The thread to post about any and every piece of PC hardware. GPUs, CPUs, RAM, motherboards, hard drives, RAM, cases, fans, heat sinks, monitors, mice, keyboards, and other peripherals. Need help diagnosing a possible hardware issue with your build? We can do that, too.

Picking Parts
There are a lot of guides and tools out there to help with picking parts, but the first things you need to decide are a purpose for your build and a budget. The purpose can be something like "play current games at high settings at 60 fps", "hobbyist picture/video editing", "HTPC capable of 4k", "silent retro gaming PC for use in living room", etc. Then set a budget for how much you are comfortable spending. Don't go over your budget; adjust your expectations and modify your build accordingly.

Tom's Hardware has a decent guide for picking out some parts. It starts here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-your-own-pc,2601.html

PC Part Picker has a great collection of builds at various price points.

Tech Report has a similar type of guide but has more words supporting their various choices as well as suggests alternatives from different vendors in case you have a preference for one over another.

New to physically assembling your own PC?
It may be intimidating at first, but it is pretty easy. Things are color coordinated and slotted so they can only fit one way. The first time will take a few hours, but that's OK. The only tool you really need is a Phillips head screwdriver. Also, be sure to ground yourself by touching a metal part of the case so that static electricity doesn't destroy your expensive electronics.

The Tom's Hardware guide linked in the Picking Parts section also has a guide you can follow for building your machine: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-your-own-pc,2601-10.html

Recommended QoL Peripherals
This will depend greatly on how and how often you use your PC, but there are some things that are a good purchase for most people.

  • Mechanical keyboard (see this post for recommendations under $100)
  • Gaming mouse (Logitech, Razer, Zowie, Steelseries, and many more)
  • Ergonomic mouse (Evoluent makes nice vertical mouses that I personally like a lot for work)
  • Mouse pad (current favorite are the cloth pads from Artisan)
  • Controller (Xbox and Steam controllers have the best support)
  • Speakers (a nice pair of bookshelf speakers to set on your desk work really well)
  • Headphones (Koss PortaPro is my recommendation for best combination of price + performance)
  • Mic (Logitech desktop mic and Zalman clip-on mic have served me well in the past for cheap options)
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