Introduction: How to Start Building a Computer

I found the process of building a computer to be informative and my computer is tailored to my specific needs. My particular interest in building my computer was, among other things, I wanted to be able to run two operating systems through a virtual machine. If you don't know what that is don't worry about it, the point is when building your own computer you can build it to fit your particular needs and interests. If you want to build a cheap low performance computer in order to save money I would recommend just going ahead and buying one. It will probably be cheaper. Building your computer is only cheaper than buying when you build a medium to high-end computer. I would plan to spend about $900 when building your computer if you want less then that then you will get a better computer if you just buy one.

While you try to look at different parts I recommend searching because they have just about anything you could want and then at the end price check.

WARNING: Throughout the process of choosing parts be sure to use and start a build to ensure that our parts are compatible with each other. Not all parts are compatible.

Step 1: Choose a Case

The case is the shell that wraps around the inner parts of the computer. Choosing a Case may not seem that important but you need to ask yourself how big of a computer do you want to build. If you want a big computer you'll need a big case. Once you figure that out you should get a good looking case because after spending all the time to build your computer you will want to make it look nice.

Step 2: Choose a Motherboard

When choosing a motherboard there a few things to look out for. First of all is you will want to be sure that it matches the same size that you decided you want your computer to be. Also look out for how many USB ports it supports, the number of slots of RAM, the number of Hard Drive ports (SATA ports), and if it has integrated graphics. If you don't know what all or any of that stuff is do not worry just tentatively choose a motherboard and come back to it when you have figured out some of the other parts you want.

Step 3: Choose a CPU

There are basically two things you need to look for when choosing a CPU. First, is the clock speed; the faster the clock speed the faster your computer can carry out instructions. Second, is the more cores the instructions your computer can carry at one time. However, there are few programs that utilize more than four cores. Therefore, unless you know you want more cores I recommend getting four. I like the Intel i5 processor.

Step 4: Choose a CPU Fan

A CPU fan radiates the heat of the CPU to keep it cool. When choosing one to buy remember the better fan you buy the longer your CPU will last.

Step 5: Choose a Graphics Card

If you are not planning to do anything with high graphics namely; watching high definition videos, gaming, video editing, or things like unto it; then you might decide to use the integrated graphics on your motherboard. I like Nividia. I got the GForce GTX 1060 which is fairly high end. You may decide to go lower end then that. Only if you are doing 3d virtual gaming do I recommend going higher then that.

Warning : If you decide to use your integrated be sure that your motherboard has integrated graphics.

Step 6: Choose RAM

There are two types of memory in a computer : cache memory and storage memory. RAM is cache memory, or the amount of space allotted to run multiple programs at a time. Lots of RAM is useful in memory expensive programs like virtual machines, intensive gaming, or video editing. In terms of brands I like G.Skill.

NOTE: Be sure that check the speed of RAM and number of sticks of RAM supported by your motherboard.

Step 7: Choose a Hard Drive/ SSD (Solid State)

Both a hard drive and SSD are storage memory. They determine how much data you can save on your machine and they determine how fast your computer starts up. SSD is better but is still fairly expensive and is usually sole in smaller amounts. I would recommend getting about a one terabyte hard drive for normal computer use. If you need extra storage then you should go up from there. I would also couple with your hard drive a small amount of SSD (maybe 250 GB) to help your computer start up faster. If money really does not matter then go ahead and get all SSD.

Step 8: Choose a Power Supply

When choosing a power supply be sure to check that there is enough watts to power everything in your computer. I like the brand, Corsair.

Step 9: Choose a WiFi/ Ethernet

Figure out if you need a WiFi card or an Ethernet connection. If you are looking to save money this may be a part where you could save.

Step 10: Choose an Optical Drive (optional)

You will not need an optical drive but they are cheap and honestly I think it is nice. Any will do.