Motherboard: Motherboards are arguably the most important components in your computer. When you're shopping for motherboards, think about whether you want an AMD processor or an Intel processor. Motherboards have specific slots designed to fit processors, so most motherboards work only with one processor, or with a particular series of processors. Consider the features you get with motherboards, such as on board video, Ethernet connection, onboard sound or RAM capacity.
Beyond The Basic Parts Needed to Build a Computer: You must shop for computer monitors, keyboards and mice and computer speakers. You'll need all these components for a functional computer. You can add optional components to enhance your computer's functionality, such as sound cards, wireless network cards and USB and FireWire cards. The options are endless; decide how you want to use your computer to help narrow down the components you'll want to add.
- Dot matrix printers work like a typewriter transferring ink from a ribbon to paper with a series or 'matrix' of tiny pins.
- Ink jet printers work like dot matrix printers but fires a stream of ink from a cartridge directly onto the paper.
- Laser printers use the same technology as a photocopier using heat to transfer toner onto paper.