What do people mean by 'Building their own PC'?

Soon, I'm planning to get a new gaming computer as my current one is essentially turd on a stick. However, I'm very confused about how to go about doing this. I know very little about computers and their components, apart from the basics, and am wondering how people 'build their own'.

The way I see it they can:

1. Look up all the parts they want, buy them all individually and solder/fix them altogether, something which I don't have a hope in hell of doing.

OR

2. Look up all the parts and go into a shop to buy them all, as a kind of flatpack computer, and fix it together.

OR

3. Look up the parts and go into a shop, tell the shop what they want and wait for the shop to make it up and get it delivered.

Some enlightenment on this topic would be really great.

Thanks

What the heck is a flatpack computer?

I just get the parts and connect everything together, having to solder anything would be ridiculous, computer's are extremely sketchy machines, one mistake and the whole thing doesn't work. Most if not all of the important parts are sent to you pre-made, besides all you really need is:
-Case
-Motherboard
-Hard drive
-Power supply
-CPU
-RaM
-GPU
-Fans/Cooling system
-Sound system

That's about it, and 2 of them (GPU and Sound system) are integrated into most motherboards.

If you're motivated you can try getting blank boards and soldering chips and capacitors on yourself. But I doubt anyone has actually managed to build a home-made gaming PC like this.

If you don't feel like it just buy the essential pieces of hardware and put them together. The sockets are pretty much exclusive for the plug-in they need (so you can't put a 12V connector into a 5V socket) and there isn't any soldering, etc. required. Just a more complicated plug-and-play.

Mullac:
Soon, I'm planning to get a new gaming computer as my current one is essentially turd on a stick. However, I'm very confused about how to go about doing this. I know very little about computers and their components, apart from the basics, and am wondering how people 'build their own'.

The way I see it they can:

1. Look up all the parts they want, buy them all individually and solder/fix them altogether, something which I don't have a hope in hell of doing.

OR

2. Look up all the parts and go into a shop to buy them all, as a kind of flatpack computer, and fix it together.

OR

3. Look up the parts and go into a shop, tell the shop what they want and wait for the shop to make it up and get it delivered.

Some enlightenment on this topic would be really great.

Thanks

Self building is the first one, but the parts slot together in to specialised ports for different devices. the hard work is done in the factories since these are all thing that need to be created under clean conditions.

You buy all the parts and they fit together like lego, no soldering or special skills required apart from don't force anything and common sense like that.

I'm sure there are millions of guides on Youtube, they'll show how simple it is.

Yeah, there's no soldering involved, unless you're doing something really out there. It's pretty much just snapping part A into slot B and connecting a few wires. The worst part of the entire thing, actually, is getting the motherboard situated and screwed down into the case. Once you're past that, everything's pretty easy.

I wasn't confident enough to build my own, but I did pick all the parts from a great PC specialist in my city, and they put it all together for me as well as setting up the OS.

Might have cost me a bit more, but I'd rather pay a bit more and have it work, than try it myself and fuck up :D

Cheers guys, this has really helped me to understand what people do when building their own. It's not nearly as complicated and difficult as I imagined, but when I get round to doing it I'll be sure to look up some guides.

Uh this may be a bit of a no-brainer but since nobody has really gone into it... as you know there're two kind of microprocessors feuding in the market, Intel and AMD. The Intel Core series is far and wide the better of the two. It's also the most expensive. The AMD Athlon is considerably cheaper, but not as efficient. So if you're going for a high-end gaming PC, the Intel Core i7 is far and out the best option, followed by the AMD series. I'm not saying the AMD is a "bad" option, but if your goal is to game high-end games then Core will do the trick better. This is pretty common knowledge but then again nobody seems to have brought microprocessors up, and these are kinda like the heart of the machine.

Johnny Novgorod:
Uh this may be a bit of a no-brainer but since nobody has really gone into it... as you know there're two kind of microprocessors feuding in the market, Intel and AMD. The Intel Core series is far and wide the better of the two. It's also the most expensive. The AMD Athlon is considerably cheaper, but not as efficient. So if you're going for a high-end gaming PC, the Intel Core i7 is far and out the best option, followed by the AMD series. I'm not saying the AMD is a "bad" option, but if your goal is to game high-end games then Core will do the trick better. This is pretty common knowledge but then again nobody seems to have brought microprocessors up, and these are kinda like the heart of the machine.

Thanks for bringing it up, I wasn't actually aware of that. I guess it just shows my noobness :P

Building your own computer, well THIS is building your own computer

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=360030&highlight=noob

Yes that's my system and it's about to get some more stuff added to it, new case, new GPU water cooling, new water loop, new fittings, well basically a whole bunch of new stuff.

Oh and the guy who mentioned the I7 as being the best option, it isn't. A high end I5 will be more than enough for any gaming rig the I7 is just total over kill get an I5 and save some cash for a better GPU.

I ordered a custom-build computer a few weeks ago. It should get delivered sometime this week.

When people say they "built" their own PC, it's generally what you said were 2 or 3. They research the parts, then either put it together themselves or get the shop to do it.

I prefer to say I've designed my own computer; I researched the parts and then asked the shop to built it so I could get professional warranty to cover any problems I can't fix myself - in case of emergency, basically, and I'm too short on cash to replace parts myself.

I say "I designed it" as opposed to "I built it" because I have no desire to look more computer-technical by a misleading description of what I did. I have built computers in the past and can easily built one right now, but I've decided to play it safe on this occasion because it's my first powerful PC.

Option one hasn't been done in decades as the components are too small to permanently affix together by hand.

Option 2 is the current definition of a "self built computer", essentially buying the components and assembling them yourself.

Option 3 is what's commonly referred to as a "custom rig". You're buying the components yourself but paying someone else to assemble it.

Mullac:
... buy them all individually and solder/fix them altogether, something which I don't have a hope in hell of doing...

If you're soldering you're doing it wrong.

Putting together you're own PC isn't hard, but you'll want to read up a bit on how to do it first, as there are some things that need to be considered so you don't damage the components or yourself.

The book I read was Build your own PC for dummies - http://www.amazon.com/Build-Your-Own-Do-It-Yourself-Dummies/dp/0470196114/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359235809&sr=8-1&keywords=build+your+own+pc+for+dummies

There may be better, but that worked for me.

If you want to get the best bang for your buck then build your own. I built my first PC for just over $2000AUD, after 6 months of my brother playing on my computer he decided to buy his own, he went for the custom store build, he paid $2500 after a couple of years mine was still able to play current games where his couldn't.

If you can read and work a screwdriver, you can build a PC. My most recent build was a ~$300 media center system for my parents' living room, took about an hour and a half to assemble (for someone who has been doing this for a couple of decades, mind you).

There is a lot of finesse in picking parts, lots of research to do with each build. It actually takes me longer to compare parts and research compatibility/noise/heat/et cetera than it does to slap the thing together in the end. My recommendation is to use this thread to discuss what you want the computer for... I'd be happy to come back here once in awhile and do a little research for ya.

These days there isn't as much advantage to building your own computer. PC prices have dropped considerably since the 90s. I can't really build a computer cheaper then CompUSA or other major computer outlet store anymore. Of course I was never building top end machines, I was always trying to get the most bang out of the buck, mid-end systems for as cheap as possible.

As has been said before in this thread, Option 2 is what most people mean when they say they "built their computer".

On the topic of building your computer, it really isn't as hard as it sounds, I have home built my past 5 computers and they have all worked like a dream. My current one is about a year old and can still run any game that comes out at max graphics with well over 60FPS. It is far and away the best and most economical option, building your own computer.

What I would recommend if you really want to learn about building your own computer is do some research about components, as was said earlier Intel makes better CPUs, RAM has different socket types that only fit into the corresponding socket on the motherboard, etc. (although I am fairly sure all RAM you can buy nowadays is DDR3 and all motherboards have DDR3 RAM sockets).

What I did when I wanted to learn was I bought the cheapest possible motherboard/CPU combo available at the time, same with the case, GPU, sound card, RAM, HDD, etc. and just tried putting it together to see if I could make a working computer from un-assembled parts, and even though it was the first time I ever tried building one, to my surprise it worked, and was easier than I expected. Since it was a cheap ass computer it couldn't run anything beyond office programs, but it still was proof of concept that I could do it. I have been building my own gaming rigs ever since. If you have enough disposable money to try this I would recommend you go that route, it's not too expensive.

You will always have issues with some components not working, then you have to go through the sometimes arduous task of trying to figure out which part is not working and why. Usually it is as simple as the part never worked, so then you have to return it (just about every online computer part site allows you to return the parts for free and get a new version of that part sent for free). The troubleshooting part of building your own computer can be one of the hardest areas of it, but there are a ton of guides and forum posts all over the internet with problem solving and help when hooking up the various components.

Well in answer to the title question, what they generally mean (on this site at least) is "I am better than you".

/cheapshotbypersonwhohasnothingusefultosay

He knows about what building a computer is, lets help him build it.

Tips:

1. Base your build around the processor. Intel Core, or AMD Phenom II. The processor will affect nearly every part bought afterwards.
* The processor should have more than 2ghz, and at least 4 cores.

2. Avoid buying the cheapest parts, you don't want to have to take the computer apart again three months later, to replace a failed component.
* Power supplies are the biggest thing to consider, cheap power supplies rate against MAX output, more expensive ones rate against sustained output. (A cheap 500w can only run at 400w most of the time. Expensive 500w can run at 500w all of the time, and can send out 650w if it is needed.)

3. The next decision is GPU. Geforce or Radeon.

GPUs generally use the following system.

[6][8][0][0]
[1][2][3][4]

The number "6", in the 1 position indicates the generation, similar to a model year.
The number "8" in the 2 position indicates the performance rating, on a scale from 1-9. 1 being slow, 9 being fast.
The number "0" in the 3 position also seems to indicate the performance rating, as sort of a decimal place. (i.e. "8.0"/"8.5")
The last number in the 4 position doesn't seem to matter,...

A decent rule of thumb is to subtract 1-2 from the #2 position for each generation prior, to get a decent estimate as to how well the card stacks up against the current generation.

Cards with the following numbers are likely have very close performance.

2800
3700
4600
5500
6400
7300

4. Motherboards are likely to be cryptic, but often determine most of the features your computer will have. It is important to know what you want your computer to do now, and may want later, to determine what motherboard to get.
* Surround sound
* Wireless (TV remotes, bluetooth, Wifi)
* Expansion support (SLI, RAID performance boost, RAID backups)
* Virtualization (Advanced feature, useful if you know how to use it.)
* USB ports (how many?)
* Automatic power on.
Etc.

Monster_user:
He knows about what building a computer is, lets help him build it.

Not a bad Idea.

Website for sourcing where to buy parts - shows all online sellers of requested part ordered by price.
- http://staticice.co.uk/ (UK version)
- http://staticice.com/ (US version)
- http://staticice.com.au/ (AUS version)

- might be others, not sure.

Keoul:
What the heck is a flatpack computer?

I just get the parts and connect everything together, having to solder anything would be ridiculous, computer's are extremely sketchy machines, one mistake and the whole thing doesn't work. Most if not all of the important parts are sent to you pre-made, besides all you really need is:
-Case
-Motherboard
-Hard drive
-Power supply
-CPU
-RaM
-GPU
-Fans/Cooling system
-Sound system

That's about it, and 2 of them (GPU and Sound system) are integrated into most motherboards.

If you try to play games on integrated graphics, you're gonna have a hard time. There's a reason people buy those graphics cards, you know. It's not just for show.

Mullac:
Soon, I'm planning to get a new gaming computer as my current one is essentially turd on a stick. However, I'm very confused about how to go about doing this. I know very little about computers and their components, apart from the basics, and am wondering how people 'build their own'.

The way I see it they can:

1. Look up all the parts they want, buy them all individually and solder/fix them altogether, something which I don't have a hope in hell of doing.

OR

2. Look up all the parts and go into a shop to buy them all, as a kind of flatpack computer, and fix it together.

OR

3. Look up the parts and go into a shop, tell the shop what they want and wait for the shop to make it up and get it delivered.

Some enlightenment on this topic would be really great.

Thanks

Building a pc these days has changed a lot mate, can forget about the soldering its mostly plugging idiot proof colour coded only the right one fits in the right slot cables together and a few screws holding stuff together.

i used to source the parts myself have them delivered and build it from there, but for the last decade or so i have used http://www.overclockers.co.uk/ exclusively i will design the system check with them it all fits makes sense and have them build it and ship it to me.

i would recommend you go that way as you dont know so much about all the components. im sure if you ask around you can find a similar site for your area if your not from the UK.

its not as cheap as researching all the parts and sourcing them from the cheapest place but i find the ease and level of service/guarantee to be worth it.

Mullac:
Cheers guys, this has really helped me to understand what people do when building their own. It's not nearly as complicated and difficult as I imagined, but when I get round to doing it I'll be sure to look up some guides.

It's always daunting and confusing the first time but you very quickly get the hang of it, and it's an amazing feeling

Your best bet to start is doing a little bit of research. Understand the main components (processor, motherboard, RAM, hard drive, graphics card etc), their purposes and how they fit together. Then, you can start looking up the parts. Go to review sites to see how they fare with benchmark testing against each other. Read up also on what the average user has to say about it. If you don't understand the terminology, Google will be only too happy to help.

I'm not going to say anything about the actual building of your computer, I believe the most important step is understanding what you're looking for and what's out there. Armed with that knowledge, you'll definitely be able to make the call on whether you want to build it, have a company built it for you or just buy a pre-built one.

The question's been pretty much answered, so I don't have any advice to give.

I will say though, if I ever get the cash for it, I would just love to walk into Fry's and buy up the whole store just so that I can run Minecraft at 60 fps.

Mullac:
Soon, I'm planning to get a new gaming computer as my current one is essentially turd on a stick. However, I'm very confused about how to go about doing this. I know very little about computers and their components, apart from the basics, and am wondering how people 'build their own'.

The way I see it they can:

1. Look up all the parts they want, buy them all individually and solder/fix them altogether, something which I don't have a hope in hell of doing.

OR

2. Look up all the parts and go into a shop to buy them all, as a kind of flatpack computer, and fix it together.

OR

3. Look up the parts and go into a shop, tell the shop what they want and wait for the shop to make it up and get it delivered.

Some enlightenment on this topic would be really great.

Thanks

You don't do any soldering. Computer components fit into the Motherboard through ports, such as PCI, or SATA. What we mean when we say "Build a PC", is we research parts (Firstly, usually deciding on a Processor), then a Motherboard (Since the Processor determines the chipset), then the HDDs, DVD or Blu Ray Driver, a Case, and suitable PSU, and of course, as much RAM as we can stuff in there. You order it from either a store or online, and assemble it. 1 and 2 are the same.

3. is similar, except you pay a professional usually around $50 to do the assembly stage.

You don't even need a guide. The instructions for the components will cover it. Hardest thing you'll do is install a CPU (That sound it makes when you snap it in. I'll never forget it).

Just make sure you understand the static hazards, and don't wear woolen socks, be sure to regularly ground yourself (touching the case will usually do it).

Mullac:
Soon, I'm planning to get a new gaming computer as my current one is essentially turd on a stick. However, I'm very confused about how to go about doing this. I know very little about computers and their components, apart from the basics, and am wondering how people 'build their own'.

The way I see it they can:

1. Look up all the parts they want, buy them all individually and solder/fix them altogether, something which I don't have a hope in hell of doing.

OR

2. Look up all the parts and go into a shop to buy them all, as a kind of flatpack computer, and fix it together.

OR

3. Look up the parts and go into a shop, tell the shop what they want and wait for the shop to make it up and get it delivered.

Some enlightenment on this topic would be really great.

Thanks

Well, what it means if you really build your own rig is this.

1. Look up all the parts you will need. IE CPU, GPU, MOBO, RAM, PSU etc.
2. Go into store or buy online(online is usually cheaper).
3. Install parts into tower and MOBO.

If you have never really opened up a computer tower or are afraid of destroying said components via static electricity cause you didn't ground yourself I wouldn't recommend building the computer yourself.

If you know a friend who is willing to do it then it should be an option.

But the major benefit to building your own computer is that it is often cheaper as you are building the computer over time looking for the best deals. The other benefit is that you will often get more power in relation to pre-built computers. Also you can upgrade your computer should the time comes or what more people do future proof so they won't have to rebuild a new computer for a VERY long time.

I build my computer myself and it has served me well for the last six years and it is only NOW starting to be on par with the computers you buy in stores overall. I know that I'll have to rebuild my computer because the new GPUs demand PCI Express 3.0 and my MOBO lacks that. But my computer still runs most games at 60 FPS without any sort of issue. So I'm in no rush to rebuild a new rig. Honestly, I'm actually looking for a new hard drive to add-on into my current rig simply because I need more hard drive space and I can reorganize my hard drives. I need a hard drive to store all my media(thus the new hard drive need), Move all my games OFF the hard drive that runs my OS and onto their own hard drive.

EDIT: I have to emphasis this. For the LOVE OF GOD PLEASE MAKE SURE THE PARTS ARE COMPATIBLE. I too often see people after being told it isn't hard building your own pc buy parts that are not compatible such as buying a processor that isn't compatible with the motherboard. Or buy AMD parts and then buy an INTEL processor.

build computer: find parts on newegg/similar sites/stores if your town has any, make sure they are compatible, make sure they can run whatever you want (for instance, if you want to play crysis you need a decent graphics card), then buy them and when they come in put the parts together.

 

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