A PC contains multiple components that perform together to run applications for daily use or your desired use case. Building a PC that you will be using on a daily basis can be quite an ordeal if you don’t have the right amount of knowledge about PC parts. But fret not, I am here with a complete guide that will give you insights into what kind of PC you should build for yourself.
Things to Consider Before You Start Building
Due to a lack of knowledge, many people don’t feel comfortable assembling their own pc and opt for a pre-built pc instead. But, when you handpick the parts needed to build a pc you reduce the cost of your PC and you will end up with a better-performing PC on the same budget than a pre-built one.
If you know what kind of PC parts you will be using then you will also be able to upgrade those computer parts in the future as well. Before you get to building a PC you should know what you will be using it for, gaming, content creation, 3D rendering, running simulations, etc.
If you know what your use case is here are some factors to consider before you dive into the specific pc parts you will need for building your PC.
Pre-Built PCs are Better
Quite contrary to the general perception, building a PC is quite easy and I am honestly bummed out that not many people are doing it out there and instead opt for pre-built PCs which cost 30% more.
While it’s true that pre-built PCs are a convenience since you don’t have to assemble still if you assemble the PC yourself you can save on that cost and get better-performing parts that will improve your PC experience overall.
Aesthetics vs Performance
Now, this is a very tricky subject. Should you go for a PC that looks good and doesn’t perform that well or should you go for a PC that performs well but lacks in the aesthetics department?
If you ask me I will always opt for pc parts that perform better and don’t look good while running, but that’s just me. Some of us out there want to showcase our PC even if they don’t perform well when running applications.
It all comes down to preference. Although, if you have the budget then I would suggest that you go for aesthetically pleasing PC components that can also perform at a high level. Most high-end components have been made to be visually appealing so that’s an easy choice. But if you are on a budget then I would suggest that you go for performance instead of aesthetics. But it’s your choice in the end.
Don’t Cheap out on Some Parts
Many of us when on a tight budget tend to cheap out on PC parts for trade-offs. For instance, people tend to cheap out on the power supply to save some bucks. It’s a trap and many of us fall into it. Get a good Power Supply Unit since it will be able to offer protection and save the rest of your PC in case of power failures or surges that may brick your PC, rendering it useless.
Parts Needed to Build a PC
There are many pc components that combine together to make a PC. Read on below to find out in more detail.
Let’s start off with the foundation or the building block of a PC, the Motherboard. The motherboard derives its name from the fact that it’s a printed circuit board where all the other components of the PC plug in and then connect with each other. The motherboard acts as an interface between the components, that manages them and provides them with instructions for the PC to execute.
The motherboard contains slots, connectors, and sockets. For example, it contains the CPU socket that hosts the CPU or processor, RAM slots, GPU slots, and connectors where the power cables are plugged in to provide power from the PSU. All the different components of the PC are connected via the motherboard.
It also contains multiple transistors, capacitors, and other small parts which combine to aid in better communication between the PC components to execute the instructions in an efficient manner.
You can check our motherboards tier list over here where all the different kinds of motherboards have been highlighted and you can get a compatible motherboard that fits your budget.
The processor or CPU is known as the brain of your PC. It is responsible for executing whatever instructions are sent along its way. The performance of a processor is measured in clock speed, cores, and threads.
The clock speed is the frequency on which the CPU runs, while the number of cores allows the processor to handle multiple tasks at once and the threads allow the processor to run different programs at the same time.
Currently, there are two companies that are doing business by developing processors, Intel and AMD. Both companies have launched specific CPU sockets which host the processor and subsequently different motherboards. Mind you not every motherboard will not be compatible with every CPU due to different CPU sockets. For instance, Intel processors run on CPU sockets such as LGA 1700, 1151, 1200, etc. While AMD processors will run on their own CPU sockets such as AM4 and AM5. Some of the CPUs also come with integrated graphics as well. But if you want to build a gaming pc then you need to get a discrete graphics card.
To find out in more detail about CPUs you can head over here. We have a complete guide on the different processors out there.
As technology has improved the CPUs have become better and better at running applications. We have seen an increase in the performance of the Processors over the years, but this performance boost comes at the cost of heat generation. The more intensive apps the CPU runs the more heat it generates. This is why there has arisen a need for keeping the CPU cool while it’s performing those tasks and running apps.
Hence, the CPU cooler was invented that connects with the CPU and transfers the generated heat out from it so it can keep performing at a high level. There are two types of CPU coolers either air coolers or liquid coolers. There is still a gap between the CPU cooler and the CPU and hot air pockets are formed. To counter this problem one needs to apply thermal paste which acts as an interface between the CPU cooler and the CPU and makes sure that there is optimum CPU cooling to avoid any thermal throttling which leads to performance reduction.
A Graphics card or GPU is another important component of a PC. The addition of the GPU makes a normal PC build into a gaming pc. The graphics card is responsible for running modern games and older ones by working in sync with the central processing unit. It outputs all the different visual effects of a game onto a gaming monitor. But not every graphics card out there is compatible with every CPU so you need to know the right combination of CPU and GPU for maximum performance, otherwise you might face bottlenecks which will result in reduced performance. Although some CPUs do come with integrated graphics and others need a discrete GPU to give a display.
Every GPU out there has a VRAM which is one of its most important components. Right now the top-end graphics cards are using GDDR6 and GDDR6X memory. When gaming at 1080p resolution you need a GPU with at least 4 GB of VRAM. When gaming at higher resolutions such as 2K 4K or even 8K you need more VRAM. Another important component of a graphics processing unit is the core speed. The more core speed you have the better the performance of your gaming setup.
Random access memory or RAM is the PC’s short-term memory. It is the place where data is stored temporarily on a PC. The more RAM you have the better it is for your PC as more RAM means that you will be able to open multiple applications at once without slowing your PC down. To run modern-day applications the minimum random access memory (RAM) that you should have is 8GB and the recommended RAM for any good pc build is 16 GB.
Right now, we have got RAM kits that are capable of transferring data at a double data rate. This is why the current gen of RAMs has been named DDR5, although many people are running DDR4 RAM and still making the switch to the newer gen. Moreover, Dual channel RAM is also recommended as it offers a better performance so make sure you get double memory kits of the same speed. Higher RAM speed also gives you a performance boost but it’s not usually significant.
Storage (HDD / SSD / NVME SSD)
A pc build isn’t complete without a storage device. Random access memory(RAM) is temporary storage and doesn’t quite fit the bill when it comes to storing large amounts of data for a prolonged period of time. This is why HDDs, SSDs (Solid state drive), and NVMes are there to take care of this problem.
To rank these storage devices in terms of speed the NVMe SSDs are at the top and cost quite a lot as well since they offer high-speed data storage. They get connected directly to the motherboard which has a PCIe slot dedicated to NVMe SSDs. Next up are the simple SSD which is a storage device that connects via a SATA cable. Then we have the HDDs which offer big, albeit slow, storage and are quite cheap. The recommended combination of storage devices in your PC is that you should go for an NVMe and a large HDD. The NVMe can be used to store your operating system and apps while an HDD can keep your personal data and games. This way you can also transfer data to and fro at a fast rate.
Gaming PCs and other high-end PC builds that will be running resource-intensive apps on a regular basis tend to run quite hot. This is why additional options for cooling have been invented such as custom cooling loops which keep the temps down and low so that the PC can keep performing at a high level.
A custom cooling loop has become quite a fan favorite in high-end gaming PCs as they keep the temps low and also add aesthetic value to the build as well. A good PC case with optimum airflow can also get the job done, read on to find out.
You may also need some system fans, and if you are looking for what makes them different from CPU fans, we have a dedicated guide for you.
PC cases are used to host all the pc components such as the motherboard, PSU, GPU, CPU cooler, HDDs, SSD, RAM, etc. The basic function of a PC case is to protect the PC from dust and help keep the components ventilated so they can keep performing at the peak level.
There are many PC cases out there, you need to make sure that you get one that has good airflow and ample space for ventilation fans for keeping the temps down. It has compartments for everything although you need to make sure that your motherboard’s form factor coincides with the PC’s form factor. Although you can use a bigger PC case to host smaller motherboards but not the other way around. However, most PC builders use the ATX tower casing when building a custom PC.
So make sure you choose a PC case that can fit all your components inside it.
Power supply unit (PSU)
The PSU or the power supply unit is used to power the pc build. It is the pc component that is one of the most important components as the absence of it will result in the PC build becoming unusable, since the PC consists of a circuit board and needs the power to run.
As I mentioned before you shouldn’t cheap out on your PSU as it can offer multiple protection against power failures which may end up bricking your PC making it unusable as well. Also, you should have a good idea about how much power your PC components will need so adequate power can be supplied to them. Ideally, you should always leave headroom for extra power. For instance, if you know that your PC components will be drawing 650W at full load you should opt for a 750W power supply.
Operating systems have become an integral part of using a PC. Sure you built your own computer and now you want to run apps. All the essential components are connected but without an operating system, you will not be able to run apps or play games.
Depending on your Use case there are multiple OS out there that you can install on your PC. We have got Microsoft Windows, Linus, iOS, etc. However, the majority pc users are using Windows as it has the most user-friendly interface out there. Windows 11 is the latest windows installment that has been rolled out to the public from Microsoft.
You will need a monitor for displaying whatever the PC is running. For daily use, a simple 24-27 inch Full HD monitor will suffice. However, if you are building a gaming pc then you might need either a high refresh rate monitor or a high-Resolution IPS panel that supports Freesync or Gsync technologies.
IPS panels have got better displays and also offer good colors for visual fidelity which is why gamers prefer them. Dell, Samsung, and Asus offer good quality monitors that you can buy for your PC. If you have a gaming pc you should go with these.
Your input devices are the ones that are used to input instructions to the PC, such as a Keyboard, mouse mic, etc. Before you buy any input device make sure you test it beforehand. Nowadays, mechanical keyboards and gaming mice with multiple buttons are all the rage. Even wireless keyboards and mice are also available in the market so make sure you test these out for a better experience.
Putting together Your PC
When putting together a new pc make sure you have a clean working space. You should start off with the motherboard and hook in all the different computer parts. Then you should put the motherboard inside the casing and then tighten the screws in the screw holes so the motherboard and the different components stay in place.
Fire it up
Next up is pushing that power button and firing it up. If you have connected everything correctly then the PC should boot up into the BIOS otherwise you might need to do some troubleshooting and check for loose connections, especially in the power supply.
Tell me the best way to build a PC.
If you want to build a gaming pc or any pc then you should decide your budget and then select the components then assemble them and then turn it on. You can read about the different pc components above which include the central processing unit, graphics card along with other components that are needed to complete a PC.
There are custom PC building sites that provide you with a pc build checklist and you can customize your own pc from there. They also allow you to change the components of your pc according to their compatibility.
I hope that after reading the above article you have a good idea of the components that you will need to build a gaming pc and get yourself your very own computer. While many people are afraid but building a gaming pc is quite easy and it also saves quite a bit of money as opposed to getting a pre-built PC. So don’t be afraid to build a pc. If you have any trouble you can always reach out to us. Happy building!