Presented are five things you might want to consider if you are planning to build a computer system yourself. I have built PC systems since the beginning of the PC age and am happy to pass on these five things resulting from many years of experience.
Cheaper to Buy Than to Build
The first PCs purchased retail were very expensive. The knowledge required to build one from scratch could be used to put together the right parts and save a lot of money.
There is little value in computer technical knowledge remaining, compared to the previous generations of systems. At some point, a line was crossed and it became cheaper to buy rather than to build.
Linux Operating System is Free
A normal retail PC usually comes with a Windows operating system. The cost of this packaged OS can be up to one third the cost of the unit.
A Linux OS distribution is available for free, along with many free applications that do their job, as well as, or better than the Windows versions. It is possible to buy a built PC without an OS and install your own. Linux generally runs better on any system and this is the cheapest way to buy a new computer that I have found.
Retail Parts Cost the Same as Wholesale
Back in the days where a computer business could still make money I acquired a wholesaler license and purchase my parts from a wholesale warehouse that was in a physical location. Along came the Internet and the competition for selling computer parts heated up. Prices paid for retail plummeted and actually became cheaper than I was paying for wholesale.
There is no valid reason to hold a wholesaler license for today’s computer builders. Computer builders in the current environment opt for higher end parts that are usually selected depending on the application.
No Need to Fear, the Internet is Here
If you plan to go ahead and build your own PC it will be a fairly straightforward and easy thing to do. Anything that you need to know has been document literally thousands of times on many Internet sites.
There is little technical know-how required other than taking electrostatic precautions. If you can use a screwdriver, have some patience, and good eyesight, you are pretty much there for technical ability. Contrary to what many may think, PCs have progressively become easier to build, and use, as they evolved.
Keep a Hard Copy File
Once the PC is built it is a good idea to keep a physical file folder on the system. In the file put all the documentation that came with the parts so it can be accessible later if there are any issues. A list of what is contained in the PC along with its specifications is wise to write down. Any later upgrade or changes can be changed in the file and kept up to date. OS and application disks are also placed in the folder.
Anyone planning to build their own PC have many choices available to them. The hardest thing is knowing how the computer will be used and if the plan considers all the cost effective options. These five things will help the PC builder make the right decisions.
Other articles on Yahoo! Voices by David Bryan Bolick:
The Truth About Computer Technicians
The Move from Microsoft Windows to Linux