Build a Computer Online

You can easily build a computer online if you follow a couple of the key steps outlined below to ensure that all of the components will fit together.  Don't worry, it's not nearly as tricky as someone may have you believe.

TIP! Use benchmarks, they will often get you faster components without having to spend more money.

Step 1 - Pick your CPU

Be smart here, use the benchmarks to help you be able to pick out the CPU that packs the biggest punch for your dollar.  If you need help, I can show you how to pick the best CPU.  The information of the CPU I picked for the purpose of this tutorial is below.  As you can see below the interface is an LGA1155, the motherboard will need to have this same interface to be compatible.

Specifications

Intel Core i7-2600K 3.40 GHz Quad-Core Unlocked
  Manufacturer:  Intel
  CPU Type:  Desktop
  Processor Interface:  LGA1155
  Processor Class:  Core i7 (2nd gen)
  Processor Speed:  i7-2600K / 3.40GHz
  Cores:  Quad
  L2 Cache:  1MB
  L3 Cache:  8MB
  Bus Speed:  5.0 GT/s
  Fan:  Included
  Wattage:  95W
  Additional Technologies:  Intel® Speedstep® Technology
  Intel® Clear Video Technology
  Intel® Quick Sync Video
  Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
  Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology
  Unlocked Multiplier:  Yes
  Instruction Set:  SSE
  SSE2
  SSE3
  SSE4.1
  SSE4.2
  SSSE3
  Integrated Graphics Core:  Yes
  Graphics Core Speed:  850-1350 MHz
  Integrated Memory Controller:  Yes

Step 2 - Pick out the Motherboard

To build a computer online or off, the part that will determine the longevity of your system will most likely be the motherboard.  Choose a motherboard from a high end motherboard manufacturer, you don't want to cheap out here at all. 

Find a board that supports your CPU, Tigerdirecticon will let you narrow a search by many parameters including processor interface.  As you can see, this motherboard will support the CPU selected.  To build a computer online you'll like, either Asus or Gigabyte make good boards.

Specifications

ASUS P8P67 PRO REV 3.1 Intel P67 Motherboard
  Processor Socket:  Intel
  Processor Interface:  LGA1155
  Form Factor:  ATX
  Processors Supported:  2nd generation Intel® Core™ i3
  2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5
  2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7
  Additional Technologies:  ASUS EZ Flash 2
  ASUS Crash Free BIOS3
  Mem OK!
  Anti-Surge
  Asus AI Suite II
  ASUS EFI BIOS
  ASUS DIGI+ VRM
  ASUS BT GO! (Bluetooth)
  ASUS Q-Design
  ASUS Fan Xpert
  ASUS O.C. Tuner
  ASUS Q-Connector
  ASUS-Q Shield
  Multi-GPU Support:  SLI Ready
  CrossFireX Ready
  Northbridge:  Intel® P67 Express
  Memory Supported:  DDR3 1333MHz
  DDR3 1066MHz
  DDR3 1600MHz
  DDR3 1866MHz (OC)
  DDR3 2133MHz (OC)
  DDR3 2200MHz (OC)
  Memory Type:  DDR3
  Number of Pins:  240-Pin
  Maximum Memory Supported:  32GB - 64bit
  Number of Slots:  4
  Max. Memory Supported Per Slot:  8GB
 Channels:  8 Channels
  Audio Chipset:  Realtek ALC892
  LAN Type:  10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit
  PS/2 Keyboard Connectors:  1
  PS/2 Mouse Connectors:  1
  USB Ports (Total):  16
  USB 3.0 Ports:  2 (rear)
  USB Rear Panel Ports:  6
  USB Onboard Headers:  1 x USB 3.0/2.0 connector(s) supports additional 2 USB ports (19-pin)
  3 x USB 2.0/1.1 connector(s) support additional 6 USB ports
  FireWire Ports:  1
  LAN Ports:  1
  Audio Out Jacks:  4
  Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s Headers:  4
  2 x External SATA (1 x Power eSATA)
  Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s Headers:  4
  ATX Power Connectors:  1 24-Pin Connector
  1 x 8-pin EATX 12V Power connector
  Fan Connectors:  2 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (1 x 4-pin; 1 x 3-pin)
  1 x CPU Fan connector (4-pin)
  1 x Power Fan connector (3-pin)
  S/PDIF Connectors:  1 - Coaxial
  1 - Optical
  PCI Slots:  2
  PCI Express X1 Slots:  2
  PCI Express X16 Slots:  3
  RAID Support:  Yes
  RAID Modes:  0
  1
  10
  5

asus p8p67 pro

Step 3 - RAM

The next part to build a computer online is finding the RAM supported by the motherboard.  As you can see, this board supports DDR3 1066, 1333, 1600, 1866 (OC), 2133 (OC), and 2200 (OC).  The OC simply stands for overclocked.  To achieve the speeds listed, you will have to overclock.  Pick the fastest speed with no (OC), in this case DDR3 1600.

I can hear many of you wanting to go to the 2200 (OC), you'll have to trust me on this one, timings play a bigger part in speed then MHz.  For the purpose of the build a computer online guide, you want to pick RAM with the highest MHz without overclock and the lowest RAM timing values.  It's the numbers listed when you pick out your RAM that looks like 9-9-9-24.  Lower is better.

The final number is pins, as you can see by the motherboard information, it's 240.

As you can see in the picture above, this board also supports dual channel memory, the easiest way to identify this is with the different color RAM slots.  Putting 2 4GB sticks of memory will be faster on this board than 1 8GB stick since the board will write to both RAM slots of the same color at the same time.  Kind of like a RAID setup.  Below is a spec sheet for some nice memory for this setup.  For the purpose of the build a computer online guide, we'll choose 2 sticks.

There is more information on this site about picking the best RAM if you're unclear.

Specifications

Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 PC12800 1600MHz RAM
  Memory Category:  Desktop
  Memory Type:  DDR3
  Memory Speed:  PC12800
  Memory Speed MHz:  1600MHz
  Memory Size:  4096MB
  Total Memory Size:  8GB
  Memory Modules:  2
  Memory Channels:  Dual
  Memory Socket:  DIMM
  Memory CAS Latency:  8
  Memory Timing:  8-8-8-24
  Pins:  240
  Voltage:  1.5V
  ECC:  No
  Memory Buffer:  Unbuffered

Step 4 - Hard Drive

Probably the easiest part to build a computer online is to pick out the hard drive.  Find the fastest interface that supports common hard drives, then check your benchmark and find a drive in your budget as high on the list as possible.  In this case the common interface is SATA 6GB/s or if you want to spend the money, you have the PCI-express slots to go that route.

Using benchmarks here again is very important to make sure you get the fastest drive possible for your budget.

Step 5 - Video Card

To build a computer online, you'll also need to choose a video card, another easy thing to do.  The motherboard has PCI-express slots which is what's needed for video cards at this time.  Choose a card by benchmarks and features that has a PCI-express interface and you're good to go.

Step 6 - The Rest

That's it, you've learned how to build a computer online, the other pieces you need are a case that is compatible with the motherboard form factor, a DVD or Blu Ray drive, a power supply and a Windows disk and you're all set.
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