Work from Home: How to Pick the Right Desktop PC (or Build Your Own)


While blockages remain in place, working from home is making a comeback for a number of people in all industries. While some people may take their business laptops home with them, office workers may need to get a new computer.

Whether you’re building your own computer or getting a processor assembled, getting a desktop can be a more difficult task than buying a new laptop. However, it is also more rewarding. The desktop computer that you can build yourself at any cost is usually more powerful than a laptop for the same price. The only issue is portability, but with the lockdown going on, we think that won’t be a problem for most people.

Getting a processor assembled is easier than making your own. The selected parts and components are compatible and the construction process is not to be feared. All you have to do is plug in and play.

But before we get into the specifics of the processor, you’ll also need a monitor and some decent peripherals like a mouse and keyboard. Other accessories may differ depending on your job.

To watch

Any basic LCD monitor should work fine. Since you will be using this monitor extensively for work and not gaming or media consumption, go for an ideal monitor size of 24 inches to 27 inches and don’t focus on things like refresh rate. If you are in a real rush, maybe you can also try to get a used or second-hand monitor for much less. Also look for monitors that offer features like a reading mode or multitasking.

Keyboard and mouse

A good keyboard and a good mouse will be the key to your work as they are the two most used input devices. Invest in a good wired or wireless mouse that fits perfectly to the size of your hand in terms of ergonomics. For the keyboard, you can get a basic keyboard if you just type basic and run keyboard shortcuts. If your work is more intensive, consider investing in a decent mechanical keyboard, which offers a much better typing experience.

Also check the keyboard travel size, format, and keyboard layout before clicking buy. Ideally, you want a keyboard with better travel (distance between keys when fully at rest and when fully pressed) across the keys to ensure a more precise typing experience than your laptops or ultrabooks could. generally offer.

Work From Home: How To Get The Right Processor Assembled

For the processor, look for a budget to mid-range processor. Plus, unless you’re getting a really good deal, always go for the latest-gen processors or a step below. For Intel, a 10th or 11th gen i3 or i5 should work for you in most scenarios. For AMD, you can choose a Ryzen 3 or Ryzen 5 processor. If your job involves more processing and compute-intensive, you may need to get an i9 series or Ryzen 7 series processor.

Assembled processors will either include processors with integrated graphics or a base graphics card, so if your job involves a lot of heavy graphics usage as well, you should be covered. 8 GB of RAM will be sufficient for most work profiles, but 16 GB of RAM will also keep your PC somewhat longevity. If your job involves a lot of video or photo editing, you might even have more than 8GB of RAM to keep the computer running smoothly.

If you plan to use CDs or other types of external media, make sure your processor has slots for the same or at least leaves room for upgrades. With that all sorted out, all you need is a good Wi-Fi connection and maybe a good headset with a reliable microphone which should be more than enough for those Teams meetings and Zoom calls.

Work from home: how to make your own processor

Building your own PC will cover much of the same information we covered above, but will require more technical knowledge and expertise on how parts like the motherboard work. While this process gives you more variety and control over your PC and the end product, you will also spend considerable time putting the components together and potentially make mistakes along the way.

To get started, we’ll need the right components.

1. Processors, APUs and motherboards

You will have to choose between an Intel i3 / i5 or an AMD Ryzen 3 / Ryzen 5. A good bet is to go for an APU rather than a CPU. APUs are typically processors that end with a “G” in the name, like the Ryzen 3 3200G, and come with integrated graphics. This will eliminate the need to purchase a separate graphics card later. Most of the newer Intel processors are APUs and will come with integrated Intel graphics. For Ryzen processors, you should specifically look for APUs and not processors.

Once you’ve selected the right processor, you will need a motherboard with a socket that is compatible with the processor you have chosen. For example, an Intel i5 processor will not be compatible with an AM4 motherboard designed for Ryzen processors.

2. CPU housing and other components

Next, you will need a CPU tower / case to insert your motherboard into. The motherboard you have chosen can be a Mini-ATX, Micro-ATX, or ATX sized board and so you will need a compatible CPU case with the same. Keep in mind that larger cases often support smaller motherboards and also provide more space for cooling solutions or other components, but also take up more space.

In the future, you will need other components that will complement the motherboard and processor. These include RAM chips, SATA cables, a power supply unit (PSU), and an HDD or SSD drive.

3. The construction process

You’ll start by setting up the motherboard on a clean, dry, flat desk and securing your processor and accompanying cooling fan on top. Then plug in other components like RAM chips and any other PCIe components that don’t require wires.

Once all the unwired bits are in their place, proceed by securing the motherboard inside the processor case. The motherboard should lock inside the case using six to nine screws depending on your choice of products.

Once set up, start adding your wired components such as power connections, SATA cables, and cables that lead to your external USB ports on the front and back of the processor. Connect any remaining external cables like power cables, VGA cable, and Ethernet cable.

Complete the build by assembling all of your components and connecting the processor to a monitor and other peripherals.

Note that there are many PC building guides on YouTube that will help you get all the connections correct without accidentally damaging the components.

Installing an operating system (OS)

You have all of your parts in place, but your computer still doesn’t have an operating system to boot. For this you will need to purchase a Windows 10 bootable CD drive or download the Windows 10 setup and install it on a bootable USB stick using a tool like Rufus.

You will also need to enter the motherboard BIOS settings to ensure that your computer prioritizes the boot drive over its primary hard drive for the first boot, which will allow you to install the operating system. Once your operating system is installed, you can remove the bootable CD / USB drive and perform your first boot.

Once you’re here, you’ve successfully created your own computer. Install all of your work-related software and tools and you’re good to go.

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