Building your own computer can be a very satisfying task – it allows you to work on something you can use for years! It’s also much cheaper than buying a prebuilt one, and although it may take a little more time, is certainly worth the effort. It can, however, be confusing, so we’ve got a few tips on the ins and outs of building a computer so you can be certain you’re doing it right.
Which Components Make Up a Computer?
The biggest component of most computers is the motherboard – here you will find the CPU, the RAM, graphics cards slots, connection ports, storage drives and related components. Everything goes back to the motherboard, from the power supply to the hard drive, so it’s important to be familiar with it and its components. Most manufacturers set standards for motherboards – there are 2 major CPU manufacturers, Intel and AMD, and their standards are different, so you must purchase the appropriate type of CPU to fit with the motherboard. Whenever you’re looking at sourcing parts, make sure to get the right parts for your computer – use a part number search engine so you know and can order the exact parts you need.
What Is the Basic Layout of a Computer?
Most computers have a similar layout, making it easy for you to familiarize yourself with. The motherboard is situated at the back of the case, and this is the first thing you place in. Everything stems up from this. On the motherboard, you attach the CPU, then the RAM, then the wires connecting to various components around the computer (e.g. your storage drives). Most cases have dedicated storage bases where you screw in the hard drive – the same goes for power supplies, and this should be easy to locate via observation or an instruction manual. Some cases have USB ports in the back as well as the front, and it may be worth investing in one like this, particularly if you plan on using plenty of cables!
Remember – Safety First!
The main killer of work-in-progress computers is static electricity – be careful with where you assemble your computer, as using anything but a wooden or plastic surface can cause static electricity to generate which can fry your parts, costing you time and money. These are fairly common-sense safety tips, like turning off the power before you start working on your computer and being careful with the parts. It is also important that you aren’t tempted to force pieces into place, as this could cause much more damage than good. Another important tip is to avoid leaving metal against metal once your computer is assembled – turning your computer on with two pieces of metal touching can also fry your computer. This is especially important with screws – don’t screw things in too much as they may touch the case and, again, fry. It’s also worth looking over instruction manuals beforehand as well as YouTube videos – these can be a plentiful source of information.
Building a computer can feel daunting, but using these tips will give you the boost you need to do the job.