I’ve built a few computers. I’ve also bought a few from retailers. In my experience, building one can be great fun and very rewarding. However, it can also be very easy to end up with a pile of incompatible parts, a slow system or worse- a computer that simply isn’t very good at what you built it for.
If you decide to build a system, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that the system you build not only works, but works correctly and can handle the tasks you built the computer for in the first place. Nothing is more frustrating than a gaming system that can’t handle the games you want to play, or a multimedia system that lags and hangs when creating movies and music.
Here are a few things to think about before you start building that dream system.
Parts You Need
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but before you start your build, do a little research into the parts you’re going to need. Nothing will bring a build to a screeching halt like finding out the awesome new graphics card you bought isn’t going to work with your processor, or your tower won’t correctly house your fans and power supply.
Making sure beforehand that you get the exact parts you need for your project will not only help keep your system build on track, it can help keep you stay under budget as well.
Know What You’re Doing
Knowing how to put a system together is as important as having the right parts, if not more so; After all, if you burn up out break important parts your system won’t work, and you’ll lose whatever money you spent on the broken parts and will have to replace them before you can get your new computer operating- quickly turning your dream system into a nightmare.
If you are unsure about what your doing, there lots of places you can go for help. CNET, for example, is a veritable cornucopia of information that everyone, from seasoned computer builders to first time tinkerers, can turn to for everything they need to know about building that perfect system.
Understand Your Computing Needs
Again, this one seems simple, but… you have to know what you want your computer to be good at before starting. Sure, you can build a computer that will acceptably do nearly every task you ask it to perform. However, if what you are really wanting to do is play games- buying the wrong processor or graphics card is going to keep your system from being able to perform the way you want and you will not be happy.
Likewise, if your computer is going to be used for office work you probably won’t need that super-expensive, top of the line graphics card. Know your goals for your system and your new computer will run like a top and won’t break the bank in the process.
Build your system in a clean, dust free area. Dusty can wreak havoc in a computer, causing everything from cooling issues to interfering with how components work. Also, be aware of static electricity- one small static electricity discharge at the wrong time will destroy those expensive new parts you just bought.
So, have a clean work area and invest in a static strap. Remember, building a computer while sitting on your carpeted living room floor is a no-no. Don’t do it.
Take Your Time
Take your time when building your computer. Hurrying to get done as fast as possible is a great way to forget items, install components incorrectly, or even worse- to destroy something delicate or sensitive inside your tower. Your computer will be finished fast enough; Take this opportunity to make sure everything is installed carefully and properly.
Tearing down your hastily assembled computer to make repairs is not fun, and neither is replacing damaged parts. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience, so take your time and do it right the first time. You won’t be disappointed in the results.
By keeping these few things in mind, you can build a computer that will perform flawlessly, and outperform many all-purpose units for sale at your local box store. You’ll also have some fun and learn a thing or two you might not have known.
Wait- fun and learning? It’s a win-win situation for you!
Happy building, and enjoy your new system.