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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb HOW-TO: Select parts for building, repairing, or upgrading a computer

    I've noticed a lot of people are often confused about what hardware parts are compatible with what. This has lead me to compose this guide for ya noobs.

    First, let's list the basic parts of the computer:

    • Case
    • Motherboard
    • CPU or the processor
    • HDD or the hard drive
    • RAM or the memory (different than the hard drive or HDD)
    • GPU or the graphics card
    • PSU or the power supply


    All of these parts are dependent on one another, in terms of compatibility.

    1. Case

    Your case is what your computer will look like and what will hold all of your components.

    Cases come in all different shapes and sizes. The most common case sizes go as follows (in order from smallest to largest): Micro ATX, Mid-tower, and Full tower.

    When picking a case you must make sure it is compatible with your:

    • Motherboard
      • Mobo must be the correct form factor to fit your case. Most cases nowadays support multiple form factors. Most mid-tower and full-tower cases support both ATX and Micro-ATX form factors. If you're not sure, look around on the product page of your case and find where it says something along the lines of: "Motherboard compatibility". Now go to your motherboard's product page and check to see what form factor the mobo is. For example, if you have a Micro-ATX motherboard and you see that "Micro-ATX" is supported on your case, then the two components are compatible. Pretty self-explanatory.

    • GPU
      • You probably won't have to worry about this, unless your getting a high-end card and a smaller mid-tower case. But some cards (mainly higher-end, more powerful cards) will be BIG. Some over 12 inches. Make sure you have enough clearance in your case by checking the dimensions of your card and case. Cards with not enough space will get hotter faster and also contribute to heating up other components as it will add heat to the case and disrupt airflow. If you're going to buy a card(s) over 10", you should highly consider buying a full tower case.







    2. Motherboard

    Your mother, sometimes nice, sometimes a total bi-- Oh wait, I mean motherboard. The motherboard is the most essential piece of the puzzle. The motherboard will let everything function within your computer.

    Your motherboard must be compatible with your:
    • Processor
      • Two main types of processors and motherboards: AMD processors and AMD motherboards, or Intel processors and Intel motherboards. An Intel processor will NOT work with an AMD motherboard. Intel processors only work with Intel boards and AMD processors only work with AMD boards.
      • Deciding which to buy... AMD or Intel? Personally, I highly recommend AMD just because it's a WAY better deal, better bang for your buck. A new 3.6GHz AMD quad core costs $105 while a 3.5GHz quad core from Intel would costs you $330. Intels are known to be better or faster than AMD but owning both Intel and AMD, I highly recommend saving your money and going with AMD. The performance difference between AMD and Intel processors is so so very slight.
      • Your motherboard has a CPU socket which will need to match up with the processor. For new Intel boards, there are LGA 1155, LGA 1156, and LGA 2011. Your Intel CPU must match up with the socket of your mobo. For example: You need an LGA 1155 motherboard for an LGA 1155 CPU. (Not sure of any Intel backwards socket/CPU compatibility, I always use AMD). For new AMD motherboards, there are AM3 and AM3+. AMD's processors are backwards compatible with each other so for example, you can use an AM3+ CPU with an AM3 board. Or an AM3 CPU with an AM3+ board.

    • GPU
      • Not really that important because all bus slots are backwards compatible with each other. Meaning, a PCI-E 16x card will work in a PCI-E 3.0, PCI-E 2.0, or a PCI-E 2.1 slot. As will a PCI-E 3.0 card will work in any PCI-E slot, whether it would be x16, 2.0, 2.1, or 3.0.
      • Only need to be concern about this is if you're wanting to run a Crossfire or SLI setup. Then you would need to make sure your mobo is Crossfire/SLI compatible and has the correct number of PCI-E slots for however many cards you want to run.

    • PSU
      • The power supply unit you buy will make or break your computer. It's very important to buy a reliable PSU and not to skimp out and buy a cheap one; when looking at PSUs on sites like Newegg or TigerDirect, sort PSUs by best to worst ratings. Then sort out by the wattage you will need. This is how I search for PSUs whenever building and it makes finding the proper PSU very easy. Tip: Search for a PSU last.
      • PSUs come in all different wattage. It's important to pick the correct amount of wattage you will need for your system. Keep this in mind: It's better to overpower then under-power.
      • To determine the wattage you need, review all of your components. Everything except the GPU will only need a few watts of power. Some GPUs won't tell you the required wattage on the product page, if the product page doesn't tell you, do a quick Google search for your GPU and navigate to the manufacturer's website and look around for system requirements. Here's an example, Newegg doesn't give you the required wattage for a Radeon 7770. So now, click here. And navigate to AMD's website (the card's manufacturer) then click on the "System Requirements" tab. Then you'll find the recommended or required wattage there.
      • Now you have the required wattage for your GPU, add 100W to that number and that's about how much your PC will need to run comfortably.
      • Example: Radeon 7770 GPU with all the other standard hardware. The PC will need about 600W. With 600W in mind, look for a PSU that advertises around 800W. Why more? A power supply labels as 800W doesn't really put out 800W consistently. The number you have to look at when buying power supplies is the efficiency. The percentage of efficiency determines how much power the PSU will put out at a constant rate. A power supply with the 80 PLUS sticker merely means that that PSU passed a test that proves the PSU runs at 80%+. Not necessary for your PSU to have this sticker, but recommended.
      • To figure out about how much wattage your PSU consistently puts out: Take your peak wattage and multiply it by the percentage of efficiency.
      • Example: An 800W PSU that runs at 87% efficiency. 800 x .87 = ~696W of consistent power.
      • Most newer boards use a 24 pin socket for main power. Older boards may only use 20. Refer to your mobo's product page and look for something like "Power Pin". PSUs nowadays have a 20+4 power connector so they can work on older and newer boards. The 20+4 pin connector is simply a 20 pin connector with an additional 4 pin connected to it close by. Some PSUs may only have the 24-pin connector though so make sure you don't buy a PSU with a 24-pin connector and a mobo with a 20-pin socket.

    • RAM
      • RAM comes in different forms, DDR, DDR2, and DDR3. DDR3 being today's standard. Depending on the quality of your motherboard, your RAM will run at a certain speed, usually 1066, 1333, 1600, 1800, 1866, 2000, 2133, 2400, 2600, 2666, 2800. The higher the speed, the better. But your motherboard will only support certain speeds, or only run the RAM to it's max speed. To find out what speeds your mobo will run RAM at, check your mobo's product page and look for "Memort Standard" or "Memory Speed". Just like mobo and case compatibility, see if the RAM's speed and Mobo's memory standard match up; if they do match up, great.
      • Another thing to look at with RAM is how many modules are you buying, and how many slots does your mobo have? On your mobo's product page look for "Number of Memory Slots" or "DIMM Slots". Standard is 4 slots at 240 pins which usually reads as "4×240pin". Cheaper motherboards may only have two slots so you won't be able to use 4 RAM modules (modules commonly called "sticks").
      • Unless your using a cheap motherboard, or building a high-end PC that will needs a lot of RAM, the amount of RAM your mobo will support will concern you. Again, refer back to your mobo's product page and look for "Maximum Memory Supported" or something along those lines. If using a cheap mobo, your motherboard may only support 12GB, 16GB, or even only 8GB of RAM. Higher-end systems with better boards usually support 32GB and over.
      • Most people will only need AT MAX, 16GB. If that. I highly recommend getting 8GB. Even if you are a hardcore gamer, video/audio editor, or do a lot of rendering with programs like After Effects, 8GB should be fine.

    • HDD
      • Not very important. But most motherboard nowadays are equipped with SATA III, or SATA 6GBp/s ports. I highly recommend buying a motherboard with SATA 6GBp/s capability along with a hard drive with SATA 6GBp/s capability.






    3. Processor





    If you've already read section 2, go ahead and skip to section 8 as every section before 8 is just a regurgitation of what was said in section 2.





    Two main types of processors and motherboards: AMD processors and AMD motherboards, or Intel processors and Intel motherboards. An Intel processor will NOT work with an AMD motherboard. Intel processors only work with Intel boards and AMD processors only work with AMD boards.


    • Deciding which to buy... AMD or Intel? Personally, I highly recommend AMD just because it's a WAY better deal, better bang for your buck. A new 3.6GHz AMD quad core costs $105 while a 3.5GHz quad core from Intel would costs you $330. Intels are known to be better or faster than AMD but owning both Intel and AMD, I highly recommend saving your money and going with AMD. The performance difference between AMD and Intel processors is so so very slight.
    • Your motherboard has a CPU socket which will need to match up with the processor. For new Intel boards, there are LGA 1155, LGA 1156, and LGA 2011. Your Intel CPU must match up with the socket of your mobo. For example: You need an LGA 1155 motherboard for an LGA 1155 CPU. (Not sure of any Intel backwards socket/CPU compatibility, I always use AMD). For new AMD motherboards, there are AM3 and AM3+. AMD's processors are backwards compatible with each other so for example, you can use an AM3+ CPU with an AM3 board. Or an AM3 CPU with an AM3+ board.







    4. Hard drive

    The hard drive is what holds your data such as your operating system and files like pictures and movies.

    • Not very important. But most motherboard nowadays are equipped with SATA III, or SATA 6GBp/s ports. I highly recommend buying a motherboard with SATA 6GBp/s capability along with a hard drive with SATA 6GBp/s capability.






    5. RAM or Memory

    • RAM comes in different forms, DDR, DDR2, and DDR3. DDR3 being today's standard. Depending on the quality of your motherboard, your RAM will run at a certain speed, usually 1066, 1333, 1600, 1800, 1866, 2000, 2133, 2400, 2600, 2666, 2800. The higher the speed, the better. But your motherboard will only support certain speeds, or only run the RAM to it's max speed. To find out what speeds your mobo will run RAM at, check your mobo's product page and look for "Memort Standard" or "Memory Speed". Just like mobo and case compatibility, see if the RAM's speed and Mobo's memory standard match up; if they do match up, great.
    • Another thing to look at with RAM is how many modules are you buying, and how many slots does your mobo have? On your mobo's product page look for "Number of Memory Slots" or "DIMM Slots". Standard is 4 slots at 240 pins which usually reads as "4×240pin". Cheaper motherboards may only have two slots so you won't be able to use 4 RAM modules (modules commonly called "sticks").
    • Unless your using a cheap motherboard, or building a high-end PC that will needs a lot of RAM, the amount of RAM your mobo will support will concern you. Again, refer back to your mobo's product page and look for "Maximum Memory Supported" or something along those lines. If using a cheap mobo, your motherboard may only support 12GB, 16GB, or even only 8GB of RAM. Higher-end systems with better boards usually support 32GB and over.
    • Most people will only need AT MAX, 16GB. If that. I highly recommend getting 8GB. Even if you are a hardcore gamer, video/audio editor, or do a lot of rendering with programs like After Effects, 8GB should be fine.





    6. GPU or Graphics Card

    • Not really that important because all bus slots are backwards compatible with each other. Meaning, a PCI-E 16x card will work in a PCI-E 3.0, PCI-E 2.0, or a PCI-E 2.1 slot. As will a PCI-E 3.0 card will work in any PCI-E slot, whether it would be x16, 2.0, 2.1, or 3.0.
    • Only need to be concern about this is if you're wanting to run a Crossfire or SLI setup. Then you would need to make sure your mobo is Crossfire/SLI compatible and has the correct number of PCI-E slots for however many cards you want to run.





    7. PSU or Power supply

    • The power supply unit you buy will make or break your computer. It's very important to buy a reliable PSU and not to skimp out and buy a cheap one; when looking at PSUs on sites like Newegg or TigerDirect, sort PSUs by best to worst ratings. Then sort out by the wattage you will need. This is how I search for PSUs whenever building and it makes finding the proper PSU very easy. Tip: Search for a PSU last.
    • PSUs come in all different wattage. It's important to pick the correct amount of wattage you will need for your system. Keep this in mind: It's
      better to overpower then under-power.
    • To determine the wattage you need, review all of your components. Everything except the GPU will only need a few watts of power. Some GPUs won't tell you the required wattage on the product page, if the product page doesn't tell you, do a quick Google search for your GPU and navigate to the manufacturer's website and look around for system requirements. Here's an example, Newegg doesn't give you the required wattage for a Radeon 7770. So now, click here. And navigate to AMD's website (the card's manufacturer) then click on the "System Requirements" tab. Then you'll find the recommended or required wattage there.
    • Now you have the required wattage for your GPU, add 100W to that number and that's about how much your PC will need to run comfortably.
    • Example: Radeon 7770 GPU with all the other standard hardware. The PC will need about 600W. With 600W in mind, look for a PSU that advertises around 800W. Why more? A power supply labels as 800W doesn't really put out 800W consistently. The number you have to look at when buying power supplies is the efficiency. The percentage of efficiency determines how much power the PSU will put out at a constant rate. A power supply with the 80 PLUS sticker merely means that that PSU passed a test that proves the PSU runs at 80%+. Not necessary for your PSU to have this sticker, but recommended.
    • To figure out about how much wattage your PSU consistently puts out: Take your peak wattage and multiply it by the percentage of efficiency.
    • Example: An 800W PSU that runs at 87% efficiency. 800 x .87 = ~696W of consistent power.
    • Most newer boards use a 24 pin socket for main power. Older boards may only use 20. Refer to your mobo's product page and look for something like "Power Pin". PSUs nowadays have a 20+4 power connector so they can work on older and newer boards. The 20+4 pin connector is simply a 20 pin connector with an additional 4 pin connected to it close by. Some PSUs may only have the 24-pin connector though so make sure you don't buy a PSU with a 24-pin connector and a mobo with a 20-pin socket.






    8. You're ready!

    You now know all that you will need to know about piecing together a basic computer. Of course there are more pieces of hardware and components we could add in like TV tuners, SSDs, dual CPUs, card readers, sound cards, etc etc. But we'll save those extras for another guide.


    There are alternatives to building PCs such as using sites like CyberPowerPC, but these sites don't have as much a variety of parts like Newegg and TigerDirect have. I personally find Newegg to be easier in picking the right parts as you get more information on products and easier access to reviews and the product's information.




    Any questions with your build, still unsure about compatibility, or want to add extra components? Feel free to send me a PM and I'll be sure to help you out to the best of my ability!









    Don't forget to thank!


  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Meeep For This Useful Post:

    zachair (03-22-2013)

  3. #2
    Genesis's Avatar
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    This is way better for compatibility.

    http://www.mpgh.net/forum/686-comput...op-builds.html
    helt ensam.

  4. #3
    ANlMUS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meeep View Post
    I've noticed a lot of people are often confused about what hardware parts are compatible with what. This has lead me to compose this guide for ya noobs.

    First, let's list the basic parts of the computer:

    • Case
    • Motherboard
    • CPU or the processor
    • HDD or the hard drive
    • RAM or the memory (different than the hard drive or HDD)
    • GPU or the graphics card
    • PSU or the power supply


    All of these parts are dependent on one another, in terms of compatibility.

    1. Case

    Your case is what your computer will look like and what will hold all of your components.

    Cases come in all different shapes and sizes. The most common case sizes go as follows (in order from smallest to largest): (don't forget M-ITX, it's great for people who don't have much room)Micro ATX, Mid-tower, and Full tower.

    When picking a case you must make sure it is compatible with your:

    • Motherboard
      • Mobo must be the correct form factor to fit your case. Most cases nowadays support multiple form factors. Most mid-tower and full-tower cases support both ATX and Micro-ATX form factors. If you're not sure, look around on the product page of your case and find where it says something along the lines of: "Motherboard compatibility". Now go to your motherboard's product page and check to see what form factor the mobo is. For example, if you have a Micro-ATX motherboard and you see that "Micro-ATX" is supported on your case, then the two components are compatible. Pretty self-explanatory.

    • GPU
      • You probably won't have to worry about this, unless your getting a high-end card and a smaller mid-tower case. But some cards (mainly higher-end, more powerful cards) will be BIG. Some over 12 inches. Make sure you have enough clearance in your case by checking the dimensions of your card and case. Cards with not enough space will get hotter faster and also contribute to heating up other components as it will add heat to the case and disrupt airflow. If you're going to buy a card(s) over 10", you should highly consider buying a full tower case.






    2. Motherboard

    Your mother, sometimes nice, sometimes a total bi-- Oh wait, I mean motherboard. The motherboard is the most essential piece of the puzzle. The motherboard will let everything function within your computer.

    Your motherboard must be compatible with your:
    • Processor
      • Two main types of processors and motherboards: AMD processors and AMD(socket) motherboards, or Intel processors and Intel(socket) motherboards. An Intel processor will NOT work with an AMD(socket) motherboard. Intel processors only work with Intel (socket)boards and AMD processors only work with AMD(socket) boards.

      • Deciding which to buy... AMD or Intel? Personally, I highly recommend AMD just because it's a WAY better deal, better bang for your buck. A new 3.6GHz AMD quad core costs $105 while a 3.5GHz quad core from Intel would costs you $330. Intels are known to be better or faster than AMD but owning both Intel and AMD, I highly recommend saving your money and going with AMD. The performance difference between AMD and Intel processors is so so very slight.
        this is dumb. all of it.
        fix it.

      • Your motherboard has a CPU socket which will need to match up with the processor. For new Intel boards, there are LGA 1155, LGA 1156, and LGA 2011. Your Intel CPU must match up with the socket of your mobo. For example: You need an LGA 1155 motherboard for an LGA 1155 CPU. (Not sure of any Intel backwards socket/CPU compatibility, I always use AMD). For new AMD motherboards, there are AM3 and AM3+. AMD's processors are backwards compatible(needs more specificity, they do not all work together) with each other so for example, you can use an AM3+ CPU with an AM3 board. Or an AM3 CPU with an AM3+ board.

    • GPU
      • Not really that important because all bus slots are backwards compatible with each other. Meaning, a PCI-E 16x card will work in a PCI-E 3.0, PCI-E 2.0, or a PCI-E 2.1 slot. As will a PCI-E 3.0 card will work in any PCI-E slot, whether it would be x16, 2.0, 2.1, or 3.0.
        your gpu is incredibly important, for EVERYTHING. If you've got a pci-e 3.0 card, it will run faster in a 3.0 slot than in a 2.0 slot, op is dumb.

      • Only need to be concern about this is if you're wanting to run a Crossfire or SLI setup. Then you would need to make sure your mobo is Crossfire/SLI compatible and has the correct number of PCI-E slots for however many cards you want to run.

    • PSU
      • The power supply unit you buy will make or break your computer. It's very important to buy a reliable PSU and not to skimp out and buy a cheap one; when looking at PSUs on sites like Newegg or TigerDirect, sort PSUs by best to worst ratings. Then sort out by the wattage you will need. This is how I search for PSUs whenever building and it makes finding the proper PSU very easy. Tip: Search for a PSU last.
        Tip #2: use a wattage calculator, and get the highest 80+ rating you can. 80+ ratings explained here: 80 Plus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      • PSUs come in all different wattage. It's important to pick the correct amount of wattage you will need for your system. Keep this in mind: It's better to overpower then under-power.

      • To determine the wattage you need, review all of your components. Everything except the GPU will only need a few watts of power. Some GPUs won't tell you the required wattage on the product page, if the product page doesn't tell you, do a quick Google search for your GPU and navigate to the manufacturer's website and look around for system requirements. Here's an example, Newegg doesn't give you the required wattage for a Radeon 7770. So now, click here. And navigate to AMD's website (the card's manufacturer) then click on the "System Requirements" tab. Then you'll find the recommended or required wattage there.

      • Now you have the required wattage for your GPU, add 100W to that number and that's about how much your PC will need to run comfortably.

      • Example: Radeon 7770 GPU with all the other standard hardware. The PC will need about 600W. With 600W in mind, look for a PSU that advertises around 800W. Why more? A power supply labels as 800W doesn't really put out 800W consistently. The number you have to look at when buying power supplies is the efficiency. The percentage of efficiency determines how much power the PSU will put out at a constant rate. A power supply with the 80 PLUS sticker merely means that that PSU passed a test that proves the PSU runs at 80%+. Not necessary for your PSU to have this sticker, but recommended.

      • To figure out about how much wattage your PSU consistently puts out: Take your peak wattage and multiply it by the percentage of efficiency.

      • Example: An 800W PSU that runs at 87% efficiency. 800 x .87 = ~696W of consistent power.

      • Most newer boards use a 24 pin socket for main power. Older boards may only use 20. Refer to your mobo's product page and look for something like "Power Pin". PSUs nowadays have a 20+4 power connector so they can work on older and newer boards. The 20+4 pin connector is simply a 20 pin connector with an additional 4 pin connected to it close by. Some PSUs may only have the 24-pin connector though so make sure you don't buy a PSU with a 24-pin connector and a mobo with a 20-pin socket.

    • RAM
      • RAM comes in different forms, DDR, DDR2, and DDR3. DDR3 being today's standard. Depending on the quality of your motherboard, your RAM will run at a certain speed, usually 1066, 1333, 1600, 1800, 1866, 2000, 2133, 2400, 2600, 2666, 2800. The higher the speed, the better. But your motherboard will only support certain speeds, or only run the RAM to it's max speed. To find out what speeds your mobo will run RAM at, check your mobo's product page and look for "Memort Standard" or "Memory Speed". Just like mobo and case compatibility, see if the RAM's speed and Mobo's memory standard match up; if they do match up, great.

      • Another thing to look at with RAM is how many modules are you buying, and how many slots does your mobo have? On your mobo's product page look for "Number of Memory Slots" or "DIMM Slots". Standard is 4 slots at 240 pins which usually reads as "4×240pin". Cheaper motherboards may only have two slots so you won't be able to use 4 RAM modules (modules commonly called "sticks").
        RAM comes in DIMMs.

      • Unless your using a cheap motherboard, or building a high-end PC that will needs a lot of RAM, the amount of RAM your mobo will support will concern you. Again, refer back to your mobo's product page and look for "Maximum Memory Supported" or something along those lines. If using a cheap mobo, your motherboard may only support 12GB, 16GB, or even only 8GB of RAM. Higher-end systems with better boards usually support 32GB and over.

      • Most people will only need AT MAX, 16GB. If that. I highly recommend getting 8GB. Even if you are a hardcore gamer, video/audio editor, or do a lot of rendering with programs like After Effects, 8GB should be fine.

    • HDD
      • Not very important. But most motherboard nowadays are equipped with SATA III, or SATA 6GBp/s ports. I highly recommend buying a motherboard with SATA 6GBp/s capability along with a hard drive with SATA 6GBp/s capability.
        Buy a 7200 rpm hdd.






    3. Processor





    If you've already read section 2, go ahead and skip to section 8 as every section before 8 is just a regurgitation of what was said in section 2.
    Translation: YOU'VE ALREADY READ EVERYTHING UNDER THIS LINE, IT'S COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________




    Two main types of processors and motherboards: AMD processors and AMD motherboards, or Intel processors and Intel motherboards. An Intel processor will NOT work with an AMD motherboard. Intel processors only work with Intel boards and AMD processors only work with AMD boards.


    • Deciding which to buy... AMD or Intel? Personally, I highly recommend AMD just because it's a WAY better deal, better bang for your buck. A new 3.6GHz AMD quad core costs $105 while a 3.5GHz quad core from Intel would costs you $330. Intels are known to be better or faster than AMD but owning both Intel and AMD, I highly recommend saving your money and going with AMD. The performance difference between AMD and Intel processors is so so very slight.

    • Your motherboard has a CPU socket which will need to match up with the processor. For new Intel boards, there are LGA 1155, LGA 1156, and LGA 2011. Your Intel CPU must match up with the socket of your mobo. For example: You need an LGA 1155 motherboard for an LGA 1155 CPU. (Not sure of any Intel backwards socket/CPU compatibility, I always use AMD). For new AMD motherboards, there are AM3 and AM3+. AMD's processors are backwards compatible with each other so for example, you can use an AM3+ CPU with an AM3 board. Or an AM3 CPU with an AM3+ board.







    4. Hard drive

    The hard drive is what holds your data such as your operating system and files like pictures and movies.

    • Not very important. But most motherboard nowadays are equipped with SATA III, or SATA 6GBp/s ports. I highly recommend buying a motherboard with SATA 6GBp/s capability along with a hard drive with SATA 6GBp/s capability.






    5. RAM or Memory

    • RAM comes in different forms, DDR, DDR2, and DDR3. DDR3 being today's standard. Depending on the quality of your motherboard, your RAM will run at a certain speed, usually 1066, 1333, 1600, 1800, 1866, 2000, 2133, 2400, 2600, 2666, 2800. The higher the speed, the better. But your motherboard will only support certain speeds, or only run the RAM to it's max speed. To find out what speeds your mobo will run RAM at, check your mobo's product page and look for "Memort Standard" or "Memory Speed". Just like mobo and case compatibility, see if the RAM's speed and Mobo's memory standard match up; if they do match up, great.

    • Another thing to look at with RAM is how many modules are you buying, and how many slots does your mobo have? On your mobo's product page look for "Number of Memory Slots" or "DIMM Slots". Standard is 4 slots at 240 pins which usually reads as "4×240pin". Cheaper motherboards may only have two slots so you won't be able to use 4 RAM modules (modules commonly called "sticks").

    • Unless your using a cheap motherboard, or building a high-end PC that will needs a lot of RAM, the amount of RAM your mobo will support will concern you. Again, refer back to your mobo's product page and look for "Maximum Memory Supported" or something along those lines. If using a cheap mobo, your motherboard may only support 12GB, 16GB, or even only 8GB of RAM. Higher-end systems with better boards usually support 32GB and over.

    • Most people will only need AT MAX, 16GB. If that. I highly recommend getting 8GB. Even if you are a hardcore gamer, video/audio editor, or do a lot of rendering with programs like After Effects, 8GB should be fine.





    6. GPU or Graphics Card

    • Not really that important because all bus slots are backwards compatible with each other. Meaning, a PCI-E 16x card will work in a PCI-E 3.0, PCI-E 2.0, or a PCI-E 2.1 slot. As will a PCI-E 3.0 card will work in any PCI-E slot, whether it would be x16, 2.0, 2.1, or 3.0.

    • Only need to be concern about this is if you're wanting to run a Crossfire or SLI setup. Then you would need to make sure your mobo is Crossfire/SLI compatible and has the correct number of PCI-E slots for however many cards you want to run.





    7. PSU or Power supply

    • The power supply unit you buy will make or break your computer. It's very important to buy a reliable PSU and not to skimp out and buy a cheap one; when looking at PSUs on sites like Newegg or TigerDirect, sort PSUs by best to worst ratings. Then sort out by the wattage you will need. This is how I search for PSUs whenever building and it makes finding the proper PSU very easy. Tip: Search for a PSU last.

    • PSUs come in all different wattage. It's important to pick the correct amount of wattage you will need for your system. Keep this in mind: It's
      better to overpower then under-power.


    • To determine the wattage you need, review all of your components. Everything except the GPU will only need a few watts of power. Some GPUs won't tell you the required wattage on the product page, if the product page doesn't tell you, do a quick Google search for your GPU and navigate to the manufacturer's website and look around for system requirements. Here's an example, Newegg doesn't give you the required wattage for a Radeon 7770. So now, click here. And navigate to AMD's website (the card's manufacturer) then click on the "System Requirements" tab. Then you'll find the recommended or required wattage there.

    • Now you have the required wattage for your GPU, add 100W to that number and that's about how much your PC will need to run comfortably.

    • Example: Radeon 7770 GPU with all the other standard hardware. The PC will need about 600W. With 600W in mind, look for a PSU that advertises around 800W. Why more? A power supply labels as 800W doesn't really put out 800W consistently. The number you have to look at when buying power supplies is the efficiency. The percentage of efficiency determines how much power the PSU will put out at a constant rate. A power supply with the 80 PLUS sticker merely means that that PSU passed a test that proves the PSU runs at 80%+. Not necessary for your PSU to have this sticker, but recommended.

    • To figure out about how much wattage your PSU consistently puts out: Take your peak wattage and multiply it by the percentage of efficiency.

    • Example: An 800W PSU that runs at 87% efficiency. 800 x .87 = ~696W of consistent power.

    • Most newer boards use a 24 pin socket for main power. Older boards may only use 20. Refer to your mobo's product page and look for something like "Power Pin". PSUs nowadays have a 20+4 power connector so they can work on older and newer boards. The 20+4 pin connector is simply a 20 pin connector with an additional 4 pin connected to it close by. Some PSUs may only have the 24-pin connector though so make sure you don't buy a PSU with a 24-pin connector and a mobo with a 20-pin socket.






    8. You're ready!

    You now know all that you will need to know about piecing together a basic computer. Of course there are more pieces of hardware and components we could add in like TV tuners, SSDs, dual CPUs, card readers, sound cards, etc etc. But we'll save those extras for another guide.


    There are alternatives to building PCs such as using sites like CyberPowerPC and PC Part Picker, but these sites don't have as much a variety of parts like Newegg and TigerDirect have. I personally find Newegg to be easier in picking the right parts as you get more information on products and easier access to reviews and the product's information.




    Any questions with your build, still unsure about compatibility, or want to add extra components? Feel free to send me a PM and I'll be sure to help you out to the best of my ability!









    Don't forget to thank!
    I fixed your post for you, a little.

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