Digital Media Concepts/Custom Built Computer
Building a computer is a good alternative to getting a PC (personal computer) and is a great way to balance out between cost and quality of parts especially if you're on a budget. Custom building a pc is also a good way to build a low-high end computer for cheaper than buying a pre-built computer from BestBuy, Walmart, Amazon, etc. When building your own computer, you have a variety of parts to choose from rather than a pre-built computer. For example, you're able to choose your own CPU, Graphics Card, Motherboard that fits you whether you're gaming, streaming, video editing, etc. Whereas in a pre-built your stuck with the parts already in they system and some of the components don't fit your needs.
Building your own computer is a lot cheaper than buying a computer. You have many options to choose from and you're able to control what parts go into your system whereas in a pre-built your stuck with the parts already in it. For example, when comparing Dell's Alienware Area-51 Gaming Desktop for retail price of $6,999.99 vs custom building a pc with the same exact parts or similar and we're able to cut the price to $4,475.30. This is a huge advantage to building your own computer and and you'll save $2,524.69. I used PcPartPicker to put together the list of components for the custom built pc. That's almost half the price of the pre-built. Below is a table comparing the two prices.
|Hardware||Custom Built PC||Alienware-51|
|Intel Core i9-9980XE (CPU)||$1945.99||-|
|Cooler Master ML120 (COOLER)||$49.99||-|
|MSI X299M (MOBO)||$281.99||-|
|G.Skills Ripjaws 64GB 2400mhz (RAM)||$279.99||-|
|Western Digital 2TB M.2 (SSD)||$236.62||-|
|Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5 (HDD)||$85.87||-|
|EVGA Geforce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB (GPU)||$1069.99||-|
|NZXT H500 (CASE)||$89.98||-|
|Silverstone 1500W 80+ Silver (PSU)||$334.99||-|
|Windows 10 Home (OS)||$99.89||-|
Another advantage to building your own PC is that you'll see a significantly huge performance boost. For example, consoles such as Playstation 4 and Xbox One are locked to 60 Frames Per Second (FPS), whereas computers have unlocked FPS. Having a higher frame rate makes you game play look incredibly more smoother. There are high refresh monitors such as a 144hz or 240hz for computers that are able to get over 100+ FPS. What this means is that the monitor is displaying frames at a higher rate versus a console that can only up to 60 FPS. Below is a chart comparing a Ryzen 2600 + Nvidia RTX 2060 and Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch when bench marking Fortnite.
When comparing the 3 devices, we see that the custom built computer is significantly out performing the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch in Fortnite on High Settings with an average of 149 Frames Per Second).
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The CPU which stands for central processing unit is the primary unit of the computer. The 2 most popular CPU brands are Intel and AMD. It processes data and it's job is to run the operating system like Windows or Mac, run applications browser, games, editing software. The CPU will contain a processor that calculates performance, having 2 processors is called a Dual-Core and having 4 processors are called a Quad-Core. High end systems will having anywhere fro 6-12 cores, sometimes even more. Having more cores helps runs applications better like games or editing software and will help with performance.
Graphics Card (GPU)
The GPU which stands for graphical processing unit and is also referred to as a video card. There are many manufactures that makes graphics cards such as, NVIDIA, EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte, Zotac, etc. The job of the graphics card/video card is to output images to a monitor or any other type of display device. There are also dedicated graphics that are built into a CPU like majority of Intel's processors like the Intel Core i3-8100 or Ryzen 5 3400g, they have integrated graphics built into them that don't require an external graphics card. Many laptops use dedicated graphics into their CPU because they have limited space. High end gaming laptops like Alienware's Gaming Laptop that has dedicated graphics using a RTX 2070.
The motherboard is the main circuit of your system that connects everything together. The motherboard holds other hardware of the system and allows them to function like the CPU. GPU, RAM and storage. Motherboards are found on all types of computers like laptops, desktops, macs, etc. It also allows you to connect peripherals such as mouse, keyboard and other usb devices such as a headset. Intel and AMD both have unique motherboards that are only compatible with their own series of CPU's, for example, an Intel Core i7-9700k will require a Z390, Z370 or a LGA 1151 motherboard while a AMD Ryzen 9 3900x will require a B450, X470 or a X570 motherboard. These motherboards have a special type of chip set that will only work with the CPU specified for them.
RAM which is short for "Random Access Memory" is a component that temporarily stores information that your system will use right now and later in the future. Ram comes in sizes anywhere from 1GB-128GB, the most common amount of ram used in modern computers will use around 8GB. Having more ram is essential to keeping your computer run more efficient, it's recommended to use at least 16GB for gaming and video software like rendering. Ram is a important component to heavy based applications such as games or video software so having more ram helps run these applications more efficiently and effectively.
Power Supply (PSU)
The Power Supply (PSU) supplies the system power from an electrical outlet and converts from AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current). It also regulates the voltage so the system doesn't burn out and is able to run smoothly. The system cannot power up without and gives power to the rest of the components. Power supplies differ in wattages anywhere from 300W-2000W, your wattage depends on how much your computer uses. Heavily powered components will require a higher power supply wattage.
The computer case also known as a "tower" or "chassis" houses all of the components in the system like the CPU, GPU, MOBO, RAM, Storage, PSU, etc. Cases come in many different types and some even including a plastic or glass side so you can see inside your system.
- "Prebuilt vs Custom PC - Why You Should Buy A Prebuilt PC Now". WePC.com. 2018-04-06. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
- "r/pcgaming - Does more FPS on a lower refresh rate monitor make a difference?". reddit. Retrieved 2019-09-27.
- "CPU (Central Processing Unit) Definition". techterms.com. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
- "GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) Definition". techterms.com. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
- "Motherboard Definition". techterms.com. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
- "Memory Definition". techterms.com. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
- "Power Supply Definition". techterms.com. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
- "System Unit Definition". techterms.com. Retrieved 2019-10-01.