How to Build Your Own PC 101: Planning

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Today I am going to teach you how to build your own PC (This post will be the first out of a series of how-to’s that I am going to post later this week). Everyone must have one of those techie friends that are able to build one. Ever wonder how they do it? After reading this you will be able to do it yourself!

Building your own computer is a highly praised  skill nowadays and while the idea of building one can be very intimidating for first-timers, it will be a very enjoyable experience. Anyways, it will not hurt to learn this particular skill. First on this topic is:

Planning, planning, planning

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Now that you are determined to build one for yourself or if you just want to learn the behind-the-scenes in building a computer, the first thing you need to do is careful planning, just like how you plan for buying a car or a house. So put on your thinking cap and let’s continue!

How Much Do You Want To Spend?

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You should first consider how much you want to spend, it is essential to do so to avoid any disappointment after buying your computer parts. Firstly, prepare because we are getting a bit technical here. Now I have to explain that there is a kind of a boundary line where normal users won’t need to cross. For office tasks and some light gaming, you should expect to shell out $400 to $600 depending on where you plan to buy them. Gamers usually want some eye-candy so they need to shell out about $600 to $800. Enthusiasts usually want the best thing in the market for their computer so they usually cross the “boundary” of normal users.
I mentioned a ‘boundary’ specially because there is a kind of a trend line in cost/performance where as you get higher in cost, performance gained will keep decreasing. To explain this better, I made a graph down below
graphAs you can see the ‘performance’ line decreases after the $600 point and decreases again after the $1000 point. While this is not, by any means, accurate data, you should get the basic idea of cost/performance in the pc market. Phew, I hate getting economical.

 

Why Build and not Buy?

 DSC_0075Sure, buying a manufactured built-up pc is quite cheap nowadays if you don’t want any hassle, but if you want to get economical, building a pc from ground up is definitely the way to go. Still, the best reason for building is always the satisfaction of being able to build one. I know for myself, that it is still one of my biggest achievement in 2011.
There are other good reasons to build instead of buy, too. For example is the customization ability you will get. You can easily change your computer parts at willsince you knew it inside-out. One day you can make it your work pc and maybe later you want it to be a specialized media center or even a home theater system. Have it your way!  You can save money too if you already have some parts from your old pc. But buying brand new parts will definitely make it easier for your first-time. I am saying this because there might be some incompatibilities in your system if you try to salvage your old pc, like your harddisk PATA interface with your motherboard SATA interface. With a custom build you can also do fun stuff like overclocking your CPU and get even more cost/performance value but we will get to that later.

What you need to do now

Now think again how much you will want to spend and keep it in mind so that you won’t step over your budget line. Do some researching about building a pc while you’re at it, there are a lot of building a PC video in YouTube or VideoJug. For best deal and prices I usually check them over at NewEgg. If it gets confusing you can always close them and wait for my next post about the computer parts you need to buy for your budget. Stay Tuned!

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