Hi all. I just wanted to document my building experience coming from having zero knowledge about computer hardware. (Sad considering I have been using computers for 11 years now since the 5th grade) This was my first build and I think it came out beautifully. My MSI laptop (GTX 860M, Intel I5) was dying so I was forced to upgrade. I was originally planning to buy a prebuilt, but was convinced otherwise when I was told the value wasn’t too great. I watched a lot of videos and did a lot of reading. (Thanks Tech Deals, Joey Delgado, and r/buildapc) I love doing research so reading about all the components wasn't too bad. I did get a little frustrated trying to figure out which components were compatible. My first thought was to just build a computer, no need for RGB or a theme, but well....that didn’t happen. I lurked r/buildapcsales every day for the entire month of December and got a majority of my parts on sale.
I bought the parts in this order over a month:
Ram + CPU > Graphics Card > SSD > Case > PSU > Cable Extenders > Fans (I wasn't planning on getting new fans, but temptation kicked in when I saw them on r/buildapcsales.)
The Building Process: In order to prepare for the build, I watched build videos from Tech Deals and Joey Delgado. For some reason, on the day of the build I switched it up and followed a BitWit video. I somehow put the CPU in on the first try. The first problem came with the CPU cooler. It took me a good 45 minutes of screwing and unscrewing to finally get it down. (Don’t tighten one side all the way until you have the other sides in folks) I also had trouble figuring out which way the CPU cooler should be facing. M.2 SSD gave me some problems with what direction it should go and if I was supposed to take off the stickers. Finished building after about 3 hours because I was being super careful. Tried to turn it on and nothing happened. Spent an hour and a half checking everything only to figure out the case wires weren’t plugged in correctly. The NZXT 500 has a splitter that you need in order to plug it into the MOBO. (Silly me saw only one possible header the plug could fit into so I plugged it in and called it a day) Onto the next problem. The light on the MOBO was indicating a problem with the graphics card. Spent 30 minutes contemplating and poking around. Plugged it into the lower PCIE slot and it booted fine… plugged it back into the original and it finally booted correctly. Been using my computer ever since. So it took me a total of 6 hours, but it was super satisfying once I got it up and running.