Want to build my own computer, how to proceed?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Noctosphere, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Noctosphere
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    Noctosphere Moon furries | Official follower of Skiddon't-ism

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    Hello everyone,
    Soon I will try to build my own computer. I'm really new to this so I will need some explanation before ordering all component :
    First : The Motherboard, what is it used for? What makes a Motherboard better than another one?
    Does it has some mesure I can base motherboards performance on (like amount of core and GHz for CPU)?

    Second : The CPU, is there a way to have multiple CPU or a computer can have a maximum of only one CPU? This is to know if I can make the computer so it can have two CPU to add one later or if I must buy the best CPU available for my budget.

    Third : The GPU, what makes a GPU better than another one? I know there are many graphics card on the market but I would like to know what makes them better based on their specs. For exemple, whats makes GTX 980 4GB better than GTX 960 4GB. Is it the GPU amount of GHz? the amount of core?

    Fourth : GPU again, what is required in order to have multiple graphics card? I know it is based on bus port, but what makes a computer to have more bus than another one? The motherboard? Some kind of graphics board? Also, I know that two graphics card means two screen, but do I need something special to have those two graphics card working on the same game or is it about software not about hardware?

    Fifth : The RAM, if I buy for 32 GB of RAM, is it all I have to care about, the amount of GB? Or the speed (MHz) is that important for RAM? I mean, will I see a big difference between 32 GB 1GHz and 32GB 1,8GHz?

    Sixth : The HDD and SSD, well, the HDD is alright for me, but the SSD... I never used one before. But I heard they run a lot faster than HDD. So when it's time to load game, it takes a lot less time. I'm for it and would like to get a SSD. But I heard that if I take something like 1 TB for a SSD, I would be very disappointed because it would run slower, almost like a normal HDD. Is that true? If it is, what's the best size for a SSD?

    Finnaly : The PSU, if I want multiple graphics card, a very powerful CPU, a lot of RAM, a good HDD and a SSD, what do I need as PSU? For example, if I takes those as requirement :
    CPU requiring 500 watt
    2xGPU requiring 600 watt each
    RAM requiring 300 watt
    What is required? 500+600+600+300+every single requirement? or only the biggest ammount, 600 watt in this case? Also, if I want more GPU later, is there a way to have more wire on the PSU so I can link more of them?
     


  2. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Too long to get into detail form my phone, but anyway...

    Motherboard contains the chipset, controllers, ports and busses for everything to connect to. What makes one better than another is the amount of features it contains and the quality of parts to allow better overclocking. None of this is overly important as long as you pick one compatible with your CPU and RAM with enough PCIe x16 ports for the number of graphics cards you want to put in.

    CPU, most motherboards have one CPU socket. Some workstation grade motherboards have two sockets. Servers can run parallel slates with a CPU in each. I believe this is beyond the scope of what you're doing so stick to motherboards with one CPU.

    RAM, few people will ever get a benefit from more than 6GB of RAM, but getting 8GB is recommended. Most DDR3 kits are 1333Mhz, but the bus can handle up to 1600Mhz before overclocking. DDR4 starts higher. Few people can tell the difference in speed or latency so just make sure it's compatible with your motherboard/CPU.

    Graphics, the rule of thumb is the higher the model number (950, 970, 980, Titan, etc) the more expensive and more powerful it is. Anything can run blurays fine but if you want to play games at 1080p, you want a 950 minimum. If you're playing 4K resolution, you want either a GTX 980 Ti or two or more 970 Ti in SLI. Make sure your motherboard has enough slots for multiple graphics cards and your power supply is strong enough to handle it (e.g 650-750W for two or 850W for 3).

    One graphics card can run 2-4 screens, depending on which ports are in the back and which ports the screens use. Note that using more screens produces more load so you may need more graphics cards to share that load.

    HDD vs SSD, HDD has much larger capacity and is cheaper, but slow. SSDs can load Windows, games and apps much faster, but once they are loaded you won't notice any difference. SSDs are also much more expensive for their capacity. It's generally recommended for one SSD for the OS and commonly used apps/games and a HDD for data like music, pics, movies and less often used games. 120GB is minimum recommended but 250GB is much more comfortable to me. Also, bigger SSDs like 500-1000GB are faster than 120-250GB SSDs.

    Single GPU systems use less than 450W. The bigger and more GPUs a system has, the more power it consumes and the better the PSU you need. Make sure to get a known brand PSU because no-name PSUs not only fail to meet their stated specs but are also a fire hazard (they explode if overloaded, with black smoke and everything).
     
  3. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    Originality covered most of it pretty thoroughly, the only thing I'm going to add to is your question about the PSU. You should always base your PSU by what graphics card you are getting, because the spec sheets of those already assume that you have a CPU, RAM, stuff like that set up. So if you're getting a single GPU I'd recommend getting at LEAST a 650 watt PSU (going off of your specs of one needing 600 watts), if you're getting two you'll want to bump it up to 750-850 watts. I also HIGHLY recommend getting a PSU that is at least 80+ Silver certified, preferably 80+ Gold or Platinum, as that will help you save money in your energy bill later on



    Also, like what Originality said, motherboards should be bought based on manufacturer quality and desired features, there's no real unit of measurement to go off of
     
  4. Noctosphere
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    Noctosphere Moon furries | Official follower of Skiddon't-ism

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    Alright, so the number of bus for graphics card is based on the motherboard right?
    but I just need more specification about the psu, if i have two graphics card that require 750watt each, then what is the MINIMUM of watt needed for the psu, I know i should take few watt more than the minimum, but i want to know the minimum
     
  5. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Okay...Originality already laid out the most important stuff. I'll see if I can add some things.

    First off...if you're building a PC, make sure it's balanced. There is a bottleneck in every PC which will slow the rest down in terms that it won't increase things much or at all. There are more sites like logical increments, but don't go too far of their recommendations. And if you start out with just a budget, it's almost easy enough to pick blind.


    1. the motherboard. Aside from the case, I'd make this the last one to pick (aside from the case). Depending on what brand of CPU and memory you go by, you won't have much choices here anyway. Overclocking might be an option, but others may have more USB ports or higher ones (USB 2, 3 or even one of those new 'c'-ones). In my case I went with more USB ports vs better overclocking (which I don't regret...I didn't bought it for the most demanding games).

    2. CPU's have multiple cores nowadays, but multiple CPU's? There won't be many motherboards for it, but if you REALLY wanted to I guess you can. Maybe? I dunno. For home use, I'd just go with one.

    3. just check some sites that test out different graphic cards (or even pit them against one another...like this one). The GHz (or 'billion calculations per second'*) thing was used as a measurement in CPU's some years back, but then processors started diverging in the way they calculated things, so it wasn't a valid option anymore. All in all, just go with the frames per second and your budget (and perhaps the size...though that's only a factor if you go with a small PC case).

    4. yes, the motherboard needs to support it (as well as room in the PC case). Also note that plenty of single graphic cards also allow you to output to two screens (mine certainly does...a GTX760). No idea how to configure them to work in tandem, though. I assume it's automatically (when using two of the same card), but better check elsewhere.

    5. RAM is the amount of memory. More allows for more tasks/programs running at the same time. It hasn't been a bottleneck for quite some time. 8 GB is enough, 16 is plenty and anything above is just overkill. I never even heard of a speed difference measured in GHz.

    6. I can't but fully agree with Originality here. Keep in mind though, that "HDD" is short for "hard drive". SSD (Solid State Disk) is a type of hard drive, which is noticeably faster than SATA (Serial...erm...something). SSD's have become cheaper and larger in size in the past few years, but it's only a question if they'll ever replace SATA. The reason is that the latter isn't bad for the majority of cases, and AFAIK still more reliable in the long run**.
    What you can do is buy an SSD to hold windows, office suit and most daily programs...and a SATA drive for movies, music, pictures and low-tier games.

    7. sorry, but this is outside my expertise. I admit I used logical increments and asked around if the used PSU was good enough (it was). As such, I don't think I can give proper advise here. :(


    A question of my own: will you use the stock cooler for the CPU? While it's obviously built for its purpose, it's not much of a cost for an upgrade for a larger and usually more quiet fan.


    All in all: good luck. :)




    *Hertz is basically a measurement of "one per second". In this case: calculations a computer handles. G, or Giga, stands for 10^9...so it's a milliard or a billion (not sure if this is an American vs English-English thing).
    **no, they won't just die on you. But I've had it that I had a warning that my SSD was reaching the recommended amount of reads/writes, and that I should consider replacing them.
     
  6. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    Here, I think this is what you're looking for: http://www.corsair.com/en-us/psu-finder

    Edit: The results it gives you will be minimum recommended, and you don't necessarily need to buy the model Corsair offers you, just use the wattage as a guideline
     
    Last edited by TotalInsanity4, Oct 18, 2015
  7. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    One small note, to use multiple graphics cards in tandem (SLI or Crossfire X), on a motherboard that supports it, you need to bridge them using a small bridge cable that connects to the top of each graphics card.

    Picture example:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    As for the other question on minimum power requirements for graphics cards, there is only one way to find out. Pick a graphics card model (e.g. GTX 980 Ti), go on the manufacturers website (nVidia) and look at the specs. At the bottom you will find the peak power draw, and recommended PSU. The peak power draw is your minimum (without calculating the system usage), and the recommended is the recommended for a full system with one graphics card to run without problems.

    Edit for the lazy, in the example above, 250W is the peak power draw of the 980 Ti, and 600W is recommended. I imagine overclocked third party models (e.g. EVGA superclocked models) will have a higher power draw, but that's missing the whole point of the answer.
     
    Last edited by Originality, Oct 18, 2015
  8. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    Actually, AMD does CrossFire through the motherboard now. As for NVidia, most respectable motherboards will come with an SLI bridge
     
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  9. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    That explains how modern motherboards are compatible with both these days. You learn something new...
     
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  10. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Only started fairly recently. Bridgeless crossfire started with the r9 290.


    However, it has nothing to do with whether a board is compatible with both or not. Boards still come with both, my gigabyte x99-sli supports both standards and came with both an sli bridge and a crossfire bridge. So you can use either, regardless of whether it's a card that supports bridgeless or not. Old board (990fx sabertooth) has both and comes with both bridges and was out before bridgeless crossfire was a thing.
     
    Last edited by Armadillo, Oct 18, 2015
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  11. DarkFlare69

    DarkFlare69 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    You will never, ever see a difference between 12, 16, and 32GB lf RAM.
     
  12. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Except if you do a lot of video rendering/editing or similar. That stuff eats RAM like it was candy.
     
  13. DarkFlare69

    DarkFlare69 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    When I use Vegas Pro to save videos in 1080p30, it never uses more than 4gb... it uses my cpu tho
     
  14. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    If you use a lot of programs at once or do a ton of both video editing and transcoding you might benefit from more than 8 Gigs of RAM, but as of current I agree 8GB max is the sweet spot
     
  15. RandomUser

    RandomUser What has gotten into you Rosie?

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    I do:creep: LOL, I don't think I could get by with less then 160 to 200GB of RAM.
    Also don't forget about RAM disk too. Those things eats RAM too. I think running Windows in RAM will prolong SSD drive, as RAM is volatile memory, and suffers virtually zero read/write cycles. It's like I am booting into a freshly installed OS every time. Also a simple reboot will eliminate some virus and malware infection. My sweet spot is 256GB for me, and my rig can be upgraded with even more RAM, if I so desire. However in the OP case, perhaps 8GB of RAM would be suitable for him.

    @Noctosphere
    Seriously, don't go crazy like me, I think a consumer grade computer will suite you just fine with a single socket CPU motherboard. If you do want to go crazy like me, just make sure you have lots-o-money to burn. Since you are planing to build your own computer, then even a rig like mine could be affordable or still out of reach. The parts are a lot harder to source, and is generally 4x as expensive as your average consumer grade hardware, however is much more robust machine.
    The nice thing about consumer grade computers, they are easily affordable, so that once you feel your current one a-la future build computer comes to it useful life, then rebuild another one with up to date specs. No need for robustness as again they are fairly cheap and generally should be replace every 5 years or less. Other people opinion will differ though, just go with how you feel when it's useful life is up.
     
  16. Minox

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    Considering how cheap RAM is nowadays I would not go with anything less than 16GB for a new build. It might not be needed today, but in the event that something would require more RAM you'd already have it.
     
  17. JoostinOnline

    JoostinOnline Certified Crash Test Dummy

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    In which case you would just buy an additional 8GB when the time comes. Most motherboards come with 4 slots.
     
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  18. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Filling all 4 tends to limit overclocks though, as it puts more strain on the memory controller. So if you intend to overclock, it's something to take into consideration. Memory prices also tend to be volatile, so if you might want 16GB at some point, grabbing it while cheap (not much difference beween 8 & 16 now), may be the wise thing to do, in case it shoots up in price (happened many times with ddr3).
     
  19. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    Now that DDR4 is mainstream there should be a 2ish year window where DDR3 gets much cheaper
     
  20. AnukWolf

    AnukWolf GBAtemp Regular

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    I had 8GB of RAM for quite some time but recent games like ARK, Star Citizen and GTA V really consumed most of that (I even had some out of memory errors due to that),
    so I'd really recommend to get 16GB. Doesn't make a huge difference in price anyway nowadays.
     
    Last edited by AnukWolf, Oct 19, 2015