Building A Computer

new computer partsI finally bought a new computer. I bought it in pieces from (I’ll post about them later), who are on the other side of Canada, but with shipping it was still cheaper than buying the equivalent pre-assembled PC. It arrived in less than a week. Here’s the important stuff:

bloody knuckleIt took me five hours and two beers. The part I worried about the most was the easiest: attaching the CPU and its fan onto the motherboard. AMD included a poster-size diagram on how to do it. The hardest part was fitting the DVD burner and hard-drive into their drive bays. That’s how I got the blooded knuckles.

assembled computerThe last step in the process was plugging the power supply into the motherboard. Easy. Well, I discovered the power supply had a 20-pin connector but the motherboard had a 24-pin connector; there would’ve have been four empty slots if I tried to plug it in (if it even fitted). The specifications for both were “ATX”, which is some kind of standard; neither said anything about the pins required! Pissed me off.

The next morning while running weekly errands, I dropped into a few computer shops and no one had a 20 to 24-pin adapter, and some hadn’t even heard of one. Exasperated, I went home and decided to start phoning shops I didn’t visit. The first place said I didn’t need an adapter. I was incredulous. He said the power supply’s connector would fit in only one position; that is, it was dummy proof. Their shop did it ALL the time. He guaranteed it wouldn’t blow up my motherboard, asking if I had a PCI Express card and what my power supply wattage was, to be sure. So a big thanks to Ron at PCMedic in Dieppe for saving me 10 bucks. Seriously.

Putting together a PC from its pieces is a pain in the arse, but it IS cheaper buying the parts that way. I’d only recommend it if you’re tech-savy.

So the PC is up and running now except I haven’t hooked it up to the net yet.

Update: The motherboard’s chip failed six months after this. ASUS sent me a replacement motherboard.