Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

Case


Your case, as all of the other parts listed are integral, but may have one of the most important roles. Your case choice determines a number of factors, such as component sizes, cooling ability and aesthetics. Cases generally come in 5 sizes. These are: Barebones Mini ITX Mini ATX Mid Tower Full Tower Larger cases allow for more upgrades, larger comopnents and much better cooling.




Motherboard (Mobo)


Motherboards are the spine of your computer build. All other components are attached to your motherboard in one way or another. Your motherboard acts as a connection device between all the other components, sending power to the parts that need it. It also routes information between compnents such as from your processor to your graphics card. Like computer cases, motherboards also come in different sizes. This is to suit how large you wish your build to be. Larger motherboards allow for more Graphics Cards, Memory, Storage slots and other accessories to be added. Large motherboards are not required for great gaming or editing PCs but may lack upgradability.




Processor (CPU)


Processors are arguablly the most important part of your PC. A slow processor in the best computer will make everything slow. Luckily, both AMD and Intels most affordable processors still offer reasonable performance. Processors are made by two main companies, AMD and Intel. Intel have been the leading processor manufacturer for a long time however AMD are now great contenders. There are very few differences between the two manufacturers that are noticeable to most consumers. Intel processors are sorted into 4 main categories. These are: Intel Core i3 Intel Core i5 Intel Core i7 Intel Core i9 AMD processors are sorted into these 5 main categories: AMD Ryzen 3 AMD Ryzen 5 AMD Ryzen 7 AMD Ryzen 9
AMD Ryzen Threadripper Processor performance is usually measured by its clock speed. You can spot this by the letters GHz (or gigahertz). The higher the number, the faster the processor can work. However, you must also take into account the number of cores a processor has. The processor categories listed above are usually sorted by the number of cores the processor has. A higher core count means your processor can deal with more tasks at once. Of course, higher clock speeds and more cores equals higher cost.




Memory (RAM)


RAM (Random-Access Memory) is another extremely important part of your computer build. RAM is measured is MHz (Megahertz) and like your processor, higher clock speeds allow faster computations. RAM is also measured in GB (Gigabytes) and is commonly found in sizes between 2 and 64GB. Most computers will have a minimum of 4GB of RAM. Gaming PCs will require at least 8GB to be able to run more demanding games but 16GB is recommended. For editing computers, it is also recommended at least 16GB of RAM. The RAM on offer will always be suitable for the motherboard and processor you have chosen. Please note that some of the higher RAM speeds may only work when the Processor is overclocked.




Graphics Card (GPU)


Your Graphics Card (Graphics Processing Unit/GPU) is what controls your video output.

Some processors have built in graphics processing known as APUs. Some AMD Ryzen processors have built in Vega graphics whereas Intels i3 processors include UHD graphics. For home office PCs for general use (not gaming/editing) the on-board, built in graphics, are more than good enough for daily tasks and streaming TV.

For more intensive tasks such as gaming and editing a dedicated graphics is required. Graphics Cards include their own processors meaning they take all of the heavy-duty video processing.

Graphics cards also are measured in 2 ways. These are the memory size and clock speed. The higher each of these figures are the better your graphics card will be able to process what you see on your screen. This allows games to run with higher settings and let you have a better gaming experience.




Storage


You will recognise storage as either Hard drives (HDD) or Solid-State Drives (SSD). There is also a third type of drive known as an NVME or M.2 drive.

Hard drives use a spinning mechanical disk. This technology has been around a long time and has become increasingly cheap over the last few years. HDDs are best used as large format storage for files that do not need to be accessed as quickly. This includes photos, video and word formats.

The downside to HDD storage is that they have a greater chance of failure over time. This is not something to worry about but does contribute to the lower prices compared to other storage devices.

SSD storage has also been coming down in price and devices are being made with more and more space than ever before. SSDs are substantially more expensive than their mechanical counterparts (HDD) but do not have the same rate of failure. SSD devices will last for a lot longer than HDDs as they do not have any moving parts.

NVME/M.2 drives are like SSD drives in that they are small and do not have any moving parts. The main difference is NVME drives plug straight into the motherboard instead of being wired into one of the SATA 3 ports. By having the drives plugged straight into the motherboard, there is no need to worry about latency (delay) between the device and the motherboard.

To summarise and ensure simplicity see below:

HDD: Affordable, potential large amount of storage space, higher chance of failure,

SSD: Faster read/write speeds, more reliable, great for gaming, small physical size

NVME/M.2: Low latency connection, fast read/write speeds, great for gaming. High cost, not available for use on all motherboards.




Power Supply


As expected, the power supply supplies all power to your computer. The power supply converts your homes electricity and separates it for all the components in your computer.

Power Supply Units (PSUs) come in three types: modular, semi-modular and linear.

Modular power supplies (my favourite) do not have any cables hard wired in (connected directly and permanently to the PSU) which allows for much cleaner cabling as depending on the components in your build. When using a modular PSU only the cables required for the components installed in your computer will be used. While modular power supplies are generally more expensive, they also tend to be more energy efficient and more reliable.

Semi-modular power supplies only have some of their cables hard wired. The cables that are hard wired are generally ones that are required by all motherboards. The advantage here is that they can be slightly cheaper that fully modular supplies but are generally not as readily available as the other two types of PSU.

Linear power supplies are generally the cheapest, having all their cables hard wired into the supply. This can make cable management trickier and messier as you are unable to remove any unneeded cables. For cases with no windows allowing for viewing inside the computer this is not such a problem, however, can still cause issues in small form factor cases.

The next factor to consider when choosing a power supply is its efficiency rating. Another way PSUs are prices is by their efficiency rating. A more energy efficient power supply, while more expensive, will save money in the long run. The efficiency is rated with a colour and a number. From least efficient to most efficient the ratings available are:

80+ White

80+ Bronze

80+ Gold

80+ Platinum

The last factor to consider when choosing a power supply is the wattage. You will generally see this displayed with a W after a number (650W for example). This is important to consider as a computer without enough power will not be able to run all the components and will result in failure to run. To ensure you do not have to do any maths yourself, only suitable power supplies are available for your build. The lowest wattage PSU will be able to run any build on offer but does not allow the headroom for upgrades. If you potentially wish to upgrade your Graphics Card (GPU) or add extra storage devices (HDD/SSD/NVME) to your computer, then you may want to look into going for a more expensive power supply.

Whichever power supply is chosen, the cleanliness of your build will remain at the highest possible.




Case Fans


Case Fans

Every computer requires cooling. This is because every part of a computer creates heat and when parts become too hot, they start to slow down and can even melt and cause permanent damage.

We are offering four different options when it comes to fans. This is to keep choices simple but also allows you full control over your build. The options are:

Be Quiet! BL046 Pure wings 12cm Case fans

Be Quiet! BL070 Silent wings 12cm Case fans

Corsair LL120 12cm PWM RGB Case Fans White

Corsair LL120 12cm PWM RGB Case Fans Black

Then first two fans are the cheapest, but this does not determine their quality. The corsair fans are a complete set of three and include full controllable RGB lighting. These are great fans for cooling but also for adding amazing lighting to your custom build, that can work with RGB lighting on motherboards and graphics cards.

The Be Quiet! fans can do just as good a job for cooling as the more expensive Corsair fans but do not include any RGB lighting. These are great for cases that do not include windows in the side allowing you to see into your build. The BL070 fans cost a fair amount more than the BL046 fans due to the large reduction in noise and improved reliability. This said, the BL046 fans will do a perfectly good job for smaller builds that will not create as much heat.

My advice is that if you are looking to build a small, powerful home office computer to do all of your daily tasks and work then I would suggest the BL046.

If you want to ensure your computer lasts without having to potentially do upgrades early, I suggest the BL070 fans.

If all that is required is high quality, reliable and quiet fans with bright and controllable fans then the corsair fans are the perfect choice for your computer.




Accessories


We offer four different accessories. Two of them give your computer Wi-Fi capability and the others are sound cards.

Both Wi-Fi cards will connect to any wireless router. The cheaper of the two offers a single band connection up to 300Mbps. This is more than good enough for most uses. However, for gaming I would recommend the better of the two, or to use a wired connection where possible.

Neither sound card is something that I would personally recommend. I have never found the need for one as audio capabilities built into motherboards is at such a high level the improvement found in a dedicated sound card would be so little you may never notice. This said, if you are a musician, sound engineer or work with video and audio then every tiny noise will make a difference and a sound card may make the difference.

Other than sound quality, the best reason for including a sound card in your build is to take the pressure from your processor when processing sound. Removing the need for your processor to handle the sound, allows it to concentrate on all of the other tasks it has to do, therefore, letting it run at faster speeds on the tasks you need it to do.