As usual, any books about computers are out of date by the time they have been published. In this case, the book was well out of date but the principles apply. Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings, help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

  • Some of them do other things as well, like streaming movies or facilitating identity theft.
  • Make sure that you note down the types of inputs you will need for the components.
  • If you shop your components, your DIY computer will be cheaper than its premade equivalent.
  • Place your drive in the tray — some 3.5-inch trays will be designed to accept 2.5-inch trays.
  • Integrated graphics have improved significantly throughout the years, though they are still generally less powerful than discrete graphics.

This is where the PC stores data that it is actively using (those “instruction lists” that the CPU needs to read and execute). Figuring out how much RAM you need can be tricky because having more RAM than you use will do nothing while having too little RAM will negatively affect performance. MicroATX motherboards (9.6 by 9.6 inches) can also have up to four RAM slots. ATX motherboards are only slightly smaller (12 by 9.6 inches) and usually top out at four RAM slots.

If you think it’s DDR1 memory to go for, you’d be mistaken. That was a standard that didn’t launch until 2002, and before this, it was SDRAM. 64MB SDRAM at 400Mhz is your best bet for the era, although I’ve always had a rule of doubling the amount just in case, and this can apply here.

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Dust reduces cooling performance and increases heat buildup, and it’s the enemy of high-performance gaming PCs. If you but a single large M.2 SSD, you could completely omit this step, but we included an extra SATA SSD in our build video for reference. Hard drives have much higher capacities with lower prices, but they’re much slower than SSDs and we often omit them in high-end builds.

The slots are sometimes color coordinated, but on most modern boards you’ll want to install two sticks into slots 2 and 4. Check the cooler for size and clearance before adding the fans, as you might run into orientation issues or simply not have enough space. As noted above, the Kraken X62 we’re using blocks access to the EPS12V connector on the motherboard, so we had to connect that before installing the radiator.

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If finding compatible parts is difficult, or you don’t have the time to shop for each individual part, you can purchase a barebones kit. These kits contain the fundamental parts of the computer, and ones which are compatible with each other. Average processors are faster and they are just a bit more expensive. For a few extra dollars you will be able to access higher level applications without hassle. This will provide more speed as well satisfying the average computer user.

You can always lay the parts on the floor or mount them on your wall. However, a case is beneficial for multiple reasons. First of all, it keeps all the components in one place, allowing you to move them more easily. Secondly, the case protects the parts from damage and dust.

Did you know that your custom built computer collects dust which could attract moisture and mould that can short-circuit the motherboard or other hardware? You don’t need to be technical to have a custom built gaming PC. The amount of RAM your computer needs depends on what you plan on using it for. If you are gaming then 16GB is going to be the minimum and if you are streaming or video editing then 32GB is recommended. For more information on this, read our RAM buying guide on Newegg Insider.

There should be a wad of cables somewhere inside the case, including any included fans, USB, and audio ports. The USB and audio connectors look similar but are keyed differently, so you can’t install them on the wrong pin cluster on the motherboard. USB 3.0 connectors are larger, and some boards and cases have a new USB 3.1 Gen2 connector. These should all be labeled, and plugging them in is as simple as reading your manual and figuring out what goes where.