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Windows 7: Building your own computer

10 May 2012   #1
Chips

Windows 7
 
 
Building your own computer

How novice friendly are modern computers to build yourself? Much if any soldering needed? Is it just a case of "plug 'n' play", clip the parts into place like making an advanced Lego set, or am I looking at doing lots of sweating and mind numbing studying of manuels before I can put one together? Do all parts come with easy to follow "Airfix" type instructions to show how you fit them?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 May 2012   #2
Alsisgevat

64bit Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Are you refering to the normal buy a gpu and smack it into the pci slot, or are you talking about making our own motherboard?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

No soldering.

Tools needed: small Phillips screwdriver. Rarely anything else.

Included instructions will be poor to mediocre. Online, you can find lots of help; including this site.

The assembly per se is easy and can be taught in a few hours or an attempt or two.

Choosing the right parts and getting them to perform after assembly is another issue--more difficult.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 May 2012   #4
Dwarf

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Many of us here, myself included, have built our own systems. At first, it might seem a daunting prospect, but, despite their perceived complexity, they are relatively straight forward and you should be able to complete the build in 2-3 hours.

The key is not to rush things, and always have your manuals available to refer to. With the exception of some motherboard headers, all cables will only fit in one orientation (the typical exception being the front panel connectors - power/reset/leds - as these are sometimes in the form of individually wired connectors as opposed to a block unit). If in doubt as to how they connect, refer to the manual and markings on the leads themselves.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #5
James7679

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

This is the most important step of all!

1. It is a good idea to buy an anti-static wristband, and follow the instructions for use.(They are sold at most electronics stores.) If you are going to do quite a lot of bench work, you might do well to invest in an anti-static mat.
2. If you don't have a wristband, you are not necessarily out of luck. Assuming that your PC is grounded, you can ground yourself by just keeping one hand in contact with the bare metal frame (not a painted or coated surface) of the computer case. Keep the PC power cord plugged in to a (3-prong) grounded outlet and turn off the rocker switch on the back of the power supply. If the power supply does not have a switch on the back, this won't work, however. Never work on a PC with the power on. In that case, you should buy an anti-static band or try another method of grounding.
3. As an alternative, alter a standard 3-conductor power cord by snipping off the two flat blades, leaving only the grounding portion of the plug. Or simply purchase a cord like this from an electronics supply house. This accomplishes the same thing as turning off the rocker switch.
4. You can employ an LCD Static Discharger. As a simple measure, you can hang it on your key ring and just dangle it. This is less reliable, but when it touches a ground, it should discharge the static electricity. Procedure:①Lightly touch the oval button with a finger. ②Make sure that the end of the conductive material touches a grounded conductor. (such as vehicle, human body, computer, metal or other) to release static electricity, and observe the LCD display.
5. Some people claim that damage can be reduced by wearing little or no clothing, it is said that the less cloth that is in contact with your body, the less static is produced, though these claims remain unproven.

The average person can carry up to 25,000 volts of static energy at any given time. This sounds like a lot, but because the current level is low, you usually won't notice it. Follow safe ESD procedures any time you open a computer.

If the equipment is cold, wait until it has reached room temperature. ESD builds up much faster when it's cold and dry (low humidity).

If you don't take steps to prevent ESD, you may regret it. Your computer can sustain serious damage without you knowing it. CPUs and memory chips of any kind are highly vulnerable to ESD. If you fry your PC with static electricity, you may soon start to notice random memory errors, blue screens, and lock-ups. Normally, you can't see (or even feel) ESD, but it is almost always there, so be sure to do the right thing. Your PC will thank you!

Try not to open up computers while on thick carpets, petting long-haired pets, dressing, emptying the dryer, etc. Use common sense; don't do anything that would cause you to get a shock from touching something made of metal.

After that,it's pretty much plugging things in to the right place and ensuring that screws are tightened properly. Make sure you have a clean work area also. Have all of your items laid out, organized, so that you aren't looking all over for things while you are building. The hardest part about a build, is getting all of the settings and drivers just right.

It is fun though, so enjoy and good luck. Should you need anything, we are here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #6
Sardonicus

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Before plugging in the power cord and hitting the power switches on the power supply and the case......
1. Check your connections.
2. Check your connections.
3. Check your connections.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #7
James7679

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sardonicus View Post
Before plugging in the power cord and hitting the power switches on the power supply and the case......
1. Check your connections.
2. Check your connections.
3. Check your connections.
lolz, so, you speak from experience there, huh?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #8
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

It's easy enough that my wife built several of them for herself without any technical training of any kind. If you know what each part is, and where it goes, you are done. I have no idea where you got the idea that we actually have to solder our parts....that would be insane!

It's very simple, and motherboard manuals clearly explain how to connect everything together.

However, the best way to do it is to learn like the rest of us did....by watching a friend build the first one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #9
Chips

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alsisgevat View Post
Are you refering to the normal buy a gpu and smack it into the pci slot, or are you talking about making our own motherboard?
I'm talking about a motherboard bought from a shop.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by James7679 View Post
This is the most important step of all!

1. It is a good idea to buy an anti-static wristband, and follow the instructions for use.(They are sold at most electronics stores.) If you are going to do quite a lot of bench work, you might do well to invest in an anti-static mat.
2. If you don't have a wristband, you are not necessarily out of luck. Assuming that your PC is grounded, you can ground yourself by just keeping one hand in contact with the bare metal frame (not a painted or coated surface) of the computer case. Keep the PC power cord plugged in to a (3-prong) grounded outlet and turn off the rocker switch on the back of the power supply. If the power supply does not have a switch on the back, this won't work, however. Never work on a PC with the power on. In that case, you should buy an anti-static band or try another method of grounding.
3. As an alternative, alter a standard 3-conductor power cord by snipping off the two flat blades, leaving only the grounding portion of the plug. Or simply purchase a cord like this from an electronics supply house. This accomplishes the same thing as turning off the rocker switch.
4. You can employ an LCD Static Discharger. As a simple measure, you can hang it on your key ring and just dangle it. This is less reliable, but when it touches a ground, it should discharge the static electricity. Procedure:①Lightly touch the oval button with a finger. ②Make sure that the end of the conductive material touches a grounded conductor. (such as vehicle, human body, computer, metal or other) to release static electricity, and observe the LCD display.
5. Some people claim that damage can be reduced by wearing little or no clothing, it is said that the less cloth that is in contact with your body, the less static is produced, though these claims remain unproven.

The average person can carry up to 25,000 volts of static energy at any given time. This sounds like a lot, but because the current level is low, you usually won't notice it. Follow safe ESD procedures any time you open a computer.

If the equipment is cold, wait until it has reached room temperature. ESD builds up much faster when it's cold and dry (low humidity).

If you don't take steps to prevent ESD, you may regret it. Your computer can sustain serious damage without you knowing it. CPUs and memory chips of any kind are highly vulnerable to ESD. If you fry your PC with static electricity, you may soon start to notice random memory errors, blue screens, and lock-ups. Normally, you can't see (or even feel) ESD, but it is almost always there, so be sure to do the right thing. Your PC will thank you!

Try not to open up computers while on thick carpets, petting long-haired pets, dressing, emptying the dryer, etc. Use common sense; don't do anything that would cause you to get a shock from touching something made of metal.

After that,it's pretty much plugging things in to the right place and ensuring that screws are tightened properly. Make sure you have a clean work area also. Have all of your items laid out, organized, so that you aren't looking all over for things while you are building. The hardest part about a build, is getting all of the settings and drivers just right.

It is fun though, so enjoy and good luck. Should you need anything, we are here.
Blinkin' 'eck! All that's nearly enough to put me off on its own! A bit of a minefield then, eh, especially if you don't have much space? Anti-static wristband. Have to look one of those up. What about rubber gloves?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #10
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I'd wager that over 90% of home-built PCs were not built with an anti-static wrist strap.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Building your own computer




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