PDA

View Full Version : First PC build help.



FlightOfGrey
06-06-2012, 01:06 PM
Hi, I have recently been looking into building a PC after lots of reports that they're cheaper and more customisable. I have never built a PC before but I thought it would be interesting to give it a try and to understand how everything comes together. I had also read about it often being better to have a shop to build one for you.

Now I was wondering if I could get some reccomendations on which is better, getting a shop to build one or do it yourself, a reccomendation of places that do build PCs (I live in Wellington) or a reccomendation on where to buy particular parts.

I'm a university student completing a double degree in Computer Science and Design, so I do a reasonable amount of video and image editing and compiling so it would be great if I could get those tasks completed a bit quicker than my current laptop which is feeling the strain a bit. I also like to dabble in a bit of games on the side, so it would be nice if I could at least run the majority of games at a playable framerate, at the moment even Half Life 2 is a tad choppy at times on my laptop which doesn't have a seperate graphics card.

TL DR:
So DIY or get a shop to build it? Where to buy parts/which shops build PCs for a reasonable price and reliably?
Use video and photo editing software reasonably regularly and wouldn't mind the ability to play games on the side.

Any reccomendations?

dugimodo
06-06-2012, 02:00 PM
Shops don't charge much and you get the peace of mind of no quibbles over warranty claims due to DIY if it doesn't go well.
That said I build my own all the time and quite enjoy it. It's not that difficult if you can weild a screwdriver and have a bit of patience.
Good shops IMO are
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/
http://www.pp.co.nz/
http://www.pbtech.co.nz/

A few tips;
get yourself an antistatic wrist strap or make sure to earth yourself before handle anything, and frequently during. Static sometimes kills components, but more often causes ongoing minor faults you can never track down.

Attach the CPU and RAM to the motherboard before inserting it into a case
Make sure the stand offs line up with the holes in the motherboard and there are none anywhere that doesn't have a hole.
Take your time and make sure everything is connected, including both power connectors to the MB and any graphics card power connections.
Set your BIOS to AHCI or RAID before installing windows, changing afterwards is a nuisance.

Go sandy bridge or ivy bridge if you want the best and the ability to upgrade to high performance CPUs, go AMD if you're on a tight budget and want multi cores for heavily threaded applications.

FlightOfGrey
06-06-2012, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the reply, I actually found the FAQ after posting this which has a good build vs buy PC post in it. So I think that I will go for the build option, sounds like a bit of fun.

Attach the CPU and RAM to the motherboard before inserting it into a case
Make sure the stand offs line up with the holes in the motherboard and there are none anywhere that doesn't have a hole.

In terms of this, is this something that I have to look out for when buying the components? And how can you tell when veiwing them online?

Slankydudl
06-06-2012, 02:07 PM
And if your using a custom CPU cooler... install it before you put the mobo in if possible.... Mine was a massave pain in the ass even with its small form factor (a hyper 212 evo). It doesnt really matter when you put the cpu and ram in its just easier when the mobo is not in the case as the case can get in the way.

icow
06-06-2012, 02:39 PM
212 is a ***** to install, mine took forever to install. depends what your case is really. I have a friend who installed one of those closed loop water coolers straight into his case and it was fine. Then again they are quite compact and he has an NZXT Phantom (so jealous).

dugimodo
06-06-2012, 02:50 PM
In terms of this, is this something that I have to look out for when buying the components? And how can you tell when veiwing them online?

No not really, just for some cases the motherboard mounts are little screw in stand-offs and have several positions they can be installed depending on the form factor of your motherboard. If you screw one in the wrong hole it can be pressing up against the bottom of the motherboard which is a bad thing.

8ftmetalhaed
06-06-2012, 02:57 PM
Just make sure you screw them into the case tighter than you screw the motherboard into them. I made that mistake myself, ended up with an eternally spinning thing till I got some needlenose pliers under it.

Also, read the manuals and junk. I didn't. I ended up spending 30 minutes trying to put the cooler on the CPU. I was putting the thing on, clicking, then i thought 'twist the locking pins'. No, that was releasing them. every. time. Seemed counterintuitive at the time.

Other than that it shouldn't be hard. Fiddle with your bios before installing your OS (AHCI/IDE mode settings for your HDD's, I left mine on IDE -_-) oh wait they have UEFI now don't they (no clue there)

tl;dr it's not hard if you earth yourself, use common sense, read your manuals and double check stuff before diving on in.

mikebartnz
06-06-2012, 03:32 PM
Hi, I have recently been looking into building a PC after lots of reports that they're cheaper and more customisable. I have never built a PC before but I thought it would be interesting to give it a try and to understand how everything comes together. I had also read about it often being better to have a shop to build one for you.

Now I was wondering if I could get some reccomendations on which is better, getting a shop to build one or do it yourself, a reccomendation of places that do build PCs (I live in Wellington) or a reccomendation on where to buy particular parts.

I'm a university student completing a double degree in Computer Science and Design, so I do a reasonable amount of video and image editing and compiling so it would be great if I could get those tasks completed a bit quicker than my current laptop which is feeling the strain a bit. I also like to dabble in a bit of games on the side, so it would be nice if I could at least run the majority of games at a playable framerate, at the moment even Half Life 2 is a tad choppy at times on my laptop which doesn't have a seperate graphics card.

TL DR:
So DIY or get a shop to build it? Where to buy parts/which shops build PCs for a reasonable price and reliably?
Use video and photo editing software reasonably regularly and wouldn't mind the ability to play games on the side.

Any reccomendations?
It is not that hard to build one yourself but if you want someone else to do it Wainuitech from here would be your best bet.
Give him a PM.

Iantech
06-06-2012, 04:12 PM
And if your using a custom CPU cooler... install it before you put the mobo in if possible.... Mine was a massave pain in the ass even with its small form factor (a hyper 212 evo). It doesnt really matter when you put the cpu and ram in its just easier when the mobo is not in the case as the case can get in the way.Well, no, it does matter when you put your cpu in because of course it has to be installed before you put your cpu cooler in.

Assemble the motherboard first before placing it in the case, that way you also dont put undue stress on the motherboard when inserting ram and heatsink as there is nothing under these areas that are supporting the motherboard. Also make sure you are grounded, preferably using an antistatic strap as your bodies static electricity could short any components if handled incorrectly.

pctek
06-06-2012, 04:29 PM
I think that I will go for the build option, sounds like a bit of fun.



Yep, it is fun.
Even more fun when you finish, tidy up all the cables, make it all pretty, turn it on and it doesn't go.
:D

That's a point too, turn it on - in case of not going problems - before you do the cable management.

Then once it's all loaded, installed and happy, do the cable management. Do NOT skip cable management. Look some up if you are not sure how.
How can depend on the case, whether it's a nice one designed for that or your more standard type. You still do it, but how depends on where you can hide the cables away in it.

SolMiester
06-06-2012, 04:32 PM
Anyone doing a double degree in Computer Science and Design, should have no problems building a PC......

FlightOfGrey
06-06-2012, 06:05 PM
Wow, thanks everyone for the overwhelming response, I'm surprised at how many and how quickly the responses have come. It definitely seems like something that would be a good challenge. Now I just have to get the money together and decide which parts suit my needs and budget best.

Thank you all again and I'm sure I will end up coming back here when something it seems inevitably goes wrong.

icow
06-06-2012, 06:07 PM
Its not that challenging, the bits only go in one way. Easier than lego.

8ftmetalhaed
06-06-2012, 07:41 PM
You'd think that sol, but then I'm doing 3rd year comp sci at AUT and look at the threads I've been posting recently.

PC builder
06-06-2012, 07:59 PM
I build my first PC at 12..... Read a few books and went on with it :)

Slankydudl
07-06-2012, 12:46 AM
Well, no, it does matter when you put your cpu in because of course it has to be installed before you put your cpu cooler in.

Assemble the motherboard first before placing it in the case, that way you also dont put undue stress on the motherboard when inserting ram and heatsink as there is nothing under these areas that are supporting the motherboard. Also make sure you are grounded, preferably using an antistatic strap as your bodies static electricity could short any components if handled incorrectly.

... Really. I thought it was common sence that you put the cpu in before the cpu cooler, but apparently not to some. Also an anti static strap is quite useless. Just touch the metal of your case every now and then, you dont really move around much when building it. Or just wrap wire around you hand and to the case.

Iantech
07-06-2012, 01:47 AM
... Really. I thought it was common sence that you put the cpu in before the cpu cooler, but apparently not to some.
I would have thought so also, but clearly not when I read "And if your using a custom CPU cooler... install it before you put the mobo" and then "It doesnt really matter when you put the cpu and ram in.".



Also an anti static strap is quite useless. Just touch the metal of your case every now and then, you dont really move around much when building it. Or just wrap wire around you hand and to the case.Not much point unless your case is earthed, and I dont know about you, but even if I were to put the psu in the case first, I still wouldnt have it plugged in, in order to earth the case until I have finished working inside it.

dugimodo
07-06-2012, 07:27 AM
Anti static straps are not useless at all, static can build up very quickly and be very destructive. The wrist straps are resistive and bleed of any static charge safely, they are also usually stretchy and flexible so they don't restrict your movements much.
I usually plug a spare PSU in and earth to that or the case of a another PC, no need to turn it on the earth wire isn't switched. And like Iantech said touching a case or anything else metal does nothing unless it's actually connected to earth. On top of all that they are cheap. After 25+ years in the telecoms industry where we sometimes handle circuit boards worth more than an average annual salary I have had a lot of training on static and what it can do.

Earthing yourself frequently is ok, and I said that right at the start, but a wrist strap is better.

While we are on the subject of static, don't use the outside of an anti-static bag to put components on. It's just a plastic bag and actually a bad thing to do. The inside is coated with a conductive layer of metal, the outside is not. If you want to use one for this split it open and use the inside surface. I see cards on trademe displayed on top of anti-static bags all the time and it makes me cringe.

Slankydudl
07-06-2012, 07:34 AM
I thoguht it quite obviouse that the two were seperate points. It doesnt neccesarily matter when you install the cpu and ram but puts less strain on mobo if its not in the case, Also if your useing a custom CPU cooler you are definatly better off installing that. Also on the off chance that you are mentally challanged you might want to consider installing the cpu as well. ass.

SolMiester
07-06-2012, 11:06 AM
You'd think that sol, but then I'm doing 3rd year comp sci at AUT and look at the threads I've been posting recently.

What do you study in Comp Sci?.....Surely you must understand computing from binary up and therefore hardware and components.......its like trying to be a pharmacist without understanding biology..LOL

8ftmetalhaed
07-06-2012, 11:26 AM
Well my major is networking but I'm avoiding all maths-y sounding classes if I can help it. Unfortunately it means I've ended up doing a fair lot of junky papers (like IT service provision, it's a nasty piece of work), and even some of the 'proper' papers are naff. I hate SQL because of my logical database design lecturers, and my programming 2 lecturer (first time round) ruined programming for me. Now Network Security (CCNP I believe) has ruined Cisco networking stuff for me after I enjoyed the hell out of CCNA 1 and 2.

As for hardware and the like, we might have a couple of papers that cover it but in those cases it's almost assumed knowledge from day 1. Like, year 1 had foundations of IT infrastructure that taught basic numeracy in hex, octal and binary, and covered things like 'this is a harddrive', a bit of DOS scripting, how to install ubuntu 9.04 and some optional BASH scripting. The closest we've come to putting a PC together has been plugging an IDE drive caddy into a slot, or sticking cables in to some cisco routers and patch panels.

Then year 2 had Network and System administration (sounds great right?) which covered installing broken images to a virtual box setup, then getting them working using Active Directory. The images we were given were xp, server 08 and a broken 10.04, and linux was again optional but worth more marks. The lecturer was qualified to teach us but doesn't know the nitty gritty about what he's teaching. Quite literally we walked up to him, asked him how to fix the busted images (and after that, how to recover the passwords since he didn't know those either) and he said 'you figure it out, then you tell me and i'll mark it'.

pro tip: don't go to university. It's an expensive waste of time.