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how big of a risk is it to build your own PC?

By lamensterms ยท 18 replies
May 15, 2007
  1. hey dudes,
    ive sorta been messing around with my pc for the last few years, doing basic things like replacing RAM, replacing PCI cards, removing and installing optical and hard-drives, replacing CPU, and such. i was just wondering if building a PC from scratch is much of a risk, or if it is any more of a big deal than the basic maintenence that i have been doing.

    ive never built a PC before and its time for an upgrade.

    what do you guys think? should i build my own or get someone to build one for me? how much would i expect to save if i build my own(AUD)?

  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,359   +2,231


    It's not any harder to build your own than to do the things you say you've done, other than bolting the motherboard into the case.
    It does require quite a bit of forethought and research into what you need, what you can afford, what you would like to do with the machine, and probably most importantly, which parts will work together well.

    One noteworthy downer, you probably won't save any money DIY.
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    I beg to differ. You can save quite a bit of money by getting the components YOU need, plus you learn a lot in the process. Ready out of the box packages, while cheap, often come with bloatware and often are also under-equipped. A lot of box brands often have insufficient ram, weak CPUs, or weak graphics in order to get prices low enough to be attactive to noobs. When you build your own system, you really get a good idea of what it costs to build a DECENT system.
  4. lamensterms

    lamensterms TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 72

    what about if i told you guys what i wanted, listed all the componets that i think i want (brands and what not), then you guys told me what i should and shouldnt get, what parts go better with others and make any suggestions that are necessary and would make a better pc. so then wed have a detailed shopping list of what i would be getting. then i could take that to a computer shop and they could build it? or would i save money buying all the gear and putting it together myself?

    does anyone know a good site that would list all that components and prices and stuff in AUD?

  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Just build it yourself. Its really easy putting it together, the hard part is knowing what to do when you hit that power button for the first time and it doesn't come on, or it comes on but doesn't successfully boot.

    You can put together what you are considering and ask us though, a lot of people have done that and they are given good advice here. Working in Australian Dollars is more difficult for this forum because there aren't many Australians here compared to Europe and the US. Europeans seem pretty proficient in working with US Dollars, and most discussion here is in US. But I imagine if we have to use Australian we could figure it out.
  6. lamensterms

    lamensterms TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 72

    ok, ive sort put together a list of what i think i would like. im not really sure if i got the right ram for the motherboard and stuff like that, but thats why im asking you guys for help. all prices are in AUD and come from http://www.i-tech.com.au/. so here goes:

    - ASUS P5L 1394 Motherboard - $165

    - INTEL CORE 2 DUO E6600 CPU - $350

    - KINGSTON 2GB 667MHz DDR2 RAM - $120


    - GAINWARD GEFORCE 7600GT GPU - $160

    - PIONEER DVR-212BK DVD Writer - $65

    - COOLER MASTER Cavalier 3 Case - $131

    i wasnt sure what type of CPU heatsink and fan i would need so can someone please suggest one? All up that comes to $1091, thats with the heatsink and fan. So im guessing the total will be something around the $1150 mark. which im happy to spend. any suggestions and criticisms will be much appreciated.

    should i start a new thread and move this post into it?

    thanks for all your help.
  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    just build it yourself. why bother with a computer shop. Half the fun is building it!

    Also it would be better to have 2 x 1gb sticks than 1 x 2gb stick.

    with 2 sticks you can run them in dual channel to achieve higher speeds.

    The first thing to buy is a decent power supply and motherboard.
    Read the motherboard manual carefully.
    Then buy all your other components. It is essential your power supply will be sufficient for all your components plus has a little cushion. Don't skimp!

    If you plan to game, get a top of the line graphics card. You will get more bang for the buck with a graphics card than with a cpu.

    read as much as you can about building computers and of course check in here.
  8. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    The system I have is my first built system. I had an amd before but my friend helped me put it together. It would be a fun experience and it makes you feel self accomplishing. I say go for it, just stay off of carpet while doing it :)
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Life is risk. Getting out of bed in the morning is a risk. Just pluck up some courage and get on with it. Take your time, take breaks if you are having problems or just frustrated, and be gentle and careful.
  10. lamensterms

    lamensterms TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 72

    ill get 2 1gig sticks of ram. what do you guys think of the other parts that are there? that case has a 430W psu, which i think will be plenty. is it the right type of ram for the motherboard? and what about the cpu fan and heatsink?

    thanks for all your help dudes.
  11. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    The best way to go about buying ram is to look up the specs of the mobo you're buying, something I had to learn myself just 6 months back.
  12. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    if you don't mind the noise then the stock HSF should suffice. Otherwise, if you're aiming for cooler and/or quieter then have a look at some aftermarket stuff.

    visit www.staticice.com.au for finding the cheapest parts on the net. www.msy.com.au if you live on the east coast (shop fronts only)

    Shop around for the DVD burner. You can probably shave at least $20 if you can find the right shop.. btw.. what location you at?
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    One thing to take care of is that you should ground yourself properly, preferably using an antistatic wrist strap available for real cheap at most computer shops. Just wear it and clip the other end to somewhere inside your PC case (preferably the bar separating the PSU enclosure from the CD drive enclosures). Also, make sure you don't do any of the work on a carpet, since static buildup will discharge into any component you then touch, permanently damaging or killing that expensive video card\RAM\any other component you've bought. The parts you've chosen are excellent. You can afford to get an E6400 though, since the 7600GT won't be need an E6600, unless you're thinking of getting a DX10 card in the future. Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)
  14. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

  15. lamensterms

    lamensterms TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 72

    in regard to the cpu fan and heat sink...will the cpu come with a stock one? or will that be included with the motherboard? i dont really mind a little bit of fan noise, so long as im not burning my processor.

    im living in berwick(3806) at the moment..which is in the south east suburbs of melbourne, VIC, Australia.

    as for grounding and the like, i wont be doing the work on carpet. all the other work i have done has been in the kitchen, just plastic lino flooring and on a plastic laminated bench-top. i had a mate who told me this was the safest bet (rather than the garage), and i dont seem to have had any problems with my current system. is kitchen work ok?

    i will consider getting a less powerful CPU, either the E6320 or the E6400.

    if i save some money on the CPU i might invest on the better motherboard aswell (the Gigabyte GA-965G-DS3).

    about the OS....im running XP on my current system and i do have the install disks and such for that so im thinking i will stick with this for a while and upgrade to VISTA in a few months, though im not sure what version of vista this proposed system will run best. but that is something else we can talk about.

    ill word up my local computer shops about the components we have discussed and she if we cant put this thing together.

    ill let you guys know how it all goes, and thanks a lot for all your help.


    ps: im still open for any other suggestions and/or recommendations seeing as i probably wont start shopping for parts for another week or so.
  16. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    The cpu should come with a stock hsf setup.
  17. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    the cpu if sold as an oem may or may not come with a fan. you have to check with the vendor. Also you will need thermal grease like arctic silver.

    It is imperitive you ground yourself when install your system. static can destroy your rig.
  18. gregthe1000

    gregthe1000 TS Rookie

    Building your own computer can be risky. You need to check, double check, and triple check to see if all the bought components will work well together. Even then, you'll most likely still have minor (maybe even major) hardware compliance problems in the near future. Furthermore, if you're going to go full throttle with (mega) components like the computer's RAM and how huge the HDD is going to be, you're probably going to spend mucho dinero. Most likely more than you would if you bought a comp direct. From making the comp yourself, you'll have the chance to create a beast, have mucho mucho bragging rights on it, and you'll know you're computer from the inside out. So...all in all, the scale is equal.
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Most of the time, all components work fairly well with each other, except in certain cases such as ASUS mobos, which are picky about the RAM they accept. The trick is not to skimp on the wrong things such as the PSU. You can get an el cheapo HDD from Samsung, Hitachi or the like. They'll perform equally as well as a Seagate or Western Digital one.

    For your build, I recommend the following changes:
    This mobo instead of the one you chose.
    The E6320 recommended by nick.
    This RAM to go with the new mobo.
    This version of the 7600GT is cheaper and clocked higher than the Gainward version.
    This burner will perform equally as well as the Pioneer one and is cheaper too.
    Your choice of case is pretty good.

    I hope I helped. :)
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