Can I build my own PC?

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Offshore
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Can I build my own PC?

Post by Offshore »

My son's computer needs replacing. He is 10 and I thought we could have a nice experience, together, by building his replacement computer.

It would have basic specs and software. Wireless network card is a must, and I would use Windows 7 operating system. Otherwise, I have no preconceived ideas.

How hard is this? I have heard loading the software is the hardest part. I have no training in the computer sciences.

Are kits available? Would love to hear from someone who has actually done this.
hicabob
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Post by hicabob »

most people find the process frustrating due to incompatabilities, etc. You would just be plugging premade parts together - you are not really "building " anything. Unless you have a specific need for something special, probably better to buy something with a warranty .. at least then the cpu/mb/memory/etc will work together and you will save $$.
riots_rus
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Post by riots_rus »

You don't need any training, I start building PCs almost ten years ago when I was 16. These days I buy a base system from dell/HP and upgrade the RAM and video card. I think you'll find this is the most cost effective route these days.
Random Poster
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Post by Random Poster »

Didn't there used to be Heath kits or something like that 20 or so years ago, where you could build your own computer? Not sure what happened to them....
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Offshore
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Post by Offshore »

Hmm.

I am not seeking frustration, that's for sure. I was hoping to find a kit where components would be known to be compatible.

I disagree that a kit would not be "building" anything, even if parts just need to be plugged into the motherboard. To a 10 year old this is "building something".
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Offshore
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Post by Offshore »

riots_rus: If upgrading barebones systems is the best way to go, I am likely to just buy one and give up the idea of building. This is because my son doesn't need any upgrades. Even entry level specs on today's machines are faster with more memory than what we are replacing.

Still hoping to find a kit...
KyleAAA
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Post by KyleAAA »

If you can operate a screwdriver, you can assemble a computer.
FafnerMorell
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Post by FafnerMorell »

The web site
http://www.extremetech.com/
has a couple of articles on building one's own PC. I've done it a few times

newegg.com is a web shopping site that caters to folks building their own - there are often very good reviews with respect to this.

Generally not any cheaper than buying an HP or Dell or such (in fact, its usually a bit more expensive) - the advantage is you don't get all the bloatware if you build your own, disadvantage is you'd probably save money by buying an HP & using freeware to strip out the bloatware and then putting in a new video card (if you want to use it for gaming).
mschmitt
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Post by mschmitt »

I've built my last two computers and it really is very simple. I think the hardest part is selecting the parts / brand names you want to use.

Also, Newegg does sell build it yourself kits:
http://www.newegg.com/Store/MasterCombo ... undled.jpg
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Bounca
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Post by Bounca »

Research. There are no beginner’s kits out there that I know of. No brew your own beer in a bucket over night type kits. I’ve done about 5 builds. Everything to a high end gaming machine to an el cheapo one for my Mom. It is very rewarding in my opinion and would be a wonderful learning experience for your kid.

Putting the processor and heat sink assembly on the motherboard is probably the most challenging thing physically. You typically have to use a surprising amount of force and finger dexterity. Each of these components comes with a general set of instructions, but research on the internet is your best bet. In terms of compatibility you’ll first decision is Pentium or Athlon processor and which speed, because that is what determines your chipset socket type for the motherboard. Setting parameters up in the BIOS such as first boot device, etc. can be a little intimidating. Ehh….I could go on. Just research things, have fun and good luck.

And yes, every build I've done the parts have come from Newegg.com
dongrussell
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Post by dongrussell »

I've built computers for myself and others since the dawn of the digital age. I wouldn't do it again. If you decide to go ahead with it, it helps to have a computer-savy friend who will have lots of spare parts, or at least a fully-stocked computer store nearby (Fry's, Microcenter, etc.). The problems start when you get it together. Assuming it won't turn on, you'll have to determine if it's a bad connection, bad power supply, bad motherbord/processor/memory, bad power switch, etc. It could be a nightmare if you bought everything on-line from different vendors. Then you may need to go to the websites of the manufacturers of various components to get current software for your chosen operating system. Then you may get it working (sort of) and have intermittant problems - not at all easy to diagnose. Much easier to take a pre-built computer to the computer store and say "Fix it or give me a new one".
ianferrel
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Post by ianferrel »

Building computers is easy... as long as everything works.

Most motherboards and chips come with a nice big Getting Started poster that walks you through plugging things in and early bringup.

Plugging in a DVD drive and booting off a Windows installation disk is pretty simple, too, and it will walk you through the steps.

The tricky part is if something isn't working correctly. For example, the last computer I built, I had some technical difficulties. When I plugged everything in and started it up, all I got was a series of beeps from the system speaker. I had to go online and look up the beep codes for the system (when something goes really wrong in early startup, a motherboard will issue a series of beeps that indicate where the problem is) to find out what the problem was, then I had to experiment to see where the fault was. The beep codes indicated an error in a startup memory test. For anything like this, it helps a lot to have spare parts sitting around. Usually, an error like this indicates bad memory. But I had some spare memory around that I knew was good (I tested it in another system first), and that didn't fix the problem. I tried a few other replacements until I discovered that the problem was actually that my power supply was faulty. If I hadn't had essentially enough spare parts around to swap everything out and test it, it would have been much harder to solve. I'd have had to buy replacement memory (then been frustrated when that didn't fix things), then maybe I'd have tried to replace the board itself, etc.

Now, usually things won't go wrong. But you should be aware that if they do and you're not experienced, it could be a slow and frustrating process.
arthurb999
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Post by arthurb999 »

The past 2 machines I've owned are from HP. I buy one with a good processor and upgrade the video card and RAM (and move my good power supply).
greensky
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Re: Can I build my own PC?

Post by greensky »

Offshore wrote:My son's computer needs replacing. He is 10 and I thought we could have a nice experience, together, by building his replacement computer.

It would have basic specs and software. Wireless network card is a must, and I would use Windows 7 operating system. Otherwise, I have no preconceived ideas.

How hard is this? I have heard loading the software is the hardest part. I have no training in the computer sciences.

Are kits available? Would love to hear from someone who has actually done this.
Building a PC is quite easy as long as you read up a little bit and it's a lot of fun. I recommend visiting reddit.com/r/buildapc That section of the side is dedicated to building your own PC. People are super helpful there. They help post the parts they are putting together and other people help review their choices. They also have links along the right side of the page that can help. There are parts of the site that are NOT suitable for kids, so be aware of that.
Last edited by greensky on Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
pochax
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Post by pochax »

check these out:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... -Spot%2002

make sure you have an OS (Win 7 vs. XP vs. Ubuntu) readily available - many of these kits don't come with one. make sure you have a dust-free zone and take precautions not to electrocute yourself. knock yourself out...sounds fun!
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archbish99
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Post by archbish99 »

These days, you don't save a ton of money building yourself, but it's a fun experience. Not really that hard -- just have to do some thinking about the pieces.

Here's my general approach:
- Pick a case - from full size ATX down to tiny micro-ATX, it's all a question of size.

- Pick a CPU - Intel and AMD are both excellent. AMD tends to be a bit cheaper, while Intel will have the newest tech first. I generally get semi-recent AMD when building a new system.

- (Optional) CPU fan and heatsink. Many CPUs will include their own, but they generally aren't the greatest quality. Consider getting your own; you'll also need thermal paste to install this.

- Pick a motherboard that supports that CPU and fits in that case. Considerations here are number/type of hard drive ports, RAM slots, and expansion cards. Also look for onboard Ethernet, etc.

- Pick RAM that works with the motherboard. The MB specs will tell you what type/speed RAM it supports.

- Get a hard drive, optical drive, and other add-ons (e.g. Wireless card). These will generally work regardless.

- (Optional) On-board video is generally more than sufficient for Windows. If your son is likely to get into video games, you might want a beefier video card as an add-on. You could also add this later, assuming you leave a free slot on the Motherboard for it.

There are "barebones" systems which package a case, motherboard, and sometimes CPU together. These give you a good starting point -- add a drives and RAM, and you're off to a start.
thechoson
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Post by thechoson »

I did this back in college a couple of times.

These days its not much of a cost saver because PC prices are so low, so I stopped doing it.

And I found it not too difficult as long as I got the correct guidance through friends/ books.
Lumpr
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Post by Lumpr »

FafnerMorell wrote:The web site
http://www.extremetech.com/
has a couple of articles on building one's own PC. I've done it a few times

newegg.com is a web shopping site that caters to folks building their own - there are often very good reviews with respect to this.

Generally not any cheaper than buying an HP or Dell or such (in fact, its usually a bit more expensive) - the advantage is you don't get all the bloatware if you build your own, disadvantage is you'd probably save money by buying an HP & using freeware to strip out the bloatware and then putting in a new video card (if you want to use it for gaming).
+1

Also a website called tomshardware has good DIY computer build guides.
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Gary
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Post by Gary »

I've been building PCs for years, but then I'm a techie.

Read this arstechnica article. It will get you started.

Check out the parts list for their "budget box" or "hot rod". Those will give you a start on what you may need.

Hope this helps.

--Gary
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gatorking
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Post by gatorking »

Seek help at a Fry's Electronics store, if possible.
SP-diceman
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Post by SP-diceman »

Random Poster wrote:Didn't there used to be Heath kits or something like that 20 or so years ago, where you could build your own computer? Not sure what happened to them....
They were before computers.
Was typically things like TV's, radio's, stereo amplifiers, electronic test equipment.

They now work with education.


Thanks
SP-diceman
hicabob
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Post by hicabob »

SP-diceman wrote:
Random Poster wrote:Didn't there used to be Heath kits or something like that 20 or so years ago, where you could build your own computer? Not sure what happened to them....
They were before computers.
Was typically things like TV's, radio's, stereo amplifiers, electronic test equipment.

They now work with education.


Thanks
SP-diceman
Heathkit most certainly did have computer kits ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Heath ... mputer.jpg

Back in the olden days, we used to solder Heathkit terminals together for our VAX 750 to save a few bucks.
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Watty
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Post by Watty »

My son's computer needs replacing. He is 10 and I thought we could have a nice experience, together, by building his replacement computer.

If it is mainly the experience that you are looking for and not just to save money for then you might consider what my son and I did when he was a few years older than your son.

That was to build a Mame Machine (Google this) using an old PC.

What this is, is that people have written emulators for the hardware and operating systems that was used to run the old arcade video games that go back to the 1970's like Pacman. You can then download the Roms from the old video games and then run them on the emulator on your PC. There are literally thousands of these old games available.

If your son's old PC is still working OK but just needs to be replaced with a more modern one then it would probably be more than adequate to run most arcade games since most of them only require the computing power that was available several decades ago.

There are web sites where you can order all sorts of buttons and joysticks for a reasonable price and then you can build a full size arcade game cabinet out of wood to put the PC in. In addition to the electronics this also gets in basic woodworking and painting. If space is a limitation then there are also desktop and table size machines that take up less space.

If you watch your budget you should be able to build a basic one for a few hundred dollars. For us this was sort of an on and off project so we would sometime go for a few months without doing much so it took a couple of years for us to finish it.

This also can work out well as a two person project since with just building a PC a lot of time would be spent with one person just watching the other person do the work.

It wasn't the main motive(but it was in the back of my head) but this helped get my son interested in computers and now he is a senior in computer science in college.
MWCA
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Post by MWCA »

Ive built 3 of them. Not hard to do. You just need to make sure the parts work together. Ive bought my last 2. Companies can make them so cheap its not worth it doing it yourself. Unless you would like the experience of building one with your son.
We are all worms. But I believe that I am a glow-worm.
i<3Investing
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Re: Can I build my own PC?

Post by i<3Investing »

Offshore wrote:Would love to hear from someone who has actually done this.
I built my first PC at 8. I've probably put together 7 or 8 since then. It really isn't that difficult. The two main problems i've had in the past were mainly: installing Windows and making sure there are not hardware conflicts..

The reason I haven't built a computer in the last 4 years is because with sites like newegg and dealigg cpu's have become so inexpensive that in my opinion there really isn't a very large savings by building it yourself (you can get a good dual core for 400 now and quad core for 600).

But if you want this as a father/son bonding experience then it is fun to get under the hood (and it really helps to know how to put one together if you ever want to replace parts).
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TrustNoOne
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Post by TrustNoOne »

I built many PC's out of spare parts back in the late 90's. Its not really hard- you are mainly assemblying various parts into a whole. I haven't done it for a while, so I don't know how computers may have changed. Once you get it assembled, the software installation is necessary, and even if all the parts are free the software may not be. (When I was doing it, the operating systems were provided with pretty much unlimited copying.)

In the end, it may not be a cheap way to go. There were plenty of books and resources on how do it 10 years ago, so I imagine that's still true.

Many hobbies originated because it was an economical way to obtain something too expensive to buy outright. I used to build telescopes and grind my own mirrors. Now its very hard to find a kit, and even if you could, a completed unit costs less. The same may well be true of RC model airplanes and cars.
coolgoose
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Post by coolgoose »

If u want HassleFree PC that lasts 2-5 years, then look for a deal using fatwallet/slickdeals.

If u want a fulfilling experience, want to enjoy making something of your 'own' and have the patience to handle issues if they arise, then research sites such as Devhardware.com and ones mentioned above. Also, slickdeals has a thread on 'build your own PC'.

From a Computer Nerd's point of view -
- Dell/HP PCs are like buying a leased car....enjoying it for couple of years and moving on to next one.
- Building own PC is more of an investment that is a long term commitment and u will treat it like your own baby :)
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wander
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Re: Can I build my own PC?

Post by wander »

Offshore wrote:My son's computer needs replacing. He is 10 and I thought we could have a nice experience, together, by building his replacement computer.

It would have basic specs and software. Wireless network card is a must, and I would use Windows 7 operating system. Otherwise, I have no preconceived ideas.

How hard is this? I have heard loading the software is the hardest part. I have no training in the computer sciences.

Are kits available? Would love to hear from someone who has actually done this.
Sure you can. It's pretty easy. I haven't bought a brand name desktop before.
Grasshopper
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Post by Grasshopper »

My Dad and I built a Heathkit Shortwave radio, he wouldn't let me solder. I may have only put the radio tubes in. Yikes
SP-diceman wrote:
Random Poster wrote:Didn't there used to be Heath kits or something like that 20 or so years ago, where you could build your own computer? Not sure what happened to them....
They were before computers.
Was typically things like TV's, radio's, stereo amplifiers, electronic test equipment.

They now work with education.


Thanks
SP-diceman
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JupiterJones
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Post by JupiterJones »

hicabob wrote: Heathkit most certainly did have computer kits ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Heath ... mputer.jpg
Yup. One of the first computers I ever put my mitts on was a Heathkit H89 that a friend of mine's dad soldered together over a period of a few months in the basement.

Image

He ran CP/M on it, as I recall. Good times...

Actually, in the early days lots of personal computers were sold as kits, or at least gave you the choice of pre-built or kit. The Altair 8800, the ZX81... even the Apple I was a partial kit (the board was pre-built, but you had to make your own case, add a power supply, etc.)


JJ
Last edited by JupiterJones on Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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touchdowntodd
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Post by touchdowntodd »

built my first 5 or 6 PCs from parts obtained from newegg ..

in all honesty i dont think it makes financial sense anymore unless you need somethin crazy for an odd program ... a $300 computer from best buy or somewhere similar is usually 5x the computer the average person needs ..

i remember spending about $800 in parts to build an AMD 64 based PC years ago .. the $300 acer laptop im on now has more memory, and runs faster LOL ... and its 2 years old already ..

one word of advice if you do build it, get dust free gloves .. my friend blew out his motherboard because it got contaminated from his hands during install ... rarely happens, but ruined his day LOL
tryin to do this right... thanks guys
tibbitts
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Post by tibbitts »

Building a computer is not financially practical, but it would be a good educational experience for a child to assemble the components. I suppose if you want to pay as little as possible, you could buy an assembled computer, take it completely apart, then give him the pieces to him to assemble. Just tell him it came unassembled. Then you would know that if he did it correctly, it would work (assuming you tested it prior to disassembly - which would be a good idea.)

Paul
jaxxmjd
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Post by jaxxmjd »

The process is quite easy. There are many guides available online to help you with the process. They're designed for people who are unfamiliar with the inner workings or installing an operating system (OS).

The biggest challenge, in my opinion, is the planning stage. Making sure you choose components that are compatible with each other is very important so that your computer is optimized. If you buy high end memory that your motherboard can't take advantage of, you're wasting money. The focus will be on choosing a decent CPU, memory, and a motherboard that can tie them together.
DblDoc
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Post by DblDoc »

I've built our last 4 computers. I use parts from NewEgg and spend some time at Tom's Hardware: http://www.tomshardware.com/. They post builds for a variety of machines (cheap to top of the line) every few months. If you look back 6-12 months the parts will now be cheaper and you can winnow out the reliable ones based on reviews at NewEgg.

DD
patrick
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Post by patrick »

Here are my general observations -- I have built a few computers myself:

1. Building a computer is not that difficult and does not require any specialized skills. You probably need a screwdriver but you certainly don't need a soldering iron.

2. Installing Windows on a fresh machine is quite easy, and as a bonus you won't have any crapware installed by default. For the most you just insert the installation DVD, wait a while, and click through a few dialogs.

3. Installing device drivers shouldn't be much of a problem either. Almost all recent hardware is supported by the drivers included with Windows, and if you have a piece of hardware that isn't (or want the latest driver) it's just a matter of searching on the manufacturer's web site.

4. Hardware incompatibilites are unlikely with current components. For the CPU it is probably best to make sure the CPU you choose is on the list supported by your motherboard. For every other piece of hardware it is enough to make sure that your motherboard has the right type of connector. That is, if the motherboard has DDR3 memory slots you must use DD3 memory, you should have at least one PCI slot if you want to plug in a PCI wireless card, and so on.

5. For a low-end computer it is likely to be much cheaper to buy a pre-made computer than build it yourself. A possible exception is if you are going to re-use a significant number of components from the old computer (you may need to be a bit more careful with if you are going to do that -- a USB mouse from 10 years ago is fine and a PS/2 mouse from 10 years ago is fine if your motherboard has a PS/2 connector, but a video card from 10 years ago almost certainly can't be connected and even if it can it is very underpowered compared to a modern one).
BGJ
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Post by BGJ »

I always build my own PC's, but that's because I find it fun to do, it's a hobby. There is no big quality improvement or money saving to be had, especially if you have never done it before, because the first one will almost certainly take a long time. Back in 1995 when I started you really could get a better PC and save significant money building your own, but not really anymore. However, it is an educational experience and you will learn lots about PC's, operating systems, hardware, etc. which helps you to fix the inevitable bugs that come up.
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Post by harrychan »

Key is to get the most general / basic network card. Best if it's built in. Once you can get online, you can virtually download driver to any modern hardware making installation easy. You can install your wireless card later.

If you are unable to boot the computer, you have a hardware issue.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
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Cloud
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Post by Cloud »

You'll spend more building your own but it would be a fun experience with your son.

I just built this system 5 months ago. Yes, it was expensive, but it's fast as hell. You'll end up spending more time researching what you want for components then actually building it.

Code: Select all

Case          LIAN LI Aluminum case PC-B25S                                                                                             $230.00
PSU           CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3                                                                             $145.00
MB            ASUS P8P67 Pro                                                                                                            $200.00
CPU           Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz                                                                                   $328.00
Memory        G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM   $100.00
Blu-ray       LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support                                                                       $80.00
Video         MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack GeForce GTX 460                                                                             $220.00
Hard Drive 1  Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)                     $290.00
Hard Drive 2  Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"                                                   $60.00
Wireless      Linksys WMP600N PCI Wireless Adapter with Dual-Band                                                                        $54.99
Card Reader   AFT PRO-55U All-in-one USB 2.0 Card Reader                                                                                 $44.00
Windows 7     Microsoft Windows 7 Professional                                                                                          $115.00
LCD           ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor                                                         $199.00
<table><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Z ... site"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-V2Dl ... G_0149.jpg" height="144" width="108"></a></td></tr><tr><td>From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/1178012019 ... ">Computer build</a></td></tr></table>

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Cloud
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Post by Cloud »

harrychan wrote:Key is to get the most general / basic network card. Best if it's built in. Once you can get online, you can virtually download driver to any modern hardware making installation easy. You can install your wireless card later.

If you are unable to boot the computer, you have a hardware issue.
Network cards are almost always built into the MB these days.
rustymutt
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Post by rustymutt »

I've built this PC I'm on now, and one other in our home. I think it would make a great father son project. Start by getting all the parts on paper you need to function. Processor, motherboard, memory, harddrive cpu cooling fan, and chassis fans. Research the motherboards and find out which motherboard you want first, then built off that. Don't forget your software OS. You may find that it's more expensive to build one than to buy it put together. But don't let that kill this father son project. Your son will learn a bundle about PCs working on this. Chose a case also that houses the components. Good luck. My first PC took me about 10 hours to build.
I had a few issues, but nothing I didn't figure out reading manuals and going online and asking.
Even educators need education. And some can be hard headed to the point of needing time out.
rustymutt
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Post by rustymutt »

KyleAAA wrote:If you can operate a screwdriver, you can assemble a computer.
I didn't even need a screw driver as my case was tool free.
Even educators need education. And some can be hard headed to the point of needing time out.
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FrugalInvestor
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Post by FrugalInvestor »

Here you go - a 3-part step-by-step viedo on how to build your own PC...

Part 1:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/203950/h ... art_1.html

Part 2:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/203954/h ... art_2.html

Part 3:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/203956/h ... art_3.html

There's also a written version if you seach PCWorld
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
tibbitts
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Post by tibbitts »

You really want the most inexpensive computer possible, and that's why I suggested buying a pre-assembled computer and disassembling it for your child to put together. Most 10yr olds don't have the most outstanding motor skills, and some components might very well get broken. There's really no point to the exercise if you don't let the child assemble every component of the computer, and maybe make some mistakes along with way. You want those mistakes happening with the very cheapest possible hardware. While it's true that there might be a few proprietary parts in a non-generic PC, most of the parts could still be replaced with generic components if they get broken.

The exercise is to have him build the entire computer himself, with just some hands-off guidance from you. At 10 he won't get much benefit from the planning stage in terms of selecting components - it's the physical building of the computer and then being able to use something that he physically built himself that will mean the most to him.

Paul
TheEternalVortex
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Post by TheEternalVortex »

It's not that hard and pretty fun, IMO. I would definitely encourage anyone interested to try building their own PC.

I just built my newest one yesterday. It took about 3 hours to set up everything, but the time is highly variable depending on how many components you have, how much you care about routing the cables, and how familiar you are with the case.
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Whiggish Boffin
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Use an anti-static wrist strap!

Post by Whiggish Boffin »

If you build a computer, don't zap the electronics with static electricity.

Wear cotton clothes. Lay aluminum foil over your work surface. Avoid plastic packing materials, synthetic fabrics, vinyl upholstery.

Most important -- each of you wear an anti-static wrist strap ($6 from Radio Shack) when you handle electronic parts (motherboard, RAM, hard drives). Connect the strap's cord to something grounded -- say, plug the turned-off power supply into a 3-prong wall outlet, and clip the strap cord to the supply case. (The strap cord has a one-million-ohm resistor that will drain away the static charge on your body, but won't let you get shocked.)

(I suspect touchdowntodd's friend had a static problem rather than a dust problem. Zappage is easy to do in in low humidity. A TRW spacecraft manager from LA told me that, when humidity fell below 15%, they'd just send their electronics assemblers home. Too much zappage.)
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prudent
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Post by prudent »

Not much to add to the wealth of info already posted. I have built my last 3 PCs from parts but I was comfortable doing so. I did a lot of research each time because by the time I was due for a new one, all the technology had changed again.

IMHO here are the top issues people run into.
1. Insufficient or low quality power supply. Do not scrimp on this. Consider one with modular cables, makes the assembly easier. Mine is a Corsair brand.
2. Improperly attaching the heatsink/fan (HSF) to the CPU and/or using too much thermal paste.
3. Wrong memory. Your motherboard, CPU and memory need to work together. The motherboard determines what you can use for CPU and memory. People are careful to get a compatible CPU, but sometimes don't look at memory voltage.
c.Alvin
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A nice father and son project . . .

Post by c.Alvin »

Yes, by all means build your own PC. It will be wonderful chance to bond with your son. When you are finished, your son will have a better understanding of computers. He will have memories and a PC that will last for years.

You do not have to buy the most expensive parts to surf the internet. There are two components that should be of good quality: 1) memory modules; 2 ) hard drive. The hard drive should be capable of 7200 rpm - you want a reasonably fast machine. While I am on the subject of components, the AMD CPU's are every bit as good or better than the INTEL CPU's. I usually get my components from Tiger Direct. The friendly sales representatives at Tiger Direct will advise you as to which components work well together. Tiger Direct has some information concerning building PC's on their site and there are numerous other sites on the internet that go into detail on very aspect of PC's.

I still prefer building my own computer, because the manufacturers tend to use the cheapest and slowest components. The major manufacturers special order these dirt cheap parts (no store sells them) that often fail prematurely. You get a better and cheaper PC by selecting the components yourself. The worst part of building any PC is loading and updating Windows. I have a suggestion buy a spare hard drive and load UBUNTU LINUX operating system on it. Your son will have access to all the free software available in the UBUNTU LINUX ecosystem.

Have fun,
c.Alvin


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... uter%20kit
E-M-H
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Post by E-M-H »

It's a good experience and you will always know how to upgrade and repair what you have built. But be prepared for some troubleshooting and possibly unexpected results. You may have to research some things (using another computer).
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