Help Building a Computer

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
2,408
Location
CA
there are alao a bunch of system builders who will build your computer from off the shelf parts thst you pick. have you looked locally for a mom and pop computer store. typically you bring in a newegg cart they say we will match or beat that and you just pay the build fee. if not, there are some online ones, my last one i had was built by avadirect. i think you can also get a barebones setup from several placrs where they do the harder install of case mobo psu and cpu the rest is up to you. if you are going build it yourself you aren't going to get customer service you are on your own after initially working. However you will have a build that is serviceable from common parts instead of proprietary parts.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
157
Location
Chicagoland, IL
You said you wanted to learn, so build it. I enjoyed the study o fjust the different power supplies. You will also have that OS disk so you re-install if the need arises, and you wont have to dump all the free trail stuff that comes with many new computers. It isn't a cost saving issue. You will also have to contact each part vendor websites to probably find the latest driver updates for all parts. Booting up is easy, I found. But maybe a don't remember my first? Anyway, you select the BIOS to tell the machine where to look for the OS. I agree that getting a smaller SSD to handle just the programs and OS and a second drive to hold your data. But now you can choose your hard drive vendor and product for what you have read. Tomshardware is a good site. It doesn't take long to research. Want a big case or a small case? Your choice. Want Only USB III parts? Your choice. Want a machine that handles blue tooth? Best non-corded mouse, I feel. You won't save money but you can take pride in that your are happy with what you built. If you already have a computer, you might be able to use the case, but probably not the power supply as they tend to make those as minimum as possible to save money. Probably the mouse and keyboard are all that you can reuse.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 5, 2013
Messages
172
Location
FL, USA
Originally Posted By: Blueskies123
I studied this option a few years ago and the best advice I found was that building your own is for people that actually can and want to spend more for high quality parts. This makes the computer more expensive and can take several days IF everything goes as planned. I think it is more of a hobby for people who have money and time to build a cutting edge machine. Now that I am retired I make this this over again.
It takes you several days to build a PC? Excluding installing the OS, which basically happens unattended, it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours or so to assemble a tower for someone that's new and is taking their time reading instructions and going step by step. Once you have done it a couple of times, it should take about fifteen minutes.
 

Wingman

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
139
Location
Arkansas
Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply. You have given me a lot of information to search through. I really appreciate the various opinions. This is a decision that is going to take some time as I decide what course to take. I am still amazed that the place I get the best information on computers and related topics is a site called bobistheoilguy. Thank you again for your time and advice.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Messages
1,378
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
A buddy of mine used Cyberpowerpc for his med-low gaming rig for about $1000. they seem to have good reviews and my friend has had zero issues. You can tweak each computer, too, for each parameter.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
3,941
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted By: MONKEYMAN
I have a Micro Center close to me. A competitor of New Egg. They have refurb units or parts to build computers. I have bought a Dell from them. It was older and needed a graphics card and the last desktop I bought was from Ebay like Eljefino, but older. I use it daily with Mint. It is my favourite. Well built, and fast with Mint without a Solid State drive. I did install a graphics card. If money is not an issue a newer Dell or HP off lease. I tend to read reviews online and check part prices on Ebay and tend to buy ones that have a lot of used parts available. I built one computer from parts with help of my friends here. I just put together all the parts I had plus some. It was a good learning experience. Off lease commercial computers have served me the best. If I want Windows I tend to buy ones with the version I want installed. My tech support is mostly from this website. A lot of smart people hear that know a lot.
Micro Center is the bee's knees!
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
2,927
Location
St. Louis
Originally Posted By: L_Sludger
Originally Posted By: MONKEYMAN
I have a Micro Center close to me. A competitor of New Egg. They have refurb units or parts to build computers. I have bought a Dell from them. It was older and needed a graphics card and the last desktop I bought was from Ebay like Eljefino, but older. I use it daily with Mint. It is my favourite. Well built, and fast with Mint without a Solid State drive. I did install a graphics card. If money is not an issue a newer Dell or HP off lease. I tend to read reviews online and check part prices on Ebay and tend to buy ones that have a lot of used parts available. I built one computer from parts with help of my friends here. I just put together all the parts I had plus some. It was a good learning experience. Off lease commercial computers have served me the best. If I want Windows I tend to buy ones with the version I want installed. My tech support is mostly from this website. A lot of smart people hear that know a lot.
Micro Center is the bee's knees!
Yes it is. I can walk to mine. The problem is I have 5 computers in my room, but it is cool to see all they have. They have about anything you could want or need computer wise.
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
552
Location
burlington ,ontario, canada
OK, it sounds like you’re looking for a mainstream computer for general office and web browsing on a budget. I’ll add smooth 1080p video playback and low to mid-level gaming to the mix to be safe. For that I recommend from Intel a processor with a GT2 tier minimum on-board graphics. Those would be all I3 generation Haswell and up along with Pentium G45xx Skylake and G46xx KabyLake. For AMD most of their Apu’s provide good graphics but they’re weaker than Intel in other performance areas. Most of us won’t notice this difference but the A8-7600 Kaveri is a good compromise at its price point. Below is some recommendations from NewEgg: Good ($467.00): *AMD A8-7600 Kaveri processor *G.Skill DDR3/1866 2*4GB (F3-149000CL9D) memory *Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3HP matx motherboard WD Blue 1TB 7200 RPM HHD EVGA 430 W1 psu Antec VSK3000E-U3 matx case Arctic Cooling F9 92mm front case fan Asus DRW-24B1ST optical drive Apevia case speaker Better ($538.00): *Pentium G4600 KabyLake processor *Kingston DDR4/2133 2*4 GB (KVR21N15S8) memory *Asus B250M-A matx motherboard Best ($573.00): *I3-6100 Skylake processor *Kingston DDR4/2133 2*4 GB (KVR21N15S8) memory *Asus B250M-A matx motherboard Optional: Crucial MX300 275 GB SSD ($125.00) Cooler Master Hyper T2 cpu cooler ($25.00) LG WH16NS40 Bluray optical drive ($70.00) Installation: Choose a non-conductive work surface and uncarpeted flooring like your kitchen table to reduce the chance of electrostatic discharge. Further, wear cotton clothing like jeans and a tee shirt avoiding wools and synthetic material for same. Install the optical drive. Install the front case fan with the airflow blowing in (there’s an arrow on the fan indicating direction). Install the PSU then turn the switch off (the symbol is binary where “I” is on and “0” is off) Plug the mickey mouse cable into the PSU then connect it to a surge protector with it switched off. Doing this creates a ground path to further mitigate ESD, and as an extra measure, accidentally turning the power supply on. Now whenever you leave your workstation before resuming touch an unpainted metal section of the case. Install the HDD with the PC board side against the tray. Install the standoffs (if not incorporated) for the motherboard. Install the I/O shield making note of the correct orientation. Inspect your motherboard for any bent pins in the CPU socket NSEW. Remove the CPU socket protector being careful not to damage any pins (if Intel). Gently place the CPU into the socket aligning the notches and/or small triangle. Make sure it’s fully seated before closing the lever. AMD CPU’s are pinned so perform a NSEW inspection first for alignment prior to install. Install the motherboard leveraging it carefully from underneath the I/O shield at a slight angle being careful not to jam any of its tangs. This process is fiddley so take your time. Once lined up screw it in with the holes provided to ground the board. Plug in your front panel cables provided with the case. These will be the USB 3.0 (20 pin with a blank for orientation), Audio cable (10 pin with blank for orientation) identified as either HD audio or AC97, and the smaller group of cables marked as PWR LED, HDD LED, PWR SW, and RESET (if available with case). An arrow indicates positive polarity. Note, I generally don’t connect the PWR HDD because, one, it’s not necessary, and two, the flashing light is a pain in the neck. Consult your manual for location but should be identified as FP or Front Panel on the board. Install the keyed memory modules into slots A and B (same color) pushing firmly with your thumbs on each end until they snap in closing the release levers. Place a small pea sized blob of the provided thermal paste in the centre of the CPU. Pick up the pre-assembled CPU fan, first ensuring the push pins are in the neutral position (slot perpendicular to the body), then hover carefully over the push pin holes gently placing to rest. Wiggle it gently to ensure all the push pins are pre seated. Once satisfied, push in the opposite corners simultaneously until they click in. Repeat same for the other two corners. AMD uses a levered clip system which is quite simple if not more secure. Plug in your fans as indicated on the MOBO (CPU FAN, SYS/CHA FAN 1). These are keyed. Plug in your 4/8 pin CPU power lead from the PSU. Plug in your main 24 pin power lead from the PSU. Connect your case speaker. Generally near the FP. Connect the SATA power cables from the PSU to the HDD and Optical drive. Connect SATA 6 port 1 to the HDD/SSD (system drive) Connect SATA 6 (or SATA 3 if not available) port of your convenience for the optical drive. Lock tie and cable tuck to maximize airflow and minimize any vibration, blockages or fan pinch. Double check that everything is correct. POST (power on self-test): Connect a wired keyboard and mouse (you can switch to wireless after OS install). Connect your monitor. Turn on the power. You should be presented with the UEFI/BIOS screen. The computer should automatically detect your configuration and load your optimized setting. Depending on the board it might ask you to save as optimized defaults. If so accept then re-start if necessary. If your computer doesn’t post make note of the beep code. Do a Google search under manufacturer motherboard beep codes to diagnose. It could be something as simple as a cable or RAM not properly seated. Some motherboards are designed for legacy support with businesses. With this configuration often Windows will install with the MBR partition table not the now preferred GPT. Not a biggie but if you want to install a 2 TB or greater HDD you won’t be able to. To prevent this go to the BOOT menu and change CSM (Compatibility Support Mode) to AUTO from enabled. Change the BOOT priority order 1 to your installation media type (your installed optical drive name, or USB) Disable FAST BOOT Connect Ethernet cable to internet. Insert the OS media then close and save changes from the UEFI/BIOS. Windows should now begin the installation process. Once done install the drivers from your installation CD or go directly to the manufacturers website (preferred). To change back your BOOT priority to where your OS is installed continuously press the hotkey (usually DEL or F2) on re-start. You can also re-enable FASTBOOT if you wish. While in the UEFI/BIOS you can also change your fan profile and slopes. You'll find that under the MONITOR MENU. If I missed something I'm sure other members will chime in to help. GOOD LUCK
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
410
Location
West Yorkshire, UK
For less hassle look for business grade rather than consumer, better quality and warranties new usually, often different customer services, factory refurbs are bargains and usually 12 months warranty (same as most store warranties). If you have a Costco nearby they have great warranties and customer service, worth checking them out.
 

Wingman

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
139
Location
Arkansas
To ndfergy, That reply was amazing! I really needed the detail of parts, assembly, and initial operation you provided. I am printing it off so I can have it for a reference in the future. I really appreciate the time and knowledge it took to write your reply. Also, thanks to all who have taken the time to reply!
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
Messages
13,523
Location
Middlesex County CT
Regardless of your path forward, shoud should get 16Gb RAM to future proof your build. I purchased a desktop from system76 5 years ago with 16Gb and there is no sign it will need replacing
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
4,836
Location
Central Texas
Originally Posted By: Wingman
I have used HP and Dell in the past. When I have had problems with them, I end up trying to communicate with someone that is difficult to communicate with (non-native English speaker). The amount of help I get is worthless. When I have tried to get help locally, the prices are sky-high, long delayed, and undependable.
Yep. I've experienced DellHell enough. It's like an obstacle course...in a foreign language. You're exhausted by the end. I find it better to seek answers elsewhere: TweakHound, Win7 Forums, and here in the archives.
Quote:
Several of you mentioned off-lease business computers. Where do you shop so you don't get ripped off? Even buying a used machine, it seems that I would need to know how to assemble a computer to fix things that might break.
I have a Dell Optiplex SFF (small form factor) bought off-lease from Dell financial. Another BITOG member posted about it. I won my bid and it was promplty shipped. However, the internal fans were still dirty. They only warrantied it for 90days to, not 3 yrs like someone else mentioned. The PS died outside of that and Dell no longer makes NEW PS's in the SFF! Go figure. I complained to Dell F. and finally managed to get a $50 credit. My advice: Don't buy a small form factor or ultra small form factor machine from Dell. Large cases have room for 'normal' PS's.
 

Wingman

Thread starter
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
139
Location
Arkansas
Thanks for the additional inputs. I appreciate every piece of new information I get. I am determined to get more independent in this area, and I need all the help I can get. Thanks!
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
552
Location
burlington ,ontario, canada
Originally Posted By: Wingman
Thanks for the additional inputs. I appreciate every piece of new information I get. I am determined to get more independent in this area, and I need all the help I can get. Thanks!
You're welcome.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
206
Location
NJ
You've gotten some good advice from people. I use Newegg myself and other resources for computer parts when needed. If you get all the correct components building a computer can be relatively easy assuming nothing is dead out of the box. I can build a computer but I won't anymore. I have upgraded my desktop with an SSD drive for bootup and programs and kept my original HDD for storage; have put in 16 GB of RAM vs the 6 that came with it and put in a new video card with 2 GB DDR5 memory. I did these at the end of last year and I also re heat compounded my processor as my computer was about 6 YO, I hope to get another 6 out of it. My current computer is a HP tower. My opinions: Stick with Intel I5 or I7 processors; minimum 16 GB memory but try to buy a motherboard that can handle more just in case; external video card - I bought a cheapish low power one because my power supply is only 300 watts but it has 2 GB DDR5 memory; a SSD drive for bootup and programs and a HDD drive for storage - size matters but a large SSD drive can cost some money; a tower case and a largish power supply (over 500 watts). I don't have specific brands as the best but I have read that Samsung SSD drives are very good (this is what I bought); Seagate or Western Digital for HDD and I have used Crucial brand memory. Just remember that chasing a problem without a good knowledge of computer hardware can be frustrating although probably with today's operating systems they probably have automatic conflict resolution and it's not like back in the day of needing to know all this stuff. Good Luck with the build!
 
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
5,392
Location
Columbus,Nebraska
Originally Posted By: dareo
I've stopped building PCs these days. I can find screaming deals on refurbished Dell units that are only a few years old and have a lot of power. I'm talking under $250 for a pretty solid refurb PC. I know that is not the point of your thread but to build an entire PC with good parts and a legit OS costs a lot of money. If you do end up building, i'd get a LIAN LI case, a kaby lake core i3 chip and not skimp on the motherboard. Check out You Tube Channel "Paul's Hardware" He has about 577k subs and makes some high quality PC hardware and build videos.
I purchased a Dell 710 Optiplex SFF factor about a year ago and paid a few $$ for a cosmetics and the thing looks brand new. Not a scratch, mar, dent or ding to be seen and the inside was like new. Best computer buy I have ever made. smile
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
5,392
Location
Columbus,Nebraska
Originally Posted By: HosteenJorje
Originally Posted By: dareo
I've stopped building PCs these days. I can find screaming deals on refurbished Dell units that are only a few years old and have a lot of power. I'm talking under $250 for a pretty solid refurb PC. I know that is not the point of your thread but to build an entire PC with good parts and a legit OS costs a lot of money. If you do end up building, i'd get a LIAN LI case, a kaby lake core i3 chip and not skimp on the motherboard. Check out You Tube Channel "Paul's Hardware" He has about 577k subs and makes some high quality PC hardware and build videos.
I purchased a Dell 710 Optiplex SFF factor about a year ago and paid a few $$ for a cosmetics and the thing looks brand new. Not a scratch, mar, dent or ding to be seen and the inside was like new. Best computer buy I have ever made. smile
One more time. Changed 710 t0 7010 and actually remembered to make the change. Another senior moment for me.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top