How To Build Your Own PC

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Interior of PC caseWhile laptops and mobile devices seem to be taking over the world, there's still a place for desktop PC's. Building your own ensures you get the components you want or need and these sites will get you building your own PC in no time.

I started building PC's because it's usually cheaper to build your own than buy a new one from a vendor. I got tired of components failing and having to be replaced, and building my own system ensured I could get reliable and good quality components. A big plus is that I never paid someone else to repair my computer or replace parts that failed.

I learned by doing, trial and error, failing and doing it again, but you don't have to do that. There are a few good guides on how to assemble a PC, and sites that will help you decide which parts to choose to build a PC. There are also pre-selected systems that range from a basic home and office PC to high end gaming systems.

I'm impressed by this Build Your Own PC article at PC Mech. It runs down everything - from what tools you'll need (not many) to how to install both AMD and Intel processors and includes photos, descriptions and videos. It's very thorough, and very detailed with all the small things you need to know but that often don't get mentioned. For example, if your case comes with standard drive bays and you choose an SSD (Solid State Drive) instead of HDD (Hard Disk Drive), you're going to need an adapter to mount the drive.

I like this site at wikiHow too. Though not as detailed as the article above, it's full of illustrations and is an easier read. If you're wondering if you want to build your own system but don't want to read the thorough how-to article above, I'd recommend this as a quicker read. The tips and warnings at the bottom of the page are very helpful.

The website PC Part Picker is one of the best I've found to help select parts (click on the 'Start A System Build' tab at the top), and they have a large range of pre-selected system builds, from entry level to higher end gaming systems. This is really useful if you're not familiar with the vendors that make parts. You can also browse individual parts, check out the build guides, and have a look at completed builds.

The basic parts you need to build a PC are a processor (I like AMD), a heat sink fan if one isn't included, a motherboard, RAM (memory), a power supply (I use Seasonic), a disk drive (HDD or SSD), DVD burner if you need one, a PC case (I prefer aluminum or steel for durability), a keyboard and mouse, and if you decide you need one, a graphics card (I use NVIDIA GeForce).
Thanks to the current cryptocurrency mining trend, RAM and graphics card prices are sky high, and certain graphics cards are almost impossible to find. There are motherboards with built in graphics if you'd rather not purchase a graphics card. They are fine for most applications, but if you like gaming, a graphics card will probably work better.

There are many places online to buy parts. In the US I've gotten most of my parts through newegg.com, xoxide.com, and frozencpu.com. Amazon is also a good source. I've found the reviews at Newegg to be useful since for the most part the reviews are by people who build their own systems. I'm not providing links as those are my personal preferences - you can can copy and paste or type in the URL to visit the websites.

Whether you want to learn more about how computers work, never want to take your PC to have a part replaced, or want to save a few dollars and have solid parts for your computer, building your own PC can be a great route to a new system.


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