Quickly Check Your Cpu Temperature
Before you start updating Windows and installing new GPU and motherboard drivers, you should quickly check and see if your CPU is operating at a safe temperature.
To do so, and open it. Monitor your CPU to see how hot it is running.
For a guide on how to tell whether your CPU is running at proper temperatures, read our guide on Safe CPU Temps.
Or, you can just do a Google search for temp and browse through Reddit posts and forums to see what other temps users are getting.
Ultimately, its better to confirm if theres a major problem with your CPU now, rather than going through the long process of updating Windows and drivers and then finding out your CPU is running too hot.
*NOTE: Before you start stress testing your system, its a good idea to go through the update process so that you can eliminate driver updates and/or Windows updates as a culprit behind any problems that might pop up during stress testing.
Inserting The Graphics Card
This is an optional step. If youre using an Intel or AMD CPU with integrated graphics and dont plan on serious gaming, you may not need or want a discrete graphics card. Many AMD CPUs, as well as high-end Intel models, dont have on-board graphics, though, and will require a graphics card in order to connect and output to your monitor.
To install the GPU, you’ll likely have to remove some slot covers on the back of the case, so that the HDMI, DVI and other ports show through, letting you can connect your monitor later.
Connect the GPU into the PCIe X16 slot on the motherboard . If necessary, plug the PCIe power connectors from the power supply into the card. .
Finishing Up Cable Management
Its a good idea to wait to tidy up the cables behind the motherboard tray until you know your computer is getting power. In fact, if you want to be really safe, its probably best if you wait until after youve made sure that your computer is working properly to go back and tidy up the cables behind the motherboard tray.
The reason for this is that, if theres anything wrong that isnt immediately noticeable and you zip tie down all your cables, youre going to have to cut some of the zip ties, fix the problem, and then redo the cable management.
So, make sure your computer boots up and is getting proper temperatures before you go back in and tidy up all of the cables.
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How To Install An Intel Processor
Instead of jutting from the processor, pins now reside in modern Intel sockets on motherboards, making CPU installation easy. This part of the socket is called the contact array. Absolutely do not bend or touch these pins!
The square metal bracket holding the CPU in place is the load plate, and its raised and lowered using the load lever. When clamped down, the end of the load lever tucks under a hook to keep everything in place. When you unbox your motherboard, the contact array will be covered with a piece of plastic. This plastic will pop out once you open the bracket, so wait to open it until youre ready to install your processor.
First, open the load plate. Do this by gently pushing down on the load arm and moving it out sideways from under the hook, and then raising it up all the way. The hooks lever action opens the plate, which you can easily flip up. At this point, the plastic piece will come loose. If it doesnt pop out, gently remove it.
As shown above, the CPU itself should have a small half-circle notch on each side of the chip. With the contacts facing down, there should be only one direction where the notches line up with the notches in the socket. Pick up your processor by the sides, clamping it lightly between your fingertips. Here, you want to avoid touching the bottom of the processor.
Remember, the notches in the processor should align with those in the socket. If in doubt, start again and double-check.
What Do You Want To Build
Its easy to get overwhelmed with all the possible variables in a PC build. Do you want to build a PC to save money? Or do you want to reach the highest levels of performance? The common thread with each of these scenarios is the hardware the motherboard, processor , storage , and memory . The guts of the computer have the most impact on your systems performance, while the other components like the case, operating system , monitor, mouse, power supply, and keyboard have a much smaller impact on how the computer runs, though theyre still important.
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What Size Pc Should I Build
When choosing the size of your PC here are some things to keep in mind. Small form factor PC’s present some limitations on the components you can use in your PC and, given their size, introduce build challenges. ATX or mid-sized PCs are the most common builds and provide the largest compatibility options. They are also among the easiest PCs to assemble. Finally, E-ATX provides far more options and power but the size of the PC can be daunting and will take up a lot of space. This is often the most costly build option.
How To Shop For Parts
From there, I went to Newegg and started looking for components. Remember: You cant just buy the first seven parts you see and expect them all to fit together. Its best to start with the most important component and work your way down.
Obviously, Newegg is just one place to shop. Once you find the gear you need, you can bargain hunt at Amazon, Best Buy and other big electronics retailers. My personal favorite is Micro Center, especially if you have one of these electronics meccas near you. You could very conceivably walk in with nothing and walk out with an unbuilt computer, at a very reasonable price.
When possible, buy gear from established, known brands Corsair, HyperX, Western Digital, and so forth. You could theoretically save a lot of money by going with no-name storage, RAM or power supplies. But device quality is a total crapshoot, and customer service in small brands tends to be either haphazard or nonexistent.
My last piece of advice is to be somewhat flexible with your budget, if possible. Obviously, you dont want to spend $1,500 on a $1,000 concept, but dont throw the whole build out if it comes to $1,050. A good PC will last a long time, and a few dozen dollars make very little difference over the course of a few years.
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Making Sense Of What ‘speed’ Means
The idea of speed can be sliced a bunch of ways, but in practical terms, you can look at it in terms of CPU processing power and graphical prowess for tasks such as PC gaming, 3D rendering, or graphics-accelerated content creation. The two are very different things, and we benchmark-test all of the systems that we review with both kinds of speed in mind.
Some laptops are strong in one area and not the other. For example, it’s possible to have a notebook with a top-end processor packing lots of cores and threads, but paired with a minimal graphics solution. A laptop like this would net you great performance on programs and workloads that take advantage of lots of CPU resources, but little in the way of power for gaming or applications that rely on graphics acceleration.
Likewise, having a dedicated graphics processor, the beefier the better, is the key for speed in games. Most of the time, CPU speed will contribute to the gaming equation insofar as it isn’t a limiter or bottleneck for the graphics chip.
Now, the prescription for either needspeed for raw processing, or speed for graphicsis to pack in as potent a main processor or graphics processing unit as you can. But when you do that, it illustrates the interplay of three key factors in laptop design: cost, power consumption, and thermals.
How Do I Order A Custom
The process of ordering a custom laptop varies by manufacturer. Typically, you start by finding the brand and model type that’s right for you, say, a thin-and-light model or a high-powered workstation.
From there, Lenovo marks its customizable models with messages such as Build your own and buttons that say Customize. Preconfigured models are sometimes identified as Ready to ship and their ordering buttons say simply Add to Cart. Lenovo also maintains easy-to-use lists of all customizable laptops and sale-priced customizable laptops.
The configurator tool lists all the customizable parts and prices. These lists will vary based on the selected product, as not every part of every system is configurable.
Here are some of the most popular configuration categories:
- Processor: Select a faster CPU for higher performance, or a slower one that meets your basic needs and can cut costs.
- Operating system: Even if theres just one OS listed, sometimes you can choose between “Home” and “Pro” versions.
- Display: Keep the standard Full HD display or move up to higher resolution Quad HD or Ultra HD screen.
- Memory: If youre a big multi-tasker, add RAM so you can run more programs simultaneously.
- Storage: Retain the standard magnetic hard disk drive or upgrade to a lighter, faster-booting solid-state drive .
- Graphics: The standard graphics card often can be upgraded for better gaming performance or demanding video editing tasks.
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How To Install An Amd Processor
Unlike Intels design, pins jut from AMDs CPUs. These pins insert into holes embedded in the motherboards CPU socket. The load arm on the socket slightly shifts the holes underneath, gripping the pins on the processor when pressed all the way down.
If it isnt already, raise the arm so that its pointing straight up, and then rests a little farther back. That ensures the holes for the pins are wide open.
Instead of using notches, correctly line up the processor in the slot using a triangle engraved in gold on one of the CPUs corners. All you need to do is line that triangle up with a second triangle cut into the slot. Again, pick up the processor by the sides gently, avoiding the bottom.
Once the processor sits comfortably in the slot, simply press the arm down until it clicks into place and locks in. This last step can be intimidating since it requires a fair amount of pressure to lock in place.
Installing The Hdd Or Ssd
Depending on the form factor of the SSD youve purchased , installation requires attaching the drive to the storage interface, then fitting it into the drive bay . If youre looking for the largest capacity possible and have an extremely tight budget, a hard drive may be an attractive option. For instructions on installing your hard drive, consult its owners manual. Find out more about SSD installation with our guides and videos.
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Choose The Right Processor
The CPU affects both livestreaming and gaming performance, so with a single PC streaming setup, make sure your processor is up to the task. In this type of streaming setup, sub-par streams are usually the result of a weak/inadequate processor. We recommend at least R7/I7 level processor for stable high quality streaming.
We recommend at least 16GB DDR4 RAM for live streaming.
Regardless of the type of streaming setup you pick, you’ll need applications that capture and livestream your content to your audience. Although there are numerous ways to do this, the two most popular ones used by streamers today are:
Understanding Graphics Performance: Power For Play And Content Creation
If the kind of speed you are after is for PC gaming, what you need is a laptop with a dedicated graphics chip, or GPU. Most of the leading-edge gaming laptops these days use various flavors of Nvidia’s GeForce mobile chips, with the RTX 30 series the current kings of the hill.
If your laptop has a 1080p display, a GeForce RTX 3050 or higher chip will generally suffice, if you play modern games at high settings. The RTX 3070 is usually a good match for a resolution of 2,560 by 1,440 pixels , while a GeForce RTX 3080 will be overkill for 1080p but a good starting point for gaming on a 4K screen. That said, most gamers stick to 1080p.
If you’ll use your gaming laptop with an external monitor or monitors that have a higher resolution than the laptop’s built-in screen, you might consider a GPU that’s several steps ahead of the laptop’s own screen. Otherwise, you’ll want to match the performance of the GPU with the upper limits of the laptop’s own panel.
On a related note, laptops with screens that support Nvidia’s G-Sync technology are worth looking out for. In these, the screen rewrites at the same rate that the GPU churns out frames, in essence adjusting the refresh rate dynamically. This reduces screen artifacts and “tearing” . With a high-refresh screen, a top-notch GPU will be better leveraged with G-Sync, a marginal one will be enhanced.
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Hooking Up The Buttons And I/o Ports
Along your motherboard, you will have a lot of different pins and ports and what have you. You will need to use these to hook up your power, reset, and other I/O buttons and ports.
Honestly, this can be one of the most challenging tasks when building a computer. You have a lot of small cords with sometimes very similar connectors all going to different places. In fact, I still have problems with this from time to time.
To make sure youre plugging the right cables to the right ports, refer to your motherboard installation manual. Some cases come with LED lights , and they have to be oriented correctly with the + and pins on the board.
The Fast Way: Download Windows 11
Microsoft offers a variety of tools for downloading Windows 11 immediately. These will skip the slow, careful upgrade process and let you skip the line and install Windows 11 right noweven if your PC doesnt officially support Windows 11.
To get started, visit Microsofts page. We recommend you download and run the Windows 11 Update Assistant. It will update your current PC to Windows 11 for you.
Warning: By installing Windows 11 immediately, youre skipping Microsofts slow-and-steady rollout process. You may encounter bugs with Windows 11 on your hardware. If thats a deal-breaker for you, we encourage you to wait a few months before youre offered the upgrade.
If you encounter a problem, note that you can downgrade back to Windows 10 within the first ten days after upgrading.
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How To Upgrade Htpc
If you have an old HTPC, you can upgrade it directly. If you have an old PC, you can adapt it into a HTPC. This will save a lot of money for you. In these cases, if the device is still using HDDs, you may need to replace them with SSDs.
Then, how to make the Windows run on SSD? You can reinstall Windows directly. But if you don’t want to reinstall OS, you can use MiniTool Partition Wizard to migrate OS. Here is the guide:
Step 1: Connect the SSD to the old PC . Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard and open this software. Go to its main interface and click on Migrate OS to SSD/HDD in the action panel .
Step 2: Choose the right method to migrate the system disk and click Next. Option A allows you to clone the whole system disk, while option B only allows you to migrate the OS. If you plan to use the old HDD still, you can choose option B. If you want to format the HDD later, to save data, option A is recommended.
Step 3: Choose the SSD as the destination disk and then click Next. For option A, please make sure the used space in the HDD is smaller than the SSD storage. For option B, please make sure the used space in the C drive is smaller than the SSD storage. Only in these cases, the OS migration can succeed.
Step 4: Review changes and click the Next button. In this step, you can keep default settings. But if the old hard drive is MBR style and you want to use GPT style in the new drive, please check the box before Use GUID partition table for the target disk.
How To Choose Laptop Components
To build your own laptop, you should buy a barebones laptop, a processor, a RAM, a network card, hard drives, etc. In this part, I will show you how to choose proper components.
But before grabbing the parts for your laptop, you should decide what the laptops main purpose will be. Most people build laptops for playing high-end games. In this case, you need to build your laptop with high-end specifications, but that will be directly proportional to the cost at the end.
If you just need a portable laptop for browsing, email checking, and word processing, building a laptop is not necessary, because basic integrated laptops can meet your needs. You can buy an Ultrabook from any store.
1. Barebones Laptop
A barebones laptop is a half-assembled personal computer with a laptop shell, power supply, motherboard, camera, keyboard, cooling system, etc. Users can decide which component to buy and install, according to their own needs and budget.
A barebones laptop is usually produced by Original Design Manufacturers like Quanta, Compal, Wistron, Inventec, Pegatron, ECS, FIC, ARIMA, Mitac, Clevo, MSI, etc. These ODM companies produce PCs for some brands like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Mac, etc. Then, these products will be sold to users as OEM products.
Here are some examples of the relationship between ODM and brands :
When you plan to buy a CPU, you should pay attention to the following aspects:
4. Hard Drive
5. Graphics Card
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