Are you interested in assembling a CPU but don’t know what hardware to get or use? Do not worry as we have the simplest guide on computer hardware for beginners.
As you may know, computers are composed of two essential parts: software and hardware. Computers need software to perform a function, but they only work through hardware. If you do not have the proper hardware, the software is of no use. You need both things to efficiently run your computer. Here we have a beginner’s guide to computer’s hardware in simple and helpful terms.
What exactly is hardware?
Hardware is the physical components of your PC or laptop that you can feel and see the shape. These are responsible for carrying out different functions, and each is important in its way. The essential parts of a CPU that you need to know are Motherboard, processor, graphics card, RAM, storage drive, video card, sound card, cooling fan, and power supply. These all components are integrated into a single portable unit that you usually call a CPU. We will get into the details and different options of these components one by one.
Quick Tip: If you are thinking of building a laptop, then we suggest you observe one first and see how each component is placed compactly. Why not buy a cheap laptop and check this list: Best gaming laptops under 100$. You will need the same component for both a desktop PC and a laptop but different in size and assemble method.
Firstly, What is the purpose of your build?
Hold one before you get into the hardware and start buying that you like. Firstly, you need to ask yourself an important question, what kind of CPU I want or what function I want my CPU to perform? Either you want to do daily lightweight tasks or want a robust workstation for gaming or professional work, or maybe in between. Once you know what you want, it will be much easier to choose the right hardware for your CPU.
Now, onto the hardware components:
Processor: Intel or AMD
First and foremost in the Central Processing Unit (CPU), we have the processor, brain of the computer. It is responsible for every action that takes place inside a computer as it executes programs and functions. In the market, you will mainly see two major companies, Intel and AMD. Research both processor companies and their lineup. Choose only that matches your demand in terms of specs because they have every budget range and money will not be a problem. Also, the processor will determine which compatible Motherboard you should get.
Graphics card: cheap or expensive
A graphics card is responsible for display performance that you see on your monitor. It renders the image by converting data into a signal or language that your monitor understands. You can either get a processor with built-in GPU or get a separate one that you find fit. It comes at a super low price from 100$ to expensive.
If money is not a problem for you or simple research, check out these ten most expensive graphics cards.
Storage Drive: Optical or Hard Disc or SSD
Storage Drive is another essential hardware inside a CPU. It stores all of your data safely for forever. Here you get three options, optical drive (which is not in use anymore due to better options), hard disk and solid-state drive. If you want a cheaper budget option, go with HDD but keep in mind, it has a risk of losing data if the hardware damages and has kind of slow speed. On the contrary, SSD is super fast to read and write speed, and also reliable in the long term.
If you choose an SSD for your first build, check out our best budget SSD list.
RAM is also a storage component but responsible for controlling information, running applications and storing data in real-time for a short term. In the market, you will see two different types of RAM, SRAM and DRAM. The latter is fastest and used in most good PC’s. As for the ideal size, you need 4GB for doing standard tasks and as your demand gets higher size increases.
Motherboard, as the name suggests, it’s the main circuit board of your CPU that connects all the hardware into a big network, and they work through it. You have to attach processor, graphic processor, RAM and ROM expansion slots, USB ports, PCI slots and power supply to the Motherboard for the unit to work properly.
Lastly, but not the least-
Video card and Sound card: These are small chips that are responsible for executing video and sound commands, and also have an external output section where you can attach your headphones or webcam.
Cooling System: It is a must in a CPU. Make sure to get an effective cooling system with a good fan because the CPU can easily run hot and throttle. A good cooling system prevents the hot air from trapping in and improves airflow.
Power Supply: Lastly, a power supply to run it all. You need a power supply with the right amount of voltage that your hardware requires in order to work properly and avoid frying them. You can manually calculate the watts that you need by multiplying the total amps with total volts of all the hardware components. The result you get is the total watts that your CPU requires to run.
Important Note: Hardware compatibility is a thing and you should know before purchase. Not every hardware is compatible with others. Always do extensive research before buying any.