Computer parts are really just an expensive set of LEGOs. Let's look at the most crucial pieces you'll need to build a PC for streaming, gaming, and more.
The motherboard is the most crucial part of a computer because everything is connected to it!
RAM, CPU, graphics cards, input and output devices like the keyboard, mouse, and speakers are all plugged into this part for them to function.
When you build a PC, make sure it's the right form factor - ATX is the most common. It's the best option for more expansion slots, should you need to add more ports to your PC.
Your motherboard needs to be compatible with your CPU; Intel and AMD chips use different motherboards.
Pick a motherboard that allows more RAM space, slots for graphics cards, and storage.
The CPU is a crucial component because it's the brain of the whole operation. When choosing your CPU, decide what type of workload you have. Are you just checking emails, or editing 4k videos?
More tasks mean you probably need more cores. High-core processors cost the most money. The top-of-the-line CPUs are Intel and AMD.
AMD chips are preferred, but Intel CPUs are still very good. You can't go wrong with either. Just make sure it's compatible with your motherboard.
RAM allows programs and apps to open and close quickly. If you're streaming or editing videos, you will want to access your software as quickly as possible.
But if you don't have enough RAM to handle opening multiple apps, your PC will slow down.
When you build a PC, 16GB of RAM is a solid start. If your motherboard has multiple slots, you can always add more later.
4. Graphics Card
To create your videos or play the best games, a graphics card is absolutely necessary.
Without one, your PC will try to churn out graphics with just the CPU and RAM. If your CPU doesn't have dedicated graphics, this can be a recipe for disaster.
Graphics cards (GPUs) also work directly with monitors. Pairing a good monitor and graphics card together can help display the best images and videos.
Right now, the top-tier GPUs are AMD and NVIDIA, NVIDIA being the most popular. Whichever you choose, make sure it comes with dedicated memory. This will take some pressure off your RAM. A GPU with 6GB RAM is a great start.
And make sure it comes with all the video ports you need like HDMI and DisplayPort.
5. Power Supply
The power supply (PSU) is the heartbeat of a PC. It powers the components inside and determines how long a computer can last.
Cheap PSUs can fail randomly and short out other parts like the motherboard or graphics card.
Graphics cards consume the most power, so you want to get a PSU that can handle it and all the other parts.
When you build a PC, look for modular or semi-modular PSUs. These types of power supplies allow you to only power what you need. This will eliminate any unnecessary cabling.
PSUs starting at 600W are a great option, with 1000W+ being top tier. EVGA is a solid brand name to go with.
Obviously, every piece of equipment in a computer is essential. You'll still need a few more things to buy before you start your build. But these components should be treated with the most care.
Head to PC Part Picker and create a custom build that fits your needs and budget.
If you decide to buy a pre-built PC, make sure you're getting good parts. Sometimes pre-builds are made with cheap parts that don't last long.
Or if you've got the parts and you're looking for someone to build a PC for you, check out my custom builds!