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How hard can it be

ian walker 13 716 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 3:08PM
In the words of Jeremy Clarkson "how hard can it be to build a decent computer"

I want a new machine......

I have looked at buying from a builder, but it is clear that i could save soem notes by getting the parts and doing i t my self.

I am happy with the mechanical side of sticking it all together.... but the thought of actually makin git work, setting up BIOS etc worrys me.

I have been readign and researching, but tell me ( a compture numpty) is it easy or hard)

thanks for your patience

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ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
6 Nov 2007 3:25PM

Quote:I have looked at buying from a builder

That may be where you're going wrong - if I were after a new house, I'd ask a builder, but asking him to sort you a computer out is barmy Smile
Big Bri 17 16.4k United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 3:30PM

User_Removed 14 524 England
6 Nov 2007 3:30PM
From a complete novice - with a little patience and common sense it's very straight forward to build your own PC.

Check out a site called something like "buildyourown.org" - Google for it - lots of nice computer geeks on there only to happy to advise you on best components / spec / where to buy from. they also have a step by step guide on the site to help you along the way.
Big Bri 17 16.4k United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 3:31PM
Ian - it's easy, provided you get some decent instructions and follow them well. You can get barebones systems that already have case/PSU/mobo, but it's cheaper to do everything from scratch.
ian walker 13 716 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 3:43PM
thanks for the comments.

Ade, i asked Bovis and Bryant and neither could help me Smile to busy building houses or something.

I had looked at "buildyourown" and when i read it it sounds to simple, i was worried i was missing something.

its just configring the bios, getting it to boot etc that worries me.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
6 Nov 2007 3:43PM
Apologies for the jape above

I got mine from epcbuyer I think - you can pick from a load of options and it tots the value up as you go, they build and deliver it.

not saying it's the cheapest, but you get choices which I didn't find on other sites at the time.

that said - a clean reinstall of windows often does more to speed your PC up that anything!
Alcor 10 35 Scotland
6 Nov 2007 3:52PM
Its very easy.

If you are prepared, patient and thourough you will not have any problems.
I have built 3 now as friends started asking for them after they saw houw much you can save.

Id say only do it if you want a bit of spec tho, arround 1000 worth. You cant compete with the bulk purchacing big comanies have for systems under 500.

I bought all my parts from www.scan.co.uk (in my opinion the best value and best customer service).

Have a look and try to work out what spec you are after, i think you will find you can afford more than you thought.

For more detailed help and advice go to the forums on www.hexus.net this is where i did alot of research and they have stacks of reviews on components.

All MBs come with a detailed manual which will take you through the bios, in my experience i have hardly had to do any setup there, maybey turn on the front audio port etc.

As long as you attach the following together, you are away:

CPU processor
MB motherboard
Graphics Card
PSU power supply
RAM memory
HDD hard drive

EDIT : Scan also will build for you to your spec
p3asa 12 676 Scotland
6 Nov 2007 5:02PM
I totally agree with "Alcors" post. Unless you are building a PC to a high spec, you would be hard pushed to save that much if building in the 300 to 500 range. You would save a couple of pounds but it would be offset by the time spent on it.

For a while relatives and friends gave me their old PC's to canabilize. Must have had about 6 lying in the dining room at the one time, my wife was going off her head but that's another story Wink Anyway after building, rebuilding and rebuilding I had enough confidence and bought components to make a PC up from scratch. It is basically just a 3D jigsaw with nothing much to it. Since then I must have built about a dozen and the following is what I'd draw your attention to:

* The actual putting of the parts together can be done in 15 minutes, the setting up of the machine can be a right pain installing windows etc. I went round in circles installing WinMe what with format and primary partition etc but it seems more straight forward now.

* The BIOS is pretty straight froward. Most of it is auto configure so unless you want to overclock you won't need to do anything. You might have to set up the boot order, drive etc depending how many drives and if they are SATA but that is pretty self explanatory.

* I found the trickiest part was installing the front USB ports as each wire had to be plugged in individually. This meant I HAD to read the manual Wink

* One thing that can fox PC home builders is buying a load of components and one of those components is dead on arrival. If you have another working machine you can use to test individual components on when running into trouble it will save a lot of heartache. Most folk assume it is the way they have assembled the machine rather than the "brand new" components and sometimes it is hard to diagnose the actually faulty component if they can't be ruled out on another machine.

* If going ahead with it, check it works at each stage. Don't assemble everything to then find out it doesn't work.

Building your own PC can give you tremendous pride. I was as proud as punch all those years ago when I built my first one. However it certainly is by no means hard and is certainly well within anyone's capabilities that can operate a camera Wink

blackbird 11 159 15 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 5:44PM
My son built his own computer at the age of 15, he uses it for online gaming mainly. Now he's a clever lad but by no means a genius.... he did spend a lot of time on the internet reading reviews and advice on which components worked best together and he was able to get a higher spec than if we'd bought one of the shelf.
He said the hardest thing was actually starting, but once begun it seemed surprisingly straightforward.
He also used the 'buildyourown' website
Good luck! Smile Merille
redsnappa 15 2.0k United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 5:58PM
It can be difficult forecasting trends for example I bought a AMD 939 motherboard and CPU two months the AMA AM2 series of CPUs were introduced to the market.
keith selmes 14 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 5:59PM

Quote:If you have another working machine you can use to test individual components on when running into trouble it will save a lot of heartache
Damn right. And if you need extra drivers or help, the working PC can get them off the internet.

My last rebuild took about an hour one evening, and that was going fairly cautiously. I checked it over carefully and soberly in the morning before installing software. All OK.
But then, adding software packages and a hard disk full of data from an old PC, I walked into a hell of incompatibility between windows and software versions and hard disk formats. Took weeks to get right without losing any data. Seems to me the software end is much more complicated than the hardware nowadays.
Really if you are reasonably good with a screwdriver and handy jobs generally, and go carefully, its not difficult. But I have come across some awful foul ups where people had a screw stuck under the mainboard, or ram cards forced in the wrong way round, or an agp card in a PCI slot (even though you "can't" do that). The hardware is amazingly resiliant nowadays and they weren't damaged(!) but there are people who don't have much aptitude.
Always keep an eye on where the screws went!
keith selmes 14 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 6:03PM

Quote:well within anyone's capabilities that can operate a camera
No, or not exactly.
If they can also assemble a flatpack bookcase ... maybe.
I do know people who 'operate' a dslr as part of their job, and I don't think would get on very well with PC assembly - not without tuition anyway.
Goatsmilkuk 13 783
6 Nov 2007 7:13PM


that said - a clean reinstall of windows often does more to speed your PC up that anything!

Agree with that, just done mine and it's running like it did when new, I stuck all the stuff I wanted to keep on a removable HDD and also DVD for the important stuff, formatted the drive and went from there.
ian walker 13 716 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 8:40PM
oh well i had better have a go Smile

worst that can happen is that nothing happens

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