Building a PC? Use this format for help!
[b]Your country (offer a site where you want to buy from):[/b]
[b]What do you need the build for?[/b]
[b]Do you plan to overclock?[/b]
[b]Do you need a full build or just mobo+ram+cpu+gpu?[/b]
[b]Do you have any components you want to use from the old setup?[/b]
PC Building Thread [Technical Questions, Common Q&A's]
So where do we begin?
To begin, we'll need to decide what parts we're looking to get and where from. If you're from America, NewEgg is a great store to purchase your goods. For the Brits, it'd be Novatech. But each country and each company have their own individual preferences, so browse for pricing before buying.
However, to build a computer, you need the following components (I will use acronyms throughout as it's shorter to write and at times, cleaner. Each acronym is found within the brackets):
• Motherboard (MOBO)
• Processor (CPU)
• Hard Drive (HDD)
• Power Supply (PSU)
• DVD Drive/Blu-ray Drive(?Optional)
• Operating System (OS)
We also have those that are optional for gamers that are usually preferred.
• Graphics Card (GPU)
• Sound Card
• Solid State Drives (SSD)
So, as you can see, graphics cards are not always needed (as a majority of MOBO's come with integrated graphics), however for gaming they are obviously the best thing.
Setting a Budget
There are two ways that I feel work when setting a budget for a computer build. For those who genuinely have a budget, use target budgeting. This is when you have a fixed amount you're willing to spend, and no lee-way on it. An example would be if someone has collaborated $600 over a period of time, and ONLY has that money to spend, therefore the build has to sum up to less than or equal to $600.
Secondly, we have zero budgeting. Zero budgeting is when you set a goal for how much you're willing to spend, but then once you've completed the build you're happy to continuously add to it to improve it. I for example, bought all of my parts for my system 6 months ago. Since then, I've improved it and therefore my budget on my build has increased over time.
What does each part do?
Components are important, as you've probably guessed. As stated above, not all are MUST HAVES, but they are useful and helpful when building a computer.
So, the motherboard. The thing that basically links each and every component together. To start with, you can cheap out on a motherboard, but it's not often recommended. It's something that does a major part in the system. My top three brands for motherboards are ASUS, MSI and GIGABYTE. They all make outstanding boards and do their job perfectly. Generally, there are three sizes that modern computers use. ATX, Micro ATX and MINI ITX. Each one is specific for each type of case, which will be in the description of the case model itself. Typically, the more expensive the motherboard, the more features you'll get as well as the emphasized look of the motherboard. If you're going to be using two graphics cards for instance, a cheaper motherboard may not have more than one PCIe slot (the area where your graphics card plugs into on the motherboard). If you're building a PC, make sure that the motherboard you're buying truly has everything that you need and want. Make sure it supports your CPU and RAM!
The processor, formally known as the Central Processing Unit. Almost all modern processors are multi-core, which means they contain more than one core within the main processor. Cores work alongside each other and focus on helping each other when needed to make tasks run quicker. Each processor also has threads, which can again be used to boost the speed in your PC. The two major companies in CPU manufacture are Intel and AMD. Intel being the 'great quality, expensive' ones, while AMD being the 'lower quality, cheap'. Either way, it's the PC vs. APPLE kinda war-... each has their benefits and flaws. Personally, I use AMD because I've had AMD PC's for 6 years, never had a problem.
Hard Disk Drives are standard, large data storage devices. They can contain up to 4TB+ per module, and are generically 3.5" in size. Laptop ones however are 2.5". This means that there are two different types, but they also focus on RPM. As hard drives are mechanical (meaning they have moving parts), the RPM is rotations per minute. It dictates how many rotations the pin that detects the information, rotates within a minute. The larger, the faster and quicker (technically) data should be shown.
The power supply, the 'power' to the computer. Power supplies are arguably one of the most important parts to every computer build. If the computer does not turn on, it is clearly not a good computer! Each power supply is usually measured in Watts (or Wattage), and are commonly 400W, 500W, 600W, 800W and 1000W. There are two types of power supply. There are standard ones which have all cables installed already, coming out of normally one corner in the power supply. These are good if you're just looking for a basic setup and you'll find these in your standard home computers. You then have modular power supplies, which are usually the power supply itself, and a bunch of cables. These are beneficial, primarily as they provide you the option to pick how many cables you use, and they're great for cable management when you may upgrade in the future. The two cables that are needed for a computer to boot are the 24-pin ATX cable, and the 4-8PIN CPU cable. There are also 'Branded' power supplies, which are basically those made by PC component specialists, such as Corsair, OCZ, etc. These are recommended at all times when building a gaming system, as they're more reliable and usually have a longer warranty. Power supplies that are no-branded low rating pieces of garbage should be avoided at all costs. They can pose as a fire hazard in some cases. Head over to YouTube if you want to see some power supplies blowing up. If the power supply goes on a PC, there's a chance that everything goes with it. That $600 graphics card you bought? More like $0 after the cheapo power supply is done with it. Don't cheap out on these!
RAM is basically what holds the computers programs that you currently have open, operating system bits and bobs, and runs them while you open the program. It's the link between the program itself and hard drives. RAM commonly comes in DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 form, with DDR4 emerging from the depths. For a modern computer, you'll want to use DDR3 or DDR4 with the frequency of 1066 or higher. Frequencies go up in stages, so 1066, 1333, 1666, 1866, then onto the two thousand odd. Good RAM manufactures are normally Kingston, Corsair, and a few others I find reliable.
Cases range from tiny, to huge full tower cases. Your selection on case will vary from how much room you have, your cooling needs, how many hard drive bays it needs, that kinda thing. For example, I have 4 hard drives in my computer, therefore I need at least 4 HDD bays. I also utilize the airflow in my case. Typically, cold air should flow in from the front of the computer, and out the back and top. Mine is different, to the fact that it flows cold in from the front and back, and pushes hot out the top. It's your preference, but you can look online for info, too.
DVD Drive/Blu-ray Drive
A DVD drive is what is used to take DVD's and show the information on a computer. Same thing goes with virtually any CD drive or Blu-ray drive out there. DVD drives are typically used for installing software that comes with your motherboard or a product that requires drivers. Most of the time, however, the software on the DVDs are outdated drivers or versions of software. The software/drivers can usually be found on the website that it comes from. For example, you could find your motherboard drivers as well as other utilities on your motherboard brand's website (i.e. the ASUS support website has plenty of drivers for all of their products). DVD drives/CD drives can also be used to burn things to a disc, such as music or software. Although not necessarily needed due to thumb drives and Cloud storage being used more and more frequently, it can be especially helpful when first installing the OS. The Blu-ray drive is supposed to be the successor to DVD. A single Blu-ray disc can store up to 13 hours of video compared to a DVD's 2 hours of video on one side. Blu-rays can be a decent option for storing data, however hard drives and SSDs basically trump them in every form other than their literal form (the size).
An OS refers to the operating system of a computer. As Wikipedia states, an operating system is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. It is the system that recognizes your keyboard and mouse inputs and sends outputs in the form of a display on your screen. An operating system keeps track of your files and directories and is the main platform on which you do different tasks, whether it be browsing the internet, playing video games, or communicating with people from across the world. Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 are all operating systems that were developed by Microsoft. Linux is an open-source operating system, meaning that the source code (every single parameter and code holding the operating system together) is free to use, modify, and redistribute to your liking. There are several 'flavors' of Linux that have been released for specific users, such as the basic internet browsing user to the network security tester. From Linux Mint to Ubuntu, to Kali Linux and openSUSE, there are plenty of distributions of Linux for everyone. An operating system is necessary for a computer to really function and be usable. Windows costs money (*cough*) and Linux does not. Choose which operating system you want and install it via a USB flash drive or a CD/DVD!
Graphics cards, the controversial subject after processors. As you can guess, they run the graphics in your computer. If you have integrated graphics, once installing a dedicated one it takes over. The 'better' your graphics card, normally, the better quality gaming experience you'll visually have, and more capability to increase monitors. So, we have two major manufactures, AMD and NVIDIA. NVIDIA are the GPU version of Intel basically, pricier but from their customers, 'better'. No need to go into a war on this, but you can see tables yourself for results. Both the GTX series and the R series are the top series on each manufacture, with each company than having subsidiary style companies to purchase the design, then modify. These again, can range from XFX, ASUS, MSI, GIGABYTE, ZEON, loads of companies. The main thing when it comes to graphic card selection is using this table, as I find it very helpful. The most common right now is GDDR5 and ~2GB dedicated RAM in a graphics card. http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html
Most motherboards come with sound cards. Unless you have a special need (7.1 surround sound), or desperately love sound quality to be at it's peak, sound cards aren't usually needed as an extra. For more info on this, just comment.
Solid State Drives are outstanding, so to speak. They provide the speed which is multiple times faster than standard HDD's, while also being more reliable and smaller. This makes them easier to store, which combined with their storage speeds, makes them outstanding small components for any computer. They're also the same size as laptop hard drives, which mean they can be swapped in and out easier.
AMD or Intel?
Personal preference, it depends what you need. I personally went with AMD when I got my first gaming PC because it's all I could afford. Nowadays, I could afford Intel, but because AMD never let me down I don't see why I should switch.
AMD or NVIDIA?
Same as before, personal preference. Old saying, don't change it if it's not broke.
But how to build?
For now, you can use the following link to see basically HOW to put them together.
(Taking this thread from a forum I've been apart of for six years)