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PC Building

Community Manager

When did you build your first PC?

I've been around here for a little over a year now and have gotten to know this community pretty well for the most part - especially our regulars. Getting to learn a bit about your PC-related hobbies (gaming, building, modding, etc.) has been a real treat, and I was wondering... when did you build your very first PC?

Although I've always loved gaming, I didn't get into PC gaming until I was in my early teens, and I didn't build my first PC until I was around 19.

Even the rig I'm running is pre-built (SHAME ON ME), but I'm looking to build an AM5 rig by the end of the year if I'm lucky!



64 Replies

When?  I don't remember exactly, but it was sometime during the latter half of the 80's.  Probably 1987.  I've never liked building PCs, really, because I have low practical abilities from nature and hence I try to avoid such things.  Despite this I've been forced to build my own PCs for decades because of the economy aspect.  If I had the money to buy prebuilt PCs I would.  But I don't and never had.  So I slowly learned building PCs the hard way.  😅

Petosiris           About me | PC specs | Favorite game | How to display your PC specs in an image
Adept I

cut my teeth on the Altair 8800 connected to an LA36 DecWriter II with cassette storage.    Moved on to Heath H89 with 3 Shugart 800 8" drives.   Built PC XT clones, then 286, 386, 486 and so on, just keeping up with the tech.  I usually had a new machine every 6 or 7 months.   My 3 sons grew up in the 80's always having their own hand-me-down computer.   My office and their bedrooms were all hardwired and networked.  (with that background it's no surprise that 2 of them became IT's.)   Being retired now,   the budget is tighter and PC upgrades come less often........ but there is always a dream list.   



Wow, this is before my time and I had to Google the majority of these parts - but I definitely recall seeing DecWriters around my mom's office when I was younger.

It sounds like you and your kids had a great time growing up with hardwire connections - the dream! 😂


I built my first "computer" after a scavenge hunt on several used parts. Can't really remember every part but I kept the CPU.

Long story short, its the one in my avatar. That is the actual picture of it.

Why? You see...

"A long time ago in a small city far far away, we had lots of computer shops, almost in every corner. A young padawan scoured every shop and begged for a cheap used components. Was no easy feat but he was destined to have a fully functional PC for DOOM" 


The Englishman

Name a better duo than @johnnyenglish and his love for DOOM.


Adept I

5 years ago.  I built a PC with a ryzen 2600x and a GTX 1070.  I was so pumped since it was the first gaming PC, besides a laptop that I had owned. 

Building it was a blast, I could never go back to a prebuilt now.  I have even helped several friends build thier own.  

Fast forward to now and I am building a new PC, and so my son who is 6 really wants to help and he is getting my old one.  We will take it apart it put it back together, after cleaning everything, i.e. new thermal paste and such.  I am excited to get to share a hobby of mine with him and help him with his first build as well.

This is awesome. Your son is very lucky, and sharing a hobby like that is a great way to bond as he grows up! My love for PCs and gaming is certainly something I'd like to pass on to my kids in the future.

I've never owned a prebuilt.  I always wanted to build my own using select name-brand components,  usually less expensive than the final off-the-shelf product.  You "learn by doing" so you were always better equipped to remedy those routine faults that pop-up.   I never understood how anyone could afford those trips to the "shop".

on that note,    I was waiting outside of a Best Buy store one morning to pick up some printer paper.    A fellow came up carrying his tower....... said he lost some ICONs the night before and needed them to fix it.      at least he knew that the problem wasn't the monitor.

Adept III

I too began building my own PC's back in the late 1980's.

I my first PC was an Intel 386, 33Mhz, with 8kb RAM, 5.5" floppy drive, and a 12" CRT Monitor.

I ran that until the 486DX came out, then I upgraded the motherboard, CPU and RAM.  Had the 486DX with 32kb RAM, the first 3.25" floppy drive, and eventually when CD ROM's came out, I added one of those too.

I too was an OG DOOM player, with a stack of floppy disks about as tall as the Monitor.  I was going to college when DOOM came out, and one of my most hilarious memories of that time was coming home at lunch time to find my younger brother (Aged 14 at that time) sitting at my PC in his underwear, hair still disheveled from when he woke up that morning, playing DOOM.

Good times!

Ryzen 9 5950X|Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon 6950XT|128GB Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB DDR4-3600 (4x32)|ASUS Crosshair Dark Hero VIII|Corsair iCUE 5000X RGB|Corsair iCUE H150i AIO|Samsung G55A 32" Monitor|Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

i built my first pc in 2016, a 6600k and gtx 1070. my husband still uses the case and storage drives, im using the 1070 right now.

lets talk about rtbh99

I bought my first custom PC around 2005 - it was picked from a store and my dad and I made a few changes to the specs.

However, the first computer that I custom built myself was in 2011. Ordering all the parts and assembling it - taking up the entire dining room to do it.

I actually still have the parts list saved in my email (Don't judge me from 12 years ago) 😛

  • AMD Phenom 2 X4 955
  • MSI 870-G45
  • G.Skill 6GB DDr3
  • 1TB HDD
  • Cooler Master HAF 912
  • Cooler Master 600W Gold
  • XFX Radeon 6850 1GB

This computer was with me and had minor upgrades done to it all the way till the winter of 2022. 

11 Years - and it served me well. 

**Canadian Gamer & Father -** - Live Wed & Fri at 8:00pm PST - Come join!

Ah, yes. Is it a PC build unless you take up a whole dining room table with all the parts spread out and ready to go? Salute for 11 years of service!


Happy to look back and see that it was both an AMD GPU and CPU well before I found this crazy community with all these lovely people.

Things come full circle!

**Canadian Gamer & Father -** - Live Wed & Fri at 8:00pm PST - Come join!

Did someone mentioned the dining room table?



The Englishman
Adept I

Christmas of 2017 was my first build. It was a Ryzen 5 1600 with a Red Dragon RX580 on a Gigabyte AX370-Gaming K7 and 16GB of RAM. I was 40 years old.

Tonight I am starting my second full build. A 9 7900X with an RX 6950XT on an ASUS ROG STRIX B650 E-F Gaming WiFi (really, ASUS?) and 60GB of memory.

Volunteer Moderator

60 GB of RAM?  How is that possible?  Did you mean 64 GB of RAM?

Anyway, good luck on your new build.  Take some pictures and show us what you did.

As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".

Yep, total mistype. 64

Oh, and here's my new rig.



Probably in the early 90s.  At the time, several PC games had launched for Amiga that required more chip RAM (1 mB) than was available on my Amiga 500.  So I purchased additional and soldered it into to board as there was a spot on the board to make the necessary electrical connections.

As far as buying components and just assembling a PC, that probably wasn't until the early 2000s.

Volunteer Moderator

I bought several computers in the 1990's before finally building my own computer, I think in about the year 2000 or 2001.  My pictures weren't very good back then, using print film and perhaps an early digital camera.  

I think this build used an Athlon XP 1800, over-clocked to a 2500.I think this build used an Athlon XP 1800, over-clocked to a 2500.

As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".

I love that case... 

That is the most solid and safe case I've ever come across..

But yeah compared to modern flimsy cases, where simply mounting the standoffs to the chassis is a chore.... That one really impressed me...

I think my one had a kt6 delta, motherboard in it... Can't remember it's so far back 😂


Volunteer Moderator

That build was called 'Unreal' and it was a CoolerMaster case I believe.

Back in the day we had to cut our own windows.Back in the day we had to cut our own windows.



As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".
Journeyman III

Haven't actually fully built a computer yet, only tinkered with and replaced components in a custom built one I ordered back in ~2014. Up until recently my only experience has been installing a new gpu, replacing the psu, plugging in new power and sata cables for ssds, installing a nvme drive with a pcie adapter, and the biggest thing has been installing a tower fan onto the cpu, that was probably the closest to a full build I've gotten since I had to unplug and remove all the cables and everything from the motherboard to install it and apply thermal paste for the first time.

My situation is much the same as the OP as I had a custom built pc in my late teens but intend to do more of a full build sometime by the end of this year as although my build has lived almost 10 years while running most things perfectly fine at high settings, way beyond my expectations when I bought a system with a 4770k, in recent months it's begun hitting its limit I think as games are finally releasing with my cpu being below or close to minimum specs, so I'm planing to keep the psu, case, graphics card for the time being(1080ti) and cpu fan(noctua d15s) but the motherboard, cpu and ram will be all new(I'm aiming for a 7800x3d). It's been a little overwhelming and daunting doing all the research for the new build though as I'm both upgrading past multiple hardware generations and switching from intel to amd but I'm excited for it! And hopefully it'll all go smoothly. XD

I'm also intending to reuse and salvage the old parts to make a kind of remote pc setup for general non gaming use. Due to health issues going past a decade now, I've found it beneficial using moonlight for the last year or 2(and for a few days now I've had sunshine set up) to let me use my gaming pc through my laptop while reclining/lying down, but the laptop's getting old for general use now too, so I'm thinking that if it'll run ok I may be able to squeeze a little extra life out of the laptop for a few more years while also not letting my current system's parts go to waste since they're still working fine by building a second cheap system since I'll already have the cpu, mb and ram ready to go and i'll just have to see what else I'll need to get it workable for that plan as i may need to get a cheapish modern gpu in order for moonlight to be stable and usable.

So I've basically got two pc builds in my future in either this year or early next if all goes according to plan!

Volunteer Moderator

When you are looking at upgrading the motherboard, CPU, RAM and even the video card all at one time, I suggest you start from scratch with all new components and leave the original system intact.  It can serve as a backup computer or a 2nd gaming computer.  That's why I have so many computers on my LAN right now (over 11).  I put so much effort into building one that I can't see pulling it all apart unless something has failed and it won't work until I replace some major components.  There are so many new computer cases to think about and a decision must be made between the latest AM5 socket or the great deals on the AM4 socket CPUs.  

As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".
Journeyman III

The first computer I remember seeing the insides of was some sort of build-your-own (I remember the word Heath kit being used to describe it) that my dad wouldn't let me touch.  The first one I worked on was a hand-me-down 286 that I bought a sound card for.  I was also happy to try out any old parts and peripherals that my dad's friends were replacing.  I continued that for many years, always staying 1 generation behind.

Journeyman III

I built my first PC when I was 16 years old. I had been saving up for a while and finally had enough money to buy the parts I needed. I was really excited about it, but I was also a little nervous. I had never built a PC before and I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it.

But I watched a lot of tutorials online and took my time, and in the end, I was able to build my first PC successfully. It was a great feeling and it really sparked my interest in computer hardware.

I've been building PCs ever since and I'm always learning new things. I'm really glad that I decided to build my first PC when I did. It's been a lot of fun and it's taught me a lot about computers.

I'm glad to hear that you're interested in building your own PC. It's a great way to get exactly the PC you want and to learn more about computer hardware.

If you have any questions about building a PC, feel free to ask. I'm always happy to help.

Good luck with your AM5 build! I'm sure it will turn out great.

Community Manager

Hi, @bgbg 

Welcome to Red Team! And, thank you for offering to help  @Wally_AMD ...and perhaps everyone else in this community. It's what we do! 😁 -> "BUILD. PLAY. SHARE"

Your biggest fan!
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800XT
Journeyman III

Just built my first Ryzen System. ASUS Strix AM5 board, Ryzen 7700x, 7900XTX, NZXT AIO, DDR5 32GB. Corsair 5000D case. Runs cool and quiet. Overkill for what games I play but it sure is nice. (Oh yeah Corsair 1000w PS)


Wow! Super slick! Nice job @capncrnch! Welcome to Red Team!

Your biggest fan!
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800XT

Yo, that's super clean. Very nice.

Yeah, as the other members said... It looks very clean...

and sexy lol...

Nice to see that graphic card support in situ too, I wondered how it worked, looks sooper dooper  



My first PC was an IBM Aptiva, way back when (1998)! Updated that in Summer 2010 to an MDG pre-built PC featuring i7–950@3.07 GHz; Sapphire Nitro AMD Radeon 5700; Gigabyte X58-USB3 MoBo; Kingston Triple channel 16GB powered by CoolerMaster RS-550. It had to be updated Summer of 22 to the above PC, my first ever build. I had to show love to AMD as the above GPU handled well all these years. So I opted for AMD Ryzen 9 5900X on an EVGA X570 Dark MoBo, powered by an EVGA SuperNOVA 1300G+ PSU, rocking GSkill Dual Channel 32GB 4000 CL16 allowing my current GPU, ASUS TUF RadeonRX 6700XT OC 12GB to run at 2710MHz!

R9 5900X 4.2GHz+EVGA X570DARK+Gskill DC 32GB 4000 CL16+TUF RX 6700XT 2710MHz

How do you remember those details after all the years?  I've forgotten half of the components I've used in my builds.  My website was partially designed to help me recall the good times!

As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".

Great question! When I discovered that my old PC couldn't be easily upgraded to run DirectX12 titles (CoD/WZ particularly), this is when I started researching (for two years) towards finally building a replacement PC, so I may mostly game on PC, versus Console and PC. In doing my research on all the components individually, I shut down my PC awhile to look into the individual components and find where I could boost the performance a touch. Added some memory and two fans, and tinkered in the registry, and games were still playable, but still, I thought the price of upgrading to a 4GB Vram GPU (among other upgrades/updates) might be better used towards new components altogether. This is how I came to learn about the good old components that kept me playing until last summer!

R9 5900X 4.2GHz+EVGA X570DARK+Gskill DC 32GB 4000 CL16+TUF RX 6700XT 2710MHz
Adept III

I built my 1st PC back in 1993, had the highly sought after at that time "Socket A" AMD Athlon XP 3200+ Barton, couldn't believe it was my 1st cpu that broke the 2ghz barrier. Funny thing is I still have the CPU and motherboard stored away in a closet, I always thought about putting it back together, but it would will not run any of the new modern software of today.

Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero - Ryzen 5950X - Noctua NH D15 Chromax Black - 32Gb GSkill DDR4 3800 - Asus RTX 3070 TUF OC V2 - Samsung 980 Pro, 970 Evo Plus, Corsair Force GT - Super Flower 1000W Leadex SE Platinum

Restoring or getting these old dinosaurs working, seems like a popular thing to do right now. 


I just noticed a correction to this post was needed. I stated the year wrong, I initially said back in 1993, when I should have said 2003. 


Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero - Ryzen 5950X - Noctua NH D15 Chromax Black - 32Gb GSkill DDR4 3800 - Asus RTX 3070 TUF OC V2 - Samsung 980 Pro, 970 Evo Plus, Corsair Force GT - Super Flower 1000W Leadex SE Platinum
Adept I

I'm 27 now but i haven't build my own computer for gaming or other setups. Because i have a strong concentration on my profession and career. As I'm a roofer, so i don't get time to do this.  But yeah once i will get time, i'll try this as well.

You have the right idea and attitude. Always master your career first. To many people today jumping ship for an extra dollar or to try a different trade or whatever their reason. Next thing they know, 10 years rolls by, and they still have no skills. I think they call themselves handyman or Jack of all trades. LMAO Hit me up when you're ready to build and I will help as much as possible. 👍