Afterthoughts: Building a Computer

All the components lined up ready and waiting.

I need a new computer, badly. My last PC had served me well, but considering that I had gotten it when I was a sophomore in college, it was time for us to part ways. I had always wanted to build my own PC, with all the saved money and the comfort of knowing your rig inside out, who wouldn’t? My first PC was a Gateway that I had gotten for my birthday after much kicking and squealing to my Macintosh parents who refused to believe a machine running Windows was anything but a Virus Dumpster. Four years later I got a custom gaming computer from a company called Nutech and four years after that I got another custom but this time from Ibuypower. Both computers got the job done although they were riddled with small problems like the motherboard BIOS had locked OC’ing for some reason and the ram timings would often be incorrect. Having nothing to do with those processes when the machine itself was built made for some infuriating days when I had no idea why my machine wouldn’t boot, and don’t even get me started on the time the “recommended” power supply blew and the guy at the repair shop laughed at me for using something so underpowered. Always I would claim “my next computer I’m going to build myself!” only to never follow through, but this time I did it.

The Motherboard, otherwise known as Homebase.

Thanks to this very helpful thread on Neogaf, I watched a few tutorial videos and ordered the parts right for my budget. Despite never building a computer before, it looked nothing more then LEGOs for adults and I had a head start by being familiar with all the parts. I was only partially correct, but here’s the specs of the beast:

As you can see, Maximus is a pretty capable machine :). The actual process of building it was pretty easy thanks to having some help from my dad and following along tutorial videos on the web. The hardest part was probably installing the custom cooler onto the CPU as it actually had to go on both sides of the Motherboard and you were esentially balancing a small brick onto a very expensive microchip with the only thing between the two being a dab of thermal paste. The fact that the directions were seemingly written in an undiscovered language that is only decipherable by the gods did not help either. My temperatures have been fine even during an overclocked stress test, so I guess we did it right.

Dad helping with the confusing installation of the cooler.

From there it was just more screwing in, connecting of cables, and plugging parts into other parts. The only other slightly problem was these small little blocks that you attach onto a cable inside the case and onto the motherboard. These blocks have different features listed on them, some clearer then others such USB1, LEDPOWERON, etc. Some are written in complete gibberish and the only way to find where they went was to consult the motherboard’s manual that contained no rhyme or reason to what information it did or didn’t possess. This turned out to be the only problem once we were done as everything was in working order except the two front USB ports, it was a problem that was quickly remedied and I’ve been using Maximus for two weeks now without any problems.

The finished beast, Maximus.

To anyone thinking about build a computer, watch some videos(such as this one), and if it seems like something you can do, then do it. If the whole process seems to be too daunting I would check out sites like NCIX which allow you to order all your parts and then they put them together for a fee of $50. Otherwise I know a few friends who have been getting Alienwares as of late, and while they may cost more, everyone seems to be pretty happy with them. If you have any questions feel free to ask.


To keep this somewhat gaming-related, I’ve been playing Shadows of the Damned, and it is awesome.



~ by spruchy on June 22, 2011.

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