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Should You Build Your Own PC?

Written By: Mark Dodd

Many people are intimidated by the inside of a computer case. At first glance all those wires and components look confusing and impossibly high-tech. The thought of actually putting all the parts together may seem impossible.

Not to worry! Even though they are the product of advanced technology, the various components of PCs fit together with relatively simple connections. Putting together a PC is about as complicated as repairing a toaster. If you can use a screwdriver and follow simple instructions, you can build your own PC.

Advantages

You are probably asking yourself why anyone would bother to build their own PC. After all, you can buy a cheap computer in almost any retail store. If cost is your only consideration, you are probably better off buying one of those cheap machines. But if you have special requirements for software or hardware, building your own PC gives you total control over the quality of the components.

You can save some money too. Although you probably can’t match the price of the cheapest preassembled PCs, once you start asking for customized hardware installation the cost of building your own computer becomes cheaper. And don’t forget — those super cheap PCs are bare-boned systems. Unless you only need a computer for basic word processing and e-mail, you will probably have to upgrade.

Building your own PC is a great learning experience. You will gain better understanding of how the various components work together – knowledge that can be useful when troubleshooting. If your computer ever breaks down you may be able to pinpoint and fix the problem yourself, saving on those expensive service bills.

Disadvantages

The major disadvantage in building your own PC is that you don’t get a system wide warranty. For example, if a malfunctioning motherboard fries your memory chips, you may be unable to get compensated for the damaged memory. If something like this happens with a store-bought system you could probably get the computer repaired under the warranty.

However, if you buy all the components at the same time and from the same retailer, they may be more likely to compensate you for this kind of situation.

Getting the Best

You are pretty well guaranteed to get the best computer when you build your own system. Big retailers often use cheaper OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) components to cut down on costs. Components like these can compromise the performance of a computer system. Although you can buy OEM components retail, the trade-off in reliability and stability is usually not worth it. Brand name components are usually just a bit more expensive and well worth the cost for the extra performance they offer.

The Bottom Line

Building your own PC has a lot to offer. You’ll be assured of getting the best components available which translates as the best and most reliable computer for the money. You will learn a lot about computer components and how to choose parts that offer the best performance. When it comes to servicing your computer you may be able to pinpoint the problem yourself and replace the problem parts.

Don’t be worried about the task of connecting the computer components together. Many of the internal connections are molded so that it is impossible to fit them together the wrong way. If you have ever assembled a child’s toy you are more than capable of assembling a computer!
About the Author

Mark Dodd is a computer technician with 14 years in the field. Mark has an online blog at http://www.buildacomputerhome.com.

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