Build own PC -Before We Start & Stat & Static Electricity

Which parts do I buy? Which are the best?

If you click on the "Parts" button, you will see a list of the parts needed to build a PC.  You will also see exactly which parts we chose for our PC and a list of manufacturers we recommend.  Use this as a guide when choosing your own parts. 

Keep in mind that technology changes very rapidly - as of this writing, we’ve updated the parts list to include recommendations for newer components that take advantage of these changes.  Although these parts are newer than the ones we used, the general installation procedures are similar.  Always remember to read and understand the component’s instruction manual before installing it.

Where is the best place to buy parts?
There are many good places to buy computer parts.  One option is to go to a large computer retail store in your area; the support is generally good and most retail stores provide reasonable exchange policies.  The trade-off is that you’ll pay a little more than you would in other places; sometimes you can pay a lot more - so be sure to shop around and compare prices.

Most towns have smaller stores that sell and repair computer equipment.  These are not large retail stores, but instead usually occupy an office suite in a strip mall.  Regardless of location, such stores are often less expensive and can provide individual attention.  Their hardware is typically retail packaged from the manufacturer, but they also sell OEM hardware, which is usually wrapped plainly and has very little documentation.  This is generally good hardware and costs a lot less, however, if you feel you need documentation, you should not buy OEM hardware.

The third alternative is buying the hardware at a Computer Show.  Most good-sized cities have computer shows nearby.  These shows are like swap meets or flea markets.  Computer parts vendors show up to sell their merchandise and because there are many vendors selling the same item, competition is very fierce.  This is good for you, because you’ll be able to buy a lot of products at deep discounts.  The only negative aspect with computer shows is that service can become a problem.  If you need to exchange something or have a problem, it might be difficult for you to contact a vendor.  For this reason, we recommend you only make purchases from vendors who have a store somewhere nearby.  That way after the show, they can be easily contacted for an exchange if necessary.  Another tip is always to buy brand-name products.

Other Case Designs
Some manufacturers of cases have made efforts to make their cases "screw-less".  With this design, you usually take hold of the bottom front of the case and give it a nice solid yank - the front then pulls off.  In our experience this usually requires a few tries and some muscle - but most cases are pretty durable.  After you pull off the front, the sides lift and slide off and you just lift the top off.  Your case comes apart in four pieces. 

Other such cases have a similar design - always consult the case’s instruction manual to determine exactly how your case should be opened.

Static Electricity
Static electricity is nothing to be taken lightly.  Believe it or not, your body can store thousands of volts of static electricity, which translates into certain death to virtually all of your PC’s delicate components.  It is vital that you always ground yourself by touching the bare metal case chassis before and during the upgrade process.  It is also a good idea to work on a non-carpeted surface in your home.  As an extra precaution, you can purchase a wrist-strap grounding device at most electronic stores; this will slide over your wrist and provide a constant ground for extra safety. 

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