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Archives for : March2014

Liquid Cooling For All

When it came to building my first rig, my goal was to put together something that could turn on and not fry within 24 hours of use. Though trembling and sweating as I installed each component, I let out a big sigh of relief when the power LED turned on and my loading screen came up. So when Justin Chou came to me with the challenge of installing my first liquid cooler, I just about fainted.

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DIY!

DIY – Do it yourself! But…why?

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BUT WHY?!?

Building your own system is very rewarding and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Here’s a few of the many reasons to consider and can hopefully convince you to start building your own system.

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Getting Started

If you have no hardware experience, the idea of building a computer from the ground up seems daunting—but it’s one of the most satisfying projects a tech enthusiast can take on. It only makes sense that buying an already built retailer’s pc is more convenient for us all and saves us a lot of time. Like they say “Why build when you can just buy one?” that’s a great question. Some even say that building your own system can be a money saver, which is true in some degree, but that’s not the best reason to commit on a project like this. In my own personal experience, building my first rig was a fantastic hands-on educational experience, time consuming yes! but, very rewarding. It gave me a deep sense of satisfaction every single day when I press the power button, watch it light up, and know that I was responsible for this creation! Some of us spend hours per day on a computer and not even know how that little mysterious black box does all these amazing things for us. Putting together your own rig gives you a glimpse of the mystery inside the black box.With your own build you can customize your system just how you like it, you can make it your perfect media center or your ultimate gaming machine. Upgrading your PC in the future becomes easier and cheaper, because your parts aren’t required to be bought from a specific manufacturer. With a custom build you can do fun stuff like overclock your CPU and get “more bang for your buck” (as they say).

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Unnecessary Pre-Installed Softwares

No Pre-Installed unnecessary software  Norton Internet Security Trial, why? I’d venture a guess that the average number of useless pre-installed garbage programs that come on a machine measures at 10-15. These programs are generally useless and completely use up you valuable processing power, taking a clear toll on your system stability. These programs border on Adware and Malware programs (that many offer ANOTHER software to remove them for you if you dish out that additional $19.95). By building your own system, you start with a blank hard drive and whatever operating system and software you choose to install. That’s it.

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Submerged Rig

Build from the ground up Whether you’re in the market for aesthetics or pure performance, 99% of the time, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Like in the car industry, there are tons of aftermarket parts out there that you may have never heard of, cases with clear windows and LED lights can make even the nerdiest kid  seem cool (but only to his friends). You can even make the most outdated system seem like brand new and cool! Until they actually turn on your computer or look inside your rig. There are literally thousands of ways to personalize your machine to your visual tastes as well as completely tailored to your actual computing needs. Did heat kill your last machine? No worries, throw about five more fans on there and a heat sink the size of a soda can or install liquid cooling! (I suggest the Kuhler 1250!) or if you live inside a volcano, why not just submerge your system in water?!

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Done!

You’re so pro! While the task may seem daunting at first, it’s actually quite straightforward to put together a computer. All you need is a small screwdriver, some plastic wire ties, and a pair of wire cutters and you can put one together. Anyone who can read can follow the motherboard hook ups, each specific cable are specifically matched to only go into one slot, if it doesn’t click its best not to force anything in! It took me about 4 hours to build my first system, now I could do one in less than an hour. There will be some trial and error, but other than that it’s a simple game of patience. It take a couple of practice builds, as time goes on, you’ll be able to build a rig just like the image above!

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Word Of Advice

But beware….know what you’re getting into! Don’t get me wrong, building your own system can be fun, self fulfilling, a great experience, etc…. all that good stuff, but you will come across some problems, some WTF moments (more than you can count), and it will be very frustrating. And on top of that, it takes a good amount of time researching, will test your patience and willingness to deal with unseen problems that will take some time to troubleshoot. If you’ve never taken a shot at opening a PC’s case and installed parts, like a higher end GPU or a simple hard drive, I recommend starting there first. If you managed to swap/add out those components and your computer didn’t explode, good job! But then you might think that building a new rig is just a matter of snapping together a few parts. It is, but building from the ground up takes much more than an hour or two. My build took three and a half days, a newegg order, a returned board, two trips to Fry’s, one sales associate who gave me the “what the hell is this guy talking about look” when I asked a question, and a trip to Best Buy. If that sounds like a lot, well, it was and there were moments in the process when I wished I’d just bought an already built HP desktop. But when it finally all came together, all that sweat and blood (you get cuts here and there!) makes the results even sweeter. So go out and start building your own custom machines today!

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