If there’s one thing that the dawn of the World Wide Web has given us, it’s the over-saturation of computers in the market. Gone are the days when having a PC meant you were the coolest person in the world. And with everybody going DIY on practically everything these days, a big trend in the techie world is building your own computer. You may not be a customization junkie, but there are so many benefits from doing this-you get to save some money, choose the best parts for exactly what you need, upgrade whatever you need to in a snap, and feel like a boss when it’s all done. Not to mention that you learn so much about your own computer, which is why self-built PCs are so common now and less daunting than ever. But even if you’re already putting motherboards together like a pro, here are just 5 lesser-known facts that you might not be aware of:
Airflow: Let your computer breathe
Aside from the regular wear and tear of your hardware, your other computer killer is heat, heat, heat. Because everyone is busy keeping their video cards overpowered, people often neglect the fact that computers need some air, too. Most CPUs have a fan and a heatsink, but you need to make sure it is optimized. Is your computer heatsink too tall for the CPU case? Is it in the way of some of your cables or any other components? Which directions are your fans facing? Keep a good one-directional airflow from front to back. More intake fans that bring in positive air pressure compared to exhaust fans will also keep your computer less dusty.
Cables: Organize your wires
So you bought the most top-of-the-line drives, fans, and cards, and now they’re all sitting in a cluttered mess inside your CPU. Did you not think this through? Remember that every single component you add has its own set of data and power cables, so make sure you have a cable management system ready. Keep them neat so as not to cause excessive heat. Have them placed to one side or allot a specific space for each tangle.
Don’t be lazy: Read the manual and test
Human hubris is such a grave sin. If you think you’re already an expert, you might just skim the instructions like they’re boring ads for cement. But those manuals are there for a reason-to put know-it-alls in their place. Make the effort and go through the how-tos of all your components. Never go into anything haphazardly if you don’t want to end up burning your house. Make sure you read the instructions, and then test everything. Testing is also a commonly overlooked step. Outside the case, ensure that everything is working perfectly first. You wouldn’t want to have everything tucked in inside before you realize that something’s wrong. In short, don’t take shortcuts. Assembling your own PC takes time, so read the manuals and test.
Box them up: Keep those component bags
When you’ve dusted your hands and patted your back after a job well done, you tendency is to clean up after yourself and chuck everything else down the bin. Don’t. Keep those anti-static bags because the resale value of your parts goes higher with those bags. It’s a great way to keep everything organized and tidy. All the boxes also come in handy whenever you need to store wire ties, screws, extra cables, and other small parts. You might think these little things are trash, but when you need to upgrade in the future, you’re going to be hunting them down upon realizing that they’re indispensable.
Life’s not perfect: Expect mistakes
Even the most seasoned master builder is going to make a mistake. A wrong component could send your CPU overheating every 30 seconds just because of a single slip-up, and you would have to take everything apart and rebuild all over again. Don’t think that everything will go swimmingly all the time. Expect to make some mistakes and know that you are awesome enough to find a solution to it. And when things go really bad, you have the friendly-neighborhood internet geeks and forums to help you out. Remember: you are not alone.
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