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PC Building
#1
Aye, so you want to build yerself a PC, eh? Well ye've come to the right place! This wee little guide here will teach you to navigate the treacherous waters of overpriced computer parts caused by things like cryptocurrency mining and exploding phones (I'm looking at you, Note 7  Kek ) so that you may get yourself the bestest and most greatest of computers. Please note this will be a very long thread, so plop dat ass down and prepare the popcorn. At the end of the guide will also be some PC Part Picker links to several generic builds I've come up with depending on needs, preferences and budgets, so if you don't feel like reading a college essay, feel free to skip down there.

I: The Processor-ing
The Central Processing Unit, or CPU, or processor, is the brains of the PC. Every little action you do on your computer is processed by the... processor. It's usually in a square shape, and while it's pretty small, it's pretty smart compared to us. There are many types of processors out in the world, but, thank god for Microsoft and their reluctance to embrace the ARM architecture (the type used in phones and such) means there are really only two big-dogs to choose from; AMD and Intel. Which company you go with depends on how much money you have to dedicate to building as well as what you need -- whether it's a faster processor or a processor with more cores. They both ultimately really make your processing capabilities better, but the type of workload you have will determine what kind of "speed" you need. Gaming, for example, rarely takes advantage of more than one core, around four at most. Things like Render machines, however, massively benefit from multiple cores as well as streaming. In the spoiler below I'll list several options for what to buy depending on the company and use case.
Note: There will be a number that looks like this: (x/x). This indicates the number of cores and threads a processor has. Cores are the physical processing cores on the unit itself while threads are the data links to the cores. The process of having two threads linking to a core is known as Simultaneous Multi Threading (or Hyper-threading for Team Intel). Games aren't very good at utilizing threads, but other programs can benefit from the presence of an extra thread.
II: The Graphics Card-inator
The graphics card, or GPU, is the muscle of your build, the true destroyer of games (and power bills, in some cases). Recently, an influx of cryptocurrency mining (as of 1/26/2018) has utterly destroyed the market in terms of available stock and pricing, with a VAST majority of graphics cards costing almost twice their MSRP. Thank goodness for stores like Micro Center, however, who are taking measures to not leave out the simple man who may just want to build their first computer... There are two players in the graphics market -- NVIDIA and AMD. Those names may be familiar. Why, you ask (other than the fact that AMD was already mentioned earlier)? That's because AMD currently supplies the processor and graphics for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 while NVIDIA's Tegra lineup currently powers the ever so adored Nintendo Switch. There is literally only one factor unique to graphics cards that would influence your purchasing options, and that's the resolution you want to play at. This may also be substituted for framerate, but we'll discuss that at a later time when we go into detail about monitors.


III: The Motherboard
The motherboard isn't a very complex choice. It goes down like this:

Do you want lots of features, and lots of extra internals (wifi, speedy fast M.2 drives [more on that later], etc)? Get the more expensive line.


IV: The case (AKA "What the hell am I gonna put this stuff in?!")
Alright, so now you have your choice of specs, but now you need to get a case. There are many different kinds of cases ranging in features, sizes, types of see-through panels, cable management, connectivity choices on the front etc. For the rundown, the reputable brands are NZXT, Corsair, Cooler Master, be quiet!, Lian Li, Fractal and a few others I can't name off the top of my head. Any other manufacturer you choose may not have the best quality. Google is your best friend for this. Here's the rundown on sizes:


Mid-ATX: Standard size for PCs, especially from the early 2000s.
Full-ATX: REALLY big case. Take the largest regular computer you may have seen before and multiply its volume by 2. That is more or less the Full-ATX case size.
Micro-ITX: Polar opposite of Full-ATX. These fit REALLY small ITX motherboards. I do not recommend working with the ITX form factor for your first build, as it REALLY requires cable management skills.

The rest of the features include things like RGB (Fancy-shmancy), tempered glass panels (be REALLY careful with those as they shatter easily), USB type-c (your Android phone might have this one if it was released in the past year or so, you can do really cool things with it), fan controllers (controlling the speed of your fans, really good if you can't afford really good fans made to be able to be controlled automatically by the motherboard), and sometimes even HDMI ports (connected through an internal HDMI port included on some GTX 1080s and above, made to allow easy connection to a VR system like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift).

Va: Case Cooling
Now you have your case. Unfortunatlely, you may notice they are either lacking or the fans included look rather.. Cheap. This tends to be to keep prices low, but thankfully we can remedy that. As cooling is incredibly important, you must absolutely dedicate at least $20-30 to case fans in my opinion. The options are very very expansive, but I have but one suggestion to make. Whichever fans you buy, buy fans with a four-pin connector (they will have four holes and be rather small). An easy way to find these is to simply google "PWM case fans". PWM stands for Pulse Width Modulation, and it can be used to control the speed of your fans if you don't have a fan controller. These fans aren't cheap, but they will help keep your computer cool while not sounding like a jet engine. Refer to the site of the case manufacturer of the case you're buying to see which sizes are supported. Common sizes are 120/140mm. The larger they are, the lower speeds they need to spin to get the same amount of airflow in, which makes it quieter.

Vb: CPU Cooling
The CPU and GPU in the computer tend to have their own coolers. If they didn't, they would most likely enable you to cook your breakfast in your computer for a nice one-time price of (insert price of computer components here). Your CPU, however, may either not come with a cooler or come with only a sub-par one. Ryzen doesn't have much of a problem with this since their coolers are god-sent, but Intel users may want to consider getting a beefier cooler. This can come in one of two ways, an air cooler or a water coole--- wait wait wait, did I just say WATER?! SURELY YOU MUST BE HI-- hold on, just wait a minute there. Water is one of the most effective methods of cooling a processor and is the most effective permanent method out there. Water coolers are more effective and quieter than their air-cooled bretheren, but there is still the risk of water leaking. Don't let that discourage you, however, as water coolers from the likes of Corsair or EVGA have been perfected to the point that the chance of a leak is next to impossible. They are still more expensive, however (And take more connectors to power), and the average builder may instead opt for the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, an aged, yet effective and cheap, solution.

VI: Memory
No, I don't mean storage. That is a separate topic. Random Access Memory (RAM) is a super-fast volatile (meaning it loses the contents upon the computer shutting off) memory. There have been four generations of DDR (Double Data Rate) RAM, but we're only focusing on the fourth generation right now. The type of RAM you get depends on the CPU you get. AMD users need fast RAM as performance is affected by the speed. The base speed is 2133 mhz, but I've noticed the sweet spot to be around 2600 MHZ. Intel doesn't get much performance benefit from the RAM, so choose what you'd please so long as it's on the motherboard manufacturer's Qualified Vendor List. The QVL is a list of tested parts and are KNOWN to work with that make of motherboard. Choose wisely, or else lots of manual adjustment may be needed to get the RAM running at its advertised speeds -- if it's even possible. Good vendors here include G.Skill, Corsair, Crucial and G.Eil.

VII: Storage
There are three kinds of storage; Hard drives, the old little spinny things you all know and love for computer storage, Solid State Hard Drives, which are Hard Drives with a little bit of solid state (not spinny) storage to attempt (keyword attempt) to make them faster and Solid State Drives, which come in two flavors, SATA and M.2. SATA SSDs connect with cables to the power supply and motherboard, respectively, and are significantly faster (and, to an extent, pricier). M.2 drives can also be SATA, but you don't buy M.2 drives for the SATA component, you buy them for the NVME component. These drives connect to the super fast PCI-e interface, which makes them the fastest drives by far that won't break your wallet in a heartbeat. A common scenario in my eyes would be a 240/256 GB SSD from a company like Samsung (considered the best source of SSDs) with a 1-to-2 TB HDD from the likes of Western Digital. The SSD would host things like Windows and REALLY important programs while the HDD stores everything else. Such a combo would set you back around $170-200.

VIII: Power supply
The power supply may seem simple; "Get enough to power the computer, Ez". Wrong. Getting a good power supply can mean the difference between life and voided warranty death for your computer parts. it can also affect cable management. A good power supply will have at least an 80+ bronze efficiency rating, meaning that a power supply will, at most, pull around only 20% extra power max than is used to power a computer (e.g, a 500 watt usage will result in 600 watts being drawn from the wall under worst conditions). Good manufacturers don't really exist here, as they all have good and bad models. Refer to this tier list for more information.

IX: Peripherals
This will be kept short and simple. Rule of thumb is to stick to one manufacturer so you aren't downloading 200000000 different programs.

There are a few mouse+keyboard options to choose from. My current option is the Corsair K55 and Corsair Harpoon. Both are cheap ($50 and $30, respectively) and get the job done. However, if you have the money to spare, a more expensive mechanical offering in the keyboard department may do you justice. Other good mouse alternatives include the Logitech G502, Razer Deathadder or the Corsair Scimitar Pro. Keyboards are very preferential based on your preferred layout, so look for mechanical offerings in your favorite flavor of keyboard.

The headset/headphones can be a doozy to choose from, and it depends on if you want cheap communication or top-tier sound. Good headset options include the Logitech G502, Kingston HyperX Cloud II, Corsair Void Pro or the Razer Kraken. They are all good, cheap offerings that are reliable (though I wouldn't recommend the Kraken as much as the other offerings I mentioned). If you wanted to have good sound, however, any good offering from companies like Audio Technica or Bose should satisfy your needs, but it largely depends on -- again -- preferences. The downside to getting good headphones is that they also don't come with mics. The Modmic or a standalone mic such as the Blue Snowball would come into play here.

Not enough to justify a whole other section; a wifi card is best bought as a PCIe card and not a USB adapter. They are much more powerful.

IXa: Monitors
Monitors vary wildly in the PC space, from size to different panels to different resolutions to different everything, your needs differ based on what you may want to do.


X: Conclusion:
So you've got all your parts and you're so excited. At least, that's how I hope the end result is. Wait, though, you don't know how to build it? Well, I wish I could help you, but words can't describe that weird brick-thing sitting in the computer case. What I can do, however, is recommend videos to watch. Youtubers like Linustechtips and Jayztwocents (not to be confused with Jay Z) have excellent build guides on their channels as well as many other useful tutorials for new, budding PC builders.

XI: Sample Builds (These include peripherals. Swap out peripherals as necessary)
[url=https://pcpartpicker.com/user/QWOPPAH/saved/KXZd6h]Intel Gaming
Intel Content Creation/High End Gaming
More to come soon. (Oh, and yes, I know the code is showing on the post, but I'm too lazy to fix it right now since I just finished writing this guide. Fite me Bl)
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RPG and Tech Forum Manager (I may or may not be crazy)
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#2
Informative thread! Thank you -- was planning on building a PC sometime for games and drawing.
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運命なんて知らないけど
この際 存在を認めざるを得ない
"I don't care about fate. However this time, I'm going to acknowledge its existence."
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#3
*hates Cooler Master*
The Cryorig H7 is a much better deal than the 212 Evo, I would always recommend that as a budget cooler.
Case: always buy one with dust filters on all intakes.
That's my input everything else good job Freak.
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