XI: Wrapping up the build with peripherals

This is the last post about how to build your computer because strictly speaking we have finished the computer in the past post. Yet, if this is your first build, or if you are upgrading a very old computer, you may want to also purchase some peripherals to update everything to modern times. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Screen: Choosing a screen (or many of them) can be difficult. First of all, is hard to compare them because in general you should be able to see them performing, but usually in a shop they are not all well configured to show the best performance. In general, you can start by the size that you want, if you don’t know which one you should get, you can calculate the best one using the distance from where you sit to the screen. The highest resolution you should look for is the maximum that you computer (in this case, the graphic card) can provide at high frame rate. It is hard to say but you probably don’t need to look for the most recent technology, specially if it is not yet the standard in industry.

Mouse: Size and ergonomics are the most important features in this case. You want a mouse that feels good in your palm, and it depends on your grip. Also you have the choice between wired or wireless. For competitive gaming you probably want a wired mouse because it has some lag from the signal to go to the mouse and back (usually a few miliseconds). For general purposes, you probably are fine with a wireless one. Extra buttons are nice to customize their function and save you time with common tasks that you repeat very often. Finally, sensitivity can be important, specially if you want to play games and/or image editing. A high sensitivity mouse (in the order of thousands of dpi) allows you to make very small movements and they will be reflected in the pointer moving slightly.

Keyboard: Similar than mouses, ergonomics are probably the most important thing to look for. You also have the option to go wired or wireless and some keyboards have as well extra function buttons that may suit you. Also the type of keyboard can make a difference, traditional keyboards use a membrane, yet some new keyboards are mechanical keyboards that have better feel when used.

Speakers/Headphones: Another difficult decision because it depends on your preferences. If you just want something to hear what is happening to your computer, you can go for cheap ones, but the quality will be awful. Medium range speakers/headphones give you some nice quality, though. However, if you want to go for the best quality and you already got a nice sound card, be prepare to go for the expensive set of speakers to get the best sound.

External storage: Very handy if you want to store high amount of data in a hard drive that you can easily switch from one computer to a different computer. Nowadays you can also use the cloud, but for very big files (couple of GB at least) this is the best and fastest solution.