Build a new computer

I am considering building my own computer. Is it worth it, how difficult is it (I am 13 years old), give it a rating 1-10, 1 being easy 10 being difficult:rolleyes:

It depends on how you define “is it worth it”? For most users out there, a ready made box is as cheap as building one for yourself. I personally use only computers that I build, but I tend to have very specific hardware needs (namely gaming) and I can usually build it myself a little cheaper, especially since I know I can upgrade fairly easily. If you plan on just using the box for email, web, stuff like that, a cheap deal from Dell is hard to beat, I think. Now if you want the satisfaction of building it yourself, then by all means go for it. It isnt hard, as long as you take your time, and do some research. There a many tutorials online detailing step by step how to do it, plus most of us here can help, also. Id say a basic box may be like a 3, more advanced systems usually just mean adding more cards. I think cost is probably the overiding issue. In the US, an OEM copy of Windows XP Home runs around $90. But you can buy a Dell, with a 15" LCD, 512mb DDR, 160GB hdd, and a fairly highend Celeron (I know its just a celeron) for around $400. For me to build a similar system, it would cost me at least $600, but I dont cut corners on hardware, like Dell does, and I have manufacturers warranties that are better than Dell’s 90day one. But to buy a system similar to my setup, I saved a few hundred dollars. (My power supply alone was $220) Like I said, its not difficult, as long as you know what youre doing, and you do gain some satisfaction of doing it yourself.

Let me go out on a limb here, and try to understand me if I sound like I’m patronising. Since you mention your age, I think a factor is cost and experience. For an “average” 13 year old money is a big factor and so too is experience. On that basis, I would rate it at about a 7. However, you have plenty of people here who could talk you through any hardware and software issues, so that reduces the “experience” difficulty by a few notches.

Then comes the cost, and I can’t judge how difficult that is for you. You can pick up cheap hardware on eBay and other places for a few £ here and there. If you have access to somewhere between £100 and £150 then you can build a perfectly respectable machine by using second-hand parts. The operating system needs some thought. Windows comes at a price, but if you are prepared to work your way into Linux, then it’s free.

I would start at the low end. Making mistakes the first time round will be cheaper that way and you can always sell it to your mates at a profit and build another more powerful box.

So, if money is not a big problem, then I tend to agree with colossusx and rate it about 3-4. The really big benefit you will gain is the massive satisfaction and wealth of experience. Who knows it could kick start a future career. I would say go for it if funds allow.

some sound and well thought out advice there :agree:

The building issue can be half removed with the many “barebones” systems now available, but on first build I would say the scariest is always the bit dealing with what is generally the most expensive, getting the CPU and cooler correctly aligned and fitted. Most other bits are colour coded on latest hardware and simply won’t fit in the wrong hole. I’ve seen some interesting efforts at first build front panel connections.


those USB front panel connections are a ****ing pain… my old case had a nice universal BLOCK, Lovly, goes in, no problems, no worries… except i dont actually use the front of my case [i have the BACK pointing towards me]

Compies i built for other people who say they ‘NEED’ the front USB stuff have loads and loads and loads of individual wires, and the manual will say something like 4++, 4–, 5++, 5–, VCC+, VCC-, ect which would be nice and easy to align up… but whats written on the wires NEVER EVER corrisponds to the manual… EVER… its all …
/me walks away from keyboard to calm down

im good now…sorry about that!

ow, and like what DT said, most hardware will only fit into 1 place now… super easy to actually put together as long as u know the hardware u have all works together [eg not buying a SocketA CPU and a 939 motherboard]
only other prob i could think of is the whole Master/Slave thing, which i guess someone else could explain better than i could without having to draw pictures…

… i like pictures

Money is no problem I have the equivelent of $2000 availible so I think I might just do it!!!

Nice budget…might be an idea to price up the items you are thinking of buying and post a list on here so people have an idea, and can then advise on the setup.


or Drool over it!

The Rand (South African currency) got much weaker over the past few weeks already, the price of computers is increasing so PLEASE, no

if you have that much budget, i would suggest spending about $100 on an old system, stripping it down and noting what does what, then cleaning it all up and rebuilding it.

with luck it will work and you can resell it, if you break anything its a cheaper mistake than with new stuff, and you will have a better idea when approaching the new build.

as for how easy… probably the hardest part is securely mounting the motherboard if its a small case. after that its pretty easy until you get all the individual wires to connect up - and they never get labelled properly.

the worst part is trying to decipher instructions that were written in technical chinese and translated into english by a dyslexic korean rice farmer!

hardware difficulty 4.
frustration 8.

Thanks for the motivation

i would say you can do it, its not hard just take your time, and echoing what others have said it would be well worth pulling an old machine to bits and putting it back together just to see how things fit together.

(my first ever build was a 486 and i managed to connect the AT power supply wrong a blew the whole thing up, i was very glad i had only payed £10 for all the parts)

good luck :slight_smile:

I have opened up the computer I decided to upgrade, how do these specifications sound:

Hard drive: 19Gb to 320GB
RAM:128MB to 2GB
CPU:Celeron 833Mhz to AMD Athon 64X2 4400+
Graphics card: 8Mb to Nvidia 7600GT 256MB

I am also going to split the hard drive and put in Windows XP Prof 64Bit editon

This is just some of the basic stuff, I got someone to help for free, the guy who built my computer six years ago,when I was 7. I just hope the weakening Rand doesnt affect computer components to bad, they already expensive enough.

If anyone has any ideas/comments or just advise PLEASE let me hear them!!

if the processor in the pc now is a pentium 3 youll be hard pushed to get a pentium 4 3ghz in that…

what your really want to do… is strip that pc down to the bone… then put it back together… if it all works after that try it again… do it a few times then build your pc…

Approx how long will it take to reconstruct my PC, with help.

an hour to have explained what everything is would be my estimate. I knock up new parts into diskless workstations for crunching in about ten minutes :chuckle:


Ok, practise today, play tommorow. Anyway does anyone have a guide to building a computer.

yes but your a tart :stuck_out_tongue: hes a padwan tart :stuck_out_tongue:

A quick Yahoo around and I found this if it will help. It’s not the easiest to navigate, but all the basics seem to be there.

/edit and here’s a slightly better one to navigate for you.

and one more, which has a little more info for you, goes into more depth and has more graphics too!!

What would be a good deal for a Intel Pentium 4 550 processor prescott 3.4Ghz LGA775