PC Magazine

How to Build a PC in 2018: Choosing the Right Components

The actual assembly process isn’t usually all that difficult, but choosing the right components for a build-it-yourself PC can be tricky. We’re here to help.


Although components such as the CPU and GPU will determine what your machine can do in an absolute sense, the chassis you pick is still important. The PC case determines which kinds of CPUs and GPUs you can install, what your peripheral and storage options are, and which cooling equipment can be installed. You may not plan to open it often or to change the installed equipment, but every interaction you have with your system will happen through and around the case it uses.

Cases tend to be marketed as one of several types of tower—full tower, mid tower, and mini tower are the three basic categories, along with a few for literal “desktop” machines (HTPC). There’s some overlap between case and motherboard sizes, so I’ll address that question more fully later on. Small cases are typically harder to work in, because they give you less room to maneuver when installing or removing components, and also because you may have to install hardware in a

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