Computers are an essential part of everyday life and yet to many, they remain a mystery. While you can easily find your way around a computer and learn the basic tasks, most people find it hard to choose the best computer for their needs. The idea of building their own computer seems like an impossible dream.
But, you can learn how to build your own computer. It’s not as complicated as it sounds and you can purchase all the parts you need from online stores. Of course, you’ll need a computer to access the stores.
Ask Yourself Some Honest Questions
Before you start building a computer you need to ask yourself why you’re building one. This will make a difference to the parts you purchase.
For example, if you’re looking to save money and want a basic computer then you’ll be happy with lower-spec processors, memory, and storage. But, if you’re after performance, you’re going to want to get the best components possible.
If you’re just looking to see if you can build your own computer then you’ll probably be less picky regarding which components to use.
Don’t forget, CPU, RAM, and storage all affect performance, the monitor, power supply, and even the case have much less affect.
Understanding The Components
To build your own computer you’re going to need the following parts:
This must be your first component. The size of this will dictate how big your computer casing needs to be. But, the motherboard also tells you what other components can be used with it.
This means your motherboard will dictate the size of the memory card you can use and how many of them. It will also dictate the type of storage that can be connected and the maximum power of the processor.
This must be your starting point but you’ll need to take your time deciding on the right one. A motherboard needs to be able to accommodate the RAM, storage, and processors you’ve decided you need. But, it also needs to be compatible with the manufacturer you wish to use.
You need to choose the motherboard based on the specs it will allow and then check the other components that are compatible before purchasing the motherboard.
A good one to get you started would be the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro WiFi which is compatible with Intel. It supports DDR4 and the 9th and 8th Intel core processors.
While the motherboard links all the parts together, it’s the CPU that drives your computer. Of course, it needs to have access to good levels of memory and storage to complete the picture.
The higher the GHz capability of your CPU the faster it is capable of running and the quicker your finished computer will be.
However, you should note the higher the GHz the more power your computer will use and the better the cooling system will need to be.
A good CPU to add to your computer is the Intel i9-9900K, although it should be noted this is a top-end product. It has 8 cores and a GHz of 3.6 which can be boosted to 5GHz.
To ensure the processor can work properly and give your computer the speed you want, it’s time to invest in some good memory, RAM. In effect, the more you have the better.
Of course, it needs to be compatible with your motherboard.
The first part of this is physical compatibility, this means choosing the form that connects to your motherboard. Desktops generally use UDIMMs, while laptops use SODIMMs.
You can then verify which technology your motherboard supports, DDR4, DDR3, etc. Finally, you’ll need to verify how much memory your CPU and motherboard can support, there is no point buying a memory card that is greater than your computer can support. You simply won’t be able to access the extra memory.
If your system can handle DDR4 then the G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB is a great place to start.
The last of the biggest decisions is storage. Again, this will be partially defined by your motherboard.
Storage is where you keep everything you’ve done, the bigger the storage the more information you can save. You’ll need to choose between the older HDD which generally gives a larger storage capacity, or the newer, and significantly faster SSDs.
It’s also worth noting that SSDs are less likely to be physically damaged, meaning your data is safer for longer.
Again, verify that you have the right connection possibilities before choosing your storage. A good, top-end solution, is the Seagate BarraCuda with SATA 6Gbps, capacity of 4TB, a cache of 256MB and an RPM of 5,400
The Finishing Touches
One other element that is important to consider is your graphics card. This is very important if you’re a gamer and less important if not. But, all computers need one to display the images for you!
Again, you’ll need to verify compatibility with your chosen motherboard but the AMD Rysen 7 is a great option.
You’ll also need to consider the casing for your computer. While the minimum size is defined by the space the components need, you also need to consider adding fans to keep your computer cool. This means a larger casing will be necessary. Don’t forget the fans are designed to push hot air out and you’ll need to have vents to make sure the air can escape as fast as the fans are pushing it.
Of course, if you’re trying to squeeze all of this into a laptop-size space you may find it much harder to achieve. But, it is possible.
You also need to look at the right power supply. The higher your performance the more power your system will draw. You need a stable power supply to ensure that the system runs smoothly and doesn’t become damaged.
It’s also worth noting that small cable ties are a great aid inside your computer as they can keep the cables bunched together and out of the way of the fans and other components.
Once you’re ready to build you simply need to put all these components together. However, it is essential that you give yourself plenty of space and that you use an electrostatic discharge wrist strap. This will ensure the static charge that builds up in your body doesn’t damage the components of your computer.
Carefully put each piece into the motherboard, following the instructions given by each manufacturer. Take your time with this stage to ensure all the components are fitted correctly.
You’re then ready to boot up, but you’ll still need to load an operating system.