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How I Built My Computer

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You're welcome to interpret this as a "How to Build a Computer" tutorial, but you do so at your own risk. Many things can go wrong when building a computer from scratch and those things are not covered in depth here. One bent pin on a processor or socket, for instance, and you can be out several hundred dollars. Companies generally don't accept returned products because the installer was incompetent.

I spent over a week researching the components for this computer, one evening building it, and one day installing software and transferring files. Just like a good paint job, my mantra for this build was Preparation, Preparation, Preparation. There are so many choices when shopping for computer components that it can be incredibly overwhelming.

I began the process by visiting Dell's website to price a computer that fits my current needs. I always do this first because it's quite possible I could order a pre-built machine for just a little more than the cost of parts to build one myself. In this case, the computer I priced came to just under $2,000.

Next, I made a list of things I didn't want to compromise on when choosing components.

  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • at least 1GB RAM from Crucial
  • RAID-capable motherboard
  • integrated IEEE-1394 (Firewire) on the motherboard
  • sufficient USB 2.0 ports

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