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Never Buy an Off-The-Shelf Computer Again

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Take Control of Your PC

We’ve all done it, walking through the electronics department and a gleam catches your eye. You hurry over to a display housing the newest, shiniest mainstream PC available. Your current computer only has 8GB of RAM, so you’re drooling over the 16GB this beast is packing. The latest iteration of Intel’s Quad-Core i5 processor is proudly touted on the case badges. Do I need to go on? Shake yourself from this fantasy and glance down at the price tag. That’s right, it’s probably around $1500 for tech that’s at least two generations behind what’s available to anyone brave enough to build their own computer. Here’s what you need to know to never buy an off-the-shelf computer again.

Where to Put Your Money

There are three parts that should get the lion’s share of your budget. The CPU (central processing unit), GPU (video card), and the motherboard. If you’re planning on doing a lot of graphics-heavy gaming, you’ll want your video card to be the priority. However, a hefty CPU would be a better focus in a work-at-home computer for any kind of content creation. Before you start looking at cases and cool, flashy parts like LED lighting, be sure your main functional components are up to the level you need them to be.

Do Some Research

There’s a ton of information out there on how to assemble a custom PC. Watch videos and read product reviews. If you don’t know what something means in the specs of one of your components, look it up so you can be as informed as possible when picking out your parts. NewEgg.com has some great information (and great products) to help you along. When you’re shopping for parts, keep compatibility in mind, and make sure they’re made to work together. This is especially important for the CPU and motherboard. Each motherboard out there is designed to fit a specific size, or socket, of CPU.

Just Breathe and Have Fun

Going on this journey for the first time can feel overwhelming because you can’t exactly call Dell and yell at them that your computer crashed, but there is support out there for home-built PC’s. If you buy your parts from a reputable retailer, they’ll usually have some sort of support department you can call to help you troubleshoot, not to mention there are countless PC building forums where you can get questions answered and look for ideas. As always, you can also contact us for more ideas or information.

Don’t panic if things don’t work right the first time, there’s help for you, all you have to do is reach out. Once you’ve got it put together and working though, it’s a feeling like no other and will be well worth the headache of getting things running. Your rig will be exponentially better for the same, or sometimes less, money than you’d spend on a pre-built PC.

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