Walk Through Guide – Build the Best Custom Computer
What do you need to build your own custom computer? Here are ten steps to building the best custom computer:
- Pick Your Processor
- Select The Motherboard
- Choose Your Case & Power Supply
- Decide On Components (memory, video cards, etc.)
- Prepare Your Workspace
- Build Your Computer
- Power On & Test
- Install The Operating System
- Install Updated Drivers
- Install Your Applications & Software
Choose Your Processor & Motherboard
You should choose the best processor and motherboard you can afford. The processor you choose will ultimately determine which motherboards you can pick from. Motherboard electronics are restricted to using only specific processors that are designed to work with them. For instance: Socket A, Socket 939, Socket 940, Socket AM2, Socket AM2+, and AM3 are designed to work with AMD Athlon & Phenom processors; while Socket 478, LGA socket 775, and the new LGA1366 are for Intel processors. Shopping online at computer hardware stores is the best source for motherboard bundles consisting of a processor, motherboard electronics, and memory; this can be a good way to save some cash, and make the selection & compatibility process much easier.
Remember when shopping for motherboards to pay close attention to the computer hardware peripherals you intend on using with your custom computer system. The chipset of the motherboard determines which integrated components (graphics, sound, Ethernet, etc.) are included on your motherboard. Typically integrated graphics aren’t as good as dedicated video cards, they’re usually OK for simple office tasks (anyone wanting to play games, perform desktop publishing, or use the computer for home theater should purchase a separate video card for these tasks).
Choosing The Best Computer Case & Power Supply
The plethora of custom computer cases is amazing, with hundreds of shapes, sizes, and styles available. I recommend that you closely examine the features of any computer case your thinking about purchasing. Some awesome looking PC cases are a real pain to work with, and sometimes are low quality.
I also recommend you look for cases that don’t require the use of hand tools. These “tool-less” cases are usually of the best quality, and don’t require much prior computer building experience to upgrade or replace parts. Most cases and motherboards use the ATX form factor, standardizing the sizes of the components and all of the power connections. Be sure to pick the correct motherboard for your case.
The right custom computer case can make working with your system a dream, but picking the wrong one will make it a nightmare. Though there are plenty of computer cases plus the power supply for less than $50, it is highly recommended that you spend more to acquire a case that has a high quality power supply, can be worked on without the use of hand tools, allows for multiple upgrades over time, and still looks attractive on the outside.
The vast majority of motherboards and computer cases are designed for the ATX form factor. It’s critical that your motherboard match the form factor of your case. Be aware of the fact that other standards do exist and are available. Pay close attenti