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Choosing Cheap Computer Parts

Choosing the right cheap computer parts can seem like a daunting task. There are so many different options available that the average person often feels overwhelmed.

Finding cheap computer parts does not mean that you are getting low quality. It just means that you are saving money buy not paying someone to assemble them for you. I know you are thinking you could never build a computer from parts. Well, this guide is designed to help take the mystery out of choosing parts for your PC.

Some questions you may be asking yourself are:
Do I choose the Pentium 4 or the AMD Duron processor?
How much memory do I need?
What should I look for in a motherboard?

Never fear, the choices you face are not all that bad and you have me as your guide. I do this for a living everyday and I can honestly tell you that anyone can choose cheap computer parts and assemble or upgrade their own computer.

So take a deap breathe, relax, and we will continue on the journey to choosing the right cheap computer parts for your own PC!

If you just want do some price shopping, check out these great deals on cheap computer parts.


The first question we will answer is what kind of processor (CPU) you need to work with your cheap computer parts. There are two major manufactures we will look at, Intel and AMD. Both companies produce a high end and a value CPU for you to choose from.

AMD processors are known for there price to performance ratios. They can be unstable at times if not configured correctly, but can perform as well or better than the more expensive Intel CPUs. These processors are popular with people building gaming machines and with overclockers. I use AMD processors in most of the home systems that I build for myself and friends.


The motherboard is the central nervous system of the computer. All of the other cheap computer parts that we will talk about connect to the motherboard in some way. The main questions to keep in mind when choosing a motherboard is what platform do you need and how expandable is it. The platform that you choose is dependent on what processor you want to use. The amount of expansion needed is a matter of taste and will require some research. This is one cheap computer part where it might make sense to splurge for top of the line.

Memory (RAM)

Random Access Memory (RAM) is used to store in use programs for easy quick access. There are basically three types of memory available on the market today: SDRAM, RDRAM, and DDR RAM. You will need to select the type that is compatible with your motherboard. This information should be available in the manual or from the manufacture's website.

The rule of thumb when looking at how much RAM you need is, get as much as you can afford. This allows greater flexibility in the programs you can use.

I recommend that you get at least 3Gb of memory for any new computer.

Hard Drive

While RAM is temporary storage for the program you are currently using, the Hard Drive is where all of your software is permantly stored. Newer software programs continue to grow in size and computers need more and more storage space.

This is another area where I recommend you get as much storage as you can afford. At a minimum you will want to get a 200GB drive and I would recommend at least an 1000GB one with 7200rpm speed.

Removable Storage Drives

Removable Storage Drives are used to transmit information between computer systems. They include floppy disk, cdrom, cd-rewritable (cdrw), dvd, dvd-rewritable, zip, and jazz drives.

A floppy drive is not really necessary cheap computer part, unless you have files you need to access that are only on floppy. For the money you are better off to install a DVD-RW drive. This will give you more than 500 times the storage space as well as being much faster.

Video Card

Choosing a video card is not a major issue unless you are building a gaming system or a video editing system. The main thing to remember is to choose a card that is compatible with your motherboad.

Most newer motherboards contain an PCI-express slot, if this is the case get an PCI-express video card. If the motherboard that you choose does not contain a PCI-express slot you will need to look at AGP video cards.

Sound Card

Many newer motherboards have a built in sound card. These will work fine but if you need better sound quality, more outputs/inputs, or your motherboard does not have a built in card then I recommend the Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi, Audigy and Live! series of sound cards. They are the most common and compatible cards available on the market.


A Network Interface Card (NIC) will allow you to connect to other computers over a network. This can be a home network with other computers that you own or to the Internet. If you have a cable modem or dsl you will need a NIC or USB cable to connect to it. If high speed broadband access is available in your area I highly recommend you get it.

Modems use your telephone lines to connect to an Internet Service Provider. If you still use this method of connecting to the internet you cannot go wrong with the U.S. Robotics 56K* V.92 Performance Pro Modem.


This is what holds everything together. You need to select a case that is large enough to hold all of your componets, is easy to work in, and will provide room for any future expansion plans you may have. For more information you can read:

Guide to Selecting Cheap Computer Towers


One of the main hardware devices connected to the computer is the printer. The printer allows you to produce a hardcopy of information on your computer monitor. This can be useful if you would like to review information at a later time or you want to produce a backup copy of the information.

Choosing the right printer can seem confusing. That is why I wrote the guide

Cheap Printer - The Facts.

If you would like to know what to look for when selecting a printer, check it out.


What keyboard mouse you select is a matter of personal preference. Depending on the amount of comfort and the amount of time you plan on spending on your new computer. This one cheap computer part that I struggle making a recommendation for. Get what makes you comfortable.

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