Basic Overview of Components for a Computer Build:

Computer parts and accessories are more easily found today than ever before with many vendors offering quality matched with affordability. These advancements in the market have brought computing power to the masses with options to easily fit any situation , budget, or other limitations. With a little information on what is required of your computing situation it is possible to build a machine that precisely addresses the requirements while satisfying the budgetary needs that are so heavily felt in the economical situation at hand. While affordability is desired it should be coupled with quality as well, or suffer the impending results of an inferior component. There are several vital parts of a computer system that should be studied prior to planning and should be understood completely before attempting the build.


The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is essentially the brains of the whole system. While processor speed has increased at an exceptional rate in the past decade, the design of the silicon chip has remained relatively unchanged. This amounts to the fact that without all components of the system working together, processor speed will be sacrificed amounting to lost productivity and efficiency.


RAM (Random Access Memory) this is the short term memory of the computing system and keeps commonly accessed information close at hand for easy retrieval. This includes accessing the hard drive for the processor and lining up said information for processing. The larger the amount of RAM the faster the systems ability to access information, with some exceptions. The RAM can only hold information as long as there is power running through the system. The Random Access Memory is cleared whenever the electrical current to the RAM is altered.

Hard Drive

Hard drives are magnetic storage devices with magnetic wheels inside a small case that store information magnetically, permanently storing information for later retrieval. Because of the nature of magnetic storage, hard drives are easily corrupted by electrical surges and other magnetic devices. There have not been any advancements in this respect and can only be combated through active prevention.

Power Supply

The power supply of a computer system is commonly undervalued but can be the difference in a smooth running system and a underpowered unit that does not satisfy the requirements needed and is unreliable or unpredictable.


Cooling is often overlooked in the design aspects of computer builds yet can be one of the simplest, cheapest, and easiest ways to stabilize system performance and predictability. There are several components that determine cooling in systems including computer cases, fans, and heat syncs.

Computer Cases

Computer cases come in a variety of sizes and shapes to satisfy needs inside and outside of the box. Adequate area inside the case is required for proper air circulation. Circulation helps keep cool air coming into the system while exhausting warm air from the system. Desktop cases are the hardest to keep adequately cooled because of their inferior amount of volume inside the case. A tower case is at the opposite end of the spectrum with more bays ports and ventilation to mount the cooling system of your dreams.


Fans are your friend but be sure to carefully design fan placement inside the system to keep air flow running through the system. A plethora of fans would not alleviate overheating problems if they are not properly designed for correct air flow. The flow of air should have intake fans at the lowest ventilation points and exhaust fans mounted on the opposite interior side of the case at the highest ventilation points.

Heat Sync

Heat syncs are designed to take create maximum surface area for the processor to radiate heat most efficiently. This device coupled with a heat sync mounted fan expels heat away from the processor to keep the CPU running coolly and efficiently. Through the past few decades there have been many advancements to heat syncs including liquid cooled heat syncs. These advanced cooling components use water or liquid nitrogen cycling through a reservoir and piping to rush heat away from the CPU as quickly as possible allowing for processors to be pushed further in home applications than ever before.

While this information is not at all inclusive, the information will help beginners understand some of the principle components of a computer system for further study. Building a computer system can be very rewarding and help to ensure that the system is optimized for individual needs and requirements.