How To Build A PC: From Component Selection To Installation

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synphul

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Pretty solid walkthrough in my opinion. Plenty of info to help lost users who are unfamiliar with the build process and would likely make a good sticky. As far as what's important, there is no one hero of a pc in my opinion.

What the person's needs are will definitely affect the choices but in general, just about any major component that's cheap/cruddy will have an impact. The pc works as a team, all components need reliable power. The motherboard is the foundation for the build and connectivity, the cpu/gpu/ram etc all are important so balance is key.

Seems like so many people miss this and forget how important balance is. Not just in terms of specs but in terms of quality of the parts. IE using a $20 psu on a $1000 rig probably isn't the best idea.

Cases are probably the easiest place to cut corners without sacrificing too much, assuming someone isn't in and out of their case very often. Which they shouldn't need to be so long as everything is working properly, other than to dust it out.
 

BadActor

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Nice article, but I disagree with choosing the case first. I wouldn't want to have to compromise on the components that really affect performance. The only exception is something like an HTPC where the case is the primary consideration. I've always felt you should decide on the usage first. If for gaming, the monitor and games played will dictate the GPU, then you can choose the CPU, motherboard, RAM drives, etc.
 

80-watt Hamster

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Nice article, but I disagree with choosing the case first. I wouldn't want to have to compromise on the components that really affect performance. The only exception is something like an HTPC where the case is the primary consideration. I've always felt you should decide on the usage first. If for gaming, the monitor and games played will dictate the GPU, then you can choose the CPU, motherboard, RAM drives, etc.
Usage will inform the case, and it's easier, as mentioned in the article, to choose components that will fit a given case than a case that will fit a given subset of components. This guide is aimed at beginners; an experienced builder can start wherever he or she wants. A very small number of people will have to worry about whether 3 or 4 oversize GPUs and a huge PSU will fit in a case their first or second time around, or have a specific cooling setup in mind that needs adequate mounting points. I've seen plenty of PCPP builds where the builder had to go back and buy a different case because the guts were picked first, and the chosen enclosure wouldn't fit them all.
 

Libero

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Nice article, but I disagree with choosing the case first. I wouldn't want to have to compromise on the components that really affect performance. The only exception is something like an HTPC where the case is the primary consideration. I've always felt you should decide on the usage first. If for gaming, the monitor and games played will dictate the GPU, then you can choose the CPU, motherboard, RAM drives, etc.
"I've always felt you should decide on the usage first"
The article already stated that first step is define a purpose, it is same meaning. Then choose a case after that. For example I want buy a computer only for "browsing website". I did not playing game, multi-tasking or editing. So I will not buy GPU & CPU water cooling. A case with less expansion slots and few storage drive bays will be enough. So I will not buy full tower case which normally more expensive. That how it works.
 

geekguy

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Nice article, but I would add to front panel the audio as well, as there are cases that sport such connections.
Besides that, I think it would have been helpful to add the links between cpu and video (a slow cpu and a good videocard don't work that well together) and video and RAM memory.
Also, a good choice would be to explain the link between SSD and virtual memory in the OS, bootup time, etc (but only for first timers, so they can decide why they would need an SSD, or a better motherboard with 4 slots of RAM and possibly a RAMdrive instead). Anyway, solid article, gratz.
 
Regarding ESD, it's true it's often overstated but I think maybe you went a little too far the other way. A wrist strap is cheap and effective and hardly over the top, rather it's the simplest way to remove the concern completely. In the telecommunications industry they are considered mandatory for handling some equipment.

In any case grounding yourself often and not grabbing the circuitry in you hands (use the edges, metal parts, or parts where there are no ICs) is probably good enough for most people but if you have a wrist strap handy, slap it on.

I have a feeling that rather than fatally damaging components ESD is responsible for some of those systems with weird little stability issues you can never quite pin down that happen form time to time on some builds. Modern electronics is not as sensitive as it once was but it still pays to be careful.
 

Vdrummer

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The first picture hurt my eyes. Even though I agree, that the ESD issue is overrated by some guides, the minimum should be to put the mainboard on top of the antistatic bag it comes in and not directly on a wooden surface. While ESD can cause instant death, there is also a risk of "slight" damage, something which can case a failure later on.
 


That's actual not great advice I see far too often even from "experts" Most antistatic bags have a conductive metallic coating designed to protect from static buildup on the inside of the bag. The outside offers no protection at all. They also don't work to well if open.

 
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