Library Blog

Building a Desktop Computer

Hand holding smartphone with phrase Tech Time

The last year has taught us a lot about how much we rely on technology every day. While most of us can get by with smartphones, there are certain tasks that require us to have something more powerful to fulfill the demands of our business, school, or hobbies.

Have you ever considered just putting together your own computer? It’s often a less expensive option than buying prebuilt and gives you more control over your spending by putting money into the components you really need. It’s also not as complex as you might think.

A desktop computer is just a few components attached to a circuit board that are housed in an enclosure; it’s a lot like the human body:

  • The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is like our brain. It controls and coordinates what happens.
  • The Motherboard is like your nervous system. It connects everything and passes messages between components.
  • Random Access Memory is like our short-term memory. It’s temporary unless we save it.
  • The Hard Drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD) is like our long-term memory. The stores the apps and files that we need.
  • The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is like our visual cortex. It interprets video signals and renders them in a way we can understand.
  • The Power Supply Unit (PSU) is like our heart. It makes sure everything has the energy it needs to work.
  • Finally, the Case is like our body. It houses all the useful components and keeps them safe.

Probably the hardest part of building a computer is making sure that all the components you buy will work with each other. Luckily, finding out what works and what does not is as easy as going to PC Part Picker. There you can test build a whole new system, or enter the specs of your current system and see what upgrades will work.

If any of this has piqued your curiosity, check out our video of Edward Koltonski of the Business and Investment Center take a collection of parts and turn them into a a running computer, premiering on our Facebook page on Wednesday, June 16.

Ed Koltonski

Edward Koltonski is the Business & Investment Center librarian. To schedule an appointment, call 330-744-8636 or email the Business & Investment Center librarian at