Listen, on becoming a technician there will be tests. For example, my current build, which is three years old has been testing me and my abilities, and just a few days ago my computer shut down, and it was on a nine-year-old power supply, so I took it apart and replaced the power supply with a five-year unit, and it came right back on, and everything is running smoothly. Each time your computer dies, it's a test of your knowledge, and hope, and willpower to keep it on, and resources. It'll make you want to visit a computer repair shop. It'll make you doubt yourself and your abilities but press on. It also helps to have a backup computer to consult the Internet, just to troubleshoot, or download files, which could be required to make a repair, but always know, the truth is hard to tell, and telling the truth is like telling a story, but always be aware, and that of your surroundings, for no one can tell the future, at least not certainly, or can they? And being a fortuneteller is like telling your own story, and that of the truth, and that of the trouble with your own story, such as keeping the lights on, or your computer going. The loss of hope is the loss of self and never lose hope within yourself. There is always more going on than you think, and the machine is just a machine, but you give it its soul... Computer parts last at least ten years, at least for the most part, and on a power supply, it's at least ten years, or around that, so I knew because it wouldn't power back on, but it had lights on, but fans wouldn't spin, and CPU fan wouldn't spin, so it was a power supply issue. Becoming a tech is like becoming a doctor, except, just with a machine, and not a patient, but the patient is the machine... Think about it like that. You're a doctor of hardware. Become the patient... It wouldn't start and it's like an old engine on a car, so put the lights on, think about it and become the star, become the universe and imagine that and imagine that, now imagine that and don't think twice, but get in there with your dice. Your luck can change and always does. Never give up on the chance and the roll of your own dice, because your luck can change, and often does, and this is no different. What does a poker player do when he's defeated? He holds tight, and that's my advice. Hold tight and play your hand accordingly. Don't go to the shop. Fix your own problems and find out why what is going on is going on and how to repair it yourself. Use your own guides. Don't let anyone stop you from finding your own way and keep your own builds and ways. That's the truth of it. I started with nothing, but an old office computer and I found my way, by myself, and so can you. You need to master everything on your own and in your own time and own way, from the bottom up, and it'll take a while, but you'll never stop learning or growing in this hobby and new issues always arise, but just keep going. Just trust me, you'll save yourself a lot of trouble and time and money if you do it like I've done it and just go your own way, and you start with what you start with, which is whatever you have, but you keep growing from that point onward, so it's not impossible. You can make it happen. I started off with knowing hardly anything and am now a builder and designer of computer systems and I did it all on my own and just as a hobby. I'm the computer repair shop. I'm an elite gamer. And I figured it all out on my own, and people might even doubt my talents and I even doubt myself sometimes, because sometimes things go wrong and a lot of different things can happen, but always know the truth, and the truth is this: once you learn this hobby, nobody can take it away from you and you're on your own, along with advice from your brothers and sisters, so take it with a grain of salt, but it's what it is. And never use computer duster on your computer, wipe it down when it's turned off and unplugged and after you discharge the power supply on your case with a few presses, which is important, and watch it drain through your computer case with the lights flickering on, then dust it off with a nice piece of cloth, something soft, because computer duster can literally short your components out, and it's never happened to me, not even once, but to one of my brother's, and not a literal brother, but another master level tech from the Internet and I learned from his mistake. And don't be opening power supplies either. They're dangerous and can result in your death. Always discharge your case before proceeding with any repairs and fully unplugged and fully discharged via the power button on your case. You have to press it a few times to fully discharge it. Don't get in there and cause any kind of static, so no sweaters, etc. Stay off carpet, if possible, but you can work on it as long as you're grounded, so grab the case with one hand or wear a static wrist strap or something to that effect. It's stressful too, so don't ignore it, and embrace the stress and the work and effort that goes into building your machine or machines, because they're worth the effort. Never believe it's not going to be stressful, because it is. Plot your course and be mindful and careful each step of the way. Go your own way. Embrace the truth. That's what you've got to hold on to. The truth and the truth is hard to tell. It's like telling a story and it's the story of your life and it's hard to tell.
A picture of my retired AM3: this machine lasted 12 years. I kept it going that long and retired it three years ago. It was a Phenom 2x4 965 and played games well until three years ago.
My current build is a custom Flow build, which I named and designed myself:
AM4 existing as:
Motherboard: ROG Strix B550-F Gaming
CPU: Ryzen 5 3600X
Ram: Crucial Ballistic DDR4 3600 2x16 gigs sticks clocked at 1799.6 MHz running in dual channel memory mode, which is when you just use two sticks of ram slotted in the exact places the mobo manual says to plug them in. Refer to your manual, and it's the Bible when it comes to your exact build, so please don't lose it. It's not something to throw away or leave at your friend's house.
OS: Windows 11
GPU: Radeon RX 460, but upgrading into a XFX Speedster MERC319 AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT CORE Gaming Graphics Card with 16GB GDDR6 HDMI 3xDP RX-68XTALFD9 soon. XFX gives lifetime warranties, so I go with them and have been for a while and am happy with them.
This is a 4k machine that'll run games through the Oculus Quest.
Cheap stable build to go with for nice graphics and performance, self-designed and contained. Stable. Anyone interested in this build for a good solid build for a long time can read my previous posts about the build and refer to those posts. This is a long running build, designed to last for a while. Ten or more years if not twenty with the right touch. No OC required. We're using the ASUS Performance Enhancement option for this build and it's doing the trick and is not a real OC. Running all fans on high and have stable temps and everything, so all is green. Not much heat, not really. Everything running a solid temp, at least so far. I'll be upgrading, but nothing past 50 degrees, or 60 degrees roughly. Solid. All is green. All is golden. Everything on air. Runs quite even on high. Much better than my last build. 4.0 GPU system. You can have two GPUs if you run a minimum of 1000 wat on the power supply. To do that use your crossfire connectors and have same version on the identical card, otherwise you'll fry it. Those are the rules. 3.0 cards can function with a 600 wat power supply, and I'd advise an 850 or higher for this build using the more modern cards on the market. 850 wat is roughly $130.00 USD for a nice grade power supply that is modern and modular, other than that just stick with a 1000 wat power supply for this build for those two GPUs you might upgrade into, or stick with a 600 wat power supply on the lower-end cards, but on the modern 4.0 cards, you're looking at 850 wat I'd think, because they're cheap, at least for now, and prices can go up, but right now 850 wats is only like $130.00 USD for a nice one. Ultimately your choice, but that's what I'd do. The system can probably function on 600 wats reliably though in most aspects, but I wouldn't want to under wat it, so that's my advice. And believe it or not, but the RX 460 powering this machine gets good performance. I have a more powerful card that I've set back. It's in the picture sitting on my chest, the GPU is, but it's much more powerful, but I'm using this RX 460 just to test my system because it was an old backup card of mine, but I get good performance regardless in most games. Once I upgrade on this build to a new GPU, that's when the machine is fully unlocked. Right now it's doing fine though, even on the older 3.0 cards, but on a 4.0 card, this 4.0 system is going to launch like a rocket into the higher resolutions, and I haven't tested it yet, but I'm sure it's sufficient to say that it'll work. Right now we're in 1080p, but I'm looking to go into the 4k gaming sphere, and this machine will do it on a Radeon card and upgrade it to a lesser monitor too in 4k because of upscaling the Radeon cards do. And a lot of people don't realize this, but the Radeon cards can upscale 4k to a 1080p monitor, so no need to upgrade your old monitor or television, but people might want to anyways, but there are options going this route for penny pinchers on lower budget options, so there are options. In ten years, you can upgrade the processor in this machine, so it supports: AMD AM4 socket: Ready for Ryzen™ 5000 Series/ 4000 G-Series/ 3000 Series Desktop Processors. The ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming is a motherboard that is ready for AMD Ryzen™ 3000 and 5000 series,...12. It is equipped to handle 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ CPUs3.
As far as the power supply goes, looking at it might seem like a lot of work, because the power supply goes to all your components, but if you think about it, it's really pretty basic. If you ever have to replace your motherboard or power supply, you're looking at a lot of work, right? But if you think about it's really not that bad. The power supply has two main connectors running off it that goes straight to the motherboard itself, and outside of that, you have everything else that needs power running to it too, like hard drives, etc., but all of it is powered off one connector for each device, so it's really not that hard, but the GPU also has a power supply plug too, and sometimes it's more than a few jacks to get all that wired together, but if you look at the connectors and think about it, it's really quite simple, as long as you have a valid power supply that supports all your needed requirements as far as your plugins go, and as long as the power supply isn't old and outdated, then it should suffice. I'd recommend getting a modular power supply though, since they're easier to use as you only have to connect what is required for your plugins as needed, so on a prn basis, which is nice, because a power supply is quite a lot of work, and they're heavy, and running wires around is a hassle, but you can deal with it however you want. Besides that, there is one other requirement on your devices, so you have to connect the sata cables also, which run from the motherboard to all the devices, but besides that, that's all it is really. And the sata and ribbon cables don't come attached, so they're parts you must have to complete your build and will come with most motherboards, but not all the time, so it's a part you must have. Most modern machines probably run off sata at this time or a ribbon cable, so if it's an older machine it'll be using a ribbon, so attach all that and you're good to go.
Replacing a motherboard is a lot more work, because you're basically rebuilding the whole machine since everything including the power supply goes to that, but it's also really quite basic once you do it a few times, so it's not that much more of a challenge, so just a bit more of a different process goes into all that, but if you can replace a motherboard and a power supply, then you're set. Getting those two things finished would be complicated to most people not familiar with hardware and if you can install or replace a motherboard than you can install or replace a power supply, because a motherboard is a bit more of a challenge, but if you can do those two things, you can build computers. Look up a guide on how to install motherboards, order a case, and read directions, and make sure the board is grounded to hex-screws along the sides of the motherboard where the screws go into the board on the case and aligned properly to the motherboard screw holes, and you're all set. Follow directions a few times to get the process down, as if you put fire to a motherboard and you don't ground it properly it could not turn on possibly or even short the board, so do it right the first time, because that's a huge mistake if not done properly the first time, and then comes installing the processor, and it's easy too. Apply thermal paste to your processor on the face of the processor after installing it and pulling the hammer down on the motherboard's socket, but before doing that, look at the processor and it has an arrow along the left side, at the bottom, so you align the arrow on the left side of the front of the processor to the arrow on the motherboard's socket, which the CPU is installed to on the motherboard, and don't pull the hammer down unless it's seated properly as you can bend the pins on the processor and damage it, and that's a huge mistake, just like I previously said about properly grounding the motherboard, so don't screw this up either, but besides that, you pull it down, then apply thermal paste gently, lightly coating the front of it, and don't get the paste along the side of the processor or apply too much paste, and you might even want to scrape it off gently a few times after you think it's all set, just to make sure you didn't apply too much as this is easy to do, as it can leak and short the board, so apply it on top of the face of the processor, then install the CPU fan on top of that, and the processor's heatsink is the metal thing attached to the CPU fan, and that's what goes on top of the processor, as that's how the processor gets cooled off, and don't get the paste on your skin, as it's toxic, and that's a whole other process, the CPU cooler, and will take a few attempts to get the hang of, but besides that, that's all there is to it, then installing Windows and formatting drives and finalizing all settings through the BIOS, and if you can do all that, then you can build a computer off someone else's design, but you can eventually learn how to become a designer too, perhaps down the road, and I copied to an extent my first build, but custom designed some of it too, just to get the hang of it, then fully designed my own custom system after getting the hang of hardware a little bit further down-the-line, but you're stuck with whatever you build, so choose carefully, as getting stuck with a badly designed system sucks, and might not be what you wanted to begin with, so if you build a slow computer, that's what you get. Everything is based off the motherboard's socket set, so you pick the motherboard first, then base all decisions off that motherboard's socket set, as all other parts have to be compatible with the motherboard's socket set. For example: My custom build and old custom build uses the AM4 socket set and the old AM3 socket set. So, what I'm saying is you can use any parts as long as they're compatible with your motherboard, so there is a huge selection of possible parts. Outside of making sure you have all the required parts, like screws, sata cables, or ribbon cables, etc., and grounding hex-screws, then comes the fun part. You actually have to refer to the motherboard manual to wire the computer once you have it built. There is a diagram in the motherboard's manual that shows you how to wire your computer's power box, but after you do that, then it's time to plug it in and see if you can get it to post. There are also two variations of CPU fans, so sometimes you have to remove the rails along the motherboard's socket to seat the CPU fan on top of the CPU, but besides that, I've given you a brief sample of what you have to look forward to in my brief guide. Don't ever throw away those rails or the screws that go with it, because you might need them at some later stage in your development, depending on which style of CPU fan you go with, or vice versa.
Closing statement: Computers are only as hard and as difficult as you make them and are really quite simple devices once proper understanding is reached. Your path to enlightenment is your own and will lead to the road of salvation or the oasis in the desert or the rivers and ponds of the savannas.