How does a Computer work- what you really need to know

So you get to know the terminology and basis specs of the gear needed here’s a short summary of the main parts. You are going to pick up heaps of information and read a lot of specs on the way to building your new gaming PC and I want you to know the most important components and what they do.

In the next Parts Selection Guide in the next chapter I go into more detail on each component.

The Main Components and what you need for a great Gaming PC Case

This part holds all of your components in place and provides a safe, cool and awe- some looking environment for your hardware to work. Cases come in a variety of sizes, called form factors.

ATX is the standard form factor. Mini ATX is smaller, about laptop size, micro ATX is the smallest and is use for mini computers and XL-ATX which is server size and can fit 2 Processors.

We recommend an ATX case with capacity to fit and cool all of your components.


So the case is the last item you should choose.

Power Supply

This is the heart of your PC, it converts AC (alternating current) from your house mains to DC (direct current) need by your computer to operate. Power supplies come in different wattages and efficiencies. Efficiencies range from Bronze, Silver Gold and Platinum.

We recommend your power supply has at least an 80 Plus Bronze efficiency rating, semi or fully modular cabling, its own cooling fan and over 600W power rating.

Motherboard 

It holds all of your parts and links them all together. It also has a small chip which holds your computer’s very basic information that is crucial for it to work.

It comes in different form factors like the case, each a different size to fit in different size cases, but as it gets smaller, there is less space to fit more hardware.

Low end motherboards have integrated graphics because the makes assume a graphics card will not be in use with their boards.

It basically connects all of your components together.

We recommend a standard ATX Motherboard which supports multiple graphics cards, onboard LAN and Wireless internet support, good chipset cooling, SATA 3 6GB/s, USB 3 and power surge protection.

Processor (CPU)

The processor is the Central Processing Unit. It carries out basic instructions and algorithms. Without a CPU your PC would not be able to operate. 

Some CPUs are combined with the graphics unit as used in laptops, all-in-one computers and other cheaper computers. It is called an APU. 

We recommend a Quadcore, at least 3 GHz and ability to overclock. Overclocking: with Intel the CPU model ends with a “K” or with AMD processors it will say “Un- locked” or “Black Edition.”

Hard Drive (ROM)

Hard drives (HHD), solid sate drives (SSD) and solid state hybrid technology (SSHD) are all means of internal storage. This is where all your files and games are stored. 

SSD’s read and write faster than HHD’s because they have no moving parts. We recommend having one HHD and one SSD. Use the more expensive SSD for you operating system and use a larger, cheaper HHD for your games and other files.  

Memory RAM

This is where all the temporary files are stored on the PC. When the PC is reset the files are lost so no important information is stored there. Games utilise a lot of RAM as there are many temporary files in use which need to be accessed quickly. We recommend at least 8GB of DDR3 RAM, speed over1600MHz.  

Graphics card

This is really the difference between a gaming PC and a regular PC. The card pro- cesses the games files and creates a visual image on the screen so this is the one of most important aspect of your gaming experience. Gamers spend a lot of time selecting their GPU.

You could have also several graphics cards in a gaming PC. The important features are brand, speed and type of video RAM (VRAM), cooling system and most importantly the graphics processing chip. We recommend buying the best GPU you can afford and check out the latest re- views.

Get a GPU with at least 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 128-bit memory interface, at least 1GHz speed, and an integrated cooling system. AMD and Nvidia are the two leading brands.

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