Computer Parts, Core Components
Find the parts you need. Regardless of the final function of your computer, every computer needs the same basic components:
Creating a custom PC is much easier than trying to guess which computer maker offers the right combination of features to satisfy your needs. Putting a system together yourself is pretty straightforward, and the job should take less than a single afternoon so long as you have a number of key ingredients.
The most important decision you’ll make for your custom PC is which motherboard to buy. Motherboard prices and specifications vary tremendously.
The Big Picture
What factors are most important when comparing motherboards? The processor dictate what kind of motherboard you will need for your build. For example you have the choice of Intel and AMD as your two major choices for processor. I personally prefer Intel, I believe you should too. AMD wins a lot of fans due their competitive pricing over Intel, but my past experience taught me not to be cheap with the core components you are using in any build.
Is the fastest processor always the best choice? What type of memory should you look for? We explain which specs are most important, and why. more
Motherboard Shopping Tips
You’ll want to consider the price, performance, and priority of several features before you look for a new motherboard. Our tips help you find the best value.
Processor – This is the brain of your computer. Almost all processors are multi-core, meaning they are essentially multiple processors in one. Compare specs and find a processor that has the speed that you will need to run the programs you want. Also take into account power usage and ease of cooling.
Is the fastest processor always the best choice? Yes but within your logical budget. For example the fastest Intel Extreme Edition black CPU is usually go for 1000~2000$ while the next step down model CPU form Intel is only a fraction of speed slower, so little difference you would barely notice in processioning speed. Why would you pay more for the same function? I also no longer look at the clock speeding of the CPU the truth is by the time you are reading this line the current market and technology must came up with a new way to measure CPU speed which all means very little to you the user. Basically you want to buy a Intel CPU that is the most current generation socket and ~95% in both clock speed and price range as the most fancy current Intel Extreme Edition black CPU you can find. This its usually end up to be around the 300~400$ range CPU form Intel.
Motherboard – The motherboard is what connects all of the internal components of your computer. The processor you purchase will determine the type of motherboard you will need. Different processors have different “socket” sizes, and only work with motherboards that support that socket.
Once you decided the CPU and the cpu socket, you can choose your motherboard. If CPU is like a heart of the human body, the motherboard is the circulation system.
You need to get the best motherboard money can buy again it does not need to be the most expansive award wining motherboard, but it need to be decent. After all if you have a beast of CPU with out the motherboard to match you will never get to use your PC to its full potential. So don’t be cheap on your motherboard buy something with solid reviews, low failure rate from ASUS. A decent 300~400$ motherboard will do for most gaming applications.
match the motherboard socket to your CPU and decide how many dedicated Video cards you would like to put on your board, picking a motherboard is really not that hard since your choices by this point is already limited. So as a result its pretty straightforward.
Motherboards come in many form-factors, but the most common are ATX and MicroATX. ATX is the standard full-size motherboard. If you are building a typical tower computer, look for ATX motherboards. µATX boards are smaller than the standard ATX board, and are better if you want a smaller case and have no need for more than four expansion slots.
I recommend only get ATX as it is the main stream model, most sold in the world, all other board are either inferior build or a design of a toy. Imagine you are the computer engineer would you design the best board to make you the most money from most costumer or make something small enough that no one would want to use in their pc build or hard to find matching part to match the size? Yes ATX it is. You are building this PC for Power! you are not making a toy, you can buy a toy from Bestbuy or something.
Make sure that your motherboard supports all of the other components that you wish to install. If you are planning on installing a high-end graphics card, the motherboard will need to support the PCI Express interface. If you want to install lots of RAM, your motherboard will need to be able to hold at least 4 sticks.
RAM – RAM (Random Access Memory) is where programs store information that they are using. If you don’t have enough RAM, your programs will run much slower than they should. The RAM you can purchase is dictated by the motherboard that you choose. The speed of the RAM that you install must be supported by the motherboard.
RAM should always be installed in matching pairs of sticks. 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, you will need to install a 64-bit operating system. 32-bit operating systems do not recognize more than 4 GB of RAM, even if more is installed.
Hard drive – Your hard drive stores all of your data and installed programs. Storage space has gotten much cheaper over the years, and it is easy to find up to a couple of terabytes of storage for just a little money.
Hard drives come in many speeds, the most common being 7200 RPM, 10,000 RPM, or Solid State. Solid state drives are the fastest available, but the cost is significantly higher than a traditional drive.
Putting your operating system and critical programs on a smaller drive, and then storing everything else on a larger drive, will lead to faster loading times for your system.
Video card – A dedicated graphics card is essential for playing the latest games, but not a major issue for an office computer. Intel motherboards have integrated graphics, so you don’t need a dedicated card if you’re planning to use the computer for web browsing and emails, but some AMD ‘boards will need a video card.
Case – This is what houses your computer components. The size of the case will be determined by how many drives you will be installing, as well as the size of your motherboard. Cases range from cheap and functional to flashy and expensive.
If you intend to run a lot of high-end components, you will be dealing with a lot more heat output than slower components. Choose a case that promotes good airflow and allows you to install more fans.
Power supply – The power supply powers all of your components in your computer. Some cases come with a power supply already installed, but most require you to provide your own. The power supply should be powerful enough to charge all of your components, but not so powerful that you waste electricity by powering more than you need.