With technology progressing at a rapid rate you may be in need of an upgrade for your home desktop. Purchasing one from the store can be expensive, and it is often difficult to know you are getting much better quality for the price. To often the salesmen will talk it up either without knowing a sufficient amount about it or possibly as the buyer you are not sure what the different specifications mean for the overall quality of the PC. This do-it-yourself computer build will help solve the problem of not knowing what you are getting and will directly outline how to choose each of the important parts as well as where to find them cheap.
The motherboard is the most important part when starting to think about what you want to get. Every other item you choose will be hooked in to this so be sure not to skimp. The hard drives and optical drives will be connected to SATA ports. If the motherboard has 3GB or 6GB SATAIII ports this will let you know the connection speed from your hard drives.
The power supply is a AC/DC converter that will be providing a 12v flow of power at certain watt ratings. The size will depend on the need of the other parts you select. Generally 600w to 800w will be enough; you just want to be sure to give a little extra just in case.
The RAM, or Random Access Memory, is used by computer programs to store short term information and is partly responsible for processing speed and how many operations can be handled simultaneously. When buying RAM you can find sticks sizes of 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. This RAM clips into slots on the motherboard and most can handle up to 4 sticks. Generally programs will not use more than 4GB except for video editing which can produce a very heavy load. Also good to take notice of is the speed of the memory presented in Ghz such as 1220Ghz and 1660Ghz. Higher is better.
Many different styles of hard drives are available. How fast the hard drive spins will determine how fast files load on screen. The fastest drives are SSD drives which have no moving parts at all, however these cost nearly doubled that of traditional hard drives per gigabyte. The size depends on your use. Remember that the operating system will be saved on the drive. If you will be having lots of music, movies, or video games you will certainly need at least 500GB or more. When selecting the right one for you be sure to ask; what will I be using this PC for? If it is simply for office use the speeds will not need to be as high however if you are going to be using it for gaming or video editing the load times from higher speeds will greatly help overall.
This part will be responsible for handling all the rendering. If you are gaming then you will want this item to be high on the priority list as each new game that comes out attempts to push the limits of graphic capabilities. On the flip side if you will simply be checking Facebook or editing documents you could entirely forget this purchase.
The unit that delivers computing power to your desktop. It handles all the tasks applied such as opening new windows while listening to music files and watching a movie. If you will be multitasking a lot you will be keeping your processor in high demand. How many cores the processor has determines how able it will be to handle the stresses of doing many things simultaneously. The new Intel i7 has 8 cores and really is able to do anything that is asked of it. Just like most other things this would certainly be overkill in office situations where a dual core or quad core would be sufficient. For those using detailed graphic or formatting software however this can really boost productivity.
The optical drive is the disk drive. Recently it has really been getting phased out other than movies due to usb drive storage and online video game purchases being much easier ways of getting portable storage. The only real reason to need the optical drive these days is if you plan on watching DVD’s or Blue-rays. Otherwise one can take advantage of cloud storage or other quicker and more convenient methods than burning a CD.
The desktop case will hold all of these components in a secure and stable environment. Mid towers are generally the most common unless you will be having excessive cooling needs due to multiple graphics cards or larger power supplies.
Cooling fans are crucial to keeping things running at optimal efficiency temperatures. When the parts get to hot they not only run poorly but can also become severely damaged. Sometimes fans are sufficient but when dealing with certain graphics cards it may be necessary to invest in an active cooling device.