What you need to know about building a desktop PC
Posted On May 2, 2022
Your desktop will remain your most reliable device for your work, business, education, or entertainment needs. If you are planning to buy one, you can just ask your tech-savvy friends for the best package on the market. If you want something more reliable, most experts would recommend building your own PC.
Why should you build your own PC?
Building your own PC is typically more expensive than just buying a pre-built one on the market. However, there are several reasons why assembling your own rig is better:
- Saves you money in the long run. Building a PC with select high-end parts can give you the same performance as pre-built PCs whose components are 100% high-end. This means you can already get the best results just from changing certain parts. Hand-pick the best components at Editech to make your PC as functional as possible.
- Allows you to properly discern which components are the best. It doesn’t matter whether you have a tech-savvy friend or just relying on recommendations from PC hardware sellers. Building your own PC enables you to learn about the effects of different components you will need.
- No bloatwares. Pre-built PCs may run slow because of bloatwares or unnecessary software that the manufacturer instals. In other words, bloatwares are just a waste of storage space. On the other hand, building a PC from scratch completely eliminates the possibility of bloatwares.
- Better warranties. Buying different parts for your custom PC means each component will have different warranties, often around two years. Compare that to a pre-built PC that might only have a year of warranty before you are on your own.
- Enables you to learn how to upgrade your build. If you know how each component is installed in your custom PC, you will also know how to replace them with better parts. As newer components get released every year or two, a regular upgrade would probably be on your custom PC to-do list.
- Your knowledge can be passed on to others. It’s not enough that you recommend to other people that they build their own PC. You have to teach them how to correctly install each component and how to choose the best parts for a custom PC.
Parts to look for if you want to build your own PC
Building your own PC involves several steps where you have to carefully assemble each component in the correct order. To maximise your build, here are the parts you need to look for:
The motherboard is the main circuit board where you put the different parts of the system unit such as the CPU, RAM, and graphics cards. The motherboard dictates how many USB ports are allowed on your PC, how well the RAM performs, and how reliable it connects to the Wi-Fi. It serves as the pathway of communication among the different components of your PC.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The CPU is the circuitry that executes the instructions from a program. The best kinds of CPUs strike the perfect balance between performance and price. Among the features to consider when looking for a CPU is the number of cores to evenly distribute the number of instructions and the frequency which is one of the parameters of a computer’s speed.
CPU cooling fan
If you are a gamer who wants to optimise your CPU, you might consider getting the best cooling fan for it. There are cooling fan designs that suit the overall aesthetics of your system unit, featuring lights of different colours. If you don’t care about personalising your PC too much, the plain-looking ones will do.
Random Access Memory (RAM) chip
The RAM chip is a long device that is used to store data that can be read and changed in any order at any time. This chip temporarily stores data by any program as part of their operations, meaning the CPU no longer needs to access the hard disk drive for special instructions. It is for this reason that your RAM capacity should be as large as possible.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
The GPU is a special circuit designed to make the rendering process of images faster. High-end GPUs are almost always sought after by gamers and people who use their PCs in their creative endeavours. This unit is closely related to the RAM and graphics card which is why you also have to balance out the specifications of each of them.
Most tech bloggers and reviewers use the terms GPU and graphics card interchangeably, but those two are actually different from each other. The graphics card is something that may already be inside the GPU (for integrated GPUs) or a separate board (for discrete GPUs) that helps the GPU perform well.
Solid State Drive (SSD)
An SSD is a storage device that can keep data in faster than hard disk drives (HDD). The SSD also stores flash memory or data that can only be accessed electrically which is why its technology is different from HDDs. SSDs are components that could give you flexibility in building your PC since it has no moving parts that could cause your system unit to heat up.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Just like the SSD, a hard disk drive stores data for your PC. However, the HDD does so by magnetic storage instead of electrical means. The HDD got its name from the rigid spinning disk coated with magnetic material inside it. HDDs are cheaper than SSDs, and its technology is traditional but still reliable as ever.
Tips on building your own desktop PCs
Assembling multiple parts for your dream PC means taking extra caution in selecting which components to buy. Here are some pieces of advice if you finally decide to build your own computer:
Plan out your custom PC
Finalise everything you need to build your custom desktop computer before you shop around for parts. Ask a friend to help you pick the components you need or watch tech reviews online to help assess the parts you have in mind. That way, you can check which parts are compatible with each other and make sure your PC runs smoothly.
Read the instructions carefully
Even if you have someone who knows what to do, it’s still important that you keep the instruction manual of each component so you can keep track of the unique features of each part you are installing in your PC. The manual also contains troubleshooting tips in case you encounter some problems with installation or testing.
Gather the proper tools for assembling your PC
Most PC builders are okay with just a mid-sized Phillips screwdriver, but special tools such as a parts retriever and pliers could also come in handy while your computer is being built. Keep in mind that screws and bolts come in various sizes, so a screwdriver set is preferable in most PC builds.
Have some alternative parts ready
The world has a large community of tech enthusiasts who always want the latest and the best in PC technology. This means some PC components could sell out easily. If you have an alternative component for your build, make do with it for a while until you can get the upgrade you need.
Pair your HDD with an SSD
Some tech experts believe an SSD is an optional component to have on your PC since the HDD is the traditional device used to store memory. However, the latest in software technology requires faster access to stored data, which is why an SSD could replace the HDD in the future. SSDs may be expensive, but having at least one of them could serve you long-term.
Set your budget for the most important parts
Don’t be afraid to spend more money on parts you care about such as the CPU or SSD. Some parts such as the RAM chip could use some compromise if you think your budget won’t cut it. Learn which parts you can make do with cheaper alternatives and ask an expert for the most compatible settings to maximise your build.
Gradually collecting the best parts is a no-no
You want to use your dream PC now, not in a few months or years. But then again, some of the components you need might be on a limited stock in shops and have sold out. Or if you have the parts you want, it might take a while before they are delivered. Try going for temporary parts for your PC instead of having your high-end parts collect dust somewhere.
Assembling a PC from parts you picked up yourself adds a personal touch to your device. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from tech-savvy people you know for some specific tips before you head to sites like Editech. Don’t forget to plan your budget properly and do some price comparisons to get the best bang for your buck.