FAQ: How to Build Your Own Computer

| January 9, 2010 | (38)

This is the second of three posts written specially for people who are considering building their first PC or who are ready to, but have a few questions that they need answers to.

  1. 10 tips for first time PC builders
  2. FAQ: How to build your own computer
  3. Help me: Why won’t my newly assembled PC start?

FAQ: How to Build Your Own Computer

Summary:

Click on a question to jump to it

  1. What if I have never built a PC before?
  2. Why should I build a PC instead of buying one in a store?
  3. Which type of PC do I need?
  4. What if I’m outdated on what are the current best parts or simply don’t know which parts to pick?
  5. Who are you to tell me which parts to choose and why should I go with Hardware Revolution’s Builds?
  6. What if I don’t agree with your choices?
  7. Can you suggest me a step to step guide to build a computer?
  8. Do you have tips for someone building a PC for the first time?
  9. What if I get stuck or need help?
  10. What if I want more performance than a build has to offer?

What if I have never built a PC before?

Now is the time to start. Make the jump, do not be afraid. Building a computer has never been more simple. While the whole process may look overwhelming, if you look at it one part at a time, you’ll realize how simple it really is.

At Hardware Revolution, we do our best to assist you through the whole process, starting with figuring out your needs, then finding which parts to choose to match your needs, giving you guides on how to actually build it and finally, assisting you if you need help in the process.

Why should I build my own PC instead of buying one in a store?

There are many reasons, here are a few:

  • You get more performance for the same price or you pay less for the same performance.
  • You choose every part of your computer.
  • You get longer warranties or at least equivalent warranties on every part.
  • Once you’re done, you get the satisfaction of a job well done.
  • You know that it’s your custom PC, not the same Dell/HP/etc. that everyone else has.

Which type of PC do I need?

Ask yourself what do you intend to use the computer for? Video games? Watching movies and TV in your living room? Work? Or simply to browse the Web? We have custom Computer Builds designs to match your needs.

What if I’m outdated on what are the current best parts or simply don’t know which parts to pick?

If you don’t have the knowledge or time to choose your parts, simply stick to my recommendations in my articles. You can tell them apart because they are in Bold. I always make sure that they are all compatible and ready to work together. Stick to my recommendations and you’ll be more than happy. That’s my promise.

Who are you to tell me which parts to choose and why should I go with Hardware Revolution’s Builds?

My name is Mathieu Bourgie and I’m a computer enthusiast with 10 years of experience in building, fixing and modifying computers.

I share my knowledge by blogging on Hardware Revolution, where I offer various custom computer builds designs, along with useful articles such as Warning: 6 Surefire Ways of Blowing Up Your Computer Due to an Inadequate Power Supply, to help you figure out what are the best parts for a computer at a given price.

Why should I go with Hardware Revolution’s Builds?

As Blain, one of our readers, puts it:
““Pre-configured” computer systems makes building your own computer a reality (or as close as it gets). With the market flooded with computer parts even the tech savvy individual is lost until they come here.”
More Testimonials

If you have the time, reading detailed computer parts reviews and specifications are a lot of fun. However, most of us don’t have the time to do the research and just want the answers. In other words, what you want to know is what are the best parts for a computer within your budget.

This is what I offer here on Hardware Revolution. My various Custom Computer Builds, that are updated on a regular basis, will guide you through the countless parts that exist and tell exactly which parts will offer you the best performance possible for a given price. That is my promise.

I also offer my Best Of guides, which will help you find the best various parts, if for example, you are planning an upgrade or simply want to know what is The Best Video Card For Your Money.

If you would like more information on Hardware Revolution or Mathieu Bourgie, read our About page.

What if I don’t agree with your choices?

This is the great part of building your own computer(s), you can customize it to your taste, instead of getting what the manufacturer wants you to get with a pre-built computer. If you have the knowledge and/or the time to learn, you’re free to use my recommendations as a base and then to customize any build just how you want it.

Can you suggest me a step to step guide to build a computer?

Of course. Here are a few that I recommend:

Newegg TV has three great videos on how to build your PC. The first covers choosing your parts, which we help you with in our Computer builds articles, so I chose not to include it. The second one, below, shows you in detail how to assemble your PC. The 3rd one shows you how to install Windows and software.

If you prefer a text version with pictures, here are two great guides by ArsTechnica, the first one covering the assembling and the second one covering Windows and software:

  1. Arstechnica Outstanding Guide for Hardware (Building the PC)
  2. Arstechnica Outstanding Guide for Software (EFI/BIOS, Windows, etc.)

If you take your time, are careful and follow guides/videos:

You’ll end up with a fully functional computer, at a lower cost than a comparable Dell PC, with the best parts that your money can buy, instead of “ok” parts chosen by Dell. The best part? You’ll be proud of a job well done ;)

Do you have tips for someone building a PC for the first time?

Sure thing. Read 10 Quick Tips for 1st Time PC Builders.

What if I get stuck or need help?

Simply drop a comment at the end of the build post and either a helpful member of this community or myself will answer you. You can also Contact me directly for some assistance. While I’m pretty busy, I’ll try my best to answer you quickly.

What if I want more performance than a build has to offer?

No problem. In every of our Computer Builds, you’ll find included the best possible upgrades in Italic. They are still priced reasonably in regard to the budget and are all compatible with the rest of the system. Yes, every upgrade is compatible with each other, so you can pick one or three upgrade and everything will still be compatible. (You’ll also find the price difference over my recommendation in parentheses).

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are other upgrades, but I focused on telling you which ones offered the most value for your money ;)

In simple terms, if you want a more powerful CPU or video card, simply pick it from the list of recommended upgrades that are in Italic.

If upgrades just don’t cut it, visit the Computer Builds page, where you’ll find descriptions and links to other computer custom build designs.

Conclusion:

I hope that this FAQ on How to Build Your Own Computer has been useful to you. If you have any additional questions or comments, drop a comment below.

To make sure that you don’t miss the last post of this series, Help me: Why won’t my newly assembled PC start?, I invite you to subscribe via RSS or E-mail for free to automatically receive our future articles.

If the fact that you’ll be receiving outstanding articles for free is not enough to convince you, here are 7 Reasons to Subscribe.

Category: How to, Questions & Answers

About Mathieu Bourgie: HR Founder - Computer expert with over 14 years of experience in building, fixing and modifying PCs. Over the years, I’ve developed a passion for PC hardware and now I enjoy helping others build their own PCs! In April 2008, I launched Hardware Revolution and ... Read more at my about page .

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  • Chris

    This is just incredibly helpful, the main part that scared me was the compatibility issues.The added upgrades in each section are really helpful as the budgets may not be quite as low or high as you chose here. Keep up the good work!

  • Chris

    This is just incredibly helpful, the main part that scared me was the compatibility issues.The added upgrades in each section are really helpful as the budgets may not be quite as low or high as you chose here. Keep up the good work!

  • Pingback: $500 HTPC | Hardware Revolution

  • adawakeman42

    Brilliant article! Ta!

  • adawakeman42

    Brilliant article! Ta!

  • dragos_ionut2004

    I must say this is a great FAQ! I'm not a newbie anymore since I've changed my computer. I've also saved a lot of money by selling the used computer hardware, after all I was changing it anyway.

  • dragos_ionut2004

    I must say this is a great FAQ! I'm not a newbie anymore since I've changed my computer. I've also saved a lot of money by selling the used computer hardware, after all I was changing it anyway.

  • Pingback: $1000 HTPC | Hardware Revolution

  • Joshuashlem

    This is by far the most helpful website I have ever been to for custom building PCs. Keep it up!

  • Amazed

    You are AMAZING! I don't think there is a more helpful person in the universe.

    • http://www.hardware-revolution.com/ MathieuB

      Well, I think that a lot of people are more helpful than me (i.e humanitarian helpers) but I try my best, thanks!

    • http://www.hardware-revolution.com/ MathieuB

      Well, I think that a lot of people are more helpful than me (i.e humanitarian helpers) but I try my best, thanks!

  • Tony

    Mathieu,

    You know what's missing that I think would really be helpful…..mainly because I need to know this, like now. Proper airflow dynamics and fan configurations in the case. I've searched and searched, and it seems that there really is now one way recommended…and I suppose that's due to the variety of cases available. But, the thing is….especially with this Xigmatec case I have, once that motherboard is mounted, there's no moving nothing! So, trial by error doesn't sound so appealing.

    Not that your site isn't informative enough….just some info that I'm sure many of us would love to have.

    • http://www.hardware-revolution.com/ MathieuB

      Tony,

      Thanks for the great suggestion, I'll think of what I can come up with, that would be simple enough for everyone to clearly understand.

      Cheers,
      Mathieu

  • Laurent Birtz

    Thank you! Your information is valuable, clearly explained and it saved me a lot of time googling around.

  • r3con_woo

    I need to find a good “Wiring Guide” specifically for the fans… at least that was the hardest part for my first build so far.

    • Andrew J

      What case do you have? With my Antec Nine Hundred Two I was able to wire the fans behind the motherboard tray.

  • Zeewhy

    Hello, Bourgie. I have a question:

    How do u manage to keep track on all the new and upcoming PC components?

    Thanks!

  • Quasimodo42

    Hi Mathieu,

    First of all, I want to thank you for presenting all the information that you do. After finding your site I decided to try to build my first computer. I’m involved in tiers 4-7. My question is this; what cables or anything else do I need for the Samsung hard drive and the Lite-On 4x Blu-ray player since apparently they do not come with any cables. As you can see I’m really new at this.

    Thanks for your help!

    Quasimodo42

    • Chris

      In case you haven’t figured it out yet, you just need two SATA cables, but if you’re ordering a new mobo almost all of them come with two already. You don’t need any power connections as your PSU will have those.

  • Chris

    Thank you for this site Mathieu! I’ve left a few comments in the 10 Quick Tips section, wish we could of conversed but maybe someday. This site definitely helped me to compare and chose what parts I wanted and could afford. If you’re debating your first build all I can say is, JUST DO IT. This was my first new complete build and it went smooth on all counts. Just research using the tier system on here and build up your version of the perfect pc, I made many changes along the way but without the charts here I would of been all over the place and just ordering my parts would of took much longer. If I could make love to my pc I would, believe me, I would. Thanks again Mattieu!

  • Anonymous

    Build my own computer is a hard work,wow~~

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