How hard is it to build?

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Being pretty new to this stuff, I'm picking up that it seems the general consensus to build a computer. I have a fair amount of time (only being in uni 6 hours/week). I dont have much experience with computers (A-level in computing - but **** does that help). Nevertheless, If i were to open a computer i wouldnt have a clue what i was looking at. The wiring ect seems pretty complex to my untrained eye.

How realistic would it be for someone of my standing to build their own computer (im looking at a gaming computer costing ~£500-550)? Or does one need alot more knowledge before they begin such a task.

Any general advice?

Thanks.
 
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It's reasonably straight forward. The plugs and sockets for the wiring are designed so that only matching ones will fit together.

Remember, you're not stuck with just the user manual to help you put it together, there are plenty of guides like the one >>HERE<< that you can use to make it easier for yourself.
 
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I built my own with no previous experience of building computers at all, like the other poster said its pretty easy.

Installing the hardware is a doddle, the connections from the psu are pretty straight forward, the motherboard manual tells you where to connect front panel connectors. The hardest bit is probably the cable management at the back so that you can get the door back on, just take your time and you should be fine.

Read through this thread i did when i was building mine

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18427201&page=3

Other posters posted some useful info and links including video tutorials.
 
Soldato
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Remember, you're not stuck with just the user manual to help you put it together,

Although reading the user manuals is a good idea, it's a step that most people seem to skip. This forum is littered with simple questions that could be answered with a brief look at the manual, or a quick Google.

Building a PC is fine until there's a problem. If you haven't got spares to hand fault finding can be a pain in the rear.

There's no great skill to the actual assembly, some Ikea furniture is more complicated than the average PC. Just make sure you spend the time, and ask the necessary questions, to get parts that will actually fit and work together.
 
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Although reading the user manuals is a good idea, it's a step that most people seem to skip. This forum is littered with simple questions that could be answered with a brief look at the manual, or a quick Google.

Building a PC is fine until there's a problem. If you haven't got spares to hand fault finding can be a pain in the rear.

There's no great skill to the actual assembly, some Ikea furniture is more complicated than the average PC. Just make sure you spend the time, and ask the necessary questions, to get parts that will actually fit and work together.

Yeah this is my main worry, I havent quite picked up on what's complatible with what yet. I fear i'd end up buying 2 things which wouldnt work together..
 
Soldato
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I like to have access to the internet from another computer or mobile phone when building, just in case, for example, I need to Google what that jumper on the motherboard needs changing to.
 
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where to put things is fairly easy since stuff is designed to only fit where it is meant to go, although there are exceptions like firewire headers which fit usb headers but can cause damage if you mix them up.

I would say the hardest bit is knowing how much pressure to apply as this cant really be described, it comes from experience and is nearly always overlooked. For example, a graphics card being fitted into a pci-e socket takes very little pressure, whereas ram quite often takes so much force that it bends the motherboard and leaves you with pressure marks on your fingers (especially ram without heatsinks, its like pushing on razor blades then), i have quite often found that novices doing their own ram upgrades have had to seek out help because the ram is not showing up or broken, when in actual fact then ram has not been pushed down far enough for contact to be made.
 
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where to put things is fairly easy since stuff is designed to only fit where it is meant to go, although there are exceptions like firewire headers which fit usb headers but can cause damage if you mix them up.

I would say the hardest bit is knowing how much pressure to apply as this cant really be described, it comes from experience and is nearly always overlooked. For example, a graphics card being fitted into a pci-e socket takes very little pressure, whereas ram quite often takes so much force that it bends the motherboard and leaves you with pressure marks on your fingers (especially ram without heatsinks, its like pushing on razor blades then), i have quite often found that novices doing their own ram upgrades have had to seek out help because the ram is not showing up or broken, when in actual fact then ram has not been pushed down far enough for contact to be made.

always a big sigh of reliefe when you get you ram sticks in
 
Soldato
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One thing I will say, is install the RAM before installing the motherboard. RAM isn't too hard to install, but it can be off putting for somebody who hasn't done it before when they see the motherboard flex! :D
 
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All the molex connectors can be a pain as well, depending on the makes they can either be stuff or loose. It can be hard to tell the difference between a molex thats too stuff and one where the pins are not aligned properly, too much force with miss-aligned molex connectors and you end up forcing the pins out the back of the plug.
 
Soldato
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One thing I will say, is install the RAM before installing the motherboard. RAM isn't too hard to install, but it can be off putting for somebody who hasn't done it before when they see the motherboard flex! :D

This is worth doing. I usually assemble all of the main parts before it goes anyway near the case and make sure everything is working.

I also hot-wire new power supplies before they get connected to anything expensive.
 
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One tip I would give is to work in stages and keep testing.

try mounting the cpu, heatsink and ram on the motherboard outside the case. attach the internal speaker to the motherboard, then attach the PSU to the motherboard. turn on (use a screwdriver for power connection) and check for pot beep. then add everything else and check for post beep in between.

A bit of a faff, but it'll save you a lot of time if anything is faulty.
 
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Building is easy. Hardest part is installing the motherboard (I found)... but even that is relatively straight forward.

Have fun!
 
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i was very nervous with my pc, despite already knowing all the theory (or so i thought! i inundated a thread with questions when i was building) however everything worked fine, some bits were fiddily but that may simply be due to my own clumsyness or from large hands.


The only problem i really had was the day after attaching my aftermarket cpu cooler, it took me a good few hours and an extra pair of hands (i swear to god it doesn't fit, i almost broke my thumbs trying to push the backplate through and screw it on... i triple triple checked and asked online and everything was right... not sure how i didnt break the mobo)

So if anything my advise is give it a go, double check everything even if it takes you 5 hours to set it all up with reading the manuals, ask for help here if you have problems, and remember pc parts are sensitive, but as long as you're careful you're not going to break them.
 
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