IT Support 101: Choosing the right component for custom PC Part 1
Updated: Mar 18
Building your PC is so much more fun than buying one. We are not here to talk about price or budget, but to enrich you with the knowledge that proves helpful in building your very own PC or personal computer. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced builder, this blog is just right for you. Why let companies like HP or Dell have all the fun in your stead? If you have the time, we honestly think building one is a perfect option. So let's start with the basics — first, the casing.
How to choose the right casing for a custom PC Build?
The easiest thing to select and to your right, you see a beautiful casing with green liquid cooling going on. Looks very cool, although we do not necessarily trust ourselves not accidentally to knock it down and create a mess. The main point you want to take note is size and placement. You have a place for it, so it is best always to do some necessary measurements before you go out and purchase a casing. All that effort wasted if it cannot fit where you intend to put it.
What we also recommend is go for a lightweight casing if at all possible and something leaner. If you are not too familiar with which brand to select, go with Cooler Master, and you should be fine. Also, an excellent viewpoint to have is spending more money on a casing is taking away money from the parts you would like to buy. We keep the budget of our casings to below a hundred dollars. Of course is the price is no object, and you would like it to look like something that came out from an alien versus predator movie, by all means.
A suitable casing designed around cooling and a better casing also design around dust management. What we mean is something that comes with an air filtration layer would be much easier to clean unless you prefer opening your computer up from time to time and vacuuming it.
Lastly, make sure there is ample space for the components you are planning to buy. Especially when it comes to parts like GPUs (graphic processing units), giant heatsink fans and special adapters for SSD 2.5 inch for storage. Just a little bit of planning goes a long way here.
How to choose the right Motherboard or Mainboard for a custom PC Build?
The next thing on your list should be the motherboard, the foundation of your CPU. Motherboards are the infrastructure that connects and integrates all the various parts. Not to be elitist but for motherboards, we only ever consider two brands, Asus and Gigabyte. Especially if you are a beginner at this, ignore the other brands and select from these two. Always remember that a good computer part is worthless without a good warranty and technical support. We cannot emphasize how important these factors are. Things can go wrong, and you do not want to deal with a brand ill-prepared to take these issues on. We understand that these are the big boy companies and it is about looking after your interest. Asus and Gigabyte look after their customers well.
Let us let you in on a little secret. Motherboards generally last as long as their capacitors do. In case you are wondering what capacitors are and what they do, think of all the electrons running around the copper circuit as cars, the capacitors are like traffic lights or traffic wardens. They regulate the traffic or in this case, the dissipation and storage of electricity. Whoa, you learned something you never thought you would.
So if you see capacitors that look like the ones to the left on the motherboard, that is not a good sign. What we usually recommend is to go for the Ultra Durable series that Gigabyte has. They cost a bit more, but these motherboards built to last for a long, long time. With some capacitors tested to tens of thousands of hours!
Something else we prefer, especially if you are not planning on using your computer for gaming is to go for one with a built-in GPU, Which is a graphics card that is already built-in to the motherboard. From the perspective of integration, you know this graphics processor is optimized for this motherboard and from an economic perspective, an ultra-durable gigabyte motherboard comes with a four-year warranty. So for 4 years, if anything happens, they do a one-to-one replacement. Graphics cards tend to sent back to the manufacturer where they attempt to fix the problem and replaced it if it is beyond repair. And there is hardly a graphic card out there with a four-year warranty. Does that make any sense?
It is also best to look at what type of connection ports are the "in thing" at the moment. You do not want to end up with a good motherboard that only does USB 2.0 connection types at best. So a little bit of research into what the latest types of must-have ports go a long way.
How to choose the right Processor for a custom PC Build?
Forgive us if we use the term CPU interchangeably to describe a computer or a processor. Generally, the CPU or central processing unit used to describe the processor, and in this case, there are only two brands to choose from. AMD and Intel. These two brands are like fire and water—both fantastic and always nipping at each other's heel. Intel is an American company, and AMD is a Taiwanese company. One thing to note, both Gigabyte and Asus are Taiwanese brands. Which goes to show how good Taiwan is at making the parts we all love so much. Digression aside, think of Intel as elegant and AMD as powerful. Reality is, in this day and age if you are not a gamer, nor are you a motion graphics designer, get the cheapest one that you can find. Motherboards designed around these two processor brands and an Intel motherboard cannot use an AMD processor and vice versa.
The moment you select your motherboard you have pretty much selected which brand of processor you are going to use.
Installing a processor is not particularly tricky. However, if you do not have confidence in doing this yourself, get someone who knows. A processor installation is easily the most sensitive installation on your custom build. If you are good with your hands, watch this video.
Usually, the computer shop offers to do this for free. And there is no shame in getting professional help. A mistake here can be an expensive one. So what would we recommend in terms of speed? We recommend nothing. What you want are many cores. Anything above two cores is the minimum standard these days. So work with that information. Cheapest as possible, ignore the speed and two to four cores is plenty. The reason is that the speed of processors has peaked, a physical limitation and problem have arisen. Theoretically, many of these processors can hit blisteringly high speeds, cooling technology, however, is nowhere near good enough. So what processors do instead of having one processor with high processing speed, it has numerous smaller processors within one processor unit. These smaller processors are called cores. We use the word smaller to describe them, and in terms of size only, each of these cores is more powerful than processors that came out a decade ago.
What you usually notice with a much faster processor is faster load times. Of course, with most processors in the 2.4 gigahertz range, the difference is negligible.
How to choose the right RAM for a custom PC Build?
Random-access memory or ram is a temporary storage space your CPU is using. Think of it as spending money or money in your wallet as RAM and money in your savings account as the hard drive. If there is not enough RAM for your CPU to use during its process, it taps some of that resource from your hard drive. Which is a scenario you want to avoid? Gone are the days of 32-bit computing that limits the amount of RAM that can use to roughly 6.4 gigabytes. Now since the operating systems and CPU are operating in 64-bit, the amount of RAM you can add to your CPU is basically at such a high number you do not even want to know. Theoretically, that is. There is a limit placed in motherboards and CPU. If you are one of those people that love tabs in your internet browser and feel the need to have twenty tabs active at any one time, we think 16 gigabytes of RAM is the ideal amount for you.
There is some nice looking high-end RAM out there. Again, these are more or less for gaming or professional use. When it comes to brand, Kingston is a very reliable primary brand with a lifetime warranty on its products and Corsair is an excellent alternative if you want something of a high-end purchase. Either brand does the job, in our opinion. Do take note of what type of RAM your motherboard supports, which is very important. More importantly, things you are looking for is DDR2 or DDR3 or DDR4 or DDR5 and so on. These are the generations of RAM with the higher number being the latest generation. DDR5 ram slated to distribute in 2019. In layman, that is the biggest and baddest RAM coming out soon!
Jokes aside, 8 gigabytes of RAM does not cut it anymore. We recommend at least starting with a 16 gigabyte. So get the cheapest one if you must if it allows you to even go 32 gigabytes without feeling a pinch. Trust us that does the trick. Don't forget to press it firmly when you install it onto your motherboard.