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Author Topic: What's the best way to learn how to build a computer?  (Read 830 times)
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ioticus
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« on: September 27, 2006, 04:05:24 PM »

I think I would like to learn how to build my own computer in the future. I feel it might be fun as well as save money, since I'm spending about $4,000 on a new computer every 3 to 4 years. It would also be nice to be able to upgrade my own system without paying someone else to do it. It might be a fun hobby for me. What is the best way to learn how to do this? Please note that I'm not mechanically inclined at all, and the best I can do at this point is screw in a light bulb.
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Kobra
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2006, 04:26:07 PM »

I learned years and years ago, and I did it by watching a friend build them and listening closely.  Then I carefully built my first one after that, had a few things to overcome, but eventually it got so easy I can do it blindfolded.  Like anything else, I think there is no substitute for hands on experience.

There are trade schools out there offering PC building courses as well.  Maybe check into those.
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warning
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2006, 04:37:40 PM »

I started small by replacing video cards and CD/hard drives.  Once I had done that a couple of times I'd add memory and then I ended up replacing the processor.  Once I'd done that I just bought the parts and spent a whole Saturday figuring them out like a jigsaw puzzle.

You will probably save money doing it yourself but really not as much as you might think.  For me it's just fun to do - unless I screw something up and have to rebuy a part that's broke.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2006, 04:54:04 PM »

Like warning, I started with replacing components like video cards and RAM.  When I built my first system from scratch (1998) I just downloaded a bunch of "How to" articles before starting.  It actually went fairly smooth and, if anything, it has become even easier these days since a lot of the connections are color coded and have unique connectors guaranteeing you don't plug something in the wrong place.  The worst part is hooking up all of the case connections to the motherboard.  It helps if you have another fully functional computer alongside so you can conveniently get help from the internet if you get stuck.

That said, it's no longer an activity I hold any joy for, so I'll probably be going with pre-built to some degree for my next system. 
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Kobra
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2006, 05:17:45 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 27, 2006, 04:54:04 PM

It helps if you have another fully functional computer alongside so you can conveniently get help from the internet if you get stuck.

HUGE +1 on that point.

Way way back, when I was still learning, along with a buddy that was learning, we decided to heavily upgrade both of our computers at the same time, butchering parts from a third computer.  Unfortunately at some point, we had all three in pieces and needed a specific "Driver" off the internet and some technical info on a MB to look up with NO WAY of doing it.  My buddy summed it up with a "Here we sit.. With 3 piles of shit stacked up on the table..  What a fine night."..

 icon_lol
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happydog
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2006, 06:20:02 PM »

1. Buy parts.
2. Assemble.
3 ?????
4 Profit!
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2006, 06:32:31 PM »

Quote from: Kobra on September 27, 2006, 05:17:45 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 27, 2006, 04:54:04 PM

It helps if you have another fully functional computer alongside so you can conveniently get help from the internet if you get stuck.

HUGE +1 on that point.

Most definitely agreed.

I'd just honestly try it yourself. It's easier than you think, and not too easy to blow things up if things go wrong. I mean, what could honestly go wrong short of you blowing up $4000 worth of PC parts?  icon_biggrin
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