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Introduction

We all know what makes a pc run; hard drives, processors, memory, etc... But how do all the parts interrelate and how do they function together to operate efficiently and effectively?. On this website, i will explain how to build a powerful computer, the specifications for each part and how the specs are important for building a fast, reliable and efficient PC. I will also note any potential problems that can appear during the design and construction phase.


Questions to ask

Before you start designing and building a computer system, the most important questions to ask are as follows:

What am I going to do with this computer?

How much can i afford to spend?

How many years will this machine last?


What am I going to do with this computer?

This may sound quite strange, but this is the most important questions to ask because this question affects, the specifications, the price and the lifespan of the computer. Using Intel's i series processors, the i3, i5, and i7 as a baseline comparison for performance, this can start from approximately €400 for an i3 and go up to €2000 and more for an i7 series computer.

Breaking down the processors into simpler terms


Processor Level What can it Do? Price
i3 Entry Level Most of the basic operations and a few low level games. €429
i5 Midrange Level More advanced games, and more graphic intensive projects. €639
i7 Top Level Anything and everything €999

As you can see, building an i7 series computer for basic tasks would be needlessly expensive, and cutting corners on cost means you are limited as to what projects you can do now and in the the future. This is the balance every technician must find when he/she is hired to build a computer system.


How much can i afford to spend?

Defining a budget with your client, or yourself is vital to the project. Unfortunately, it is very easy to get carried away with the design and overlook the total cost of parts. Remember, that all parts cost money, even the very small ones such as hard drive mounts and cables, and this oversite can drive up the total cost quite quickly. Remember, that that bigger specs is not always necessary. For example, You can save money by dropping the capacity of the hard drive, or using less ram. A 1TB 7200rpm drive is the same speed as a 500GB, and 32Gb of ram is not going to give you much more performance than 16GB on an i3 processor. Using the first question as your starting point, design a basic spec within your budget. It is also recocmmended that you shop around for off the shelf, or online parts and you will be suprised as to how much you can save by sourcing parts from different vendors. In the Contact page, i have included a few draft documents that might make budgeting a system a little easier.


How many years will this machine last?

Designing a computer system to last a certain amount of time is called future proofing. Basically, it means building a computer with a very high and modern specification so it will last and be reasonably up to date for at least 5 years before the next evolutionary leap in technology. This is quite hard to do and requires building an expensive system using the latest processor and fastest memory currently available. This technique requires a large amount of research to see if the specs currently available are up to date, and if not, when will the next generation of technology become available. From experience, chasing the next great advancement could mean waiting another year or more so its worth noting that a high end power computer at the current high specifications, with regular servicing and minor updates will still be quite powerful three years from now.