I built a new PC from parts for the first time a few months ago, and it’s only a little embarrassing to say that the fully-assembled system is one of my proudest accomplishments. I finally got around to writing up the process over at Lifehacker this morning.
I know, I know, building your own PC is sooo 2001, but I’m here to assure you: it’s never to late. My final system cost about 800 bucks (not including stuff I already owned, like a licensed copy of Windows, which jacks up the price a whole lot if you have to buy it). It’s got an Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at 3.16GHz with 4GB of RAM, about 500GB of hard drive space, and a fancy video card I am surely not using to full capacity.
If you’ve never built your own PC but are curious, check out my full article: The First-Timer’s Guide to Building a Computer from Scratch. If you’ve built dozens of your own computers over the years, you can just point and laugh at one newbie’s overdue revelation. Either way is ok with me.
I think it’s been at least 6 or 7 years since I build my own PC completely from scratch. It was always a proud accomplishment when it was finally put together and working, but sometimes I would lose my cool when trying to figure out which jumper on the motherboard needed to go where. Luckily, I think the motherboards are much easier to work with these days.
I still think about putting another one together in order to play games that I really don’t have the chance to play on my Macbook Pro.
In my case, it has been a long time scratching hands inside tower cases, dealing with little screws and plugs. I think about 10 years or so, with a 486DXII with math co-processor! 🙂
“sometimes I would lose my cool when trying to figure out which jumper on the motherboard needed to go where.”
Heh, “lose my cool” is the perfect way to put this. I lost mine a few times in the process!
Chad Stephen Albert
I just built my first PC in January. It’s getting harder I think, to get a better deal by building rather than buying off the shelf. Desktop prices are dropping fast. The biggest advantage remaining is the ability to upgrade parts at differing intervals.
My new motherboard will be here in a week, I’m looking forward to playing around with the CPU, Main reason I upgraded was because I needed more Sata ports. This one has 8, should be enough.
The last time I built a desktop, I spent days researching every part. I wanted a silent computer. I spent extra optimizing every part.
While I was waiting for the parts Dell has a amazing deal on a Dimension computer ($230 or so), so I ordered it for a family member. After building the silent desktop, I noticed that the dell was just as silent at a fraction of the cost.
That was the last computer I’ve built (and last desktop I had).
I build my own desktops for one reason: control. I can decide on all the parameters. As the RUSH song says:
“From the point of ignition
To the final drive
The point of a journey
Is not to arrive”
It’s all about the experience and the subsequent enrichment in your life.
Great article Gina, as usual . . .