Before building a computer, you will first need to get all the components. To build a basic system tower, you will generally need at least nine components depending on your requirements.
- A processor and cooler (usually come as a set, however you can opt to purchase a better cooler separately, which we would generally recommend. Even the budget aftermarket coolers are far superior to the Intel or AMD reference models)
- A motherboard
- A set of system RAM
- A video card*
- A hard drive
- A sound card**
- An optical drive (CD/DVD drive)
- An OS (you would usually want windows)
- A power supply unit
- A computer case
*Not needed if the motherboard has an integrated graphics chipset, however if you want to game a standalone card will be needed.
**not necessary unless you have the equipment to utilise a high end audio processor
You will also need a Philips screwdriver for mounting the components
Extras you may find helpful:
- Zip ties
- Aftermarket thermal compound^
- Additional case fans
- Aftermarket CPU cooler
- Antistatic wrist strap
- A modular power supply unit
- 70% or purer Isopropyl alcohol (higher percentage is better)
^The cooler supplied with your CPU will have preapplied thermal compound but you may wish to replace it, or, if you have purchased an aftermarket cooler this may be a necessary step. Despite the surfaces of your CPU and heatsink base appearing perfectly smooth there will be microscopic imperfections in the surfaces invisible to the human eye. Air is not a conductor of heat so thermal compound is used to fill those tiny gaps.