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PC Hardware Guide

As technology advances, so does the need for computer hardware that can keep up with the latest software. At Garner Tech, we understand the importance of having reliable and high-quality hardware to ensure that your computer can handle everything you need it to. From processors to RAM, every part plays a significant role in the overall performance of your PC. That's why we want to make sure you have all the information you need to build the best computer possible.


A computer case, also known as a computer chassis, is the metal box that houses all the essential components of a desktop computer. It provides a protective shell for the delicate internal parts like the motherboard, CPU, graphics card, RAM, hard drives, and power supply unit .

Computer cases come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colours. You can choose a case that fits your needs and style.

Some factors to consider when choosing a computer case include:

  • Size: The size of the case will depend on the size of the motherboard you plan to use. ATX motherboards are the most common size, but there are also smaller microATX and mini-ITX motherboards.

  • Cooling: If you plan on using a powerful graphics card or overclocking your CPU, you will need a case with good airflow. Look for a case with multiple fans and vents.

  • Storage: Consider how many hard drives and optical drives you need to install. Choose a case with enough drive bays to accommodate your needs.

  • Aesthetics: Computer cases come in a variety of colors and styles. Choose a case that looks good in your workspace.


The motherboard, also sometimes called the mainboard, is the foundation of a computer . It's essentially a large circuit board that acts as the central hub, connecting and allowing communication between all the other critical components inside your computer.

Choosing a motherboard can be like picking the right foundation for your house - you want it to be compatible with everything you're building on top of it. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • CPU Compatibility: This is rule number one. Motherboards are designed to work with specific CPU socket types, so you need to ensure the motherboard you choose is compatible with the processor you plan to use. Not following this rule will result in incompatible parts that won't work together.

  • Form Factor: Motherboards come in different sizes, with ATX being the most common for full-size towers. Micro ATX and Mini-ITX are smaller options for more compact builds. Consider the size of your computer case and how much space you have for the motherboard.


  • Expandability: Think about how many devices you'll be connecting to your motherboard. This includes the number of RAM slots for memory, PCIe slots for graphics cards and other expansion cards, and SATA ports for storage drives. Choose a motherboard that has enough of each to accommodate your needs and potential future upgrades.

Processor (CPU)

A processor, also called a central processing unit (CPU), is the brain of a computer. It's the main chip that handles all the calculations and instructions needed to run programs. You can find processors in all sorts of devices, not just computers, but also phones, tablets, even gaming consoles.


Think of it like this: If the computer is a kitchen, the CPU is the head chef. It receives recipes (instructions) from cookbooks (software), figures out the ingredients and steps (calculations), and tells the assistants (other components) what to do (like finding ingredients or using the oven).

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Multiple cores: Modern CPUs often have multiple cores, which allows them to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, making them faster and more efficient.

  • Processing power: The processing power of a CPU determines how fast it can perform these tasks. This is influenced by factors like clock speed and number of cores.

Processor (CPU) Cooler

Keeping your CPU cool is vital for maintaining system stability and preventing performance issues. There are two main types of CPU coolers: air coolers and liquid coolers.

  • Air coolers are the most common type of CPU cooler. They work by using a heat sink, which is a metal finned component, to absorb heat from the CPU. A fan then blows air over the heat sink, dissipating the heat away from the CPU. Air coolers are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and reliable. However, they can be bulky and may not be as effective at cooling high-performance CPUs.

  • Liquid coolers are a more complex type of CPU cooler that uses a liquid coolant to absorb heat from the CPU. The coolant is pumped through a closed loop to a radiator, where it is cooled by air from fans. Liquid coolers are more effective at cooling high-performance CPUs than air coolers, and they can also be quieter. However, they are more expensive and more difficult to install than air coolers. There is also a small risk of the liquid leaking and damaging other components in your computer.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a CPU cooler:

  • The type of CPU you have: Different CPUs have different heat output (TDP). A CPU with a higher TDP will require a more powerful cooler.

  • The size of your computer case: Make sure that the cooler you choose will fit inside your case.

  • Your noise level tolerance: Air coolers can be quite noisy, especially at high speeds. Liquid coolers are generally quieter, but they can still be noisy if the pump or fans are running at high speeds.

  • Your budget: Air coolers are generally less expensive than liquid coolers.

RAM (Memory)

RAM, which stands for Random Access Memory, is essentially your computer's short-term memory. It's a high-speed storage area that allows the central processing unit (CPU) to quickly access data it needs to run programs and functions. Think of it like your own brain's working memory, where you hold information you're using right now.

Here are some things to consider when thinking about RAM:

  • How much RAM do you need? This depends on what you typically use your computer for. Basic tasks like browsing the web or using email don't require a lot of RAM (8GB is usually sufficient). But if you're into gaming, video editing, or running demanding programs, you'll benefit from having more RAM (16GB/32GB or higher).

  • Future needs: Consider if your computer usage might change in the coming years, and choose RAM that can accommodate those changes.

Graphics Card (GPU)

A graphics card, also known as a video card or GPU (graphics processing unit), is a crucial component for displaying images on your computer screen.

While some CPUs have integrated graphics for basic tasks, a dedicated graphics card is essential for:

  • Gamers: Running modern games at high resolutions and frame rates requires the powerful processing capabilities of a graphics card.

  • Video editors: Editing high-resolution videos involves a lot of data processing, which a graphics card can significantly accelerate.

Graphic designers: Working with complex graphics and 3D modeling software benefits greatly from the power of a dedicated graphics card.

​Your needs:

  • Do you prioritize high-resolution gaming? Modern games with high graphical fidelity demand a powerful graphics card. Consider factors like frame rate (how smooth the motion appears) and resolution (sharpness of the image) you find desirable.

  • Do you use video editing software? Editing high-resolution footage requires a graphics card to handle the heavy processing load. More VRAM allows for smoother editing, especially with complex effects

  • .

  • Are you a graphic designer or 3D modeler? Working with intricate graphics and 3D models benefits greatly from a strong graphics card. Look for a card with ample VRAM to store complex textures and models.


PC storage refers to the space available on your computer to hold all your files, programs, and the operating system itself. There are three main types of PC storage devices:

  • Hard Disk Drives (HDDs): These are the traditional storage drives, using spinning platters to store data magnetically. They are relatively inexpensive and offer large capacities (up to several terabytes). However, they are slower and more prone to physical damage compared to newer technology.​

  • SATA SSDs: SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) is a mature interface that's been around for a long time. It's also the most common interface for HDDs. SATA SSDs offer good performance for everyday tasks but are slower than the newer NVMe interface. They are also more affordable.

  • NVMe SSDs: NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a newer interface specifically designed for SSDs. It offers much faster performance than SATA SSDs because it can take advantage of the high bandwidth of the PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) bus. NVMe SSDs are ideal for demanding tasks like gaming, video editing, and working with large files. However, they are also more expensive than SATA SSDs.

Here's how to decide how much storage you need:

  • Consider your daily tasks: For basic tasks like web browsing, email, and light document editing, 256GB of storage might be sufficient.

  • Do you store a lot of media? If you store a lot of photos, videos, or music, you'll need more space. Videos and games can take up significant storage. Aim for 500GB or 1TB if you deal with large media files.

  • Do you use professional creative software? Video editors, graphic designers, and other professionals who work with large creative files may need even more storage, upwards of 2TB or more.

Power Supply (PSU)

A PC power supply unit (PSU), also known as a power supply or a switcher, is a hardware component that provides power to all other parts of your computer. It's basically the heart of your PC, responsible for converting the alternating current (AC) electricity from your wall outlet into the direct current (DC) power that your computer components need to function.

Headroom for Upgrades: It's generally advisable to get a PSU with a wattage rating higher than your calculated needs.


This provides headroom for two reasons:

  • Efficiency: PSUs operate most efficiently at around 50-60% load. A higher wattage PSU running at a lower load will be more efficient, translating to lower energy consumption and potentially quieter operation.

  • Future Upgrades: If you plan on adding components like a more powerful graphics card or overclocking your CPU in the future, having a PSU with extra headroom ensures it can handle the increased power demands.

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