Putting together a computer

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You can buy a complete computing system, or put one together yourself
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How to put together a computer that will serve all your needs

When you are on the lookout for a new computer, there are a couple of different ways you can go.

You can always purchase a model that is already completely assembled, and take the screens and hard drives that a place like Best Buy will lay out for you. If you want to be a little more original, or if you have an idea of what you want your computer to do best, you can work on putting together a computer piece by piece. This method allows you to choose the best hard drive for your needs, the best screen and a whole host of other aspects that can be tailored to your needs.

When putting together a computer, there are several different places you can start. There are a huge variety of components you can choose, but there are a couple of basic needs you will have to go with in order to get your perfect computer.

What are you using your computer for

The first step is to actually figure out what you are going to be using your computer for the most. If you are going with just a basic home computer set up in order to do a little work, or for the kids to do their homework, then you aren't going to need a really powerful CPU or graphics engine.

If however, the purpose for the computer is to play a bunch of today's best games, then you are going to want to have a higher quality graphics and video card such as ATI or nVidia and a great high speed processor as well.

When looking at the kind of screen you should get, there are a number of different factors you can take into account. The computer screen isn't actually going to be the most important part of the machine, but if you want to play a lot of games or watch a lot of movies on it then you are going to want to get the best of the best.


Memory and storage is a big part of anyone's chosen computer. Figuring out how much memory you need again comes down to how you are actually going to use your computer. If you plan to watch quite a few movies or store a lot of music and games on your hard drive you are going to want to have quite a bit of storage space.

The good news is that if your hard drive falls short, you can always purchase an external hard drive. Storage is always going to be something you pay attention to especially if you are going to be using this as a computer for the whole family and their media. With the birth of iTunes, more people are keeping their entire library of movies and music on their computer. Running out of memory can be easier than it used to be.


When weighing what you should do when you are building your own computer, it helps to take a side by side comparison of the kind of components you want to add to your computer and what the purchase price of just a pre-packaged computer will run you. 

For the most part, buying different components here and there is going to cost you a little less than buying a prepackaged computer, mainly because you can skimp here and there, and invest elsewhere. If your computer is just going to be used for homework, for example, you don't have to get the best storage or screen in the market.

You can make the conscious choice to save money from time to time on different parts or even wait until a part that isn't totally needed, like external storage to go down in price.

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