How To: Your Guide to Buying Computer Parts: How to Get the Most for Your Money

Your Guide to Buying Computer Parts: How to Get the Most for Your Money

When you buy computer parts, it can be a tough decision where you want to put all of your hard earned dollars into. Not only that, but when you buy a top of the line component, 3 months later (at most), your hardware will likely be outdated. This puts consumers like us in a bit of a pickle when it comes to purchasing, especially on a tight budget.

The question inevitably becomes, "What is the best computer I can get for my money?". This all still depends on what you need and how much you want to spend. I'm going to assume you want a great graphics card, because you really don't need to build a computer if you just want to surf the web. Plenty of free computers on Craigslist can check Grandma's email.

The best time to buy components is NOT when they are new—ever. Unless you have money to waste, do not buy when the parts represent brand new technology. The prices will be incredibly fluffed, and the 1st generation components likely will have buggy drivers and issues for a while before they get anywhere near as usuable as older parts (think AMD graphics issues, to this day the 6900s do not run flawlessly). Here is the best strategy for buying:

  • Buy the best motherboard you can. This will ensure that you can upgrade components in this computer for a while, increasing its longevity.
  • Keep the budget under $2,000 unless you have serious cash to play with.
  • Read extensive product reviews on parts you want to buy.
  • Get a solid state drive. They are incredibly fast and better than their HDD cousins in every aspect, besides price. Get one for your OS and games. It will fit everything perfectly. Store things on a secondary or external HDD.
  • Don't overkill the RAM. RAM is cheap, but coming from a guy with 32GB of the stuff, you don't need the best memory there is. You just need high bus speeds for a good price. 8 or 16GB of DDR3 will serve you quite well.

What to Order

We will be covering a budget range of less than $1,500 for a build. Let's see what we can come up with using the greatest computer component store out there, New Egg. If you've got more money, I recommend spending more on a larger SSD and getting dual 6990s. Other than that, these components are top notch.

Under $1,300

This is the best parts list and specs money can buy for under a grand, in my opinion. Click on the image and enlarge.

Your Guide to Buying Computer Parts: How to Get the Most for Your Money

Parts list:

That's not a bad rig for the money. We can add a good GPU and make it go from 800 dollars to 1,200 dollars (please tell me that you want a GPU?). Questions? Comment below.

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Image via Gold Canyon Computer Repair


Listening to NoneLikeJoshua on the Ephixa Lost Woods remix, reading your parts list, I am almost brought to tears by nostalgia and jealousy/wonder.

With a computer like yours, what do you do with it? Play heavy games? Or just hacking the FBI mainframe...

Sadly, neither x]]. I do a small bit of Skyrim on my new rig, but I've not really dont much with it otherwise, yet. Cracked a few passwords for testing purposes, but that's about as far as it goes. Thing's giving me a real pain in Linux.

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