Whether you are after a custom PC for playing COD, Fallout 4, Battlefields etc or you are just plain tired of the offerings of pre-built PCs from your local store. Maybe you need a faster custom pc for video or photo editing. Building your own custom computer is the way to go.
Building your own PC can be very rewarding. You get to build exactly what you want at the price you want. Even better is that you will learn more about computers in a few hours than you ever did before!
Below is a list of all the parts needed to build a PC. Further below is also a list of some optional components.
Also, on the next page you can see a list of recommended parts on the type of PC you want, if its a base computer, a middle-of-the-road or a high performance gaming machine, click here to go there now.
Here Are All the Parts You’ll Need to Build Your First Custom PC
- Processor (CPU)
- Power Supply Unit (PSU)
- Memory (RAM)
- Video Card (Graphics Card
- Storage Drive (HD/SSD)
The details of each component are listed further below. But first and foremost you’ll need tools.
Starting off with the right tools will save frustration and time later. I promise.
Belkin offers a great 36-piece kit with all the tools needed to build and maintain your computer. Each tool is demagnetised to ensure your hard drive will not accidentally become damaged.
This 36-piece kit includes everything from Phillips and flat head screwdrivers to tweezers for collected those lost, dropped screws as well as a easy to handle carrying case.Click here to purchase the Belkin 36-piece computer tool kit on Amazon
If this kit doesn’t interest you, you can find a few other tools below to get you started on your computer build.
Computer Components List
Every PC is made of the same basic hardware. Each item listed below has a brief explanation, of what the component is and what it does for you.
The Processor or CPU is the “brain” of your computer, it performs the tasks requested by the operating system and the software. The faster the processor, the faster it performs the tasks.
One thing to note though is that most people will not use the full speed of a high performance CPU, even if your a hardcore gamer the GPU (graphics card) is the far more important component to get the performance you want.
Unless you are after the a cheaper & less powerful CPU will probably be fine, so don’t waste your cash. Get the CPU for the tasks you need today and always remember that as you building your own, you can always upgrade components later.
The motherboard is the base of you’re entire PC. It connects all the components together. It has all the core items needed to run the computer such as the expansion slots (PCI, PCIe), connectors for the monitor, speakers, network and USB ports.
They do come in different sizes or “form factors”, so it determines the size of you computer/computer case. The mid-range size is typically the best option. Most people who opt for the larger towers are for expansion bays to house additional hard drives & DVD drives.
Many modern motherboards have onboard video and sound. If you want higher performing video and sound keep in mind how many and type of expansion slots you need.
If you know you definitly want your own video card then opt for a mainboard without on board video.
The case holds all of your parts together and inside a neat box. Generally its features are less about performance and more about the location in your home or office. That is where does it need to fit and most importantly its dust protection and noise.
What generates the most noise are the fans which keep the computer cool and to a lesser extent the hard drives. Noise is an important factor. A noisy computer humming away can slowly drive you crazy! Select a computer case which highlights “quiet” as a feature.
Additionally if you are adding extra fans ensure that they have noise dampening as a feature. Also consider buying SSD hard drives over traditional SATA as they perform faster and without noise.
RAM or more commonly known as “Memory” stands for Random Access Memory. It’s kind of like your short term memory. It stores temporary information your computer needs to make programs run faster and stores data such as open documents etc whilst you have them open.
If you need to run alot of programs at once or have high storage needs for large data files (documents, spreadsheets, presentations etc) then the more memory you have the faster everything runs.
The size of RAM required is a moving target, however it is the cheapest and fastest way to upgrade your computer if you find it running slowly. This is a sliding scale however there will come a point where more memory will not necessarily mean better performance.
If you run virtual machines for developing, testing or just playing with other operating systems such as linux then you will need more RAM to accommodate this.
As a rule of thumb requirement 8GB of RAM is required to run Windows 10 along with your normal applications, remember this is a moving target and your mileage may differ.
The Graphics card, also known as a video card but more accurately the GPU is a processor which is specifically made to handle graphics. This is what you plug your screen into and draws all the information you see on the monitor.
For those purposes you will definitely need a dedicated graphics card. The prices and needs of graphics cards differ greatly but don’t spend more than for what you need right now as fast as they may be it will be outdated within months.
Hard drives come in many different sizes and speeds. The type of hard drive will be determined by how much data you have to store and speed.
Hard drive speed can be a factor, this is by no means a be-all and end-all but there are basically two types. SATA which has physical platters to store the data and spin around with a needle which reads and writes the information, then there is SSD (solid state drive) these produce no noise and are significantly faster.
The optical drive or known more widely as a CD, or DVD/Bluray drive. With so much available for download and the use of USB sticks/drives not everyone needs an optical drive these days. However one is recommended if you are building a HTPC (Home Theater PC).
As these are typically quite cheap, about $20 depending then its not an expensive addition to your computer. You may also which to burn DVDs or Blu-Rays for data/movies or permanent backups for example, these are more expensive though.
The power supply unit (PSU), is possibly the least exciting but most important part of your computer. It directs electricity to the components in your PC.
The considerations here are the demands and number of components in your machine – the higher performing graphics cards, number and type of hard drives and the CPU the higher wattage power supply is required. The power supply should be the last component you shop for once you’ve chosen all the other parts.
Parts list for building an Entry Level Gaming PC
Below is a list for recommended parts for an entry level gaming PC. All prices are up to date as of July 5th 2018. Note that all prices are in $USD, however if you are in the UK or Canada, the links will take you to your local Amazon store.
Wallet friendly PC build for under $600
- Motherboard – MSI Pro Series Intel B250 LGA 1151 DDR4 HDMI USB 3.1 micro-ATX Motherboard $59.99
- CPU – Intel Pentium G Series 3.50 GHz Dual-Core LGA 1151 Processor $58.99
- Memory – GeIL EVO POTENZA 8GB (2 x 4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2133 (PC4 17000) Intel Z170 Desktop Memory Model GPR48GB2133C15DC $94.99
- Storage – Toshiba 2TB Desktop 7200rpm Internal Hard Drive $57.99
- Video Card – ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Low Profile 4GB GDDR5 128-bit Gaming Graphics Card ZT-P10510E-10L $169.99
- Case – Thermaltake Versa H22 SPCC ATX Mid Tower Computer Chassis CA-1B3-00M1NN-00 $37.41
- Power Supply – Seasonic S12II 520 SS-520GB 520W 80+ Bronze ATX12V & EPS12V Direct Cable Wire 105 °C Japanese Capacitor 5 Year Warranty Power Supply $68.76
Optional Computer Parts and Accessories
- DVD Drive $13.99
- Keyboard $11.50
- Mouse $6.99
- 20″ LED Monitor $70.00
- Speakers $14.90
- Sound Card (if there is no on-board sound or you want high quality surround sound) $32.62
- Modem (Used for a dial up internet connection if you are not going with Cable or DSL) $63.99
- Power Strip (Highly Recommended) $10.00
- Printer $Depends
- Scanner $119.00 (You’re much better off getting a printer with scanning function!)
Selecting the perfect case for your computer
The award winning Thermaltake Versa N21 Translucent Panel ATX Mid Tower is engineered for the extreme gamer or graphic designer. It comes a 120x120x25 mm fan and 2 optional 120mm intake fans (highly recommended) with an integrated dust filter optimize system ventilation.
The Thermaltake gaming case surpasses all our expectations with plenty of room for hardware and upgrades. It is recommended you use the Thermaltake TOUGHPOWER 750w Power Supply with this case.
Here are a few other recommended cases to get you started on building your own computer: