I thought I would just give you guys a sneak peak in what is to come into fruition with my blog. Firstly, I am a gamer, a geek, a nerd, and basically any other typical social outcast you can think of. I plan on bringing you reviews on just about everything tech related. Computers, gaming, music, you name it. Any projects I've got going on I'll post updates on and walk you through how I achieved the end result. Such as mods, builds, repairs. I'm not sure how often updates will come in. Ideally like to do 2 a week at bare minimum but well see how things pan out.
Now that we got the boring stuff out of the way lets just dive right in. Custom PC Builds. More and more people are getting into building there own PC's nowadays rather than buying retail. Which is awesome. Not only is it more cost effective but you come to understand how your PC actually works and can do a lot of self repair if need be. Not having to rely on tech support that is going to overcharge you. Not to mention the added bonus of looking tech savvy to your friends. Now, a lot of first time builders get a little lost a long the way and sometimes make hasty choices. I know I did in my first build and I definitely had some minor regrets after looking back on it. So here is a nice guide for you to simply things and hopefully direct you towards making a smart purchase that you'll be happy with when you look back on it.
Tips for your first PC Build. With this build were going to be looking at a machine more geared for playing games. As the vast majority of people looking to do their own build will indeed be gamers. We will cover basics a long the way so you can use this information for other builds as well.
CPU- First things first you need to determine what CPU (Processor) is right for you. For gaming, definitely shoot for a Quad-core Processor. The CPU can prove to be a bottle neck in your system if you go too cheap. Now when it comes down to Intel vs. AMD there are definitely fan-boys on both sides. I will openly admit I'm on team Intel. But I still wouldn't rule out AMD as an option. If you are looking for more bang for your buck AMD is definitely the way to go. But, if you're comfortable with spending $300+ dollars you should shoot for an Intel Quad-core processor with hyper-threading. This will give you a significant boost in performance when you have more than 1 thing running at once (when your pc is multi-tasking).
Motherboard- After you have a Processor picked out you can start looking for a motherboard. You absolutely need to make sure you find one with the right socket type. For instance an Intel i5-750 has a lga 1156 socket type and a i7-930 has a lga 1366 socket type. Each of these processors will require different motherboards with different socket types to fit them even though they are both Intel processors. Smart things to consider are "do I want to run more than 1 video card in my system", "will i be overclocking", "how much ram do I plan on having" and "how fast of RAM am I looking at). We will go in depth with each of these later in the guide. Some good brands to look at that I would recommend are ASUS, Gigabyte, and EVGA.
Video Card- Does your motherboard have integrated graphics, and are you going to be gaming? If you are going to be gaming you definitely need to pick up a graphics cards. I would recommend at bare minimum either a Nvidia gtx250 or an Ati 5850. Both of these cards are very popular and can handle most games with no problem. The gtx250 is a newer equivalent to their every popular 9800gtx. Now if you want to run Sli / Crossfire (more than one video card) you can still go both routes
RAM- There are many varying factors with RAM. To keep it not confusing focus on the the speed (measured in MHz), making sure your motherboard supports it. Try to shoot for ddr3 with speeds of 1333 MHz+. Make sure if you are getting either dual channel RAM or triple channel that your motherboard supports it. Aim for at least 4gb. Brands I recommend are Corsair, G.skill, and OCZ if you're going for a budget build.
Sound Card- Do you love your music. Simply can't live without it? You should look into getting a quality sound card to improve your experience. If you have quality speakers and a sub without a sound card you are losing precious quality. You can pick up fairly nice cards for as little as $50+. Look into creatives X-Fi series.
Power Supply- You NEED a quality power supply to keep all of your precious hardware running. Don't cheap out on this. A cheap power supply won't last long and it is definitely something where you get what you pay for. If your unsure of how much wattage is right for you consider mainly how many graphics cards you want to run as well as hard drives and if overclocking will be involved. If its a typical build with only 1 graphics card then I recommend at least 650+ watts. Look into rail voltages. Single rail psu's should have 50+amps. Look into a Corsair, SilentX, Ultra, or Antec for quality brands.
Hard drives- You can get a single hard drive and be fine. But, if you're really looking for performance you should look into at least 2. With 2 hard drives you can run them in whats called "RAID 1" and what this basically does is turns 2 hard drives into 1. Now, this doesn't give you double the storage space as you would expect if you run in RAID 1 because what it does is write everything to both drives so that if one fails you still have all your data. You can also run them in "RAID 0" which will give you the storage space of both and increase read/write times by writing half the data to one and the other half to the 2nd. The downfall to this if one hard drive fails you lose ALL of your data. Go Western Digital for hard drives, bottom line.
Solid state drives- These are becoming more and more popular and due to their recent affordability. In short they are faster than a physical hard drives which uses mechanical parts to read/write its data. These are primarily being used as "boot drives" where you only use them to install your operating system and primary programs. They can drastically improve load / read times.
CD Drive- Pretty basic. I won't go in depth with this. They're pretty self explanatory.
Case- After you've selected all your components you want to find a nice case to house it all in. This is where my biggest regret was. I picked the coolest looking case I could find in my price range and bought it while doing no research at all. You should find a case that is as functional as it is pleasing to the eye to you. By functional I'm mainly referring to the air flow of the case and what type of cable management it offers (if any). If you look around you'll find how many features you can find jam packed into affordable cases that other company's cheap out on. My highly recommend brands are Cooler Master, Antec, Corsair, Thermaltake, and Xigmatek. Rosewill even has some fairly nice cases with good airflow though the cheaper you go in price the more cheap your case will look and feel material wise. Note how many fans it comes with, the size of it, and upgrade-ability in terms of air flow. Most of you will be looking at mid-tower cases. Make sure they will fit your graphics card, this is a main concern. Good cable management is a motherboard tray space behind it for cable routing, holes in the tray for cables, and a heatsink cut out hole for installation of aftermarket coolers.
Operating System- Windows 7. You can get a single copy for about $100. I won't go in-depth with this. There are plenty of Youtube guides out there that walk you through os installation but if you want a guide on it just ask and you shall receive.
Where to buy- I recommend http://www.newegg.com/ and/or http://www.tigerdirect.com/
Well that's about it. I hope my suggestions have put you well on your way to making smart purchases and if you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment.