So you’ve been buying Dells, Alienwares, HPs, Lenovos and whatnot for years and you’ve never been happy with any of them. There was always something wrong with the computer. Whether it was missing a component you really wanted or they decided to put the worst paint job possible on the case, you want something different and you’ve decided that today is the day you want to build a new computer… on your own.
Well, I say good for you! In contrast with building a computer in the past, building computers these days are extremely easy even for the first time beginner and so I’ve built a guide for getting you through the process. You’ll find that building your own computer will be an extremely rewarding task knowing that each component in your system was hand picked to perfection.
So lets get started!
What components will I need to buy?
OK so you may know already from purchasing your computer over at the local Best Buy that each computer will include a couple major items – the monitor, peripherals (mouse and keyboard) and all the components housed in the computer case.
Since the components in the computer case are most important, I will start this section from these components.
So here’s a quick summary of the components in your computer. Make sure to click under each tips section for some great tips on how to pick these parts. If there is no tips link, feel free to ask in our forums! Our community would be more than happy to help you out!
The parts below this section are mandatory parts necessary for a computer to function. These are the minimum components you need for the most simple builds suited for office, homework, or web browsing.
The first thing you want to think about is the case. This is pretty self explanatory because it will hold everything in your computer. Do you want a big case? A little case? Something that looks cool? Something that lights up? This is about as personal as it gets but your choice in case will determine what you can put into it.
The motherboard is the most important component of your system. Imagine the motherboard as the central communications hub of your computer. It has the ports where everything goes such as the CPU, the hard drive, memory, video card, etc. The motherboard also includes all the I/O ports such as your USB ports in the back of the computer.Your choice in motherboard will affect your choice in every other component in your system, so be sure to do all the necessary research prior to purchasing one.
The CPU is also known as the central processing unit. The CPU in your computer is like the brains of your computer. It performs all calculations within the computer and without it, the computer simply would not function.
The memory, or RAM (Random Access Memory) is basically very, very fast storage space which is temporary in nature. They require power in order to keep their data so they do lose all their data as soon as you restart the computer.Note: Memory/RAM tends to be confused with hard drive or SSD storage space and they are not the same.
The next thing you need to think about is storage. Currently there are two forms of storage – Traditional Hard Disk Drive and Solid State Drive (SSD). These two differ radically in terms of speed and price so you need to make an appropriate decision on how much space and performance you need versus the cost.
- Optical Drive
This is one thing that you’re probably most familiar with. Nowdays optical drives are typically DVD or Blu-ray drives.
- Power Supply
This is the final section of the mandatory section and that is the power supply. Power supplies are extremely important as they provide a constant stream of power to your delicate computer components. Definitely DO NOT SKIMP on these. A simple surge of electricity from a poorly made, dying power supply could take your brand new $3,000 computer along with it.
This is where the cool stuff happens. Here’s where all the high end video cards, sound cards, CPU coolers, etc. come in!
- Video Card
This is where the fun begins. Video cards are kinda like a CPU except they dedicate themselves to processing graphics. They are designed from the ground to be as fast as possible when drawing graphics and excel at that. If you plan on playing any of the newest graphically intense games out there, be sure to pick one of these up!
- Sound Card
Although sound cards are a dying breed considering the advances made by onboard sound, some audio enthusiasts and audiophiles still consider these to be a necessity. Are you one of these people?
- CPU Cooler
This item isn’t mandatory, but CPU coolers have been very popular lately since both AMD and Intel have been selling processors with the capability of overclocking. If your plan is to push as much performance as you can out of your CPU, be sure to get a good CPU cooler.
You need to decide what kind of software to purchase.
You all know what you want in a monitor. Right? Or do you?
These are your keyboards, mice, speakers, etc. Basically all your daily USB devices
Think you’re ready to get started? Get some inspiration from our Recommended PC Computer Builds!