Building a gaming computer from scratch is something that many people dream about but not many people actually do. That’s because most of the guides out there were written with the serious computer enthusiast in mind. But what if you are a beginner when it comes to building your own rig? That’s exactly the audience that this guide is intended to address.
Your Computer Case
You should always start with your computer case. Choosing your computer case beforehand will give you some guidelines on which motherboard you can get and how much you can fill your case with various components. There are three basic things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a computer case. The first is the size of the case. The size will determine what components you can get and how much expansion you can do later. The second is cooling. Most cases come with a couple of fans already, but if you have a lot of hardware, then you’re going to need additional cooling. Finally, the look and style of the case are important considerations.
The motherboard should be the next thing that you choose. The type of motherboard that you get will be determined by what case you choose. If you have chosen a mini case then you’re going to have to go with a smaller motherboard. Larger cases will give you more choices as to which motherboard you can choose. The only way that you can figure out which motherboards will fit with a particular computer case is to do your research and make a list of the ones that are compatible.
The Power Supply
Your power supply should be the next thing that you choose. You want to make sure that you are giving your computer enough power to run everything properly. All of the components that you install inside your case will drain the available power in some way. For example, if you have a comprehensive liquid cooling system, then you may need a larger power supply to accommodate it. In addition, just like with other components, not every power supply will be compatible with every case.
Your Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Next, you’ll need to choose your CPU. Generally, there are two different brands of CPU that you have to choose from: Intel and AMD. Which of these you choose will depend upon which motherboard you selected. AMD CPUs are only going to be compatible with certain motherboards and the rest will generally be compatible with Intel processors. You also need to figure out how powerful you want your CPU to be and how much money you are willing to spend on one. Your CPU is the brain of your computer, and as such, you wanted to be as powerful as possible; as long as it is compatible with the motherboard and as long as your cooling system can keep the temperature down.
The Hard Drive(s)
You will also need at least one storage device. Your hard disk drive is where your operating system will be stored as well as all of your other data. One of the most advanced hard drive systems on the market these days is the SSD drive. These solid-state devices are faster than other types of hard disk drives and can access information better. However, they are also more expensive. You are going to want to figure out how many hard disk drives you want inside your case, what kind of capacity you need for each one and whether you want to spring for the solid-state drive or go with a less expensive option.
How Much RAM?
How much RAM you need or can install also depends upon your motherboard. Your motherboard is going to have a certain number of slots that you can fit RAM into. For example, some motherboards have just two slots while others have four. These are the two most common configurations. From there you can determine how much RAM you want based upon what your system will support. For example, if you have the capacity to support up to 32 gigabytes of RAM and four slots, then you might want to go with four sticks of RAM that have eight gigabytes each. You also have to determine what type of RAM you want. The fastest RAM is going to be the most expensive; as you might imagine.
Sound Card, Video Card & Network Adapters
There are three additional components that you may need to add to your system. The first is a network adapter. A network adapter allows you to connect to the Internet either through a network cable or via Wi-Fi. The second is a soundcard that allows you to hear music, movies and other sounds from your computer. Finally, you may wish to install a dedicated video card that will allow you to play games that require high frame rates and excellent resolution. These three components may also be included on your motherboard, although if that is the case they will be much more limited than premium components that you install yourself. You will have to decide if you want a better video card or soundcard than is already included or a Wi-Fi adapter.
Finally, you will need the peripherals that come with every desktop computer. One of the most important of these is your monitor. You will have to determine what kind of budget you have for a monitor as well as how large you want your monitor to be, what type it is and what resolution it supports. You are also going to need a mouse and a keyboard. These are the three necessities when it comes to a desktop computer, but you may also need some sort of sound system unless your monitor comes with its own speakers and you can connect additional things like a printer, a high quality microphone, a webcam and more. Just make sure that you know what you are planning on connecting and have enough USB slots to support everything; or be willing to attach a USB hub.