Build Your Own Computer

May 8th, 2007 | Desktops, Repair

Building your computer yourself is my preferred method of putting a computer together. You get to choose every single part of the computer, giving it exactly the personality you require.

“But I don’t want to build it myself!”

Lucky you’re not alone in that area. The majority of people don’t want to get their hands dirty fiddling with a computer. Who can blame you, you have better things to do.

You can get most of these benefits from online retailers. They offer options to pick and choose your parts or customize a standard model using a few options they provide.

These case studies will guide you with step-by-step instructions on customizing from a good preset package.

  • Super-budget computer case study
  • Mid-range computer case study
  • High-end gaming computer case study

If you want to tackle the computer building on your own then continue and read more about each individual part before making a decision. I’ll start with what I consider the most major parts that require the most thought, and move down to those parts that are easier to choose.

  1. Processor: The computer processor is likely to be the most expensive part of your system. It is also the most overhyped part. I have two computers at home, one of them being an Intel Pentium 4 2.0GHz and an AMD Athlon XP 2500+, both of which are not sold anymore. They are fine for everything I do on the computer, mostly internet based stuff, and I see no need to upgrade within 2 years or even longer. When looking at buying something new I like to stay current, but keep the cost down, I would go for the slower of the most up-to-date parts. Currently that would be the Intel Core 2 Duo E6320, next up would be the Core 2 Duo E6420 and the highest would be the Core 2 Duo E6600. There is also an E6700, but the price jump to get there is currently too high for the speed gains.
  2. Motherboard: Although the processor is given much attention, this part gets my most attention. The motherboard connects everything together and is more like the heart and soul of your computer. I must have USB 2.0, SATA connectors (2 sets are better), built-in sound, built-in network adapter, built-in firewire, built-in external SATA. I should also have PCI Express if you want to upgrade to super-fast graphics cards.
  3. Memory: Gives the most clout if upgraded. Everything you use on the computer is held in memory and then run. At least 512MB for Windows XP and at least 1GB for Vista, more is always better, but 2GB is the most I’d recommend for now.
  4. Hard drive
  5. Graphics card
  6. DVD writer
  7. Computer case
  8. Keyboard and mouse

Those are the major parts aside from the monitor.

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