A few months ago I took a look through the local computer stores and compared prices on desktop computers. I decided I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted for a price I was willing to pay. I bit the bullet and took a shot at building my own computer. I needed a desktop computer that could run every day applications such as word and multiple browser windows. It also needed enough graphics power to allow me to game pretty hardcore. The project was a success and I learned a great deal. I have compiled a list of 5 items that I learned that will be a great help to you should you decide to build your first desktop computer.
Buy the parts online
The local computer store was much more expensive after I compared the prices to several online stores. A few good places to begin pricing online is at Newegg, Amazon, and TigerDirect. Ultimately, I purchased all my parts through Newegg and I was completely satisfied with their customer support and shipping speed. Amazon has some great deals and free shipping for most items as well, but I wanted to buy the entire package from the same online retailer.
What is the ultimate purpose?
I wanted a computer that could game, and game pretty heavily. I decided to accomplish my goal I needed to put the most money into my graphics card, though I still needed a quality system that I could rely on daily. If you aren’t interested in gaming, you should focus on a higher end processor such as a quad core Intel or AMD. Gaming is more about the graphics, less about the amount of cores. However for other software and applications the amount of processor cores can make a significant difference.
Don’t skimp on the power supply
Look closely at the power requirements of your graphics card as this is one item that can consume large amounts of power. Also look closely at the specifications on your processor because they too draw lots of power. AMD processors are budget friendly and lower watts than their Intel counterparts. With the lower power consumption you have less heat but you also lose a little of the processing speed that Intel processors provide. I would stick to a name brand power supply with good ratings, I went with an Antec 450W power supply.
Pay attention to the size of the motherboard
When choosing your case, begin by deciding if you are using a full size motherboard or a micro. A micro motherboard can fit in a much smaller case, however this can limit your other hardware choices. After market graphics cards need space and a motherboard that can support them. If gaming is not what your after, you can use the built in graphics on the motherboard. These graphics are massively improved from years ago and many can even run most new games and easily stream 1080P HD video content.
You can never have enough ram
Ram is cheap, and you can never have enough. Look at your motherboard specs to see how much ram the motherboard supports. Some handle only two sticks, others four. Look at the speed of the ram as well and purchase the highest speed of ram your motherboard allows. By adding an abundance of ram you can run multiple browser tabs, run Photoshop, video editing software, and game at higher frame rates. Don’t get stuck with an expensive system that lacks the RAM to run it efficiently.