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This guide will cover the complete Desktop PC building process via website, video series, and traditional book format.
This guide will cover the complete Desktop PC building process via website, video series, and traditional book format.
15 backers pledged $273 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$273

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The Buy Build Play PC building guide is designed to demystify the entire process, and cover every single detail so that there is absolutely no guesswork to do. Building a Desktop PC increases the system's potential for future upgrades, and it is significantly less expensive than buying a pre-built machine.

(Pre-built systems and part prices researched at Amazon.com and Newegg.com around February 2014)

Also, SteamOS (a Debian-based Linux operating system, which can turn a Desktop PC into a living room gaming console) is available to the public as a free download for installation into home built machines as well. So there are even more exciting reasons to learn how to build a Desktop for beyond the office.

Full Coverage in 3 Formats

People learn the best in the format they prefer, and it helps to have different versions of the information while building a system. So, this PC building guide will be covering process in each of the following formats:

1. A Traditional Book with references

2. Complete Video Series

3. Website with links, embedded documents, and videos

Project Topics

1. Before You Buy: Budgeting, Part Priority, Hardware Comparisons, Cost vs. Performance, Building for the Future

2. Purchasing: Where to Buy and Why, Brand Comparisons, Rebates, Logistics and Shipping, Warranty Information

3. System Building: Working Area and Box Handling, Tools and Prepared Materials, Hardware and Software Installation, Troubleshooting, Operating System and Driver Installation, Software Optimization, Dealing with Potentially Broken Parts

4. Upgrades and Future Builds: Upgrading vs. Building a New Machine, Impact of New and Looming Technologies

In addition to Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, Buy Build Play will also be covering the installation and use of Ubuntu.

For those who may not know what Ubuntu is, it is the most popular Debian-based Linux operating system on Desktop PC’s today. It is extremely versatile and available for free on 32 and 64-bit based machines. 

Disclaimer: Ubuntu is a trademark of Canonical Limited and is used with the permission of Canonical Limited. We are not endorsed by or affiliated with Canonical Limited or the Ubuntu project

Additional Topics Covered

Included will be the installation and optimization of SteamOS, in addition to Star Citizen, since it is being designed for future hardware. Star Citizen is set to be released after this project's end date, so it will be covered as soon as it becomes available to the public.

Other Features of the Guide

There will also be regular video status updates, a short “cheat sheet” version of the entire project as a quick reference, in addition to diagrams, checklists, F.A.Q.'s, and spreadsheets to help break up the information.

5 Years of Updates

Computer technology changes drastically over time, and so the guide will be updated yearly and all future revisions to the material will be available and free to backer's ($5 and up) for at least 5 years past the project's end date in digital form.

Modular Release

Since it was possible to prepare portions of the project in advance, project materials will be released as they become available (excluding the book) over the life of the project.

Stretch Goals

The $200 project goal is to fund the parts for the $200 project PC. Each new stretch goal will be used to increase the entire project scope with new system builds:

($5,000 for a $500 machine might appear odd, but please remember that each new goal must factor the cost of backer rewards and the materials for new systems. Each project system will have new parts purchased for them for unboxing, system integration, and performance comparison reasons)

As each "New Build" is reached, the guide will completely cover it just like "The $200 Desktop PC" and in all 3 formats (website, video series, and via book). These stretch goal systems will be primarily used to compare the performance differences between each of the systems side-by-side. The stretch goals from $30,000 onward will offer new coverage concerning high-performance machines, such as dual CPU's.

If the stretch goals are not reached, the project will continue to offer as much information regarding other systems by budget ($500, $1,000, $1,500, and $2,000) as possible. The 2 other systems I built for this project (mentioned in the project video) will certainly help, but performance comparisons and coverage will remain limited.

The $200 machine is the perfect "starter" machine for first-time builders, since it can also be upgraded into a powerhouse gaming rig. These upgrades and other features of the system will be illustrated in as much detail as possible in the project.

I refuse to learn the $500 lesson that comes with buying a pre-built machine, and I believe that you shouldn’t have to either.

--

Music in the video by J. Lang "Drops of H2O (The Filtered Water Treatment)" - 2012 and provided under Creative Commons License 3.0

All proposed systems (and their cost) exclude external devices and services such as: monitor, keyboard, speakers, mouse, internet connection, electricity, or tools unless specifically noted. These devices will be covered to some degree in the project, but each user's current resources might already include them. Additionally, SteamOS is designed for systems that are plugged directly into TV sets instead of desktop monitors.

For people who live outside the U.S.: Please understand that there may be elements of the project that become "lost in translation" in other markets, such as: product availability, website accessibility, cost/brand differences, and shipping costs. While I will make every attempt to accommodate these differences, some things may be outside of my control.

Buy Build Play - A Complete PC Building Guide in 3 Formats is not endorsed or affiliated with Microsoft, Windows, Valve, Steam OS, J. Lang, Oculus Rift, Star Citizen, or Roberts Space Industries.

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges of this project come directly as a result of the limited budget and resources. The preliminary research I have already completed will help reduce the risk of missed deadlines and improve content quality.

The book will be the final part to be completed, and is reason for the April 2015 deadline. I have specifically blocked out several months in the project for the long-form writing and editorial work.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Every little bit helps! You have my sincerest gratitude, and your name will show up on the credits page of all project materials.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    BEST VALUE - Online access to Buy Build Play, as well as your name listed on the credits page of all project materials. A copy of the book will be emailed to you.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Physical copy of specific materials (such as checklists and diagrams) + Online Access to Buy Build Play. Your name will be listed on the credits page of all project materials, and copy of the book will be emailed to you.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    (1) 8GB USB 3.0 Thumb Drive (will work in USB 2 ports) pre-installed with Ubuntu, bonus content, and related project documents. In addition to online access to Buy Build Play,
    your name will be listed on the credits page of all project materials, and a copy of the book will be emailed to you.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    COMPLETE 8GB PACK - Physical copy of specific materials (such as checklists and diagrams) + (1) 8GB USB 3.0 Thumb Drive (will work in USB 2 ports) pre-installed with Ubuntu, bonus content, and related project documents. In addition to online access to Buy Build Play, your name will be listed on the credits page of all project materials, and a copy of the book will be emailed to you.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    (1) 32GB USB 3.0 Thumb Drive (will work in USB 2 ports) pre-installed with Ubuntu, bonus content, and related project documents. In addition to online access to Buy Build Play,
    your name will be listed on the credits page of all project materials, and a copy of the book will be emailed to you.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    COMPLETE 32GB PACKAGE - Physical copy of specific materials (such as checklists and diagrams) + (1) 32GB USB 3.0 Thumb Drive (will work in USB 2 ports) pre-installed with Ubuntu, Bonus Content, and related project documents. In addition to online access to Buy Build Play,
    your name will be listed on the credits page of all project materials, and a copy of the book will be emailed to you.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Physical copy of all printable materials + (1) 32GB USB 3.0 Thumb Drive (will work in USB 2 ports) pre-installed with Ubuntu, bonus content, and related project documents. In addition to online access to Buy Build Play,
    your name will be listed on the credits page of all project materials, and a copy of the book will be mailed (and emailed) to you.

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Funding period

- (30 days)