IT Support 101: Choosing the right component for custom PC Part 3
Now in this final part three of finding the right components for a custom PC build, what are the remaining components left?
The main two foci are GPU (graphic processing unit) and sound cards. We focus on monitors as a special bonus. With the GPU and sound cards being the main focus of this blog, they make great additions to any custom build computers. Enhancing the image processing and sound rendering can improve the experience of your custom made computer as a powerful entertainment solution.
When it comes to graphic cards, there is such a thing as too little, too late. GPU has the fastest rate of new releases, more than any other component. And before you know it, your GPU is outdated. Do you want to spend an immense amount of money on a card that is a thousand dollars more expensive and only that much faster, to show off that you have the fastest or best graphics processor in the market?
Here is a simplified graph to illustrate the correlation between price and performance. Here we focus on just three properties to compare the correlation with price. Random Access Memory or RAM (in GB), Core Clock Speed in MHz and the thermal design power or TDP in watts. We chose five GPU for our data points:
Now from just from five GPU as data points, we can already see a direct correlation with the price. Only for the RAM and TDP that is. It is evident that a GPU with more ram is going to cost you more, and the higher amount of ram helps with higher resolution and 3D rendering. TDP determines or shows how much power is needed just to run your GPU alone. However, you can see that the clock speed does not seem to match the same way as RAM and TDP.
A higher-end graphic card can overclock, which also makes it hard to determine a pattern here. So what is our point? Our GPU needs are subjective and should treat as such. If you need a GPU, you need to know what you need. You need to research and understand what function it takes on. There are many online tools out there able to determine which GPU is best suited to run which application. And to which level do you need that GPU to perform also plays a part. There are two main things you can do wrong, be under-powered and over-powered. Both of which can become a financial burden. Imagine if you are a graphics designer who spent too much on their GPU, it takes you much longer to justify an upgrade. Buying the right tool is essential and can never be underestimated.
Why does one need a sound card anyway? The onboard sound chip on the motherboard tends to fail. There is also electrical interference with the sound processor on the motherboard while sound cards shielded from such interference.
If you are a home entertainment snob like we are, a sound card is a fantastic piece of investment for a custom build.
It is astounding the difference good sound card can make. There are motherboards out there in the market with Dolby sound which we feel still does a great job. People who identify themselves as an audiophile need a decent sound card and would know what to look.
However is you are a layman, go with Creative Sound Blaster and you are all set. Sound cards installed on the PCI slot of your motherboard and after driver installation, the sound coming out of your computer changes drastically. It enhances detailed sounds like pin drops, gets rid of fuzzy noises from a bad recording and even improves soft-spoken voices in videos. It's rust remover for sound, removing the bad and enhancing what you want to hear—levelling the highs and lows to prevent your audio from suddenly shooting high in one scene and too low in the other.
Can you find many people who regret purchasing a nice TV or computer monitor? Neither can we.
After all, the monitor displays the full potential of your build. If you had a sub-par monitor, you could never realize how great a machine you built. With a great monitor, you might realize your machine is unable to support its full potential. The display is essential. With the choices available these days is it so easy to choose the right one. Widescreen monitors are available that act as a dual-screen merged into one. If the price is no object, going for one of these could make work, gaming or surfing a much more pleasant experience. For an entertainment system, we would always recommend connecting your PC to the main TV of the house. We would recommend OLED if at all possible, for its energy efficiency and the possibility of lasting a long time. LCD is a cheaper option and much more likely to have dead pixels and lines.
A great alternative to either of these for home entertainment could also be a fantastic projector. Especially the new ones that sit ten centimetres from the wall. Of course, the ambient light is still a concern for wall projection. Don't be fooled by the beautiful marketing pictures. Always check out how it works in real life. Ordering online does no one any favours.
Mouse and Keyboard
Either of these is a matter of personal discretion and would not be considered, by us, as part of the PC Build. But we do have blogs about mouse and keyboard as follows:
below are the links for previous parts