Building Your Own PC Desktop – The Right Way
Building Your Own PC Desktop – The Right Way
Either you’re building your own PC desktop for games, for office applications or simply browsing the internet, there are a few things to consider if you want it done the right way.
You might want to know that a PC desktop does not come cheap. At around $300, you can get yourself a budget PC, at around $500 you can get yourself a decent gaming PC, but if budget is the least of your worries, you can build yourself a high-end PC.
Now this may mean lowering your budget or spending a little extra. If you’re building a PC just for simple office applications like Microsoft office and the like, then you might just save yourself a ton of money. However, if you require a PC that renders video editing and photo designs, and play some of the latest high-end games, then you should know that it requires more than just a budget PC.
Knowing what hardware to buy is simply the key factor in building your own PC. Do it right and you’ll have no trouble with it, do it wrong and you’ll probably get a PC that won’t stand up to your standards or worst, it simply won’t work.
What you need to buy in Building your own PC Desktop
1. Chassis/PC casing
With different sizes and shapes like Full towers, ATX mid-towers, MicroATX mini towers, and Mini-ITX cubes, it is up to you what you can afford and what you want for your PC to look like. One thing you also need to know, a chassis does not only store your hardware devices in place, but also regulates air flow to prevent your hardware from overheating.
Also called mainboard, system board or simply mobo, it is mainly what links your hardware devices to and from each other. It holds mainly your most crucial electronic components like your Central Processing Unit (CPU), Graphics Processor Unit (GPU), Memory Card and Storage Device.
Motherboards also come in different sizes such as ATX, Micro-ATX, Flex-ATX, DTX and Mini-ITX. An ATX is what you want when planning on giving your PC a boost on multiple GPU’s and peripherals, a standard choice. Micro-ATX is what you’ll need if you have a smaller chassis but still performs efficiently. Flex-ATX, DTX, and Mini-ITX on the other hand are the ones you want if you want a compact setup. It does however have limited slots, thus preventing you from having multiple GPU’s and extra peripherals.
Do note that whichever motherboard size you choose, it should reflect on the size of your chassis. The standard size for both is the ATX, and probably is the best choice since you’ve just started building your own. It also comes with an upside in which you can later on add an extra GPU or peripherals to ease your needs. And one more thing, motherboards have different sockets to comply with different CPU’s from AMD and Intel.aff
Now picking your CPU is one of the most critical parts in building your own PC. This is because CPU’s work as the brain of your computer. You can go with either Intel or AMD, whichever you may choose, make sure that your motherboard is compatible.
Learning about CPU is what will get you the right one. Here are some of the key factors you need to know all about your CPU simplified.
- Clock Speed – Most commonly called as the frequency, the clock speed is the one that calculates instructions per second. This would now mean that a higher clock speed will always complete its instructions faster than a lower one.
- Multi-Cores – Originally, CPU’s had only a single core that did all the work, but as technology advances, it was found that a single-cored CPU can only do much of its job, and so more cores were added. The use of these cores is by simply adding another space for your clock speed to work on. This would be an essential factor when multi-tasking on your newly built PC.
- Cache – Now the cache serves as your temporary storage for your data. This means that a higher Cache can significantly help your CPU’s performance with heavy multi-tasking. Before, a CPU Cache may need a bit of understanding with its two different levels of access called L1 and L2 for you to make use of it efficiently, but now that most CPU’s have a third level of onboard Cache called L3 Cache, it just made buying the right one easier by picking the one with a higher L3 cache.
- Graphics Processor – If you are on a budget or simply into simple tasks like web browsing, watching movies, word processing and low-end gaming, then you might want to check your CPU’s built-in graphics. If it does apply to you, it could save you tons of money from purchasing a GPU that costs around a few hundred bucks.
That being said, either you’re into Intel or AMD, these said key factors will always be the one that will determine how fast your CPU can go. So get one that would suit your needs and/or your budget.
There are two kinds of GPU, and these are integrated and dedicated. Integrated are the ones that comes with your CPU, while dedicated are the ones that requires a budget and a slot on your motherboard. Now what you need to know is that integrated can only do simple tasks like web browsing and low-end gaming, while dedicated GPU’s can handle heavy visual manipulation like 3D rendering, graphics design, and high-end gaming. Take note however, a dedicated GPU can cost you a few hundreds, but it could also mean a way better performance on your applications.
A dedicated GPU is made for one reason and that reason is to enhance your PC’s visual performance. So if you’re into high-end gaming, video editing, or photo manipulations, a dedicated GPU is what you’ll need to get by.
Things to consider when buying your own GPU
- Outputs – Makes sure your display monitor is compatible with your GPU’s outputs as it may come with different types like VGA, DVI, or HDMI.
- Slot Compatibility – Older versions of GPU’s have different slots in regards to your motherboard, so make sure it’s compatible with your own. If you do get some of the latest GPU’s and motherboards out there, you won’t need to worry as it’s made to comply with each other.
- Clock Speed and Memory – Same as your CPU’s, the clock speed will determine how fast your GPU can process instructions, while memory impacts your high resolutions.
GPU’s have their own technicalities, but to put it simply, the higher the numbers, the better.
Now choosing the right memory for your PC is a bit easier, now that DDR3 memory cards seem to be the standard one. Simply make sure that your DDR3 memory complies with your motherboard and get one with at least 4 GB when heavy on multi-tasking.
6. Storage Device
Storage devices have three types, your Solid State Drives (SSD), Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and External Hard Drives. But since we’re talking about building your own PC, let’s stick with SSD and HDD.
SSD’s are way faster than your HDD’s, comes in smaller capacity, but is also more expensive. So if you hunger for speed and performance, you might want an SSD together with a separate HDD for simple storage uses.
HDD’s on the other hand are your regular storage devices and is way cheaper than your SSD’s. Don’t take it for granted though, HDD’s are still fast enough to process your data’s and applications.
7. Power Supply
As always, power supplies also need compatibility with your motherboard. Some motherboards requires a 20 pin connector while some needs 24, but not to worry, most power supplies nowadays have their own 20+4 pin connector just in case you’ll need one that only requires 20.
The trick in getting the right power supply is by getting one from a reputable manufacturer and reading a bit of reviews. Also, you might want to get a power supply with a higher wattage if you’re planning on getting heavy high-end hardware on your system.
8. Display Monitors
In getting your own display monitor, it is not that easy as you may think. You should consider its maximum resolution, refresh rate, and its connector. Resolution does matter as it will reflect on how clear and how sharp it will display images on your screen. Refresh rate on the other hand refers to the time it takes to redraw everything in your screen. And finally, make sure your monitor connector is compatible with your GPU, or motherboard if you’re using your integrated graphics.
Why Build your own PC
Building vs buying a pre-built PC has been and still is an ongoing long debate and it all comes down to your needs. A pre-built one may have some benefits over building like discounted price and an already up-and-running PC, but building your own have its benefits of its own like letting you decide on what you really need. Also, when building your own PC, you can simply upgrade some of your hardware with no worries, unlike pre-built ones that may come in warranties or complicated setups.