Building a PC is a lot easier these days than it used to be. A couple of decades ago, you had to really know your stuff to build a PC because there weren’t really any places you could refer to for information. Nowadays we have Google, Youtube and so much more – and all of them can be great learning resources! It’s easy enough to do a couple of searches and figure out how to put your own PC together.
Why would you want to do that? It used to be to save money, and you can still save a little bit if you’re smart about it, but most mass-produced machines benefit from the savings of buying parts in bulk, so it is harder for the home built PC’s to compete with mass-built ones on price.
Choosing Your Own Parts
Customization is the real benefit to building your own rig though. You can pick and choose which parts you want, so if you want a really high-end graphics card, you don’t actually have to raise the level of all your other components too. Shop bought PC’s tend to keep all components at roughly the same level, so building your own gets around this. On top of that, you can be totally specific about what you want. Like a particular brand for your SSD? Put it in. Want a retro style CD drive, or even a floppy disk drive? Go for it!
When it comes to designing your PC, it’s best to sit down and create a list of what you need the PC to do. This gives you a minimum spec for your new machine because it needs enough processing power, RAM, HD space and a powerful enough graphics card to perform these tasks. Always try to go 10-20% beyond your needs as well, because tech moves fast and the last thing you want is your new machine to be dated and under-performing before it’s even a year old. Consider any additional peripheries too, like disk drives, monitor setups and the mouse/keyboard you use.
Compatibility matters a lot with computers. You can’t just buy a bunch of parts and stick them together like Frankenstein's monster. Some types of component are only compatible with certain sockets or motherboard types. Keep this in mind and start shopping around for the brands you need, keeping a note of prices along the way.
Remember that you need to do this for every single component – so if you want a specific Nvidia card, that has to go on here, but so do the Quiet Home Lab keyboard and the custom gaming mouse. Forgetting to list these parts can happen because they aren’t internal for the machine, but they still need to be accounted for in your budget.
With your shopping list drafted and a budget in place, you can now begin to tweak your build. You might want to improve the speaker system or go for a slightly more powerful graphics card while keeping everything else similar. At this stage, you’re tweaking to make the build perfect and get a little more performance out of it, especially if there’s still space in the budget.
You might also come across a great deal on components you hadn’t planned to include, but of a similar level to your choices. Finding deals like this can make it a good idea to tweak the build entirely and include them because the cash saving can improve other areas of the machine and make it even more powerful and long-lasting.
Finally, remember to keep quality levels similar to all parts. Don’t skimp out on areas like the motherboard or power supply when you’re buying good parts for everything else. If the cheap parts fail, they could damage the more expensive ones, making it an expensive repair for you anyway!