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Wait, what! How did you get here? Damn kids hacking me through my power outlet!

Welcome to the description of a 17-year-old Computer Nerd/Enthusiast

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Part Advice

Power Supplies

These are one of the most important parts of your PC as they supply the power to all your components and are frequently overlooked during the part picking process. You don't want to cheap out on a power supply, a bad unit puts your components at risk.

Good PSUs

Fully-modular
Fully-modular PSUs have no cables permanently attached to them, this means that you can choose only the cables you need to make your build, making cable management easier and increasing airflow, and overall make your build look cleaner.

Semi-modular
These are a like a hybrid between Fully and Non, on a Semi-Modular PSU the 24-pin motherboard power connector and 8/4-pin are permanently wired to the PSU, whereas the other cables are not. There do tend to be less separate cables as more connectors will be on the same cable.

Non-modular
All the cables are permanently fixed to the unit there are no cables that you can remove (without damage). They end up being a pain to work with - poor options for cable management, worse airflow and lower aesthetics. Still, they're an option if you want it.

CPUs

A list of CPUs to use in a build, and what not to use. Some CPUs do not have very good value and are not worth the money, for example, as of current, the i3 division is simply unnecessary with the introduction of Hyperthreading to Pentium, in Kaby Lake (7th Gen).

Intel

Coffee Lake - 8th Gen [current]

On October 5th, 2017, Intel debuted Coffee Lake (8th Gen) the second optimization of the 14nm process for desktop CPUs. Cannon Lake, also an 8th Gen release, shrinks the lithography down to 10nm, for laptop CPUs. Currently, only the i3, i5, and i7 processors have been released with the only available compatible chipset being Z370 series - which is great for gamers and enthusiasts alike. However, consumers looking for basic (and cheaper) solutions will have to wait until the rest of the line up is released. Coffee Lake will continue to use the LGA 1151, however, it was separated from its predecessors by making the purchase of a 300 series mandatory (due to altering pin design).

The new i3 chips are now quad-cores to reintroduce the relevance of that sector after Pentium received HyperThreading in its last iteration. i5s are now 6 core processors instead of 4. The i7s, like all older generations, has i5's features, with SMT on top of that, and a higher clock speed.

Kaby Lake - 7th Gen [obsolete]

  • Intel Pentium G4560; An absolute game changer, amazing performance for only $60, and great when paired with an RX570. EDIT 10/2017: Since the G4560 has become more expensive than the other two Pentiums, the G4600 is the next cheapest KL Pentium to go with.
  • Intel Pentium G4600; For purposes where a dedicated GPU is not required/used, therefore Intel HD Graphics 630 is preferable for a smoother experience (opposed to the Intel HD Graphics 610 on the G4560).
  • Intel Core i5-7400; When four cores are required, but only for basic use, e.g. a Work PC, however still feasible for gaming purposes.
  • Intel Core i5-7500; Great value locked processor for gaming, will take any task thrown at them - and especially well with a decent video card, like the RX580, the GTX 1060 or the GTX 1070.
  • Intel Core i5-7600K; We all know this one, a beast of a CPU - unleashed by overclocking. Amazing enthusiast platform orientated towards gaming, pair it with a 1070/1080 and you'll awesome performance in gaming.
  • Intel Core i7-7700; Programmers need many threads if they are doing large tasks, but don't need to overclock or have a dedicated GPU.
  • Intel Core i7-7700K; The top of the main sector of Intel's goodies, get a big *** AiO and ascend to overclocking heaven.

AMD (Specifically AM4)

Ryzen (Zen) [current]

With the release of Ryzen, AMD threw the tables over in the CPU market. After 5 years of having no impact, leaving Intel without competition, AMD is back with their great bang-for-buck theme rivaling the opposition.

Stay away from Piledriver (FX).

(Gonna finish the Ryzen section at some point)

Storage

SSDs

There's a lot of misconceptions about Solid State storage around PCPP and elsewhere, the fact is, they are fast, but they aren't mandatory. Because SSD's have no moving parts, they are much faster than the standard mechanical drive, allowing for a faster system (loading/writing times).

SSDs' have limited lifetimes, unlike HDDs (hard drives can also fail, but only due to wear over time). Each memory block of a flash-based SSD can only be erased (and therefore written) a limited number of times before it fails. After this, the drive will start to deteriorate and become unusable, although, the majority of solid state drives do have decent endurance ratings and will take some time to fail - so watch out for the cheap SSDs which don't last long.

Now, with gaming/high-performance builds (the apparent theme of this site), there will be a budget, and so compromises will need to be made in order to reach a certain objective. A common subject of this is the battle between the video card and the SSD, usually, you will add an SSD and a well-capable GPU because the pair's performance is preferable for gaming. However, when the budget is low, the choice of the two becomes ambivalent. Games are very GPU heavy and require lots of power from one to run smoothly, SSDs, on the other hand, allow a PC to load a game and its assets more quickly. Overall, though, the system with more graphical processing capability will run a game better, than the system with less graphical processing capability and an SSD. Which is why I recommend (gaming) builds for under $500 should prioritise the graphics card, in order to achieve the optimal potential of a system.

[This description/guide is a WIP]