Building a PC in 2014


This book is no longer available for sale.

Building a PC in 2014

About the Book

Every day people on r/buildapc on reddit people ask questions on how to build a computer for gaming. Usually it's the same questions every day:

"Will X video card bottleneck my core i5?" (A recent core i5 can NOT be bottlenecked by ANY single graphics card on the market today for gaming. Professional rendering or OpenCL/CUDA work is different"

"Will buying more/faster RAM make my games faster?" (It used to, over a decade ago when memory was limited. 8 gigs in 2014 is enough for any game. An SSD will often give you the performance boost that a RAM upgrade used to years ago. Faster RAM has been shown in benchmarks not to make a difference for games. The exception is for AMD APU's.)

"Why do people keep saying to get a core i5 that only has 4 cores? The FX-8320 has 8 cores! Shouldn't that make the game faster?" (No, most games do not use more than 2 cores because it's difficult to program. Even Crysis 3 only uses more than 2 cores for handling certain areas with grass. Battlefield 4 is an exception. Even if a game could use all 8 cores of the FX-8320 efficiently, the i5 has much more powerful cores that usually outweigh the 8 weaker cores in the FX-8320. This is the main reason why BF4 only recommends core i5 or i7 processors.)

In the defense of all new posters on buildapc there is not a single source of information to read all this. I decided to change that by creating this guide. You will read on how to get the best ways to get most for your PC and the traps to avoid that many new users fall into. This will not be a picture guide on how to actually install the parts; Youtube has better guides for that. You will learn how to select parts, get a feel for the different brands, understand labeling for CPU's and GPU's, etc.

So far all of this book is online and can be read in the web sample. I'm trying something new by writing this entire book online as I go. This book will have spelling and grammar issues as I write. Corrections are more than welcome! I don't know if I will restrict anything in this book to paying users. If you found the information helpful you can support this book by buying a copy, but it isn't necessary. r/buildapc is my hobby and I would write this book anyway to help out new users.

About the Author

John B. Wyatt IV
John B. Wyatt IV

John B. Wyatt IV is a newly graduated computer science and engineering student from the University of California, Merced. He is the owner of, an open source training company. WyattTechCourses offers training in LAMP, Ubuntu and Chef. Feel free to leave us a message if you are interested in a certain technology.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • Is building your own PC hard?
    • Who this book is for
    • Will I save money?
    • Why should I build my own computer?
    • Check out r/buildapc
    • Are you connected with r/buildapc?
  • Where to Buy
    • Computer Parts: use PCPartPicker to find the best deals
    • Cables, adapters, and printer ink; buy them at Monoprice
  • Power Supply Units (PSU)
    • Recommedations
    • 80+ Certification
    • The Dangers of Off Brand PSUs
    • Summary
  • Cases
    • Size
    • What you must get
    • Brands
  • OS: Linux & SteamOS
    • SteamOS
    • Benefits of Linux
    • Pitfalls with Linux
  • Channels that I Watch

Causes Supported

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Defending your civil liberties in a digital world.

Based in San Francisco, EFF is a donor-supported membership organization working to protect fundamental rights regardless of technology.

From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

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