As a millennial PC buyer, it can be frustrating to try and find a computer that really meets your needs. Today’s computer buyers have entirely different requirements to buyers 10 years ago. More and more young people are creating art and music professionally, as well as striking out to create their own businesses. Even if you just want a PC for school or college, your requirements are probably fairly specific – and a ready-made computer may not meet them. It’s like walking into a store to get a new suit, and finding that nothing quite fits.
Why buy off-the-peg when you can go tailor-made? For people who know what they want, building your own PC is the only way to go. To help you get the most out of your bespoke box, here are some rookie errors that you can easily avoid with a little foresight.
Failing to define your needs
As the old saying goes: fail to plan, plan to fail. The biggest mistake you can make when building a new PC is to skip the project design stage. Ask yourself: what will I be using my computer for? Are you going to use it mainly for writing college papers or is it going to be your business hub? Will you be using your machine for graphic design or recording music? Are you looking for an office workhorse or putting together a killer gaming system? All of these different applications require unique specifications. You need to consider details such as low-noise fans for your music machine or high-end graphic capabilities for gaming or design.
Power cable woes
Many an eager young builder has fallen foul of power cable problems. First of all, make sure that the cables connecting your motherboard to the power supply and the case switches are all plugged in – and plugged in all the way. If you leave these till last, you may find it very tricky to work around your graphics card and other elements. You also need to make sure that each plug has been snapped all the way into the appropriate socket; if they’re out by even a fraction of an inch, your whole system may fail to turn on.
You also need to ensure that cables are inserted correctly. While polarity doesn’t matter for some cables, others need to be oriented correctly. Printed on each plug, you should see a tiny black arrow. That arrow indicates the positive (+) side. The terminal should also be marked with a plus sign. Make certain that you line up the positive side of the plug with the positive terminal.
House of cards
When adding elements such as sound and graphics cards, make sure they’re plugged all the way into their respective slots. If a card has screw flanges, use them. Card slots aren’t designed to support the whole weight of the card. While your system may work just fine if you don’t bother to screw the card in, it may cause trouble down the line as the card’s weight can damage both the slot and the card itself.
Watch out for these pitfalls and you’ll soon be operating the PC of your dreams – without the headaches.