Friday, April 19, 2019

A Guide to PC Building

Article Written By: Kevin Didi


Custom PC building has become very popular in the past years, allowing technology enthusiasts to have more freedom in their system’s capabilities. Assembling a PC also creates an exhilarating experience, and many take pride in their final build. This article will explore three basic level PC builds: an office build, an entry-level build, and a gaming build.

Note that each of these builds does not include peripherals, like a mouse or a keyboard, or an operating system. Different vendors sell peripherals for different prices, and it is recommended to find suitable peripherals depending on the computer’s purpose. Many sources also offer Windows 10 for relatively cheap prices, and Microsoft has allowed users to transfer Windows licenses to new computers. The Microsoft support website can be accessed for further questions regarding Windows options.

If you enjoyed this special article, make sure to comment below if you’re interested in more articles on specific types of PCs.

Office Build

This PC was built with a $500 CAD price tag in mind. It is designed for simple home office work, optimized for light workloads like internet browsing, movie streaming, and Microsoft Office.

The CPU, the Intel Pentium G4560, is certainly powerful enough to handle most office workloads, and for a cheap price. The G4560 is also well built with integrated graphics, which means that graphics cards aren’t necessary, which would otherwise add over $300 to the build. The chosen B250M motherboard includes 2 DIMM slots which allow for future upgradability.

A parametric filter is being used for the memory to choose the best 8GB kit with dual channel, at speeds above DDR4-2800. This works well with upgradability since many new PCs are looking at faster memory speeds. A filter is also applied to storage, where an SSD is recommended due to how it makes office work much faster compared to a traditional HDD. Once again, this can be upgraded to increase capacity.

A MicroATX Mid Tower case by Thermaltake is also included, which includes great cable routing options and a number of hard drive bays for a relatively low cost. The EVGA 500W 80+ certified also shares similar features, low cost for decent power efficiency. The power supply allows for up to 500 watts of power, which is more than enough to allow for a smooth working environment. To finish the build, an optical drive and a Wi-Fi adapter is needed to allow for increased functionality and flexibility needed in office work.

Entry-Level Build

This PC was built with a $1100 CAD price tag in mind. It is designed for a decent gaming performance as well as simple office work. As the build name suggests, it is a great option for people who are just beginning their PC building adventure and are looking for opportunities to expand and upgrade their system.

The CPU and motherboard, a Ryzen 5 2600 and B450 AORUS, offer a great gaming performance considering its low price compared to similar Intel counterparts. At 3.4 GHz, the Ryzen 5 can easily be overclocked using Gigabyte’s UEFI systems. Ryzen’s stock Wraith Stealth cooler also works great and is quiet compared to other coolers on the market.

Storage and memory are once again on a parametric filter, for 16 GB of DDR4-3000 RAM, ensuring that this PC will last for many years. A 256GB SSD will allow for Windows 10 and other common software such as the Microsoft Office Suite, and a 1TB HDD allows the storage of large games.

The graphics card is an MSI Radeon RX 580 8GB. The RX 580 is a “bang for the buck” (good value for its performance) kind of part, where it performs very well for its low price of $290 CAD. The software that AMD includes with its GPUs is also decent for recording gameplay.

Lastly, a Phanteks ATX Mid case and a 550W 80+ Bronze semi-modular power supply finish off the build. Both of these items are at a great price for their value.

High End Build

This PC was built with some of the best parts in mind, and a $2250 CAD budget. It is designed for a great gaming experience for a reasonable price. In addition, it has many features which can be upgraded in the future.

The build starts out with an Intel Core i7-9700K, a Corsair H100i liquid cooler, and an ASUS Prime Z390. Each of these parts is designed for high end gaming and streaming. The 9700K’s 8 cores allow for seamless video rendering and streaming, which is powerful enough for both recording game footage or just simple video editing. The silent but powerful functionality of an AIO liquid cooler keeps CPU temperatures low, and the ASUS motherboard allows for quick and easy overclocking and RGB sync using ASUS’ Aura Sync software.

The memory remains the same as the previous build, with a 16GB kit of DDR4-3000. The motherboard’s DIMM slots allow for a memory upgrade down the road, where additional memory can be added. 16 GB is also enough to provide exceptional streaming and gaming performance.

The Samsung 970 Pro M.2 SSD, one of the fastest and popular SSDs currently available, is also added. It also makes use of the motherboard’s M.2 slot. Similar to the last build, a 1.5 to 2 TB HDD is added, which is able to store games and video footage for streaming and recording.

The powerhouse of this build, a Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 features Nvidia’s raytracing features (check out this article to learn about raytracing!) and offers some of the best performance available. The RTX 2070 is well suited for video rendering and streaming, as well as smooth and quick gameplay.

Finishing off this build is the Cooler Master MasterBox Pro 5 RGB ATX Mid which sports some very useful cable management routes and RGB strips. When paired up with the Aura Sync software and external RGB strips, allow for full customizability of RGB LEDs. There is also an 850 W 8+ gold EVGA power supply, which is more than enough to handle the parts and any overclocking features.

Image Credit: ASUStek Computer Inc.

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