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Computer Build Info Help

Last response: in Systems
October 19, 2012 11:24:36 PM

Hey Guys! I'm planning to create a little pamphlet for new builders, so they'll know a little bit more. This is what I have so far, any additions or suggestions?

Types of Computers

Everyday Use: Computers for everyday can range from $300 - $1000 and more. Everyday computers can handle working and gaming at a good level while keeping the price nice and low. Everyday computers require good processors, ram, and a good amount of hard drive space. Most modern processors have integrated graphics cards in them, such as the i3, i5, and i7 in the Intel family.

Gaming Computers: Computers made for gaming can range from $400 - $5000 and even more. Gaming computers have a great graphics card, lots of ram, and a great processor. Gaming computers usually have at least one or more graphics cards due to the fact that the integrated graphics cards may not be able to support most modern games. Gaming computers can also be used for everyday use as well as gaming making it a nice build. Intel processors are recommended for gaming but some AMD processors aren’t bad for gaming either.

Parts of a Computer

Processor(CPU): So what is the processor? Well in the simplest of terms, it’s your computers brain. The processor tells your computer what to do and when to do it, it decides which tasks are more important and prioritizes them to your computer’s needs. There is and has been many processors on the market, running at many different speeds. The speed is measured in Megahertz or MHz. A single MHz is a calculation of 1 million cycles per second (or computer instructions), so if you have a processor running at 2000 MHz, then your computer is running at 2000,000,000 cycles per second, which in more basic terms is the amount of instructions your computer can carry out. Another important abbreviation is Gigahertz or GHz. A single GHz or 1 GHz is the same as 1000 MHz . So when buying a new computer always look for fastest you can afford. The fastest on the market at the time of writing this article is 3.8 GHz (3800 MHz). Remember though that it is not necessary to purchase such a fast processor, balance your needs, do you really need top of the range? Especially when the difference says between a 3.5 GHz (3500 MHz) and a 3.8 GHz (3800 MHz) processor will be barely noticed (if noticed at all) by you, while the price difference is around $120. Prices can Range from $20 - $1000.

Motherboard: The motherboard serves to connect all of the parts of a computer together. The processor, memory, hard drives, optical drives, video card, sound card and other ports and expansion cards all connect to the motherboard directly or via cables. Most of the time you would want to get DDR5 Motherboards instead of DDR3 motherboards because DDR5 motherboards can support DDR5 Ram which takes less time for information to move from the RAM to the Processor, therefore less of the processors time is wasted waiting for the ram. There are so many motherboards out there, prices vary by a wide margin.

Coolers/Fans: Additional fans or water coolers are optional for computers. Fans/Coolers keep the processor from overheating and crashing. Most processors come with a fan included but if you want a better/quieter cooling method, you can buy water cooling or quieter fans. Prices Range from $40 - $200.

Ram: What is Ram? Ram is Random Access Memory. What does this mean? Ram provides space for your computer to read and write data to be accessed by the CPU (central processing unit). When people refer to a computer's memory, they usually mean it’s ram. If you add more RAM to your computer, you reduce the number of times your CPU must read data from your hard disk. This usually allows your computer to work considerably faster, as RAM is many times faster than a hard disk. Several types of RAM are used in modern computers. Most computers made since then use either double data rate (DDR), DDR2, or DDR3 RAM. DDR2 is able to achieve faster transfer rates to prevent limitation of your CPU's performance, and DDR3 technology takes these advancements even further.
Graphics Card(GPU): A graphics card, also known as a video card, is a piece of hardware installed in a computer that is responsible for rendering the image on the computer’s monitor or display screen. Graphics cards come in many varieties with varying features that allow for a price range that extends from about $20 to $2,400 USD or more. The first consideration when buying a graphics card is to be sure it is capable of displaying the best resolution the monitor can support. For Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors this means supporting the native resolution. The second consideration is on-board memory. A graphics card must work very hard to render images to the screen. Unlike text files, graphics images are much larger files consisting of great amounts of data that must be processed by the graphics or video card. A faster card has its own resident memory chips to perform this function so as not to impinge upon the system’s Random Access Memory (RAM). Less robust cards have less resident memory and require sharing system RAM to process images. A great Graphics Card is a key component in a Gaming Computer.

Hard Drive (HDD): A hard drive is the computers main storage media device which permanently stores all the data on the computer. The amount of space, a hard drive can hold ranges from 100GB – 2TB (2000GB). Due to the vast amount of brands and storage capacities, the prices vary by a very wide margin.

Power Supplies: The power supply in the computer is basically what it sounds like. It is somewhat like a big battery that supplies power to your computer, sad thing is, it does not store the energy, it only transfers it. Power supplies range from different amounts of watts. The more electricity your computer needs to run, the higher amount of watts you are going to need in your power supply. Power supplies usually range from $30 - $200.

Case: The case is basically what you put all your parts in! Having a good case with ventilation, can prevent your computer from overheating! Cases range from $20 - $200.

Don’t Get Cheated For Your Money!

Buying Good and Reliable Brands!
Buying a good computer part is very important. Buying cheap computer parts may not last very long even though it might seem like such a great price.

Good Brands?
Processors: Intel and AMD
Motherboards: Asus, Gigabyte, Asrock, and MSI
Coolers/Fans: Cooler Master, Intel, Scythe, Slipstream, and SFlex
Ram: PNY, Corsair and Kingston
Graphics Cards: NVidia, EVGA, Asus, AMD, and MSI
HDD: Western Digital and Seagate Barracuda
Power Supplies: Cooler Master, Corsair, OCZ, Cool Max
Cases: Any case is fine, just make sure it has good ventilation

Any Suggestions Would Be Great!

More about : computer build info

a b B Homebuilt system
October 19, 2012 11:48:55 PM

Your 'low end' prices need to come up in many categories. You don't want to mislead someone into thinking they can get an 'everyday use' computer for $300 that 'can handle gaming at a good level'. A 'gaming' computer for $400 is similarly unrealistic. I'd also add a third general category to include workstations used for heavy CAD/video type work, because they tend to be a different kind of animal.

MHz is not the best way to measure the performance of a CPU. If a CPU were an engine, the clock speed / MHz would be the RPM, when what you actually want to measure is horsepower. You wouldn't want to buy a geo metro with a 4-cylinder engine over a dodge viper with a beefy V10 under the assumption you're going to get the same performance per RPM.

Your HDD capacities are off. Also, no information on SSDs at all?

DDR5 motherboards do not exist, that is an imaginary thing.

I'd go into more detail on what makes a case 'good' aside from just airflow, and I would revise your list of 'good' brands as well.

Overall I'd say it's a nice idea, but I think you're missing the mark on a lot of points. I get that you are maybe trying to dumb it down as much as possible, but I think that can also be detrimental.
a c 93 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
October 20, 2012 2:03:29 AM

Your list of good brands is full of errors. For example, just in PSUs; Cooler Master and Cool Max need to come off that list; Antec, Seasonic, Enermax, Rosewill, XFX, PCP&C, and be-Quiet! need to be on the list. Similar story with RAM, but different brands. That's ignoring the whole GPU issue.

Wikipedia and already-answered questions are better places for people to get answers. It's also generally better for people to ask as we can talk them out of idiotic parts like an i7-3770k on an H61 board with a 6450. I saw that on a prebuilt PC. It passes all of your tests, but is utter lunacy for a gaming PC (or any other, with the H61 board).

Related resources
a c 106 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
October 20, 2012 3:28:31 AM

General use computers (what you have called everyday PC's) don't require good processors. A Pentium is enough for word processing and Facebook. Nor do they really require fast or a lot of RAM.
And agree with the others, implying that a $300 build will game decently will only lead to dissapointed builders.

Drop the Intel recommendation in the gaming build section. If you were talking about building a rig right now, then this is true. But if it were a general guide to be used in the future, your info may not be valid at the time.
$5000 rig for gaming? Drop that to $2500 at most.
Also define "lots" in terms of RAM. 8GB is a lot compared to the fact that until recently 2GB was the standard. But compared to workstation rigs with 32GB its tiny. Even more inadequate once you get to the server level and are talking Terabytes.

Clock Speed is not a good indicator of performance. A 3.3Ghz i3 will perform nowhere near as well as a 3.5Ghz i7, despite the similar clock speeds. This is doubly so when comparing an Intel to an AMD.

Implying that more RAM increases performance is a no. Adding more RAM only helps when there isn't enough of it.

What is this $2400 graphics card you speak of? I could imagine a Firepro or Quadro card costing that much, but not a normal gaming card.

Might want to raise the lowest budget for the PSU. I wouldnt trust a supply under $50 unless I knew it was good quality.

Go into more detail on the case. Theres more to it than airflow.

Recommended brands has to be updated.
Intel and AMD are the only desktop CPU manufacturers, listing them is pointless.
AMD and Nvidia are GPU designers, not manufacturers.
Seagate Barracuda is a line of Hard Drives. Its just Seagate.
Drop Coolmax and Coolermaster off the recommended PSU list. Coolermaster isnt that good and Coolmax is disastrous.
October 20, 2012 3:48:21 AM

Yea, this is missing a lot of things. I"m still trying to fix everything up and revise it which is exactly why i put it on here for your advice and opinions.