What components do I need to put together a desktop computer?

Victor Ong October 1, 2012

So I am going to venture out into the unknown and attempt to put together my first computer.

What are the components I need to put together a computer?

I know it’s processor, graphics card, bluetooth, etc., but could you add what are the necessary AND optional components for a computer. It would also help if you show me how I can find compatible products for certain chipsets and motherboards.

  1. Dave Rimmer
    December 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Take a look here about different sized motherboards - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/beginners-guide-motherboard-selection,1289-4.html
    If you get a full sized board but a small case then it may not fit the board once you have sorted that out then just make sure everything is compatible with each other.

  2. Abba Jee
    November 29, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Necessary components :- Main / Mother Borad, Processor, RAM, HDD, PC Casing, Keyboard, Mouse, LCD/Monitor
    Optional Components :- DVD/CD Drive, Floppy, External HD, Speakers, Mic, Bluetooth, VGA/ Grphic / 3D Card

  3. James West
    October 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    power supply, motherboard, ram, Hdd, dvd drive, video card if you play games or edit video. Optional, sound card, multiple hard drive or dvd drives. A good place for computer components is Tiger Direct.

  4. Dave Rimmer
    October 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Well it looks like your question has been answered a few times over but this has not been resolved for some reason. I will just add make sure your Motherboard will fit in your case.

    • Anonymous
      October 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks. I will resolve it ASAP. How DO I check if the Motherboard fits in the case? Are there size standards? How would I check to see if my CPU and GPU can fit in THAT motherboard?

    • Anonymous
      December 6, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      By they way... I'm not actually sure how to resolve the question. Could you light the way?

  5. Jim Chambers
    October 6, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    You will also need some basic tools the most important being a 6" #2 philips (+) screwdriver. Also handy to have a small LED flashlight, a pair of needle nose pliers and an antistatic wrist strap. An aerosol can of contact cleaner makes it much easier to install DDR3 modules. Note certain monitor brands don't include a digital or HDMI cable even though they have those connecters and USB printers almost never include the cable to your computer.

  6. dhanunjayarao chunduri
    October 6, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Required: case, power supply, motherboard, CPU or APU, RAM, storage device, keyboard, display device,

  7. Rajaa Chowdhury
    October 4, 2012 at 7:42 am
  8. Wil Perez
    October 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    It all depends on what your goal is. If you want a basic PC then a Motherboard with onboard components will be your best bet

    Simple PC:
    *Motherboard - Onboard Sound, Video, Network
    *Power Supply
    *Hard Drive

    Complex PC:
    *Sound Card
    *Video Card
    *Network Card
    *Power Supply
    *Hard Drive

  9. Jack Hurney
    October 2, 2012 at 1:23 am
  10. Alex Perkins
    October 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm


    At least dual core CPU (recommend a quad core)
    4 GB RAM
    320GB Hard Disk Drive
    Motherboard with P78 Z chipset


    ATI Radeon 5000 Series or higher graphics card or
    Nvidia 400 Series Graphics Card
    500GB or higher HDD
    another 4GB of RAM
    Optical Drive

  11. Kao Vang
    October 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    If you want a powerful computer, check to see if you have MicroCenter close by. They usually have Motherboard + CPU combos that are killer deals. :)

  12. Alex Perkins
    October 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    NCIX.com build computers for people, they ship to US and Canada i think.

  13. GrrGrrr
    October 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Desktop PC Parts Checklist

    Choosing Computer Components

    Make sure you buy good and genuine parts.

  14. Freecycle Me
    October 1, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    As said, it is best to ask someone for a complete compatible list. It is not worth getting a motherboard that does not support the CPU or RAM. I would recommend basic bundles you can get from a tech supplier that include motherboard, RAM, CPU, Power supply. That is the basic, though you may as well recondition a second hand computer if you are looking for light use.
    DONT forget an OS! Personally I would recommend Ubuntu unless you are happy to pay the fee for Windows.

  15. josemon maliakal
    October 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    bruce epper is correct..but it will be better if you ask someones support who has assembled a computer before ...

  16. DalSan Mack
    October 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm
  17. Dimal Chandrasiri
    October 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Here is the list

    Necessary :

    Processor - Core i5 ( 3rd Gen ) with quad core would be adequate
    Mother Board - any intel Mother Board supporting 3rd Gen Core Processors with inbuilt graphics capability
    RAM - 4GB would be enough. ( Match the Bus Frequancy with the Mother Board )
    Hard Disk Drive - 500GB - 1TB ( according to your needs )
    Optical Drive - DVD WR or a BlueRay Driver ( Accroding to your Budget )
    Power Supply Unit - 600W would be enough
    KeyBoard & Mouse - Nothing to say here unless you are a serious gamer
    Monitor : 20inch LED ( chose a large one so you can enjoy movies or gaming )
    Reliable Casing - According to your budget, chose a style

    Optional :
    Graphics Card : If a Gamer go for a Addon GPU. ( I''m using a GTX 560 Ti Super Clocked one, which would cost you $300 - $400 )
    Cooling Method : Water cooling would be better for the CPU
    SSD Drive : will give your pc a boost but high cost

    that's all I can recommend to you, but if you can tell the specific budget and your requirement can give a more specific answer. :)

  18. Abidhusain Momin
    October 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Basic requirement

    A processor (Intel or AMD)
    A compitible motherboard
    SMPS (If not included in Cabinet)
    DVD / CD Drive (system Can run without this too)
    Display (LED or LCD Monitor)

    • Ahmed Khalil
      October 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Sound card and VGA can be part of the motherborad (built in), or can be dedecated (more cost)

  19. muotechguy
    October 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I would read a little more into the subject (pretty sure we offer PDF guides on that very topic) and to a test run with an old pc first; the fact you said "bluetooth" is a component means you're probably not ready to work with expensive new components yet. Take a PC apart first; then put it back together. That'll show you exactly what is needed and any difficulties you might face on the way.

  20. gigabyte
    October 1, 2012 at 11:51 am

    well,would add that if you intend gaming with your pc then you need to go for more RAM(e.g 3Gb and above) and a heavier GPU(graphics proceessing unit).you can also install chassis fanto upgrde the cooling.check Amazon.con for any of these components.

  21. salim benhouhou
    October 1, 2012 at 10:48 am
    • Drew Butler
      October 7, 2012 at 3:15 am

      thanks Salim! I was going to post that link :)

  22. Rob Hindle
    October 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

    By all means investigate the "build your own" option, you will at least learn a lot.

    Having decided what components you need, next comes pricing and sourcing. Two problems arise. It may be that some of your preferred components are hard to source so be prepared to switch to alternatives. Then you may have to get components from multiple sources and by mail order so there will be shipping charges.
    If you're going to use MS Windows don't forget you'll need to buy a (legitimate) license too.

    Now, before you start buying stuff, go see what a comparable ready built machine from a reputable manufacturer will cost. You may well find that with their volume purchasing power each component has cost them a lot less than you'd pay. And you've saved yourself the hassle and stress of assembling it. And you'll get a warranty.

    If you want to mess with self build my own advice is to build a low-end machine and stick Linux on it. A friend of mine did that for nothing. He sourced components entirely free from the skip at the back of a high street PC sales and repair shop but friends and family often have stuff they just want to get rid of too.

    If after that you want to go on and build a high performance machine the experience you gained will give you a big advantage.

  23. Steven Lam
    October 1, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I think what is most important is to figure out what will you use this computer for and your budget. If you only need it for email, browsing internet and the odd picture editing, you really don't need a powerful machine. As a matter of fact, I suggest a laptop. I had almost completely switched to laptop. It doesn't mean I don't crave a high power desktop from time to time (like when I have to run Adobe Premiere or Photoshop. Also your budget is a big factor too. If your budget is 500, you are not going to get a good gaming machine. If I am in your shoes, the most important part is a solid state hard drive. It makes your machine run like a champ. you can get a 256 gb SSD for 160 when on sale.

  24. HLJonnalagadda
    October 1, 2012 at 6:48 am

    And if you are in the U.S, Newegg is the site to go to. It offers a lot of deals as well as reviews by other users. They also have very good guides on what to check for when building your machine,
    Do also check out the makeuseof guide here: //www.makeuseof.com/tag/build-a-gaming-pc/

    • Anonymous
      December 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      I live in Hawaii, so Newegg shipping rates are like, 25 dollars per item.

  25. Bruce Epper
    October 1, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Required: case, power supply, motherboard, CPU or APU, RAM, storage device, keyboard, display device, video card (if motherboard does not have integrated video or you are not using an APU).Many motherboards already contain on-board video so a video card is not necessarily a required component. They also will already have USB ports, Ethernet, some may have bluetooth which is not required in most casesYour first step should be deciding what features you want, then finding a motherboard that supports those features. Using the specifications of the motherboard you will then be able to determine what compatible processors and RAM you can use as well as if you will need to purchase a video card as well. After this has been determined, you will need to make a choice about your storage. Gaming systems or other high-performance rigs should use a SSD for the OS at a minimum while a general-use system can get by with a standard mechanical hard disk. Even if you opt for the SSD, you will probably want to use mechanical storage for your data.There are other restrictions you may face with regard to hardware depending on the operating system you intend to use. If you will install Windows on the machine, most current hardware will work. If you will be using a Linux distro, check the hardware requirements (and limitations) for that distribution prior to making any purchasing decisions since they do not always have drivers that will work with the latest hardware and many hardware manufacturers still do not provide drivers for Linux.

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