Buying a new desktop can be quite a task. It’s confusing to compare the models, specifications and prices with so many options in the market. There are a lot of questions to which there is no clear answer. Here are a few things you can consider before getting yourself a new computer:
The first question you should ask yourself is 'How much will I use my system and what for?' You should think long term while choosing the right configuration as the system will stay with you (at least) for the next few years.
The wide variety of products always gives you the option of an upgrade later. You should have a good understanding of the components and choose wisely for optimum performance.
Choosing the right processor is the key element in building a desktop. It forms the core of your machine and will decide the performance as well. The current market is dominated by Intel & AMD , both providing some performance-worthy processors.
If you are a light user wherein your major usage entails browsing and using Microsoft Office then an Intel i3 would be an ideal choice. If you are a moderate user with gaming and use of media tools being your main priority then Intel i5 is for you. And if you're a heavy user with some intense graphic gaming and a number of software then an Intel i7 is the beast that can handle all that.
(Do note that the higher the configuration of the processor, the higher the amount of heat it will generate.)
The motherboard is the base of your computer. The alignment and functionality of your processor, RAM and graphics card depend on it.
The first thing to keep in mind while choosing a motherboard is that it should be future proof. You can upgrade all the other elements very easily but only if your motherboard supports them. The main aspects to look for are the amount of RAM slots, USB ports and a built-in-audio. Intel’s ATX is the most commonly used one and it comes in different sizes. If you’re looking for a mid-range motherboard then Asus Z97 Pro should be your top choice, but if budget is a constraint then ASRock H81M is the answer to your problems.
The amount of RAM in the system allows you to run the processes smoothly and determine their speed as well. More RAM will allow you to run more programs simultaneously and generally improve the performance of the machine.
An ideal desktop these days uses 4 GB of RAM though some budget systems may limit them to 2-3 GB. If you tend to multi-task or play games then the minimum requirement would be 8 GB which can be further expanded depending on the amount of money you are willing to shell out. If you are an average user then normal RAMs from brands like Kingston or Transcend will suit your needs.
However, if you are a heavy user and your usage involves gaming, rendering then advanced RAMs with a heat sync would be ideal for you. Certain brands like G-Skill and Corsair offer these variants.
A graphics card is responsible for what you see on your display, whether you’re playing games or watching videos. If you aren’t interested in gaming then the integrated graphics built on the motherboard is more than enough. On the other hand, if you’re a gamer and an avid user of graphic-related software then investing in a graphics card is a must. Nvidia and ATI are the top providers with a wide variety of cards.
The naming conventions can be a bit overwhelming, the rule of the thumb is that higher the last two digits, higher the performance (and of course, higher prices).
Something like an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 would be a powerhouse for gaming but if you’re on a tight budget and want something similar then AMD Radeon R9 380 is for you.
Even the most basic of systems consist of a 320GB hard disk. The space really depends on your usage. The internal hard drive should be of a decent capacity so that the system runs smoothly.
Nowadays, a lot of systems come with 1 or 2 TB hard disks. To further enhance the speed of your system, you can invest in a SSD (Solid State Drive) which can be used to store applications and OS. A lot of manufacturers are available in the market these days with Seagate and Western Digital being the most trusted ones.
PSU (Power Supply Unit)
The PSU is the most undervalued part in the system and yet a lot of functions depend on it. It affects the performance and reliability of the system.
While buying a power supply, you need to determine the amount of wattage required according to your configuration. The efficiency rating is also important as higher efficiency units tend to have better components, waste less power, and generate less heat. Cooler Master is the local favourite as they build good quality PSUs with lesser power consumption.
Other brands like EVGA , Seasonic and Corsair also provide a lot of variants.
Choosing the correct cabinet for your system may seem simple but can be quite tricky. Some cabinets may seem fancy from the outside but will not provide you with adequate space to store your components.
They come in different types of sizes and formats. The most essential thing in a cabinet is its sturdiness. Poor quality cabinets tend to vibrate when fans and drives start running which leads to a very noisy atmosphere. Look for cabinets that have an adequate-sized fan in one spot and provision for more fans in other locations for optimum cooling.
Mouse & Keyboard
Last but not least, the mouse & keyboard are also essential parts of assembling a desktop. They come in different categories liked USB wired and wireless. The most important factor in choosing a mouse is how it feels. Size and grip play key roles. There are basic mouses available along with some precision mouses that have a higher DPI , sensitivity and are recommended for gamers.
Razer Naga and Logitech G502 are premium mouses and provide stellar performance. However, Corsair Vengeance M65 is ideal for FPS gaming.
Keyboards also come in various varieties. You should choose the one with an adjustable height & raised keys, however this is just a preference. But chiclet-style keyboards are becoming more popular these days. Some extra navigation controls like the volume buttons would also add to the ease of your functions.
Logitech MK260 is the perfect keyboard mouse combo for daily use, although TVS Gold will always be a personal favourite.
To further assist you, we have made our own suggestions for assembling a desktop. There are three types of configurations depending on your budget: low, mid and high. (Prices of the components may vary slightly.)
i3 3240 Processor (Rs. 6,720) ASRock H81 Pro (Rs. 4,000) Kingston 4GB DDR3 Ram (Rs. 2,220) Zotac Nvidia 610 2GB (Rs. 3,155) Seagate Pipeline Hard Disk 320GB (Rs. 2,225) Dell TFT 18.5 Inch (Rs. 5,660) Corsair VS450 PSU (Rs. 2,525) Cooler Master Elite 344 Cabinet (Rs. 3,200) Microsoft Desktop 200 Keyboard Mouse Combo (Rs. 900)
This configuration will cost you around Rs. 31,000 .
i5 4590 Processor (Rs. 13,000) ASRock Z87M Pro4 (Rs. 8,715) 8GB Corsair Vengeance RAM (Rs. 5,260) Sapphire ATI R7 260X 2GB DDR5 (Rs. 9,850) Western Digital Blue 1TB (Rs. 4,290) Dell ST 2240 L Monitor (Rs. 9,255) Corsair CX600W PSU (Rs. 5,350) Cooler Master K380 Cabinet (Rs. 4,650) Cooler Master Devastator Keyboard Mouse Combo (Rs. 2,945)
This configuration will cost you around Rs. 65,000 .
i7 4790 Processor (Rs. 21,900) ASRock Z97 Sabertooth (Rs. 15,340) 16GB Corsair Vengeance RAM (Rs. 12,250) Asus Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB (Rs. 31,000) Western Digital Blue 1TB (Rs. 4290) Dell ST 2440 L Monitor (Rs. 13,000) Cooler Master Thunder 700 PSU (Rs. 7,000) Cooler Master HAF 912 Cabinet (Rs. 6,750) Razer DeathAdder Chroma Mouse (Rs. 4400) Logitech G105 Keyboard (Rs. 4,295)
This configuration will cost you around Rs. 1,20,000 .
DISCLAIMER: These configurations are purely based on research done by the writer. ScoopWhoop does not endorse any of the components.