What You Need to Build a Computer


Building a computer from scratch may seem like an up-hill battle, but it is not too difficult to get your head around. I made my first computer many years ago, at a young age in fact, and realised once you’ve done it once, you can do it forever. It’s easy enough to buy an iMac or go online to buy a raspberry pi model b, a single board computer that allows you to hack, program and do almost everything a fullsize computer does, however there is a weird sense of achievement in assembling your own dream machine. In some cases, operating a raspberry pi unit could be more complicated than assembling a PC.


The Components

There are many outlets that sell components. Unsurprisingly, high street stores may set you back a small fortune, so have a browse online and see what you can find.

First thing you will need is a case. This is the shell for the components and hides all the inside techy guts. This is your chance to choose the style of your computer, be it a simple office looking box or something out of Star Trek. Just remember to get a reasonably sized case in order to fit all the innards. You’ll need to purchase a power supply if the case doesn’t come preinstalled with one.

The motherboard is the central hub that connects all the pieces together. You’ll want to make sure to match it with the make of your processor (AMD or Intel) otherwise you’ll encounter problems. The processor determines your computers speed and how quickly it runs. Depending on what you plan on using your computer for, you may want to opt for a quicker one as it will make for a far better user experience. Don’t forget, a CPU cooler will be essential if your processor hasn’t got one built in, so make sure you do your due diligence before buying. The motherboard also needs memory (often described as RAM) and you should seek at least 8GB (gigabytes).

The next important step is the hard disk drive (HDD). It’s where all your programs and documents are saved to and is crucial. I have a 250GB HDD and get by but would recommend around 500GB. On top of that you’ll need a video card if you plan on blasting your way through Space Invaders. Some motherboards have what they call integrated graphics, which will be perfect if you just want to surf the web.

The last few things are quite obvious but I’ll go through them anyway. An operating system is required but from my experience, avoid Windows 8 at all costs! Call me old fashioned, but good ol’Windows 7 does the trick and won’t take you a century to get your head around. A monitor, keyboard and mouse will round off everything nicely and have you ready to waste copious amounts of time on Youtube.

image courtesy of wandee007 at freedigitalphotos.net