By: Osvaldo Matos
“A computer made by me would be very convenient because it would be made to my specifications and also would have sentimental value because it was made by my hands; I tend to prefer things done by me.”-Daniel Molina, information system student at University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez campus.
Have you ever thought about building your own computer? Building a computer by yourself can be a great way to save big amounts of money; also you will learn how the computer electronics works.
There are many reasons why you would build a computer; you have to think about what you need it for. You can create a custom machine that matches your needs. Also, it will be easier to upgrade because you know the computer and most importantly, you will be able to save money.
The first step is deciding what type of computer you want; it can be an inexpensive computer just for searching on the internet and doing college homework; a powerful computer just for gaming; or a machine with a lot space for video editing. The possibilities are endless and the decision you make is important. Therefore, you will invest money building the computer that fits you.
Let’s imagine that you want to build a gaming computer. If you want it to have a good video card, a Dual CPU, lots of RAM and at least 1 Terabyte Hard Drive; these requirements will have you look for a motherboard that supports those components so the computer can work properly.
You have to choose the Motherboard, this is the most important component and the most interesting because in the market; there are millions of motherboards to choose from. Let’s break them into three categories. There are the cheap motherboards that are about $50 these are for people that use computer for daily; also, there are the middle motherboards which are $50 to $100: these are usually for office or home owners that don’t want to spend too much on an expensive computer and these two categories are the high-usage motherboard or extreme motherboards, these are the ones that gaming users look for when they choose to build their own computer. Gaming motherboards cost about $100 to $200; this may have extra sockets for a processor and RAM or a sort of special features for gaming.
You need to decide if you want to build a cheap computer or an extreme gaming one. Now you have to decide for an AMD processor or Intel processor. AMD chips are more often cheaper than Intel. Also the gaming users prefer to spend more on an Intel chip. Now Inter has the i3, i5 and i7 these are the new processors in the market that offer the user a satisfaction for a workplace, home or gaming computers is about.
Then, how many USB slots you want to have on the computer; the capacity of the hard drive and want a IDE or Sata that have less cables and more easy to install. You can choose a CD-RW drive for a cheaper computer or for burning DVD; you can choose a DVD-RW. You can’t miss the operating system. The best seller on modern computers and gaming computers is Windows 7 (which comes in basic, home premium, professional and ultimate edition).
To buy computer parts, you have many choices; Options are ebay.com or amazon.com or by a local parts retailer or a national chain like Office Max or CompUSA.
A very important point is to learn about the electric static. To get rid of the electric static of the body is preferred to work on a grounded area. Now that you made sure to work on a grounded area, you can start building your own custom computer.
First start by inserting the memory RAM on the motherboard slots but make sure they are really inserted, then the CPU let say you choose an Intel chip insert it on the socket that the mother board has. The CPU manual contains instructions on how to put the heat sink on the processor. After this the motherboard is ready to put in the computer box. Now you can install the power supply inside the computer case. The power supply has two sides; the fan side faces outside the case and the wire inside. Then connect the wires to the mother board. You’ll be left with 15 cables; don’t worry the instructions will tell you exactly where they have to be connected.
The hard drive and the CD/DVD-RW are the final part to install inside the computer case. If you choose an IDE HD, make sure that the jumper is on the right position, so the HD can work properly and plug the cable in a connector on the motherboard labeled as “1” instead, if you chose a sata hard drive is more easy because it only has one cable that is directly connected to the mother board without any problem. The CD/DVD-RW is exactly like a hard drive in manners of connecting to the mother board.
Now comes the time to test if the computer works; if anything doesn’t come out on the pc monitor start troubleshooting to see if there’s something wrong. If not, congratulations you just made your own computer. Now install the operating system and you are good to go with a new custom PC.