How hard is it to build

By rv13uk · 9 replies
Jun 9, 2005
  1. Hi, wondering how hard it is too actually build a computer, ive never done it before and im using some expensive parts, so I was wondering what the best way to do it was. Id rather not just pay someone to do it, as I want to learn how everything fits together...but how hard will it be to put it all together from a guide of the internet. Ive chosen all my parts, and will be buying them over the next few months, but I dont want 2 end up ruining any by burning them out :hotouch: or slotting them in the same place. So basically, as the first sentence stated im asking how hard is it to build a computer :D .
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Its not hard at all. In fact, it MUCH easier than it used to be. MUCH.

    Basically, the motherboard manual will guide you through the entire process. These days, you just plug everything in together and turn it on. Be gentle with the components, but also be firm.

    As for slotting things in the wrong place, well that's kind of impossible. These things are designed only to fit in the correct place, you would need a hammer or something to get them to fit into the wrong place. But that said, you should take your time beforehand to make sure that you ARE fitting things in the correct way round, etc, before forcing them. Forcing them WILL break them. A good example is memory, it only fits in one way round. If you try to force it in the wrong way, it might look like it is going in, but you might damage something. So be careful with that.

    I would really try to take your time on that first build - set aside an entire day if possible. Also, if you are having problems, or start to get tired or frustrated (still happens to me often) then take a break. Go away and make a coffee or something, and come back to it later when you are rested. Believe me, it makes a big difference.

    If you build everything up, and power on and nothing happens (happens to the best of us) then power off, take everything apart and start again.

    A common problem posted about on these forums is that people short out their motherboard by not properly using the spacer things to have a gap between the case and the motherboard, so make sure that you use those, and that no part of the motherboard is touching the case. Getting the CPU fan on can also be a pain, so be careful there as well - especially on the athlon system. Put the fan on first before putting the motherboard in the case, as you will have plenty of room - there's nothing worse than trying to get a fan on inside the case with RAM and cards and drives already fitted.

    If you have a problem, post back here with it. As I said, take your time. Don't force things. If something does not seem to want to do something, then you probably have it the wrong way round. Stay calm and try not to get annoyed. Read the motherboard manual before doing anything, if this is your first build.
  3. rv13uk

    rv13uk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 88

    That sounds promising anyway, just wondering on the best way to build it, when and as I get the parts (step by step basically) or wait till ive got all the parts and spend a full day on it to put it together.
  4. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Well, I think you can't build a computer as and when you get the parts, as the computer needs basically the whole setup before it can be useable. Yeah, you can power it on with just PSU, mobo, cpu, ram and graphics, but thats just about all it can do. You'd need a HDD to run windows, assuming it was preinstalled. You'd need a CD-rom to install windows if its not preinstalled. And if you got all that, you basically got your computer :p

    I think you can build a computer without having the case, I've seen an open computer before, with parts all over the table. Might not be the best way to deal with heat, but it boots, it runs, and its stable. But highly not recommended (spilling Coke on most parts cause parts to rebel).

    And I do agree with what Phantasm66 said. Take your time, don't force things in. Especially the CPU, those require the least amount of force (it shuold go right in) and most amount of care (those pins aren't strong). Bent a pin before, but managed to unbend it to work, but highly not recommended. Others, especially those which fit into slots (graphics, RAM) might require more force, but if you're reaching a mallet, you've probably put more than the required amount of force on it already.

    Read the manuals. They're a good way to pass time. They're interesting, and full of pictures. If you're lucky, you might get some colourfull ones too!

    j/k, but yeah, they help when things aren't working. They might even contain usefull tips on how to connect that item properly.

    Thats about it I can say.
  5. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    Think about putting together a low end pc first
    I know I know you here it all the time ,but go to ebay and pick up
    some cheap parts there.
    I got a 2 ghz P4 for 60 USD a MB for 10.00 1 stick of 256 for 15.00
    HDD 20.00 PSU new for another 10 brand new cdrom for 5
    does your costs include a monitor.
    good luck
  6. rv13uk

    rv13uk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 88

    i cudnt afford 2 buy a new PC, even if it wos a fiver, cus im spendin bout £2000 on this and im a student in Yr 11, money dont come lightly. I have got an old computer lying around that I can practice on though, while i wait 4 the parts 2 cum through. I rekon that shud be useful.
  7. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Well, you can certainly practice on your old computer, but I'd advice you to be carefull. Depending on how old it is, your thermalpaste on the CPU could be totally dried up, removing parts, and putting them back will cause your CPU especially to overheat. In fact, that was what happened when I took my 5 year old Pentium MMX apart and put it back (this is 5 years or so ago).

    The heatsink and fan might be hard to remove from the CPU too.

    other than CPU problems, I thik most other components you can safely remove and put back without much of a problem. Maybe the motherboard might require some extra care too.

    Remember to ground yourself electrically when playing around in the computer. the last thing you want is static destroying your perfectly good comp.

    About buying new parts, and using back some old ones till you get a whole new comp, I think thats a great idea, assuming that the new parts work perfectly well with your old ones. Example: you can't get PCIe graphics if your old m/b will not accept them. If you're happy with AGP8x, I'm sure that'll fit most 3-4 year old computers, and might be able to get that first, then m/b, CPU and RAM at one go (unless you're going to use the same RAM as your old comp, you'll have to get these at one go), then the HDD, DVD/CD rom/writer, casing, soundcard, etc at your own time.
  8. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Take a look HERE for step by step instructions on how to build a computer.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards and happy building Howard :D
  9. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    I, like yourself am in the uk. I have built well over 50 pc's, so if u need my help u have only to ask. When u are actually building your pc, if u need help, i can give u my fone number. I can help with intstalling windows and sorting out drivers too.

    Good luck. Rik.
    P.S. If u do want my fone number, contact me via email. Dont want everyone calling me.
  10. rv13uk

    rv13uk TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 88

    Thanks 4 the offer, ill probs wait until I get all the parts b4 i start building it, and so I can spend a full day on it when im ready. The main thing im trying 2 do at the mo is to make sure all my parts will be compatible (see my profile for the parts im planning to get), I dont want to have to send any back. Ive also just heard about rebates and was wondering what they were, do you just get money back for buying certain hardware or something.
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