The per­fect plan

Re­search, plan, bud­get. Those are the first things you need to do when your mind wan­ders to­ward build­ing a new rig.

APC Australia - - The Lab -


A lit­tle knowl­edge can go a long way when it comes to build­ing your per­fect PC. And the best place to start is re­views. You can look at all the build guides in the world, but if you don’t know what gear is right for you, you’re go­ing to end up sorely out of pocket and with a sys­tem not fit for pur­pose. Re­views are a huge source of in­for­ma­tion. Whether they’re on­line, on YouTube, or in good old APC, you can learn how some­thing works, how to in­stall it, and how it per­forms when push comes to shove. Sec­ond to re­views are manufacturers’ web­sites. Read­ing PDFs and in­stall man­u­als ahead of time will make the build process far eas­ier and help you set ev­ery­thing up af­ter, too.


Next up is the plan­ning phase. This is more of an en­vi­ron­men­tal and aes­thetic de­ci­sion-mak­ing process than any­thing else. Fig­ure out how much space you have for your new rig, where it’s go­ing to be si­t­u­ated, what form fac­tor you want, and what chas­sis is right for you — re­mem­ber, air­flow and am­bi­ent tem­per­a­tures are key. Then you’ve got to think about what hard­ware will fit where. Do you want a 240mm AIO up front? Will it con­flict with your GPU? What will in­ter­nal tem­per­a­tures be like? Can you in­stall it on the roof? Or per­haps an air cooler is bet­ter? All of these things can be an­swered long be­fore you even take the first step into an on­line pur­chase.


Tak­ing the plunge and choos­ing what hard­ware is right for you re­lies heav­ily on the first two tips. Look at what cash you have and al­lo­cate it ac­cord­ingly. Make sure you buy hard­ware that’s ei­ther ap­pro­pri­ate for what you do to­day, or what you will do to­mor­row. Don’t al­lo­cate half your bud­get to cooling and aes­thet­ics if you can get 30% more per­for­mance out of it else­where. And make sure you don’t waste cash (on faster mem­ory kits for In­tel, for in­stance) where you don’t need to. If a sale is com­ing up, wait for it — they’re usu­ally worth it. Hell, you can drip-feed hard­ware, too; buy one or two things per month in­stead of go­ing all-out in one go.

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