How to Choose Parts When You Build Your Own Computer
June 14, 2012
•IADT Detroit, IADT General, Information Technology
• 0 Comments
If you’re enrolled in a computer science or information technology degree program, you need to develop a thorough understanding of computer hardware. A great way to study hardware hands-on is to learn how to build your own computers.
To expand your technical skills and save some money on your next computer, try these steps for choosing the parts you need to build a computer by hand.
Decide what the computer will be used for. When you build a computer by assembling individual parts, you have an infinite number of combinations to try. Therefore, figuring out what the computer needs to do should determine the quality of the parts it needs. The graphics card, memory, and processor used in gaming computers, for example, have to be at or above a certain level of quality to run games safely and efficiently. On the other hand, a computer used for Internet browsing won’t need nearly as much power as a gaming PC.
Make a list of what you need. Some of the parts you need to consider include:
- Central Processing Unit (CPU), or “processor”
- Power supply
- Hard drive
- RAM (memory)
- Graphics card
- Sound card
- DVD burner
- Memory card slot
- USB slots
- Operating System
Establish and follow a budget. Building a computer can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000, depending on the quality and specifications you’re looking for. Keep in mind that you can usually build an excellent computer for $500 to $700 that will last for several years.
After you establish what the computer’s primary functions are and figure out a wish list of the parts you need, set a budget to make sure you don’t exceed your means once you start choosing parts.
Compare prices. Computer parts are least expensive when you buy them online, so get started by researching some reputable sites such as Newegg.com or Amazon.com. You may want to consider shopping around the winter holidays, including on Black Friday, when you can find computer hardware on sale.
Always check reviews and ratings. Before you decide to purchase a certain part that falls within your budget price range, make sure it’s high quality. Read customer reviews and find tech websites that rank different parts according to performance benchmarks and longevity.
This article is presented by IADT-Detroit. Contact us today if you’re interested in developing marketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with an industry-current degree program from IADT-Detroit.