The deafening helicopter thrum of my laptop fan and the lag as the mouse dragged across the screen meant one thing: I needed a new computer. It also meant I had two options. Either buy a pre-made computer and hope I was happy with everything it came with or build my own and get exactly what I wanted.
After a couple of days of researching on sites like Reddit’s PC Building Forum the pros and cons of building my own computer, I decided that my needs would be best met with building my own computer. Researching was important because not everyone is going to want or need to build their own computer to be completely happy. Figure out what you want to do on your computer, work, gaming, design, etc. and then go from there.
Buying the Parts
I used PCPartPicker to help ensure that all of the parts I was planning on buying would be compatible. All of my parts worked perfectly together and I didn’t have to do deal with the hassle of returns.
Along with the reviews on PCPartPicker, I also checked sites like Amazon and Newegg to see reviews of the parts that I was interested in. Reviews listed the pros and cons of each part, ensuring that I knew exactly what I was going to get when my parts arrived.
PCPartPicker also has a price history of each part, allowing me to see if now was the time to buy or if maybe I should wait for the price to drop.
Building the Computer
Considering I didn’t know which way was up or down on the majority of the parts, I needed a guide to putting all of the various boards and plugs together. LifeHacker offers a comprehensive guide to building a computer from scratch. I used this as my main guide during the construction of my computer.
However, each part of the computer also came with a small instruction booklet to explain where it should go. Theoretically, I could have figured out how the computer went together from these, but the LifeHacker guide made things 100 times easier.
After little over an hour of work, lengthened by not reading the instructions correctly, and not having the power button in the correct position, I had a fully functioning desktop computer that I had built with my own two hands. I also have a much better knowledge of how my computer works, allowing me to problem solve more efficiently if one arises(hopefully none will anytime soon), and the ability to modify my computer if my needs change in the future.
It was one of the more enjoyable experience I’ve had doing something new, and I highly recommend that anyone interested in building their own computer to go ahead and try it.