Making My Own PC

By harry7567 · 28 replies
Jun 25, 2008
  1. I am looking to build a desktop pc. I have taken a few apart, so know how they fit together and what does what E.T.C. My problem is I just dont know what parts to buy, where to bu them from, and I need some tips. Would it be possible for someone to make a list of which parts to buy if i have a budget of £500 or below. I could strech to £550 if necessary. Also, and tips for bulding? I am going to buy some of those static gloves, so there is no problem there. Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Grand Total = £485.7 maximum
    A great PC that will be within your budget and give you excellent perfomance in any game or app. The HDD doesn't come with a SATA cable so you may need to buy one, but it won't take your budget over £500 IMO.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)

    EDIT: The motherboard comes with at least one SATA cable, so ignore my statement. Thanks SNGX and mailpup.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I'm pretty sure that motherboard will come with a couple SATA cables. Thats how I have several IDE and SATA cables at home that I'll never use, they came with the motherboards I've bought.
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    In addition to Rage's usual fine list, you might need to add a case. There are so many to choose from and personal preference comes into play. You might also want to include in your budget the purchase of an operating system (i.e. Windows) unless you have other plans such as a free Linux based one.

    Also, I checked the link in Rage's post for the motherboard and by clicking on "View extended Specifications" I found that it does indeed come with two SATA data cables plus one SATA power cable adapter.
  5. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 527

    You need to come to grips with what you want to do with 'your machine'. For simple web surfing you don't need a lot of graphics card ability. H/P is making a lot of 'put together' machines that are capable of many types of computing. Why don't you write down just what it is you want to accomplish with your machine. Different needs require much different parts in your P.C. Good Luck
  6. harry7567

    harry7567 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thak you so much Rage. Onto a case. Any recomendations? I want something that will not break the bank nut will look good and fit the parts listed by rage.
  7. harry7567

    harry7567 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Also, i would like it to run ubuntu. How would i go about setting that up on a PC with no operationg system alreadiny in place
    Thanks again
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Just boot off the Ubuntu disk, double click the install Icon, and in 7 pretty painless steps the install begins. When its finished it asks if you want to restart or continue using the live cd, choose restart. Take the disk out when it opens the tray for you, hit enter, system reboots into Ubuntu.
  9. harry7567

    harry7567 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, it so simple when yo know how!
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    I don't know what you'll be using the PC for, so I don't know what to recommend. Tell me which video card you're going to be getting, and how much extra you can afford to spend after taking all the other components into account. I'll then recommend a good case.
  11. harry7567

    harry7567 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I will be using the Zotac 8800GT AMP Edition 512mb GDDR3 Dual DVI PCI-E Graphics Card as it will not be used loads gaming or films i think, but can always upgrade at a later date. I want a case that is high quality, looks good, and I can pay up to 150 for it. Thanks
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Why get the 8800GT when you're not gaming? The 8600GT is a better buy, since it sips less power and runs cooler as well. Or are you planning on gaming in the future? If you're not, get the 8600GT I linked to and this PSU instead of the Corsair one.

    As for the case, I recommend this as a very cool-looking, high-quality one.
  13. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I believe its very important to know what you're gonna be using the computer for before recommending a whole list of components. For all we know, all you do on it is surf facebook, play some MP3s, and check your email.

    If thats all you do, you definitely don't need any of the components listed: its just too high end.

    You mentioned you're not into gaming? If thats the case, there's a very high probability you don't need a high end graphics card, and may even get away with a motherboard with on-board graphics. The extra money can then be used to get something else you might need, or maybe take the (future?) spouse out for a nice dinner.
  14. Dicee

    Dicee TS Rookie Posts: 36

    I recommend you take apart alteast 2 old computers and get to grips with things. know your graphics, CPU and motherboard plus there socket types then go ahead i built my 1st one wen i was 14 coz i took apart my old pc.. workd it all out XD... you will feel much better about doing it once you know whats what
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,550

    Well it does go with everything........

    Rage, why the beige drive? :confused: Pioneer DVD burners are great though. :grinthumb It does seem like a great price, at least in my somewhat rusty pounds to USD sensibilities.
  16. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Posts: 343   +13

    we should say what determines what...

    to help out, we really should be saying what determines what.

    for example, once you decide on a specific type of video card (for example here PCI-E), then you HAVE to get a motherboard that is for pci-e video card, and avoid a motherboard that is built for avg video card, cuz they simply won't go together.

    another 'match' that is necessary is matching chip to motherboard. if you get an amd chip, you must get a motherboard designed for that specific amd chip socket type. if you get excited about some intel chip, then you have to get a motherboard that has the correct intel chip socket. chip must match motherboard.

    also, ram must match motherboard.

    so, the motherboard is key to the rest of the components.

    usually, the good motherboard companies make similar mb for both amd and intel, so you really can just focus on what chip you want, then let that guide you to whatever asus or gigabyte or whatever brand motherboard. then, just get decent ram that matches.

    most motherboards nowadays will 'match' with both ata and sata hard drives, so that is not a problem.

    if this will be your first computer to build, you probably don't want to 'raid' hard drives, so you don't have to worry about what styles of 'raid' are supported by the motherboard.

    so, i would read up on chips, and decide intel or amd. (tomshardware and other sites have reviews by enthusiasts.) then move on to pick a motherboard that matches the chip.

    the case must fit the motherboard: the case must be the right size, and have screw holes in the right places. There are several 'formats,' but mainly for home pc people are using either 'atx' or 'micro atx' AKA 'matx' or 'm-atx.' atx is 'normal.' m-atx is for a smaller-size computer, more basic, with less options and features, and often but not always specifically designed to have a lower price.

    as you shop for motherboards, and look at format, the low price mbs will be 'm-atx.'

    this is what they give most of us at work so they can give many people decent computers for not much money - cuz I am not supposed to be playing vid games or tricking out my work computer.

    i think it is just basically better to go for the atx so you have options in the future, like you mention, for upgrades.

    most motherboards nowadays have pci-e vid card format, and there are many video cards for pci-e running from $30 (i don't play games so I just get a well-reviewed $30 or $40 vid card) up to $600 or more.

    and, read up on ram that fits the motherboard. you can go cheap, but it is often worthwhile to go ahead and go the extra $50 for decent ram. or at least wait for a rebate deal on good ram versus no-name or budget. --also, you may prefer to get the newest, fastest, still-pricey ram, ddr3, but many people are still buildign great systems with ddr2. so, if you want to pay a little more to get the newer, faster ram, that will dictate/limit the motherboard: a motherboard must host ddr3 i norder to fit that ram, if that's what you want. for the money, i would rather build a decent system with ddr2, knowing that in 3 years i will get the itch to build again, and will get ddr3 or whatever is newer at that point.

    then, hard drive must match. like i said: most mbs can run both ata and sata. satas are faster and no longer cost more, so it is a no-brainer nowadays. there are other types of hard drives. so make sure you are getting sata or ata [aka, ide] and not scsi or some laptop drive, ssd drive, etc., unless you really look into it. sata will be easiest plus best deal for the money.

    cd/dvd drive just needs to be ide, and probably will be, and most mb you will be looking at will be ide. floppy if you actually bother to get one will be ide. no big decisions there.

    now, with all of those decisions, you can figure out how much power your computer will require when running at full tilt, like when watching videos plus burning a cd plus maybe another program or two open.

    an 80 watt light bulb needs 80 watts. a 1400 watt hair dryer requires 1400 watts.

    computers vary a great deal in required wattage.

    the video card will be the main thing dictating if you need a lot of power or not. the chip can also dictate this a lot: some chips you will notice say they are '145 watt,' while some say they are '45watt'. the more watts, the more power it needs to run at full tilt. so you can actually shop and decide chip based partly on the power it will require. then, knowing wattages, you can list all of your potential components, and hunt around the web for some data on the power they require. tomshardware is good for this, and so is silentpcreview and other sites.

    so, you total the potential wattage needed at peak / at max. then, pick power supply that is sufficient. if this totals up to 300 watts, then get a 400 watt power supply (power supply also called 'psu' power supply unit).

    if it totals up to 220 watts, get a 300 watt psu.

    i prefer to figure out the lowest safe wattage level, so i can devote money to quality instead of higher watt ratings.

    everyone likes to get some super big power supply, as if it is gonna do anything to make the comp run better, but it won't.

    a 80 watt light bulb needs 80 watts. a 1400 watt hair dryer needs 1400 watts.

    if your comp needs 220 watts, don't get talked into a 500 watt power supply.

    psu vary in quality greatly. don't go cheap. at worst, it will fry a component or the whole system if you get one that was not made well. but even if it doesn't just fry everything, inconsistent power means you will have all kinds of weird problems, and you will get a dozen opinions about what it is - cuz the ram will mess up, the 'chipset' will mess up, etc., since they are getting inconsistent power - it is like lights flickering when a major appliance comes on in your house. nowadays, generally, the decent power supplies will be those certified "80" efficiency rating. look for that and you will generally be ok, although i had a great antec die on me, and everyone has a horror story about a good brand psu dying on them.

    now, the power supply needs to match your motherboard: like power supply 'ps' needs to be 'm-atx' or 'atx' depending on the mb.

    the case needs to fit the style of mb --and this lets you know that the mb will fit in it plus lets you know the correct power supply will fit, although it may not fit easily :).

    so, how to build / what do you need to know: these are my thoughts on how to match things up.

    case: match to 'form factor' of motherboard atx or m-atx. i am not 'big' on case selection myself. others are. a decent case can help keep system cool, and can minimize the noise. also, they can leave room for expansion, or can look cool. i am over 30yo so i no longer care about the cool looks.

    this is how i think abt building.
    others may have additional or differing comments. i nfact, i would be intersted in hearing other people's thoughts on what component you start with when planning a new system. -Row1
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Hey cap, I don't really go for aesthetics myself. I'd rather have a crap looking case and non-matching drives with good cooling. It'd also be fun in that when you bring someone over to see your killer PC and they look at the case the first time, they'd probably say to themselves: "WTF?! My eMachines is better than that!". The expression on their faces when you have it rip through every game (like Edward Scissorhands running through a roomful of stuffed pillows with arms outstretched) is one to behold!

    That being said, it's a Pioneer! 'nuff said.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,550

    I had a '57 Chevy like that, brush paint blue, with this nasty coral pink passenger side door that I used to call the "ladies entrance". The thing ran like a stuck pig, (late model small block), couldn't tell to look at it. As I recall, we used to call the concept "a sleeper".

    Now Rage, you ruined it for me, you mean to tell me my Emachines isn't better than that? :rolleyes::blackeye:
  19. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Posts: 343   +13

    forgot - match the color of the dvd drive to the case.

    what was i thinking?

    the most important thing is getting all LEDs and the water cooler to have the same shade of blue or whatever.

    Attached Files:

  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,550

    Almost the Same Color as My Chevy Door.....Well Almost...

    I've never quite seen that color in a DVD drive.... But, like I said, beige goes with everything
  21. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Posts: 343   +13

    howz it going?

    harry- are you still working on this idea?
    here in the states, a great place to buy parts is
    i don't know about where to buy, or mail-order, in england.

    keep it up. you will feel proud when you are done, and you will know a whole lot more about computers. plus, your computer will be as good as one costing twice as much off the store shelf.
  22. woody1191

    woody1191 TS Rookie Posts: 572

    To help with the England sites to buy parts here these are the cheapest 2 i've found so far, he may have already bought the parts now.

    And having looked at, America get comp parts cheaper i looked at the Intel 2 Quad Core Q9450 it was about £200 = $400 on both England sites but $330 i think on newegg about £165-£170. Even if we didn't have VAT here on the products you would still get it cheaper :( .
  23. Building pcs

    I've done a few efforts over the years - more assembling the pieces than actually building from zero - but today, looked at the insides of a Mac for the first time...
    I'd inherited this quite decent, but oldish AppleMac desktop and wanted to check what I'd been told; they're much harder to upgrade/improve. Seems to be right, the case opens easily and the innards looked neat, but to reach the memory sticks which I'd thought of upgrading first, was well nigh impossible, thanks to bulky plastic fittings clipped together, meaning it's nothing like as easy as a pc to work on. Managed to remove the CD drive and 3.5 floppy, but on examination, all the components were ancient and only fit for recycling I'm afraid. Still, interesting to see with my own eyes what everyone's said on sites like this. I'll stick to pcs.
  24. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    What kind of Mac? Any of the PowerMac lines from the G3 on (with possible exeption of the Beige G3) are insanely easy to work on.

    Unfortunately I don't have a good picture on hand, but you should be able to see how easy it is even with this bad angle of a pic. I very temporarly needed a DVD drive in that computer, but completely replacing is easy. At the bottom (can't see because of the graphics card) there are specific mounts for hard drives, remove the mount with 1 screws then the mount removes with the drive (other end slides into a slot to be secure). 4 more screws and the drive is out of the mount. RAM modules are right there in the open, a kindergardner could change those. The graphics card and 3 PCI slots underneath are just like on a PC. Processor is right there in the open and easily removed/upgraded. The later G4s, G5s, and now the Intels are just as easy.
  25. Old Mac

    Hmnn, yes,...Thanks for taking the trouble to reply - I think even I could handle a Mac like the one you show, but the one I'm talking about looked like it pre-dated my Win95 pc.The rubbish I cleaned out inside showed it hadn't been looked after very well and there was certainly no DVD, just a 1998 CD drive and a rattly floppy.
    Believe me, I'd have enjoyed restoring it, but time being
    short, I decided not to. I extracted all the components though (including the memory sticks) and set them aside for anyone who might be interested when I returned it to my local recycling source.
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