Build Your Own PC

It is increasingly popular to build your own computer. In most cases, it saves money, and it guarantees you get what you want. It also assures you avoid proprietary designs many companies use to keep you coming to them for new parts. Best of all, having built the system yourself, you become very familiar with that system and with computers in general.

People from all walks of life today build their own PCs. Executives, engineers, students, housewives, they all do it today. But, at the same time, pre-built PCs have come down in price quite a bit. Today, one is left to wonder whether it is best to build a PC yourself or to simply buy one off the shelf. I’ll address that here.

If you are a real PC enthusiast, this question may be a non-issue. The answer may be as obvious as the color of the sky. This is predictable, of course. When one builds their own PC, they are able to not only understand their PC better because they built it, but they are able to choose each component that goes into their PC. There is really something to be said for choosing your own components, and I’ll go into that further below. There is also a certain sense of satisfaction with having built a PC. One spends a few hours (or less for those more familiar with the process) to put the thing together. Then comes the moment of truth when one hits the power switch for the first time. If it works on the first try, its beer time!

But, besides the joy of it, is it worth it? Is it a practical use of your time? Will it really save you money? The answer to that question today has become a bit gray. A few years ago, the answer was obvious. Pre-built PCs were typically built from OEM, cheap components. The performance was average to simply awful. The choice was obvious: If you wanted a decent PC, you better build it. Today, the line has blurred. Where many off-the-shelf PCs today still use cheaper components in an effort to save money, there are more pre-built PCs today which do use quality hardware and whose performance ranks up there with the best of them.

Let us look at some of the key areas of interest in this:

Component Selection

Most commercial PC buyers (except for the ones who build higher end models) do not make a big deal of which components they use. They will, of course, tell you the specs of the system, but often do not elaborate on the brands of the equipment they use. Most lower to average priced pre-built PCs use more or less generic hardware. It gets the job done, but what you get is what you get. Upgrading can be a problem for this reason. In contrast, building your own PC means you can handpick all components in your system. You can ensure you get good, name brand hardware which will have proper manufacturer support and driver support. Most importantly, you can ensure you get hardware that will perform. One aspect of pre-built is that compatibility issues are taken care of by the manufacturer, but there is a tradeoff made in that guarantee.


In general, you can get more bang for your buck building your own PC. In many cases, you will find equally priced and comparable PCs, where one is pre-built and one would be homebuilt. You can buy PCs cheaper than you can build them, but when you consider the hardware choices within, the price is offset in favor of homebuilt. One thing to consider here is the value of your time. If you are a very busy person where time is money, then you most likely want to buy a pre-built PC. If you don’t mind taking the time, though, you can do better doing it yourself.


Available support is a key concern for do-it-yourselfers. When you build it yourself, there is nowhere to take the PC for service. You can’t say “Here, make this work.” On the other hand, pre-built machines typically do come with manufacturer support. But, support is anything but consistent. Some manufacturers have questionable records on support whereas some are quite good at it. Having support for your PC is no guarantee of having a problem-free user experience, and it is certainly no guarantee that they will take responsibility for your PC if it doesn’t work. The good news for do-it-yourselfers is that the community of people who do this kind of thing themselves is increasing. There is a lot of data on the internet, and community sources for assistance. I’m compelled to mention our own forums where a community of thousands is available to help you out on your PC.


On pre-built PCs, there is typically a warranty on the whole system, and in many instances, you are offered an extended service plan at the time of purchase. Home built PCs do not have full system warranties, of course, but if you buy good name brand hardware, most of the components will themselves have warranties. So, really, either way, you can be covered here.


Pre-built PCs often come with much software on it, most importantly the operating system itself. The actual price of the software is pretty good, because manufacturers get great deals on this software because they buy in bulk. On the flip side, though, these PCs sometimes come with too much software, meaning garbage that you do not want and just clutters the hard drive and bugs you to buy stuff. It can be quite annoying. On homebuilt PCs, you might pay a little more for the software per unit, but you will get what you want and only what you want, plus you can set it up how you want.

In general, I’m a big fan of the homebuilt PC. I’ve never used a PC I didn’t build myself. I think its a huge money saver. In my case, I built it myself, and then as technology progressed, I incrementally upgraded the machine. This saves a lot of money in the long run, because with a pre-built commercial machine, once it goes out of date, you pretty much need to start anew with a new PC.

401 responses to Build Your Own PC

  1. Jonathan S. February 17th, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Who wrote this particular article, David Risley or Rich Menga? I am going to use this site as a source for a descriptive paper I am writing on building a PC.



  2. chris February 18th, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Your article is very easy to read! How could everyone be building their own computers though? Housewives? I get lost in all the techical jargon and I wouldn’t even attempt it. But I guess if you like working on that kind of stuff then it must be really cool.

    Is it not complicated though? It seems to me, a non techi guy, that buying a computer off the shelf is the only way to go.


    • rob March 27th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

      hey chris i see what your sayin about buying a pc of the shelf but i made one of my own pc’s and im a ‘non techi guy’ and it worked out fine for me


    • Java May 9th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

      If you can turn a screwdriver, and preform a web search you can build a pc. You don’t have to be a techie – don’t fear the hardware.


    • Ann July 10th, 2008 at 11:34 am

      I am “just a housewife” as you so nicely stated; and I build my own computers and don’t find it hard to do so. Just follow the directions. How hard is that? I love having a top of the line super fast computer that didn’t cost me a fortune to buy from a dealer; and I like knowing I figured it out myself.


      • Tom January 28th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

        er…he didn’t say “just a housewife”


    • Matt February 5th, 2009 at 6:23 pm

      I’m not all that much of a techie myself. I always thought of building my own computer as a daunting task. Then one day I took apart an old computer, and found it’s alot simpler than one might think.


    • geekmom February 16th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

      Okay Chris, what is it that you have against housewives? I can build a computer just fine although I prefer to use ubuntu instead of windows unless it’s on a gaming machine. If I buy a whole machine than it’s a Mac and has nothing to do with being a housewife–it’s just prettier. My ‘home built’ pc has pink LEDs in it.


      • Greg March 27th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

        He said as much about housewives as engineers and students. Don’t be so hard on him. You’re overly sensitive. You seem pretty sharp. I didn’t know what Ubuntu was until I googled it:)


        • geekmom March 27th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

          my comment was to chris in the comments above and not to the article writer.


    • joshuadean February 24th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

      chris, have a heart, houswives are people too. you are on of those people that doesnt think before he writes or maby you just dont care about anyone else but yourself. you are a terrible person


      • Andrew Rosas March 27th, 2009 at 2:56 am

        Okay, he was merely stating that there is a broad range of people that can build a computer. If you didn’t notice, he used “Executives, engineers, (and) students” in the same sentence.


    • Rylee March 6th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

      Housewives… a 10yr old could do this…


  3. Paul Rainbird February 21st, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Thanx for this guide. im no pro, but im experianced. this site has helped me brush up before i go headfirst into the job. cheers guys

    this site proves, its easier than people think


  4. Idris Kwe February 24th, 2008 at 4:52 am

    Awesome. Is there a PDF format somewhere where I could download?


  5. Nilesh March 6th, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Yeah it is a good article. If not building by ownselves, it would atleast help them take a decision on their components while they are trying to buy a customized PC online.


  6. Anton March 31st, 2008 at 2:17 am

    Thanks. For some of you who are unsure, do what I did. I purchased a $300 computer (with casing, motherboard, dvd-rom drive, power unit and cables) and, bit by bit, made it suitable for gaming. I now have the confidence to build my own computer! (And I will have to, as this motherboard doesn’t have SATA and PCI-e). Good luck to you all!


  7. Bill Dunstan March 31st, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I bought my first computer in ’95, and have had 2 more of them since. while this an average of 1 computer every 4 1/2 years, the total cost of the 3 has been over $10,000, and average cost of $770. per year. Prices have sure come down to date!

    The problem however, is that each computer became obsolete within the first year; slow processors, insufficient RAM, dated video cards, etc. The bottom line is that I was unhappy with my computers performance 90 % of the ownership period!

    Keeping up with ever-increasing sophistication and demand of current software is a real challenge if you cannot upgrade your unit as time goes by.

    My 3 machines (an IBM and 2 Dells) were not upgrade friendly, and those components that I could buy, were largely proprietary to those companies, and the costs were excessive.

    Recently, I upgraded my Dell Dimension 8200 (2002) with additional RAM, larger hard drives, and a USB 2.0 PCI card. But the motherboard presents the greatest roadblock in that I cannot increase processing speed nor insert a state-of-the-art video card (no PCIe x16 capacity). I can’t upgrade to Vista (even if I wanted to).

    It seems I spend more the half of my time in front of my computer waiting for Norton updating something (what a processor hog), or some other program doing it’s thing. Multi-tasking? what’s that!

    While new computers are advertised for considerably less than a grand, by the time you add a hot video card, an audio card, an office suite, addition RAM, optical drives and so on, you’re well over $2,000.

    It’s like buying a car; good base prices, but they get you on the upgrades!

    What’s the solution? I think building your own is the answer. While I’m no techical junkie, I think it would allow me to configure my computer with what I want, quality components and capacity, and most importantly, the ability to upgrade as time goes by.

    Just as importantly, it would be fun to do (with the right advice on compatibility of components).

    With the constant improvements in technology, it might be a “sucker’s game” to try and keep up-to-date, however, a self-built unit may give me a fighting chance.

    For what it’s worth….Bill D from the great white north.


    • Craig September 4th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

      I tried upgrading my 8mb graphics card in my compaq to 16mb. Just a little more power is all I wanted, but was I able to do it? You know the answer (on board video with ancient BIOS). So I too am going to plunge head first into the world of do-it-yourself computer builders. Good Luck Bill D!!


    • Ben October 14th, 2008 at 11:13 am

      While new computers are advertised for considerably less than a grand, by the time you add a hot video card, an audio card, an office suite, addition RAM, optical drives and so on, you’re well over $2,000.

      When you buy a pre-built computer, you are paying for their onboard video card, audio card, office suite, drives, and RAM. Then when you upgrade, you are paying again.

      When you build your own computer, instead of buying a 256 mb stick of RAM and then buying 2×1 gig sticks, you just buy the 2×1 gig sticks and save the money on the RAM. Same with the video card, audio card, media drives and hard disks. The only other things besides these are the motherboard, processor (usually you can find them sold as a unit to ensure compatibility), the case and the power supply. And a decent motherboard/processor combo could run you say $200, plus a case (with power supply included – check the avg wattage though to make sure it’s compatible) for $50, you’ve spent $250 instead of $1000, and now you can add the other stuff you would eventually upgrade anyway.

      I have built 2 computers for myself in the last 10 years – the first one was a cheap rebuild to see if I could do it (find a junker for 20 bucks and replace it with old parts from eBay – great way to get your feet wet) and the second one I’m still using. Technically the entire computer I’m using now (except the case and the CD-R drive) is different than when I first built it, but instead of dropping $1000 every 2 or 3 years, I drop maybe $100 or so every year and a half to upgrade the parts that need it.

      Long story short – building a computer is easy, all the parts have been manufactured for you, you only have to put them together. And you end up with a quality machine that can be slowly upgraded forever and ever.


      • Michael H. March 5th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

        “And you end up with a quality machine that can be slowly upgraded forever and ever.”

        This is a bit of an exaggeration; technologies will always be outdated eventually. It’s like the transition to SATA, or the transition to PCI, or the transition to 24-Pin PSUs. All of the previous technologies will be entirely obsolete within 5 years, and finding decent parts for them WILL be a daunting task.

        As for those that argue that the motherboard can be changed–sure, until ATX is replaced with a smaller, more popular form factor. And I assume that wont be too far off.


    • Adam December 5th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

      Like the article says, building your own is easy. Not just that but also satisfying and less expensive. I have a passion for computers but I never realized it until i built my first one.

      You have the opportunity to seek out the perfect parts that customize the look and feel of your PC to exactly the way you want it. eg: Case, mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers. The interior components are even more exciting. Motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drives, optical drives, graphics card, and PSU. Dont forget you will need to choose an operating system like windows.

      Look for your parts online, read reviews about them and make sure they are compatible with each other. Buy and assemble!
      If you cant afford to spend too much money on a PC at the moment, then consider buying a motherboard that is more powerful than the rest of your system, so that in the future, it will be easy to upgrade.


    • Godzilla February 2nd, 2009 at 6:27 pm

      “It’s like buying a car; good base prices, but they get you on the upgrades!”
      So basically i can save on buying a car if i build it myself? and put all the upgrades in myself?


    • Tom Ketchfish February 21st, 2009 at 5:33 pm

      Norton? I’ve got two ‘store bought’ computers, one ‘home built’ and one ‘store bought’ that’s a project my son and I are working on. The first thing I do if I buy a ‘store bought’ is get rid of Norton! It’s the worst bloatware out there and it’s not any more effective or trustworthy than the free anti-spyware programs Avast and AVG. I love Avast myself, I’ve been using it for years and it’s never let me down.


    • Randall King March 24th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

      Well said, Bill! One of the more succinct summaries I have ever seen on “store bought” computers. Am getting ready to build my new one soon. Was fortunate to have an HP that DID allow considerable upgrading, but now just too slow for my business use.


  8. c3computers April 8th, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Great article and I do agree, if you know what you’re doing you can certainly build a terrific PC on your own. The trick is knowing what you’re doing!


  9. Kikiam_16 April 9th, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    My video card still unable to work, i’ve already reinstall it but seems it does not respond.
    please help me out


    • Tim May 23rd, 2008 at 9:52 pm

      You do know you have to disable the onboard one first? or uninstall it.


  10. BarnyB April 17th, 2008 at 8:33 am

    I’m an IT Pro who has just bought a PC for the 2nd time but is on his 3rd PC. My first one was bought in ’97 I think it was a Intel P200 with an impressive 32MB RAM but I defo rem it cos £1500! That was in College, my 2nd PC I made myself in 2001 and upgraded components as and when necesary (such as the motherboard when it got fried by a lightning storm which sent a shock up the modem and fried the board. Seriously.) However, now, in 2008 this PC (AMD Athlon 1.4Ghz, 1GB DDR RAM, 64MB Graphics and 2 HD’s, 40GB and 200GB) is dying again whilst being used by my younger Sis in her final Uni yr. I could troubleshoot it but she doesn’t have time for me to do so due to deadlines and to be honest, it’s crawling along and needs replacing (I formatted just recently), or rebulding with Ubuntu which I will do eventually. I looked into building my own again but time is my major issue. Building is easy but troubleshooting can be a pain, it used to be a joy but not now! Also, I priced up a dual-core PC that came to about £520 (not built just the components) and specced up a similar Dell Inspiron 531 at £420ish inc del. I have now ordered this (due to arrive today) and can honestly say it should serve me fine for a good 4-5 yrs, all we do is E-Mail/Office (OpenOffice now, no more spending for the sake of it!) etc no gaming. (Apart from Mega Drive/Genesis emulators!) I even bought the 4 yr hardware support as it was £89. One hard disk and one graphics card (the two components most commonly replaced on my PC) would come to this amount so I thought why not?

    Although there is defo a greater amount of control and yeah, satisfaction, building your own PC (I had to get Vista which I’m not taken with at all the couple times I’ve used it, maybe it will grow on me) but price-wise and practically speaking (seriously, do you REALLLY need a quad-core?!) the balance has definitely shifted towards off-the-shelf.


    • gio September 8th, 2008 at 3:54 am

      Accually ive heard interesting things about new quad core processors
      where when not needing the extra cpu 2 will shut of to conserve the usage of them


  11. BrianC April 25th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    If you’re into games at all, you’d better learn how to build your own machine. Otherwise, you’re going to be spending at least $2000 into a pre-built configuration capable of handling the graphics and processor requirements of the latest games. I’m in the middle of completing my second build (first one about 6 years ago). Now I’m building a dual core AMD 3.2 MHz with 4Gb RAM and a 320Mb video card. This should be good for at least 3-4 years. If you can believe this – Guitar Hero 3 is what drove me to build this latest machine. I currently have a 2.1GHz HP and I can’t run Guitar Hero!

    In my opinion, the biggest advantage of building it yourself as opposed to buying a compete rig is not having all of the extra BS pre-loaded software. This stuff ends up being such a drain on the machine that it seems like you’re only getting about half of what the machine is really capable of.

    If you’re really intimidated about building one entirely from scratch, try looking at a barebones system. You can order the case, power supply, motherboard, and CPU. From there you can add the video card, RAM, hard drives and optical drives (these are all fairly straight forward). This can save you a lot of money, get you the components you want and still have the most difficult assembly done by a professional. My latest machine is going to cost me about $650 by the time I’m done. To order something comparable from Dell or HP or anyone else would have cost me over $2000 – easily. The key is patience and research. Take your time, shop around for a least a couple weeks before you buy anything and read, read, read.


    • Andy May 29th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

      About the BS preloaded software that is part of all pre-built computers, you can do a clean install of your operating system of choice. Search the internet, there are many tutorials about clean installs (with no need to call Microsoft for validating the key). You can even change the interface language of Windows Vista non-Ultimate and non-Business, if you want (tutorial about this is hard to find, though). Recently, I bought a Dell for $507 (quad-core!) but it was for someone else from another country so I reinstalled a clean Vista Premium with my language of choice. No BS, just plain and pure Vista, as it should be.

      I think each option has its own ups and downs. For me, I always build my own, I have been building my own computer since 96, one every 4 years. I am already researching info for my next build, due this year.


  12. BigMike April 26th, 2008 at 12:57 am

    I have owned a computer shop that specializes in either repairs or custom builds since 1990. Computers are soooo much easier to build now than 10 years ago. Almost everything is plug and play. The trick is getting the best parts for the best price that will do the job as intended, and be upgradeable in the future.

    You can still find copies of Windows XP (Home or Pro) if you know where to look. As a professional, let me set you straight on Vista -It sucks!!!!

    I have found, on average, a custom (home) built computer with the same specs, runs anywhere from 25-50% faster than a factory job. Most manufacturers don’t really care about true performance. They are selling “specs”. I mean, an XP machine with 256 RAM? Really now!!!


    • BigTom May 16th, 2008 at 8:47 am

      Dittos on “Computers are soooo much easier to build now than 10years ago” BigMike…
      Consider this (O gentle readers) the origional “Lethal Weapon” film showed Danny Glover using a cell phone that was the size of a briefcase… a F*cking BreifCase folks.
      Now it fits in your pocket… I see RedNecks in wife beaters walking out of the BP with a 6′er of IceHouse looking like a damn cyborg with a ‘BlueTooth’ stuck in their ear telling Ellie-May he’s on the way to the hunting camp. Off the shelf is becoming a thing of the past. The wife and I are in the “Intel-Gathering” portion of our PC build and I’m blown away at the volume of information available for the DIY’er. I’m a pretty handy guy (used to work in residential construction) but the idea of messing with all those delicate little components scared the dickens out of me. (a size 13 wedding band fits hands for swinging a hammer… not pluging in a CPU) If I can do this anyone can, it’s all about the info. Before you build a PC build a notebook, (a 4″ binder)your own DIY guide with all the step-by-step and tips you can find. Then put it in front of a geek (ment with love) and offer them lunch (or a couple of beers)to review your guide and make sugestions. In my experience folks who really know love to share. Take this web-site for example :)


    • Dave May 27th, 2008 at 12:38 am

      I am an IT professional as well, I run an IT consulting firm for small businesses. The transition to vista seemed like a daunting task for many of my clients, but they all love it now. The biggest thing is that Vista runs allot smoother with almost all business applications than XP did, especially when multitasking, it handles more programs that require high amounts of ram much more efficiently than XP did. On the other hand it sucks ram off of your computer, and hardware has to be upgraded. I do have to say though, until you start using it, from the outside vista sucks.


  13. Jake April 29th, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    I can’t find out which ribbon cords go where!


  14. Darrin May 4th, 2008 at 1:56 am

    So i just decided to build a PC vs a website like cyberpowerpc. I was freaking out just reading the reviews. However, this seems like it will be a daunting task. Firstly, where are some good places to get parts? And find out what parts I actually need? And does this describe how to add cooling systems?
    Essentially, I am worried about getting parts that won’t jive, and having my whole system bogged down by one component. Maybe there are some good websites that will help review your choices? Thanks for any help.


  15. Robert May 4th, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I used to build and sell custom computers in a retail location. But with the big names selling computers for the cost of the operating system I couldn’t compete with the average consumers budget. I still build custom systems but usually only for avid or should I say rabid gamers. I wish more people could realize the value that comes with a locally built custom computer. Thanks for the great article.


    • Craig November 29th, 2008 at 1:14 am

      I find that most people only want a computer to send e-mails, maybe visit a social networking site, and to upload photos. The rest are gamers and they usually have the know-how to build there own machines (even if the don’t have the budget). I’m always steering people to custom computer builders or even offering to build them one myself. The problem is they see the full system with a printer for $500 and think there getting a deal. If only they knew they will be spending $1200 a year on ink for that sorry excuse for a printer, and replacing the whole computer in 3 years. Not to mention the first time they decide to try out a game and it doesn’t work.


  16. Ruth May 6th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I have built several computers mostly were for my grand children they were little and didn`t need the best so did it cheaply for them. Now of course they are grown and most have notebooks or lap tops. I have built my own computer have had it since 2002 works perfectly yet I use it for lots of things but not heavy into the games have upgraded a few things . Because of things I want to do think I will be building a new one with all the higher speeds.
    Someone mentioned a housewife couldn`t do this I am a grandmother and just turned 75. So anyone with any kind of tech ability can do it.
    Off course if this one that I intend to build lasts as long as the one I had before may be my last as I will be 81 or so when it wears out.
    What I like about building my own is I can replace any part without having to go to the company that sold the computer. No one will ever know the money I saved my children by building the grand kids theres as I also was able to fix them when they screwed up.
    Also must thank the PCMech forums they were a big help .


    • Roberta July 11th, 2008 at 3:06 am

      Good for you, Ruth. I am the same age and a grandmother also. I am just deciding that I will build my own computer, I would like to echo another post about places to get reliable parts at reasonable prices. I am a moderate gamer and would like to play SOME of the newer games.


  17. Gary May 11th, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    If you cannot afford the latest processor, it is not a big deal. There is a premium for speed. Always buy the most advanced motherboard available. It is easier to upgrade a processor than to swap out a motherboard, processor and RAM. When buying technology look at “price breaks” for your best bang for the buck. A 2.9Ghz processor may cost $125 but a 3.0Ghz may cost $299. Not much change in speed vs. a huge change in price. That is true in hard drives as well, but not so much as in cases. Also look for your best buys using as site like


  18. Doug May 14th, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Building your own is definitely a personal choice and there are advantages and disadvantages to the process. It all depends on what you want, what you’re willing to learn, how much time you have and are you willing to be your own tech support. Every time I get an error message “talk to your administrator” I have to remember … that’s me. When several years ago I paid $70 to have a $90 cpu installed, I decided I could do it myself from that point on. But that’s just me.

    Since then I’ve built, maintained, and upgraded ten for my family and I couldn’t be more pleased. But then I like diagnosing and solving problems; again that’s just me. To me a computer is as much a toy as a tool. I’ve built ten systems, but I’ve also broken as many as if not more.

    Now days there really isn’t much, if any, cost savings in building your own. Truthfully, whole systems can be bought for less than the total cost of component parts to build one. But I’m convinced the quality of parts in a home built PC can be very high whereas for that same money I believe the “store bought” units to be of lesser quality. But then, most computers seem to last about three years before people want “better”. And that’s fine, today most computers are throw away anyway it seems.

    I drive a mint condition 1999 Ford F-150 pickup with 190,000 miles. I like things to last and I have no problem learning how to make that happen. But again, that’s just me.


  19. David B June 1st, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Great article. I personally think that, especially for beginners, it isn’t a bad idea to buy a mid-spec PC and gradually upgrade it yourself.
    There are plenty of resources online where you can learn about components and compatibility, one at a time.
    There is also a handful of decent free applications that will tell you a great deal about the system you have and how to go about upgrading it (System Information for Windows, SIW, for example). will even scan your computer for you and tell you what RAM to buy for your computer.
    I’ve just spent £100 upgrading a mid spec Celeron based PC to a P4 3Ghz, 1.25Gb Ram 512MB Radeon X1900XT Graphics PC. Not top of the range today, but would have been not so long ago and plays most of today’s games at full spec.
    Building from the cheapish base gives you the all important cheap and legit Window Licence key too.
    Happy building!


  20. Barak June 10th, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    I like the article its nice. I’m a gamer among other things and is in the process of getting a new pc. I want to build my own PC but I have no idea were to start. I dont even know whats the top of the line brands and where to get them. I seen a pc in Best Buy that has a quad processor,1 ter bite of memory, and good amount of Ram. plus a 20 inch monitor. I cant remember the graphics card but they wanted $1400 for it. Is this a good price?


    • Erv November 17th, 2008 at 5:31 am

      If this was say a HP BlackBird, it would be a good price. I have built 2 “gaming” systems in the last 9 months, both for around $750. So that $1400 could have almost paid for both of my systems. Scroll down to “Waylon” dated 11/04/08 for system details.


  21. Andy June 11th, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Bear in mind that prices for computer components vary A LOT. You can buy a good graphics card for $50-100 but if you have the money, there are $400-$500 cards for you (and you can use two of these in crossfire configuration, if you want). Almost the same happens with memory (RAM), case, power supply, hard disk (you can buy a 750GB HD for $120 or a 300GB HD for $300), motherboard, so on.

    Even keyboards and mice can vary from $5 to $250+. Fans inside the case can cost $5 each or $25. CPU can cost $100 or $1300.

    So, see that it’s just impossible to tell if this or that computer is in a fair price or not. You need to know exactly what’s inside to be able to tell. Monitors can cost you $200 (a 19″) to $2000+.

    I recently bought a Dell for my father-in-law, paid $500 (no monitor) and a dedicated graphics cards made the total price $563. It’s a good computer. On the other hand, I am assembling another computer for my wife, part by part, and I expect it to have a total cost of $ 2,500 (monitor included).

    If you have never built yourself a computer, google the internet, read a lot, so to know where you are going. Besides price extreme variation, you have also many brands to choose from and finally take care with compatibility. You can’t use a DDR3 memory in a motherboard that is DDR2 only compatible, for instance. Use Newegg’s user reviews ( to learn about the components and also other sites, there are plenty of websites with reviews on mostly all good parts around, reviews made by so-called professionals and also by users like you and me.

    Here’s a screenshot of my Excel worksheet that I used to buy components for my computer. It’s not all decided yet, I still have the monitor and input devices to buy, so you see the options on it. For the other parts that I already bought, I did the same, I studied a number of components, listed them, and finally chose one.

    Hope it helps.



  22. Andy June 11th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    By the way, the “amortization” calculation on the bottom of my worksheet is just out of my own curiosity. I like to have an idea of how much my computer is costing me each month (or day :-) ), based on some real market interest rates. And I use 4 years as the term period because every 4 years I build a new computer.


    • Barak June 11th, 2008 at 11:12 am

      Thanks for the info I appreciate it. Last night i started searching for some do it your selfs guides and I was supprised how so many they are. I’ve noticed its a bunch of snap in and go kind of deals. I guess the hard part is finding the right components at a decent price. Tech had some pretty good information. I’m going to do a lot more reading a research and hopefully I’ll be ready to build my own PC.I like the $2 a day spreadsheet that helps out a lot.


      • Andy June 11th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

        Good to know it may help you. Last words of advices: speaking of computer parts, generally “you get what you pay for”. Generally. There is almost always a reason why a certain component is more expensive than another, a good reason. But the latest and greatest technology will cost you a lot just by being the latest, not necessarily because they are much better than the previous technology. You need to balance cost/benefit. I usually never buy the latest, they are too expensive, they carry a premium price for that.

        I did buy the latest (SCSI not considered) for my primary hard disk because I thought “well, it’s the only mechanical part…” and based on my previous experiences, hard disks are the slowest components in a computer (exactly because they are the only mechanical parts :-) ).

        You can find deals in specialized websites like But it requires a lot of patience and luck. You never know when a good deal will show up for that specific part that you need. Building a computer by waiting deals in every or most components is something that I didn’t want to (although I always keep an eye on famous “deal sites”). Rebates are also good deal makers but they are a pain (worth dealing with, IMO).

        Finally, you need to consider your goal. If it’s gaming, mostly, you will take a certain road. If it’s general use, no much gaming, another path. If it’s video and photo editing and sorts, a third path may open. Like, in my case, I don’t care, as of now, that my wife’s computer have a very good sound, so the board that came with the motherboard will suffice. It will have only two (good) small speakers, no fancy 5.1, 7.1 or 10.1. But if you are a “demanding sound listener”, you should buy a dedicated sound card, so on.

        Another example: for gaming, you should buy a TN monitor. They have the best response time but the worst image quality. For general use, buy a PVA monitor. For high end, you may want a IPS monitor. Again, the better, the more expensive.

        Good luck and have fun. It is brain-and-time-consuming but rewarding to build your own computer.


  23. Mark H June 13th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks for the article. I am currently shopping around for a new PC and have been tossing around the idea of building my own. After reading this article I’m sold on building my own. Only problem is, will the wife let me have the credit card?


  24. Broken Quiche June 23rd, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Or you might spend nothing on software and just get a free UNIX-like operating system with lots of Free Software on it. It had the be said :P


  25. Bill June 25th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    My dad got a new Dell in 2006, 2.8 P4. I build my computer in 2005, ADM 2.4. My computer is a lot faster and I never have any conflicts. My dad’s Logitech’s web cam stopped working one day. I tried everything to fix it, I then tried it on my computer and it worked find. I got him a micosoft web cam and it works fine. I have AVG free anti virus on my computer, works fine. My dad paid for AVG and now the 8.0 will not work on his computer. I also have AVG 8.0 on my HP Laptop and it works fine. All I can say is, my home build computer works great (I think I was a little lucky) my dad’s Dell computer has many conflicts? Is this Dell’s way of selling surport?


  26. Niclas W June 25th, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Big Thank You to the author for this article.I just wanted to say that this also made my final decision in buying a self made pc.I hope everything will work out after all…
    My bugdet line is about $1000.My goal is to create a Machine that can play modern Games fluently and with good graphics.Any sugestions are welcomed…


  27. Scot June 27th, 2008 at 1:07 am

    It does depend on what you’re looking for and your budget. My first computer was a Compaq Presario ’98 that came with a keyboard, mouse and no other peripherals. For my second computer I knew I wanted to gear it towards making music and had a limited budget. I put most of my money into a high end sound card (w/ sound board). I then bought a mediocre motherboard, mediocre processor, 128 MB RAM, 120 GB HDD, a mediocre fan, a nice big tower (for getting in and out of) and mediocre video card since gaming was not my focus. I used the old mouse, keyboard, monitor, disk drive, and speakers; all of which have been replaced with scavenged or new peripherals since then except for the keyboard (10 years old). And now I have more RAM since I took my Dad’s old RAM because he upgraded his. My next computer will have some of the last computer’s hardware and a lot of it’s software. I feel building my own PC has saved me a lot of money through scavenging and waiting for technology to go down in price.


  28. David L Abbott July 14th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Well I’m trying to build my on computer. My question is how do I find out if all of the system that I’ve order are compatible?


  29. Random Person July 23rd, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Hey I used Part of this Guide but Not All of It and I made a GREAT Computer that will probally Last for me about 6 Years And if It’s too slow I just have to buy more RAM =D


  30. Random Person July 23rd, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    If you want a Compatible Match here it is!
    Asus M2A-VM Bulk AMD Socket AM2 690G CSM DDR2 800 4SATA PCIE Gb LAN 10 Motherboard

    Microsoft Windows XP Pro X64 Edition SP2B for System Builders

    APEX PC-319 ATX Mid Tower SL 300W 4 2 (4) Bays USB Audio 2*FAN C2D System Cabinet – Black

    Kingston ValueRam 2GB 667MHz DDR2 Non-ECC CL5 DIMM (Kit of 2)

    Antec PRO 80MM DBB 80mm Double Ball Bearing Case Fan Pro with 3-Pin & 4-Pin Connector

    LiteOn SOHC-5235KBLACK 52x-32x-52x CD-RW 16x DVD-ROM Combo Drive

    AMD ADO4400DDBOX Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4400+ 2.3GHz Processor

    Western Digital WD800BB 80GB 7,200RPM Ultra ATA/100

    That is Everything I used =D


    • rayne December 7th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

      you should have tried a different ram type. The Kingston ValueRam 2GB 667MHz DDR2 is exactly that VALUE RAM. try a ram with a 1066mhz if your mobo can support it, youll notice a HUGE difference, but you’ll also notice a difference in price as well, where your value ram was probably 20-30 bucks, this ram will probably be 60-70. but it is worth it because of the MHZ. the fact that it has 2gb of memory isnt the ONLY factor in your ram, then mhz is way important too, never forget that. most people dont uderstand why they should buy the ram that has the same 2gb of memory, but can be up to double the price. it is because they do not realize that the more expensive ram runs on a different MHZ, thus making it faster, and more efficient. That 667mhz ram you have is lower end, regardless of how many gb’s it has.


  31. Talon August 1st, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    I found this off a google search just to see what people are saying about pre-built/canned computers. Admittedly, pre-built computers are *very* cheap, and they can help you “get the job done”. However, as others have said before, if anyone is reading this article and these comments, please remember that if you DIY, you will make yourself even more tech savvy than the person who “just bought it off the shelf”. You will learn more about how your computer works, what is connected to what, etc. Brand manufacturers like Dell and HP attempt to hide this information from you, and instead throw specs at you with BIG NUMBERS to impress you into buying their machines. There is documentation on how to take apart these name brand manufacturer computers, but you often have to dig deep inside their “Knowledge Base”s to find it.

    Doing it yourself is really the way to go. If you are not going to be a hardcore gamer, please don’t read too much into the numbers that people throw around on Newegg. Most of the male DIY-fers like to throw numbers at each other to “one-up” each other. This may make you feel that you’re getting a bad part – don’t be put off by it. If they start throwing things like CAS Latencies, voltages, milliseconds, etc. take note of it, but I don’t think it should be your PRIMARY means of deciding on computer components, especially if you aren’t going to be using it for anything heavy like gaming, video editing, etc.

    But yeah, be mindful of the brands that you buy – look for recognizable brands. You will want to make sure that the tech support for these brands are good – they will be your first lines of defense for any problems you incur. You can also tap into the community of DIYfers, but the tech support personnel you contact will allow you to get immediate responses.


  32. Mac August 9th, 2008 at 8:06 am

    I started building my own computers, when I bought one from the store and it was junk. I learned that after I got on the internet and found out what else was out there. The preloaded software and demo programs really slowed down my pc. I had to add 2 gigs of memory, sound card with 5.1 surround , HDTV Video card with video out and turner, wireless internet radio 802.11 a b or n , Blue Ray player, DVD burner, Blue Tooth and Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate or XP Media Center. I did this pretty cheap and over a period of time. I signed up as a Microsoft Partner and became a System Builder and got the software from Authorized Distributors at low prices. I sold several computers and fixed many in my neighborhood and helped a few people start their business. To make it official I started the A+ certification and the Microsoft Small Business Accounting course and it’s been Business every since! I never bought another computer again or paid for any tech support or warranties. I do provide warranties for the systems we sell and offer Tech Support from Affiliated companies. I recommend you get help from you local PC Tech at rates of $15 to $80 an hour. I did $10/hr most Technicians Should only be fiscally working on your computer for 2hr the rest is reading, upgrading or ordering a part. Shop around I’m sure you will find one at a great price or maybe even free! Family members are a good place to start and forums like this can get you really going.


  33. Scott August 10th, 2008 at 2:01 am

    This is very easy to understand.. even people who dont know much about these stuffs will be able to understand..

    Thanks for sharing this over the internet.



  34. Matthew August 10th, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I’ve been building PC’s for my friends for years, and recently I decided to start charging people, so I googled quotes and came up with this site. Just a quick tip to Do It Yourselfers, the biggest difficulty in building a computer is compatibility issues. The big ones to keep in mind is your case and motherboard, most motherboards today use and ATX form factor, so make sure your case is ATX form compatible. Most hard drives today use Serial ATA connectors, so make sure your motherboard has SATA input connections. Those are a few examples, but just make sure to keep an eye out. If you want an example rig, here’s one I just recently put together for a client using both Newegg and Tiger Direct for parts:

    1. Apevia Black X-Cruiser Midtower Case
    2. EVGA GeForce 8800 Graphics Card
    3. OCZ Dual Channel 4096 MB DDR2 RAM
    4. Asus M2N Motherboard
    5. AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ CPU 3.20 GHz (fan included)
    6. 680 Watt Sunbeam HUSH PSU w/ 12V rails
    7. Sabrent TV Tuner Card
    8. Maxtor Diamond Max 500 Gb Hard Drive
    9. DVD-R/RW Burner Disc Drive
    10. Windows Vista Home Premium OEM 64-bit Edition*
    *note, the OEM OS is $110.00 and the same as the $240.00 retail copy, without the fancy packaging and intended for people who build their own computer.

    I hope this helps!


    • Jay Master November 1st, 2008 at 8:55 am

      This information is great…

      And I haven’t even seen computer parts before!
      Dell’s Intel Core 2 Quad Processor costs $170, whereas I searched for Quad processors on that website and there was some that only cost $60-$100. I’m enthusiastic to build my
      own computer!


  35. The Desktop Computer Is SO Yesterday! » PCMech August 11th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    [...] a long time. Back when this site began, the personal computer was the center of the tech universe. Building a PC was very popular because of the higher costs of pre-built. More and more people were using [...]


  36. Is Building a PC Worth It Anymore? » PCMech August 19th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    [...] site really took off when I wrote my tutorial on building a PC. That tutorial, today, is ranked #1 in Google for building a PC. But, that tutorial was written [...]


  37. Is Building a PC Worth It Anymore? » PCMech August 19th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    [...] site really took off when I wrote my tutorial on building a PC. That tutorial, today, is ranked #1 in Google for building a PC. But, that tutorial was written [...]


  38. DIY Laptops – OCZ Lets You Build Your Own » PCMech August 25th, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    [...] you usually build your own desktop PC, you may have toyed with the idea of building your own laptop? Unfortunately, laptop barebones are [...]


  39. Custom Built Computer For Sale at Chicago PC September 26th, 2008 at 3:35 am

    [...] Here is an excellent PC building guide by PC Mechanic. It is very detailed and shows you even how to partition and format your hard drive(s), and how to install the operating system on your computer. You can find it here. [...]


  40. waylon November 4th, 2008 at 12:29 am

    i’ve needed a new computer forever and i was thinking of building one my highest price is 650-800 dollars can i build a pc that will play todays games for that price but nothing like crisis


    • Erv November 17th, 2008 at 4:31 am

      The answer is YES. I have built 2 “gaming systems” in less than 9 months. Both systems cost app. $700 to $800. The 1st one has been performing well on games like Flight Simulator X, Mass Effect, F.E.A.R., Oblivion, Age of Empires III, Company of Heroes (which came free with my video card), Sims Life Stories, Sims Castaways, & the latest game of Spore. All these game are turned up all the way. Just do some researching, and I bet you can build your own custom system that will play what you want it to play. Here is my two systems:
      Both in Master Cooler RC-690 cases & OS is MS XP Pro.
      System 1: Elitegroup MoBo; AMD Brisbane 2.2GHz dual core CPU; 4G DDR2 800 G.Skill mem.; Raidmax 630W PSU; XFX 256M Video Card; Samsung DVD burner; 320G Western Digital 7200rpm HDD (SATA)
      System 2: ASRock MoBo; AMD 6000+ 3.1GHz dual core CPU; 2G DDR2 1066 G.Skill mem. (adding 2G more soon); ABS Labs 700W PSU; PALiT 1G Video Card; 2-LG DVD burners; 2-500G Western Digital HDD (SATA)
      Hopes this anyone wanting to build their own computer.


  41. MikeL November 9th, 2008 at 9:16 am

    For all you do-it-yourselfers out there..this site is a great start –was for me.
    I know a littIe about PC work, but never built from scratch before. My son and I took our time researching through newegg and tigerdirect and then went ahead and bought all the parts needed while making sure to pay attention to compatibility. We watched several build PCs videos on youtube and checked some of the ‘build your PC online sites’. Our goal was to build an acceptable gaming PC for under $700 and we did it. Ended up buying everything via newegg. Started the build after supper on a Thursday. Had it running by 10:30 PM and loaded the OS the next morning…loaded the drivers and configured that day after work. This is a great project to get a kid involved with! Teaches them the value of research and analysis (just like homework, but don’t tell them that until the project is over and successful). Also, don’t pay attention to all the wiseguys that say they are at expert level on newegg reviews. Many are simply arrogant people with a list of buzzwords. Good luck!!

    -Rosewill RCX-Z300 92mm Ball CPU Cooler
    - EVGA 512-P3-N980-AR GeForce 9800 GT Hybrid Power 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP
    - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD – OEM
    - GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel
    -Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400
    -G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-2GBPK
    -Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    -LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model
    -pick a case with t least 500 watts, I bought RAIDMAX and that was my one bad purchase


  42. Andre November 24th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    If you do not want to pay for the OS software, I suggest looking into Linux.

    Its free =D


  43. Andre November 24th, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    I need one piece of information that I did not find addressed on here.

    How do we know our hardware is compatible?


    • Erv November 28th, 2008 at 11:43 am

      The 1st thing I tried working on was a store bought EMachine. I wanted to add a video card to it. A co-worker told me about, so I went to their website and started “researching” on the different type of cards. It turns out that I had to settle for an old AGP card due the the EMachine being 5+ years old. That’s when it dawned on me that I could and now always will build my own computers. (My next big step is to get A+ cert.) I guess to answer your question, is to RESEARCH everything you can before you commit to buying any parts.(Just like being on the website.)


    • Andy November 29th, 2008 at 2:20 am

      Read the specs. Mobo is the mother of all components, as the name says. Mobo bus speed must be compatible with CPU speed (eg. 1333MHz). Mobo video slot must be compatible with video card (eg. PCI-E). Mobo RAM slot must be compatible with RAM themselves (eg. DDR2 or DDR3). PSU power must be able to run all components, specially if you are going to use these modern energy-demanding video cards in parallel. If you buy any third-party heatsink, for the video card or the CPU, it must fit not only into the video card or CPU but also inside the case because these days these heatsinks are huge and you may buy a small case. So on… It looks complicated but it is not because if you buy only modern components (and I don’t mean expensive components), they should already be compatible with each other mostly, but still, keep a look at the specs to make sure.


  44. Need help building a budgeted gaming system (amateur) - Tech Support Forums - December 16th, 2008 at 2:48 am

    [...] down considerably, PM me and I’ll tell you why I would or wouldn’t buy one. .bh. There’s also Build Your Own PC | PCMech which makes the building process seem very easy. It gives a really detailed explanation for each [...]


  45. Grant December 17th, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Just like every facet of life, fools and their money are easily parted when it comes to buying a PC. Even the simple acts of comparison shopping and researching before you buy will save you serious money, regardless of whether you build your own or pay to have someone else do it.

    When it comes to consumer products in general, the amount you pay for equivalent products is inversely proportional to how much you know.


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  47. mnmnmnm December 23rd, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Most of the time when you purchase a pre-built PC there’s 3-4 component inside that going to be realy cheap.

    1: The PSU. When you purchase a budget pre-build PC .. You will have a no-name Powersuply.Yeah that can cause you a lot of problem .

    2:Motherboard : Sad but true . 90 % pb budget pc use crappy motherboard.

    3: 99.99 % of pb budget pc use crappy yes realy crappy computer case.For exemple i purchase a pre-build PC and i can’t even screw my videocard and my new powersuply don’t FIT.
    I have 2 spot for 80 mm fan but i can’t use them both because of the tiny space between both.

    4:Warranty . SImple . If you open your box your warranty can be void .

    5:Hobby and fun factor.You can create something unique if you do it yourself.There won’t be another identic PC..


  48. Rodrick December 26th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    wow nice article. I think when i get a job i’m going to build my own computer. I took a computer apart and put it back together with success it was pretty fun. This article inspired me to build my own computer. i’m so excited!


  49. Wanting to build my own computer - Zelda Universe Forums December 26th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

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  50. Jacob January 1st, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Well, I must say that building a computer is not as intimidating as I thought it would be. I had never done such a thing in my life. All the worries of component compatability really did deter me from building my own computer. I would just like to say that this article was a tremendous help in my favor. I would also like to say thanks to MikeL for posting his build, as I also used some of the same components. I have just ordered everything via newegg except for the os, case, and graphics card and I cant wait to began assembling it. Thanks all for your help!!


  51. dale January 3rd, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Wow. It looks like a lot of folks out there can’t stand Dell. I discovered the Dell Optiplex SX270 on ebay a couple of years ago and I use one, both my sons have one, and they’ve worked pretty well, although they WILL overheat if you don’t keep them well ventilated. Of course, I’m not a hard-core gamer or anything like that so I probably don’t tax the system to any degree at all. All I really use mine for is to maintain a couple of websites, process digital photos (using photoshop) and customize sound effects for theatrical productions (using Cool Edit Pro). My SX270, even with only 512mg of RAM and an Intel Celeron processor (2.66 GHz) has handled these tasks well, although I did install 2.25 gb of RAM playing around one afternoon and I am about to upgrade to 2 gb of RAM just for the heck of it. My older son and I are about to embark upon a project of building our own computer just for fun and this looks like a pretty good site to get us started. I’m not a techie in the least but my son has had some computer hardware classes in high school so he can probably bluff us through the process. Anyway, it seems like a good father-son project to embark upon and maybe we’ll learn something in the process. But, just for laughs, if there are some computer snobs out there who want to gig me for liking the Optiplex SX270 (which a lot of people seem to hate), then go for it. I’m a beer snob who loves stouts and ales and if you drink Bud then you are probably a candy ass (LOL). Happy New Year to all and I wish you all great computing.


    • Rocket40 January 4th, 2009 at 4:13 am

      Dale said:
      although I did install 2.25 gb of RAM playing around one afternoon and I am about to upgrade to 2 gb of RAM just for the heck of it.

      I don’t quite understand this operation. Do you mean that you are adding a total of 4.25 GB RAM? Will your operating system be able to utilize that much RAM?


      • kingkillem May 6th, 2009 at 3:38 pm



    • dale January 4th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

      I should have said 1.25 gb of RAM. It was a typo. I deserve to get pasted for that one.


      • Sam March 10th, 2009 at 8:59 am

        stouts and ales?

        no says I- Guiness and Turbodog -everything else is crap!


  52. William Ullrich January 12th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    i am just starting back to college,my one class is intro to computer, and i have to write a 1-2 page paper how how to build my own computer and all that is needed to maek it work for what i am needing it to work for.


  53. William Ullrich January 12th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    These are a few of the thing that i have to answer and also that i have to decripe what i need in a computer, i would be using it to surf the web, write papers, for music, and as well as photos and movie

    If you were going to buy a computer today that was going to be used for surfing the Internet and working with Microsoft Office Applications, how much of each of the following would you recommend?

    RAM ________GB
    Processor Speed ________Gigahertz
    Hard Disk Space ________GB

    Pages COM-18 through COM-20 of the text discuss various types of software. Which types do you think will be most helpful in your career? Please state the reasons why you feel that way? Which applications are you most interested in learning about in this course?

    If you were going to buy a notebook computer today that was going to be used for online gaming, how much of each of the following would you recommend?
    RAM ________GB
    Processor Speed ________Gigahertz
    Hard Disk Space ________GB


  54. The Time Has Come January 18th, 2009 at 12:39 am

    [...] of during the assembly process. Obviously, Step One is to acquire all necessary parts. edit: Also: And: [...]


  55. Martin February 7th, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I started building computers around 2000. I had a computer parts dealer walk me through the process over the phone from Houston. My parts are better quality than those out of a prebuilt. If I have a problem, I fix it myself or take it to a local shop if the problem is too difficult for me to solve. Money I have. I have to rely on “tips” a lot of the time. It is really a lot of fun building them. I’ve started my own business.


  56. Groovester February 12th, 2009 at 3:05 pm


    I am a great game junkie and hardware guy.

    Some comments here seem to be out of date. 2008/9 and you are talking bout 340MB video cards?! Man, now you can have 2 GB G-Card, couple of TB’s HDD and buy AMD Phenom 2 x4 for ,,a fiver” and overlock it using ,,plastic” ice for cooling. Should go up to nice 4,5 – 5 GHz.

    Equip yourselves with AMD motherboard AM2+/AM3, 4-6 GB RAM and 600W electricity supply and here goes kick-ass 21st century, shelf-beating computer capable of playing ANYTHING for next say three years with no need of updating.

    Now my first computer was somewhere in nineties. It was basically for todays standards ridicioulus. 400MHz, 16MB ram, no g-card at all. Nothing special.

    My second was configured for me. Way better.

    Now Im looking forward to building my own one but estimated costs fly so high that as a teenager I dont have a clue how to get hold of this kind of money.

    Still better than off-the-shelf computer giving me less for more.

    Deal with pre-made Pc’s is, that you get plenty (not enough though) space on HDD, some RAM, PLENTY other features, SOMe G-card (but only some), Not decent core (usually intel, which is the worst choice for price consious) and you pay really decent money for it. Whereas with building you own one you can do it for less and make it with STYLE. Sculpt and shape your case as you like, give it nitro coling (doing -200 celsius degrees – hell cool), overlock everything as you wish (no limits – cept youll have to pay for any damage :P).

    Make your own to be satisfied. If you are rich lazy-ass buy off the shelf.


  57. John February 26th, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    How long does it take to build a custom pc if i was to put a lot of time into it


    • Highbarger March 16th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

      The actual build time is not too bad… from unpacking all the goodies to updating drivers might be 4 hours?? It depends on how often you stop and read the instructions… The real time involved can be in the deciding process. I’m waiting for the parts to arrive so I can start my third complete build (built my first PC in 2002 and the machine is still solid as a rock, it’s just not as fast as a new processor will allow) and it may sound funny, but the component that took the most time to select was the case… not the most important part, but the part I have to look at every day…


      • Daniel March 19th, 2009 at 6:48 pm

        What is your build?


  58. Leonard whos little about computers February 27th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    When you say “build your own PC” does that mean you purchase all the pieces and somebody else puts it together for you i.e a computer tech? If not would it be worth doing it that way as well?


  59. ogar linus March 5th, 2009 at 7:17 am

    please i want to know some of the authors of computer engineering test books

    thanks i need than urgently.


    • Rocket40 March 5th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

      I presume you mean “text” books. try searching the web for:
      computer engineering text book authors.


  60. Rylee March 7th, 2009 at 12:09 am

    my advice… my first cpu was in 98… after a little mucking in bios (i just wanted to boot from cd geez) it stoped working… it wasn’t worth anything… so i took it all apart… and found…
    1. 2 perfectly good opticaal disk readers…
    2. A working audio card (still have cd)
    3.a VERY small amount of ram… (udgrade?)

    i took these parts and new stuff, and built a cpu with by friend.


  61. Elliot G March 9th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I am 11 and am hoping to build my own PC, later this year. As you might expect I do not have a lot of money, but am hoping to build a ‘basic’ PC and upgrade it maybe next year. Is this the right option or is it better to go for the full blown PC I want it to be? I am not a gamer but a bit of a memory hog as I program my own applications. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks, love the site


    • Highbarger March 16th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

      That sounds like a very mature way to go about it Elliot. Too many people want to buy things on credit in order to ‘have it today’. What a mess that type of thinking has gotten us into…
      Buy what you can and upgrade when you can afford it.


    • Nick April 8th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

      HeyElliot Im 11 and building a pc too, I have a MAX budget of 500 and thats padding the numbers. Unfortunately, I am a gamer so I need more than a basic pc. But, I was just surfing looking for sites about my decisions, and Im glad too see someone else with little experience like me is building their own pc as well.


  62. Rocket40 March 16th, 2009 at 2:28 am

    I have a question which may be silly to those of you who are experienced in building your own PCs. When you buy the various components of the computer, does the ribbons and wiring come with them or are these separate purchases. Also, how do you measure the case for space to insert the motherboard?


    • Erv March 16th, 2009 at 5:26 am

      Retail parts usually come with cables. OEM parts usually do not. Plus certain retail parts come with the necessary driver disc, such as a video card. OEM parts are less expensive though. As far as the case is concerned, you need to know what “form factor” it can hold. Motherboards come it different form factors:
      ATX (12.0″x9.6″ on average); Micro ATX (9.6″x9.6″ on average); Mini ATX (6.7″x6.7″ on average)
      The form factor on a case relate to its type IE: ATX full tower; ATX mid tower; Micro ATX mid tower; Micro ATX mini tower, etc. Just match these two together and the motherboard will fit. Most full tower and some mid tower cases will hold ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ATX motherboards, while Mini tower will only hold a Micro ATX.
      I hope this helps


      • Rocket40 March 21st, 2009 at 3:03 am

        Thanks for the information, Erv. I will probably opt for the ATX size as I want to put in a 3.5 drive.


  63. YungShady March 23rd, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    How would it be if i wanna build my own 13,1 or 13,3 inches notebook?
    I have no experience


  64. Chris West March 27th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    I was actually considering which of these to do, Build a computer from scartch or buy a new one. With this help, I think I might go for the DIY selection.

    Thanks x


  65. ariel san diego March 29th, 2009 at 7:25 am

    i find your article very helpful, informative and updated and it’s everything i need to understand and be equipped to build with confidence my own PC.

    Please send me on my e-mail address any information and uPdates i could avail for the maintenance and updating of my PC.

    THank you and God Bless!

    Ariel San Diego


  66. Computer Answers April 2nd, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Can you provide more information on this?


  67. 64 Things Every Geek Should Know « April 22nd, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    [...] Here is a massive article on assembling your own PC: [...]


  68. wheelnut53 April 22nd, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    I admit starting out I didn’t know squat about PCs, I thought Compaq was the cream of the crop, a friend told me computers are like cars they will all get you there . Four years ago I went to the local mom and pop computer store with a list of what I was going to do with it . It cost me $700 bucks. Since then I have taken this thing apart and put it back together a million times. The only original part that’s left is the motherboard. I once had a frequent shutdown problem it seemed to be a software thing within 5 minutes I had found out it was a hardware problem a short in a molex I had recently installed .Yeah I have learned a lot . My next PC is already in my head . I like those open air chassis, if I can find the buttons and switches I’ll build that too. BTW now I’m helping my friends now with their PC woes.


  69. DVL April 29th, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Dell computers are fine for the average user, until something goes wrong. Then you see their ugly side. The three year tech support is like any extended warranty comforting but generally useless. The support staff polite but incompetent. Here is a short story.

    My RAID1 array had a continuous ‘Degraded Mirror’ message at boot and an occasional ‘RAID Array Failure’ message. I had a few spare hours one day and decided that it was time to take advantage and get it fixed. I called Dell support. Over the course of about an hour or so I worked my way through several layers of answering the same questions to a succession of “techs” and finally got through to someone presented to me as a ‘RAID Specialist’.

    From the outset I told her it was a minor issue, my computer was working fine otherwise and the last thing I want to do is wipe the drive. She agreed and asserted that that would be completely unnecessary. Long story short she crashed the drive and I lost MS Office 2007 Pro, Photoshop – both purchased from Dell and factory installed, along with a slew of other 3P programs that I have installed.

    Despite the fact that it was Dell who wiped my drive they have refused to replace the MS Office suite – disks they say I got but I know I never did. I had the Photoshop disk used it to reinstall and find it is not the same program but a bare bone piece of relative junk.

    Over 36 hours on the phone later I am still screwed by Dell. Note to self: Never buy software from computer manufacturers. Never go near Dell again. They are incompetent, unethical thieves who supply image but not substance. From now on it BYO for me.


    • me April 29th, 2009 at 9:24 am

      she probably couldn’t speak english. you know, supposedly they now charge an addition $12.95 if you want to speak to a rep in the US. companies like dell should stop sending OUR jobs overseas so they can sell junk computers for pennies.


    • Erv April 29th, 2009 at 10:12 am

      I have a friend that bought a “top of the line” Dell, and after a year or so it totally crashed. He couldn’t get anything to show up on his desk top except the wallpaper. When we tried to get the Task Manager to come up it wanted the Administrator PW. Well, with it being built by Dell, we didn’t know what this was. He called them up to see if they could fix it. Like you said, DVL, he went through a mountain of talking to various “techs”, one of them finally told him it was a virus and it was not “covered” under warranty and, Dell would not fix it. Luckily, I found a way in through his wife’s user screen and found it had a ghost drive setup. This drive was only half the size as the main HDD and was full. It had been setup at the factory to back up every change made to the computer. I went to his last back up file, got the computer back up and running, and was able to scan for viruses which he didn’t have any major ones. I then deleted some of these backup files and set it up to only back up once a week. That way it wouldn’t fill up so fast. So much for a warranty service. I told him next time he needs a new computer, let me know, and we’ll build one ourselves.


      • John May 28th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

        Same thing happened to my wifes computer. Dell xps 210, which we spent 2200 bucks on including a 3 year warranty. They told us it was a virus and wasn’t covered, but for 230 bucks, they had a dept that would fix it. We spent the extra money, which was foolish, and it still didn’t work. Then they refused to refund our money, so I called our bank and they got our money back for us. Come to find out, the hard drive had crashed on us. So much for the deel so called experts. I won’t buy from them ever again, especially since you cannot get an american on the phone. So I say, let the foreigners buy and service their own chinese made junk.


  70. smadamr | 2^6 Things Every Geek Should Know April 30th, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    [...] Here is a massive article on assembling your own PC: [...]


  71. gmc May 5th, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I am a retiree and would like to build my own computer. I play the odd game though not a gamer. Like to download music, movies and copy pictures of my grandchildren. I get on the media opinion lines a lot and write letters. My spouse would like a system for she is into sewing , quilting and all the womens stuff a program she wants is expensive and takes a lot of memory. I have started out buying myself mid-tower coolermaster centurion +plus 854 with a coolermaster 460 watt psu. I look at motherboards and cpu’s is mind bogling. With this info. could anyone direct me to a good motherboard and cpu I would be looking at and where I could find more info. on building. Would much appreciate the help.


  72. Joshua May 6th, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Hey all, I need some help. I poked around on newegg for a while looking for parts. I want to build a computational computer. It will have linux (likely Fedora) and graphics aren’t really important. I just wanted something w/ quad core (so I can run simulations to specific cores and have 4 going at once).

    Here are the parts I have… can you tell me if they’d work together and if there is something i’m missing:

    HEC 6AR6BB2F Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case X-Power 585W Power Supply – Retail
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK
    AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX
    BIOSTAR TA790GX XE AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

    All these parts come to $398 on newegg (thank you combo deals!) Also, suggestions on a cheap, but functional dvd writer for this compy.


    • wheelnut53 May 6th, 2009 at 8:44 pm

      Hey Joshua you might as well get back to Newegg thats where I’m seeing a nice variety of DVD burners. I see that Biostar supporting AMD I got my eye on the same processor with a Asus mobo. (a combo deal) That $398 is just about what I scrape off my tax return this year towards my new machine.


  73. mottdawg May 11th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I’m looking for a barebones tower with a motherboard already attached where all i have to do is install the hardware. I have just realized my interest in computers and intend on going to school and making a career out of it eventually. I need a HDMI slot for my HDTV (no plans on buying a monitor), and many usb ports, I am also a gamer (consoles mostly, but I do have a few games for PC) so i need a good motherboard to run the full gambit. I just need someone to point me in the right direction (leave a link).



  74. Phoenyxation May 12th, 2009 at 7:29 am

    I was raised around computers since I was a kid, lost the faith around 15, and now I’m building my own CPUs like crazy. But like many others here, I have all my own hardware (high quality) (200 GB hard drive, a Radeon video card, great sound card, all the fixins and software to boot). What I’m looking for is a nice low price case with a great motherboard to run XP Professional and Office. I’ll try the newegg site, but can anyone point me to where I can find a decent case w/ motherboard. I repair and build CPU’s but don’t have much for myself.

    If anyone can help, I’d really appreciate it! Thanks!

    [email protected]


    • wheelnut53 May 12th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

      Try my favorite Tiger Direct .Tiger have a wide selection of barebones kits. Personally I’m getting away from the standard PC case and going into open air chassis because of my fat hands and I like to tinker a lot. I’m a retired shade tree auto mechanic/ DIY carpenter just getting into computers I know nuts and bolts but software is a mystery. Oh and Tiger has a fast delivery and liberal return policy .


      • Phoenyxation May 12th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

        Thanks a million! I checked out the site, and they have INCREDIBLE deals on backbones! I really appreciate this site! To all those building your CPU’s: Kudos!

        I’l probably be back with more questions, but this site and TigerDirect really helped a lot.

        Thanks again,



        • Casualgamer May 14th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

          I agree! is a fantastic site and their delivery is fast!

          What you should realize also is that barebones systems aren’t partially put together for you. (at least from my experience)

          You will generally get the exact parts that are listed in the barebones kit, but in separate boxes as if they were pulled of the retail shelf. Actually, this is good, because you plan to game online. You will become more acquainted with the mechanics of your PC. (and what components you will want to upgrade later with)

          Installing a motherboard isn’t hard at all. Especially if you’ve got the right form factor. Building a PC, in my humble opinion, has become very “plug and play.” However, it still requires some attention to detail.

          Best of Luck on you build! :)


          • wheelnut53 May 14th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

            Wow I didnt know that, I assume the barebones kit would be put together for you. Still barebones is a good way to get compatible components right now there’s is a great deal at Tiger for $399 . Awhile back I acccidently purchase 2 SATA drives when I needed IDE Tiger made the returns so easy by promptly crediting my account .


          • Mike May 15th, 2009 at 1:05 am

            Yes, Tiger does have assembled Barebone computers.

            Click: ‘Barebones’ then ‘assembled’


  75. mike May 24th, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I’m totally new to this and would appreciate any advice i can get. I was thinking of building a custom computer with the following parts. Any tips would be appreciated. Here is the machine…

    1. Intel Core 2 Quad- Socket 775- $229
    1. Asus P5Q Motherboard- Socket 775- $119
    1. Kingston PC6400- 800Mhz- $49
    Graphics Card
    1. BFG GeForce 9600 GT OC Video Card- 512Mb- PCI Express 2.0- $69
    1. Apevia X-Cruiser ATX Black Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side- $69
    Power Supply
    1. Apevia / 500-Watt / ATX / Dual 80mm LED Fan- $40
    1. Samsung SE-S084B DVD Burner- $69
    Hard Drive
    1. Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS Hard Drive- SATA- 500GB- 7200rpm- $59


    • Phoenyxation May 25th, 2009 at 6:31 pm

      Hey Mike! Your list sounds like my dream CPU! I’m trying to build one like yours with the clear side. Good thing is you have several components from the same brand which helps them to compatible with each other. As regards the motherboards, as long as your motherboard fits the criteria for what you want your CPU to do, you’re fine. You have a great CPU list there. I gotta ask: Where did you find the Apevia Black Mid-Tower Case with Clear Side? I’m looking for something like that but you found it at a GREAT price!


      • mike May 31st, 2009 at 10:44 am

        Thanks for all your comments phoenyxation. I really appreciate all the help. In response to your question i found it at Tiger Direct. THanks Again!!!


  76. ymosi May 28th, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    hi looks like i found the right website
    i’m looking at building a gaming computer i know a tad about parts but have never built one myself before suggestions plz?
    these are the specs i’m considering

    CPU: intel duo core 2 3.16 GHZ E8500out
    MOTHERBOARD: unknown i don’t know much about these although i like gigabyte but don;t know if this is best
    RAM 2GB kingston
    HDD 500GB again don;t know what brand is best
    GRAPHICS GXT285 or GXT275
    DVD BURNER any will do nothing fancy
    CASE Gigabyte sumo 1429 or similar as long as it is cool and quite
    is there anything else i need any suggestion will be great


    • Bigbk92 June 2nd, 2009 at 1:40 pm

      Well take a look a the mobo I used. I used it for my first build and i have no problems at all. It took me about 2 hours to build my pc. An hour of it was just unpacking and looking at the parts in aww :). I hope this helps.

      my system specs are Intel quad quore 2.33GHz, EVGA nForce 780 sli MOBO, EVGA 9800GTX GPU hybrid, 750 Hard Drive by seatgate, 8 gigs of 2×2 (meaning 2gigs a stick) of Corsair DDR2 RAM. PSU is CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V SLI ready, 22x SAMSUNG DVD burner, APEVIA X-Plorer Black Steel ATX Mid Tower and a 19″ lcd monitor.


    • Tom June 23rd, 2009 at 9:17 pm

      More RAM dude! Prices are dropping.


    • bob July 5th, 2009 at 1:57 am

      i saw a good tutorial here


  77. Will May 29th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Friends,

    Great website!!!

    I’m debating if I should buy a Studio XPS Desktop:

    CPU: Intel Core i7-920 (8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)
    OS: Vista Home Premium, 64bit
    MON: 23″ Dell S2309W Full HD widescreen
    DVD: 16x CD/DVD burner
    MEM: 6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM @1066MHz – 6DIMMs
    HD: 640GB – 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB cache
    VIDEO: ATI Radeon HD 3450 256MB
    SOUND: Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio

    The price is $1099 with free shipping.
    Right around my budget :)


    1. I want to use it to burn MP3s, DVDs, and VCDs. Hoping to burn to multiple DVD burners at the same time, not sure if it’s possible. Currently using Nero 8 to burn.
    2. On occasions, I want to combine videos from different DVDs, so I’ve bought Adobe Photoshop & Premiere Elements 7 to do this. So, video editing or DVD compilation is also important. I was unhappy with Nero 8 compiling a DVD.
    3. Don’t play video games at all.
    4. I also want to use this computer for web development, like using .Net, Flex 3, and Microsoft SQL Express (but I have a computer from work this, not that important)

    I having asked Dell to see if I can add another DVD burner to that PC and burn two DVDs at the same time.

    Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    BTW, the mp3s and videos are all legit. I get them for free and we give them out for free, so no worries.




    • Kris June 23rd, 2009 at 10:04 pm

      How did you find such a screaming deal? Monitor and all that for just over a grand! I was just on that site and couldn’t build it for that much…


  78. Build Your Own PC | Porkchop Technology Review's May 30th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    [...] Another good place to discuss/see topics of hardware and building PC’s step by step instructions on how to build a PC Hardware discussion and [...]


  79. Will June 2nd, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Hi Friends,

    It’s me again.
    I’ve decided to built a computer.
    Here’s my requirement.
    I do limited video editing using Premiere Elements 7 and Nero 8.
    I burn DVDs and MP3s all day long, all legit :).
    I like to burn 8 to 10 DVDs at the time.
    Can someone help me choose the right case, motherboard, cpu, memory, cooling system, power supply, etc.
    I’ll start with a 1TB hard drive.

    I did some research and found a case that supports up to 10 external drives.
    A motherboard supporting 6 and 8 SATA ports.
    I wonder if I should buy a motherboard with 7 SATA ports (ie. MSI X58 Pro LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX) and connect the rest with PCI adapters.

    My budget is about $800 to $1000. Is it possible?

    I’m new to building PCs, but it sounds interesting.

    All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.




    • lance June 3rd, 2009 at 2:16 pm

      Hey Will, your budget looked very similar to mine, in fact what you were planning on buying and using was similar to mine. I ended up spending over that, partly becuase with the i7 processor, the customer is forced to upgrade to the x58 mobo, ddr3, with those three it absorbs most of the cost. I decided to build my own computer because my brother insisted it would be best, that is what I ended up doing. Spending $1200. But for what i spent i have A LOT of computer, more then i will need, but like all the other forums read, you order what you want and build it the way you want it to be.


      • Will June 4th, 2009 at 11:01 am

        Hi Lance,

        That’s good to know. You mind posting your components? I just want to make sure I know all the components before buying and building.

        Thanks for the response.



  80. Will June 13th, 2009 at 4:03 am


    Please give me your opinion of this build.
    I’ll mostly use it for video editing and dvd/mp3 burning.

    Case – Ultra M923 ATX Black Full Tower Case – $99.98
    Mobo – MSI X58 Platinum SLI LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail – $197.99
    CPU – Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 – Retail – $279.99
    Memory – OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage … – Retail – $79.99
    Graphics – PNY VCG951024GXEB GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card – Retail – $54.99
    HD – HITACHI 1TB 3.5″ SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive – OEM – $74.99
    PSU – CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply – Retail – $89.99
    CPU Cooler – OCZ OCZ Vendetta 92mm Ball CPU Cooler – Retail – $34.99
    Optical – LITE-ON 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS122-04 – OEM – $21.99 x 7

    Eventually I’ll buy a pci to sata card to add 3 more dvd burner.

    Please me some comments/feedbacks.




    • Cookes June 13th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

      I’ve got an almost identical parts list for the machine I’m looking to build. One suggestion I have is to go with a fast boot drive like a WD VelociRaptor and keep your data on a separate drive. That way the OS doesn’t compete with your video editing activity.


    • Tom June 23rd, 2009 at 9:24 pm

      Sup, give the dude more RAM and probably a 1.5 TB hard drive. His graphics card doesn’t have to be that good if he isn’t going to play games. (though the card is last gen.)


  81. Arrow Webzine » 64 Things Every Geek Should Know. June 13th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    [...] Here is a massive article on assembling your own PC: [...]


  82. Alex June 21st, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Hi guys, i just have a quick question: Is the i7 worth the price for it?


  83. Justin June 24th, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    how does this sound for a PC build? I dont know much about these things. LIke do all these parts work together? How do I know if they fit in the case?

    • PC Case – RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEB
    • Floppy Disk Drive
    • Hard Drive – Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS
    • CD-ROM Drive – LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner – OEM
    • Processor – Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200
    • Processor Cooling Fan – ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink
    • Motherboard – ASUS P5Q-E LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
    • Memory Modules – Kingston HyperX 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
    • Power Supply – Tuniq Ripper PSU-RIP1000W-BK 1000W
    • Video Card – SAPPHIRE 100258-1GHDMI Radeon HD 4850


    • Justin June 24th, 2009 at 7:09 pm

      No floppy disk drive


      • Corvus June 26th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

        Depending on his OS, he may need it. Might as well get the floppy drive. You can get one for five bucks and it’s worth it if you need it.


  84. Brandon M June 28th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Hey, I am looking to build a computer but I don’t know if what I’m looking for will fit my budget…

    8gb ram
    intel core i7 extreme
    1tb internal hdd
    1gb video card(9600-9800,hd)
    any kind of case
    hd audio card
    hdmi in/out
    bd/dvd dl, dvd, cd burner, of course separate burners(? not req., a possibility)

    1,000-1,500…is it possible?


    • Caedfael June 30th, 2009 at 1:11 am

      How will you be using the computer? Games? Everyday e-mail? Business? There are wide price ranges on all of the components you need. It would be better to look up prices from New Egg, Tiger Direct or to get a feel for the costs.


      • Brandon M July 1st, 2009 at 8:35 am

        ill use it everyday more than likely…video editing and slight video gaming


  85. abz95 June 30th, 2009 at 4:02 am

    hey i need a hand i dont know what motherboard will handle all this stuff i plan on putting in my new pc
    any ideas on one would be helpful:

    cpu: amd athlon II x2 250
    ram 4gb kit ddr3 1600 G.Skill Trident
    hdd: will depend on motherboard but atleast 500 gig
    case: lian li pc-7fb case (means motherboard has to be
    gpu/vga: 896mb gtx 260 gigabyte (motherboard must have a dual width pci express slot or just two)
    psu: A-Power P.L 1200w T-F
    cpu cooler: Noctua NH-C12P
    system: Windows 7 RC


  86. abz95 June 30th, 2009 at 5:17 am

    hey i need help finding a motherboard for a new pc im building, im not sure what one would be compatible with all the hardware ive bought for it, any ideas on what one i should get would be a major help. it has to be atx and must have either a dual width pci express slot or just two slots together.
    heres my hardware:
    pcu: amd athlon II x2 250 3.32ghz
    ram: 4gb kit ddr3 1600 G.Skill-Trident
    case: Lian Li PC-7FB case
    psu: A-Power P.L 1200w T-F
    vga/gpu: gigabyte geforce 896mb GTX260
    system: Win 7 Ultimate RC
    cpu cooler: Noctua NH-C12P
    still need to pick up hdd and a dvd burner but that all matters on what ports ill have left on the motherboard.


  87. Brandon R July 2nd, 2009 at 2:35 am

    I am wondering what you all would use. i am looking to build a gaming computer. games like call of duty4 & 5. war rock. basically all fps. and some rpgs like WoW. also will be used for burning dvd’s and photo shop and movie editing<<< only occasionally.
    budget around 800-1000 dollars


  88. charles July 2nd, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    somewhere down the line I plan on accumilating all the stuff I need but it seems day by day prices go up or down a new componate hits the market . Does anyone know where I can find what hardware it would take to set up for win 7 I’m bypassing Vista altogether. I’m talking about Mobo, videocards, RAM ,HDDs etc. I’m a non gamer but a compulsive tweaker so I would like to start with the bare minimum.


  89. alex July 3rd, 2009 at 2:05 am

    im considering building my own computer. i only have a very basic idea of the size of the computer i want, but i wanted to see if anyone here had any ideas for what parts and brands i should use. im trying to make a gaming computer (if it makes a difference)

    ram: at least 12gb
    hard drive: between 100gb to 200gb, not sure on speed
    video card: an nvidia but i don’t know which one is the best becuase they have like 5 types now
    motherboard: something that can hold at least 12gb ram and 500gb to 1tb space for future upgrades
    processor: pentium, but again i don’t know what type to get, but ive heard of the i7

    i don’t need and sort of special stuff like blue ray player or anything but i would like to know if it is possible to get the liquid coolant for an homemade computer. if so, is it worth it? sorry i don’t have any clearer ideas, but any advice would help a ton


    • Tim July 11th, 2009 at 3:34 am

      Hi Alex,

      I can offer a little bit of help. I don’t consider myself a pro, but I’ve been in your shoes and any help is a big help. So first off I would say that you should get a 1TB of a Hard Drive, but I don’t know if you need it. Put it this way, it took me over five years of putting everything into one PC to take up 1TB, but that’s me.

      Your RAM, well if you seriously want 12 G’s here it is
      I didn’t look around that hard, but it is a good brand and considering the price, well it seemed most reasonable. Really though I don’t think anyone would ever need that much so search around to see what people who buy 12 G’s of RAM need it for.

      If you really wanted a killer card and didn’t care about price it would be this one (Nvidia is the best imo)
      Pretty pricey though. If you wanted a good card at the price I would say this one
      This is the one I chose. I’m a gamer and I gotta have a good card. But at the very least you would want a 256MB card.

      You really gotta read around if you are serious about building a computer. This site was my bible for building a computer

      Here is a good MOBO

      And here is a processor, and pentium processors are a tad bit outdated, so since you mentioned an i7 I will show you to that, here is the best if you want to spend $1000
      Here is the 2.66Ghz, the low end i7 This is a good one imo since you can overclock it past 3.0Ghz as I’ve read. But I would rather have a high end duo than an expensive new processor that will be outdated tomorrow.

      Now I can’t search everything for you, that would take all the fun away from you:), plus this is a great learning experience. But don’t forget a case, a good one, either a full or mid-tower, whatever you choose make sure that you read the customer reviews and see what they say about air-flow. Even if you had the best fans but not enough, your temps could damage your comp bad.

      NewEgg is the best and most reliable place that I have found, there are a couple others, but overall NewEgg rocks!

      I hope all of my rambling helps!


  90. Brenden July 4th, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I have a question i’m going to build my own Computer. I found some stuff online i want to know if its okay or not that good.

    PC Case-RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power Supply 89.99

    DVD Drive- LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner 24.99

    Hard Drive- Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive 74.99

    Processor- Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor 119.99

    Fan- ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler 29.98

    Motherboard- ECS BLACK SERIES GF8200A (V1.0) AM2+/AM3 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard 79.99

    RAM- G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ

    Video Card- HIS H465FS512P Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card 54.99

    Any comments or suggestions?


    • abz95 July 8th, 2009 at 2:43 am

      i dnt tink that cpu will work on the sure to check that out before you commit to buying it


  91. Kishan July 6th, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I have a question about trying to upgrade my old computer… it has an intel pentium 4 processor and one of our sticks of ram went corrupt so now its running on one 512 MB ram. It runs on Windows XP but its very slow and it takes a long time to start up. It also has a failing hardrive of 250 GB… so should i upgrade it???


    • abz95 July 8th, 2009 at 2:39 am

      it depends, rebuilding ur pc could cost between 1k-3k at the most, so if u dnt got that kind of money id recommend jst buyin a new harddrive and some more ram,


  92. jimmy July 10th, 2009 at 1:18 am

    hey everyone

    i want to build a computer (i’ve taken some slightly older computers apart and put them back together, no problem). pretty much all i do on my computer is play World of Warcraft, but it’s a 2 year old laptop and it’s time for an upgrade. it’s not a super high-end game, so i wouldn’t need the latest cutting edge parts. maybe the sort of stuff that was top notch a few years ago, that kind of thing. i don’t really want to spend more than 600, but i’d be willing to save a bit more if it’s really going to be worth it. i’d prefer an amd processor, and about 4gb of ram. no brand preference on anything else. i realize that you’re not my personal army of computer kit builders, but i’m just looking for some input :) thanks in advance



    • jimmy July 10th, 2009 at 1:20 am

      sorry, but i forgot to add that I will more than likely be using Ubuntu Linux with this machine, so compatibility is a concern (not only between the parts themselves, but with the operating system).


    • alex July 11th, 2009 at 12:44 am

      i don’t know much about laptops but i do know that youre not going to be able to upgrade it too much becuase of the way they are build for size where as desktops are built for power. anything that could be upgraded on it probably won’t be worth it


      • Caedfael July 11th, 2009 at 1:31 am

        I don’t think that Jimmy was planning to upgrade his laptop. JIMMY: You may have to do some sleuthing on each individual part if you want to be sure that they are compatible.


  93. Poulter July 10th, 2009 at 4:32 am

    Hey guys,
    got a question on a custom build pc (ofc)
    setup i am looking at is :
    CPU: Core i7 920 @ 3.4Ghz
    MB: Asus Rampage II Gene mATX Intel X58
    MEM: Patriot Viper 6GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz
    CPU FAN : Noctua NH-C12P
    Graphics Card : BFG GeForce GTX 285 OCFU 1024MB GDDR3
    Case : Antec 1200 Full Tower
    PSU : Antec TruePower 750W Blue LED Modular
    Keyboard : Logitech G15
    Mouse : Logitech G9
    HD : Western Digital WD3200AAKS 320GB, 16MB Cache and 7200RPM
    DVD : LG Electronics Blu-Ray & HD-DVD-Rom Combo 16x DVDRW Black SATA
    MON : Asus VH222H 22″ Widescreen True HD LCD Monitor

    All of this comes to about £1400 or about $2240, what do you think, anything i can change on it?


  94. Jarreth July 10th, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    hey guys
    i am wanting to build a computer really soon
    and wanted to know how much it will cost me to do what i want
    i am wanting a computer that can work fast with a video editor and all the photoshop stuff i do
    one that can handle HD editing and stuff
    i already have a 32″ MON and a 1TB External Hard Drive

    PS in there anyway to make my current computer work that fast?

    thanks for the help!


  95. Nicholas July 14th, 2009 at 3:39 am

    well, where should i start? ok…first of all, i am based in singapore. i am looking for a not so expensive gaming rig. i currently dont have a set budget, but i will consider anything yall can tell me. i now am using an acer m5630 pc, factory upgraded when i bought it at the pc show, they were throwing in better parts at the pc show. it has a quad core 2.4, 2gigs of ram, and a nvidia 8600gs gpu, the psu is at 250v, with a 22″ lcd monitor.thats practically all i know. but i aint happy with it no more. plays like crap on newer games. so i would probally want to build a new pc(first time), maybe using the old processor and changing the others? but will selling it be worth it? i am looking forward to someones reply, with some suggestions? i cant have it too expensive, or my parents wont agree. thanks in advance.


  96. Michael July 17th, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I’ve recently gotten into the idea of building my own PC and i don’t know if it would be better for my first custom pc to old parts so just in case i screw up i haven’t wasted a few grand on paperweights although i have heard newer parts are easier to work with as they are simplifying, like everything slots into place in the case


    • Mike July 27th, 2009 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Michael,

      Building a PC is not as difficult as public perception makes it out to be. That being said, a fare amount of research should go into parts compatibility and installation tools. The single most important item you should have with you is an Electrostatic Discharge wrist band to protect the equipment from permanent damage. Motherboard voltages are usually below 2 volts depending on the part being fed the juice. A single static shock (like the kind from touching a door nob) can hold up to 5,000 volts or more (depending upon humidity, charge, etc). But I digress.

      There’s a plethora of forums, pcmech being one, toms hardware another, that have plenty of knowledgeable folks to help you out. Also, if you look around, you’ll find countless build your own PC instruction guides which is a good place to start just to get familiarity down.

      IMO, I would go with a base i7 920 setup that you could put together for about $1000-1100. I assume that you are looking for basic computing (Internet Surfing, Office Apps, Watch Movies, etc.) This way you can build something relatively inexpensive and have component longevity to upgrade in the future and become more comfortable with the process.


  97. Robert July 23rd, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Hi guys,

    I really dont know alot about building a PC but i want to give it a go. i wanted to know would it be possible to build a PC for around the 500 dollar mark? i will be mainly using the computer for the internet and a bit of gaming? would anyone be able to recommend some parts for me, some prices and where to get them from? i live in tasmania.


    • Caedfael July 24th, 2009 at 3:14 am

      Hello, Robert

      I hate to be a wet blanket, but I don’t think you can make a gaming quality PC for $500. The fact that you live in Tasmania suggests that you should get your computer parts in Australia or New Zealand if there are no suitable stores in your home country. There are some companies in the US that have free shipping but I don’t think that includes overseas. Shipping is going to add a considerable cost. Two sites that I have used are: and and also You should read all the posts on this site to get an idea on what goes into the computer and then look up the prices at one or more sites. Maybe someone else can help you with more specific suggestions.


  98. Cadfael July 24th, 2009 at 4:11 am

    Hello Robert

    In looking through my e-mail I found the following advertisement for a fully made computer (sans monitor):

    there are several gaming computers at close to your price range, but the time is short. Hope this helps.


  99. Andy July 24th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Thinking of replacing my 2006 mac pro with a new pc. I’ve built maybe 2 computers in my life and decided its time to do it yet again. However I’m not sure if I’ve forgotten anything, and I don’t want to go order everything and forget something in the process.

    My budget is around 2k, the parts I’ve looked at so far are as follows.
    Mobo-EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58
    Video Card-EVGA 017-P3-1295-AR CO-OP Edition GeForce GTX 295 1792MB 896 (448 x 2)-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0
    Tower-Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
    PSU-CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91
    CPU-Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
    Ram-CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel
    HDD-Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5
    Cd Drive-Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW

    This would be mainly for gaming. I could push the budget up a bit more if i had to, but I would hope this can take what I can throw at it.


    • Cadfael July 24th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

      I wonder about whether one has to consider the OS for these gaming machines. No one seems to have the OS on their list. Am I missing something?


      • Mike July 27th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

        Typically, I see most builders going with vista 64-bit with the free option to upgrade to Win7. It really is becoming a toss up between future-proofing your investment or getting the lowest price out of the gate.

        With advent of the 1336 Socket for Intel’s i7 Line, the sun has really begun to set on the now obsolete Socket 775 Intel line of processors (Core 2 Duos, Quad Cores etc.). This isn’t to say that availability and support will evaporate within 12 months but it does mean that anyone that purchases this technology will do so knowing full well that their machine has a finite shelf life.

        In the same breath however, for someone that is on a budget and is not a “hardcore/serious” gamer or computer enthusiast, this technological transition provides a uniquely cost-effective opportunity. Prices for anything associated with socket 775s (cpu, mobo, DDR2, etc.) has fallen precipitously in the last few quarters. Many can build a substantial rig for under $1,000 these days. This all can be said for AMD as well. AMD is going through its own metamorphosis and so will the technology that will be used to support it.

        I have left Overclocking out of this because that also will change the equation. But, if you’re the type to consider overclocking, then you shouldn’t be buying into 775′s anyway.


  100. Hi, I’m a PC! And I’m a Blood Elf! « World of Warcraft Parents Guide July 27th, 2009 at 1:26 am

    [...] to learn about the inside of a computer. You’ll need to do a lot of research if you want to DIY or your can just buy an Alienware or a [...]


  101. Robbie July 27th, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    So I know next to nothing about the inner workings of a pc but I like to think I am smart enough to figure it out with a little help so here is my situation. I have an old slow laptop and have been looking at a new one for ages and nothing I have seen off the shelf has fit the script. What I want is pretty basic alot of memory for music, speed and a DVD or possibly blu Ray player. Thank you in advance to anyone who responds


    • Humz1m0t0 July 30th, 2009 at 11:22 am

      Blu-Ray is being updated with newer version & hardware with-in a year so its not worth getting.

      After Searching several sites, this is the best bang for your buck right now:


      • Robbie August 1st, 2009 at 3:16 pm

        I am looking to build a pc not buy one and I am leaning toward a desktop because I work from home and have plenty of space for one


      • scott jordan August 4th, 2009 at 12:45 am

        not even close. I can get pre built machines off many other sites like that will blow that garbage away. best buy = throwing your money out the window.


        • lou October 11th, 2009 at 7:47 am

          Scott ,

          Your absolutely correct ! Just like throwing money out the window! DON`T DO” WORST BUY “AKA BEST BUY.uuuuuuggggghhhhhh.there as bad as insurance co.or car salesmen .


  102. Jay Fish July 30th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Hey is this a compatible build? also is fairly fast?


    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 – $39.99

    Floppy: Ultra ULT40366 3.5″ Floppy Drive with Multi Card Reader $29.98


    Mobo: PC Chips A15G $49.99

    Case: Rosewill R5601 $49.99

    PSU: Rosewill Stallion Series RD450-2-DB $39.99

    RAM: WINTEC AMPX $22.99

    HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE $34.99

    DVD: LITE-ON DVD-ROM Drive iHDP118-08 $19.99


  103. General Public August 4th, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Good article, but there’s one gloss-over however.

    Re Software/OS, one can install an opensource OS such as Ubuntu and save having to pay window tax to King William of Redmond! This surely results in quite some saving, and could make the world a better place.


  104. Bigbk92 August 16th, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Hi guys I have a question for you. I was wondering if there was a way i could Burn 2 DVD at once. My old PC i had years ago couldnt do. Maybe because it was some crap i bought from Best Buy p4 processor with little to memory. Well now i built my own pc and since I store a lot of movies I was thinking about buying my second burner and another hard drive. I think i may pull off the double burn with out lag if I have each DVD being riped/burnt to seperate hard drives. Will this work with out lag or damage? I have 8 gigs of ramm, a 2.33 quad processor, EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard, 750 power supply, 9800 evga gpu,. Think it can work or is there another way?


  105. Thocrun August 17th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    any ideas on how to build your own PC server for internet games? I think that’ll be a lot more usefull then building a personal pc unless you want to run something extreme. but I don’t know how exactly to go about it, I have no real size limitation, just want it reliable, I’m thinking I would probably run Linux if they offer a OS like that for servers, but yeah, I’m not talking about google or anything, just enough to run a game that could accomadate maybe up to 40 ppl at a time (could probably spend some of the time in a power outage working on it) , I know internet speed will probably become an issue, but I think that setting up the “server” before would be better then getting the internet speed I want first and then know that I have to pay the bill, but still have no way to pay it (Worst Case Scenario-probably). I would like step by step instructions for that, then once I learn pc programming I could probably get a team and make the game or whatever, haven’t really figured out any uses for one besides hosting e-mail or game “server” (idk what exactly to call it), there has to be more uses then that it would be a good thing to have on a website someplace, :( just sad I haven’t found that website yet lol


    • Mike August 17th, 2009 at 6:11 pm

      Builder a server itself isn’t that complicated but if you actually want to host web space / emails or games from internet users it’s going to cost you. You can’t regularly hook up a home-made server to your existing internet connection without crappy bandwidth issues to a non-dedicated line. A call to your ISP to let them know you have a server and see what rates they’re going to charge you is pretty much the first step.

      So if you wanted to shell out X dollars per month hosting without charging your users for a password or some heavy banner advertisements, thanks for the free play. Just keep in time that home made servers can be finicky, SOBS, and need maintenance from time to time. So be prepared to troubleshoot and internal or TCP/IP problems that will surely crop up after a little while if not immediately.

      Most people build home servers for the purpose of dumping their networks into them either as backup or just another storage area where they can more quickly share between all connected computers/gadgets in the home, particularly home entertainment centers.


      • Thocrun August 25th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

        Well I was actually planning on programming my own game, but idk anything about programming at the moment so I think I’ll be looking for some programmer to help me with either java C/C++, maybe even the new java fx but yeah, I’ll need a reliable connection, wasn’t going to make a game for money though so I really don’t care if the connection is slow just has to be reliable, I know that best buy had a hp with 6 RAM and 640 hard drive for $600 dollars if anybody wants a really high performer and has the money I’d check that out. yeah, I am going to take a computer class out to my local career center so that class should help me a bit on the hardware, just need someone that knows java se or something like that.


  106. Thocrun August 17th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I think I just found a link to it on this site lol


  107. jake August 19th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    i am looking to build my first desktop, and i have no idea where to start. i am familiar with how to actully put it together, but as far as equipment goes, i don’t know what is compatible. like what processors and graphics cards work with what mother boards or does it not matter?


    • Ldouble_e August 20th, 2009 at 12:04 am

      There are some good sites about building if you spend some time looking. Anyway, for the mother board and CPU you will want dual core or better. I suggest dual core because it is fully utilized by some games where quad is not utilized by any games. Then you need to get a mother board to match it. You need to check three things for sure. 1. The cpu socket type (LGA 775, LGA 1366 intel and AM2, AM2+, AM3 for AMD) matches the sockect type supported by the motherboard. 2. You want to make sure the board will fit in you case. The most common form factors are ATX and miniATX, but there are others like BTX out there. Your best bet is to look for a case that supports both ATX and miniATX. If worst came to worst you could always drill a hole but thats what you want to avoid. (Tip..there are brass looking nuts that come with the board, they are spacers and are very import so don’t forget to install them)
      3. You want to check your FSB or Front side bus. Your CPU, mobo, and RAM will all have a FSB listed. Your new rig will only run as fast as the smallest FSB. So if your CPU and mobo are 1333mhz FSB and you get ram that is 800Mhz, then your system will only be as fast as an 800MHz set up. All the speed will bottle neck at the ram. You don’t need to match all three just be aware of it. I run a 1333Mhz mobo, 1666 CPU and 1060 Ram for an example so I’m at 1066MHz tops for data transfer speeds. GPU you will want Nvidia on an intel and ATI on an AMD just because they are better supported on by their own chipset or north bridge. For Ram check the mother boards QVL or qualified vendors list. IT should be in the mobo manual on the manufacturers website as a pdf file. Power supply should be at least 550Watts or better depending on which GPU you will buy. They require a PCIeX16 slot and there own power rail from the PSU. The newer GPU’s even require two power rails. Your minimum wattage will be what the CPU consumes plus the GPU and then add 50 watts. Don’t go cheap on the PSU it is really import and a bad one will cause system faults that may take months to figure out it’s the PSU and not the computer. Hard drive should be 7200 RPM and SATA at a minimum. CD/DVD roms are up to you, look for higher cache 32Mb units. Good luck and try they have really good deals along with customer ratings and comments so you can get an idea if a part may have an issue with another peice of hardware etc.


      • Jhampa September 24th, 2009 at 9:25 am

        I read your suggestions and I am in the same category as Jake. If you had the time could you put together a list of components? I know this might be a lot but compatibility is important (I am told) and I would hate to spend the money and find I blew it on matching up things. I will print out your suggestions. Obviously needs lots of research to make it all match.


  108. jake b August 27th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    could i use the cd dvd and media drives, from an old computer or any other parts from an hp?


  109. lourenço August 29th, 2009 at 5:33 am

    i am thinking of building my own pc, but i need help. i dont want anything too expensive, or cheap and crappy, i want something i can use for watching DVDs, downloading movies, music and probably and a good memory space. e-mail me at [email protected] thanks


  110. John August 29th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Hey Guys,

    Im Thinking Of Upgrading My Dell Dimension 5150 would the following be compatible

    Antec Trio TP3 650w

    ASUS Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 PCI-Express

    Crucial DDR2 PC5300 4GB KIT

    Intel Core™ 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz, Socket LGA775

    would all that be compatible with the dell 5150 mobo?



  111. shahab abbasi September 8th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    tell me plz how can i start making my pc


  112. Mike September 14th, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Im very new to the whole buildin a computer but im lookin to spend between 4-500$ on a gaming computer, im not a complete idiot when it comes to computers but am looking to find some deals on hardware and also reliable hardware at that. If anyone has any helpful hint, sites and any other tid bits of info please email me at [email protected], writing to me on this website might not prove useful seeing as I often only check my email. Thanks.


  113. Jack September 16th, 2009 at 12:25 am

    I wouldn’t recommend building your own PC. If you do ANYTHING wrong, you’ll end up frying your motherboard and possibly CPU. If you’ve ever tried debugging software, imagine there is a $300 dollar penatly every time you mess up and you have to wait 4 days to try again (get new parts).


    • brad November 7th, 2009 at 3:02 am

      That is why you practice on your old computers so you can get good enough to build a new one. If you keep frying your parts, try grounding yourself.


  114. STEPHEN September 16th, 2009 at 11:37 pm



  115. Cutting costs to make room for PC (not console) gaming. | IPR Blog September 21st, 2009 at 11:54 am

    [...] didn’t know the difference between a hard drive and RAM). Try this piece-by-piece guide from PC mech, or google another. If you get stuck, or are unsure how something works, seek out YouTube videos [...]


  116. The Geek “Must Do Before You Die” Checklist | Failure is the Key to Success September 21st, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    [...] [...]


  117. harveydenT September 27th, 2009 at 12:59 am

    hello I need some help. I am in the process of building a computer, but i am not sure of which parts to get exactly. I am going to be doing some video editing, and i will be storing a lot of music and movies on it, along with burning dvds and cds. So far, i have an ATX mid tower. i was gonna wait to buy it until i knew all the parts i was gong to get, but the website was switching owners so i was able to get the $60 case with a 400w psu for about $17. so i jumped on it. other than that, i think im going to get an AMD phenom II 3.1GHz callisto cpu. if anyone could give me some tips about which mobo, memory, and HD to get, i would greatly appreciate it. and also which cd/dvd drives to get, cause the whole cd/dvd-r+w-rw+rw+-rw+-r x24 burner litescribe whatever confuses the hell out of me. THANK YOU for any help.

    P.S The psu that came with the case is an LIC 400BTX… it ok for my kind of setup? i wont be doing any gaming or extreme overclocking, so i wont need too much power….right?


  118. Justin October 8th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Hi I have built a
    computer in england (American products) and I didn’t need to set up my net becase the provider did, Now I’m back in the states and I can’t get the right network connection for my cable net, Im clueless and all I have to research on I my iPhone, Please help


    • lou October 11th, 2009 at 7:39 am

      Go to the library (local) there in most cases you can use there desktops to do your research on your PC :D


  119. Danielle October 8th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    I really hope you can be more help to me than the last few people on the forums I’ve spoken with-they were all very rude to me and did not specify what I needed to do. Here is my problem:I had a laptop that worked awesome, regardless of what others would say..I’m a simmer, so I had all my Sims 2 games and Sims 3 installed at once and had no problems until suddenly one day these crazy static bars kept coming across my screen, it was nuts! I showed my fiance and he said the repairs would probably cost more than the laptop itself, so we put it away for future repairs and went out and bought a desktop pc-an emachine. Here’s my system info:——————
    System Information
    Time of this report: 10/8/2009, 09:16:15
    Machine name: EMACHINE-98E05C
    Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.090206-1234)
    Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
    System Manufacturer: eMachines
    System Model: EL1300G
    BIOS: )Phoenix – Award WorkstationBIOS v6.00PG
    Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) Processor 2650e , MMX, 3DNow, ~1.6GHz
    Memory: 894MB RAM
    Page File: 750MB used, 1417MB available
    Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
    DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.5512 32bit Unicode
    Today I went to the site Canyourunit, and the scan basically told me that my RAM and CPU speed were not up to the requirements to play Sims 3. I was so upset I wanted to cry! The games themselves are very expensive for one, and the computer already cost us around $300. I went to a forum for help, the people there said that also my graphics card isn’t good enough. They suggested that I buy a barebone kit from Newegg or TigerDirect online. But I have no idea at all which one to buy!!! I have no clue if the barebone kit must be compatible with my computer or what! I was also told I’ll need a new cooler and power supply. If you need me to, I can give you my full dxdiag as well as the system requirements for Sims 3..The first expansion pack for Sims 3 will be out in November and I’m praying I can figure all this out by then and be ready to play my games. :( I’ve searched and searched and all the info on the barebones kits look like Greek to me! lol What I want is to purchase a barebones kit (and anything else I may need) that will make it so that I don’t have to ever worry that my computer cannot meet the requirements for Sims games again. Can you please give me some advice? Do you know of just the right barebone kit for me and just how much I’m looking at spending? I have so many questions it’s making my head spin..I just have no clue where to start, and I feel really hopeless. All I want is to enjoy this game that I paid hard-earned money for with no issues!! Please help?


    • David November 13th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

      Sorry to say this, but you need some major overhauling to play anything more than Pinball
      Though your information is detailed, its mostly useless in this context
      Purchasing a backbone kit is useless if you don’t know how to put it together
      You Will Need:
      Someone who knows computers (well)

      You will need to ask him/her:
      What kind of RAM slots you have
      What kind of PCI slots you have
      Your Hard Drive Size
      Your Graphics Card Model

      This WILL involve disassembling your computer (but nothing that can’t be reassembled in 30 minutes)

      They will recommend:
      a) you buy better and/or more RAM
      b) you buy a better graphics card
      c) you buy a better hard drive
      d) you buy a better computer
      either way it involves buying something – unless this techie is willing to involve themselves for more than a few days, your best bet is to get another computer (again)

      A computer that can run Sims 3 would cost closer to the $500+ range
      Sorry that I can’t help you…its hard if you don’t have the computer right in front of you


  120. Tom October 15th, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Heya i was interested in building my own PC i know how most computer parts work and the wiring and everything else involved etc etc , but was curious is somone could show me a current low-end set up for all the parts i would need trying to shoot under the 500 range but ideally ide love anything around 300. I wouldnt be using this pc for games , just simply surfing the net at a fast speed and listening to music prob around 100+ gb of hard drive and 2gb+ of ram thanks email me if you want also too please at [email protected] thanks


  121. Alyssa October 25th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Okay so my family has a laptop that is more for business purposes. I got The Sims 3 and it won’t work. Now i’m trying to build my own computer. My mom is telling me to get one at Best Buy, but i’m not sure. I want to build a computer that will be able to play my Sims 2 and Sims 3 games with good graphics, not the crappy default graphics. I’ve been looking at computer parts for over a year now, and i would appreciate it if someone could offer any advice.
    Requirements for Sims 3: Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista SP1
    CPU for XP: 2.0 GHz P4 processor, Vista: 2.4 GHz P4 processor or equivalent
    RAM: XP: 1 GB; Vista: 1.5 GB
    Hard Drive: 6.1 GB with at least 1 GB of additional space
    Video: DirectX 9.0c compatible (Nvidia GeForce 6100 and 7100 are not supported)


    • Aaron November 6th, 2009 at 11:14 am

      If you want to build a cheap effective desktop. (Cheap here)
      Go to a web site like, tigerderict, or even amazon
      find a tower with a power supply.(though you will have to replace the power supply with in a year
      Buy a wolfdale e5200 core dual 65 dollars (later you can bsel mod to a 3.3mhz)
      look at the compatible motherboard size m-atx or atx those are sizes atx being the largest
      And compatible to dual cores.
      Asus and foxconns are pretty reliable. You want a 4 connection memory supply (4 memory banks)
      Buy 2-4 gigs of 1gig ram average $15-$20 a gig when bought in packs ddr2 most likely
      A nice graphics card not to expensive like a 4600 series ati.(around 50-60)
      And a hard drive of your choice.(coast around 50-200 dollars depends on size.)
      And a dvd player or dvd burner(their pretty cheap now a days 30-40 dollars.
      and for you don’t have and snags
      also buy
      a 120 mm($10)
      fan 80 mm fan ($10)
      if heatsink isn’t included with cpu (wolfdale) a heat sink for 775 socket ($15-$20)
      2-3 molex adapter $2 a piece
      maybe a few sata cables just in case $1-$5 a piece



  122. ChuckNourish October 26th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Chuck Norris doesnt teabag people, he potato-sacks them.


  123. Alex Z November 9th, 2009 at 12:57 am

    I am about to build my own gaming rig for the first time. I am pretty confused at all the options out there for different hardware. I am looking to stay in the $700 or under price range. The computer really needs to be as high of performance as possible for this price range.


  124. Aaron November 9th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    My spec low end gaming pc
    Foxconn g33 motherboard $87

    intel E5200 wolfdale 2.50 oc to (3.33) $65

    Maxtor 300 gig hard drive $85

    Hitachi 300 gig hard drive $50
    Ati 4650 video card $65

    Crucial Ballistix 4*1g ddr2 $80

    400 watt power supply $19

    A case $50

    20 in wide screen lcd, nec 22 in lcd,


  125. David November 13th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I’m taking a computer technology course for fun at high school and I immediatley got hooked
    Now I want to upgrade and build my own gaming computer, but I’m pretty much still a noob
    I’m considering: Intel i5-750 Processor, Intel DP55SB (MicroATX) Motherboard, MemoryMaster 2G DDR3 DIMM RAM (x2), ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics, Western Digital Caviar 1T Hard Drive in a Thermaltake Soprano VB1430BWS case on Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit

    whew that was a lot of typing: questions
    with the other parts (optical drive, etc) it comes out to about $1300…is this too much for a first home-built?
    at first glance, are there any non-compatible parts?
    alternative suggestions are appreciated (besides the Vista part…don’t reply if you’re just going to tell me how bad Vista is)


  126. Elliot November 22nd, 2009 at 1:23 am

    I have a problem/thought/request.

    I wish to make my own PC so noone has to spend 2000 dollars. I would like it to be endureble, fast, and easy on the eyes. :)

    Now, at my school, I’ve found two rooms filled with PC’s. I have concluded that given the way they store them, one on top of the other, and their location (one room is in a closet, the oter a loading bay they never use, (I’ve taken classes for two years straight there)), they don’t care what happens to them.


    On that note, I was woundering if it’s possible to take parts from multible computers, and put them together to make one working PC.

    How long can a PC collect dust and freeze before it’s useless?

    Can I get rid of their stuff they installed before, like the login screens and software?

    If said PC works, and I get internet up and runing, how long before it crashes and is there any way to keep it “healthy”, as some might say. (hint: ME)

    Now, can said PC be able to run MMORPGs, like WoW or EVE, and how can I make it preform faster. (I’m a idiot but I believe it’s Frames Per Second right, or something. The faster the better, amiright?)

    Now, as I right (type?) this down, I stupidly didn’t check the instructions at the top before I started, and I can’t save this stuff because, well, all I can say is I using a unsupported browse. Is there any website I can go to to help me put this together. I would prefer something I can follow easily, like a step-by-step thing, but anything will help.

    Again I going to pass this idea to my school and parent, but if I get the green light, I’m gunna do it.

    So thanks in advance!


    • GOrd November 27th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

      You’re an idiot Elf!


    • Santa November 30th, 2009 at 1:59 am

      You must be one of my lost idiot elfs.



    • Bacon February 2nd, 2010 at 3:55 am

      here is a simple answer if you take the parts from one of those computers and try to put it in a willy nilly computer you will probably have a problem with the other chips and cards ie: mother board+bios,video,RAM, and even hard drive. so i say if you want to build a computer learn about it. [Hint] read some pc magazines eg: PC user or the manual of a pc.


  127. Elf November 23rd, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    In most cases this is possible and most computer Teachers dont care if a part or to “disappear”. However, The fact that the computers are running on ME means that they are most likely Pentium II’s or III’s making the “fast” idea almost obsolete. Thost motherboards cant be upgraded to Pentium IV’s or faster and the other hardware is probably out of date as well. Your best bet is to make a list “realistic” on how you want your computer to act and what you want it to do. Once that is done you should probably checkout and you should be able to a good computer (no monitor, just CPU) for less than 600 USD. When dealing with Highschool hand-me-downs its like playing Wii games on an NES.

    Hope this helped

    -Normality is only the Absence of Indifference. -Elf


  128. PCMASTA December 1st, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Elliot i will soon post a video on youtube regarding how to build up a pc i do not know how long for the dust and freezong, but i am experienced at building pcs. To keep it healthy, do not get any viruses and make sure you know what you are looking at and downloading. Regarding making it faster, if you build a pc worth gaming quality, the easier it will run and the faster. A good internet connection helps too. The stuff they have installed before will be part of the setup when u start. Basically, clean out the hardrive before you use it. that may be the hardest step.


  129. datguy December 5th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    As for the freezeup/dust collecting, it’s all relative to the storage conditions. A ‘moist’ area (AKA basement, storage shed) will ruin a Power Supply Unit in no time (trust me, been there done that). Dust can be easily remedied with a can of air, however make sure to take apart everything (except the PSU)!
    The biggest problem that can be seen right away is the fact that schools tend to purchase computers for productivity, not for their excellent graphics capability. If you want to play WoW, I suggest you find out what graphics cards those old comps have (if any) and whether they can even handle that amount of detail. As was mentioned earlier, they probably have pentium 2′s or 3′s, and since factory computers are RARELY unlocked, you won’t be able to overclock anything (not that that makes a difference on an old Pentium). Your best bet? If you were to assemble a PC with those older components, you should get a Linux OS (such as Ubuntu 8.04) and run that instead of windows. You can erase windows, but this whole project will take time to do, so commit or just leave it and buy a new computer.


  130. Paul December 9th, 2009 at 12:13 am

    I’ve been looking into building my own PC and start gaming again. The first person shooters on my PS3 aren’t as fun to play as the keyboard and mouse configurations I’m used to. The computer I have now is about 8 years old and I haven’t upgraded anything on it since 2003 so I’ve been doing a lot of research to get back up to speed. I’m looking to build a new desktop from the ground up. Everything new. Tell me what your thoughts are.

    Here’s what I’ve got in mind.

    Case: Coolermaster Storm Sniper

    Processor: Intel i7 960 3.2 Ghz

    Motherboard: Asus P6T SE Intel X58 Chipset CrossFireX Mainbaord Triple-Channel DDR3

    Memory: Corsair 6GB (2GBx3) DDR3/1600MHZ

    GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5970 PCI-E 16X 2GB DDR5

    *I’m not sure of which companies put out a good power supply. I know it will have to be compatible.
    *Should I get a single Radeon 5970 or will I get better results from a dual graphics card configuration? I’m worried about the stability.
    *What about memory. Is it worth getting 12GB? I don’t plan on running other applications while gaming.
    *Are FDD’s completely obsolete or should I get one just in case and for what reasons.
    *Good monitor for gaming?
    *Good keyboard or mouse you suggest for first person shooters?

    If you are knowledgable about ANY of these questions please respond. I don’t expect you to have the answers to all of them.


    • Arnold December 13th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

      1st question answer :Gigabyte odin plus 700w shud do for crossfire
      2nd questions answer: Dual cards would be better 2 radeon
      5870 shud be better remember to get a psu of 700w or more
      3rd question answer Its Worth getting if u have 64bit version of core i7 proccesor and a 64 bit os also other wise 4gb is enuf
      4th question answer nope i dont think ull ever need them
      5th question Viewsonic VX2433WM shud do good as gaming monitor
      6th question answer Logitech G15 as keyboard and Razer Deathadder as mouse shud do


    • julie December 28th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

      too much specifics ,you are as dumb as everybody here..pure sinile and imbicile


      • Luigiboy February 19th, 2010 at 12:29 am

        I read a lot of computer forums and there are a lot of us out here just learning. I get tired of people insulting and questioning the intelligence of those who are MUCH less experienced in this field. I believe you are only displaying your own ignorance with these remarks.
        On the other hand I truly appreciate those who take the time to try and answer some of these “less educated” questions without making us feel dumber than we already do.


    • skinny January 5th, 2010 at 11:51 pm

      @ Paul

      If you are still going to build the computer, get an i7-920 and overclock it to 3.20GHz. that way you get the same performance but save $300. Also getting one better GPU will save more than getting 2 weaker GPUs. I am building a computer with a simalar config and I am going to use the Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850W PSU and I think you should have a look at it


  131. :) December 9th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    thats a great setup…if u hav 3000 or more dollars…


  132. chintan December 28th, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I was wondering if anyone could help me. I want to build a computer for this game I play. The Recommended requirements to play this game are listed below I will be using thispc just for gaming everday for about 6-10 hours.
    Windows 98/2000/XP/ME
    Pentium II 400 or above
    256 MB or above
    600MB or above
    3D Display Cards with DirectX support 32MB or above 3D Display Cards with DirectX support


  133. Yvonne January 1st, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    I’d like to know if there is a class anywhere to help students build their own computer as a means of learning how everything works. I’m not a “techie” and couldn’t cope with an IT course. But I want to learn how to build a computer with a teacher there to help me rather than on line with your very helpful site. Is there such a course?


    • Nick January 5th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      Google your town and what you’re looking to do. If you google ex: Dallas Computer Building Class you should get some good results


    • Chris March 1st, 2010 at 4:13 pm

      Me and a friend of mine were thinking of teaching a class on how to build your own computer. The big difference is that in our class you would go home with a computer you built. I was wondering what kind of interest there might be for that out there and what people would be willing to pay for something like that. We are in the Denver area in case anyone was interest.


  134. who? January 3rd, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    @ chintan

    Looks like the computer that you need doesn’t require much. Ask Elliot up there if you can borrow one of his school computer and you’ll be fine.


  135. Lee January 3rd, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    If a computer has ever been anywhere near Windows ME, RUN AWAY! ME was worse than Vista and as a computer tech I will not touch a computer that ever had ME on it.


  136. Tetris January 8th, 2010 at 6:54 am


    If you haven’t already built your computer you must note if you run DUAL 5970, you will need a 1000w power supply from a QUALITY manufacturer and that is recommended and suited for builds such as yours (and mine). Just remember that you’ll be putting $1500 minimum into your graphics cards alone so investing roughly $300+ for a psu would be a wise choice.

    Also, when overclocking, you must think wisely about aftermarket cooling as this will be critical in your full size case. The wrong choice may end up not fitting in your PC with your plethora of hardware, or even worse may not provide enough cooling necessary to heat the CPU’s new clock speed that could see your new CPU overheat.

    Good luck,
    post back if you need anything


  137. Al ex Back January 22nd, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I used to build quite a lot of pc’s in the win ME win XP early days. It always seemed to be far cheaper.

    These days though the last 2 I’ve bought were from online pc builders who do custom builds.

    Apart from the odd bit of sub standard hardware like a soundcard I find the rest is top notch gear and is well worth going with them rather than buying the components and building myself.


  138. gare January 26th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    GOrd and Santa are totally wrong. Elf makes a good point you can build a decent computer with parts ordered from Newegg.
    GOrd and Santa should go back to the cornfields.


  139. FunkMasterPC January 26th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    # INTEL Core™ i7-950 Quad-Core 3.06GHz, LGA1366, 4.8 GT/s QPI, 8MB L3 Cache, 45nm, 130W, EM64T EIST VT XD, Retail
    # COOLER MASTER V8 CPU Cooler, Socket 1366/775/940/AM2, Aluminum
    # TUNIQ TX-3 High-Performance Thermal Compound, Electrically Non-Conductive
    # SERVICE Mild Overclocking, 10-20% Performance Increase
    # CUSTOM Premium 1xCPU + 2xGPU Liquid Cooling Kit, Installed (Dual Loop)
    # CUSTOM Coolant, NightClub Blue
    # ASUS P6T, LGA1366, Intel® X58, 6400 MT/s QPI, DDR3-2000 (O.C.) 12GB /6, PCIe x16 SLI CF /3, SATA 3.0 Gb/s RAID 5 /8, HDA, GbLAN, FW /2, ATX, Retail
    # CRUCIAL 6GB (3 x 2GB) PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL9 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
    # EVGA GeForce® GTX 275 CO-OP PhysX, GTX 275+GTS 250, 633+738MHz, 1280MB GDDR3 2268+2200MHz, PCIe x16 SLI, DVI /2, Retail
    # GIGABYTE GV-N26OC-896I, GeForce GTX 260 650MHz, 896MB GDDR3 2000MHz, PCIe x16 SLI, VGA+DVI, HDMI, Retail
    # SERVICE Overclocking, Dual GPU, Optimal and Stable Performance
    # SEAGATE 1TB Barracuda® 7200.12, SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 32MB cache
    # RAID No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
    # SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5″ Bay, Internal USB
    # SONY AD-7241S Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, OEM
    # EDIMAX EW-7728In Wireless Adapter, Draft 2.0 IEEE 802.11b/g/n 300Mbps, PCI
    # THERMALTAKE Armor Black Full-Tower Case w/ Window & 250mm Fan, EATX, No PSU
    # NZXT Sentry 2 Black Fan Controller, Touch Screen, 5-Channel Fan Controller, 5.25″ Bay
    # CUSTOM WIRING Standard Wiring with Round Cables
    # LOGISYS 12″ Single Cold Cathode Case Light Kit, Blue
    # CHIEFTEC Turbo Power Supply w/ Modular Cables, 850W, 80 PLUS®, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, Retail
    # MICROSOFT Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition, OEM
    # SERVICE OEM System Recovery (secure HDD partition only)
    # SERVICE System Binder
    # BLIZZARD World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King PC Game, Retail
    # LOGITECH FREE Deluxe 250, Black, USB, OEM

    PC of the gods


  140. DeltaN9neTHC January 28th, 2010 at 3:44 am

    @ who?

    LoL !


  141. Shanney January 30th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    @ FunkMasterPC

    How much did/would something like that cost you to build?


  142. shanney January 30th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Quick Question;

    I’m not much of a techy, but I want to update my computer.

    My computer is like 7 years old. It’s a Compaq Presario
    with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    Processor Intel ~2700 Mhz

    I’m not sure what else is in there lol, but I want to know what things I should get to make it run faster, and more efficient. I’m into photography and am constantly editing pictures with adobe software and such, and it’s getting to be a hastle because those programs take up alot of memory especially when you’re saving files as well. So my computer runs slow, freezes and just completely stops working completely sometimes. I have ran disk defrag, disk cleanup and have even uninstalled programs that i didn’t use, but nothing seems to work now.

    If someone could let me know what I should do (besides buying a new computer) please do so. I would love the help. Even if I have to rebuilt my comp on it’s own thats fine, I have a lot of spare time on my hands. I just need to know how.


  143. KMG February 5th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    @ Shanney

    Add Memory. My desktop is about 7 years old as well and adding memory did wonders for it. The thing is, usually memory is more expensive for older computers (but cheaper than a new PC). You’ll need to see how many slots you have available to add more memory or replace the one you have with a new one.

    Good luck!


  144. i touch myself February 6th, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    The cheapest Mac with OSX Snow Leopard (MacMini) is faster than the fastest desktop you’ll get at Best Buy.


  145. Alex February 9th, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Ok So i am looking into building my own desktop, i have an alienware laptop that has server me so well for about 6 years now but its time to have a true power machine. I am an airline pilot and I want to have 3 monitors set up and enough ram and processor speed to run real-time flight simulators. I just dont know where to start, should I build my computer around the processor or the motherboard? Video Card? Im just lost and looking at different processors. I know I want a quad-core just because I do many applications at once. Give me some help fellas, thanks


  146. wifi February 9th, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Nice article, what about the hard disk if it not compactible with the mother board?


  147. Poppa Wolfie February 10th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    im running a intel HD55KG MB intel i7 860 cpu 2 ati 4900 series video cards onr WD 750 GB HDD one WD 500 GB HDD and one WD 250 GB HDD 16 GB of Kingston hyperX DDR3 gaming memory at 1600 mhz NZXT airflow king case with 5 120mm 4000 rpm fans 2 140mm 2500 rps top fans LG dvd/ blueray burner corsars 1000 watt psu 2 black light kits all cables are custem sata 2 blue calbes and i big typhoon cpu cooler with a 4000 rpm fan on it and no the 4000 is not a typo i dont care if my system sounds like a jet plane at start up i get cpu temps of 22c idle and 35c at full load i dont not overclock as 3.7 ghz at stock is fine for me i also run 3 way boot with XP ppro sp3 win vista ult and win7 alt all 64bit OS’s i play WOW ROTLK and get 190 fps in Dal and a HD digital tv tuner card i have been in the computer repair biz sence 1984 have fun and remember if you r un in to problems you can always read up on them


  148. Michael February 11th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I’ve got a 2-year old quad processor Dell PowerEdge 840 server running Windows SBS, and I want to turn it into just a regular desktop computer. Can that be done, and how? I suspect that this could be a b!tch!n gaming box if it can be done. Is it going to work to just try to wipe the drive and then install a regular (non-server) operating system on it? Or are there hardware issues since it started life as a server?


  149. LANMAN March 2nd, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Dang it, everyones got a high-mid range comp. in home, work, or thought process! My pc is a stupid hand-me-down compaq running on an AMD K-6 with 1 gig of memory, 80 gig HDD, and two useless optical drives from Sony and Philips!



  150. black_ghost March 12th, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Hey guys,

    I’ve got a 1.5-2.0 year old Toshiba Satellite a215
    AMD Turion 64×2 2.00GHz
    2 gig RAM plenty of HD and a Radeon x1200


  151. black_ghost March 12th, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Continued from last post(sorry mod)

    I want to increase my gaming speed. Should I upgrade my RAM, graphics, or CPU?



    • anonymous March 21st, 2010 at 2:22 pm


      if u want your games to have a good looking environment, get a better graphics card. if you have a crappy one, it will lag when using higher graphics settings.

      Your CPU organizes the data of the game and makes it run smoother and load faster. i’d suggest a quad core i7 from intel to play games.

      but, if you are cheap, i’d suggests buying a few gbs of RAM. if u dont notice it feeling faster, get a new graphics card.


    • Park April 6th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

      RAM because you need more space for the things that are on your screen.


    • Andre A. April 19th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

      you will need ALL of them at a high capacity You need a good amount of ram a good CPU and an EPIC graphics card


    • hey May 8th, 2010 at 1:26 am

      Upgrade your RAM and Graphics card.


  152. Euan March 15th, 2010 at 12:56 am

    A mixture of the lot


  153. Name (required)ramosa March 15th, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Type your comment here…what type of components am i suppose to use when building my own PC


  154. JT March 17th, 2010 at 10:41 pm


    I also want to upgrade my computer, but it totally sucks as far as upgrades go…anyways…

    2gb of Ram should be able to handle most things and a graphics card of 512mb on board ram that supports 3.0 pixel shading should handle any game you come across (also a good processor- dual core).


  155. Tales Of A First-Time PC Build | PCMech March 20th, 2010 at 9:39 am

    [...] the internet. Chief among those I used is Tom’s Hardware, an excellent resource. PCMech has a good read. Other good sites: Kitchen Table Computers, Overclocker’s Club, and of course, NewEgg, where [...]


  156. joemate March 20th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    my pc has core i7 and 32 gig ram fast as hell>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>. but cost like 3 grand :(


  157. scot March 25th, 2010 at 1:46 pm


    If you wanna be cheap? This is a recession and the quad core i7 processor is the most expensive one out!! If you have the money for that then you have the money to have someone build a powerhouse for you.


  158. archangel March 27th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    black_ghost. what cpu and gpu do you have? and how much ram do you have? at what speed? let me know this and what games you are trying to play and i can pinpoint your problem, and recomend an upgrade.


  159. Wilhelm March 28th, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Hey guys i need your help here…

    Is this a good setup?

    XFX Radeon HD 5750 (1 GB) – GPU

    ASUS Crosshair III Formula Republic of Gamers Series – motherboard

    Phenom II X4 955 6 MB (AMD Processor in a Box (PIB)) (Cooler (fansink)) – CPU

    Samsung Super-WriteMaster SH-S223C (Sort) (En gros) – DVD burner

    WD Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500 GB – Harddrive
    Corsair VX450W – PSU

    Antec THREE-HUNDRED EU – Case

    Thanks in advance


    • Alex April 2nd, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      Wilhem, your motherboard is outstanding, and no offense you shouldn’t have bought it if you weren’t planning on giving those chipsets some real hell ( overclock). Your card is around mid range in the current market, your cpu is also very good. You didnt list your ram.


    • Park April 6th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

      what operating system are you using?


  160. Park March 31st, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    do i have to buy the operating system? or does it come with the stuff you buy with barebones kit? I just want to know if i have to buy it seperately


    • Abro April 21st, 2010 at 12:59 pm

      Operating Systems need to be bought seperatly, they do not come with barebones unless specified. I suggest you don’t buy a barebone package though as they are likely to contain low-branded products (especially the PSU).


  161. Paulo Vaz April 4th, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I’d like to build my own pc, but with autocad. I would apreciate your kind help. I only know about architecture of houses. Many thanks. Paulo


    • a sandwhich May 9th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      Autocad is a piece of software, not hardware. You acquire the computer, then install the software. Autocad is rather expensive, unless you have a student discount. The only real requirements for auto cad would be a quad core cpu, semi ok graphics card, and a fair amount of ram. Mostly the cpu and gpu.


  162. jeremy April 14th, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    im looking at a computer i need to know if it is any good. please help:
    HP hdx 16 notebook pc
    Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T9800 @ 2.93 GHz
    4.00 GB of Ram
    64 bit operating system
    Quanta 361B motherboard
    320 GB @ 7200 Rpm harddrive


  163. Islandguy April 21st, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I’m throwin an order together for
    i7 930
    Asus P6X58D Premium
    Western Digital 7501AALS
    Corsair TR3X6G1600C8
    Antec Quattro850
    Light-On iHAS424
    Windows7 Professional 64
    and then using my old case Antec P193 and my poor BFG Gtx 260… I’d love to get a better GPU but it’ll have to wait a couple more months :|


  164. Islandguy April 21st, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Oh, I forgot to ask what’s the deal w/ SSD? I heard a couple tech’s talking about using a SSD just for the OS and then having the sata drive for all their data. What would be the benefits?


  165. GeekGal April 22nd, 2010 at 9:23 am

    SSD’s (or solid state drives) have no moving parts. This makes them less fragile and more reliable than a HDD. Right now, they’re pretty expensive compared to HDD’s, and larger capacity SSD’s are prohibitively expensive (think $1500 for a 500GB drive) so I assume that’s why the techs were talking about using them just for the OS.


  166. mark April 29th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    hey im looking to get a new computer and you guys seem to know what your talking about. would these parts be sufficient to run most games. mostly wow.
    Intel Core i5 650 Dual Core 3.2GHz (4MB Cache)
    GPU- ATI Radeon HD 5670, 1GB GDDR5
    Ram- 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz



  167. Ron H April 29th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I actually need a “retro” PC that will run an earlier version of Windows. I need to run dBase III, and DOS support in newer OS systems isn’t as good as it is with, say, the Win 2K OS I have sitting around from an older machine that’s now been trashed.

    I’ve been told, however, that many of today’s CPUs won’t work well with older OSs, so can anyone recommend a MB, CPU and memory that will work with Win 2K? This is a computer for email, dBase III, an appointment calendar program and sometimes Word, so great performance isn’t needed and is only a waste of money that I’d otherwise use for my next Photoshop/ graphics computer.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Ron H


    • B Smart May 5th, 2010 at 12:10 am

      @ Ron H
      I’m not sure what program in particular is troubling you but before you go out to build a new comp you might want to try a program called DOS Box. Google it and give it a try. Otherwise I’d go on ebay and just check for someone trying to get rid of an old computer. Check the programs min system requirements and target a processor around that level for when you do your search.


    • Goobershohisjohnson June 27th, 2010 at 5:12 am

      how to be build the computernets with just keybords? my best buddy sayes that computer like and are well for building with just the codacs and codes of champions in software libraries. Can you me assisted? thank us much well.


  168. Buy PCs That Suit Your Needs « Tina Walsh May 1st, 2010 at 5:04 am

    [...] a real PC enthusiast, it is best to just build your own. There’s no doubt about that. You can handpick all [...]


  169. Alone_i_play May 1st, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I’m looking to buy a computer and I’ve got this one on sight.

    i7 860 2.8ghz.
    RAM5811-E1522 (what is it?)
    8gig DDR3
    1gig space
    MULTIIIN1 (what is it too?)
    NVidia GTS 250 1g
    W7HP64 (what is it too?)


  170. RuthAnn May 4th, 2010 at 11:23 am

    So I saw the biggest home computer ever last night! The tower was the size of a large suitcase. It has 6 or 8 drives, 4 fans, and so on… He says it has 31 TB!!!!!!!!! (I have no idea how he got it or why cuz he didn’t even know how to change where it boots from (like floppy/cd/whatever)! And he started messing with this and that on it and now it doesn’t quite work… I was able to get it running enough to SLOWLY read a boot disk up to the menu screen and then just gives up and freezes. Would it be easier to go thru it and try to repair whatever he’s done to this poor beautifu; machine or should I just gut it (carefully!) and start from square one?


  171. john May 6th, 2010 at 9:52 am

    if he can get 31 TB!!!!!!!! he can afford to get it fixed though i think u could get it running :)


  172. john May 6th, 2010 at 10:04 am


    you can give him some pointers on computers :)


  173. john May 6th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    hi i need to know what components make a good comp…
    email me at [email protected]


  174. Muhammad Hassan khan May 7th, 2010 at 2:23 am

    hi, im trying 2 build a gaming pc,but not an expensive one can any one plz help me in this case..plz my id is [email protected]


    • a sandwhich May 9th, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      Check out and go to build your own. They have some pretty good topics, tips, and hints. Go for an i5, ddr2 ram, and a ati gpu.


  175. Bart May 7th, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Good Intel PC kits found here


  176. Deadnd May 8th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    The only reason I would build a computer is because:

    I am not going to accept the left over parts bundles that
    Fry`s is going to push off on you as a gaming comp.
    If you look at some of the bare bones gaming builds or complete builds you can see that 600 dollars is going to get you an out of date processor,under powered under expandable P supply,and a socket mobo that was geared for different applications. Even though a quad core sounds kind of sexy and powerfull its not something that you will fully utilize.
    If you were going to pay 18 hundred dollars for a gaming computer then you are getting more to the point of what you were really going to do with your computer,however these builds are still more expensive than if you were going to build it yourself.
    If you learn how to build for your intended application you will find that you can get better newer cheaper hardware off ebay or craigslist than the things that are forced on to you as an over priced bundle .


  177. Deadnd May 8th, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Cheapest build I have
    that supports gaming.

    Win 7
    Msi P55m gd41 auto clocking mobo
    MSI R5450-MD1GH ATI Radeon HD 5450 Video Card – 1GB, DDR3,
    4 gig ddr3 matching mem.
    i-5 660 3.3 mhz processor
    550 watt power supply
    Coursair water cooling
    3-500 gig h/d sata 2700 rpm
    Dvd player/burner
    500 gig storage drive


  178. Paul May 9th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I would like to build a computer that can play Trackmania united online and low-med graphic settings for as cheap as possible.
    i purely want to play tmu online and to check my email and thats all……(i only care if it lasts up to a year or so….)

    what i dont need…..

    cd/dvd drive
    soundcard – i play with no sound anyway.
    floppy drive

    what i need.

    512 video card
    recycle a case
    1-2 gig ram
    the the whole computer off a 16 gig flash drive(is it easy?)
    OS: xp
    (small cheap monitor)


  179. tetris May 16th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    lol… paul…. no-one needs floppy drives anymore mate…
    but u could set this up for about $300 but not like ur suggesting.

    first, forget that flash drive as ‘whole computer’. Bad idea. pickup a hard-drive for $30.
    ddr2 ram is so cheap now its silly, you can get 4gig at my local for about $35 and thats not the cheapest.
    same with core2′s and correlating motherboards, very cheap due to the i7′s coming in, so roughly $120 for them.

    the case can be recycled but not if it has a psu in it, best to rip it out and buy a new one (not whole case just power supply) and replace it with one that can run ALL of ur components(VERY IMPORTANT).

    xp is a good choice. no problems there.

    an old crt monitor is good but you can get a crappy flatscreen for $100.
    if u really dont want to get one you can get cables/adapter (it depends) to run ur computer through ur TV.

    a cd drive is $12, why not splurge and do so much more with ur pc.

    u hav a 512GPU up on the list which is good so i think u’ll b right there, in which case u can pick up a decent 512gpu for about $100 if ur lucky. if u hav one u must build ur whole computer around if it is ATI or NVIDIA (MOST IMPORTANT ALSO!!!!!!!!!!!!).

    IMPORTANT! alot of computer stores suck, u need to find a decent one and alot of the time its not the most well know so look around. i regularly see them sell old products for ‘as-new’ prices. be careful, they prey on computer illiterate people! i saw a 7600gt ( a GPU that is relatively ancient) for $250!!! the box was sun-faded beyond belief but he was still saying it was ‘good’ and will ‘play games’. i told where to put it.

    do alot of reading up on what u r buying,
    if people online say its crap then it prob will b crap.
    dont cheap out to much with pc’s, its ‘you get wat u pay for’ alot of the time.

    if ive left anything out, sorry. its 415am, hope the next guy can help ya with it.
    good luck


  180. Andrea May 24th, 2010 at 2:31 am

    I have more of a general question …
    I was told that now when building a computer that there no longer was a virtual memory card that would have empty spaces to upgrade memory later that it all came in one peice now …is this true ? and if so what is the best way now to make sure you have enough physical as well as virtual memory on a computer to not have to rebuild one every few years ?


  181. konnor May 24th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    stores like frys are good for the externals but buy the all of the real parts at i would sugest figuring out what u gunna use it for and format it for that use. also try to buya desktop, unless u really need a laptop.


  182. hafiz May 29th, 2010 at 1:16 am

    how to repair driver from manage device?for example PCI Simple Communication Controller for laptop dell Inspiron 1462?


  183. nere June 6th, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Why would you want to build your own computer when you can buy one of the shelf to a much cheaper price


    • water June 18th, 2010 at 9:14 pm

      err you can make one much cheaper and save 100's of dollars


  184. Riley June 6th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    I’m looking to build a computer to do these three things.
    1. Play world of warcraft ( with all expansions)
    2. Listen to music
    3. Facebook / Gmail
    What type of configuration would I need and could build for under about $1200 and still operate fast and great?


    • Zeros June 20th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      For that money you can get a really good pc my pc is amd qouad core 3,2GHz( AMD Athlon X4 635 2,9GHz), 4GB Kingston Memory RAM, 1GB ATi HiS HD 4670, 1TB HDD, 450W power supply and a cheap case. And the motherboard is Gigabyte. for around 600$. And I can play any game on High to Medium Quality.
      With 1200$ I would choose a AMD Phenom II x4 965 Black Edition 3.40GHz which is around 220-230$ maybe cheaper in US. Or the new AMD x6.
      Then 4GB Ram with 1333MHz and a Ati 47xx or 5xxx series graphic card.
      And 500GB or 1TB of HDD. with 500-1000W source and a cheap but good looking case.
      The motherboard would be something that can handle all of this I think Gigabyte is really the best motherboard i had.


      • Lithoxene926 July 15th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

        Is that one of the quad cores that has TLB erratum 298? Be careful not to buy a quad-core 9500 or 9600; make sure it's a 9550 or a 9650. Those come with the TLB erratum corrected. The erratum can cause a computer crash when utilizing all four processor simultaneously…i.e. running massive amounts of data. It might be wise to consider one of AMD's new triple-core processors. They sell for the same money as the bugged quad-cores, I believe; however, the triple-core comes with the guarantee of the erratum's correction. Of course, processing power is slightly lesser, but at a great guarantee. But if you're shooting for perfection, consider the 9550 or 9650 quad-cores.


    • Mordoramin July 19th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

      $1200?? Damn who has that kind ov money?! If I had that I sure as hell wouldn't spend it on a computer


      • guest July 22nd, 2010 at 1:32 am

        And if you could spell you WOULD have money like that.


        • guest July 22nd, 2010 at 5:22 am



    • Guest User_389 July 21st, 2010 at 7:58 pm

      Well, if it's for gaming it's best if you have a computer brand that is foreign. And I like that you said $1200 because you don't have to spend more than that to get a multimedia computer. I suggest a Toshiba Satellite M500-ST54X2 laptop. The base price is $849.00 and features and Intel i3 processor with a graphics card that has 3D graphics technology, and since Toshiba computers are powerful and reliable, it pretty much handle any game it's given


      • guest August 4th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

        Just get an iMac…the new ones cost $1200 and they are fast, with a great monitor.


        • Hunter August 14th, 2010 at 2:33 am

          They aren’t compatible with many applications and programs offered for Microsoft…not to mention overpriced…and you could build a really decent- excuse me, good computer for about 1200 bucks…anything past 1500, you got yourself an “uber” computer…to say the least…If you know how to build one that is…


        • Hunter August 14th, 2010 at 2:33 am

          They aren’t compatible with many applications and programs offered for Microsoft…not to mention overpriced…and you could build a really decent- excuse me, good computer for about 1200 bucks…anything past 1500, you got yourself an “uber” computer…to say the least…If you know how to build one that is…


        • Hunter August 14th, 2010 at 2:33 am

          They aren’t compatible with many applications and programs offered for Microsoft…not to mention overpriced…and you could build a really decent- excuse me, good computer for about 1200 bucks…anything past 1500, you got yourself an “uber” computer…to say the least…If you know how to build one that is…


        • Hunter August 14th, 2010 at 2:33 am

          They aren’t compatible with many applications and programs offered for Microsoft…not to mention overpriced…and you could build a really decent- excuse me, good computer for about 1200 bucks…anything past 1500, you got yourself an “uber” computer…to say the least…If you know how to build one that is…


        • Hunter August 14th, 2010 at 2:33 am

          They aren’t compatible with many applications and programs offered for Microsoft…not to mention overpriced…and you could build a really decent- excuse me, good computer for about 1200 bucks…anything past 1500, you got yourself an “uber” computer…to say the least…If you know how to build one that is…


        • Hunter August 14th, 2010 at 2:33 am

          They aren’t compatible with many applications and programs offered for Microsoft…not to mention overpriced…and you could build a really decent- excuse me, good computer for about 1200 bucks…anything past 1500, you got yourself an “uber” computer…to say the least…If you know how to build one that is…


  185. peter June 6th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    I am looking to build a computer for mostly financial modeling and general office suite uses and internet. any suggestions? thank you.


    • 3123213 July 1st, 2010 at 9:42 pm

      go buy notebook or some hp detoskop


    • 132132 July 1st, 2010 at 9:43 pm

      cheap one you can find on ebay but used!!!!!!


  186. Bejhuss June 30th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    id really like to build my own computer as well, but I don't really understand the in depth stuff when it comes to computers you know? I understand some of the stuff in general, but i would really like to learn more and become proficient if not an expert in the subject. Any tips/sites possibly tht i could use to learn more about the essential components, and what to look for?


  187. wii4532 July 2nd, 2010 at 8:00 am

    to Riley WoW is a game that you can play with the simplest of video/graphics card it is a very standard graphic game


  188. Ggh08 July 5th, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I am looking to build a computer that will be able to play starcraft 2 on preferably ultra/high. The price is flexible im just worried if i try the dyi route i might screw up… not sure where to start


  189. Blake July 18th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    i just need to know what site to go to so i can build a computer cheap to run WoW and all expansions.


    • RoboStorm July 30th, 2010 at 7:31 am

      If you want WoW to run in “perfect mode”, a cheap computer won't solve your problem. You need about 700$-800$ so you can get a nice computer with a 24 inch lcd display. If you would like a classic display, you can save about 150$.


      • Lazyblaze August 13th, 2010 at 6:07 pm



    • Rjsjsjd August 4th, 2010 at 3:22 am


  190. barto July 19th, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I would like to buy a computer with intel i7 860 processor with LGA1156 but I don't no which motherboard, graphic card, RAM, Power supply and any other things I need ?


  191. used cisco equipment July 20th, 2010 at 6:13 am

    i'm planning to build a computer for my gaming pleasure. tho, i don't have any knowledge on what will i buy.


  192. Izzy1990 July 20th, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I'm looking to build a pc for WoW mainly. and light surfing of the internet. facebook. youtube etc. but my budget is really low. $500 is pushing it. can anyone tell me cheap but reliable parts to play WoW with? thanks


    • Izzy1990 July 20th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      the pc that I have atm is not very good. I need to get more Ram. harddrive is fine it's an 80g. but I need a graphics card, Ram and so much more. I'm running on windows xp and also Idk if the computer I'm using can support WoW it's a gateway. it originally came with windows 98 so Idk. if I can get as much help as possible that would be appreciated. my father can build the pc we just need cheap but great reliable parts. that wont lag on WoW.


    • Dude4104 July 31st, 2010 at 7:23 am

      you could just get a cheap 350 dollar netbook. i played wow on there and it ran pretty well. not the greatest graphics possible but it worked. a 400 dollar laptop would be great for it. wow is not the most resource-taking game, so don't worry about getting the highest graphics possible


    • Stuielooie August 5th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      Try and get 4gb ram, and 512mb gfx card.


    • Hunter August 14th, 2010 at 2:35 am

      Have you tried playing WoW on other computers? If they don't work, your comp must be way outdated man…In any case, if you are planning to build a computer, always know what you are doing, look up the internet and how if you don't and whatnot…but still, you can buy a reasonably good laptop for 500$ and plays wow…you don't need the most amazing graphics and its not really going to burn out your computer unlike some games such as Global Agenda that nearly killed my laptop…Good luck if you are building one, but you really don't need to Lol.


    • Epsmith94 August 23rd, 2010 at 1:48 am

      You could try stopping your wow addiction until you’ve saved enough money from the subscription cost to build a good computer that runs games that are actually good i.e. NOT WOW


  193. Anon July 31st, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Hey Everyone,

    I am looking to do a build. However, it will be my first time, and I will need it mainly for streaming Video (possiblly HD), watching Bluray, Mixing Music, Photoshop, and the regular use of the internet and word processor. Not having much previous background, I went to Newegg, and picked parts, but they are coming out to around $1600. I do not have this kind of money. Especially for doing just the things which I listed. So, if someone can kindly aid me with this process, it will be much appreciated.


  194. viscosity August 3rd, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Hey, im thinking of constructing my own PC from scratch, never done it before but i am considering so as i now have an increasing knowledge of them. Looking at a budget of $900 give or take $100, any help would be greatly appreciated.


  195. Drakedog123 August 4th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    im looking to make a laptop or computer that runs starcraft 2 mainly


  196. Drakedog123 August 4th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    im looking to make a laptop or computer that runs starcraft 2 mainly


  197. T Ogunbiyi August 8th, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Hello guys,

    I am thinking of building a PC mostly for everyday use, programming and some occasional gaming. Here are the components I am thinking of getting. Please I need some feedback.

    CPU: Intel i7 860

    Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3

    Case with cooling system: NZXT M59-001BK M59 Gaming Mid Tower Case – ATX, mATX, Baby AT, Black.

    Power supply: Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    NOTE should exceed what is required by the video card. Antec or Enermax

    Graphics/video card: HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity Network card

    Sound card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card

    Optical drive: Sony Optiarc Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1678A – OEM

    RAM: Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model KHX1333C7D3K2/4GX

    Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB 3.5″ SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    Thanks guys


  198. Cole August 8th, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Guys ineed some help, i ant a computer that plays WoW and that has very good graphics, i need it to hold all of my expansions. I can only spend about $1000 . So please post some suggestions i need some help for it. Because ive got a computer upstairs it had WoW but if you look at the graphics……… you will wanna just crap on it.So please post some suggestions =D have a good day. Or night.


  199. cydonia16 August 11th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Very useful!


  200. cydonia16 August 12th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Great guide, I'm tired of paying high prices in pc shops for hardware that lacks everything I really need. But there simply isn't much choice in most places so I'm hoping to put together my own this year. I'm planning to use my new easy saver rewards card to help acquire at least some of the parts.


  201. Keithtreason August 13th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Something good for Video editing
    fast powerful and alot of memory
    I'm using things like Photoshop-Elements8, Adobe CS5 Productions Premium and Adobe CS5 Design Premium


  202. Gabriel August 18th, 2010 at 8:44 am

    i think all in one pcs suits these games like WoW u can check what i wrote about them at this page ..


  203. Nath August 18th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for a great article :)

    I did a custom PC build early this year for my gaming rig and it worked out to save me a couple of £100 but now I want more so its going to cost me more cash again but still a huge savings from the start :)

    My PC is about £1500 worth but could of easily cost me around £2000 – £2500 if I didnt build it myself.


  204. Ajay August 18th, 2010 at 11:54 pm


    Colorful backgrounds raise a spam score greatly. A white background is the lowest scoring color within an email. Also, most spam messages are centered. Left-align your creative to make it look legitimate. The combination of these changes will have a positive effect on your deliverability.


  205. Anonymous August 21st, 2010 at 2:17 am

    I am going to acquire a PC, thou I can’t seem to Know where to start, I wish to buy every part separately online (I’ll have someone to guide me while putting them together (I can probably do it as I know how, but I cant afford any miss happen))

    I’m almost positive these features I need it to possess are going to cut some slack on each other so please take this into consideration as for each component must cut none or as little slack on each other for maximum quality and performance as a 1500 budget holds up, maybe 1600 (Try to keep it under the 1500).

    -Heavy gaming off and online

    -PS2 emulator (Can PS2 online-only video-games be carried as such, the emulator way?).
    -High performance PC games.
    -On-line RPGs.
    (I will also need a PS2 joystick lookalike)
    (I also like to play vintage games* through vintage console emulators, kind of a hobby. I like to think
    they have certain flair to them…)
    *I don’t believe this to be relevant, just thought I should say it.
    (For character you know …Kind of lol …More like nervous

    -Heavy* (*Is it?) internet usage

    (A thoroughly thought recommendation about a very good and improving modem (as for my current connection
    is about 2mb only) would be most accepted. This is not be taken in to consideration within the budget
    since it will be bought separately.)
    -Daily multiple torrent downloads.
    -Simultaneous mild surfing (* E-mail, * forum posting, * You Tube (and alike), * picture picking,
    * Google, * Yahoo answers, * short & small downloads, * extensive
    research, * chatting, * etc.)
    -Non-simultaneous* online gaming
    *Except for RPG online games in which case there should be light
    surfing, mostly co-related extended research.

    -Listen to pristine*-sounding music
    *As much and as a clever budget rationing permits.
    (Please feel thoroughly free to also recommend the best speaker set for the sound-card of your
    choosing as for it will also take part on this budget.)

    -Heavy & extensive high-quality video playing
    (As before feel thoroughly free to recommend a fitting monitor according to your chosen
    recommendations as for it also will be taken from the budget)

    I’ll need to install both Windows and Linux so take this in to consideration, I’ll have the torrent related downloads and most of the downloads with Linux, Windows is mainly for the gaming or as I see fit, thou I do not have a clear idea about which OP system use for each way of gaming (Through emulation, online RPG, for-PC only games) to obtain maximum results (I would really appreciate any recommendations).

    I will need a large hard drive, although besides that I most certainly need an external hard drive of about 1TB minimum for storage, it’s imperative for it to stand the torrent to be constantly accessing it to upload as for most external hard drives this large are solely for storage.

    Keyboard, mouse and joystick (PS2 lookalike) cordless, a (fast high quality) web-cam may not be cordless (are there cordless web-cams? and If so, accessible?)

    Most certainly thankful
    DrFaustusXI A.K.A (X)(X)(X) XI Hans- (-sen & -seme)


  206. Fred August 24th, 2010 at 2:12 pm



  207. Interpret Reves August 24th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    pas mal mais même temps c’est du boulot alors que ça : non


  208. rylee August 25th, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    i used to have a really excelent pc but one of my mates accidentally smashed it. i bought a new one, but frankly it’s total crap. it hardly works and takes at least 7 hours to download the smallest things. i was using one of my discs to install my security stuff (no questions. i’ve had my systems hacked more times than i can count) and it had a major blowout. i know it’s not the discs cause i’ve been using them for years. my cousin told me to just build my own pc. i need something with good graphics, ideal for schoolwork and just regular facebook and email. it also has to be fast cause i’m not one to waste time. i’m not on a tight budget, but it would be nice if it only went up to £500. any suggestions of where to buy all the stuff? and where should i find directions on how to build it?


  209. Yrsnkd August 26th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    You will want a fast processor, a fairly good graphics card, 2 GB of RAM… Those are the biggies here. Depending on how much music we are talking about here, you will probably want a hard drive with about 160-250 GB of memory or so–a lot of space, but not much compared to, say, actual music production.

    Generally speaking, computers meant to run a lot of apps at once should have more RAM, and computers meant to run one powerful app should have more CPU speed.

    You should be able to build a rig like this for, oh, about 700 or so; but being a Linux user myself, that does not include the cost of a Windows software installation.


  210. Anonymous August 27th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    For $1300 I went for a laptop. Not any kind of laptop but the best one at this moment that amount of money can buy. It is an Acer Aspire with Intel i7 720QM, 6MB L3 Cache, 8GB DDR3 1333mhz, 500GB HDD, NVIDIA 330GT 1GB dedicated memory with a 15.6″ HD display. It also came with NTI multimedia suite, including recovery cd/dvd burning software, Windows7 Home edition, PC Health Advisor, various diagnostic tools and many more.


  211. degas22 August 29th, 2010 at 5:22 am

    why not go for 1 tb of hard drive hes got 1200 it cost liek 60


  212. Barnet September 1st, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I also want to learn to build my OWN computer. Pity I’m highly unknowledgeable in this respect.


  213. guest September 2nd, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Spelling has nothing to do with your intellectual capability, however I’m pretty sure being a douche-bag would affect your income.


  214. Coco September 3rd, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    im trying to build a pc for music recording. needs a great audio card and lots of harddrive space. can i get some reccomendations for the audio card as well as the rest of the components?


  215. Michael David Gao September 4th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    when i build my own computer i had 3 partitions, now filled with xp and vista. i use only win7. how do i remove vista and xp?


  216. B2B Marketing Tools September 9th, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I enjoyed the writing..keep sharing.


  217. Leon Xue September 11th, 2010 at 1:38 am

    nice guide, it is what i am looking for.

    Their are some nice online store which provide a custom computer building service, such as:

    and your suggestion is good for beginers, just update!


  218. Emmanuwelsmith September 13th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    riley suck your mother we wont build you a computer not at all so by cheap head freak


  219. Go Bad September 21st, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Pay for software/OS ? I dont think so, LINUX is your friend


  220. Dean September 23rd, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    want to build a fast computer,would like to play some games surf the net&pay bills decent video card & sound card,something that would last & be upgradeable. currently have xp pro miltary sell off cloned.10years old.


  221. Easypcjobs September 24th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    We are a company in croydon, surrey – urgently need engineers that can build & repair towers, laptops etc. Please email [email protected]


  222. Lomezy September 24th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    i dont agree, i am a 57 year old man asking how to build a computer as mine got a virus from eh well lets not go there :) :) :) :) :) but anyway i would like to be able to put a monitor together and to be able to make a mouse and be able to program it together, many thanks maybe i wont get a virus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOLOLOL


  223. Lomezy September 24th, 2010 at 12:56 pm



  224. Fishindad25 September 25th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    pay for an os torrents are your friend


  225. Fishindad25 September 25th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    format the partitions then expand the one you want to keep just remember to backup any files or pics externally before you remove the partitions


  226. Simon September 26th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    This is awesome just what I was looking for as my comp is old and broken. I need to build a new comp from scratch.


  227. Justin__mtv September 27th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I don’t think you’ll get many engineers looking on ‘how to build your own pc’ pages…!


  228. Asdfw September 28th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    fk 1 tb go for 2 tb


  229. David Barth September 30th, 2010 at 4:12 am

    I would like to benefit from you-all’s expertise. The challenge, for me, is to identify
    components and their dependencies so that I am not faced with incompatible devices.
    What I would like to learn is:
    -The correct Mother Board and “proper” accompanying processor
    which is at the beginning of its life cycle and upgradeable.
    - The Power Supply what wattage
    Can it handle current configurations and future additions.
    -The Case
    What size, does it support Mother Board, Form Factor, How many fans are required – I prefer quiet

    How can I learn this stuff. Thanks,



  230. Hiding.Boy October 5th, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Im 13 and want to get good with computers and know i built my own, but where do I start?


  231. Stevenlemon October 9th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I LOVE Linux, but I have never been able to get my printer to work with it. Is it just me or is this the case always?


  232. Heybulas October 16th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    A friend of mine said that the other night and I’m curious. I’ve read “around” Linux for years and heard the raves. How difficult is it for us regular guys (meaning, I built my PC 3yrs ago, still using WinXP Pro (SP3)).?


  233. Mic October 18th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Shouldn’t be difficult at all. I come from a Mac OS background, so using Terminal sometimes isn’t scary. I’m running Ubuntu 10.10 and been using Ubuntu since July and I haven’t looked back yet. It’s fun and free and everything you need to know can be googled or found on the Ubuntu pages. Try the Live CD boot.


  234. Bmonsterboy October 19th, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Do you know any decent basic terminal tutorials?


  235. Bmonsterboy October 19th, 2010 at 9:08 am

    you may not have the proper drivers. Google “ Linux Drivers”


  236. Evan_albert2132 October 22nd, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    laughing out loud out loud out loud ?????????????wtf dude get off the internet


  237. Evan_albert2132 October 22nd, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    YO get a mac nub


  238. Evan_albert October 22nd, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    linux is a manwhore, vista is your mom. xD


  239. Evan_albert October 22nd, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    dont forget watch some nice porn


  240. Mic October 24th, 2010 at 1:02 am


  241. LBCmamallama October 25th, 2010 at 2:48 am

    It is also possible to upgrade a purchased computer. When I bought one I purposely asked for a midrange machine that had expansion possibilities. When it was time to move up, it was way cheaper to open the case and upgrade it than to buy a whole new one. I opened the case and added more memory (cheaper to get 5 years later than at the original time of purchase) and then upgraded from Windows 98 to XP. I also later added a USB wireless thingy (technica lterm!), so I could move it to a room without a phone jack., and got a wireless router.


  242. Xgdiscox October 29th, 2010 at 12:55 pm



  243. Muhammadgustaffi October 30th, 2010 at 5:22 am

    You can run wow on a fuckin microwave


  244. First-time Builder November 1st, 2010 at 12:34 am

    This was an absolutely phenomenal guide! I was able to get my PC up and running because of it and the motherboard guide. Being my first build, this has been a very valuable and gratifying experience. Thank you so much PC Mech.


  245. Anonymous November 8th, 2010 at 12:32 pm



  246. needs help November 10th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Message: I want to build or buy a htpc with pvr and blu Ray ….needs to have large hdd (2-3)multiple ….tv tuner ….hdmi inputs…..will use to surf the web…like it to be fast,quiet,size is optional….would like a complete compatible parts list and or plexus who could buid for me….also os and software for pvr…can you help.


  247. needs help November 10th, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    here is my parts list for a htpc…i would like to have hdmi inputs/outputs…does this card have one or can it be adapted?

    Hardware Component Price
    Processor Intel Core i7 870 $279.99 check price
    Motherboard ASUS Maximus III Formula $229.99 check price
    Memory G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 1600 $119.99 check price
    Video Card GIGABYTE GV-R587OC-1GD $339.99 check price
    SSD G.SKILL Phoenix FM-25S2S-240GBP1
    $599.00 check price
    Optical Drive Lite-On IHES208-08 Blu-Ray Combo $79.99 check price
    Case Antec Nine Hundred two $109.95 check price
    Power Supply CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W PSU $139.99 check price
    Monitor LG W2486L 24″ LCD Monitor $299.95 check price
    Keyboard & Mouse Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 5500 $119.99 check price


  248. Titanscomputer November 16th, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Thanks for this great series of articles related to pc building. I found your article much helpful for me and soon, I will read all of your articles as I have time. I am also writing articles related to pc building :D here:


  249. David December 31st, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Hi: don’t really know what I’m doing, but would like to build my own pc for general purposes. not good with electronics but would love to learn? any help out there for a newbie?


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