The same question is asked of me often: How do you build a computer? An open computer can look very different to an average person’s eyes. There are many “pieces” and wires that run from one place to another. This can make it difficult and even discouraging. It can seem more complicated than it is. That is my best advice. It is okay to make mistakes and try again until you get it right. You must be careful not to force components into places they don’t belong. However, it can be difficult to mix things up because most things only work in one direction and only in the right place. It is how I have learned the majority of what I do today. There is always a way around any problem. Sometimes it takes patience and some research.
When I was ten years of age, I began building computers. It became a hobby that led to a 16-month-old business. There has been much to learn over the years, just like technology. Computers are constantly evolving and improving in order to provide more power, reliability, smaller sizes, ease-of-use, and lower energy consumption. This is a way for computers to be “greener” on the planet.
Now it’s time to get to the actual building of a computer. There are many options and a lot of information, but I will be sharing my own views and opinions.
You need to decide what your computer is used for. You could use it for basic web browsing such as Facebook or E-mail. A media center is a computer that can be connected to an entertainment center. This allows for video streaming, music recording and other internet-related uses. It could be used solely for gaming. Gaming computers can be difficult to discuss because everyone has different views. Some people may be content with a lower setting while others might prefer to play at maximum settings with plenty of room for future games. Photo and video editing is the last use I will mention. Many times, a high-end gaming computer and a photo/video editor machine will share many similarities. While you don’t necessarily need to have a powerful computer for video and photo editing, it will reduce the time needed. A less powerful computer may not be able to create long videos. No matter what purpose you have for building a computer, it is important to determine a budget and then go from there. If you don’t have the budget, it is not worth spending on expensive premium components. It is quite surprising how affordable a powerful system can be in these “now days”. The latest and greatest is not something I recommend. It will likely cost more and be obsolete in six months. This is how the computer world works.
Once you have determined the purpose of your computer and set a budget, there are only a few components required to build a functional computer. These core components are:
The chassis is what houses and protects all components.
The power supply (PSU), which supplies power from the wall to the computer,
Motherboard is the hub for all components to communicate with one another.
Graphics card is responsible for creating an image on your computer screen that can be viewed and interacted with.
The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of an operation. It calculates millions of operations per second.
RAM (RAM) is temporary information that the processor calculates for quick access.
Hard drive or hard disk is the permanent storage device that holds all data and programs.
Disposable storage, such as CD/DVD/Blu Ray readers and burners and USB drives and other storage device.
We will begin with the motherboard as our first component. It is the hub of all things. There are many “highways” that connect all components to the motherboard. There are many types of motherboards, but the most common are Intel and AMD based boards. An AMD base motherboard must match with an AMD processor, and vice versa. A motherboard based on Intel with an Intel processor. For a perfect fit, there are many form factors or sizes that can be used. There are four main sizes: ATX Micro, ATX and Extended ATX. Recently, Mini ITX was introduced. This is a smaller size that is ideal for small spaces, such as entertainment centers. Other sizes are available, but these are the ones I use most often. The case must match the size of the motherboard. The type of socket is another important factor. The socket and processor (CPU), must match. Both Intel and AMD have their own sockets. A socket 1155 socket may be used by an Intel machine, while an AMD socket may be used by an AMD machine. If the motherboard is an 1155, the CPU must be an 1155. Make sure you do your research to ensure that the motherboard and CPU you choose are compatible. It is important to note that a CPU can’t be returned once it has been purchased, unless it is damaged. It would be bad for a motherboard to be used with an incorrect CPU.