Now this is a topic tackled by thousands and thousands of people on the internet. I am not an expert on the subject by any means, but I am about to share with you what I have learnt after tons of research I did to build one by myself.
A PC nowdays is an essential part of the household; We use them for multimedia purposes, gaming, video editing etc. However which PC is the best option for you? Of course, most of the times, the more expensive one the better. However, if you are like me and you are living from paycheck to paycheck and there are other economic obligations in your life, there is a huge obstacle in front of you: This obstacle is called <<BUDGET>>.
Without further delays, I will present you in order of significance some things to consider prior to building your PC.
#1: Your budget
This is the first limiting factor. First of all you have to figure out how much money you have available in order to buy a PC. 300 Euros?? 500 Euros?? Over a thousand Euros?? As I said in the Intro, a rule of thumb is; the more budget you have at your disposal, the more powerful the PC you are going to build (provided you allocate your money wisely).
#2: Your needs.
You want to play games in their finest detail?? You just want to build a PC for office work?? Or, do you want a PC for multimedia purposes?? You have to decide prior to searching for the parts. The reason for this is that if for example you want to build a PC for gaming, you will have to spend more money towards the GPU while if you want to build one for multimedia purposes, you will need a larger hard drive in order to save as much digital content as possible.
#3: Central Processing Unit
This is one of the most crucial parts of your PC in my opinion. There are 2 big CPU manufacturers nowdays; Intel and AMD. Each one offers a variety of processors for every budget. However, if you are low on money and cannot afford a separate GPU, I would suggest you buy an AMD CPU 2000 series due to the fact that they have better integrated graphics than the ones included on Intel CPUs. If you are a gamer, keep in mind that nowdays most games require at least 2 cores in order to run properly and relatively high clockspeeds. If you are a professional who will use the PC as Workstation, the more cores the better because workload is heavier and as a result you will need as many ”workers” as possible. For the average joe like me, who uses the computer solely for entertainment purposes, something like a Ryzen 3 2200G is adequate. In Greece, its price has dropped around 80 Euros and it is a processor more than capable of running smoothly the majority of games (combined with a decent GPU of course).
Depending on the type of CPU you choose, you will have to buy a motherboard that supports it. You have a Ryzen 3 Processor? Then you willl need a motherboard that supports the CPU chip. Afterwards you need to consider whether you will want to overclock your system parts to perform better. In that case you will have to purchase a motherboard that supports overclocking. Next, check the number of RAM slots: 4 is the golden number for me. It is by far the cheapest performance upgrade on a PC and more slots will definitely make this happen. As for USB ports, integrated Wi-Fi and other trinkets, check your needs and plan accordingly.
#5: Power Supply Unit
This part is often neglected by most PC users. Power Supply Units are one of the most critical components of a PC build. Not only it powers up your whole system, it has circuits that protect your pc components in case of sudden blackouts and overvoltages. You check your system’s power consumption and buy a PSU that will feed it with power. There are 3 types of PSUs: Modulars, Semi-Modulars and Wired. They are categorized by the amount of cables that will run loose inside the computer case. In addition, almost every PSU has a certification; 80 plus bronze, titanium etc. This label indicates the power efficiency of your PSU. Be sure to buy a decent PSU from a tried and true manufacturer like Super Flower.
There are 3 types of hard drives ranked from cheapest to more pricey (with the same storage capacity): Hard Disk Drives (HDD), Solid State Drives (SSD) and M.2 hard drives. Most people use a combination of 1 HDD for games, movies and generally personal files and 1 of the other 2 kinds for their operating system, due to the fact that 9 times out of 10 SSDs and M.2s are much faster and boot your computer in shorter time.
As far as Random Access Memory is concerned, first of all you should check what type of RAM does your motherboard support; DDR3 or DDR4? Most motherboards nowdays support DDR4 RAMs while older systems use DDR3s. A capacity of 8 GBs is essential for everyday tasks while for gaming and more intensive workload you should have at least 16 GBs. Also check if the RAM is supported by the CPU you are going to buy. RAM speed plays also a big role espescially if you plan on using CPUs with integrated graphics like the Ryzen processors. These CPUs require RAMs with higher clockspeeds in order to offer the best results.
Now this is a bit tricky. Graphics Processor Unit (graphics card) are one (if not the most) pricey component on a computer with prices ranging from 100 Euros to thousands of Euros. If you plan to use your PC for office tasks, movies and very light gaming, GPUs are not needed that much. However if you are into gaming and video editing, you should invest as much money as possible. Games in 4K resolution require absolute beasts of GPUs in order to run smoothly while in 1080p, a decent GPU costs around 200 to 300 Euros.
#9: Computer Case
This is least important for me. You can buy anything you want provided it is of the same category as the motherboard’s size. For example ITX sized motherboards require ITX computer cases. The same applies for the PSU size, the GPU size as well as the amount of hard drives you are going to put inside your digital beast.
In conclusion, picking parts for your PC might seem an imposing task at first but with some research and a lot of patience you will eventually assemble the one that better suits your needs. A final word of advice is that if you do not have experience in assembling it by yourself, do not take the risk. Spend a few Euros more and have someone do it for you, because if you do terrible mistakes, it will definitely lead to a catastrophe!!