Author Options:

Is it hard to build a computer? Answered

Just thinking about building a computer.



5 years ago

It isn't too hard (I think) first I'd try just doing small repairs. Surf the web and see if you can find videos. Also (for a first project) go to the dump or local computer shop and see if you can get a computer for a cheap price. Make sure to test it out at the shop to see if it works well enough otherwise no point.

well you can never go wrong with building your own computer. you get  higher memory and procceser but it cost more. and no its not. its easy really. but since you havent bulit one it might be the first time. i would suggest online help

I openly encourage assembling your own computer (as Ork said, if you can take yours apart and put it together without problems then you should be just fine). Also, as he said, be mindful of static - use a static strap, use the anti-static bags to rest components on until you're ready to insert them, and don't wear an angora sweater and pet a cat while working on a tower). The only thing I can add to this discussion is that you need make sure the tower and all components have adequate cooling.

Heat is a major enemy of computers and components. Many often make the mistake of not using an exhaust fan to expel hot air from the case (and draw cool air into it). Unless you're using something exotic a like water- or refrigerant-cooled system, everything inside your computer requires fresh air to stay cool. RAM, CPU's, and VGA's output a vast amount of heat.

Use a fan (and don't just think that because your power supply has a fan that this is enough - it needs its own air too). Also, if the heat sinks aren't already attached, use a thin, even layer of high-quality thermal paste (like Arctic Silver). Keep wires neatly tied away from the center of the case to allow maximum airflow.

Otherwise, good luck. Let us know how it goes.

I';m of the opinion that it's easier to specify a bare-bones system for the base elements (motherboard, case, power supply etc., then pick and choose the additional components (memory, graphics card, sound card, etc.) and pay the fee for getting it up and running. I've done it both ways, and imo, it's much more efficient to have an assembler do the initial work. Remember that *your time is worth money too. The assemblers toss these things together in quick time to maintain a profit ratio that keeps them in business, relying more on quantity for profit, so the overall cost associated with the build is ~$100...It could easily take you three or four times as long to put the system together from scratch (including burn in and OS install) in time alone, on a good day... The also usually keep a quantity of parts in house, so if one is bad, they swap it out before release to the customer. If it happens to you, you spend a week or two getting a replacement for distributor X... So...yes, you can, but is it worth it? imnsho no way.

By bare-bones, I mean that alot of computer assemblers offer stripped down configurations for people who want a customized system. These consist of a few basic elements and are called "bare-bones systems. All other components necessary to run the computer (HD, memory, graphics, sound, CD drives, etc.) are specified by the consumer.) Also remember that certain pieces, like secondary CD/DVD drives, sound cards and other non-essential components can be purchased separately and installed after delivery of the basic system, just as if you were replacing a failed component or upgrading a component in a working system...

Yea, but everybody ought to try it atleast once as a learning experience. Then when they've got to replace a vid. card on Sunday evening it wouldn't be such a a scary affair.

True enough. Was just sharing my observations/experience. I could have answered "Yes or no, it all depends on whether you have the smarts and have done it before", and left it at that. I have no idea what the qualifications of the author are, as he or she failed to give any background from which to answer with something more tailored to his/her level of experience and knowledge, and the question itself seems to indicate a total lack of experience. I think it's more important to learn to research the various components that will be used rather than concentrating on the build itself. I purchased my first post XT system after leafing thru the then bible of computer building "Computer Shopper" for three months, reading articles and comparing component specifications. I settled in an EISA motherboard based system that still boots today, 19 years after purchase. (Granted, it won't run any modern software, but it still runs windows 3.1, 95 and of course DOS programs just fine. Having built or specified around 200 systems for both personal/friend/family and moreso for professional installations, I think it's more about spending your time on the component specifications. If one wants to build it from scratch, great. But they should be educated on what they're building and what it will cost them in time and effort, so they don't end up with a crappy motherboard, memory that won't work with a particular motherboard, a SATA harddrive that won't connect with the EIDE motherboard, BIOS issues, or any other problems that can easily be caught and/or handled by a half decent assembler without additional cost to the consumer. I've also answered the question and variants many times before, and in most cases, it's because someone thinks they're going to save money by buying a cheap motherboard they saw at Jameco or somewhere and then toss a case at it, (or worse, think they can use that old case from the XT sitting in the basement) and this 10 dollar power supply, and....It *can be done, but... I'm not against it, just advising from my experience.

Well if you have all the parts then putting it together is a piece of cake.


Just a note that I didn't see in there is, when inserting the processor into its socket, DON'T PRESS DOWN ON THE PROCESSOR!!! It should just slide right in. Pressing down on the processor could bend the pins, which, if your lucky, can be undone by taking a mechanical pencil without lead in it and bending them back. I know a guy who made that mistake and had to unbend every single pin on the processor!

Assembling computers from parts is pretty easy - how much money / bits have you got?
I agree with orksecurity


Well, I already know what parts I'm using, i just want to know if it is easy/hard to assemble it.

If you can disassemble and reassemble your current computer successfully, you can probably assemble another computer to the same degree. The critical thing to remember, outside of the obvious warnings about not letting anything short out and getting all the connections right, is that static electricity can damage these chips. They're much more resistant to that risk than they used to be, but you should probably understand how to ground yourself properly and/or use a grounding strap. (I usually don't, but I'm also somewhat paranoid about making sure I discharge to the case before inserting or removing parts.)

Depends on what you mean by "build a computer", and what kind of computer you want to build. Selecting and installing a standard motherboard into a standard case with a standard power supply, selecting and plugging in memory SIMMs, selecting and plugging in disk drives... If you know enough to make reasonable decisions about the parts, the actual assembly is pretty simple. But it may not save you any significant amount of money; this approach tends to be more interesting to folks who are trying to customize their machine for one reason or another. If you want to start actually designing circuitry, that requires much deeper knowledge, of course.