Computer Check List Creation

Computer Check List creation is one of the first few steps to PreBuilding a computer. It is a necessary but very unpleasant step as it helps more or less to double check everything from parts to the compatibility of the parts. This information is vital and needed to make building your computer as painless as possible. 

When first building my computer, it took me much longer than anticipated. Not because I was new to building computers, but due to a lack of planning. It set me back many times taking me as long as 3 weeks just to know what parts I’m getting. So using what I learned and some research, this article will be a guide for you to creating a check list!

In this article I will be using not only an example but a realistic outline to compare and see the two forms of check lists, by doing this it will help put things into perspective and evaluate the goals for each build with parts, specs, and price while taking action and diving into the first step for building your first computer!

Making a Check List for your computer includes, Parts, Parts compatibility, Price, Build of computer(such as computer case style, possible lighting for style points), extras that you might need that support the build of the computer such as monitors, mice, keyboard, cables. This takes no time at all to make and will save you loads of time. Let’s look at the steps I take to create a Check List.

Know the Parts to make a Check List

One of the first things to creating a list with anything is knowing the parts we need to check off. The hardware to the computer is the main makeup of the journey to building a computer with the software being the very minor part. Software mainly includes windows and possibly a few drivers to run certain programs. I will lay out these parts in a list for you to save you some time!

  • Computer Case
  • Processor(CPU)
  • Motherboard
  • Graphics Card(GPU)
  • RAM
  • Hard Drive
  • Solid State Drive
  • Power Supply
  • Heat Sink
  • Possible Extra Fans

Some Extra Parts include:

  • Mice
  • Keyboard
  • Monitor
  • Cables such as HDMI 
  • Computer Desk
  • Computer Chair

These are primarily the things to consider when first looking into building a computer. The importance of a check list is to make sure to not miss any of these as it can easily get lost in the process of purchasing them regardless of the platform.

Now that the concept for creating a layout is set, it’s time to move onto how to go about making this check list. What I mean is choosing parts and almost constructing the computer with parts in mind and much more!

Before you make a Check List

Looking for more than just the parts for the computer is what will set you up for success. This includes:

  • Your goal for the computer such as for gaming, or a storage space, maybe even for art
  • What style you would like your computer to be, this includes color, size of the case to potentially have a larger style computer or a smaller for travel
  • Budget which could be the deciding factor between actually purchasing a computer or not, there is more math to this rather than purchasing a prebuilt computer
  • If its within your budget, how much power you want your computer to have
  • Do you want your computer to have specs that will transition into a newer era of computer parts, this means down the road using future programs might require having a more powerful computer thus buying closer to the top of the line parts

Check List Creation

Now that the general idea of using this layout system is in place the next thing to consider when creating a list for a computer is to look at a table I created for an example computer. The parts along with the goals will be listed but they are purely examples, this is just to get a visual illustration on creating a list. I will have two example tables just to show the differences between a more expensive computer and a less expensive one.

First example Table, Gaming Computer

Goals for this computer:

  1. Gaming/Social
  2. Longevity, I want this computer to last me a few years without my specs going out of date
  3. Doesn’t have to be flashy
  4. Just the inside of the computer and case, no extras like mice, keyboard, monitor
  5. Budget is around $2000, possibly under

Part/Specs                                                         Price

(Case)Corsair Crystal 208x RGB Micro-ATX Case $182.99
(Processor)Intel Core i9-9900 3.1 GHz Eight-Core LGA 1151 $469.99
(Motherboard)Asus Prime Z390-A LGA 1151 ATX Motherboard $179.99
(Graphics Card)Msi GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6 $560.46
(RAM)Ballistic 32GB Ballistic Sport DDR4 2400 MHz UDIM(comes with 2 sticks which is 16g each) $129.95
(SSD)Samsung 860 EVO 1TB Internal SATA Solid State Drive $129.99
(Power Supply)EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 G3 1000W 80 Plus Gold Modular $189.99
(Heat Sink with Coolant)Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler, CORSAIR – TM30 Performance Thermal Paste $42.00
Keyboard N/A
Monitor N/A
Mouse N/A

So grand total is $1886 which is just under the $2000 mark! Nice, so now that there is a setup that meets all of our goals, this will help us make an informed decision. That includes gaming and social. This will last quite a long time especially when taking into consideration the upkeep of it as well. This example isn’t too flashy only the RGB fans which come with the case, not getting nothing extra such as monitors or a keyboard and its under $2000!

This is now the list that is going to be used from now until actually having all the parts in our location. So make sure to double check from the checkout online or your local store, to receiving each part and know that everything is in order.

It is really that simple, however, since I’ve been using this layout system these types of list don’t take much time to put together. Knowing what you are buying is the important part here and making sure each part is compatible and worth your time to purchase.

Now let’s take a look at another example with different goals in mind and a price range. Keep in mind that these 2 examples will be closely related as far as parts go with a few minor adjustments. This will be focused on using an example with close to the same metrics to show that it is possible to move and shift things around so the end result is more suitable to you. 

Second example Table, Storage for Photos

Goals for Computer:

  1. Storage/2D Art creation/Family Photos
  2. Making sure all of my photos, art or graphics are able to be held on the computer without being too bogged down
  3. Simple 
  4. Going to need everything including a mouse, keyboard, monitor
  5. Budget needs to be $1500 or under

Part/Specs                        Price

(Case)Corsair Crystal 208x RGB Micro-ATX Case $182.99
(Processor)Intel Core i7-9700F Desktop Processor 8 Core Up to 4.7 GHz Without Processor Graphics LGA1151 300 Series 65W $368.99
(Motherboard)Asus Prime Z390-A LGA 1151 ATX Motherboard $179.99
(Graphics Card)MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 192-Bit HDMI/DP 6GB GDRR5 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card $209.99
(RAM)Crucial 16GB DDR4-2666 RDIMM $89.99
(SSD)Samsung 860 EVO 1TB Internal SATA Solid State Drive $129.99
(Power Supply)EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G1+ Power Supply – 80 PLUS Gold – 750W $136.49
(Heat Sink with Coolant)Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler, CORSAIR – TM30 Performance Thermal Paste $42.00
(Mouse) Logitech M325 – Wireless Optical Mouse – Black $16.99
(Keyboard) Logitech K120 Keyboard, black $15.99
(Monitor) Acer – SA240Y 23.8″ IPS LED FHD Monitor – Black $99.99

Grand total is $1473. Again just under the threshold that was set which was $1500! Notice the similarities to the previous computer that was put together. Only a few minor things changed and had the knowledge to be able to drop the price by around $400. Most of the price will come from the graphics card and processor that is decided to be used.

There are tons of ways to put together computers like this and by creating a check list for yourself to make sure that you are getting the parts you want and the parts you need to build the computer successfully.

Now that we have two examples of two different styles of computers, you can start to branch out your ideas for your computer and put together a check list that fits for you. 

Creating a list that fits for you

The main thing to keep in mind after seeing the layout creation is making a list that fits for you. Sometimes we can get more involved in having the very best tech or maybe even flashy parts. These can be nice to have but will rise the total of the computer quickly.

The main thing to focus on is making sure this computer is truly what you are looking for. This will give you the most success when creating a list that fits for you.

Another way to go about list creation is using the pictures of each part that was used in the above examples. Like me, I struggle by just looking at a bunch of words and doing the searching. It takes more time and it is quite frustrating for me! So I take the above examples and add pictures to each row corresponding to the part.

That way when I go to commit to the purchase, I know exactly what I’m looking for. Especially if I look to purchase parts from a local store. Not only do you have the specs of the part, you have a visual and this will set you up to not forget parts!

The best way to find what fits for you is to just follow the steps above creating a list for yourself, thinking of your goals for the computer. As you move through these articles they will fill in the bigger picture so you have all the information you need to get started building a computer.

I hope this article helped you get a big insight into how to create a list for yourself to make building your first computer much easier. Not only that, but saving you much needed time with researching parts, compatibility, pricing, specs of parts, etc.