Eeek! DS (12) needs a pc to play Minecraft on, as his laptop is old and struggling. I wondered whether it could be a project for him, to build it (with DH), but we are NOT a practical family. How hard is it, really? I've found various sites which make it seem fairly straightforward, but I'd hate to get so far and then get stuck. Or would a local pc shop finish off the job for a fee? Not that I expect him/them to fail, but still, forewarned is forearmed!
The first is selecting the components - case, motherboard, processor, storage etc. This can be hard simply because there's so much choice. Tom's Hardware Guide is often worth a look. They do a regular feature where they set three budgets (low, med, high) and see how good a computer they could build for the money. Minecraft doesn't need a massively powerful processor but benefits from a half-decent graphics card. They've got an interesting and recent one here that would come in at about £500 but you could easily go lower-spec (and hence cheaper) on the graphics card than what they've recommended.
Next is putting it all together. This is pretty simple as there are any number of video guides available. It can be a bit fiddly just because some of the screws are small but it really is not that difficult. Just take it slowly.
Finally you need to install an operating system, the various drivers to get all the bits of hardware to work, and then the applications (eg Minecraft). Sometimes finding and installing all the drivers can be the trickiest bit although modern versions of Windows does make it a lot easier. You'll need to budget for the cost of a new copy of Windows.
I've built a number of PCs over the years and find it fun but then I am more than a bit of a geek. I wouldn't say it's beyond the abilities of anyone who knows one end of a screwdriver from the other and knows a bit about computers. If not I'd try to find a friendly neighbour who does know what they're doing so you can ask them round if you get stuck. Don't forget to reward said neighbour with beer/wine though - being the neighbourhood geek means you get asked a lot of techie favours and it does get wearing.
Ah, thanks. I had been looking here : elitegamingcomputers.com/ - they very usefully link to complete Amazon lists for all the components of the various types of build pcs, but unhelpfully it's Amazon USA and finding the same part on Amazon UK or even an Aussie site (which is where we are at the moment) seems to be to be a bit hit and miss. I will force encourage DH to enroll on forums like that one and Tom's Hardware to post their planned parts list, hopefully that'll avoid too many howlers.
Hi, there if you're in the UK my hubby found a great site that had a tonne of Minecraft builds on it for building computers to play Minecraft and also to stream the game. The site was www.buildingagamingpcsite.com. He ordered bit for his PC from there it it was all done via Amazon UK. Hope that helps! Happy craftin'