CPU - Central Processing Unit for short or Processor, this little guy and I did say little, is the mind of your computer. This is one of the most important parts of a computer. The most common processors seen is by AMD and Intel. Intel being the leader of processors, but at a price also. AMD is more budget friendly, but not as good performing in demanding situations that require raw processing power. However both have their goods and their bads, but we can get more into that later down the article here. Certain processors are suited for certain things.
RAM - Ram or Memory is insanely fast temporary storage for your computer as a whole. However it is volatile, meaning if it loses power then all information stored is lost. There is difference types or Ram, ECC which is a type of ram in which error checks data to ensure there is no data loss or corruption. Mostly this is only for servers, a home user desktop shouldn’t ever have ECC Ram. The other kind is Non ECC which is the most common and what you will always look for as a typical computer user. Buffered and Unbuffered can be explained later in the article.
HDD/SSD - This is the primary storage for your computer. Everything you do, must be saved permanently in order to preserve it for later usage or sharing. There is other types of storage for a computer, but these are the main types. A HDD is reliable and has been around for many years and as of current days are very large in storage size. Typically they are up to 4TB which one could never really fill up with data unless you want to and try hard. While a HDD is large in storage size, they are generally slower. As of lately SSDs have came into play. A SSD is a storage device that uses special electronic storage means, there is no moving parts and they are very power friendly. They are very very fast, but their storage size is quite small. They are best for boot drive, laptops, or netbooks. However this can be explained a lot more down the article here.
GPU - The second most important part of a computer. The GPU, or Graphics Processing Unit, or Graphics Card/Processor most common names. This device or “processor” is responsible for 2D and 3D drawing and acceleration. Everything a computer does, needs a way to display its information to a monitor, HDTV, TV, or display screen of some kind. There is several kinds of GPUs, and each has its purpose.
OS - Or Operating System for short. This is the 3rd important thing kinda for a computer in a whole. A computer has no use really without a operating system. There is several operating systems, but only a few main ones. The main being Linux, OS X, and Windows. Most common is Windows. Linux is a free Operating System and only advanced users should ever use it. OS X is only featured on Apple Inc. computers.
PSU - Power Supply Unit for short. This is literally the heart of the system, many think the motherboard or CPU is. However without a power supply, a computer is nothing since they must run on DC current and not AC current. The power supply is the one thing that you really want in quality and not cheap price if self building or replacing one. Much more about these then can be explained here. Just remember they are the most vital part of a computer, the motherboard is the next vital part.
Motherboard - The mother of your system, well to speak anyway. This is the “breadboard” that connects all parts together in your computer. This is the second most important part, a cheap and bad quality motherboard will fail and render a computer useless or fry and destroy other hardware. The motherboard’s BIOS is also responsible for ensuring a system is good to boot on startup and also boots the Operating system. No motherboard is the same really. There is also different types, many different types.
Case - This is the shell for all your computer parts to protect them from damage and provide cooling also using fans “mostly anyway”. Another name is Chassis but computer case is more commonly used. There is not much to say about these, just know that they come in different sizes and are truly a personal choice since you buy for looks and features and space and sometimes cooling.
Laptops are great for those always on the go or don't like having to always sit in the same place in front of a monitor all the time to use their computer. Laptops, being portable as they are, allow portability with ease. However they may be great for being portable, but come at a cost.
Laptops are overpriced most of the time for their hardware and the screen sizes are smaller and sometimes the build quality is very poor as well. The batteries in them also can only power them for so long depending on hardware, screen side and settings, and how many cells the battery has.
Here is a general breakdown of all Laptops in a whole.
Portable and very lightweight.
Freedom to sit, lay anywhere or travel with and use at same time.
Can run on battery power from min of 1 to 6 hours depending on battery and laptop hardware and features.
Much lower power consumption then a typical desktop computer. However this varies.
Good for people that like to use a computer wherever they want.
Most time very poor heat dissipation.
Hardware is always under powered to allow low low power usage and heat output. However this is expected.
Over priced most of the time for hardware and features, but sometimes fair priced deals are abound from the right companies.
Build Quality is always a concern, research should always be done before purchasing.
One last thing, Laptops shouldn't be used for heavy gaming. However many still do, but pay arm and legs for such laptops when a much better desktop computer can do much better for probably far less then a gaming laptop price on average.
The Custom Built Computer
prebuilt is always the wise decision to go for a new computer. Even if you have no knowledge of building a computer, it isnt hard. It is literally just like putting a puzzle together. There is lots of places to get free help for getting your computer built. Don't be shy about it and ask. Building your own computer, ensures you get your money worth as well quality ensured.
There isnt a whole lot to explain about a custom built computer. You choose your parts, processor, HDD, graphics card or processor, type and amount of ram you want. So forth like that. This way you know what your hardware is and know your own computers limits to what you will be using it for.
Custom chosen parts from OEMs of those parts.
Lots of money saved and quality is ensured.
Each part has its own warranty, no more shipping entire computer back for a repair. Just the part that breaks is shipped back.
You can ensure it is put together right and ensure no sloppy factory like prebuilts.
Own custom case, case mods, and own type of cooling or fan setup.
Built to suit your budget and what you intend to use it for.
Choosing each part can be annoying sometimes. Mostly being graphics card, power supply, motherboard, ram, and processor. It is all dependant on your needs.
ESD, or Electrical Static Discharge can fry your motherboard, processor, or graphics card if not careful and discharge frequently.
There is other miniscule things about building your own computer. However they are simply not large enough to put here. It is up to YOU to build and focus on building your own computer. The time and careful work you put, pays off in the long run.
Shouldn't that say custom built?
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There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary notation, those who don't, and those who think this is in binary.
Building the Computer
Alright, so now you have all you parts picked out and hopefully ordered, so now let's build this rig!
A good way to start is to clear off a table and lay out all of the boxes with the parts inside. Then lay the case down horizontally and open both sides of the case. When you look straight down at it, it should look something like this:My case, btw Also, make sure that your body isn't charged with static electricity by touching a conductive surface (the metal on your case would work fine). Do this before handling each part. We don't our parts messed up!And we're done preparing!
Parts onto Motherboard
Now, we need to put all of the parts on the motherboard so that they can operate. Believe it or not, this is one of the easiest things to do! Carefully take the mobo out of the protective wrap and place it on a non-conductive surface (maybe wood or rubber, not metal). You can put the parts in almost any order you like, but this is what I recommend after building my first computer:
Alright. If you've bought two sticks of RAM, look at the mobo's instructions to find out which stick goes where. This is important because if you don't put the RAM in the right slots, then your computer won't work right. I believe on most mobos, you have to install the first module on any slot, but the second one on the different letter slot but the same number. For example, if you put the first module on slot A1 on your mobo, the second module would have to go on slot B1. Make sense? Here's an image example:(image coming soon)Read your mobo instructions though to find out which module needs to go on which slot, and then read which slot is which.Now to install the ram, there should be "fingers" sticking out of each slot. Make sure they're pushed back away from the slot on the mobo. Now, on the bottom of the module, there's a little notch dividing the pins. Match the pins up with the mobo slot and push the module into the slot. All the way in until the fingers close in on it. Don't push way too hard, but don't push it in really lightly. Repeat with all other modules.
To install the CPU, lift up the lever on the socket to open the case.Take out the piece of plastic. Now, match up the notches on the CPU to the keys on the mobo. Now put the case back on it and push the lever back to where it originally was.
Locate the PCIe or whatever slot your GPU uses on your motherboard. There should be a lock on it near the side farthest from the edge of the case. Now move the lock away from the slot to unlock it. Insert the GPU so that the notch on the card matches with the key on the slot. Push the lock toward the slot. You're done! Crossfire
If you have a crossfire bridge then you need to push the slots on the bridge onto the slot of the GPUs.
This depends on what fan you have and what socket. Read your manual for this one.
Wiring & Test Booting
This is probably the second hardest part in building your computer. You'll need you mobo's manual as a reference to which connectors go where. Feel free to be a bit messy with the wiring.
First, you'll need to locate the ATX power connector on your mobo and connect it with the 24 x1 connector from your PSU. If you don't know what that means then read Christoi's post on PSUs. Next connect the 8-pin x1 connector to the ATX 12V Power connector on your mobo. Now I believe all you need to do is connect the PCI-E connector to the GPU and you should be done. Just plug the monitor and the PSU in and flip the switch to on.
Now to power it on, you can't press a button. You must locate the header with pins power & ground and short them out with a screwdriver. You must short out POWER & GROUND ONLY, not any old two pins that are on the header with the power & ground. If it powers on and posts on the monitor, congratulations! If not, one of your connectors may be loose (happened to me), maybe you didn't short out the pins right, you didn't plug the connectors in to the PSU, you forgot to turn the switch on,or you forgot to plug it in.
EDIT: I guess this is useless despite all of the videos out there.
Feel free to delete.