January 23, 2021

How to tell what computer upgrades work with what I have?

Parts Compatibility is the Main Problem when upgrading or building a new computer.

Start with the CPU –  You basically have two options,  INTEL or AMD and they are not interchangeable. CPU’s are identified by many things but the most important for Compatibility is the SOCKET Type and Number.

For Example if you purchase a 10th Generation Intel i7 CPU, it’s socket number will be  LGA-1200.  But if you purchase a Intel Core i9 Extreme CPU, it’s socket number will be LGA-2066.   The Sockets are different, they have a different pin layout and number of pins.

Now that you have chosen your CPU you have to get a Motherboard with the SAME Socket type.  So if you get the i7 CPU with the LGA-1200 Socket, you have to get an Intel Motherboard with the SAME socket type.

Once you get the Motherboard you look up all it’s specifications.   Next comes the MEMORY (RAM) Modules.   They are also identified by socket type.  DDR-4  or DDR-3 (older).

Motherboards may come with onboard Video in which case you have to get a CPU with onboard graphics (most of INTEL do, AMD don’t).   If you do get a CPU without onboard graphics then you will have to purchase a Graphics Card (GPU) for the Motherboard.

Read the Specifications completely for the CPU and Motherboard.

Next issue is the Power Supply.  What Wattage should you get.   20% more than what you actually need.   800 Watts or 1000 Watts is good.  Unless your building a Gaming Computer with Two graphics Cards.  If you get a Graphics Card (GPU), it may have it’s own Power Supply connector.   Make sure your power supply has the plugs for a GPU.

Power Supply plugs are standard and will fit any type of Motherboard and Case.

Get a Power supply with detachable cables, that way you don’t have a cable mess inside the box.

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