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Building your own PC: Save Money, Kill Noobs

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Note: These tips may not apply to everyone and requires a bit of courage but it can be one of the most rewarding experiences ever.

The Reason:
First, you're going to need a reason to want a high-end desktop. If you're doing just daily tasks, like checking email or etc, then you probably don't need one. A pre-built one or a laptop might suit you just fine and might be cheaper overall. However, if you want to play games at a higher quality than the PS4 and XBOX One can achieve, you've come to the right place.

The Leap:
To get the most bang for your buck performance, the biggest caveat is: YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO BUILD IT. That means getting the parts and assembling the PC yourself. DON'T WORRY. PC components are super easy to deal with and there are THOUSANDS if not, MILLIONS of tutorials online. If you can put together a Lego set, you can build a PC.

Here are a couple of good references for beginners. The content is a bit dated on the parts themselves but the process is pretty much the same:

This is pretty much the step that separates the crowd. I recommend skimming through these and seeing if you feel up to the task. But as I mentioned before, this is pretty much LEGOS

The Selection:
Picking parts can be a very daunting task, it's essentially the hardest step in the process. However the method can be broken down simply like this:
1. Decide on a budget
2. Pick best parts to maximize budget
Optional (wait for coupons/sales to optimize budget)
3. Get parts
4. Build Computer
5. ???

For beginners, I recommend going to Reddit.  The BuildaPcsubreddit is great for people wanting to get more in detail with the parts. BuildaPCforMeIs where you can give the users a budget and they'll pick out parts for you, if you rather do it that way.

The Shopping:
Before you shop, I really stress that you should look up getting a free Shoprunner account and/or Amazon Prime. Both have easily accessible free trials or promotions that you can use.

My primarily buy from Newegg or Amazon. TigerDirect is also good has good deals but I've never shopped from there personally.

SIDENOTE: If you live near a MircroCenter, they offer AMAZING deals on parts. Unfortunately their best deals are in-store only and the closest one to me is 400 miles away =(.

I like Newegg due to rotating sales and frequent coupon codes. They're Shoprunner eligible so take advantage to there. Some states don't have to pay tax either so that's another plus. They also offer combo discounts where if you buy 2 or more select parts, you get a group discount. My only negative is no free return shipping.

Amazon usually pricematches Newegg but you may lose out on exclusive Mail in Rebates with Newegg or TigerDirect. I tend to get case chassis from here if the price is comparable to Newegg since I have Amazon Prime and get 2-day Shipping Free. Cases at Newegg often don't qualify for Shoprunner because of their weight and size so Amazon is a good alternative. 

If you're going to vulture it out and just wait for good parts to come up for sale, there is a downside to that. Sometimes PC parts just come dead on arrival. Waiting until you have all the parts may go beyond that items return policy.

The Buidling:
Put the parts together

The Result:
Welcome to the Jungle. Download Steam, enjoy the bleeding edge.

Retrex (L5) posted Jan 03, 2014

Very nice write up, great for someone who wants to dyi and save. Building a desktop is quite fun, the satisfaction of doing it yourself and getting the right parts you want is awesome, instead of just going out and buy a complete system =]

MrBklynW (L5) posted Jan 05, 2014


nice topic

Judith008 (L1) posted Jan 05, 2014


I was just talking about building a computer with someone yesterday and I said i didn't really know where to start. I have replaced parts in computers but never built one from scratch so i'm excited to try. Thanks for the tips and I have a MircroCenter like 20min away from me so i might have to go check it out :)

nimase85 (L5) posted Jan 06, 2014


btw lol at the image on the bottom

nimase85 (L5) posted Jan 06, 2014


I built my current one for myself.

claystevens (L1) posted Jan 06, 2014


@nimase85 If you have a Microcenter, go for it! Bring printouts/smartphone when you go since they're pretty aggressive about price matching. The only thing you gotta worry about is other customers, they run out of stock quick!

Retrex (L5) posted Jan 10, 2014