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Custom PC building

By deanlaing12
Nov 29, 2010
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  1. Just for my knowlege currently.
    A guild should be posted if there isnt one already.

    Ok, i want to build my first custome pc.

    I know through experience that its more complex than all these guides online because...

    How do i know what technology is compatible. DDR5?

    So how do i deside what is compatible with my pc?

    So i buy a mother board with lots of connections for usb. Swoosh, all great so far!
    How do i find a tower that is compatible...? Are all towers the same setup inside? i didnt think they were...

    How do i know what type of ram to buy?
    What technology?
    What speed?
    What time?
    How many pins?

    How do i make the pc 64-bit?

    I hope someone understands my question....

    Just how do i know if my hardware is compatible with what?
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    RAM is simple. You need DDR3 RAM. Either dual channel or triple channel, which is defined by the motherboard and cpu you choose. Your motherboard will tell you.

    Speed, anything 1066 or above is fine. Aim for 1333 if possible, but again, the RAM should be the QVL (qualified vendors list) on the motherboards website for best results.

    Timings I'll leave for someone else, but pins doesn't matter, DDR3 is DDR3.

    Pretty much all hardware is capable of 64 bit these days. Your OS defines whether you run 32 bit, or 64 bit.

    Your over-analysising it all.

    Start simple...

    Whats it for? and
    whats your budget?..

    1. Decide what CPU you want
    2. That defines what motherboard type you can use
    3. The QVL of your chosen motherboard defines what RAM you can use, and whether it is dual or triple channel.
    4. Decide if you want an aftermarket cooler for your CPU or not.
    5. Decide what graphics card you want (bearing in mind whether your motherboard can run multiple GPUs) If its just web browsing, emails and documents go for a motherboard with a built in GPU, it'll be more than adequate.
    6. Choose your power supply based on the above
    7. Select hard disks, (do you want one for OS, and one for data? - SATA or SSD
    8. Select your optical drives - Do you want a blue ray drive? or a DVD RW, or both?
    9. Choose a case that fits your motherboard format. e.g. E-ATX needs a case capable of holding a E-ATX motherboard. ATX is the standard, but you can also get ITX and m-ATX.
    10. Decide what Os you want (if you have 4GB or more of RAM you need 64bit)
    11. Do you need a monitor, keyboard, mouse speakers etc?

    Read this guide here, and it will give you an idea of what you can build at set pricepoints, and its uses.
  3. deanlaing12

    deanlaing12 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 161

    Ahh thanks so much! I really was lost.

    So a custome pc starts off from a cpu.
    Then find a motherboard compatible with the cpu.
    Then ram falls into place with the motherboard details.
    Then find a cooler that fits [For the cpu or motherboard? This sort of thing confuses me]
    Then find a good graphics card with the same technology as the ram? DDR3 or whatever?
    Then choose a powersupply for the above.
    Then get hard drives [What is Sata and Ssd?
    Then optical Drives
    Choose case that fits motherboard format.
    Then get OS [64 if more ram than 4gb]
    Then monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers.

    A guide with examples should be placed someware on the forums. But this is excellent.
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    Its the CPU that dictates the direction and components used generally speaking. It doesn't always start with this, but in your case it would be a wise decision.

    For example, an Intel i7 core 920 is going to have different motherboard and memory requirements to a AMD Phenom X6 1090T CPU.

    You can purchase any CPU in two different ways:

    1. Retail packaged (includes the CPU, the CPU cooler assembly, and pre-applied thermal paste). This type of CPU comes with its own cooler.
    2. OEM packaged (only the CPU itself, with maybe thermal paste applied) - You need to order an aftermarket cooler for this type of CPU.

    Aftermarket coolers can reduce your CPU load temperatures considerably. Even if your not overclocking the computer (to increase its performance) in hotter hemisphere's its a good idea to give your CPU extra cooling.

    Newer, more powerful graphics cards (GPUs) usually have DDR5 RAM. Budget, lower end GPUs tend to have DDR3. Either are fine, as long as the GPU is right for the intended use of the computer. e.g. if you plan on gaming, don't expect a budget low end GPU to actually be adequate! If its just for word processing, emails, internet browsing etc, you don't even need a dedicated GPU, get a motherboard with on-board graphics instead.


    1. SATA = Serial ATA, the common media interface in use today. (a 1TB or 2TB hard disk will be more than enough storage for most people.)
    2. SSD - Solid state disk, using the SATA interface as well. Its memory based and uses no mechanical parts - Its super fast and ideal for high bandwidth applications and gaming. They're seriously expensive though.


    If you look in this forum you'll find good recommendations are made pretty much every single day to members like yourself.

    The guide I linked in my last post is exactly what your asking for. I suggest you give it a good read, and if your still struggling, and your serious about building a new custom pc I would suggest you purchase a book on the subject to help you along as well.

    You need to explain what your uses for the computer will be, and you MUST set a maximum budget, and you need to decide if this includes a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and speakers.

    Without this your going to spin in circles and nobody can advise you correctly.
  5. deanlaing12

    deanlaing12 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 161

    Yes i will do, and thanks a lot man, this really opened my eyes. Il read he link you left and think about buying a book.

    Im an extream gamer but also do a lot of music work.

    I should think about adding a sound card into it too.
  6. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    Thats easy enough to do, add it to your requirements and uses, and then set a budget. If its extreme gaming and music production your going to be spending quite a bit of money.


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