A computer starts with a CPU and motherboard. You also need a cooler to keep the CPU at an acceptable temperature.
For each computer I design, I never know ahead of time if the CPU will be from Intel or AMD. Choosing a CPU requires more research than any other part because new technologies emerge constantly. I do a lot of research on the CPUs available from both manufacturers. I look at the recommended requirements of the most demanding game I plan to play, paying attention to the number of recommended cores. I also make sure the CPU I buy has good single-core performance. AMD CPUs are usually cheaper. If an AMD CPU is significantly cheaper than an Intel CPU while performing at close to the level of the Intel CPU then I would get the AMD CPU.
CPUs have a thermal limit. If a CPU’s temperature exceeds its thermal limit, the computer will shut down automatically to prevent damage. The Intel and AMD stock coolers have no trouble keeping their respective processors at acceptable temperatures while at stock frequencies. Therefore, if you have no plans to overclock, you don’t have to invest in a better cooler. However, the lower a CPU’s temperature, the longer it will last. Therefore, even if you don’t plan to overclock, you could buy a low-end cooler to reduce the temperature and your CPU would last longer. When it comes to CPU coolers, I limit my research to air coolers. I don’t recommend water coolers. Noctua is one of the most respected names in the PC cooling market and a brand I always consider.
I don’t have much to say about motherboards other than my preference is to always choose Asus or Gigabyte. Since I’m limiting my research to Asus and Gigabyte products it doesn’t take long to find the right one. Asus and Gigabyte always have many models of motherboards with different features in different price ranges and they are both very reliable.
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