Buying a computer

Here is my thought processes when purchasing components for a new PC. I usually buy my stuff from newegg.ca. Watch out for shipping costs.

Newegg -> All Products -> Components ->*

You need to make sure these filters are set every time you pick a new component. Common Filters:

  • Sold By: Newegg
  • Sort By: Lowest Price
  • Condition: New

CPU

  • AMD is cheaper than Intel
  • Good choices: Ryzen 3 (quad core), Ryzen 5 (six core), Ryzen 7 (eight core)
  • Ryzen CPU’s are all AM4 socket
  • Check https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php for comparing speeds

Motherboards

  • Select socket (ie. AM4)
  • PCI Express 3.0 x16 (at least one slot for video card)
  • Number of Memory Slots: at least 4 (for future upgrading)
  • Take note of:
    • Memory type/speeds supported (ie. DDR4 3000/2600)
    • Form factor (ie. Micro ATX) (For choosing a case)
    • SATA 6GB/s ports (For hard drives)
    • Make it has a LAN port
    • Make sure it has audio ports
    • USB 3.0 or 3.1 ports

Memory

  • Capacity: 8GB per module 2x8GB - Fills 2 of the 4 slots to allow future expansion.
  • Match type and speeds from motherboard (ie. DDR4 3000/2600)

Power Supply

  • Modular is nice
  • Make sure it has enough watts to support CPU and Video Card

SSD for system drive

  • 2.5" drive is fine (SATA 3)
  • Possibly an M.2 form factor but make sure motherboard supports it. No real advantage over 2.5" SATA 3.
  • 240GB or more

HDD for media/games/etc

  • Optional, but if not getting it, make sure your SSD is big enough!
  • Something large, like 2TB+

Case

  • Make sure your motherboard form factor fits (ie. Micro ATX)
  • Looks for 2.5" bays if needed
  • If it has more than 1 fan, you may want to make sure the motherboard has more than 1 external fan header.

Video Card

  • I prefer NVidia over ATI.
  • GTX or RTX series. Ti is better than non-Ti.
  • Check https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php for benchmarks.
  • Make sure it’s PCI 3.0 x16 (ie. your motherboard has to support it)
  • More ram on video is better. 4gb, 6gb, 8gb, +
  • If you want dual monitor, make sure your monitors/video card has the correct connectors (DVI, HDMI, etc)

Other

  • If you want SLI (dual video card):
    • Get a supporting motherboard, power supply, and video cards.
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