Do not be intimidated. Building your own PC is actually fairly easy and with the help of this guide and maybe a YouTube video or two, you will have everything you need to do it yourself. This can often be a much cheaper way of getting your hands on a powerful PC, and you can spend your money on the components you need. Here are the basic bits and pieces of a PC to put on your shopping list.
Begin With the Brain
Personal computers are made from many different parts, and some of them are crucial to their operation. The most important ingredient in the recipe for a computer is the central processing unit or CPU. This is the brain of the operation and is essentially in control of every other element. Without one, nothing else can happen. All the other parts just sit there.
Its power and performance should be determined by what you want to do with your computer. For a basic PC to use for online access and some basic document and media uses, you do not have to spend very much money. When it comes to gaming PCs you need to add a little extra to your CPU budget to make sure your build can handle the games you want to play. This will require some research.
For a PC that can handle all your media and online needs, get a mid-tier CPU. This will have you covered for most games, but not some triple-A titles, but you will have all you need to play great games from your hard drive and online. There will be no problems playing some of the slots at Jackpot. Their casino games will work perfectly on your new PC, and their slot game reviews will help you find lots of new slots to try out.
Do What Your Motherboard Tells You
All of your PC’s components will connect to the motherboard. This is the main structure of your new computer and just like the CPU, it will not work without one. There is a chicken and egg scenario here. Your CPU will not work without a compatible motherboard, so which do you choose first? Because of how critical a central processing unit is to performance, pick that component first and use that to narrow down your motherboard options.
For factor will be the most important decision you make when choosing a motherboard for your build. There are several different sizes and as the biggest single component in your computer, this choice will affect how big your PC is.
Small form factors like micro-ATX and mini-ITX will let you make a neat little PC that can slot in easily on a shelf or under a TV.
Full-sized ATX boards will create a larger desktop or mini tower PC. The smaller the board, the fewer connections you will have. Bear this in mind when you are planning your build.
Consider onboard graphics too. Some CPUs can be paired with a compatible motherboard to provide graphics without the need for a graphics card or GPU. This can save you a lot of money in your build but will reduce your gaming options. If you do not plan on playing the top-tier titles and latest releases, an onboard graphics system should be enough.
Fast Memory for A Faster PC
Random Access Memory (RAM) is all about speed and capacity. The higher the numbers the more data can flow through it, and more quickly. The amount of RAM your build has is the amount of information your computer can hold in its short term memory. You can have top-tier components in every other part of your PC, but if the RAM is not up to the job everything will slow down.
A simple rule of thumb is to buy as much high-quality RAM as you can afford. You can go overboard, but 16 gigabytes of high speed RAM will have your back no matter what you are doing unless you are pushing the performance envelope with a triple-A title’s settings.
It is important to remember that RAM is used for everything your computer does, so even if you are not playing top-tier games you still need a decent chunk of fast RAM for your PC. Do you often have a lot of tabs open on your web browser? You need a lot of RAM to prevent the computer from slowing down when you do that.
The good news is that high quality RAM is relatively inexpensive compared to other components in your PC. The CPU and motherboard combination will represent the bulk of your budget unless you plan on using a standalone Graphics Processing Unit for triple-A gaming.
If you are saving some money by using an onboard graphics system utilizing your motherboard and CPU, pass on some of the savings to your RAM budget to give your PC a performance boost where it counts.
Upscaling Your Visuals
For a gaming PC that is capable of playing all the biggest and best games, onboard graphics will not cut it. These titles need a dedicated GPU, or Graphics Processing Unit, to give you the visual performance you would expect from these great games.
You will also need a good one to ensure you can keep playing the triple-A titles of the future. The last thing you want is to build a powerful PC only for it to be outclassed by the next generation of games.
You can spend a lot of money on this component, especially if you want to push your system to the limits of what is possible or include features like VR. The biggest and best graphics cards come with their own onboard RAM, often called VRAM. This reduces the load on your PC’s existing RAM and lets it concentrate on other tasks.
There are graphics cards on the market with 4, 8, and even 16 gigabytes of VRAM on the card. Like your computer’s RAM, you can go overboard. Try to balance the numbers with your budget. Graphics cards are expensive though, and they can add a huge cost to your build.
Without any power, your new PC will just be an expensive box of bits that sits in the corner of a room. Your PC power plant is an important piece of the puzzle and often gets called a PSU, Power Supply Unit.
How much power your PSU can supply, and the cabling that it uses to connect to various components will depend greatly on your motherboard and the amount of power each piece of your PC uses. You will also need just a little extra power if you are planning on overclocking or adding more to your build later.
Not all PSUs are the same, even after you factor in their power output. The loudest part of your PC will be the fan on the power supply, so if you want quiet gaming without the distraction of whooshing and rattling noises you need to choose a high end and quiet power supply unit.
It is always best to invest in a good power supply from a recognizable manufacturer. This will make it a reliable, quiet, and highly functional element of your first PC build.
With all these basics covered and installed into a computer case, you should be ready to power up your PC for the first time. The hard work is not over though. You will need to install an operating system, tweak the settings, and perform hours of updates before you are finally ready to do whatever you want with your new, custom-built personal computer.