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Old 04-22-2011, 12:00 AM
Hooch Tan
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Default I Build My Own Computers at Home!

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://arstechnica.com/ask-ars/2011/04/how-to-build-your-own-computer-ask-ars-diy-series-part-i.ars' target='_blank'>http://arstechnica.com/ask-ars/2011...ries-part-i.ars</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"In recent years, building your own computer has become more of a niche technophile activity than it was in the earlier part of the decade. Few people see the benefits of expending the effort to figure out how all the different components of a PC fit, screw, and plug together when you can just as easily fill out a customization form at any number of online retailers and have your own custom build arrive in just a matter of weeks."</em></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1303415617.usr20447.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>For those of you who are looking to get your Geek on, putting together your own computer can be a worthwhile activity.&nbsp; Laptops, while technically can be Do-it-Yourself, is much more difficult as your options and suppliers are limited.&nbsp; However, the good ole desktop is an easy project and you can have your own computer put together in minutes, though more likely, hours.&nbsp; It is still leagues easier to put one together these days than in those of the past, but a lot of attention to detail has to be taken care of to make sure you get compatible parts.&nbsp; Ars' guide is a good primer, and you can spend hours or days pouring over the specifications of the CPU, motherboard, memory and every other part to your heart's delight to come up with the perfect computer.&nbsp; When it is all said and done though, there is a great sense of accomplishment in knowing that your baby was put together by you alone!</p>
 
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:54 PM
sundown
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I agree, it can be very rewarding. I enjoy selecting the parts on my own for a truly customized machine. However, I've run into an issue recently that has changed my PC-building habit.

I moved to a rural area, far from the nearest Fry's Electronics or Microcenter. There are no stores nearby with parts, except some very basic things at a Staples an hour away. So I merrily ordered online at Newegg, etc. When the parts came, I assembled everything as usual, went to to turn it on and had problems. One of the components I ordered had a defect and it took a while to figure out which one (motherboard). I now had to package it up and ship it back. Of course it was a weekend so I had to wait until Monday. And in the meantime, I had disassembled my PC because I was re-using some of the parts. A week later, I got it mostly together only to learn that one of the memory sticks was also faulty. I was able to run the PC with one memory stick (albeit slowly), but again, I had to repackage, return, wait and then crack the case. Now all of this wouldn't have been that big a deal if I could have returned it locally.

So now what I do is drive 3 hours to my local big city, buy the parts and pay someone at Microcenter or similar to assemble and do the basic OS install. If a part fails, they can pull another off the shelf. At least I know when I get it home that day, it will work. The time and money are worth the peace of mind, though I do miss out on some of the fun.
 
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:34 PM
ptyork
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundown View Post
So I merrily ordered online at Newegg, etc. When the parts came, I assembled everything as usual, went to to turn it on and had problems. One of the components I ordered had a defect and it took a while to figure out which one (motherboard). I now had to package it up and ship it back.
I've basically decided to stop building PC's for this reason--not near a "real" PC component dealer and stuck purchasing parts from NewEgg. Compounding this issue for me is that NewEgg requires that you pay return shipping, even for defective parts. This is unconscionable, in my opinion. So much so that I've pretty much boycotted them. My last PC build had a bad Mobo and a bad power supply (which was shipped as part of my case and not separately returnable). I grinned and bore the mobo shipment costs, but wasn't about to ship back the case, which would have cost around $50 to return a defective $79 case. Ended up having to suck it up and buy a new power supply. And swear off NewEgg for almost everything from now on--unless the deal is so good I feel like I'm screwing them.
 
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:49 PM
Bob Christensen
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I've usually had good results with Newegg, but I had the same issues mentioned above in my last DIY build (Dec). Took the third motherboard to get it right and the second memory pack. Seems that the manufacturers' quality control is not a priority these days.
 
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:25 PM
Lee Yuan Sheng
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I guess that partly explains why we overseas people look at Newegg prices so enviously. I guess I should be glad for the local stores we have here.
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