Friday, July 26, 2013

I "Built" a computer

In order to do some work at home I need a more powerful computer than my laptop in order to run AutoCad.  I'm not ready just yet, but I hope to also place adds for per contract AutoCad drawings for whoever wants to pay for them.

"Building" a computer sounds like quite a nerdy thing to do.  But in my defense, I knew almost nothing when I started, and my biggest problem came when I forgot to plug the power cord in. 

It seemed more complicated than I thought that it would be.  I had expected that most of the parts would have advanced to the point where they would be very simply labeled and obvious to plug in.  Maybe they are, but with names like "PCIe" I'm not sure that computer building is as easy as it might be.

In two, or three hours, of over thinking every connection, I had it up and running on my first try, with all connections, that I know of.

I still don't know much of anything about all of the computer parts, so I found some other guy's parts list and approximated his "build" for mine.

My computer's parts were based off of the computer parts from Return of the $750 Gaming PC Build.

Several changes were made, I don't remember them all, but one change was to use this case:

I also watched the following YouTube videos, which helped a lot:

I still know little about computers, but it seemed fairly easy to do.  Some things I learned:
  • Its not "building" its assembling.
  • There are a handful of parts that need to match.
  • A modular power supply, whatever that is, might be preferable to my tangle of unused cables.
  • Hardware assembly is easier than I was led to believe it would be..
  • Cable management is easier than I was led to believe it would be (only the unused excess power cables are a mess).
  • I still know little about computer software, and hope to avoid ever needing to.
  • I've found another place to waste too much money on things like quieter fans.


  1. I remember the first time I built a computer. I was terrified about screwing up the entire system. Those fears were unfounded as I managed to short the running computer, giant flash of light and everything, and the computer didn't suffer for it.

    1. It is sometimes good to see the worst that can happen right away; and afterwords you'll be unafraid of the "worst" whatever it is.

  2. I used to build my own computers until they became so cheap it's wasn't worth it anymore. I still do my own upgrades, such as swapping memory or chips. I found the whole thing pretty easy.

    1. I like adding to my list of almost useful skills.

  3. Building computers is really pretty easy, been doing it for a long time. Not much you can screw up other than installing the CPU wrong and bending pins on the motherboard (for Intel processors that is). Couple of words of advice, if you are serious about using this for Cad you probably bought the wrong graphics card. You should buy the AMD Firepro line or the Nvidia Quadro line which are optimized for Cad programs rather than games, and yes it makes a big difference even though they are basically the same hardware and they charge an arm and a leg for the Cad cards. Second, most serious CAD designers use SolidWorks so before you drop a bundle on AutoCad make sure that is what you want as there are good reasons the majority of the Cad users have moved away from that particular software.


    1. Thanks for the card info. Would you know if I could have both cards installed at the same time?

      Its been my experience that Solidworks is more for looking cool than actually being useful.