Just a fair note. I have not updated any of this information in a while, and I imagine I won't in a long time either.
Table of Contents
Current Tech I Have
Helpful / Informative Videos
Favourite Builds / Inspirations
Interesting Build Guides
How To Make a Partlist / Quick Advice
Partlists for *X* Budgets
I was introduced to the world of custom PC's around mid July of 2015, as one of my friends was talking about Nvidia. I had no idea what he was talking about, even after a quick Google search I had no idea. Then he told me to check out a site called PCPartPicker, which I was curious about, unfamiliar about these brand names and these ideas. Being the type of person I am, I started to look into PC's, to understand the in's and out's of them, and this is where I am today!
To put it simply, I'm the type of person who enjoys doing new projects despite having little to no knowledge. I DIY and hack quite a lot of things that I personally own, along with jailbreaking and rooting. I do photography on the side as well, mostly car photography however. I love any sort of tech, and very interested in learning more about the hardware side of things, as simply the software parts are extremely complicated, and in general doesn't interest me too much.
TLDR: I Was A Peasant, Now A Half Breed, and Like Messing With Stuff I Shouldn't Be
Current Tech I Have
Phones / Mobile Devices:
iPhone 6+ (Gold & Jailbroken, Running iOS 8.4)
Samsung Galaxy S8+ Silver
iPad 4 (Jailbroken Running iOS 8.3)
Asus TF201 Transformer (Currently Broken)
Nintendo 3DS XL V1
Various Gameboys / Older DS Models
Nintendo Switch Splatoon Edition
Computers / Spare Computer Parts:
HP Envy 700-414
Intel i5 4570 (NOT FOR SALE)
Seagate 2TB Barracuda
Sennheiser HD8 DJ's
Sennheiser Urbanite On-Ears (Black & White)
Turtle Beach PX22's
Helpful / Informative Videos
Favourite Builds / Inspirations
Either Favourite Builds or Some Inspirations for My Projects
- The CPU can be looked at like this. It's the brains of a build, calculating and controlling everything. It allows resources to be used for different parts, and the command center for your PC. It's arguably the 2nd most important part in a PC, and making sure that you choose a good CPU can vastly change your computers computing power and performance.
- Your CPU is important, however not the most important part of a PC. Consider the compatibility between your CPU & your Motherboard, as that is the only way you can make sure that the bulk of your system will work correctly. Say, you should have a Intel LGA 1155 CPU in a LGA 1155 motherboard. Luckily, PCPP does the bulk of the compatibility for you, so you can be well assured that your CPU and motherboard are compatible unless it says otherwise.
- You should also consider if you want to overclock, which will affect a multitude of your parts, including your Motherboard, CPU Cooler, Power Supply, and other parts. The K or X series is a insignia of showing if a Intel CPU can overclock, while a FX insignia for AMD means that you can overclock AMD CPU's.
- Your CPU should come with a CPU cooler built in. This is "stock cooler" regarded as it is usually the stock configuration for most prebuilts, and coming with the CPU itself. You will need a CPU cooler to power your PC at all, or else your CPU will overheat and shut off.
- The stock vs. aftermarket debate is quite simple, and doesn't need too much explaining. If you are planning to overclock, then a aftermarket cooler is recommended. If you are going on stock speeds, or don't have a overclocking chip then you can still use a stock cooler, although it doesn't hurt to use a aftermarket cooler.
- Another debate, Air vs. AIO watercooling. What are the pros and cons? To start of with the watercoolers, they are usually pretty quiet, have better RAM clearance, and in general have better compatibility compared to a similarly priced air cooler. The downsides is that they also can be quite loud, the fluid can leak if you're not careful, and there are more points of failure, either the pump, fans, or a leak. On the other side, air coolers can be dead silent, tend to perform similarly to AIO's, and you can put redundant points of failure in a air cooler. Disadvantages are many, especially in the looks department and compatibility between RAM, and even cases.
- While everyone seems to be loving the newest GPU's, CPU's, RAM, etc. etc, none of that would run if it wasn't thanks to your motherboard. It's essentially the body, the electronic backbone to your computer, making everything able to converse with each other and be able to carry out calculations. Up to you whether or not you want to cheap out on one, though.
- What is the difference between Z, H, & X series motherboards? Well to put it simply, they are built differently for different classifications. In this case, Z is the overclocking "gaming" or "mainstream" side, H is the non-overclocking "gaming or "mainstream" side, and X is the "prosumer" or "workstation" side. The biggest difference though is to know that H series motherboards on the Intel side do NOT overclock, while Z & X series do overclock, and are designed for it.
- There are 5 main motherboard sizes, each with their physical & electrical limitations. These sizes are... ITX, MATX, ATX, EATX, & XLATX. Generally, the bigger the board, the more parts it can support, and as well as the most expensive it is. This includes, but not limited too... PCIE slots, RAM slots, number of CPU slots, IO, etc. etc.
- Good Companies As of 11/19/17 to Buy From Are...
- RAM, while debatable how much a average person needs, is all about storing the data that needs to sit on your computer and needs to be accessed extremely quickly This means whenever you launch a application, the application asks for RAM to be used in order to keep the application running smoothly.
- The speed of RAM are debatable for what you need, and how much is good enough. With current DDR4, the fastest speeds we can reach are around 3400 Mhz, and while that may sound better on paper, in the real world you will not see very much of a difference in speed, especially as you can overclock RAM.
- The amount of RAM however is a different story. The only way you will see an increase of performance is if you are already running out or RAM, as the system has to call upon your comparatively slow HDD or even SSD to keep programs fed. Having an over-abundance of RAM will NOT increase performance, only how much headroom you have.
- The graphics card, or video card, is what renders the image on the screen for you, and is what let's you run games at incredible resolutions and settings. A dedicated GPU will almost always beat out a iGPU, or an Intergrated GPU, that is built onto the CPU itself. These are the most expensive parts of a PC usually, and for good reason.
- A good rule of thumb to go buy is either to cheap out on everything, minus the PSU and CPU, and get yourself a GPU with the remaining funds, or to spend 1/3 of your budget on the GPU. This doesn't have to be exact, but it helps in order to not run into bottlenecking, which can cripple any gaming experience.
- Blower vs. Atmospheric, or Aftermarket cards. What are the differences? To put it simply, a blower style card will have a single fan in almost all cases, and will blow hot air through a heatsink built into the card, and the air being exhausted out of the case. This has the added benefit of your case being cooler. Atmospheric, or aftermarket cards can have anywhere from 1 to 3 fans, and will have heatsinks with fans ontop of them. The air is flown around the case, ruining airflow to a point and heating up the rest of the case. This however MUCH improves the temperatures of the cards.
- Good Graphics / Video Cards to buy as of 5/26/2016 are...
- The case is usually what you mostly see in a PC. It's the enclosure, the thing that makes sure that all of your hardware is physically together. The case choice also decides the limit on a PC, such as fans, PCIE brackets, motherboard sizes, general airflow, compatibility with different parts, etc. etc. It's like the motherboard but for the more physical side.
- While cheaping out on a case can save you a few bucks, and it doesn't directly change the performance, what it will affect is the features, build quality, looks, design, airflow, and your sanity once you're done with cable management. Getting a well designed case that has good features for it's price is what is above all else when it comes to case selection.
- The biggest thing for a case to figure out is the general compatibility. Again, PCPP does a lot of the heavy lifting for you, however covering it should help. Cases come in different sizes that can accommodate different sized motherboards, which is the biggest factor for about every other feature, price, etc. etc. for a case. Just make sure what you're buying works, and gives you what you need.
- Comparing the PC to a human body, the PSU or Power Supply can be thought of as the heart, delivering blood, or electricity to everything that needs in order for the PC to run properly. Stress the PC out? More electricity is needed. It converts AC, or wall power, to the much more controllable DC, that the PC uses for whatever components require it.
- Many people decide to cheap out on a PSU despite the ballin' systems that they have configured. While the PSU does not correlate directly with performance, it's the supply of power conversion to your PC. A good PSU will do it's job correctly, while a mediocre one may flunk a few times, and a bad PSU can either brick itself, break other components, or even catch on fire. It is advised that you spend the little extra to get a good quality PSU instead of completely cheaping out.
- The efficiency of a PSU does NOT directly correlate with the performance or reliability of a PSU. A PSU can be rated at 80+ Titanium, however can be the most unreliable PSU on the market today. While efficiencies hint at the performance, they are NOT a direct correlation, and should always be taken with a grain of salt. If you are unsure about a PSU, look up reviews and check on JonnyGuru.com if the review is availble. He goes extremely into depth, and is one of the few people who I trust for PSU reviews.
- Peripherals are your keyboard, mouse, and any other accessories that you would need or want to use your computer. If you are strict on money, getting a cheaper pair of peripherals that will last a while is a good idea. While peripherals can affect your performance, the notion of "buying this mouse because it'll make me 2x better" when it's twice the price will NOT give you that better of performance.
- It is advised to at least spend a decent amount on getting a good mouse instead of a good keyboard, as mice affect the general experience much more than keyboards do. Keyboards themselves are linear, so any increased performance that CAN happen will most likely not be on the keyboard, and will be affected much heavier by mice instead.
- For keyboards, there are two main types. Membrane style switches (the much more common and cheaper alternative) and mechanical style switches (the less common but more expensive alternative). Keyboards don't really improve performance that a gamer can have, however do improve the quality of typing and gaming in general, as mechanical switches generally feel better. The best way to find what keyboard switch you like the best is to try them out, either at your local store or order a PCB with the switches to see what you prefer the most.