Building a Computer - Beginner's resources
Recently I got a question from someone asking for some resources for how to build a computer, what parts to buy, and how to know what the best parts are. I figured I’d take some time to really flesh something out and create something worthwhile for them. So I compiled a bunch of YouTube links (mostly videos from LinusTechTips or TechQuickie), giving each one a title that gives the reader a good idea of what to expect from the video.
Not only does it provide them all the resources you need, it also allows for picking and choosing depending on what information you’re looking for at the time.
What follows is (almost) verbatim what I wrote to this person.
PCPartPicker is your best bet for finding not only the best price on parts, but also making sure that your parts are compatible. With PCPartPicker, you can check for wattage requirements, whether your motherboard will be compatible with your CPU, and whether or not you can get a better price from a lesser known retailer. I like to buy local when possible, as well.
There are tons of online courses for building a computer but you’re just as good sticking with what’s freely available. Down below you’ll find links for basically anything you might need to know as a beginner building your first computer. Don’t get too bogged down by some of the specifics, this is your first computer you’re building. You’re not expected to know everything and feel free to reach out on forums.level1techs.com or linustechtips.com if you have any questions before pulling the trigger on buying parts.
Techquickie, LinusTechTips, and more give great easy breakdowns for various things like:
CPUs: What the letters in a name mean, How they differ from GPUs, What is clock speed?, General shopping tips, What is a chipset?
GPUs: The basics (not Techlinked, but you’ll recognize the same people), How they fare against integrated graphics, Why there are many manufacturers of Graphics cards, General shopping tips
RAM: How much you need, Whether more will make your computer faster (a little more exploratory/testing type video), Different channel entirely: What is ram?
Storage: What is NVMe (tl;dw: It’s really fast storage), What is M.2 (tl;dw: It’s a form factor of SSD), Why SSD is better(it’s faster and can last longer), How to understand specs and benchmarks
Power supply: How to choose the one you need, What is modular?, What is 80-plus?, Is more wattage better?
Fans & Cooling: What to choose/how to install, Kinds of case fans, Static pressure vs high airflow, Is water cooling better?, What cooling options do I have?, Reasons to not water cool, Water cooling options, Custom water cooling (not recommended for a first build)
Case/Chassis: General shopping tips, Case sizes, “Quiet” PCs
Motherboard: What is a motherboard?, General shopping tips, More expensive = better?, It can be confusing, Mobo sizes, Mobo connectors
There are surely more videos that I could include here but after checking out one or two for each part (especially the general shopping tips ones), you should have a general idea of how to shop for each part.
For building, there are numerous build guides out there but I would always swear by Linus Tech Tips:
Cool POV build guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7MYOpFONCU
AMD Ryzen build guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zt1P41pjE4
My favourite PC build video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8NFhjj0bUk
RGB Build guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M30fAvrpj18
A playlist of all the LTT build and buyer’s guides: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFUrdc8CEoo&list=PL8mG-RkN2uTwlcLU_rv29Gt4578XfgJm_
I hope this helps and I’ll be happy to answer any questions either on Mastodon or via email 😊