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Thread: Customizing and Building Your Own Machine.

  1. #1

    Customizing and Building Your Own Machine.

    I am writing this tutorial to give people a better understanding of why they should build there own machine, rather than purchasing a pre-assembled one, and how to do it (basically). Along the way, i will atempt to guide you through the construction of the computer itself, and this will hopefully be useful for both n00bs and gurus alike. Although it will be explained in mostly non-technical terms for the hardware n00bs. The basic hardware that most people will be installing will be covered. I will not go into detail about installing processor's or chips ect. Only the easier to install hardware will be explained. Mainly because i myself do not want to teach people how to use a soldering iron, or any of the other tools, i dont want people trying that without "professional" advice.

    Part 1. The Advantages of Building It Yourself.

    In this day and age, computer stores are all over the place, inhabiting large cities to small towns. One thing these stores have in common is they don't do the work for free (normally). So this naturally springs a problem for us that do not wish for our money to go to waste when the task is something simple. For those of you that believe constructing your own box is difficult, think again, especially after you read this tut. First I will give some brief advantages to building it yourself, then i will move on to the more "techie" stuff. For those of you that already know why its better to build it yourself, just skip over this first part. For another, aspiring PC builders need to know, that you will need to find out what you want "part wise" before you jump into a computer store wanting to buy.

    Advantage A. - Money

    As much as things costs these days, people naturally would like to save a bit of money, while having their "toys" at the same time. One of these toys, is a computer. Instead of blowing your hard-earned cash on getting your machine built for you or buying a pre-assembled one, why not build it yourself?

    Advantage B. - Time

    If you are like me, and are somewhat impatient, waiting for your newly purchased machine to be assembled can be a stressful period. Especially after you have spent a wad of dough on your new parts. As we all know, their are technicians out there that will sit around when the job needs to be done, just to earn more money by the hour. You yourself can go at your own pace, that of which is preferable to you.

    Advantage C. - Custom*Built Boxes

    Whenever you are sitting at your current computer, do you ever wish it could be faster, more reliable, or contain whatever the heck you want? Of course you do. You may ask yourself "i wish i had more RAM" or "my motherboard just isn't up-to-date." Knowing these simple steps of constructing your own, will provide you with the knowledge needed to erasing those bad personal queries.

    Part 2. How Do I Know What Is Right For Me

    Before you just up and go out and buy all new parts just because they are the best at the time, take a moment to think "What am i going to use my computer for?" If you are going to use your computer for running a server or extreme programming ect., yes, you are going to want a fast and spacey computer to fulfill your needs. Now if you are like some, and just want this box to play around with on the internet, check email, and play simple games, all you need is a regular speed, regular spaced computer that after this tutorial, you will be able to build for yourself.

    Part 3. Now That I Want To Build the Computer, How Do I Do It?

    I wil put this part mainly in simple, easy-to-understand form.

    I have attached a picture of the inside of a computer. I gave small text by where some things are, but i will explain each piece further inside here.

    As you possibly already know, you will probably not be building your "tower" or the box that contains all of your "hardware." So these explanations will be assuming you already have a "tower" Before you begin reading, make sure you open the file i attached so you can look as you go. Basically, on the subject of cables and cords, you cant go wrong. You ask the clerk at the store how many you need if they dont come with your other stuff, and you just put them in the places they fit until there are no more holes to put them in

    1. Power Supply. This is what gives your computer all its power. Cables come out of it, as you see in the picture, and you plug those into the fitting slots into things such as your cd-drive, floppy drive, and hardrive. The installation of this is extremely simple. All you need to do, is get a screw driver that fits the screws that came with the power supply, and screw them into the correct holes you will see in your box.

    2. Cd - Drive. The cd drive is where you will place your cd's to use on your computer. Normally in a tower there are plates whether metal or plastic where your cd and floppy drives go so you may be able to actually stick a disk inside the drive. Before installing this drive, you will need to pop out those plates, which is fairly easy to do. Afterwards, you will then place your drive in the slot in which you please. It will fit in there corresponding to the size. Once drive is in place, again you will only need to screw it in the correct holes. Make sure it is firmly screwed in, so it doesnt slide around.

    3. Floppy Drive. For installation, see cd drive. The floppy drive is where you stick floppy discs.

    4. Hardrive. This is most of your data is stored. So when installing, be sure to be careful with this, because it can break or be "injured" beyond repair. For installation, see cd - drive.

    5. Motherboard. Ah the brain of the whole system, and also one of the easiest to break or scratch. This is where you will insert things such as video cards, sound cards, ram, modems, and network cards. The installation for this will be on the biggest part of the tower, the most open area. The processor, which is on the motherboard, you should have pre-installed when you buy your motherboard, or just buy a motherboard with one on there, that you yourself chose. Mainly because its a tricky thing to install for beginners, and is very expensive (you dont want to ruin your new equipment!). I suggest that if you are looking to install things such as processors or chips, chipsets, BIOS, buslines ect, you take a course or how someone with the know how show you in person. Anyway, once you have your motherboard, there are holes on it, along with holes in the tower that will fit your board. Put those screws in those holes carefully, and screw them in securely.

    6. Fans or "Coolants". Usually when you buy a tower, it will come with a fan or fans. If not the installation is easy. There will be a hole for you to install it on your tower. I have seen both adhesive installed fans, and screw installed fans. Either way, they will come with your fan when you buy them. If you are installing your fan, and it is a screw installed fan, just simply screw in the screws in the correct holes. If it is an adhesive installed fan, read the directions that came with the fan, because there are several different ways to install those, and normally they are individual to each brand.

    7. Modem, Network, Video, and Sound Card. All of these will have corresponding slots on the motherboard, and metal plates on the back. Unscrew the metal plate where you are going to place each, plug the card in, and screw the plates back in. They will have plugins on the back.

    8. RAM. This will have slots on the motherboard which you can stick these pieces in. You can't miss them, and the way you plug them in is different to the motherboard. But once you see it, it is self-explanatory.

    The peripheral ports usually come on the motherboard, they have the same "plates" that the cards do, or at least similar ones. So you just install the same way.

    All of these are the parts that are normally the easy ones to install yourself. If i missed something, feel free to post it on here. This is basically a rough draft, i plan on adding others suggestions, because im sure i left some stuff off along the way. Suggestions are welcome, the more suggestions, the better this tutorial will get!

    I will include a picture of the inside a computer, which i left brief explanations in text form on some of the pieces, and a link for the "interested" where they can go and actually click on pieces to show you what and where they are!

    Heres that link i promise - http://www.kids-online.net/learn/click/table.html

    I'll be back daily to make corrections ect.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Good Job! I told you you had a tutorial in you!
    \"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.\"
    Sir Winston Churchill.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    good job very helpful
    I feel deprived because microsoft blinded me of a true OS like linux by hiding windows with \"easy\" features and a simple to use install interface. its OS\'s like linux that make this world a better place.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    here thats a nice tut er0k me`s wants build his own computer now *checks wallet no cash bah* oh well i will build 1 when i get more money i have a question is it more expensive 2 build u r own commputer ?
    By the sacred **** of the sacred psychedelic tibetan yeti ....We\'ll smoke the chinese out
    The 20th century pharoes have the slaves demanding work

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Great tutorial, but you really have to now what you want and DON'T just buy some stuff (like I did a few years ago)...
    Double Dutch

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Nice tutorial! I actually learned how to build computers by taking old 486's i got at yardsales for $2 and taking them apart/putting them back together, a little cheaper if you mess it up when you're learning.
    Reality is the one who has it wrong, not you

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    well met, er0k.
    this will do very nicely in helping me teach the kids to built from scratch.
    9 and 10 yrs old. i think its about time to put a foot in the real world.
    just like water off a duck\'s back... I AM HERE.

    for CMOS help, check out my CMOS tut?

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Great tutorial. Just one thought though.

    when you boil it all down, including time (I value mine extermely) is building your own PC really cheaper? I would be almost willing to bet I can spec out a machine and way you want from a general pc manufacturer, and come pretty darned close to the build your own machine you are discussing? PC Prices are dropping dramatically. Just a thought to keep in mind.

    Again terrific tutorial!

  9. #9
    Old-Fogey:Addicts founder Terr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Mattfach: It's like a mastercard commercial. CPU: $100, Motherboard $112, Case:...

    Knowing exactly how it is set up, what is in there, and being familiar with the entire shebang: Priceless.
    [HvC]Terr: L33T Technical Proficiency

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002

    good thought. I have just done it sooo many times I guess it's easier for me to pick up the phone. LOL

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