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I have heard a few times about the need to protect against static…some of my friends have said I need to buy some sort of ESD mat (??). Is this necessary?
You can buy an ESD mat if you’re really worried about it but I usually don’t use one. I just ground myself before touching the computer components by touching the computer case or something else to discharge any static I may have built up. Here’s a good article about it: https://www.wikihow.com/Ground-Yourself-to-Avoid-Destroying-a-Computer-with-Electrostatic-Discharge