Why would someone go out and buy a computer from a manufaturer like Dell or Gateway, when they could build a more powerful computer for less money? The answer, they do not know how to build it.

This may sound like a complicated process, but in all actuality, it is very simple.

This guide will help you build your very own computer.

I want to appologize in advance for the resolution of the pictures. I hope they are still easy to understand.

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any damage done to hardware during installation.

I also do not want to be contacted about computer problems. Go to your local repair shop (NOT GEEK SQUAD OR FIREDOG) and get it fixed. If the computer that is having problems was the one that you built (or tried to) then I will help. I just don't want a bunch of people who are asking how to fix unrelated issues.

I hope you enjoy building your computer. I did. In fact I'm using the computer pictured right now.

For those of you who think this is too hard or don't have the time to build a custom PC, I have set up a website that will allow you to choose the parts you want and I will set it up and mail it to you. The address is *EDIT, This site is no longer available, sorry*

If you want to build a laptop computer, check out my Instructable on that

Step 1: Get parts!

This is the most expensive step. This is where you go and buy all the stuff for your computer. The thing about computers, is that you can't just keep adding parts and making it better until it works well. You need to buy all of your parts at the same time. You can upgrade those parts afterwords though.

In this instructable I will be building a very high performance computer. This is not nessesary at all.

I like to use Newegg.com because you can find some really cheap but quality items there.

The computer used in the demonstration:
Jetway 775GT1-LOGE Motherboard
2x eVGA GeForge 7300GT
500 Watt Power Supply
Intel Pentium D Processor 3.0GHz (Dual Core)
Genaric Ethernet Card
Seagate Barracuda 160GB SATA Hard Drive
2x Seagate Barracuda 80GB IDE Hard Drive
Samsung Lightscribe IDE DVD Burner
IDE Zip Disk Drive
Cooler Master Case - Not exactly, but it is screwless like mine.

Nice computer that is simular to the displayed one:
JetWay J775GT2-LOG Motherboard
eVGA GeForge 7300GT (buy 1 for good power and 2 for sweet power)
Seagate Barracuda 160GB SATA Hard Drive
ASUS DVD Lightscribe Burner
Intel Pentium D Processor 3.0GHz (Dual Core)
Genaric Case
500 Watt Power Supply
This computer costs about $395 and is way better than anything Dell will sell.
<p>I get all my parts from More or Less. They have the worst prices and make projects expensive. http://www.moreorlessmechanics.biz/cgi-bin/moreorless/register</p>
<p>Hi all, I love gaming and building PCs so I built a sdite to help other people build PCs too. I's my first site so feedback welcome - www.buildingagamingpcsite.com - check it out if you have five mins...</p>
<p>I get all my parts from Tech for Less. They have the best prices and make building or repairing my projects cheap. http://www.techforless.com/cgi-bin/tech4less/login/friends?rcode=a994bf93-386b-11e5-add5-00237da73906</p>
<p>is it possible to use a case from a prebuilt computer? i have a couple old computers that need to be upgraded, i was wondering if i could gut them and replace everything with aftermarket parts</p>
<p>i think that you can </p><p>i think the part are in the same shape but better and lighter ;)</p>
<p>Thank you for your sharing, it is great, i would like to share my experience with you too, i got a key in a web, it is genuine and good-working, especially it only cost me a little money, recommended you,wish you good luck. www.aakeys.com</p>
<p>I would dual boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 14.04 when it comes out or settle for 13.10 and upgrade later in April</p>
Haha ,great
Wow thanks for making this look so easy. There are some great ideas here you might be needing some <a href="http://www.collinginsurance.com/commercial-insurance.aspx" rel="nofollow">business insurance lakewood co</a> soon of you aren't careful.
i wouldn't use windows Vista on the high end computing, i would use Windows 7.
Hey, I'm really new in building PC. In fact, I don't even understand which part is important whatsoever. Is there any instructables or books that I can read? Thanks
Nkutadinata, I have found an amazing site made to explain every part of your computer and give's you a few link's to some nice stuff!<br>Link: http://www.buildeasypc.com/hw/hardware.htm
another option is buying a barebones computer, in which case you need to buy much less stuff, generally: -memory (RAM) --look at what the computer/motherboard lists as its memory standard (i.e. DDR2 1066) and make sure that you get every number correct. You will get the best performance out of the highest rated memory for your comptuer. -processor (CPU) --make sure you get one that will fit in the motherboard's socket. AMD is almost always cheaper than Intel's equivalent, so if you are going for a budget computer, AMD is definitely the way to go. -CD/DVD Drive -- depends on what you need. Make sure that if your drive is Serial ATA (SATA) that you check the motherboard's specs to see if it has matching SATA ports. If it is listed as Parallel ATA (PATA or IDE) then you need to make sure that your motherboard has enough IDE ports. -Hard Drive -- much like the CD/DVD drive, comes in either SATA or IDE forms You must also check to see if the barebones PC has the following, which it generally has -Onboard video--if this computer is going to be a hardcore gaming computer, you might want a separate video card. -Onboard network card (or LAN card)--if the motherboard doesn't have one of these then you need to buy a separate card if you want to connect to the internet. Lastly, you will need to consider an OS -Windows--Expensive, but most commonly used. XP Home can be found for ~$85 on newegg -Linux--Most distros are free, but you will need to find one that is a good match for you. Most will not run Windows programs (executables) on a fresh install, but I have had some success installing a program called Wine which allows Windows programs to be ran -Mac--I'm not even going to go there
I like the last line... tsk tsk, silly Apple, when will they realize that they can't beat Microsoft?
i don't think they are trying to beat them microsoft is unbeatable or at least currently unbeatable and i presume apple know that :)
And that's why apple decided to more or less ignore personal computers and attack the smartphone/handheld market
Seriously, even Vista is faster than Mac. Can't they realize our new hardware is becoming faster and faster and more capable?
Not to mention Windows 7. Holy <em>crap </em>it is awesome (using it to post this!).<br />
Every computer I use has 7 on it. Very fast, very power-conservative, and has never crashed for me (with the exception of one that happened because of a dead HDD... 2 days after I installed on it)
Yes, Windows 7 is by far the best operating system so far. Dare I even say better than what XP was for its time? Also, I know how to get it for free, so I had no trouble in deciding to switch.
nah, Windows 7 hasn't been that much of a hit..at least not yet-QUICK! rumor is out! I,ve seen images and videos of a posibble Windows 2013!!!! Its looks really cool check it out on youyube for yourself and spread word!!!!!!!!
Yes, Windows 8 does look like it'll integrate some cool concepts.
XP, most people don't remember XP was as bad as Vista when it first came out, but it was better than Windows ME. Second was that a lot of early updates and SP1 cured XP's buggyness. 7 is probably the only 'box-stable' operating system they've made so far.
vista is the worst posible os just don't get it waste of money.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that, but Vista does certainly have its issues. Too bad my laptop is more or less stuck with Vista since Acer hasn't done a good job of releasing all of the WIndows 7 drivers needed to run 7 perfectly.
it does have issues i just realy don't recomend it i like 7 so fast. I had it before got way slow just from 1 use it was a tower to im just realy disapointed in MS big mistake just glad they learned from it. sorry bout my spelling.
lol silly M$, when will they realize that they can't beat Linux?
Funny, but I personally don't like how Linux can't run executable files.
really, because the thing i like about the Linux distro i uses is that i can run windows executables.
Out of curiousity, which distro is that? Might switch if it's one I've heard of.
any distro. theres a program called <a href="http://www.winehq.org/" rel="nofollow">WinE</a>(Windows Emulation) that allows Linux to run most Windows programs. its avalible for Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat, Fedora, CentOS, SUSE, Mandriva, Slackware, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, Solaris, and OpenSolaris.
Well, then it's going on my Ubuntu system. Still learning Linux, so things take longer to figure out.
go to terminal and type &quot;sudo apt-get install wine&quot; or if youre running Lucid, go to Applications&gt;Ubuntu Software Manager and type &quot;wine&quot; or system&gt;administration&gt;Synaptic Package Manager and search &quot;wine&quot; or DL the .deb file from the website and execute it.
I don't know which version I'm running (currently typing from Win 7 with the Dual Boot)
well, the sudo apt-get command works for any version. so does synaptic.
Like REA mentioned, WINE is available for almost any Linux OS<br> <br> An interesting OS is ReactOS. It isn't Linux, it is designed off of Windows XP but built from scratch. Basically it's a free, open source Windows XP.<br> <a rel="nofollow"><br> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReactOS</a><br> <a href="http://www.reactos.org/en/index.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.reactos.org/en/index.html</a><br>
When building a PC myself I think of the following: 1. Processor Start with this. Which one ??? Intel or AMD ... Ff you're considering a hackintosh, Intel is probably the way to go. 1.a. Most intel processors need the LGA775 socket (dual core / core 2 duo / Quad core etc) For home rigs avoid the Xeon as they need special memory (more expensive) The latest i7 chipsets are very expensive and likely to come down rapidly in price -- get this only if you are really, really serious about gaming. For the rest stick with the 775. 1.b. almost all AMD chipsets come on the AM2 / AM2+ and AM3 - if you get a mb with AM3 support you can use any AM2 / AM2+ and AM3 processor. 2. Graphics Before choosing your motherboard you'll need to consider the graphics. First ask the question "do you want integrated or non integrated graphics?". For the non gamers the integrated stuff should be okay. I am very happy with the ASUS P5N7A-VM nForce motherboard that integrates the geforce 9300 graphics. The ATI cards appear (from the forums) to have better Linux compatibility but that said my Geforce works quite nicely. The intel integrated stuff is by and large the lesser option. Avoid SIS chipsets at all costs. If you're a casual gamer one card will be enough. If you can, you're better off choosing something more powerful (middle/upper range so that it lasts). If you're very serious, consider a dual or triple setup. nVidia have the older more established SLI standard while ATI have an equivelent called Crossfire. I don't think there is huge differences between nVidia and ATI.. You decide. 3. Motherboard chipset If you're more serious about games you'll want something that can take two or more graphics cards. As indicated above SLI is nVidia and Crossfire is ATI There are the Intel chipsets that have both nVidia and Crossfire compatibility. If I was a serious gamer I would consider these knowing that I will need to buy a separate (set of) graphics card(s). If you've got older hard drives or optical drives obtain a motherboard that has IDE interfaces in addition to the now standard SATA. 4. Power supply and case You'll need a case that is compatible with your motherboard... don't try putting an ATX motherboard into a barebones case... If you're set on a certain case this will have an impact on your motherboard choice. I wanted something standard but restrained in size so I chose a Micro-ATX case thus I was restricted to Micro ATX motherboards. If you can, try to obtain a power supply over 450 watts with a fan as big as possible - this makes 'em quiter. One with SATA power plugs is better. 5. Get your hard disks in SATA and your optical drives in SATA. If you've older stuff make sure that your motherboard supports ISA. Don't forget you'll need to ensure that for each drive you've a SATA cable and if necessary adaptors for the power supply (molex to sata). 6. Cooling First thing about cooling is to ensure that the processor has sufficient cooling and that it is possible for air to pass across the place occupied by the processor. If you've got a smaller case and or two or more graphics cards the standard intel CPU cooler won't be enough... Get a bigger design possibly with heat-pipes. You'll need to consider cable arrangement to ensure that this airflow across the cpu heatsink is possible. I think that should get you started.
Go to forums like Bit-tech.net and read up about these types of question Be sure to ask questions there too, they love to help people out
I would want to make an advanced computer (making 3d video games)for our company
Could i use a terra-bit external harddrive and use that for the main harddrive.
i built one for only $115!!!!
Building a computer from used parts is not difficult, but beware the many variables between mother boards, power supplies, memory configurations, type and speed. It's great to bring a machine back to life. It's sad to look at stuff you just paid for that won't work for you. In the end, you cannot build an up-to-date computer from purchased parts less expensively than buying a new complete computer.
Exhibit A: I have recently built a lightweight PC (Net-top) that would have cost around $300 from a commercial manufacturer. You know what it cost to build? Around $60. I just saved 240 bucks by building it myself. There are even more testimonials below this comment.<br /> <br /> Exhibit B: Your argument just doesn't make sense. Why would anyone build a computer themselves if it cost as much or more than a commercial one? Sure, maybe there is the DIY fun and personal interest, but if it cost as much as you said it does, next to nobody would be doing it unless they had the necessary money just burning a hole in their pocket.<br /> <br /> Exhibit C: The manufacturers have to make <em>money </em>from building these computers. Therefore, the computer has to cost more than the sum of the parts. DIY computer builders are almost always building it for personal use, meaning that all they have to pay is the money for the parts. Parts + profit margin = less than just Parts? I don't think so.<br /> <br /> -Y<br />
I built an equivalent $1400 system for almost nothing ($600) At the time, the Core 2 Quad was the hottest thing on the market. I got a Core 2 Duo instead (E6600, last item purchased) to save on my budget I have 4 GB ot OCZ Reaper RAM. I wanted fast, I got it. I skimped on my mainboard (80 dollar board that does what I want) because I didn't need much. A GTS 250 from EVGA cleared up the Graphics department, and I had to install 3 disk drives (2 DVD burners and a Blu-Ray burner) just for fun. My 4 HDD RAID array is just a mess. I'm running both Striped and Mirrored on 4 250GB drives (cheap, efficient, and not a problem) What would I change today? I'd've built it in AMD's Socket AM3.
i have to disagree with you there, I've built some very powerful systems for about $165, and thats using all new parts and a free OS, Linux. That system is comparable to a $1000 Pre-built system. Think again, shop around, the internet is a big place.
You must be kidding. Building it costs much less than buying a prebuilt. The computer I have featured costs $400, while one equal to that by Dell might cost $700. You just got to know where to look for parts. In otherwords, buying most of your parts from shops and places like BestBuy will cost more. Buying from NE and TD will cost much less
I just added a page to this instructable to give people other choices. I just wanted to point out though, that in every case the custom computer comes cheaper than the prebuilts. The prebuilts get pretty close to the custom when they are cheap systems, but the price is really jacked up for a high performance system.
Wanna bet? I've done it since I was 10. Heard of www.newegg.com hey? As a matter of fact, I'm a week or so away from buying parts that cost me just over $700 equivalent to something I can buy locally for over $2000. When you say "In the end, you cannot build an up-to-date computer from purchased parts less expensively than buying a new complete computer." I'm afraid you're talking out your ass mate. People make a living doing it as a matter of fact.

About This Instructable


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Bio: A current student at the University of Advancing Technology. Currently studying Robotics and Embedded Systems.
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