The hardware you need to build a computer can easily be found at many online retailers. An online retailer will usually have the lowest prices and offer you the most bang for you buck. Online retailers can also offer a service of showing which parts are often matched with one another. so you can see some of the part combination’s that others have put together as well.
Choose the processor or CPU that you intend to use. Whether this is an Intel or AMD processor is not the point. Your PC parts and build will be determined largely by the processor that you buy. Make sure to buy a processor that is the latest socket type. Intel changes their most up to date processor socket about every 2 years. AMD tends to hold onto their socket styles much longer than that. And AMD processors are usually backward compatible so even if you only wish to upgrade to the latest CPU you often can just install it in your older motherboard. AMD’s AM3 can often be used in their AM2+ and AM2 sockets. you can’t do this with Intel CPU’s.
CPU cooler; depending on the type of PC you plan to build you may need a better CPU cooler than comes with the CPU. Stock CPU coolers are not the greatest and often do not do an adequate job of keeping the CPU cool.
Now choose the motherboard. you know what CPU you wish to use, now the motherboard is the next logical step. The motherboard is one of the most important components of any computer system. most computer shoppers do not give them much thought though. Make sure your motherboard has all the connections and features that you need. Don’t cut corner on the motherboard, good motherboards should be over one hundred US dollars. Some of the really nice motherboards are over two hundred dollars. Firewire, toslink, multichannel audio outputs, and video outputs are just some of the options to make sure you motherboard has -if you need them.
RAM or memory; they type of RAM you choose will be determined by the motherboard. you will not be able to swap DDR2 for DDR3 RAM on the same motherboard. Motherboards are RAM specific. Make sure to get the correct type of RAM for your system.
Hard Drives; the hard drive or drives you choose to use in your system will have an affect on your overall PC performance. Slower drives will read and write slower and bog down the PC. The fastest hard drives are solid state drives. after that a 15,000 RPM drive would be next fastest. most computers though use a standard 7200 RPM disc drive. They are inexpensive and offer acceptable performance.
The Case; getting a good case for your PC is actually more important than you might think. you need a case that has a good flow of air and offers slots and locations for all your equipment and components. I would also encourage 2 to 3 places to accept large 120mm case fans.The larger case fans will offer better cooling and lower noise than smaller high RPM fans.
DVD and Blu Ray Drives; these are basic optical disc drives. Whether you need a blu ray player drive or not is another discussion. but here is where you should make that decision.
Power supply unit; also known as PSU. The main consideration here is to get one that will have enough power for all of your components. there are some very high powered units available and these are usually overkill for the average consumer. A 600 to 700 watt PSU should be more than enough for most PC uses. if you need more than that you would know why you do, such as running two high powered graphics cards in crossfire or SLI mode. this, in a addition to a high powered CPU and running RAID array could warrant the higher powered PSU’s.
Thermal Compound; the compound provided with most CPU’s, north-bridge and chip sets is not high quality. I would get a tube of high quality thermal compound and spread use it for these components. Applying it is very easy. Just spread it out thin and flat with a credit card, make sure to keep it out of cracks and off the CPU pins.
Cables; most if not all of the cables you will need will be provided with the parts of your PC. The motherboard usually will come with SATA cables. The PSU comes with all the power connections for hooking to the motherboard and other PC parts. Sometimes you may need to get a special type of cable but usually everything included. in fact I have spares of just about everything laying around from multiple PC builds. I have only had to order special cables one time and it was for a specific idea that I wanted to try. you are not likely to run into this.
These are the common parts of a computer. there are other parts such as the northbridge, southbidge, audio and video chipsets but these are included in the motherboard. but again; get a quality motherboard so that you can know you are getting high quality parts in these areas.