I have been a gamer since the first Playsation controller was put into my hands (yes, I was late getting a console)! When I got my hands on Joint Operations I was hooked on PC gaming. This shown me how fun it was. For a while the PS3 took over PC gaming but I quickly realised that I was first and foremost a PC gamer.
The first step in building a new PC is establishing a budget. It gives you some limitations but as I will talk about a little later you may as well ask someone to choose a random number! No matter what you say your budget is.. you will go over.
When I built my first PC back in 2010 I was very clued up on all the components out there but I have slowly been getting out of touch (especially for the last two years where I have been channeling my inner geek into web development).
Shit spirals out of control
My current PC is getting outdated and is in need of an upgrade. That was my inital thought. Upgrade the RAM and upgrade the graphics card. That will get me another year or two out of the bad boy. But then I though, well if I’m spending £300 – £400 on an upgrade it isn’t much more to build a brand new one from scratch since I spent £600 total on my current PC. So I uped my budget to £700 then a get a little job which earns me £300 so I may as well up the budget a little more, get more future proof hardware. £1000, more future proof hardware.
Annnnnd here we go – £1200 later and I have eventually settled on the hardware I am happy with… apart from the fact I want new Full HD dual screens… but that’s another issue.
The process of choosing components
Personally I want the best I can possibly get without getting into the regions of stupid money e.g. over £2000 for a graphics card!
I wont go into specifics. I don’t want to bore you! But I will give you some of my techniques I use when building a PC.
Firstly, I decide on a CPU then a Graphics card and build the rest of the machine around them. My first port of call in determining what I want is suitable is LinusTechTips. Linus is by far the best YouTube relating PC building. I hope everything I am eyeing up has been unboxed/reviewed/compared by Linus.
Google searching CPU X vs CPU Y is also a great way to get peoples reviews if you can’t decide between two components.
The final place I would suggest is to use a subreddit called /r/buildapc. I used this in two ways. Firstly I found builds that people where proposing that were around my budget and looks at their components and cherry picked ones that where popular and I liked. The second way to use /r/buildapc is to submit your own build and ask for advice on it. The people who frequent and comment on this subreddit are very knowledgeable and helpful.
A tool that complements the above and also helps in other ways is a website called PC Part Picker. This website allows you to choose all of your components, gives you a price from online stores, gives you other information such as power usage as well as giving you the code to post all the info into the /r/buildapc subreddit automatically.
You have to be willing to put the time in
The number one factor when building a PC from scratch is that you have to be willing to invest time to learn and understand how every thing fits together, what makes a certain component good and what to avoid. Once you get into researching it it does become quite satisfying planning your brand new PC!