Computer hardware can be confusing for the uninitiated, especially when you throw in terms like RAM and CPU into the mix. These two aspects of computer hardware are incredibly important, as they determine how well your computer performs while you’re using it, as well as how it handles new software that you want to run on it. To choose the right computer hardware, follow these steps.
A number of companies make CPUs (central processing unit). For example, Intel and AMD are very common. This is a business decision: AMD chips may run more slowly than Intel chips, but they can use far less power. If you’re building a laptop or computer that’s meant to be portable, your best bet is an AMD CPU. If you want something that runs very quickly, an Intel chip might be your best option.
The Difference Between i3, i5, and i7
If you’re into desktop computers, or even just a consumer of tech news, you’ve probably seen these terms thrown around. Unfortunately, there isn’t much consensus about what each one means, and it doesn’t help that Intel has changed its naming scheme from year to year. The thing is, we don’t want to get too far into technical specifications here—these are rough guidelines for beginners who might not understand every little detail about hardware. They should be enough information for you to make an informed decision.
An important factor in choosing RAM is determining which manufacturer is best for your computer and budget. There are a number of quality brands available, including Corsair, Kingston Technology, Crucial, OCZ Technology and G.Skill Corporation (G.SKILL). Another choice you’ll have to make is whether you want single-, dual- or triple-channel RAM for faster performance. When making a choice about channeling RAM, keep in mind that most PCs can’t take advantage of more than two channels of memory without losing data bandwidth or capacity. If you’re planning on building a computer from scratch and aren’t interested in overclocking or running memory intensive applications such as video editing software and graphic design software, then single-channel should be sufficient for your needs.
Hard Drive Manufacturers
When choosing a hard drive, it’s important to understand that there are different types and sizes of drives available. An HDD, or hard disk drive, is a type of storage that has been around for decades; an SSD (solid state drive) is more recent. The hard disk drive looks like a traditional spinning disc on which data is recorded magnetically; an SSD utilizes flash memory. The upshot of an SSD: It’s much faster than traditional drives and holds less information. In general, one terabyte (TB) will be plenty of space for most people—you can get by with as little as 500GB or even 300GB if you don’t store many photos or videos.
Solid State Drives (SSD)
You’ve probably heard of hard disk drives (HDD), which have been a mainstay in computers for years. However, there are many benefits to switching from an HDD to a solid state drive (SSD). Solid state drives are much faster than HDDs, so you’ll notice that things open up much more quickly and files load almost instantaneously. Since SSDs don’t use moving parts like HDDs do, they’re also more durable. So your computer will last longer before it experiences hardware failure or crashes due to viruses. Switching from an HDD to an SSD is one of easiest ways you can upgrade your computer without spending too much money on new equipment; all you need is a screwdriver!
Video Card Manufacturers
There are many video card manufacturers out there and many different video cards to choose from. Don’t let that overwhelm you. Take a deep breath, watch your blood pressure, and remember: shopping for computer hardware is not that difficult. In fact, it’s actually fun (yes!). For example, you could buy an MSI GeForce GTX 970 Video Card right now if you wanted. They’re affordable and they’re pretty cool (nice RGB lighting). Or you could do some research on what kind of computer hardware would work best for your needs! You know—information is great! Sometimes we forget that! What was I talking about? Oh yeah: choosing computer hardware . . . I like it! It has a nice ring to it.
Selecting a motherboard is an important decision because it will play a large role in how well your computer runs. Since your motherboard is connected to just about every component in your computer, you’ll want one that fits within your budget, has all of the connections you need, and offers expandability. While there are many features that help determine if a particular motherboard is right for you, only two really matter: price and compatibility. The most expensive motherboards aren’t always best for you; make sure yours has everything it needs without breaking your bank account!
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Your computer’s power supply unit (PSU) provides power to everything in your computer and therefore is very important in a system. Choosing a PSU for gaming can be a difficult choice, as there are many factors that go into determining what wattage your gaming PC needs. Knowing your budget, how you plan on using your computer and what level of performance you require will all influence what PSU you choose. Wattage shouldn’t be an afterthought when purchasing a new system; it’s something that should be considered right along with every other part of your build. A PSUs role is often under-appreciated, so it’s important to take note of its importance before moving forward with building or buying a new system.
Tips on Buying a PC
If you’re reading articles on PC hardware, it’s a safe bet that you’re planning on buying a new computer. If that’s true, chances are good that you don’t have too much experience shopping for computers—so here are some suggestions and helpful tips on how to buy a new computer. If it seems like a daunting task, don’t worry—you’re not alone! Millions of people go through it every year, so just follow these simple tips and know you’ll be in good company. First off: forget what your friends tell you about which kind of processor is best or which company makes the best laptops. This is an incredibly subjective debate based around brand loyalty rather than personal experience or performance metrics.