The exhilaration of building your own PC is far greater than anything else. Especially if you are a computer enthusiast, then powering on your PC for the first time and watch the display light up while hearing all those beeps signals a successful build. Building a PC is not that tough a process if you follow the various videos and different articles available online. I’ll try to cover all the basic and the most important components that one requires while building a PC.
First of all, you need to determine the purpose for which you are building this PC. Some people might need it for heavy gaming whereas others might just use it for checking emails, editing photos, etc. Different builds cost differently. Gaming PC’s could cost you a fortune whereas the one’s built for normal use could cost significantly less. You also need to keep your budget in mind. Gaming builds would approximately cost around $1200 and above if you want to make sure that all the latest games run with ease at the maximum graphic settings. Normal PC builds would generally cost around $250-400.
The first component that you need to start with should be the processor (CPU). All of the latest processors out there are multi-core meaning that they are twice as good as a single core processor(one and a half times better actually). The more the number of cores, the better it is for your PC. Also, keep an eye out for the clock speed which determines the speed at which a single core runs(GHz). For gaming builds choosing a processor with 3.4GHz and higher clock speed would be great. The number of threads could also make a difference. Most processors out there now come with multiple threads(also known as hyperthreading). This will not only double your core count but also prove to be useful if you are going to run multithreaded applications.
For daily use builds 2-4 cores should be good enough along with 4 threads. On the other hand, gamers should basically aim for 4 or more cores and 8 threads would be like “Icing on a Cake”.
With AMD releasing its latest Ryzen processors, you don’t need to think too much before buying one. Ryzen processors have taken up on the Intel processors and are said to topple down Intel’s sales. Here’s the comparison
Motherboard (Mo-bo) holds and allows communication between the various components of a system such as the CPU, memory card, video card, sound card while providing connectors for other peripherals. Things to keep in mind while purchasing a motherboard are:
Motherboards are produced in a variety of sizes and shapes called computer form factor, some of which are specific to individual computer manufacturers. Most of the desktop computer motherboards use ATX(Advanced Technology eXtended) standard form. A list of all the form factors is given here. Mini-ATX, microATX or the normal ATX versions should be good enough for full-size desktop builds.
Just remember that a CPU’s socket type should necessarily match that of the motherboard. A CPU socket provides many functions, including a physical structure to support the CPU, support for a heat sink, facilitating replacement (as well as reducing cost), and most importantly, forming an electrical interface both with the CPU and the PCB(Printed Circuit Board).
Make sure that your motherboard has enough memory slots to house the DIMMs (dual in-line memory module). Also, keep an eye out for the maximum amount of memory supported by the motherboard, be it individual or the total amount of all the individual DIMMs. Using a dual, tri or a quad-channel motherboard will result in better performance (data transfer rate) if you fill the correct number of slots. Matching colors may either indicate that the sockets belong to the same channel (meaning that DIMM pairs should be installed to differently colored sockets), or they may be used to indicate that DIMM pairs should be installed to the same color (meaning that each socket of the same color belongs to a different channel). Most motherboards certify certain memory brands to be used with their boards.
All the RAM in the system should be the same speed, and preferably the same make and model. For example, if you want 8 GB of RAM, you can install two matching 4 GB sticks or four matching 2 GB sticks. If you intend to use more than 4 Gb of RAM install a 64-bit operating system. 32-bit operating systems do not recognize more than 4 GB of RAM. Also, RAM is not backward-compatible, a DDR4 (double data rate fourth-generation) memory card won’t work in a DDR3 slot. The higher the number in a memory’s standard the faster it is. Example, DDR4 2133 MHz or DDR4 2400 MHz.
Some of the best available DDR4 RAM/Memory in my opinion are
G. Skill Ripjaws 4 series
Corsair Vengeance LPX
Kingston HyperX Savage
Kingston HyperX Predator
Video cards(graphics cards) are a must for gamers especially if you’re into the latest AAA titles. The integrated video cards are good enough to handle the photo editing and modeling software. One can simply ignore this part if they are planning for a simple budget build mainly for office use.
Just like your CPU, your graphic processing unit (GPU) also has processing cores, clock rates, and memory (VRAM). The more the numbers, better the performance. Video cards are one of the most power hungry components in a PC setup so make sure that your power supply can handle it. For gaming builds, 8 GB and 16 GB memory video cards should be enough to handle the heat. You can go for the 4 GB variant as well if your video card is a high-end one. This also depends on the video card that you buy so don’t expect that a lower end 8 GB video card will handle the latest AAA games. For normal builds, 2 GB will do just fine if you have some money to spare and like to game sometimes.
Make sure that you buy a big enough Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD) with enough space for all your data. Now, it’s completely up to you if you want to buy an HDD or shell out the extra cash for an SSD. SSDs could cost you a fortune and hardly give you any storage at all whereas HDDs would give you the extra storage that you need at the cost of speed. This is because SSDs are faster and do not consist of any moving parts as compared to HDD. When compared with electromechanical disks, SSDs are typically more resistant to physical shock, run silently, have lower access time, and lower latency.
Though the prices of SSDs have dropped in recent years, SSDs still cost around 4 times more per unit storage than consumer-grade HDDs. While some people use SSDs only for the OS and some important programs for faster boot up speeds and file access, you can go for the hybrid type drives which combine SSD with an HDD.
Also, keep an eye out for the drive spin speeds. Some of the most common spin speeds are 5400, 7200, & 10000 rpm.
A computer case, also known as a computer chassis, tower, system unit, cabinet, base unit, or simply case is the enclosure that will hold the components of your computer. The size and shape of your computer case will usually be determined by your motherboard’s form factor. While the most common form factor is ATX, you could go for XL-ATX if you need those extra slots and some extra space for CPU and cooling.
Tower cases are categorized as mini-tower (less than 46 cm), midi-tower (smaller than mid-tower but larger than mini-tower), mid-tower (46 cm or 18 in), and full-tower (56 cm or 22 in).
Your case will probably come with a fan or two and have room for more if you want to add more. Make sure that you buy a future proof case so that you can upgrade the components without any hassle.
Feel free to contact me if you think that I missed something or have any doubts.