You ask, what computer parts do I need to build a PC? Do you mean you want to build your own PC? That is fantastic!
Making your own Computer from PC Components has so many benefits compared to just buying a prebuilt PC.
You have been looking forward to the delivery of each component to your house, the shiny boxes with all their components inside, not to mention researching what parts you need, which you are currently doing.
The inner workings of Hardware Components and the way they work together become much clearer when you build your own Computer.
Then you’ll be able to troubleshoot any problems much easier than when you don’t know what is going on inside your PC’s case.
Knowing how to assemble a Computer and what Parts it needs will also let you upgrade your Computer in the future.
Optimizing a computer—knowing how it works—enables you, with the appropriate knowledge, to get the best performance for your work.
Building your own computer is also a lot cheaper than buying a pre-built PC. You usually save around 30% in Cost by researching, buying your PC components separately, and assembling them yourself.
Best of all, building a Computer is so easy, it’s kind of amazing how few people actually do it!
In any case, we now know that we are on the right track in our pursuit of building our own Computer, which is probably why you came here in the first place.
What specific parts will we need to build a PC if you already know what kind of computer you need?
When building a PC, there are a lot of variables to consider. Do you want to build one to save money? Or do you want the highest levels of performance?
Each of these scenarios has the same similarities — the motherboard, processor, storage, and memory — that are responsible for most of the computing system’s performance, while the case, operating system, monitor, mouse, power supply, keyboard, and keyboard have a much smaller effect on it.
Computer Parts (PC Components) List
This Computer Parts List has everything you will need for a functioning PC:
List of Components
We should examine them in more detail:
A computer case can be described as a fancy-looking box with pre-defined areas for components to be placed and attached to. It is openable and closed, and the components cannot be moved within it.
PC Cases come in various colors, sizes, with and without fans, some have LED lights, some do not, some have glass side panels, some others look absolutely insane.
A PC Case is a black (or white) box with a few buttons on top. That is where all your components will go when you are finished building your PC.
Although you don’t need to actually have a case, you could also just set everything on the floor or mount it to the wall, some do, but the ability to grab the entire Computer by lifting the Case comes in handy.
The NZXT H500 – ATX Mid-Tower or the Phanteks Enthoo Pro are two of the most popular and often recommended cases.
A very important component follows next, the Motherboard.
The Motherboard is a Printed Circuit Board to which every other Computer Hardware Component will be attached. The Motherboard is like a central hub for managing and connecting other Hardware Components.
In addition to the Motherboard’s connectors for connectors like power cables, its slots for cards like GPUs and its CPU sockets.
There are many other little pieces, such as transistors, capacitors, jumpers, and other tiny parts, that all come together to allow your hardware components to function properly.
These are the best Motherboards to fit AMD Ryzen CPUs and Intel CPUs.
The CPU is plugged into the motherboard’s socket, which comes with a specific name such as 2066, LGA1200, AM4, TR4, and so on, and the Motherboard needs the exact same socket to be compatible with the CPU.
A CPU with a compatible socket and a Motherboard that will work best is your first step in building a computer.
Central Processing Units (CPUs) are what a computer has that the other pieces do not.
Virtually everything a computer does will require calculation by the processor in some form, so having a faster CPU will make your computer run faster.
Find the right CPU and Computer Parts for your type of Computer with the Custom PC-Builder Tool.
Everything that is powered also generates heat, and the CPU generates a great deal of heat.
This means that it should be cooled to be able to function flawlessly. What do we need for cooling a CPU? A CPU-Cooler!
CPUs such as the AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen are already produced with CPU-Coolers already included. Other CPUs, such as the popular Intel i9 8900K, are not.
Please make sure the CPU-Cooler is compatible with your CPU and Socket. This is the same as with a Motherboard Socket and CPU Socket. The Cooler must fit the CPU and Socket.
For example: Would you like to buy a CPU like the AMD Ryzen 5900X? If so, you need an AM4 motherboard and an AM4 processor cooler. That’s it!
The Air-Cooled Tower Cooler (as seen in the image above) and the AIO Closed Waterloop CPU Cooler are two widely used CPU Cooler types.
Overclocked CPUs and CPUs that run hot on a constant basis tend to be cooler with AIO closed water loop coolers.
AIOs, however, can be noisier (they have more fans and a pump) and take up more room in your PC since they are attached to the side and connected to the CPU with pipes.
Tower CPU coolers operate exceptionally quietly, cool rapidly, and take up much less room than other cooling systems. They work like a fan sitting atop the CPU to cool it.
Graphics Card (GPU)
The next part is the graphics card. Its purpose is to process visual information and output it to the monitor (images, user interface, GUI).
Integral GPUs (iGPUs) and discrete GPUs, two main types, are available.
An integrated GPU is built into a CPU, meaning you don’t have to connect a separate GPU to the monitor if a CPU already has one built in.
Your CPU comes with an integrated graphics chip (like the Intel i9 10900K CPU) so that you can connect a display to the display adapter on the motherboard. The problem with integrated GPUs is: Their performance is limited.
As you move into graphics-intensive tasks such as 3D GPU rendering, high-end gaming, video editing, graphic design, etc., you will need a discrete GPU.
Different from the CPU is a discrete GPU, which is mounted on its own printed circuit board. The image above illustrates how discrete GPUs work in conjunction with PCI Express slots on your motherboard.
Today’s GPUs include Nvidia’s line of RTX GPUs such as the RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and RTX 3060 Ti.
AMD also offers a solid lineup with the Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800XT.
AMD and Nvidia are fighting it out in a fierce battle to gain a lead over one another. Right now, it looks as though NVIDIA is the Brand to pick if you are looking for the best performance.
Computers have short-term memory, or RAM if you compare it to the brain.
RAM stores data that is currently in use by the CPU. RAM is very fast to read and write, but it loses its information when the power goes off.
You can see this image of four colorful RAM modules in the RAM kit above.
As long as your Motherboard has sufficient RAM Slots, you can install one Module, two Modules, four Modules, or even eight Modules.
Typically, the RAM on a Motherboard is plugged into slots. RAM comes in different capacities starting at around 4GB and going up to 64GB per Module on modern systems. Adding more Modules will double your RAM capacity.
Then find out which RAM is the best for your upcoming PC build.
Storage (HDD / SSD / NVME SSD)
RAM is unable to store any data without power and we don’t want to be unable to turn off our computer at times, so we need a storage device that can keep its data even when the power goes out.
These three types of mass storage are:
- The HDD
- The SSD
- And the NVMe SSD.
The main difference between the three is speed. All three store data for you.
Hard disk drives or HDDs usually read and save data at approximately 100MBytes per second because they still contain mechanically moving parts.
SSDs have already achieved data read and write speeds of 500MBytes/s, while a NVMe SSD is capable of up to 7000MBytes/sec, sequential read and write.
Therefore, if you can afford it, get an NVMe SSD like the Samsung 970 EVO Plus!
Hard drives and solid-state drives are both connected via a SATA cable to a SATA plug on the motherboard, and they also require power, which is provided by a Power Supply Unit. I’d talk about that later.
The NVMe SSD connects directly to the Motherboard. It is about the size of a chewing gum stick and does not require any additional cables.
A modern Motherboard is also required to support M.2 slots, and to support NVMe SSDs. This of course is not a requirement, so I highly recommend buying a motherboard with at least one of these.
Previously, we discussed CPU Cooling. However, the CPU is not the only component of a Computer that requires cooling.
Of course, the GPU also needs cooling, but all discrete GPUs come with an attached Cooler, so we don’t need to worry about extra cooling for the GPU.
Therefore, since the PC Case is almost always closed and all of the PC Components require at least cool(ish) Air to function properly, away needs to be found to blow cooler air from outside of the PC’s case into the Case.
Cool air is first pulled in through the front of your case and then pushed out the back of your PC by Case Fans.
All PC-Components and the inside of the PC-Case will stay really cool.
Is it necessary to acquire extra Case Fans?
A majority of cases come with extra fans so that they can be used.
You may want to upgrade the Case Fans that are shipped with a standard case if you plan on building a really quiet/silent PC.
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
With the help of some nice PC components, we can get the computer running, but without a power supply, nothing much will happen.
Since there are so many PSU brands available with different wattages and efficiencies, making a decision can be quite difficult.
If you wish to expand your PC in the future, you will need to know exactly how much wattage you will need. This includes using extra/stronger graphics cards and solid-state drives.
You should then of course update your power supply and make sure that it has the capacity to support the extra components later on.
This Wattage Calculator can help you figure out how much wattage you need for your current build or future one.
The CORSAIR RMX Series RM650x and the Seasonic FOCUS Plus 650 Gold PSU are two great power supplies. beQuiet also makes a high-quality PSU, but you may prefer others.
There’s not much else to say about the case of our computer.
Everything we need to finish our PC Build can be put back into the Case we already discussed. As a result, we can close the Case.
Monitors can come in all kinds of sizes, colors, aspect ratios, and resolutions to give you the ability to see what’s happening.
Nowadays, the common Display is the full HD or 4K monitor, usually from brands like Asus, Dell, LG, BenQ, Samsung, and many others.
IPS-type monitors have superior color display and contrast, however, you might not require them for gaming.
A detailed article about what makes a great Monitor can be found here.
If you are working with Graphic Design and professional Color grading and Video Editing you ought to invest more money in a good Monitor.
Depending on what type of GPU you have, it is connected either to the discrete GPU or the Motherboard.
The top operating system at the moment is Windows 10. Lots of online stores offer volume license keys that generally don’t cost you more than 15$ per license.
Installing the OS on your computer is necessary.
Several ways exist to do this. You can use a Win10 DVD if you have one and you have a DVD Player on your PC.
These days though, as optical disks are becoming obsolete, the Operating System is generally downloaded directly from the Internet (for you to create your own boot disk) or on a USB Flash drive which you can use to install Windows 10.
Don’t forget an input device like a Mouse and Keyboard. You can also use Graphic Tablets or Pens, not to mention other Input Devices.
Tools needed to assemble a PC
The PC-Components & Input Devices are pretty much complete. You now have all the parts you need to build a functioning PC.
You will need the following items to assemble a PC:
- A Phillips head screwdriver (magnetized) for finding those dropped screws
- A wrist strap that prevents static electricity from damaging any computer parts.
Check out our PC-Assembly Guide to learn how to assemble a PC.
Gaming PC Parts List
This list also applies to buying components for gaming PCs since they have the same parts as non-gaming PCs.
During the process of designing a gaming PC, you allocate more of the budget to the GPU since most games require high-quality graphics.
Many gamers like to upgrade the look of their PC by purchasing RGB fans or LED strips in addition to their strong GPU. These upgrades will give your PC a unique look.