As opposed to a prebuilt computer, a custom-built PC is a computer that's built and customized to meet specific consumer needs. People build computers for gaming, video and photo editing, animation, web browsing, and productivity needs. Different parts of the computer are prioritized based on the functions required by the builder. Individual components, like the graphics card, CPU (central processing unit), case, and motherboard, are usually purchased separately to find the best prices and save money on the completed system.
Websites, like PC Part Picker, are a helpful resource for putting together a list of required parts to build a computer system. Components can be sorted by price and functionality, and checked for compatibility with other selected components. They can then be purchased from online retailers, like Amazon, Newegg, and B&H.
Custom computers may take time and research to build, but are less expensive than a prebuilt computer with the same hardware and more personalized.
What do I need to build a PC?
To build a computer, you need to acquire the necessary components for your system. These requirements can change based on the needs of the user. For reference, a list of parts used in a typical desktop computer is listed below.
In addition to the components, you need a few tools for assembling a computer. While some tools may be included with a component purchase, it's not always guaranteed the required tools are provided. Below is a list of commonly used tools for PC assembly.
- A Phillips-head screwdriver.
- Thermal paste for application to the CPU.
- ESD (electrostatic discharge) wrist strap.
- Containers for organizing the various screws involved.
- A flashlight or light source.
- Spare screws of varying sizes.
- Cable-management ties for cables inside the computer.