This week we ran through the basic steps of building your first computer, but there's a lot more info out there. Here's some more reading that we recommend for both the building process and what to do after you've built your machine.
As you're going through the part-picking process, these are some sites that you may want to check out:
- Reddit's Buildapc forum is one of the best resources I've found. You can get a ton of advice from other veteran builders, both on picking out parts and on building the machine. Reddit accounts are free and take just a few seconds to make, so it's well worth it.
- PC Part Picker is a good price comparison tool, but is even more useful for posting your possible builds on Reddit when you ask for help as they have a handy export tool.
- Tom's Hardware is a very popular review site, and their forums abound with knowledgeable users.
- AnandTech is one of my favourite hardware sites on the net. We talked about their benchmarking tools in lesson 2, which are extremely helpful in picking out parts.
- ExtremeTech is another great hardware review site.
- The Logical Increments PC Buying Guide is a simple guide for picking out hardware, and it's regularly updated with modern parts. It's a pretty great "cheat sheet" that gives you a few recommended builds, though don't think you need to follow it religiously. It's a great starting point, though, as you begin to do your own research.
- NCIX Tech Tips and Linus Tech Tips are the two YouTube channels of Linus Sebastian, who is one of my favourite hardware gurus on the net. He does a lot of unboxings and hardware reviews, which are great, but you'll also find some really fantastic tips and guides in there for building computers. His talk about futureproofing myths is particularly informative for when you're picking out your parts, and something I recommend every first-time builder watch. We also mentioned his cable management guide in lesson 3.
- Tonymac86's blog is the place to go if you're looking to build a Hackintosh. Be sure to read the recommended builds page, which are a super easy way to find good hardware that's compatible with OS X.
Once you've built your computer, here are some of the next steps you might want to take:
- Stress Test Your Hardware to Troubleshoot Problems and Keep Your Computer Stable. Some of you recommended that this is a good way to make sure all your hardware is running in tip-top shape when you first build your computer.
- Top 10 Things to Do with a New Windows 7 System. Need we say more? Our guide to setting up and getting to know your new Windows PC is useful as well.
- A Beginner's Guide to Overclocking Your Intel Processor. If you want to squeeze as much speed as possible out of your processor, overclocking is a great way to do it. It's a complicated process though, so we recommend reading our uber-long guide. If you have an AMD processor or a non-Core i series Intel, you'll have to Google around for a guide to your specific CPU.
- Spring Cleaning for Your Computer: Evacuate PC Dust Bunnies. You won't need this right off the bat, but I recommend keeping this guide on hand. You'll be surprised by how fast a year goes by and the inside of your computer is filled with dust.
These are just some of the resources I could think up; many of you may have your own favourite sites and articles that you find useful. If you have a great one we didn't list, let me know and I can add it.
This marks the end of our computer-building journey, but like we said, there's a lot more to discover out there, and these resources should get you started. We'll be posting the full guide in one, unified package next week, but until then, thanks for learning with us!