There are a lot of components that go into building even the most basic of computers, and considerably more when putting together a high-end gaming PC. It can get a little confusing, as there’s a plethora of hard to digest jargon and terminology that can isolate even well-seasoned technology buffs.
Here’s a breakdown of some the most essential computing equipment that’s needed to operate and run one of these devices. There are additional components that can give your PCs a boost, but regardless here is the bare minimum stuff you need to make it operational.
Cables & Input Devices
Of course, the components within a computer are important to make it functional, but it still needs to connect to input and output devices so that it can be interacted with. Stuff such as monitors, a mouse, and keyboards are essential pieces of input and output devices that give computers the functionality that we expect from them. These devices need to be connected to the computer and are done so through various types of cables such as d-sub cables which are perhaps the most essential in computing. It’s also important to provide an electricity supply to the unit to power it and to do that a power supply unit is required.
A CPU is the central processing unit and can be considered the brain of a computer as it contains all the circuitry needed to store data, process input and output results. The CPU is constantly following instructions given to it by computer programs that inform it on what data to process and how to process it. A CPU is built by placing billions of microscopic transistors onto a single computer chip. These transistors are effectively minute gates that switch on or off to convey binary code into actions. A better CPU will be one that has smaller transistors, as it results in faster CPU speeds.
The motherboard is the main circuit board of a computer and is used to connect the various components so that they can interact with each other. It’s the biggest circuit board inside a computer and allocates where the power goes and allows communication between parts such as the CPU, RAM and other computer hardware components. Motherboards are built to work with specific types of processors and memory, so you must get compatible parts when attempting to build a gaming PC.
RAM within a computer is where data is temporarily stored so that the computer can access important files to make it run faster. Data stored here is incredibly quicker to access than data stored in a hard drive, and that’s why it’s useful for holding the information that is needed both instantly and imminently. Computers must have enough RAM as, without it, some software and applications may not be able to run at all.
The GPU is a graphics processing unit, which is extremely important when building high-end gaming PCs. The GPU determines the quality of the visual output and determines how well a computer can render shades and textures and lighting. A GPU is dedicated to creating these images, video and 2D or 3D animation, meaning that your CPU is free to perform other tasks, making your PC perform better.
Every computer needs a place to store files, as, without this, nothing will be saved, not documents, files and not even operating software. Without storage, a PC is utterly useless, and that’s why most have hard drives that write this data on digitally through magnetism.