Building a Basic PC


This article will give opinions and suggestions of the pros and cons of building a PC as well as briefly explain the necessary components needed for it to work.



PC Components – Picture by Future


Ever since the movement control order (MCO) was implemented, more people have been migrating from offline to online, meaning that people will be needing a little more advanced technology for their online classes or work purposes in order to cope with the tasks given. It helps the youth to explore and dwell deeper into understanding technology as well as giving them a fun activity for them to take part in.


1. CPU (Central Processing Unit)


According to TechRadar and HoukConsulting, the central processing unit (CPU) is basically the brain of your computer. It makes calculations needed by a system, just like how our brains are used to make decisions for the actions we take.


Picture of a CPU – Picture by Freepik


2. GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)


As stated by HoukConsulting, a GPU is basically in charge of putting out visual images to a display for you to see. It has a similar function as your eyes, without it you cannot see and that goes the same with a GPU.




Asus ROG Strix RTX 3080 Ti graphics card – Picture by WCCFTECH


Usually, all computers come with an integrated GPU which comes along with a CPU and can normally only perform basic functions like watching videos, basic video editing and light gaming.


One of the reasons why it is hard to run software like Adobe After Effects is mostly because the software draws a huge chunk of power from the GPU. The weaker the GPU, the harder and longer it will take to process that information, that is why most consumers prefer having a high-end dedicated one rather than a basic integrated one.


3. Motherboard


According to HoukConsulting, the motherboard is a central spot for connecting everything together as it lets the other components communicate with each other in order to work and it is where you slot in your processor, video card and connect your USB devices like keyboards.


RICOH FB21-L2S Motherboard – Picture by RICOH



4. RAM (Random Access Memory)

Following HoukConsulting, RAM is a temporary memory, meaning that whenever you open a tab in Google Chrome, your computer places the tab in RAM and when you close the tab, the RAM is then freed, allowing you to use it for other applications. This is why all tabs are closed when the power goes out.


HyperX Fury DDR4 RAM – Picture by Hexus


So, the more RAM you have in your system, the more programs you can run at a time. So, if you want to play games while running multiple tabs in the background, just make sure to have more RAM to avoid the system being slowed.


5. HDD / SSD (Hard Disk Drive / Solid State Drive)


As mentioned by TechRadar, Both HDD and SSD are a form of storage for your computer. Unlike RAM, these store data and information permanently even if your computer loses power, the data will still be there when you load it up the next time.



HDD vs SSD – Picture by TheBroadcastBridge


In short, the HDD is the more bulky, slow and cheap version of storage whereas the SSD is the fast, modern, and more expensive storage. The HDD is mostly great for those who want to store a ton of information while sacrificing speed, whereas the SSD is for those who want a fast storage system capable of not only being able to retrieve data more quickly but also download, upload and boot up your computer faster at a cost of being more costly.


6. PSU (Power Supply Unit)


According to TechRadar, the Power Supply which as the name suggests supplies power to all the components. Imagine it as your heart which pumps blood to your organs. It is usually connected to the motherboard so that it can distribute the power proportionally.



Corsair TX650 Power Supply Unit – Picture by Corsair


Budget


Now, some of you are probably wondering why to build a PC when you can just buy one off the shelf.


The best part of building it on your own is that you can choose which parts you want in your PC, some components can be cheap and some important ones can be slightly more expensive, so the budget you acquire can vary depending on the performance of different parts.


Pros

According to DriverSupport, there is less markup especially on higher-end computer parts than pre-built PC, meaning that it is preferred to build than to buy when wanting a high-end computer as you save more money. One of the best parts (pun intended) of PC building is that the parts you choose have their individual warranties that can last way longer than a pre-built computer.


When it comes to building your own PC, not only can you customise your entire build to your heart’s desire, such as components like graphics cards or peripherals like a mouse and keyboard, but you can also decide when you want to change out certain components of your PC whereas if you buy a pre-built, most of them don’t give you the luxury of doing that and may also end up voiding your warranty.


Lastly, for those who have never built a PC before, you get to experience the process of desktop building as you are piecing all the parts together like LEGOs, it is a rather fun way to educate yourself on how a PC functions by the various different components pieced together.



Cons

According to CNET, even though individual components have a longer-lasting warranty, if something goes wrong with your PC such as being unable to turn it on, you will have a tough time finding out which part is faulty and which part is in need of replacement which can cause some problems especially if you don’t have much knowledge as to what’s going on.


According to WEPC, it is to note that some of the components you’re buying for your PC may not always be compatible with each other, so you will need to do some extra research to find compatible parts or you can use a website designed for that exact purpose such as PCPARTPICKER.


Although building a PC may sometimes be cheaper than buying a pre-built one, it is worth noting that building isn’t for everyone as it can take long hours and you will have to face many difficulties along the way, so if you want a PC right away, it is just better to buy a pre-built one than to build one yourself.


Is Owning a PC a Necessity in Today’s Life?



Guy having question mark - Photo by iStock


The short answer is that it depends on the individual, as in today’s day and age most people usually opt for laptops rather than bulky desktops as they are lighter and more portable. But most people who spend their days sitting at their desks prefer having a PC instead as for them a completely built desktop is more powerful than a laptop. As for the desktops you see in most schools and offices, they usually have low-tier performance desktops as it is only used for basic computing tasks such as using Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. As for the desktops you find in most cybercafes, they are usually in the range of mid to high tier in terms of performance as some games and applications running, require additional performance.


In retrospect, if you’re mostly doing light work such as using Microsoft Office, just get a low-tier laptop or desktop that can be purchased off the shelf as it is cheaper to buy a low-tier pre-built rather than building it yourself.


Unlike those who need higher performance to get heavy editing or gaming done, it is best to build a mid to high-end desktop or just buy a pre-built directly off the shelf but with an expensive price tag along with less powerful components.


For those who want to have a similar performance to a mid to high-end desktop but also want portability at the same time, go for an expensive laptop that offers you a bang for your buck.


By Jason Kok


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