Building Your Own Computer

by Michael Quarles - Date: 2007-01-27 - Word Count: 334 Share This!

An average person, without technical training, can build their own computer. The assembly can be done in an afternoon. Learning how, and planning the system they want, can take place in little bite sized chunks of time spread over a few days.

The biggest advantage of doing it yourself is you'll get exactly the system you want. You won't have to make any compromises if you're after a specialty machine for game play, or video editing. And if you're building one of these high end units you'll save money.

Your first step should be to get a good how-to guidebook, and read through it, familiarizing yourself with the process. Then, start asking yourself what your needs are, and which combination of CPU, motherboard, hard drive, and so forth, will meet them. This sort of planning is one of the most enjoyable phases of building a computer.

Nearly everyone designs their machine around the CPU, their main concern being speed. If speed above all is your deciding factor, dual core chips are coming down in price. It should be noted these CPUs can be installed as easily as single core. They're all zero insertion force chips. They literally drop into place.

What more speed brings to the equation is heat, a factor you'll have to deal with. It can mean installing extra fans in the case (which is no great expense, they cost only five dollars or so each) or even going the water cooled route.

Some folks may want to re-use an old case. This is perfectly acceptable, if there are enough fan ports to fill your needs, and if the power supply is sufficient. Remember, gaming rigs may require 500 watts or more. The CPU will claim 100 watts all by itself, and so will the graphics card.

Rather than re-use a case to save money, let me suggest buying a CPU/motherboard bundle. Purchasing them together can save 20 percent or more. Just about every walk-in and online store offers these bargains, often on top line chips and boards.

Related Tags: cpu, motherboard, build computer, dual core, water cooled, power supply

Michael Quarles is the author of "Building a PC for Beginners". His website is .

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