General Question

omtatsat's avatar

Have you ever built your own PC?

Asked by omtatsat (743points) 1 week ago

Any how did it go? What complications did you encounter?

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9 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Only partly. And that was when I regularly hung out with computer engineers at work. Complications were mainly about which parts actually work well with which other parts, what arcane jumper and dip switch settings need to be made, configuring the BIOS, making sure you don’t kill something with static electricity from your body, hard drives or other parts that are actually broken, and, when you turn it on and things do not work, figuring out WTF is actually the problem.

Oh, and also, poorly-fitting or otherwise physically-problematic cases and components and screws and stuff. Groan.

More recently, just trying to, y’know, install Linux alongside Windows version 8 or later, there are the issues with the Micro$oft security bullshit, such as UEFI, “Smart (ass) Boot”, and now with Win 11, the excessive TPM requirements, which strike me as passive aggressive attempts to discourage people from using Linux on computers with Windows, as well as an attempt to claim control and ownership of security, encryption, and physical machine ID by Micro$oft.

Demosthenes's avatar

Yes, I have built a couple. The last time was the summer of 2018. What I found to be challenging was creating a cooling system that worked well. I found motherboard fan control software to be largely crap and I had fans that were either too loud or barely running at all. Eventually I got it figured out, in part by using a hardware fan controller. Don’t even get me started on trying to sync RGB lighting, but that’s a fairly trivial problem. I was also using a small case, so I had problems with cable management and the cables in my current PC are a big jumble.

The problem now is that some parts are hard to find and very expensive, especially graphics cards. There are no decent graphics cards available right now that aren’t being sold at huge markups. Can’t recommend PC building right now unless you already have a graphics card or are planning on using integrated graphics.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I’ve built several. It is rather easy these days – the hardware and OS software have become much more forgiving and they automagically set themselves up together.

Right now, WIndows 11 presents a little complication. It has strict hardware requirements, so I would buy a CPU and motherboard which will run it. Even if you plan to use Linux, I would make the machine Windows 11 compatible, to keep your options open.

Newegg.com is a place I like for PC component shopping, and they allow you to filter CPUs and motherboards for Win 11 compatibility.

Also, here are Microsoft’s CPU lists:

Microsoft – Windows 11 supported Intel processors

Microsoft – Windows 11 supported AMD processors

acroyear137's avatar

The answer is no, but I want to create my own computer in the future.

omtatsat's avatar

I built my own. Pretty straight forward if one takes ones time and reads up before. The part that annoyed me was the CPU cooler. Whenever I start my PC now theres always a bios error message saying the CPU cooler is not cooling enough which it is. I set the bios so that it overides this message and starts normally.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Yes, many of them.

dabbler's avatar

Excellent answer from @Call_Me_Jay, these days it is not too difficult to build a good desktop machine for a lot less money than you would spend for a built box with the same specs.
Figure out what you need (<=what do you expect to do on your computer).
If you are not a gamer the built-in graphics (Intel or AMD) on most motherboards are great, usually 4K and support for multiple monitors, so you don’t need an extra graphics card.

Install lots of DRAM, 8Gb at least or 16GB, personally I build with Crucial and they have always been reliable, reasonably priced, and made in U.S.

Figure out what OS you want to run ahead of time and make sure your new hardware is compatible – as mentioned above Win 11 has special requirements while most Linux installations can deal with a wide variety of hardware.

I shop at Newegg, Monoprice, Microcenter, and TigerDirect.

If at all possible have another computer available to consult online resources for solutions and tips while you build.

RocketGuy's avatar

I’ve built a couple. The answers above describe well the difficulties. After I built my last one, I realized that I could find deals on Dells and HPs that were only a bit more expensive than a homebuilt one. I’ve been buying pre-made ones ever since. It just takes a lot of time figuring out what features I really need then poking through promos to find the one that has all of those features at a good price.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@RocketGuy Some amazing deals on refurbs and off lease at Dell. It makes it hard to justify building when you just want a budget machine. I still build simply because I’m picky about the smaller details. That and I still enjoy building PCs.

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