty on individual components may vary from 3-5 years to a lifetime warranty. The only con I could think to add in its place is the number of different people you'll have to call and explain the problem to if multiple components fail on you.
  7. Grafficks

    Grafficks Newcomer, in training Posts: 454

    As this is a PC Enthusiast forum, everyone will recommend that you build your own computer. :D
    Don't be worried about the warranty or the idea of being your own tech support. If you're really stuck on a problem your #1 resource would be online community-based tech support forums such as Techspot.
    Like previously stated, you will also gain knowledge of computer hardware.
    The ideology of a computer enthusiast is very intensive in regards to self-educating.
  8. porsche911r

    porsche911r Newcomer, in training Posts: 119

    i very much agree with grafficks i mean u get the joy that u built ur own pc when someone comes around and says where did u get that from LOL!!!
  9. DeepMartin

    DeepMartin Newcomer, in training Posts: 89

    omg this reminds me of my first time....... lol messing with computers

    i remember just looking at the insides, following the cables
    just trying to make sense of the cable soup

    i saw this grey flat cable that went from the harddrive to this thing called motherboard and then another cable that was 4 cables in one also with all different colors coming from this box that is plugged to the wall so then is this what gives power to it? and then the grey one is where the data goes thru?
    so then i just started unplugging them and then plugging them in again and i realize they were shaped so that you wont misplace them or miss plug them so it hit me
    this is really easy
    then i found computers in the garbage that just wouldn't work and gave errors so i just googled the error and found an answer after following a couple of instructions i got this old P1 computer to run

    it was such a great feeling it gives me butterflies in my stomach just remembering it
    its kind of like a Frankenstein feeling, and now every time i get one running i scream "ITS ALIVE!" like in Robot Chiken

    now with my own system i have messed with countless of times (i had 9 fans connected to it at some point thinking it will drop the temperatures ergo making it faster to later on see sparks coming out of my psu) i didn't officially built this one by myself but i have put it apart and together a lot of times specially with the latest upgrade the Zalman cpu cooler

    so now i think im ready to put one together from scratch and out perform all of my friends while still spending less money than they would on a retailer or whatever

    my advise to you is just learn as much as possible about cpus, chipsets, and mobos their features and limits and really pay attention to details
    i would make stupid mistakes while putting this wish lists like and Intel cpu with an AMD mobo

    PS im really close to putting one together for myself but im still not sure and i will start my own thread to get some help so i don't make mistakes with compatibility besides i am still learning about sli and crossfire to see whether or not to consider it and bla bla bla

    **if anything just post all the parts your thinking of buying for this future rig and someone will tell you what your missing or what is not compatible**




    ....What is CaptainCranky the only one allowed to post over 200 words? i just won by 102 lol
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,514   +856

    Mutual Admiration Society..........

    Don't you mean "why" is....? (OK, in hindsight "what" works here, but, you must use a comma after it, dramatic pause you know.
    (sic) What......, is cap......!))
    Since "long-winded-ness" and "knowing it all" are both qualities I embrace, practice, and admire greatly, I stand in awe of your literary accomplishment!

    Here's a "novella" on building your own PC. Some of the material is dated. (At least by way of the equipment specs). But none the less valuable. http://www.pcguide.com/byop/byop_toc.htm

    Even mighty Intel panders to us do-it-yourselfers: http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/CS-020836.htm

    Since I call "window shopping", "dry shopping", I would say rehearse by "dry building" the machine BEFORE you go flying into the case with parts. Like the carpenters say "measure twice, cut once". I like to read 3 or 4 times and attach once, but that may be insecurity or an obsessive compulsive disorder.

    Anyway Deepmartin, Nodsu wins; http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic97806.html
    There's a whole lot of valuable and advanced information contained herein, and I sincerely hope it doesn't detract from his post being judged on solely being both articulate and literate. :grinthumb
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.