Last Updated: January 19, 2016

Build A Computer Like My Super PC

You can build a computer that's affordable, high-quality and with great performance. I provide PC part recommendations and free assembly instructions. The step-by-step assembly instructions are the most detailed guide anywhere on how to build a computer. They include hundreds of pictures and list every single part that was used, right down to the cables and screws.

PC Parts List

The computer parts I recommend are compatible, high-quality and in the "sweet spot", meaning each component gives you the most bang-for-the-buck. Each has a link to where you can get it for a great price, usually with free shipping.

Computer Case and Power Supply

The computer case I recommend is solidly built. It has front port connections for USB 2.0 (two connections), an audio jack, a microphone jack and one eSATA port It has plenty of open bays and it's not imposingly tall. It features low-noise cooling and vibration absorbing drive mounts As a bonus, it comes with a high-quality 500-watt power supply included.
Antec Sonata III with 500-watt power supply for around $140.

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Processor (CPU)

A processor type is identified by its "socket type". This is a reference to the physical and electrical characteristics of the processor. There are a number of socket types available made by both AMD and Intel, so it's important to know the best one for building your own computer. Some socket types may be on their way to being discontinued, others may be too new to try, and others may be best suited for purposes other than desktop computers. Similarly, some models within a socket type are better choices for a desktop computer than others. The Intel processor I recommend is a socket type LGA 1150.
Intel Core i5-4570k 3.2GHz for around $199.

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The motherboard is the main system board for the computer. It provides the platform to which all the other computer components are mounted or connect. A good motherboard like this one provides sound, USB, FireWire and internet connectivity. The motherboard and processor must be compatible. Motherboards are built to physically and electrically accommodate a specific processor socket type. There are a number of socket types on the market made by both Intel and AMD, so it's important to know the best one for building your own computer. The motherboard I recommend uses an LGA 1150 processor socket type.
ASUS Z97-A LGA 1150 for around $189.

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RAM (Random Access Memory) is the main system memory of the computer. A total of 4GB (4 Gigabytes) is sufficient to ensure the overall computer performance is not unduly impaired by the amount of RAM in the system, but a computer today should have 8GB of RAM or more. RAM prices are very low and that makes the decision for how much RAM to get for the computer much easier. I suggest purchasing four of these for a total of 16GB of RAM. The "Ballistix" memory is high-speed memory.
Crucial Ballistix 4GB Single PC3-12800 DDR3 for around $30 each.

Video Card

A GeForce GTX 960 video card like this one is great for demanding graphics environments, including digital video and top-tier gaming, without spending too much. It is very quiet and very powerful.
eVGA GeForce GTX 960 2GB DDR5 for around $210.

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Sound Card

An add-on sound card is not needed by most. The built-in sound provided by motherboards such as the ones I recommend will satisfy most listeners, including me. But a sound card provides noticeably better sound and improves performance.
ASUS Xonar DX PCI-Express for around $90.

Solid State Drive

The solid state drive is a mass storage device. It provides a large amount of permanent read/write memory, like a hard drive, but at performance speeds that more closely resemble RAM. Their performance improvement over hard drives is breathtaking.
Crucial MX200 500GB SATA for around $165.

Hard Drive

A hard drive is an optional consideration for large storage needs. It can be an add-on, or it can be used instead of a solid state drive to save a little money. This drive is quiet, reliable and very fast.
Western Digital 1TB RE4 SATA 3 Gb/s 7200rpm for around $60.

Optical Drive

An optical drive is an optional consideration. Not too long ago it was a must-have for software and data, but today downloading has cut down their use dramatically. This optical drive does it all. It can read and write Blu-ray DVD's, standard DVD's and CD's.
ASUS Blu-Ray 12x DVD RW (Black) for around $75.

Keyboard and Laser Mouse

This pair is stylish with a nice feel to both keyboard and mouse. A 2.4GHz wireless connection is used for greater reliability. The keyboard layout is standard. The mouse includes a soft-click scroll wheel. But keyboard and mouse are very much a matter of personal taste. Personally I'm fine with a wired keyboard and mouse arrangement, too. A wired keyboard can come with LEDs for things like Caps Lock and Num Lock.
Logitech MK 520 for around $35.


This is a wide screen monitor. Monitor choice is between regular and wide screen. The regular monitor has a 4:3 aspect ratio, such as a 1600 x 1200 native resolution and is rather squarish in appearance. A widescreen monitor is rectangular and often has an apsect ratio of 16:9, same as an HDTV, with a native resolution like 1920 x 1080. Either one is fine, just a matter of preference. Widescreen monitors tend to be less expensive because a 22-inch widescreen monitor has less viewing area than a 22-inch regular monitor. A 20-inch regular monitor is about the same height as a 24-inch widescreen monitor, but the 24-inch widescreen monitor would be much wider.
Viewsonic 24-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor Full HD 1080p With Built-In Speakers for around $150.

Operating System

Windows 10 is fine, better then Windows 8 and almost as good as Windows 7. The 64-bit Home edition is the one you want.
Windows 10 Home 64-Bit for around $95.