20 Comments on “Remember that one time I BUILT A COMPUTER? – Part 2”

  1. Dang Fool Says:

    Sometimes it happens that an easy green quest is immediately followed by an burning orange quest and you weren’t ready for the change. You’re just moving along, slaying mobs by instinct when suddenly you’re in the graveyard, wondering what the ‘ell?

    Or maybe it’s a small bit of karmic balance, where all that screwing you did to the machine snaps back to screw you?

    While building one machine, we were careful about static, but hadn’t noticed we were working up a sweat. One drop fell off a forehead and we could *hear* the *snap,crackle,pop* before things went dark…

  2. Grimmtooth Says:

    You were most fortunate to get a case that CAME with a manual! I usually end up having to fiddle around with things before I figure out what all the bits and bobs left over are for. And those front panel wires? /shudder Never a fun enterprise.

    But Zalman makes quality – albeit somewhat pricey – stuff, and go that extra quarter mile to print a manual in at least one language that is not Chinese. You chose … wisely. 🙂

    • Ophelie Says:

      Both my case AND my motherboard came with manuals. I was spoiled! They were very helpful. I found the instructions in the manuals to be more up to date and accurate than the guides online.

      Going with Zalman was totally chance. It was the coolest looking case that wasn’t 200$ ^_^

      • Grimmtooth Says:

        Haha! Well, cases are a *visual* decision on the surface! People give me a hard time over that, but it’s the closest to bling I will ever get as a geek, so I do consider looks as a major factor. A window is a must as I get happy with the UV paint, as well.

        If you want to see a striking case, look up the “lanboy air” on NewEgg. If they still make it by the time I get the money saved up, that’s my next case. /swoon

        The less notable case companies will barely provide a bit of paper, usually. Full on manuals are a rare thing, and even then – often they’re rubbish!

        But a motherboard without a manual … if you see one, just run, and don’t look back.

        • Ophelie Says:

          I’m really happy with my case! I didn’t want to splurge on the case too much since I’m mostly interested in making my games run and putting my money to practical use, but I still wanted something that I could look at and think “fuck yeah that’s my computer!”. The Zalman ended up being a good choice. At 60$, it was affordable, but it still looks very nice, and has a lot of fans.

          And now I’m discovering that the fact that it came with a (good) manual makes it ever more awesome.

  3. AliPally Says:

    Wow! I’m very impresssed! No, not because you are a woman; women can do anything men can do (and the things we can’t do due to physical differences, well, we don’t want to do those things anyway, mkay!). Rather, as someone who has no clue, you went out and did it, and that is what is so great.

    When my graphics card on my pc blew up, I decided to fit the new one myself. I didn’t ask my brother who is a computer wizzkid, I didn’t ask my boyfriend (as he had no idea anyway, duh), no I did it myself. I did get stuck, though. There was 1 socket on my graphic card, but I had 2 spare wires floating around. Which one was I supposed to use?
    In the end I had to ring the manufacturer up, but still, I was quite proud of myself.
    I’m still not sure I would have the confidence to choose all the different bits myself, though. Knowing me, I would put it all together, press the on switch, and absolutely nothing would happen. If I was provided with them all, then yes, I could do it, I’m sure.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I was really shocked that it all worked on the first try. I thought for sure that I had done at least SOMETHING wrong. But I guess the instructions that came with the parts were pretty good.

      I wouldn’t have known what to with the extra wires from my graphic card either. The graphic card didn’t come with any useful instructions at all! It was my motherboard manual that gave it away with “the extension card may require additional connections to the power supply”. Even with that, I had to take a guess as to where to plug them in. I got lucky!

      As for choosing the bits, I got a lot of help from my friend. I would have been completely overwhelmed on my own since parts names are just random mumbo-jumbo. I know that asking for help isn’t QUITE as honorable as going out of your way to do it all on your own, but I found I really benefited from having someone answer my questions and offer insight into my dilemmas.

  4. Ozolin Says:

    Congrats! I’ve built a few machiens myself and can say I know the rush that comes when you’ve assembled everything and the things powers up! AND the frustration when it doesn’t. Those DAMN power swtich case wires are maddening!

    Cheers from a fellow builder!

  5. Redbeard Says:


    Building machines have that satisfaction of “I did it myself!” that you can’t really get anywhere else.

    The one note of caution that I’d have for you is to not be shocked when your homebuilt PC loses value just as quickly as a car does. When I last built a PC with top of the line components, it was a middle-of-the-pack PC within a year and a half. Ever since then, I’ve just aimed for value per price over pure performance.

    Of course, the bright side of doing it yourself is that you can replace the components on an as-needed basis. Like, say, adding a solid state drive to contain your OS and speed up loading…

    • Axel Night Says:

      Hehe. I have to admit, she was very, very good at making sure she picked parts with good value per dollar. In most cases, it was the people Twitter and the like that twisted her arm to splurge. I, alone, couldn’t convince her to upgrade her GPU, but the Internet had my back!

      • Ophelie Says:

        GPU… Does that have something to do with the graphics card?

        XD I’m unfamiliar with a lot of the lingo!

        Money and I usually get along pretty well. I’m pretty good with numbers and predictions. When I was a teenager, my friends’ parents used to sneak sex ed books into their rooms. My parents snuck money management books into mine. And well. Result is that I’ve been single most of my adult life, but I’m great at making financially conscious decisions.

        • Redbeard Says:

          I wish I had your friends’ parents, since I got a lot of what I know from watching The Movie Channel and Cinemax back in the 80s.

          You guessed right about the GPU. Of course, a good graphics card will only get you so far, because if you upgrade your graphics card to a really high level you’ll find out that your choke point is now in the motherboard/CPU/RAM/disk drive.

          • Ophelie Says:

            Us French Canadians believe in education and knowledge ^_^

            Yeah, I picked all my parts in function of each other. Didn’t want to waste money on a graphics card that I’m not getting full benefit on.

    • Ophelie Says:

      It’s ok, I don’t plan on selling my pc (or my car, for that matter). I did my best to select parts that wouldn’t be totally outdated in a couple of months and that weren’t crazy expensive either. Having been a pc gamer most of my life, I’m pretty familiar with the speed of technology changes. I do plan on taking off overseas once my work contract is up (in a bit under 2 years), and I don’t expect my computer to still handle state-of-the-art games once I get back.

      Actually, I am considering donating it to charity when I go. I worked with children with autism for years, and I always found it a shame that those kids benefit from computers so much, yet most of the time, their families just can’t afford that luxury.

  6. Marcelo Says:

    I was there while it was happening (well, part of it)! It’s like being in the delivery room, right?

    I work with computers and do know how to put one together, but I honestly don’t remember the last time I actually did one from the beginning. I don’t do it anymore because of no reasonable infrastructure required and it makes me go into mad sweat mode. It’s something I don’t mind paying others to do.

    It’s a very good exercise in superation to build a computer, not as woman, but as computer ‘layman’.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yep, I think anyone who’s computer shy should give it a try. For us Westerners, technology and computers are an integral part of our lives. I never thought that knowing HOW it all worked was important, but now that I’ve played with my parts, I do feel different. The world just makes more SENSE.

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