Building A Computer Introduction

If you are reading this article, you are probably wondernig, why and how do you build a computer. Building your own computer is more simple than you think and has many benefits.

Why Build A Computer?
Building a computer has many benefits over buying a premade. First of all, it is generally cheaper if you build your own than buying one. If you shop your components, your DIY(Do it yourself) computer will be cheaper than its premade equivalent. If you build your own computer, it will be faster than one that is premade, because most computer manufacturers use cheap components and try to cut corners to cut down costs. Additionally, your self built computer has more room to upgrade if you so decide to in the future. Prebuilt computers usually only have enough expansion slots for the components that are going to be in the computer. Because of this, your prebuilt computer will become obsolete sooner. Also, building a computer is a satisfying experience and you will learn more about how your computer works.

How do I go About Building a Computer?
Building a computer is probably much simpler than you think. Especially now, things have been simplified and standardized. First, you pick out components and make sure they are all compatible. Once you get the parts, you put them together! This guide was made to show you how to do everything and contains pictures and good information to make building a computer a fun and rewarding experience.

Building a Computer From the Bottom Up

Before you even think about building your own computer make sure that you go for the best technology possible. This is an important task and you want it to turn out as close to perfect as possible. When your PC is complete you want it to have the best hardware available.

One of the biggest benefits of building your own computer is that you can customize it. You know what is most important to you. Maybe you are a graphics user. MP3’s might be the closest thing you have to a best friend. Perhaps you are writing the great American novel and you are mainly interested in text. If you are building your own machine, you can concentrate on what you want but if you’re building it for a third party, you obviously need to consult them first.

Collecting the hardware for your new computer is the most time consuming part of the process. You want to make sure that you get high standard equipment that works well with your needs. Take your time and don’t try to skimp on your hardware. If you don’t heed both of these suggestions, your computer could bite back later.

If you are building your own PC, you probably know that the Motherboard is the most important part of your computer. Everything that you plug into your computer will meet here. Be especially choosy when buying a motherboard. And make sure that there is an instruction manual. Some cheapies will not have one.

Be aware that the Motherboard will control the future of your computer. All upgrades will have to be compatible with your Motherboard. The chipset in the Motherboard deserves careful investigation. What will it support? Find out before you buy. Take your time. There are a ton of chipsets out there.

Pay close attention to how many slots the Mother board has. The more, slots the better because they fill up quickly. How is the board laid out? Check for any problems such as something blocking your long slots.

When selecting a case, be aware of the form factor. You want an ATX form factor because that is what almost all new systems are operating on. Try to go with a screw free form factor because it will be easier to work with. One equipped with fans would be optimal.

Three are three groups of processors; low end, average and high end. The low end processor is okay for simple tasks. Letters, invoices and other noncomplex applications can be performed on a low end processor. If you do choose to go with a low end processor, realize that these are fast becoming outdated.

Average processors are faster and they are just a bit more expensive. For a few extra dollars you will be able to access higher level applications without hassle. This will provide more speed as well satisfying the average computer user.

High end processors are the cream of the crop. They are expensive and usually reserved for those on the high end of the pay scale. You will have high memory and no problem accessing complex CPU programs.

Memory is a vital element of your computer. Spend the money and purchase the best you can afford. If you don’t, more than likely you will need to go out and repurchase a better processor later. Also you will want to make sure you get memory that works with your system.

Get a video card that suits your purposes. If you are a small business owner, go with a cheaper, jack of all trades card. If you are building this computer for home use you might as well reward yourself with some perks. Now don’t go and spend five hundred dollars on a video card that a top financial institution might buy. Purchase a card that provides just slightly more than you need, but not so high end that it cost as much as the rest of your hardware.

You have your mouse and keyboard, right? Get a good hard drive. Buy a new one, opposed to used, to make sure you are getting the best quality.

CD-ROM drivers are cheap. Spend a little extra cash and get a really good one. If you want a more advanced unit, buy a DVD player. A DVD player will play CD-ROM’s and DVD’s. It will serve multiple purposes.

Building A Computer – Picking Components

Picking the parts for your computer is one of the most important things in building a computer, because you cant assemble a computer without the parts! Picking parts for computers has become much easier than before, because things have been standardized, however, you need to make sure everything will fit. The first thing to think about when choosing the components for your computer is what you are going to be using it for. If you are creating a computer for just checking your eMail and using word, you are going to need much diffrent parts than a computer that you are going to be using for gaming.

CPU
The first thing you should pick out about your computer is what CPU you are going to use, because it determines what motherboard you are going to get, which determines what other components you get. There are two main CPU manufactruers, Intel and AMD. Both have their Pros and Cons, but they are pretty similar. I would suggest using AMD, because they give you a little more bang for the buck.

If you are spending below $500, I would suggest a budget proccesor, Between $500 and $1000, midrange and $1000 and above I would suggest a high end proccessor.

Motherboard
Choosing the right motherboard is vital to building your computer. First, make sure you find a motherboard that has the right socket type for your CPU. Then, check the diffrent features of the motherboards you are looking at. If you arent going to buy a video or sound card, make sure your motherboard has onboard video and/or sound. Other things to check for on your motherboard are the hard drive interface, graphics card interface, expansion slots, the memory size and speed. Also, check for the chipset. There are too many to talk about, but generally Intel and nVidia chipsets are better than the other ones. Now that you picked out your motherboard, you know what to look for in your other components.

RAM
Getting the right speed and amount of RAM is vital to the speed and stability of your system. If you are running Windows, you will probably need at least 4GB or 8GB of RAM. If you are going to be doing anything memory intensive, gaming, rendering or just want a faster computer, you should get 16Gb. Make sure your motherboard has enough slots and the right type of slots for RAM. Also, be sure to check the speed and CAS Latency.

Hard Drive
Now its time to pick your hard drive. There are few variables in picking a hard drive. The first, and most important is size, 2Tb is usually enough for most people unless, you are going to be storing alot of pictures and video. Also, make sure you get an HD with the right interface that fits your motherboard. Almost all motherboards have SATA (Serial ATA) which is a much fast hard drive interface and uses a thinner cable which helps with airflow in your case. There is even SATAII now, which is twice as fast. Also look at speed, almost all desktop HDs are 7200RPM and Cache, most are 8Mb, dont buy a HD below those standards. If you want to spend some money, you can get 2 HDs and run them in RAID which increases performance or buy SSD disk.

Video Cards
If you are going to be doing any gaming, be sure to buy a video card, if youre not, onboard video is fine.

Optical drives
Another thing you are going to is a CD drive. Get a DVD Burner if you are going to use it.

Case and Power Supply
Make sure you have a sufficient power supply!! If you have a high end computer, you should get at least 450W PSU. Otherwise, 350W should be fine for most people. Most cases are ATX, but make sure it is the same type as your motherboard (ATX, MicroATX, BTX, etc…).

Be sure to make sure all your components are compatible!

 

Edwin Basko

The Apple Mac Specialist and author