Building A Computer 101-- Draft

Some things to do before you build:

Decide what you want it to do, generally. Computers primarily for gaming are unique. All-purpose computers are excellent at nothing but can be good enough for hobbies across a wide broad band of interests. Graphics and electronic photo editing computers need special video capabilities if you are a pro in those fields. Computers mostly for office stuff that is not graphically intense need to be workhorses but not necessarily in graphic areas. Server computers need to be heavy on storage, and many times heavy on multitasking capabilities.

Find out what is durable/reliable and recommended by pros in the area you want to use the computer for. If you talk to pros, you get ideas about what works and what does not. A pro in the area(s) you plan to build a computer for can help you get a set of hardware specified that will do what you want it to do.

Buy something that is reliable in the ways that the pros recommend. Do not try to get away with extremely low-cost stuff.

If you know nothing about what you want to have or how to assemble it, GET HELP. Learning by doing from scratch can get expensive. So get on forums like's forum if you want a gaming computer, and be prepared with some sort of budget as to what you can spend.

Save money in the long run and buy at least mid-grade quality parts before you buy something cheaper. Buying a cheap computer or cheap parts/components for building one yourself will give you heartache and give you lots of upgrade costs. I have been along that road, and buy good to excellent stuff and keep it the same lots longer now.

When you build or watch someone building:

Please make sure things are not forced into or out of place. If you and/or your helper does not know how to assemble something, be extra careful about what you try.

Make sure anti-static precautions are taken. Static can zap electronics. Learn how to hold things, and wear a static grounding strap that is clipped to computer case at first. Later you will learn how to have the case plugged in safely and use one hand on case to static ground yourself.

Stay out of your helper's way. Nothing is more frustrating than folks bumping stuff when someone is building a computer. And blocking a helper's vision is a big no-no. Watch but do not touch unless asked by the helper to touch or push or help.

Do not get finger oil on electronics, it can conduct and short stuff. That means sweat also can damage electronics. If your hands sweat wear rubber or nitrile gloves when building. Plastic gloves, other than nitrile gloves, can hold static, so stick to rubber or nitrile gloves for computer work please.