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Building a new PC? Here’s what you need to know about compatibility

Always pay attention to compatibility when building a PC, or you may end up with a machine that doesn’t work.

cyberpower gaming pc
Image: Pexel

Are you thinking about building a new PC? If so, congratulations. Building your own PC is a great way to get exactly the machine you want, and it can be a fun project too.

But before you start buying parts, there’s one important thing you need to know: compatibility.

Not all parts are compatible with all other parts, and if you don’t pay attention to compatibility, you could end up with a PC that doesn’t work.

In this article, we’re going to talk about compatibility: what it is, why it’s important, and how to make sure the parts you choose will work together.

By the end, you should have a good understanding of compatibility and be able to build your own PC with confidence.

What is compatibility?

gaming PC set
Image: Unsplash

In the context of building PCs, compatibility refers to the ability of different parts to work together.

For example, a CPU (Central Processing Unit) needs to be compatible with a motherboard in order for the PC to work. Compatibility is important because not all parts are compatible with all other parts.

If you choose incompatible parts, your PC may not work at all, or it may have problems such as crashes or instability.

Why is compatibility important?

There are two main reasons why compatibility is important. First, as we mentioned above, incompatible parts may not work together at all. Second, even if incompatible parts do work together, they may not work well. 

For example, RAM that is not compatible with a motherboard may not be able to reach its full potential, or it may cause the PC to crash or be unstable.

How to make sure the parts you choose are compatible

There are a few different ways to make sure the parts you choose are compatible.

The best way is to consult a compatibility chart or list. These charts and lists are usually created by the manufacturers of the parts, and they detail which parts are compatible with each other. 

Alternatively, you can use third-party websites like PC Builder and BuildMyPC for doing a compatibility check.

These tools allow you to enter the parts you want to use and then they will tell you if the parts are compatible.

Another way to check compatibility is to read reviews of the parts you’re considering. If other people have had problems with compatibility, they will usually mention it in their review.

Finally, you can always ask for help from a knowledgeable friend or family member.

If you know someone who is familiar with building PCs, they should be able to help you choose compatible parts.

Which parts need to be compatible?

semiconductors on motherboard
Image: Unsplash

Almost all parts need to be compatible with other parts.

The only exceptions are some accessories, like keyboards and mice, which usually don’t need to be compatible because they use USB or another standard interface. 

Here are some of the most important parts that need to be compatible:

  • CPU and motherboard
  • RAM with motherboard and CPU
  • Graphics card with the motherboard
  • Storage with the motherboard
  • Power supply with motherboard and graphics card.

…and so on.

As you can see, the majority of parts need to be compatible with the motherboard.

The reason for this is that the motherboard is the central component of a PC, and all other parts connect to it. 

Final words

Always pay attention to compatibility when building a PC, or you may end up with a machine that doesn’t work.

By following the tips in this article, you can make sure the parts you choose will work together and give you the best possible experience.

With that said, we hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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