THE CPU COOLER
This is a special cooling device for the processor. The cooler is important because it does the task of cooling the CPU, which releases copious amounts of heat due to its operation.
CPU coolers come in two forms, air coolers, and liquid coolers. Again, you need to determine the type of cooler you need, whether liquid or air. You should use a liquid cooler only if your processor is going to be seriously overclocked (more on overclocking shortly).
Major brands include NZXT, Noctua, EVGA, Corsair, Thermaltake, Cooler Master, and Enermax.
POWER SUPPLY UNIT
The Power Supply, or PSU, is responsible for distributing power to all the components attached to the motherboard.
Power Supply technology has improved tremendously in recent years, with improvements in design and efficiency. Today, we have modular power supply units that allow you to attach only the cables you need, thereby reducing clutter and improving airflow.
As with other components, there are scores of brands include EVGA, Seasonic, NZXT, XFX, Thermaltake, Antec, Corsair, and others.
THE OPTICAL DRIVE
Though this component is gradually going out of fashion, because of the preponderance of digital downloads, it is still relevant today. The optical drive has come a long way, from the older CD drives to DVD drives and lately, Blu-ray drives.
The optical drive allows you to transfer your data to an optical storage disc, such as a DVD or Blu-ray. You can connect one to the motherboard using a SATA interface cable. Major brands include LG, Samsung, Lite-On, and ASUS. When building your PC, you may decide not to include an optical drive, but that depends on your needs. If you are going to use your PC for media production, such as video editing or photography, you sure need one.
THE PC CASE
This is the housing for your PC. Nowadays, there are special design styles of PC cases from various brands, and for special purposes, such as gaming. There are lots of brands and designs out there, but one thing to keep in mind when buying a case is the form factor it can accommodate with respect to the motherboard. Major brands of PC cases include be Quite!, NZXT, Thermaltake, Antec, Corsair, Cooler Master, Rosewill, DIYPC, and Fractal Design.
As the name implies, this is the peripheral that allows you to ‘monitor’ what is going on in your PC. It is also known as the display. The computer monitor is basically an output device, comes in various sizes and brands, and is indispensable.
Nowadays, display monitors are a big deal, because it can enhance your computing experience to a large extent. There are special monitors for special purposes, such as for gaming, for office productivity, and for media professionals.
Monitors are classified according to the display technology they are manufactured with, such as Twisted Nematic, Vertical Alignment, and In-Plane Switching. You’ll also come across terms such as LED display, which is basically the backlighting type.
There are different sizes of monitors, such as 17 inches, 24 inches, 27 inches, 32 inches, etc. Monitors also have different resolutions, which is measured in pixels, such as 1280×720 pixels, 1920×1080 pixels, and 2560×1440 pixels and more.
Monitors also have what we call refresh rate, response time, aspect ratio, contrast ratio, and sync. You can check out our full review of the 10 best 24-inch monitors for more information. Major monitor brands include HP, ASUS, BenQ, LG, Samsung, Viewsonic, AOC, Acer, Sceptre, and NEC. When buying a monitor, consider your purpose, your needs, and your budget. Overall, a 23 or 24-inch monitor should serve for most users.
KEYBOARD AND MOUSE
These are input devices, which allow you to control the PC. For those that are into gaming, the keyboard and mouse are a big deal. There are different brands out there, but basically, users may want to buy a wireless keyboard and mouse combo. Gamers usually go for special keyboards and mice designed exclusively for gaming.
When it comes to keyboards and mice, the two options are wired and wireless. Of course, the wireless type allows for more flexibility in usage. Weigh your options carefully before you buy.
Build a PC for Music Production – All Budgets
We take you through a detailed guide on building a PC for music production for all budgets…
Some basic tools needed to build a PC
Basically, you need the following:
- Small and medium-sized Phillips and flat screwdrivers
- A 1/4″ nut driver
- Needle-nosed pliers or forceps
- Anti-static kit (mat and wristband)
- Heat sink thermal paste
- LED torchlight
- Workspace (no rug)
A set of screwdrivers and tools for a PC Build
Anti-Static Wrist Band
Apart from these, you need some patience and self-motivation, which is why this guide is written, to give you that extra push and let you know that you can do it. Click here to read how to build your own PC step by step. We practically lead you by the hand to achieve this feat.
Can I build my own PC online?
Technically speaking, you can. And I’ll tell you why. You can select components for a specific purpose, order the components, and when they arrive, you simply go ahead and build your PC.
For the best results, it is advisable to follow a guide, like the ones we have, to build your PC. That way, you can always come back and drop a comment if you happen to run into a challenge, and we’ll quickly help you out of the situation.
We have a couple of guides on how to build a PC for special purposes, such as a budget gaming PC, Video Editing PC, and 3D Animation and Rendering PC. These guides are authoritative, thorough and easy to follow. You can also continue reading for guides on what components you need to build a PC for any purpose, including how to build your PC step by step.
Can I build my PC without a GPU?
Yes, you can. You don’t need a dedicated GPU if you buy some Intel and AMD processors, and also if you are not going to be doing some serious gaming on your PC.
For Intel processors, their integrated graphics chips are called Intel HD Graphics, Intel UHD Graphics or Iris Graphics, while AMD integrated graphics are called APUs, short for Accelerated Processing Units.
It’s interesting to note that Intel desktop processors with integrated graphics include Intel’s dual-core Pentium, Core i3™, Core i5™ and some Core i7™ line of processors. When buying a processor from Intel with integrated graphics, look at the packaging for the Integrated Graphics feature.
For AMD, their integrated graphics are called Radeon Graphics or Radeon Vega Graphics. Their A-Series™ processors and Ryzen™ processors feature Radeon Graphics. On the other hand, their Athlon™ Processors usually feature Radeon Vega Graphics.
However, the AMD FX™ and Ryzen™ Threadripper series require a discreet graphics card. Always look for the Integrated Graphics feature on the CPU box packaging when making a purchase.
My passion for PC hardware is my greatest motivation. I love technology and how it can make life easier and less complicated! When I’m not tinkering with hardware, I’m reading. I love to travel and I usually can’t wait to sit down on my PC to work.
I’m also a copywriter, designer, video editor, and writer. I also do some 3D with 3DS Max. Do you want to reach me? Use the Social Media buttons, or shoot me an email. I’ll be glad to hear from you!