Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40

Thread: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

  1. #1

    Default Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Hi everyone.

    I'm basically not very good in IT hardware matters, and felt cheated when I custom built a PC at Sim Lim Square about 1.5 years ago. That shop (don't want to mention their name here, but they have closed down a few months ago) assembled my PC, but I don't think they've done a good job, and I even felt they may have been dishonest .

    To learn more about hardwares, I've attended a PC building course at the NTUC training hub about 1 year ago. Unfortunately, the equipments there are all outdated, and does not reflect what's current on the market. Today, I'm still not confident to 'hands on' on building a new computer myself.

    Can someone recommend a good school where I can learn how to custom build, or upgrade my own PC, and do a complete proper setup myself?

    Thanks, Humbee

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    State of Confusion
    Posts
    2,196

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Compared to about 10 yrs ago, nowsaday there is greater compatibility between all the hardware components, and everything should fit in nicely. It's almost a no-brainer.

    First thing is to do a check the motherboard specs for compatibility with stuff like PSU, RAM, CPU, VGA, HDD, etc.

    Power supply sockets fit in one way only, so don't worry about that.
    Ribbon cables, I've always remembered "Red to 1". There is usually always a red/coloured line on the ribbon cable. Line this up on the "1" found printed on the circuit board next to the socket.

    Then when everything is okay, fire it up, run BIOS set-up to boot from CD/DVD drive, and install your OS from there.
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    270 degree of Singapore
    Posts
    6,741

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    like most people, I never go to attend computer building/setup skill, but I choose my parts and built my own PC. Most learn from reading through hardware reviews, forum and friends for latest info (quite a lot of reading if you want to be up to date). Our local hardwarezone's hardware forum is quite a good place to learn, otherwise there are tomshardware, anandtech review sites etc. Or just google. Even if you don't want to learn that much, you can follow other people specification and ask those shops in SLS or Funan to build for you.
    Sony Alpha 700 hobbyist

  4. #4
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    East
    Posts
    11,755

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Please note that even if you know how to assemble everything together, certain parts does not work well with certain other parts. Would you have the knowledge to know these??

    Also minor tweaks may be required.

    Have fun if you're daring enough....
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    as far as i can remember all my 3 computers have been custom built! its cheaper and more value for money than getting for straight from the shelves.
    I dont know of any schools that actually teach a course like that, but information like this is all over the net!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Realli hav to read and hands-on. courses onli can do so much.

    aniway, main PC components are pretty fixed... juz see wat you currently hav and get replacement accordingly...

    first read specs and compatible list carefully... then assemble then test then tweak as desired.
    Gallery | Facebook Page Spreading the Good photography.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
    Posts
    1,568

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    What??! There are actually courses that teaches you how to install your own system from the ground up?? I thought you learn that on a job working for some computer company or you are crazy like me who have were self taught by trial an error, tons of books or getting tips from geeks on BBS and IRC back in the old days before colour internet. I cut my teeth on building my first 286SX computer..donkey years ago. hehe..

    How I learn it put a PC together and learn about the parts back then was simply to take a part an existing computer and put it together again. Do this a few 10s of times and you "get it" really quickly the "manual labour" work...unless you are a total dork with two left feets and hands heh. And in a way, I suspect that is what some of the shops in SL does. They train norm non computer literate people to do build systems for customers as a added service. I know of quite a few who were like that when I hang around SL very regularily back then.

    The hardest part is not the building. You get cuts all over your hands and fingers or a ZAP or two...that's chicken feed. The hardest part is learning about the various brands and makes of component that makes up the computer. Then learning about the drivers what it does with difference devices, testing the system and tweaking the CMOS when you boot it up and run the system through it's pace and installing the OS and other softwares to make it run well together. THOES PARTs,.... you will never ever stop learning and updating so long as you want to keep building your own system for life. I have built 200+ computers now for work, friends and myself and usually it is never always the same story. Especially when parts are always never the same one. What you build today can be so radically difference in 6 months that you have to get back on the net and spend days or not weeks searching out details on parts..especially when something does not work and you have already bought the parts and can't get an exchange!

    Getting a shop to do it for you is no guarantee they will do a good job too. They build so many systems using combination of many varying brands/parts and then operating it under even more variables of OS and s/w, ...you can see how it starts to all add up to a very complex setup. And still they or you can still get it wrong.

    But personally for me, that's is what is most rewarding about it. You are force to adapt and learn and update on your feet. I even had a very tough build that took me almost 2 days and night without sleep to get it working and worst part during just days from Chinese New Years. So when things go wrong or you want to change parts...you try to find a shop that is open during that holiday.

    Good luck. If you are really into it..you will have a ton of fun like me and maybe it will also, once and for all, let you know finally if your crititsm of how bad that shop did your PC for you is justified or not.

    Really!!?? There are actually classes for this? heh
    Last edited by sammy888; 17th December 2008 at 02:54 PM.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    all except my first pc is custom build all by me self.
    I learn all from internet too, and before internet is widely available read from book which I have forgotten the title, but now there are tons of this on the internet.

    Of all you need to decide you have to decide first how much you want to spend cos you can simply over-run. You can base your price from dell or other prebuild pc then decide now much discount you are giving yourself for your own labor. It could be 0% but you end up with better specs.

    You have to calculate the OEM OS price too, assuming you are not going to install pirated OS or free OS such as Linux.
    Then decide on the processor: AMD or Intel and which type of processor. Nowadays I do not worry so much as even 2nd or 3rd grade are still has so much more power than what I actually use.

    Then from there pick a motherboard, I recommend trouble-free asus or asustek.

    Decide if the on-board videocard is good enough for you. If not go get a video card, but remember normally you only do this if your gaming software demands it.
    Make sure your motherboard support the card.

    As for sound unless you are very audiophile, then you get a soundcard. I dont.

    Then get the CD/DVD drive. Korean brand is pretty good now.

    Make sure you optimise the speed of your motherboard bus with the speed of memory. If memory unit you have is a lot faster than your motherboard bus speed then you are wasting money on the memory. If memory too slow, then your memory will hog the speed. Same with HD but remember for HD check the effective speed and not top speed.

    Calculate your power consumtion of all those plus the cooling and you are set.

    Remember you dont ask if this brand or this model is good in simlim. Do your own homework and come with a list of items you want.
    May be go first and collect all the printouts to see what is available in the market, then go again next day or next week really to shop.
    You may also want to read reviews of check out the latest firmwire update for the components you want to buy, and download all.

    Go around and ask for best price specifically for the particular one you want. If they say not available go to next cheapest shop. Dont get bullied, just step back dont get mad by shop keeper who are not interested, talk to another guy if the whole shop dont want your money you go to the next shop.

    Dont be afraid to ask for lower price if you buy more items. They can always say no. So shop bundle the motherboard and CPU together, some even bundle the casing. I have enough casing so I dont buy anymore unless I lust over those mini casing LOL. My computer is like a skeleton at home -- for better cooling

    Keep all your receipts and packaging for at least 1 month cos it is easier to return with packaging.

    For assembly make sure you are in aircon room cos you dont want to drip your sweat on the circuits. Keep at least 2 whole day free! seriously. You are not an expert in assembly or this is your first time then probably you want to double that.
    Learn the cables, if necessary invest in a cheap a magnifying lense. Read the manuals. It is handy to have a working computer in case you need to consult internet.

    Assemble all and first upgrade should be your motherboard firmwire if there is any, then the rest can follow. Install basic option from OS first and after all are good slowly customise.

    By the way if you are not picky about top quality, check out 2nd hand parts. I dont recommend motherboard but memory is fine to me. I recently upgrade my old PC to have 2 GB memory so I can run more apps faster (cos it does not have to use virtual memory - of swaps - to HD) and bought 2nd hand parts. Price is cheaper by 30-40%.
    Last edited by aryanto; 17th December 2008 at 10:05 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Outside the Dry Box.
    Posts
    16,268

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Quote Originally Posted by sammy888 View Post
    What??! There are actually courses that teaches you how to install your own system from the ground up?? I thought you learn that on a job working for some computer company or you are crazy like me who have were self taught by trial an error, tons of books or getting tips from geeks on BBS and IRC back in the old days before colour internet. I cut my teeth on building my first 286SX computer..donkey years ago. hehe..

    How I learn it put a PC together and learn about the parts back then was simply to take a part an existing computer and put it together again. Do this a few 10s of times and you "get it" really quickly the "manual labour" work...unless you are a total dork with two left feets and hands heh. And in a way, I suspect that is what some of the shops in SL does. They train norm non computer literate people to do build systems for customers as a added service. I know of quite a few who were like that when I hang around SL very regularily back then.

    The hardest part is not the building. You get cuts all over your hands and fingers or a ZAP or two...that's chicken feed. The hardest part is learning about the various brands and makes of component that makes up the computer. Then learning about the drivers what it does with difference devices, testing the system and tweaking the CMOS when you boot it up and run the system through it's pace and installing the OS and other softwares to make it run well together. THOES PARTs,.... you will never ever stop learning and updating so long as you want to keep building your own system for life. I have built 200+ computers now for work, friends and myself and usually it is never always the same story. Especially when parts are always never the same one. What you build today can be so radically difference in 6 months that you have to get back on the net and spend days or not weeks searching out details on parts..especially when something does not work and you have already bought the parts and can't get an exchange!

    Getting a shop to do it for you is no guarantee they will do a good job too. They build so many systems using combination of many varying brands/parts and then operating it under even more variables of OS and s/w, ...you can see how it starts to all add up to a very complex setup. And still they or you can still get it wrong.

    But personally for me, that's is what is most rewarding about it. You are force to adapt and learn and update on your feet. I even had a very tough build that took me almost 2 days and night without sleep to get it working and worst part during just days from Chinese New Years. So when things go wrong or you want to change parts...you try to find a shop that is open during that holiday.

    Good luck. If you are really into it..you will have a ton of fun like me and maybe it will also, once and for all, let you know finally if your crititsm of how bad that shop did your PC for you is justified or not.

    Really!!?? There are actually classes for this? heh
    i lose to u liao, i built my 1st 386DX when sec 1... burnt my PSU for the 1st time also... and not to mention the entire setup... lol... too curious that time about that 100v/220v switch... but no harm trying...

    even customized so many Boot disc until i get confused which one to use... esp with some games running EMS and some don't need, 4mb of memory is a luxury then.

    and last time plugging in and pulling out cards need to do weight lifting...

    there isn't any fun buying off the shelves rigs, the best rig is still one made by own hands... self configured to the max of whatever you can afford.
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
    Posts
    1,568

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt View Post
    i lose to u liao, i built my 1st 386DX when sec 1... burnt my PSU for the 1st time also... and not to mention the entire setup... lol... too curious that time about that 100v/220v switch... but no harm trying...

    even customized so many Boot disc until i get confused which one to use... esp with some games running EMS and some don't need, 4mb of memory is a luxury then.

    and last time plugging in and pulling out cards need to do weight lifting...

    there isn't any fun buying off the shelves rigs, the best rig is still one made by own hands... self configured to the max of whatever you can afford.
    Bro...you much younger then me leh...you more then caught up with me and you pass me since you have a career in it. In my sec 1 day..where got computer class yet hehe....even design school was a vocational institution then heheh... in fact I might want to get into that abit more come to think about it. But I am always debating between creative and IT and I like both and I end up in Beauty Skin Care and Spa hahahahahah...... sad story of my life.

    You know something... apart from my present Gigabyte board and two MSI..all the other boards I ever use were Asus. I was a hardcore supporter from day one. The 286SX does not earmark how early I did it. It was my sister's by that time I was already using a 386DX.
    Last edited by sammy888; 17th December 2008 at 10:21 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Oops.. didnt see that you already went for the "outdated" PC building course at NTUC..

    Unfortunately that's probably going to be the case at any other PC building course also, probably Pentium 4 systems.
    They wont be using the latest Intel i7 chips or Nvidia 9800 graphics cards in the course.

    I've considered myself as knowledgeable in IT for the last 10 years but there's gaps of 1-2 years when I dont keep up to date
    and when someone asks for my recommendation I'm at a lost. Everything which was new gen is now last gen...

    If you ask me you already have the basic skills , you just need to know what to buy

    I find this thread very good for my buying decisions
    http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/sh....php?t=1093205

    Also if you post your current system config.. we'll be able to tell you if its ok and if not what you need

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited by reno77; 17th December 2008 at 11:24 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    well, hope the TS got his answer. no point writing a whole lot of essay when not even sure whether he will come back and check for replies.

  13. #13
    Senior Member jnet6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    not here often anymore
    Posts
    8,169

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    I've attend some courses before around 10yrs ago as it really teaches you from the theory basic terms to let you get used to it and hands on practise from there.
    Now with the latest "idiot" proof technology is much more easier to assemble a computer then last time which requires some extra theories.

    Look through the newspaper or some online forums related to courses as you can get some reviews.

    Now computer building courses not as hot/popular as last time so even the one i attended has already close down few yrs back.

  14. #14
    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    5,587

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    offer any clubsnap members a good dinner and they would glady sit down and help u answer ur questions if u get them ready.

    HAHAHHAHAHHAHHH..

    i am one of those.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    haha i remember my very first AUTOPSY on my 1st 286 (super duper dunno how many hands already)
    and I burned the cmos thinking I can route a 5V line instead of using a battery. haha
    Oh well.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Hougang
    Posts
    820

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Most important is to RTFM.
    除了爱, 我一无所有

  17. #17

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    It seems like I'll need to be do a lot of research and updates to be proficient with PC stuffs.

    Perhaps I should consider either one of the followings:

    1. Just get a off the shelf PC from Dell, HP, NEC, etc.... I guess their configurations should work with minimum problems.

    2. Maybe go over to Macintosh desktops. Since MAC is a closed system, and everything in it's OS should be unified, it should give less problems.

    Too much time spent to upkeeping computers may be unproductive after all.

    By the way, there are schools that teaches PC building, but most of them are not running such courses anymore. NTUC training hub at Tanjong Pagar still does it, but the equipments are really outdated - quite disappointing .

    Humbee

  18. #18
    Senior Member glennyong's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    5,587

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Quote Originally Posted by humbee View Post
    It seems like I'll need to be do a lot of research and updates to be proficient with PC stuffs.

    Perhaps I should consider either one of the followings:

    1. Just get a off the shelf PC from Dell, HP, NEC, etc.... I guess their configurations should work with minimum problems.

    2. Maybe go over to Macintosh desktops. Since MAC is a closed system, and everything in it's OS should be unified, it should give less problems.

    Too much time spent to upkeeping computers may be unproductive after all.

    By the way, there are schools that teaches PC building, but most of them are not running such courses anymore. NTUC training hub at Tanjong Pagar still does it, but the equipments are really outdated - quite disappointing .

    Humbee
    MAC / HP / Dell are good......... hahahahaha....worked with these cmputuers before.. but of course the first to go would be dell... their monitors and keyboards and gfx cards are first to die on my hands...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Quote Originally Posted by humbee View Post
    It seems like I'll need to be do a lot of research and updates to be proficient with PC stuffs.

    Perhaps I should consider either one of the followings:

    1. Just get a off the shelf PC from Dell, HP, NEC, etc.... I guess their configurations should work with minimum problems.

    2. Maybe go over to Macintosh desktops. Since MAC is a closed system, and everything in it's OS should be unified, it should give less problems.

    Too much time spent to upkeeping computers may be unproductive after all.

    By the way, there are schools that teaches PC building, but most of them are not running such courses anymore. NTUC training hub at Tanjong Pagar still does it, but the equipments are really outdated - quite disappointing .

    Humbee
    Maybe you could try your luck to hire a "DIY expert" from one of those computer forums, a student perhaps, whom you can clarify your questions first before going together with you to SLS to buy the parts and DIY at some place.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    270 degree of Singapore
    Posts
    6,741

    Default Re: Need to learn computer building, setup skills

    Dell/HP/Acer etc branded computer instead will face minimal problem, but they are (except high end range) not built with optimization in mind, e.g. fast CPU chip (for advertisement purpose), but couple with slow chipset, memory or graphic cards to maintain a low final cost

    So most with PC setup skill will tend to build their own PC.

    Reno77 recommended link is actually a good and up to date on system component buiding recommendation
    PC Buyer's Guide II: Extreme, High-End, Mid-Range, Budget, and Entry Level Systems
    Last edited by zcf; 18th December 2008 at 03:54 PM.
    Sony Alpha 700 hobbyist

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •