I'm looking to build my own custom gaming PC over time. I would just like to know what order I should buy the hardware in since i'm building it over time. I meant building over time as in I would buy parts but not put it together until I have them all of course. I know what I need and what I don't have to have. I was thinking about buying a case, motherboard(ASUS IV Formula), cooling fan, and RAM chips (8gb) for Christmas, and later for my birthday pick up an i7 processor and so on until I have all I need.
If your motherboard doesn't have an integrated graphics chip then you also need a graphics card so that you can actually plug a monitor in. For gaming you need to get a dedicated graphics card though. Most motherboards have onboard sound and Ethernet, but if it doesn't then you need a sound card and network card.
Your graphics card is probably going to be the most power demanding piece of hardware in your computer, so base your power supply purchase off what is recommended for the graphics card you choose. A good 600/650W is enough to handle most single card setups unless you get a high end card like the Radeon HD 6990 which needs a 750W, but at $700 a pop you should already be springing for top end hardware.
A PC needs the following components to be built and work:
- CPU [must match the socket type of the motherboard]
- RAM [a min. 6GB is today an average i think]
- GPU [if not for gaming, maybe an integrated GPU on motherboard will suffice and later you could buy one dedicated, but I must advice against an integrated GPU]
- HDD [I recommend a primary HDD (for system) and another for data storage.]
- Optical Drive
- PSU [power output needs to be somewhat higher than the system would require to cover performance peaks - higher system load]
- Sound Card [you can choose a dedicated one, but the integrated ones are good too so you don't need to buy one as today motherboards have them]
- OS: Win7
- pc case
Note: For gaming GPU I would pick nVidia GTX580. Also there are some ATI alternatives too (check some websites for them)