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How To Build A Computer - Initial Decisions

Initial decisions in learning how to build a computer are really about purchasing. Before buying anything for your new computer, you’ll need to make some decision. These will help you to determine the components you need, and how much you have to spend to get the desired results from your 'build'.

Initial Decisions


What are you planning to do with your computer?

Are you a gamer? Small business owner? Do you do a lot of video editing? These are just a few of the uses for your new computer. What you plan to do with your computer will, in large part, determine how much you will need to spend on it. Gaming computers are going to be the most expensive. If you want to play today’s games at the highest resolutions with smooth, and fast, game play, you will need a machine that can handle high end graphics, and that has the processing power to keep up.

Do you do a lot of video editing? This type of machine can go either way. If you are a professional video editor, or have a side business, you will most likely want a better machine than if you simply do it at home for your personal use. The decision is yours.

Are you simply looking for a machine to do some basic word processing, maybe some home finances, or read your email and surf the web? Then your initial decisions will be fairly simple because those activities don't need high-end (and expensive) equipment. You can buy components pretty inexpensively for basic needs.


What is the budget for your new computer?

Another initial decision is how much money you want to spend. Do you only want to spend $300? Is the sky the limit? The amount of money that you can budget for the computer will in part determine what you can do with the computer. If you want to play the latest games, $300 just won’t get you a system to do it. And, again, if you only want to do basic email, some worksheets, and word processing along with some internet searching and access, then there really is no need to spend $4000 on your computer.

Where are you planning to get the components? Because where you get your components will have an effect on the cost of your computer. There is a big price difference between going to your local computer store and buying online from a site like Newegg or TigerDirect. Typically buying online will save you money but you have to plan ahead a bit because it does take more time to deliver. The best way to save money online is to plan out all the parts you are going to need, and then get them all at once.

This will save you on shipping costs and times; and if you place an order over a certain dollar amount, often the shipping will be free or discounted. This disadvantage to buying online can be if you receive a non-working part (and yes it does happen on occasion - but not that often). It can be a bit of hassle to return the part and get it exchanged. However over all there are good cost savings to online buying of computer components; I've also found that it's more cost effective than buying at the local store (the local computer stores have to pay more to be located near to you).

That's it for the first step in how to build a computer. Once you have made these initial decisions, move on to the next step.

Step Two – Purchasing Computer Components


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Thanks for
Clear Guide

"Putting the parts together was relatively straightforward. The only snag we hit (my son & I) was getting the CPU fan aligned properly. We had 3 pins in, then noticed when we turned the board over that one wasn't through.

After struggling (carefully!) for 10 minutes, we loosened the other pins, aligned all the pins and we were away again.

The hardest part, I thought, was the wiring. And here your guide really shined.

Most of the other guides ignore it, or just say 'connect all the wires properly'. So thanks for the details (because the devil really is in those wiring details)."

Don, the Netherlands



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