Sunday, October 7, 2007

Putting together your own computer

Time has come for a new computer for the daughter. She only plays Sims and does Facebook (along with homework). As such, I got a general computer. For a while now I've been putting computers together from parts and it's not really that difficult. I order my parts from NCIX in BC.

I just ordered their cheapest business computer set-up. The graphics, sound and everything come on the motherboard, and the reviews were good. It was really cheap for a very fast AMD dual 3800. It comes with a standard case which huge for such a simple computer, but very cheap. I used to go for small cases (Shuttle), but they are a lot more expensive, and have no room inside. I had to take out a memory card reader to get in another disk drive on my Shuttle! The whole thing came out to about $660 including shipping, for just the computer and keyboard.

Here is the case.

The case comes totally empty. Here I have screwed in the power supply, with 4 screws. The motherboard goes on the bottom with more screws. You just follow the directions.

One difficult part is putting in the processor. It's just a small thing thing that slips right in (and then clamped). I find the hard part is getting on the big ugly heatsink. It has to hook on with thin sheet metal things, and then clamped tight. Again, there are good instructions.

It came with 2 G ram, in two memory simms. You have to read the motherboard manual to see the proper placement, but they slide in and clamp.

I find this part a bit tricky where you slide on the front panel connections. The manual shows which pins, and the connectors are labeled.

Finally, I have to slide in the drives and hook the drive connectors to the motherboard, as well as hook up the power connectors. Nearly all the connectors are unique and only fit one way. For the game-happy son, I would order the same computer, increase the memory, and put in one of those really big graphics cards that look like refrigerators!

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