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Building your own computer


Choice is a wonderful thing. But wandering into your local branch of Computers 'R' Us and buying a computer off the shelf is anything but straightforward. How do you decide which computer? And from which manufacturer? In some ways less choice would make it easier to make a decision; those techies in the know already are aware that there is a limited choice -- albeit a disguised one.

Large PC manufacturers use a limited set of tried and tested components from a very limited number of suppliers; that way they can buy in bulk and get good discounts. The local computer shop is not so restricted and can thus build with the latest set of, or wider selection of, PC components. But even these tend to use a build design and stick to a tried and tested formula; after all, they're the ones who are supporting those products after they walk out the door.

The only way to optimise your computer in terms of performance and price is to build it yourself. You can then choose exactly which combination of components you want, so if you want a specialist sound system but basic graphics you can build it that way. It's unlikely a PC manufacturer would have the flexibility to do this. Let's say right now, that the cost savings are quite small when building yourself; if you could buy an identical computer from that computer shop and compare it against one you build yourself from individual components, then you're not going to save yourself hundreds of pounds. There just isn't that sort of mark-up on computer products these days.

The extra advantage you will have in building your own computer, is that by the time you have finished you will know your computer inside out, and will have a thorough understanding of all the components. And is most certainly won't cost you any more and it will be just the way you want!

  1. The components of a PC

  2. Putting it all together

  3. Troubleshooting

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