I'm going to wait to buy a new system later this summer and I was wondering is building your own fairly easy to do? This is what I was thinking, it's not the best but I can't afford the best.

Nforce2 mobo with Athlon 2600-2800 (depending on where the price goes)
512 sdram pc 2700
80gig HD
radeon 9500
Some case w/ power supply

All the parts listed(with the exception of the vid card) I need to buy, so I'm wondering is it hard to put together all this stuff?

I'm worried about attatching the CPU to Mobo, and the hard drive and power stuff? I have no idea about power supply stuff but once I have it is it pretty self explanatory? Also if I need someone to do all this for me where can I go?

If you've never put a system before I would reccomend letting the people you're buying the stuff from put it together.There will probably be a charge which is normally somewhere between 50 and 70 bucks but if you don't know what you're doing I'd say it's worth it.

However, if you insist on putting the system together yourself the most important rule is touch the metal on the case before you touch any of the components. If you shock something you can fry it. If you have a grounding strap I'd use it. As far as system construction goes it's really pretty simple, theres really only one way to plug the different items in. The CPU will have a missing pin on one corner and it will coincide with the missing hole on the cpu socket.

To install the CPU:
1)Lift the little arm on the side of the socket

2)Match the missing CPU pin to the missing socket hole and align the processor with the socket. The CPU should drop slightly into the socket but it will not be all the way seated until you lower the lever again.

3)Lower the lever once the CPU is aligned with the holes and has partially fallen in. (Make absolutley sure it's level, you don't want to force it in there)

The heatsink will come with instructions on how to install it. Make sure you follow them exactly. If you're using a third party heatsink make sure to apply some thermal paste before attaching the heatsink.

The RAM will have a notch that matches a block in the memory socket, all you really have to do is line that up and apply pressure until the little arms on the side clamp down on the notches in the side of the memory.

Installing the Hard drive and cdroms is also pretty simple, just screw them into the case (HD's normally use a coarse thread CDROMS normally use a fine thread) When attaching the IDE cable make sure you have the notch lined up properly, as with the rest of these components bent pins are bad. Both ends of the IDE cable will have notches that should line up with the notch on the motherboard IDE socket. If your CDROM drive cable doesn't have a notch just remember that the red side of the cable aligns to pin 1.

Follows the same rules as the hard drives although not all floppy drives/cables have the notches. If you turn the system on and the floppy light stays on you've got the cable on backwords, flip it and it should be fine.

If you bend a pin you should be able to bend it back and continue without any problems. If a pin is broken you're pretty much out of luck. I'd reccomend attaching and removing the cables to the devices before putting them in the system just so you get the hang of it.

The video card just snaps into the AGP slot but remember that AGP 8x cards have a little hold arm type thing that will prevent you from removing the card. Normally it's just a little round pull tab that you pull and it releases the back end of the AGP card allowing you to remove it.

When installing the motherboard make sure you have all the nuts lined up to the MB holes. If you have one in the wrong space it can short the motherboard when you first try to boot. (Not neccisarily resulting in damage but the system won't power up and damage is possible)

I think that's pretty much it. If you have any other questions just post them here or message me on AIM, my SN is NoodlyGod. Good luck!
WOW, thanks for such a thorough answer! You answered all my questions perfectly! You really sound like ya know what you are talking about
I want to know one thing :), how the hell do ya put the mobo in the case ?, do you need to get specific sized cases etc ?
=) no prob.

If you've got an older AT case and a newer ATX motherboard it probably won't work but you only have to worry about that if the components are 8 years old or so. When you install a motherboard all you have to do is attach the mounting nuts to the case (they've got a screw end) and then screw the motherboard onto the nuts. But like I said in the previous post you have to make sure the holes on the board line up with the nuts on the case otherwise you'll have shorting problems. The only other thing you have to worry about is the size of the case versus the size of the motherboard. If you've got a micro-atx case and a full-atx board it won't work =) But the odds are you could go into a store, grab any new board and any new case and not have any problems at all.
Hmm... put it this way - if you build it yourself, you won't cut corners. I've built PCs for friends and only put 50% of the effort in so the end product worked, but rattled and looked more than a little messy inside. :)

Dunno if this is true for other guys.
I am going to build my own pc for the first time next week.. so i will proppably learn alot. i think that is an advacntage. atleast you know how everything is put together. and its way easier to fix thing and upgrade if you have dont it before already. the only thing you gain is experience. and thats a good thing IMO
don't use magnetic tools, don't work on carpet, don't work in just socks.
i had a friend come over who had already built a few computers and before i did each step i'd ask.. " IS THIS RIGHT??IS THIS RIGHT?? " .. and it turns out it was rather easy in the end.

... and if you're not sure about anything.. RFM. they may seem large and time consuming, but it is usually 2-3 pages just reprinted in 8 other languages.

I 'constructed' my first pc yesterday, moving stuff over from one case to another. Learned quite a lot :) :) like having to connect the power switch before it actually works :dork:
Checking out a few of the many guides on the internet would probably be a good idea. I plan on building my own comp next time I buy, and I'm trying to convince my friend to let me build a PC for him from components.
Since this is your first time putting a computer together, keep the manual that cam with your mobo beside you at all times. It has all kinds of info thats specific to your mobo. It will come in real handy.

Originally posted by [Re4lity]Jeff
Hmm... put it this way - if you build it yourself, you won't cut corners. I've built PCs for friends and only put 50% of the effort in so the end product worked, but rattled and looked more than a little messy inside. :)

Dunno if this is true for other guys.

I found I really only half assed jobs when I was working on comps for asshole customers. Other than those dicks, I always did fairly neat jobs. You know where you do orgami styles on the data cables. YEA.
after you build one you become addicted... be careful.

The worst part for beginners is attaching the power/LED cables from the box to the mobo. Most of the time the cables are not labeled like they are in the mobo book.
my inside is nice and neat, the way it should be on everyones comp :)
I am getting me some Random cables to replace the flat IDE cables with. it will look much better. and i am also going to tuck away the PSU cabled behind the Mobo.

You have a much better airfow when your case is neat and tidy. and its much easier to rach something or to upgrade
all my cables are attached to the walls/floor/roof, makes it much easier to get in, plus its always better airflow
goto It's a great guide explaining how to build a pc. it goes into extreme details that aren't too hard to comprehend. Another thing you gotta remember is that you shouldn't get cheap parts if you want your system to last. Also, if you don't know that much about the computer parts you're getting and you're asking the guy at the store, be skeptical because he might try to screw you over into buying something you don't need.