This is Ziggles’ submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
I’ve been into computers for quite a while and I’ve been following Chris and his geekiness for about three years now. Now I recently saw Chris’s YouTube video about the HP contest and I decided what the heck, why not enter. After being in a tech chat for a little over a year sucking in loads of information and helping tons of people, I think that I have earned the right to make a top 5 tips for Building a Computer. I know many people are interested in building their own computer, but when it comes down to actually starting the entire process, they get stuck. Building a computer is actually very easy and quick if you know what you’re doing. So I hope with these tips, it’ll will make this really fun process much easier.
- Do your research. I don’t know how I can stress this enough. I see people come into the chat I am usually in, and they buy all these computer parts thinking it will all work together but it doesn’t. It took me a good solid 3 months to find compatible parts, really good deals, and an overall satisfactory with the computer and its insides. I recommend going to websites which give articles and benchmarks about specific products. Ask a lot of questions to fellow techies you find for help with your build, whether it be on the web or in person. I’ll repeat it again. Do your research. If I could make a top ten list, I would use the top 1 – 5 just to say do your research. It’s that important.
- Prepare for Your Build. Once you have finished your research and you bought all your parts you must prepare for your build. For starters, pick a nice BIG clean space to work on, preferably on a table. Try as much as possible to keep away from mounting everything on the floor, especially the floor. That is a big no-no. Static is a computer’s worst friend. One zap and everything will get fried. I recommend wearing no socks, buying a static free wristband, and grounding yourself by touching something metal each time you go to work on your build. Now it’s important for any computer build, that you have the right tools for the job. Many stores like Staples buy computer building kits, which includes all kinds of screwdrivers, screws, clips, and other goodies to help streamline the process of building a computer. I HIGHLY recommend buying a magnetic screwdriver, because when assembling everything, you don’t know how many times you will lose the little damn screw inside the case. Having a magnetic screw driver can easily pick it out of there. Have everything that you need with you before assembling. That includes parts, peripherals like monitors, keyboards, and speakers.
- Take Your Time. Even though I said earlier “it doesn’t take a long time to make a computer if you know what you’re doing” – take your time. Its better that the build be done right instead of rushed. Don’t build if you are in a bad mood. Take out around 5 hours to dedicate to your build and start with a fresh mind. Keep all the manuals and installation instructions for each part. If you get stuck, you can always use them for guidance. A nice word of advice I can give you is that everything fits in only one way. All the power connectors, SATA connectors, CPU installation, fan installations, and PCI installation only fits in ONE way. You can’t mess it up. If you get stuck, once again refer to the manuals. They usually have nice little pictures for you to see.
- “Bench test” everything outside the case first. This is a commonly skipped step made by all computer builders. It is very important that you assemble your entire computer OUTSIDE the case first to make sure everything is working. Put your motherboard onto of the box it came in and plug everything into it there. Power it all up and test it. It’s very stressful when you have everything nice and snug inside the case only to find out the power supply is dead. Make sure all the connections are securely fastened, and that everything is turned on and working alright. Once you have done this, take everything apart except the RAM, CPU, and CPU fan. Leave those things plugged into the motherboard as they are a pain to install once the motherboard is inside the case. After that, place the motherboard inside the case, WITH standoffs in place between the case and the motherboard. This is so there is no shortage. Proceed with installing the power supply, video card (if you have one), DVD drives, hard drives, and whatever else you want to put in there. Plug the computer into a power outlet, and fire her up. Format the hard drives; install the operating system, and drivers for components.
- Enjoy! Building a computer is a really fun process if you are into it. Be social and join forums and tech sites to just gather all the information you can. Share your knowledge and have fun. This leads to making more informed decisions in the future. Research, be prepared, take it easy, and follow the steps. If you did that successfully and you have a new computer, congratulations on a job well done! You aren’t a true computer builder if you haven’t done the sacred blood sacrifice for your new rig. Only then you can consider yourself a true master.