Your beginner’s guide to PC parts
December 13, 2018
PC gaming- it’s something many people talk about, but few get into. Whether it’s the intimidation of having to build your own computer, having to maintain a computer, or having to actually use a computer, many people are scared to dip their toes into the computer world. Here, I have compiled a beginner’s guide to each computer part and what its purpose is in a PC.
It all starts with the motherboard. The motherboard is essentially what all the different parts of a computer attach to. It allows these parts to communicate with each other and effectively make your computer work. It is important to note that a motherboard will only support one type of CPU(which will be explained later) and can NOT work with other CPU brands/manufacturers/socket types.
The case is what keeps all your parts in the computer, of course. It houses everything from your USB port slots, to your hard drives, to just about anything in your computer
The CPU is essentially the brain of your computer. It tells your computer what to do, and basically just computes what’s actually on your screen. There are two main companies that make CPUs- Intel and AMD. Both offer budget, mid-range, and high-end CPUs.
The GPU(graphics cards):
The graphics card is what renders the things in games, software, and other miscellaneous applications. The faster the GPU, the faster stuff can render. This helps a lot in things like gaming, rendering, animating, or any other GPU heavy things.
RAM stands for random access memory. You might notice that a computer that comes with up to a terabyte of storage might only come with 8 gigabytes of RAM. This is because RAM is extremely fast, and it’s what things like your browser is stored on. This is noticeable if gaming while having multiple other tabs open, because there might be a limited amount of RAM that is holding too many programs open.
The hard drive:
Hard drives store almost everything. It has your OS, your files, and everything that might be on your computer. Your hard drives are your storage, and there are two main types of storage: solid state drives (SSD) and hard disk drives (HDDs). Hard drives are very old forms of storage that are still widely used today because they’re still fast and cheap. They use a spinning disk and a needle, kind of like a record player. Solid state drives are much more modern, and work more like a USB stick than an actual hard drive. They are usually much more expensive, but they are extremely fast and last for years.
The power supply:
The power supply is what powers everything in your PC. It makes sure everything is on, and that things don’t fizz out from having too much power. It is very important to not cheap out on the power supply, as cheaper ones can stop working or even catch on fire later in a computer’s lifespan.
If you’re interested in building a PC on a budget, check out this blog on a great budget build!