Building a Steam Machine – Part 3

So, you’ve done the homework and now it’s time to go shopping! But wait, one must tread carefully to ensure the right versions of components are purchased and you know exactly what and where will arrive if you, like me, don’t always have a reliable way of collecting your deliveries (for instance, if you live in an apartment complex with no concierge or accessible post room or even if you know nobody will be home when your parcel will inevitably arrive).

So firstly, it pays to ensure that your most expensive parts are either collected in person or at the very least delivered in a tracked and padded package. Many valuable parts like your processor contain very delicate parts which can’t afford to be broken! Thankfully, these do come heavily packaged so damage is unlikely, but it’s still worth making sure you know where your package will be once it’s left the warehouse and when it’s roughly due to arrive.

Unfortunately sometimes you can’t be in. And if you live in the UK, I’m sure you what it’s like waiting for a parcel (this rather mature game from Viz magazine illustrates it).

For added safety to your new investments many shops also sell insurance. Now I know this spells scam to many, but from reputable stores, having the cover of your products for a fair price allows for accidental damage in delivery (meaning you won’t have to pay to replace bent pins or chipped boards) with some like Scan Computers extending cover up to installation hitches (it can happen when you need to firmly push things into your motherboard!)

For my parts, I ordered through 4 suppliers. For my Graphics Card (First Order), I ordered for delivery and managed to get Scan‘s own protection which covered delivery and basic installation including first switch on. They were really helpful and emailed me for each any every step (order accepted, payment confirmed, stuff packed and out for delivery to my chosen point). Shortly after this, I also ordered my first controller through Valve’s Steam platform. For my first stick of RAM (third¬†order), I ordered through Crucial, who again whilst slower kept me informed on my order’s progress.¬†One year later, I resumed progress ordering my Power Supply through Amazon which since I wasn’t going to be in was sent to their own Locker pickup points. The final two orders again for the rest of my components were done a day apart to Amazon and Scan using both the locker and collection services respectively.

With just a second pad to go for my completed build everything arrived in one piece from start to finish and thankfully with no broken parts on the install! Speaking of which, I’ll cover that in the final post in a couple of weeks time.

 

Mike

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