Building A Personal Computer On Your Own? Here’s What You Need To Know

Building your computer can be an enriching experience. You can end up with a machine that is unique to you and your needs, something that does all the nifty things you’ve always wished a computer could handle, and something that doesn’t have all the annoying features you’ve come to grumble over. The following will explore some of the things you’ll need to know if you’re looking into building your computer.

Understand Your Needs

Before you even begin to order parts or put things together, you need to figure out what you want your computer to be able to do for you. Are you into gaming? Coding? What sort of security features do you need? Will you have files or programs for work running on your computer? Do you intend to store a lot in the device? 

Figure out what needs this computer will be fulfilling and tailor your research to those needs. Knowing what you want to use the machine for can help you answer those tricky questions like: how much ram do I need? Or how big of a hard drive do I need? If you are like most people, you’ll find your answer somewhere in the middle between ultra-high specs and outdated hardware.

Gather The Tools You’ll Need

Besides a Phillips screwdriver, you’re probably going to need a few more items. A pair of needle-nose pliers (or even a set of tweezers) can be used to pop tiny screws into position or pull them out. Zip ties (and a pair of scissors to cut them up) can be used to keep all your cables organized and tied tightly in place. In addition to these apparent tools, you might also want an anti-static wrist strap (especially if you have cats or lots of positively charged carpets around you while you are working).  

Static electricity can damage your computer’s internal components. Even if you have one of these straps, make sure you keep yourself grounded when combining elements. You’ll also find working on the computer much more enjoyable if you have an ample friendly workspace cleared off because you’ll be turning pieces every which way to install everything needed.

Create A List Of Parts You Want And Watch The Sales

Computer parts can run a pretty penny. If you have a list of the features you want for your computer build, you can regularly check the prices and get a fair few items on sale if you have the time to wait a little bit. Creating your computer can be far less expensive than buying one if you’re careful when you shop for parts. Make sure to look at different suppliers and compare prices.

Set Up Your Devices Needed To Check Your Progress

To test-run everything you’re doing, you’ll probably need a keyboard, a mouse, and a monitor set up. If you get this done ahead of time, you’ll be able to connect these different devices to the computer as soon as it is ready to be tested. You’ll need them near, so keep them there.

Building A Personal Computer On Your Own? Here’s What You Need To Know

Putting It All Together

Once you have all your parts and your space is ready to work in, you can begin building your computer from the ground up. The following is the most common order of operations:

● Strip down the case.

● Designate a particular spot for screws (a bowl or sandwich bag—trust us, you will lose some and be kicking yourself if you don’t take this point seriously.)

● Replace or install new fans.

● Install the motherboard.

● Socket your CPU into the motherboard.

● Install computer memory.

● Mount the CPU cooler.

● Install storage.

● Position the PSU.

● Get your buttons in order.

● Attach your cables.

● Insert the graphics card.

● Check that the computer runs before you get all your panels back on.

● Tidy up the wires and panels and make everything look pleasing.

● Install the operating system.

Of course, you may want to go out of this order if you are working on a highly-specialized computer. Only deviate from the standard if you’re confident in your abilities or in case you’re just adding a new part, say a memory stick to an existing computer.

Following the above tips can help make your computer-building experience exciting and worthwhile. If any stage of the process is unclear to you, take your time to research what needs to be done thoroughly. It’s always better not to rush and risk damaging an expensive part. Tell yourself early on in the process that it’s going to take longer than you think it is. If you accept that idea from the get-go, you’ll be able to enjoy each step of the process. 

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