Building a new PC is an exciting experience, but it can be a bit daunting if it’s your first time doing it.
Budgeting the costs of the parts it needs, figuring out how to place them, and getting the tools required for them are all crucial details to learn before you begin.
If even that seems too much, then let’s talk about the essential components every PC requires to function. This could be anything from custom pc cases to the processing unit you purchase.
The central processing unit (CPU), or just processor, acts as the brain of the system and is generally considered the second most important part of a PC. There are three main things to know when picking a CPU:
- Clock Speed: The measure of processing speed. It refers to how many cycles a core will perform in a second.
- Core: It receives instructions and performs calculations to satisfy those instructions. A CPU can have multiple cores.
- Thread: The virtual version of a CPU core. They can perform tasks and correspond to cores. The more threads your processor can handle, the better it will perform at multitasking; this is called multithreading.
Graphics Card (GPU)
The graphics processing unit (GPU), or graphics card, will most likely be the most expensive part of your essential PC build list.
Taking it in the context of a game, a CPU would be responsible for tracking the physics, players, and objects and where they are on a map. In comparison, a GPU takes this info and renders the graphics you see, set accordingly to the resolution and settings you’ve chosen.
Once you pick a processor, you need to get a motherboard that goes with it. Generally, the chipset, the number of PCIe lanes and their version, the VRM design, USB ports, and their versions decide if a motherboard is good or not.
Gaming motherboards often have substantial clock rates and feature high-quality capacitors and thick, hefty copper wires, all necessary for a gaming PC to handle its load and avoid overheating.
Random access memory or RAM is commonly considered to be the third most important component of your PC hardware, especially for gaming performance. It’s where your PC stores temporary data that is currently being used.
Having an adequate amount of RAM will significantly improve your PC’s performance, but if it’s more than you need, you’re essentially wasting money.
Although the quality of an HDD isn’t as good as an SSD, it offers more storage space for less money. HDDs were used to store everything before SSDs came into the picture.
Ideally, you should get an SSD since they’re much faster, more durable, and smaller than HDDs. Or a combined storage solution of both would work even better if you can afford it.
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
A power supply unit is just as simple as it sounds; it supplies power to your system. There are generally two things to remember when buying a PSU for your PC:
- Pick one from a reputable manufacturer because off-brand ones often try to sell poor-quality PSUs.
- Use a PSU calculator tool to determine what PSU wattage to go for and to ensure it has enough wattage for your system.
Whether you get the big components, the motherboard, or the PC case first completely depends on you. If you have a specific PC case in mind, get it before the component, so you don’t have to replace them if they don’t fit.
The PC case’s size is the most important factor. It will determine how many fans you can install to keep your system running smoothly and prevent overheating. A bigger case will also give you the opportunity to expand and upgrade.