What you need to know when building a computer in 2020

Today’s guest post comes from Nick Rojas, frequent Pocketables contributor


What You Need To Know When Building A Computer In 2020

Millions of people are working and or learning from home to stay safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, modern technology lets us work and learn remotely. Many people are making do with the bare minimum or what they already had. Suppose you are one of the people that took their work laptop months ago and have been making do ever since it might be time for an upgrade. Switching from a laptop or pre-built computer to a computer you build yourself can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow this guide to learn what you need to know before building a new computer in late 2020.

Goals For The New Computer

Before you jump into buying and building a new computer, you should know precisely what your goals are for the new system. Your new computer’s end goals will determine your price range and parts you will be looking for. If your goal is to switch from a laptop to a desktop for work tasks and Internet browsing, your parts shopping will look very different from someone looking for a high-end gaming or rendering computer. Computer parts have a wide price range, so set your goal before you start shopping to avoid being overwhelmed by the larger price tags.

Knowing your goal will also give you a budget range. A full computer involves more than just the internal parts as you will likely need a keyboard, mouse, and monitors. If you are building a computer for work tasks, be sure to include a webcam in your build list. A webcam is perfect for remote work meetings, remote schooling, and telehealth. Telehealth lets you talk to a therapist from the comfort of your own home so that you can maintain your mental health during these stressful times. With telehealth, you can securely connect to your provider over the internet, keep your information stored in your provider’s practice management software rather than the telehealth app, and get increased appointment flexibility now that travel time is eliminated.

Key Parts To Look For

Computer parts are not known for user-friendly naming conventions. It can be easy to get confused with all the various and sometimes similar names for different parts. Thankfully, there are some tools to make the process easier. PC Part Picker is one of the tools pc enthusiasts wear by, especially for beginners. If you have features you cannot live without, be sure they are covered in your pc parts list. Not every motherboard comes with wifi by default, so if you need wifi, make sure your board supports it; otherwise, you will be stuck with ethernet or after the fact wifi solutions. Bluetooth is another feature you should double-check for as many wireless devices, like wireless speakers or gaming headsets, need Bluetooth. You can add Bluetooth after the fact with a USB plug-in, but built-in Bluetooth is much less of a hassle.

Watch The Tech News

The tech industry never stands still for long, and there is always a new version of something coming out. As of late 2020, new CPUs and GPUs are the talk of the town, but most consumers won’t get their hands on new hardware for a few weeks. You should check the tech news before building or buying a new computer, even if you aren’t buying the latest and greatest releases. Flash sales can be a fantastic way to save some money on a new computer, and as the next generation of tech hits the market, older generations will drop in price. The news will also tell you if there is a shortage of parts, commonly reported shipping delays, or publicly known products’ defects.

Listen To The Experts

If this is your first time putting together or buying a computer, it is best to listen to expert advice. If you are building your new computer by hand, take the time to watch some build guides to help you through the process. While pc building can be described as adult Legos, some potential pitfalls can trip up new builders. You can take your pick from different online build guides; some guides are a proper step-by-step walk-through while others hit the essential points or common errors. Regardless of your experience level, there is a guide to help you build your new pc, so you don’t have to waste money paying someone else to build it. If you ever get stuck during your build, there is a slew of forums with people who can help you troubleshoot.

If you are working or learning from home, your current setup might work, but it could be time for an upgrade. Before you set out to buy or build a new pc, set your end goal for the system and budget. Your goal and budget will give you a range of parts, but look carefully to ensure the parts have the features you want. Keep an eye on the news to maybe score a deal or find information to make your deliberation between two parts more straightforward. If you are new to building a pc by hand, look up a guide to make sure you avoid beginner pitfalls and know how to troubleshoot common issues.

Guest author bio

Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto. @NickARojas

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts