Build Your Own Computer, its Easy & Affordable
I was facing several problems with my current PC for a while, so to put an end to my rising frustration levels, we purchased a new PC and thought of assembling it.
Tata Indicom Broadband is finally giving me some amazing service, but that was only after ranting about it on the blog. And finally it paid off, the service has been good and my downtime has been at a minimum, although this article would have been up last night if my net didn’t conk off when I was about to finish this post.
I have been assembling my own computers for quite a while and rectifying small problems, thanks to a forum called Techenclave and my work experience at Techtree. Of course major hardware changes like replacing components on the motherboard like the integrated circuits etc. are not possible but my computer knowledge is enough to get a computer back to sanity for most problems.
This Build Your Computer Guide will Cover:1. Parts required to build a computer
2. How to assemble a computer
3. The current market prices for computer parts in Bombay
Lets start off with the basic components that you require to build your computer.The Essentials:
The Intel Core2Duo processors are becoming more affordable now that the new quad cores are getting popular in Mumbai. The Core2Duo beats the AMD’s dual core processors hands down, but as compared to Intel, AMD’s processors are more affordable and I have been using them for ages now. My current system is a couple of generations old, a 2400+ Barton is stable as a rock. So I chose the AMD 4000+ Athlon X2 CPU that was priced at Rs 2778, extremely affordable, clocked at 1.8 GHz and based on the AM2 socket, which is a flop scene but no problem.
RAM is one of the most essential things required for your PC to cruise at lightning speed, so I suggest you go in for more than a GB of it and yes don’t ever load Vista even if you are getting it for free. Even Bill Gates admitted Vista sucks and they are already working on the next operating system.
I picked up a GB of Transcend DDR2 @ 667 MHz that was priced at Rs 987, you can pick up one working at a higher frequency of probably 800 MHz. I did not really want it as I plan on putting in another GB when the next Adsense payment arrives.
The motherboard or main board or mobo of a computer is the most important part, its the big board where everything fits on. A good computer requires a rock solid mobo. I stopped buying Intel and switched to Asus motherboards in the year 2000. I haven’t looked back since then the performance value and torture an Asus takes is quite impressive.I chose the ASUS M2N-VM DVI Motherboard thats was priced at Rs 3236 including all taxes. This mobo comes with an integrated GeForce 7050 graphics card, Realtek sound as well as a LAN card all built in.
A power supply has to be chosen according to the amount of power consuming parts that will be in your computer. If you have one hard disk, one optical drive (CD/Dvd Writer), a mobo processor (obvious) and a graphic card, you should be able to manage with a 300 to 350 Watt SMPS(Power supply).
If you need to run more than that like multiple hard disks and a powerful graphic card I suggest you take a look at an SMPS that can churn out at least 500 Watts.
I settled for a 400 Watts power supply made by VIP (earlier called Powersafe) it’s a decent power supply unless you are going to buy an Antec or Coolermaster. We paid Rs 1,450 for the power supply, it comes with only one SATA power connector.
The hard disk drive or HDD size depends on how much data you will accumulate. Its good to start off with at least 160 GB which can be procured for just under Rs 2000, which is awesome, I paid Rs 1986 for a Seagate SATA HDD.
I have been using Seagate for years together now and for the first time ever, the hard disk makes some weird sound. Its usually not the scene when I connect a hard disk, this is going to make me consider Western Digital or another manufacturer when I purchase next.
I first chose a cabinet called Circle, but it didn’t fit in to my shelf. So I had to pick up a smaller cabinet of iBall, which is an Indian-based company selling imports from China or Taiwan, and they put their brand name on it. I am personally not too fond of their products. This cabinet cost Rs 950 without the power supply.
I picked up a LiteOn 20X DVD writer, the company that was acquired by Moser Baer a while ago, they are also the OEM manufactures for Sony DVD writers, or they were a couple of years ago, I have not been in touch with the technology, channel-related news since I stopped writing for Channeltimes a couple of years ago.The DVD writer cost Rs 1,225, I remember my dad bought me my first CD writer for Rs 16,000 it was a Yamaha SCSI writer, it was pretty awesome with the amount I used it until it finally stopped working. By the time it died a new writer was available for just Rs 3500.
Well a gamer requires a graphic card, since the PC I am building is not going to be used as a gaming rig as I seem to be hooked to only online flash games at the moment. The motherboard has an integrated graphics card based on the Nvidia chipset. Remember never to buy a motherboard based on an Intel graphics chipset as it does not match the quality or performance of those based on the Nvidia or ATI chipsets. If you need to buy a graphic card, the XFX 8600 GT is priced at approx Rs 5,000 and its Direct x10 compatible.
The motherboard comes with an onboard soundcard as well. But being an audiophile, I prefer an external soundcard as compared to the onboard one. Although the quality of the onboard are increasing, they will never be able to match up with a stand alone one, be it a graphic card or a sound card. I use a Maudio USB Audiophile, which is an external sound card.
Building the PC:
Enough of the babble and lets get down to work, so get your cabinets out folks its time to load them up! So you remove the side of the cabinet where the fan vent is located, I think all cabinets have it on the left when you are facing it.
Here’s Bhavika who is quite thrilled to show you what the inside of the PC cabinet looks like.There are some wires visible which will be connected to the USB ports that are located on the cabinet as well as the power, reset switch and the LED indicators (Power, HDD etc.) that are located on the cabinet.
In earlier times there used to be a wire to attach a speaker connected to the chassis of the cabinet, now you get a nice tiny speaker that you can plug onto your mobo that saves space and looks neater with the same functionality.
There is one fan mounted on the chassis of the cabinet. I honestly wish there was a bigger fan there as the cabinet is smaller than the normal size which means it will be getting hotter faster especially since its going to be in my computer table that is not well ventilated.Along with the cabinet you get a wire that will connect your cabinet to the power supply. You get a bunch of screws, insulation material and sometimes if you are lucky enough you can get a broken plastic air channel like how I got.
You also get 4 circular rubber stickies that can be used as padding between the cabinet and the ground. But I ended using them as a padding between the board and the cabinet. I couldn’t figure out if the white tacks go in directly like that in the image above, earlier there were brass spacers between the cabinets and the motherboards now there was nothing so we put those stickies there and punched holes in them.Before placing your motherboard in the cabinet remember to remove the metal plate that is present at the back of the cabinet that is shown in the picture, you will get one along with your motherboard that will fit your mobo.
We then placed the motherboard on the black stickies and punched in the small white blunt tacks that fit the mobo to the cabinet. It stayed pretty well, even a good amount of pulling and pushing didn’t free it, I was happy.It’s now time to attach the power supply, it has a place on the top back of the cabinet, the wires are on the inside and the fan in this one points into the cabinet which makes me wonder how hot its going to get. There are four screws that go into the back and attach the power supply to the back of the cabinet. Although I would recommend you first fix the CPU to the motherboard to avoid any dirt or dust going into the socket. Here in the picture below you can see the white square with dots which are actually holes on the motherboard surrounded by a black plastic structure and has a metal lever.That’s where the processor fits in, you would have received your processor with a metal box of fins and a fan. The metal structure is a heat sink, it helps transmit heat from the processor to the fins and is cooled by a fan. You also get liquid cooling system but they cost more and are used by gamers.At the back of the heatsink there is a square of some substance that you can see below, the substance (thermal paste) basically helps in the conduction or transfer of heat between the processor and the heatsink.
If you can see the syringe in the picture that’s Artic Silver, its a well-framed conductor, after a while your PC needs a fresh conductor after around six months or less depending on usage, I would recommend using the latter.Lets get the processor out of the box, well don’t press the pins below by mistake its really important that you keep them intact, its not difficult to keep them intact I am just asking you to be a little careful. In the image below you can see a small triangular diagram on the top left of the processor. There will be a similar marking on the white socket on your motherboard.Release the lever by pressing it downwards and a little away from the socket and raise it up by 90 degrees. You will see the white socket open up. You can now place the processor into the socket triangle on triangle pins into the holes. Once it slides in with ease push the lever down again.
Then carefully place the heatsink on the processor making sure the square of conductor lands properly on the processor.
Nowadays its so easy to lock the heat sink onto the socket of the mother board. On one side of the heatsink there is a lever while on both the other sides there are two silver brackets that lock onto the motherboard socket, you will find detailed instructions that come along with your CPU, again its nothing to be scared off it used to be a little scary process now its really easy.
Once your heat sink is attached do not forget to plug the fan wire into the motherboard. Close to the heatsink you will find a socket that matches the amount of pins and it will also say CPU Fan besides the connection on your motherboard.
You can see these two yellow and two black lines. Those are the RAM slots, sometimes they may be blue and black as well. The difference is that the coloured ones allow your RAM to work in Dual channel mode while your black ones are for single channel mode.
Insert your RAM in the colored slot as it processes data faster than the black one in simple English. The RAM has a divider in the middle so its easy to fit it in, just match the length of the divider to one side with that of the motherboard, pull back those levers on the either side of the slot and push it in, the levers will close as you push the stick in and you can check to make sure they are closed properly.The front of the cabinet has two slots of plastic that can be removed, that’s where the DVD writer will go in, below that there’s another compartment on the chassis where your HDD will fit in. Take a look at the picture below that’s where the hard disk is, you do not need to put screws on both the sides but you can if you want to screw some more.
You can then plug in the SATA cable that you get with the HDD into the motherboard. The connection goes into the SATA1 port, if you have another hard disk it will go into the SATA2 port and so on. There will also be a SATA Power chord that will get plugged into the hard disk.Once you remove one of the plastic panels from the front of the cabinet you can put in your DVD writer or CD Rom. Along with your motherboard you would have received two or three cables, one would say Floppy on it, if it does not its usually the thinner cable. Its a cable that is flat and has many wires running on it, in the picture its connected to the blue socket on the bottom left of the motherboard. This is an IDE cable, there will be one with HDD written on it, note that on the side of the socket, on the wire there will be a bump on one side of the socket on the motherboard there will be a groove.
So put it in the way its usually done, the bump in the groove and take care not to bend pins or break the plastic socket on the motherboard. That usually happens with age as well the sides of the socket on the mobo tend to give way with too much pressure.All the chassis wires can be easily found, first the USB can be attached, check the image above click on it to enlarge it. You can see all the cabinet wires connected to the bottom left of the motherboard, what you should do is spend a little time looking around and you will find that each and every connection is marked. Where the speaker goes in, you will have speaker mentioned, it goes in only one way so it becomes really easy.
You then attach the power supply wires to the motherboard, the newer ones will require a 24Pin, its the largest power cable coming from the motherboard. The other is a four pin that goes into your motherboard to power the processor. The other common ones go for the DVD ROM, Chassis Fan and the IDE HDD’s if you have any.
You can do it, it will take a little time at first, but think of it technology changes every year or two.
Why Should You Build Your Own PC?
If you build your own PC, you can upgrade components as and when you want and you will save a lot of money as compared to buying a branded PC. Plus you know that you are using the best components available in the market, you can build a more stable machine.
Do you trust yourself or a corporation who will probably end making more money than what your processor costs! It’s so easy and if you find it tough, we are there to help, just drop a comment if you need any support. The money you save, can be used to help a poor person or do something for the environment.
Amount Spent on Building the Computer:
Mother Board: Rs 3,236
Processor: Rs 2,778
RAM: Rs 987
Power Supply: Rs 1,450
Hard Disk: Rs 1,986
Cabinet: Rs 950
DVD Writer: Rs 1,225
Total Cost: Rs 12,612
You can pick up a decent 17-inch LCD/TFT monitor for around Rs 6000 to Rs 7000 a basic one will be around Rs 5,000, I will be picking up a KVM switch so I can use both the processors with just one monitor and keyboard mouse. You can pick up a standard Microsoft keyboard and Mouse which is available for Rs 650.
So you have a good enough PC to work, surf, watch movies, play music, have a home theatre and do a bit of gaming all for Rs 12,612 + Rs 6000 + Rs 650 that’s between Rs 18,000 to Rs 19,000 depending on the monitor you pick up, I recommend a View Sonic monitor.
Our parts were sourced from:
Sunil Shopping Centre,
Opp. Navrang Cinema,
Tel No: 65569664, 26776318
Do not purchase parts from A & A computers opposite Neotech computers, he will charge you more than Neotech, I have been scammed by him before, so just to warn you.
Do You Need Help?
If you need help choosing a component or fixing or building your pc, post a comment we would be glad to help you make a decision.
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