This is a genuine query for those wishing to build a computer. Why build a PC? What’s in it for you? Can I learn? Save money? Gain experience or acquire new skills?
Some of the top reasons are:
• Gain knowledge & skills
• Build with higher quality components for similar price
• Learn how PC’s work
• Save 30%-50% from the retail purchase price
• Choice of better quality components
• Customisable to your needs
• Enhanced upgradability
• Gain reward upon undertaking and completion
• Learn how to troubleshoot and fix
If you have come this far already, you reflect the characteristics of a curious, knowledgeable, and astute individual who is looking for another challenge to conquer in their life. From the outside in, people may convey that the ‘PC building’ is an intricate and complex activity, however it is just simply following a principles based approach to application. The aim of this website is to both show you visually how to undertake the process, and provide you with the prior researched required to empower you to undertake this yourself in the most successful manner.
This is a great, productive hobby that will expand on your analytical and problem solving thinking. Which will enable you to end up with a better performing computer which you’ve created, for the tasks that you want!
The additional hardware advantages of building yourself, include the following:
Generally the power supply in ‘off the shelf systems’ will only supply enough power (wattage) for exactly what the system needs. Therefore, if you want to add a bigger video card at a later time, you have to firstly upgrade your power supply, and then you may have other issues such as your motherboard not supporting the interface or high data rate transfer capable by the new device and in many instances the case internals aren’t large enough to house the new device, which would require you to purchase a new case too. In the end a ‘simple’ $150 upgrade can cost close to the replacement price of a computer, due to non-upgradeability.
Where you build yourself with carefully selected off the shelf components (as suggested in our parts guides), your upgradeability of your computer is immensely more configurable and redundant than nearly all off the shelf systems available.
With regard to off the shelf (retail) computers, many components are bespoke, which is where a manufacturer creates their own customised or ‘trimmed down’ versions to suit the task or a certain price point. For example, the main interface device within the computer (the motherboard) may have some interfacing components permanently attached to the board, rendering any upgrade very hard, or degrade performance where the devices attached share resources between each other, which is very common, where the graphics card will share it’s memory with other devices on the board.
This is usually a initial large motivator to purchase off the shelf systems. Most off the shelf systems will offer a one year manufacturer on defects. A brilliant thing about purchasing and building yourself is that the manufacturer warranty on these individual components is usually as good as, or much greater (3 years in place of 1) than the manufacturer warranty of an assembled system.
Additional advantages of building yourself also mean that you get to customise the software that you install, as you are not dictated to or forced to use manufacturers preferred online, anti-virus, dvd viewing, browser and other (largely un-required) pre installed software ‘features’. This software is commonly referred to as ‘Bloatware’ which is manufacturer installed software which has the tendency to really drain system resources where not managed or disabled initially. Who wants to be bugged by vested interests (in pre loaded software) upon purchasing a computer for your own personal use?