Hardware

Updated: 2021-05-29

Build a Desktop PC

5 components that define the performance

  • CPU (and cooler)
  • Motherboard
  • RAM
  • Storage (SSD/HDD)
  • GPU

Other things:

  • Case
    • full tower
    • mid tower
  • PSU
  • Wireless Card

Accessories and Peripherals

  • Monitor
  • Keyboard + mouse
  • Speakers

Tools you may need

ESD Wrist Straps

Watchlist

  • USB4: spec ready, adoption expected to start from 2021. Thunderbolt 3 will become part of USB 4 standard.
  • PCIe 5.0: introduced in 2019, mass production in 2020
  • PCIe 6.0: planned to be introduced in 2021

Wifi

The current generation is Wifi 5, or IEEE 802.11ac

The next generation is Wifi 6, or IEEE 802.11ax. You would need BOTH Wifi 6 routers AND Wifi 6 devices to take full advantages of it.

  • Wifi 6 is faster than Wifi 5, but may not be that obvious.
  • The true difference is that Wifi 6 can support more devices
    • MU-MIMO, or "multi-user, multiple input, multiple output", is upgraded from 4 devices to 8 devices
    • OFDMA, or "Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access", allows one transmission to deliver data to multiple devices at once.
  • Improve battery life, especially for low-power, IoT devices.
  • Better security: WPA3

Some motherboards have Wifi chips built-in, otherwise you can buy a PCIe Wifi card or USB Wifi Adaptor

Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 6E

  • Wi-Fi 6: 2.4GHz and 5GHz
  • Wi-Fi 6E: add 6GHz band, providing 5x more channels (14 80MHz channels and 7 160MHz channels)

Modem

Standard: DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification)

Version Since Max Downstream Max Upstream
1.0 1997 40 Mbit/s 10 Mbit/s
1.1 2001 40 Mbit/s 10 Mbit/s
2.0 2002 40 Mbit/s 30 Mbit/s
3.0 2006 1 Gbit/s 200 Mbit/s
3.1 2013 10 Gbit/s 1-2 Gbit/s
4.0 2017 10 Gbit/s 6 Gbit/s

Deprecation

  • M.2 replaces mSATA
  • SATA replaces PATA
  • DisplayPort and HDMI replace DVI and VGA

Semiconductor

Semiconductor company types:

  • fabless: design only, e.g. AMD
  • foundries: manufacture only, e.g. TSMC
  • IDM: both design and manufacture, e.g. Intel

Wafers size:

  • 200mm = 8 inch, ~6.6 million wafers per month by 2024. Marketshare in 2021: 18% China, Japan 16%, Taiwan 16%
  • 300mm = 12 inch