Skip to: Page 2: The Parts »To some the thought of building your own PC is a daunting even unthinkable undertaking; very few people venture inside a computer case let alone attempt to put one together from scratch. Well the good news is that everyone can relax because it's really not as difficult of a task as you may think and I'm going to show you how.
This past November, right around Thanksgiving, I had just finished graduate school and finally had enough time to get caught up reviewing the stack of games that had been piling up on my desk for the upcoming holiday rush of new releases when my PC crashed. As best as I can diagnose I believe it was the motherboard that died. I guess it could have just as easily been the CPU but I tend to think that CPUs have a little longer life than a Mobo. Especially a Mobo on a bare bones budget PC as I had.
In the past when it came to buying a new PC my moto was to buy cheap and upgrade. I bought a budget eMachines desktop back in the fall of 2005 for under $500. Out of the box this was not what I would have called a gaming PC, in fact many games wouldn't run on it, but I immediately upgrade both the graphics card and RAM and voila my gaming PC had come to life.
This time around I wasn't going to go cheap and have it die on me in less than 2 years, I also had some pretty specific system specs I wanted to meet. After a week of looking at most of the gaming PCs built by the big guys (i.e. Dell, Alienware, HP, Sony etc...) I came to the realization that those PCs weren't going to meet my specific specifications for the price I was willing to pay. Another big I've had more recently with pre-built PCs, either store bought or mail order, was the dozens of unnecessary programs or junkware that comes pre-loaded. A 90-day McAfee trial, 60-day Norton trial, MS Office trial and so on. There must have been 15 or more junkware programs that I had to spend hours trying to delete. These programs are not only annoying with all of their pop-ups but they tend to slow your startup and operating system down considerably. It was at this time that I decided to take a stab at building my own PC.
My article on building your own gaming PC goes through the individual parts that I used in my gaming PC, as well as providing links to other great parts that I had choose between. Please excuse my amateur photographs but I've also uploaded my photo log of the parts and process to help visualize it better.