How to Upgrade/Building a PC
How to Upgrade/Building a PC :
So you're looking to upgrade/build a PC?
Some basic parts for a computer that you will need:
- Toolkit :
The first thing you're going to need a toolkit (Recommended if you are going into the computer related field). I recommend a 21 piece toolkit that has an antistatic wrist strap.
- Motherboard :
Most motherboards come with a network card and sound card built in. I recommend buying an additional sound card if you're looking for better quality/support.
- Processor + Heat sink + Fan (Thermal Compound too) :
This is essential to building a computer. Make sure that when you buy your processor you also purchase a heat sink and fan if it does not come with one. Most processors do come packaged with a heat sink and fan so this shouldn't be a problem.
(Something else to consider: When choosing a processor, don't just look on its clock speed. Differences in architecture make some CPUs much more efficient than others clock per clock. For example, an Athlon64 4000+, running at 2.4GHz will give performance almost twice as fast as a Pentium4 running at 2.4GHz.
Naming can be confusing too. Don't think that an AthlonXP 3200+ will run as fast as an Athlon64 3200+. I guess the only real way to know is to read review and compare benchmarks.
Don't forget that both Intel and AMD have budget processors. Intel has the Celeron line, AMD has the Sempron line. When you take a Pentium4 and a Celeron at the same clock speed, the Pentium4 will be considerably faster (and more expensive too). Same with the Athlons and Semprons, most of the time.)
(Processors use different sockets that might want to be included when building a computer and RAM comes in different PINs. (Normathius))
- RAM (Random Access Memory) :
I recommend at least 1 gig of ram for todays applications.
(Something else to consider: Right now there are two major standards of RAM on the market - DDR and DDR2. Newer chipsets and motherboards for Intel's CPUs use DDR2. Older Intel solutions and all AMD boards so far use DDR. It's important to select the right type, because they are not compatible.)
- Hard Drive :
If you're going to game or edit video a lot with the computer you build I suggest you get a larger hard drive. A 200-300 gig hard drive should be sufficient enough for even the most hardcore of video editing.
(Something else to consider: Nowadays I'd recommend everyone that buys a new PC to get a Serial ATA (SATA) hard disk. While performance increase over ordinary IDE is marginal, if at all noticeable, it does serve good purpose, by leaving your IDE slots free for CD/DVD drives and reducing some cable clutter, due to the thinner SATA cables.)
(There are three types available: 4000 rpm, 7200 rpm and 10000 rpm. 10000 rpm HDD's are the best ones to do any type of software jobs eg. video editing/photoshop etc. plus have a very quick loading times, good for games like DOOM 3 etc. But the downside is that it heats up ather quickly then the native ones. 7200 rpm are mostly suited to everyone. 4000 pm, don't even think about it for todays apps. (pushprajpradhan))
- Video Card :
This is what gamers live on. If you're a gamer, do not skimp on a video card.
(Something else to consider: There are three interface on which you can connect video cards. PCI-Express (PCI-E) is the latest one and it is the future. If you buy a new PC now, it will have a PCI-E graphics slot and you'll buy a card to match. If you upgrade from an older PC, you may have a PCI-E slot or an AGP slot, and you have to make sure that you buy the right type of card. PCI cards are old and very slow and are only recommended if you need to upgrade a very old machine, which doesn't have an AGP slot (yes, there is such a thing!).
Many types of video cards are available in both PCI-E and AGP versions, while some of the newer ones are only PCI-E. The older series (nVidia 5XXX, 4XXX, ATi 9XXX, 8XXX) are all in AGP only.)
(Also depending on Video Card you might want a descent power supply, a good one would be maybe 400-600 watt power supply. (Normathius)) .
- Sound Card :
- Network Card :
As stated above, most motherboards now-a-days have network cards already on them. Only purchase one if your motherboard doesn't come with it or if you are looking for wireless solutions.
- Keyboard :
Here there are infinitely many options, starting from the most basic keyboards, all the way to the fancy Bluetooth/wireless/illuminated/etc types. Basically, the choice depends on personal preference and the budget you are willing to put into it. It's always better to get a look and feel of the keyboard before buying. Also, there are USB and PS/2 versions. As a primary keyboard, PS/2 is probably better, because it will be supported natively by any computer and operating system, unlike USB which requires drivers and doesn't work in DOS mode.
- Mouse :
Optical is the de-facto standard now, nobody uses ball mice anymore, and the new laser mice are expensive and not widespread yet. One question is wireless versus wired. The most hardcore gamers will claim that wireless mice still exhibit a small lag at some point, making them inferior to their wired counterparts, although the situation is improving. Unless you have a real need to work from a distance, your best bet is probably a quality wired optical mouse, shaped ergonomically for your hand (again, it's always better to get a feel of the mouse you plan to use).
- Monitor :
A good sized monitor is always nice.
(Something else to consider: Basically you have a choice of other the standard CRT or the new slim LCD (TFT) monitors. The LCD is great for saving space and also looks more elegant, but it's more expensive and have some issues that are not present with CRTs - slow response time causing image blur during fast motion, color distortions and loss of contrast at wide view angles (not present on the more expensive models), fixed resolutions that may cause blurry images when you try to lower the resolution, etc. Don't get me wrong - LCDs are getting better and many people say that they are already good enough for all, but the most demanding folks. But it's always better to be able to take a look and judge for yourself.)
Places to find parts:
Tutorials on building/assembling PCs (PC Parts):
- A very extensive FAQ and break down of each part and step on how to build a computer.
- Processor installation. It's a good refrence guide:
- Installation of a processor video
- Application of thermal compound video
- Installation of a heat sink video
- i would like to add a note on HDD.
there are three types available-4000 rpm, 7200 rpm and 10000 rpm. 10000 rpm HDD's are the best ones to do any type of software jobs eg. video editing/photoshop etc. plus have a very quick loading times, good for games like DOOM 3 etc. but the downside is that it heats up ather quickly then the native ones. 7200 rpm are mostly suited to everyone. 4000 pm, don't even think about it for todays appz.
- USB keyboards produce a faster response rate compared to PS/2
Most motherboards nowadays support USB keyboard before even windows load up, all you have to do is just to change the BIOS settings...
As for the RAM section, you should include that certain motherboards only support certain RAM speeds, even though they might support the same type of RAM.
For example Motherboard A and motherboard B supports DDR2 RAM, but Motherboard A might only support 533Mhz RAM while Motherboard B supports 800Mhz RAM.