These days, it’s not just dedicated geeks who are building their own computers. Everyone is getting in on it, because the benefits of building one definitely outweigh the benefits of getting a pre-made, branded computer.
Crafting your own tech gear can be a very rewarding experience. After you’ve done a tech purge and sold your stuff on www.musicmagpie.com, get your workbench clear for some construction. This is a basic guide to get you thinking about where to start when you want to build your computer.
Figuring out your finances
Firstly, you need to decide what your budget is. Generally speaking, you should be able to build a pretty fast, powerful machine for under a thousand dollars. Once you’ve ascertained your budget, you should start thinking about what you’re going to be using your computer for.
Do you intend it to be your one-stop shop for all of your gaming needs? Perhaps you’re a video editor who wants the ultimate editing suite. Or, you want it to be a production machine for music. Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to be using it for, you’ll be able to continue to the next stage.
Getting the basic requirements
Before you start getting specific, you’ll need the following parts as a minimum. You’ll need a case, firstly, and these can be ergonomic ones that are easier to carry, but are usually a little more expensive.
You’ll also need a motherboard, a processor, memory, a hard drive (or two, depending on your needs) and a video and sound card. Bear in mind, some motherboards come integrated with video and sound.
Other things you could throw in there are an LCD screen, a DVD drive, and a keyboard and mouse, provided you don’t already have these.
Motherboard and processor
Picking out the right processor for you is crucial. There’s no ‘right’ or ‘best’ processor – everything is dictated by your needs. Check online for comparison charts and what’s best for your requirements. Once you’ve picked one, you need to go over the specifications in order to determine what kind of motherboard you’ll need.
Your choices depend on the compatibility and features of the processor and motherboard you have in mind.
Video card and memory
Unless you play video games or you’re a video/film editor, you’ll only need a basic video card. You should always get a separate video card, if you want extra speed. Motherboards with integrated video will run slower.
As for memory, it ultimately depends on what operating system you’re using and its capabilities. There’s no point inundating your system with excessive memory, unless you really need it.
The general rule is to only buy SATA hard drives. They’re much faster than IDE drives. What you should also look out for are the ones with strong warranties, in case of failure. Try to buy one that has a lot of good reviews.