7 Tips for Buying and Building your First Computer
Building a computer instead of buying a pre-built one can be a great way to get the best hardware combination for your needs while also saving yourself valuable money. It also gives you a good understanding of the different components that make up a PC and can be a great experience. Here are 7 basic tips for you if you’re thinking about building your first computer.
1. Consider what will you be using the computer for
There’s nothing worse than buying all the components for your computer, spending time building it and installing all your software, only to realise it under performs and doesn’t meet your expectations. Save yourself the disappointment and the money by researching what hardware works well for your intended uses of your future computer.
2 - Make sure to account for every piece of hardware that you need
You don’t want to begin building your computer only to be delayed when you realise you’re missing a component. Make sure you plan before you buy and get every component you need! Find a list of vital components for a computer system to function. After that, consider if there’s anything missing from that list that you’d like in your computer. For example, a CD drive isn’t necessarily needed for a computer system to function, but you might need one for your intended purposes. Components like this can be easily forgotten.
3 - Make sure your components are compatible with each other
Different hardware components have different compatibility requirements. An example would be that different CPUs require certain sockets on the motherboard. Depending on the type of RAM you have, it may or may not be compatible with your motherboard, etc. Make sure you don’t have to spend time sending back components that don’t work together and check that they’re all compatible before you buy them. PC Part Picker is great for checking if your parts are compatible and will alert you if they’re not.
4 - Make sure you have a case with plenty of room
When building your first computer, the last thing you want to be doing is stressing over trying to fit all of your components into a small case. Trying to reach into different parts of the case while it’s crowded with wires, your huge GPU and your huge CPU fan can be extremely frustrating. A decent sized mid-tower should be sufficient for a single large GPU and CPU fan, but you should do some research and find the best case for you.
5 - Get an anti-static wristband
An anti-static wristband will “ground” you, preventing you from ruining your components with an electrostatic discharge. These can be extremely bad and lead to you having to buy new components, so it’s better to be safe than sorry! They’re quite cheap and can save you a lot of money.
6 - Take your time
Don’t rush things. Do things at your own pace, so what if it takes a long time? It’s a learning experience. You’d rather take your time and have everything work than rush and break something. Just take it slow.
7 - Follow a guide.
You shouldn’t go in blind. The first time I built a computer, I used multiple different guides. Also, remember to use the installation manuals that come with your components. They will be extremely useful (and at points necessary) while building your computer.