What each component offers
Ever wondered what goes on inside that computer of yours? Does the thought of this seem very daunting?
Below we have broken down each part/component for you to learn what it does and to help you decide what is the right fit for your exact needs.
Whether you have a strict budget to stick to and want the best value for money, or if you want the best components available to future proof your computer for years to come, we can tailor every aspect to get you the perfect product.
If you would like to discuss any of these topics further please get in touch and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Your Style Your Choise
Picking the right Case/enclosure for your PC can always seem difficult as there are hundreds to choose from. But you can let your imagination run wild.
There are many options from plain and stealthy cases, Performance cases that offer the best cooling methods to optimise peak performance and maintain efficiency, Or something with colour changing RGB LED lighting to match your style or mood.
We can advise on the best option based on your requirements.
Intel or AMD? Whats the big difference?
The Processor or CPU is the brains behind any computer system. The CPU performs a set of tasks and instructions for programs and applications. CPU's come in various configurations, each offering a different amount of CPU cores and clock speeds.
The more cores a CPU has the more tasks it can perform simultaneously. Clock speed is how quickly the core can perform these tasks.
The two main brands available are Intel & AMD. each have their own pro's and cons, with certain aspects suited towards performance workload like streaming and editing, or suits towards gaming applications.
The Mother of all Boards
The Motherboard is another main component. It is the backbone of and computer and allows every component to talk to each other.
Like a CPU each Motherboard comes in various configurations, with certain boards only designed to work with certain generations and brands of Processor and other equipment. They can also offer expansion for larger PC's that require additional hardware.
There are multiple versions available all with added functions like additional PCIe slots for expansion, integrated wireless access, addressable colour changing RGB LED's and even slots to install SSD hard drives directly onto the board.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
What do the Numbers mean?
Random Access Memory or RAM is a fundamental element of any computer, providing short term storage for data that the processor uses for tasks. Not to be confused with long time storage of data on hard drives.
Increasing the amount of RAM and the Speed of it means you can use more applications simultaneously and have this information shared to the CPU quicker.
This can be one of the most cost effective ways to help speed up the performance of a computer. Adding more RAM or changing it for faster RAM can greatly increase performance without the huge costs.
Although if you want to go all out for looks and style there are even options to have your RAM come with addressable colour changing RGB lights to match with the rest of your PC.
Graphics Card (GPU)
An eye for detail.
Most computers and CPU's have built in graphics that are more than enough for everyday tasks like browsing and working. But if you want to use your computer for gaming then the integrated graphics in CPU's won't be up to the task of delivering the best display.
A dedicated graphics card uses its own dedicated graphical processor to deliver the best visual experience for your games.
Depending on how realistic you want your games to look, you can pick the right graphics card to suit your needs.
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Watt is the unit of power?
The Power supply does exactly what you think... It provides power to all of your components to run efficiently. Depending on the components you have, you may need larger power supplies to cope with the extra demand. Power supplies are rated to different Wattages or Watts. for example a small offer computer may only need a 300watt power supply as it doesn't need powerful components. Whereas a high end gaming pc with a large multi core processor, multiple hard drives, large Graphics card and several fans for cooling may require a power supply upwards of 800watts.
Premium Power supplies will have what is called an 80Plus rating. There are different clases to this rating e.g. Bronze, Gold, Platinum etc. Certification is acquired by products that have more than 80% energy efficiency at 20%, 50% and 100% of rated load
HDD vs SSD
Hard drives can be used to store large amounts of data. They are able to store your data even when computers are turned off, unlike RAM, which is short term and temporary, and loses data when it is powered off.
HDD or Hybrid Disk Drives are the most cost effective way to have large amounts of storage. They operate by using a high speed magnetic spinning disk that writes and reads digital data. HDD's are available in large volumes up to 12TB (terabytes) but as they are made up of moving parts they can be quite slow.
SSD or Solid State Drive is a device made up of integrated circuit assemblies to store data persistently. As SSD's have no moving parts they are considerably faster than HDD's and also require less power. Although being slightly more expensive than HDD's, Solid State Drives are now more commonly used as the Primary hard drive for computer system. The Primary hard drive is used to store and run the operating system of the computer. Using an SSD for this can greatly increase speed and performance of the operating system running on the computer.
M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD's: These are the newest technology available within the SSD family. a standard SSD will connect to the Motherboard and other devices using a SATA cable. This can bottleneck data transfer speeds. Most SSD's can read and write data at a rate of 600MB per second.
An M.2 NVMe PCIe connects directly to the Motherboard meaning top end M.2 SSD's can read and write data up to 4GB per second. (4000MB per second)
Using M.2 SSD's for operating systems and game storage can increase performance and decrease loading times.
Keeping things cool
Cooling is one of the most important aspects of a computer. Not only does it help keep optimised performance but it also protects your components from long term damage.
We have already discussed how we can use Case fans to have good airflow around the components and dissipate heat from the case, but what other ways can we cool components.
CPU cooling is one of the main factors to consider. The faster a processor works the hotter it will get. If it is not cooled it can damage the processor and even fail completely.
For most PC's the CPU will come with a standard cooler supplied by the manufacturer. Using the Air in and around the case to cool the CPU this will suffice for most day to day activities and light gaming but not high performance tasks.
Larger more efficient CPU coolers are available and can be a very cost effective way to keep things cool and add a nice look.
Water cooling is another option that can be suited to High end gaming machines and workstations. Two options of water cooling are All in one (AIO) and custom loop.
An all in one water cooler consists of a closed loop of radiator, fans and a CPU cooling block. The AIO is connected as one complete closed loop and cannot be opened up. this is a great way to easily install a water cooled solution to your pc.
The Second option is to Install a custom loop system. This would consist of separate CPU block, radiator, fans, reservoir, and pump. this would then need to be piped together in a custom configuration before manually adding the cooling liquid. This option is considerably more expensive than an AIO as components and extra time are required to build the system, but they can drastically change the look of the PC. A Custom loop can also integrate a GPU water block to cool the Graphics card within the same water cooled loop.
The possibilities are endless.
Windows or Linux
Every computer requires an operating system to run and perform tasks. The Most popular operating system by far for computers is the Windows based system. Currently Windows 10 is the supported product. While the majority of users will opt for the ease of the Windows based system, there is an option of running a linux based system if you prefer.