Building your own desktop PC
There are benefits to building - or at least picking your own parts - your own PC. I prefer it to buying a desktop. It's a fun process, is not that difficult, and let's you control what parts you spend more money on, and which you go for value. It also can help with trouble shooting. Most of the time, if there is a mistake, your computer will just shut off.
Here is a list of what you will need:
CPU This is the main power supply, the heart of your computer. The first decision you will make is what Chipset you will build your system around. The Intel i7 has been the king for about 5 years. You want a quad core CPU, and it should be at least 3.0 ghz per core. It also should be a 64-bit processor. Intel does have an edge in import speeds. AMD is cheaper, but Intel will be a higher performance.
Motherboard. This is the infrastructure on which your system is built. It provides power and connectivity to all of your hardware. Your motherboard and CPU have to be of the same chipset. Otherwise, it will not fit and could fry the motherboard and bend the pins on the CPU. Consider it to be the central nervous system of your computer. I like ASUS. Gigabyte also makes solid boards.
RAM. This is a main source of how much you can do and for how long. It is like your respiratory system. The more you have, the more smoothly everything will run. The speed and amount you can install are controlled by the motherboard. The company's website will tell you what the max speed and amount it can handle is. Ram is so cheap, there is no reason not to max it out. Although anything over 16 is not necessary currently.
Hard drive. This is the brain. This stores all information. An SSD is highly recommended, as it will provide the fastest access, fastest restart, and best overall performance. Next would be a hybrid. It is not as fast, but is cheaper. Next would be a 7200 RPM. SSD's have become a lot cheaper over the years. You want one that will be big enough for all of your operating system and database. Programs are not that large most of the time. It will not have a large effect on database size. You need about 20GB for Windows. For your database, you will need about 4.3gb/1 million hands. If you have a lot of Note Caddy notes, you will need more space. Remember you need at least 10% free space at all times. I would get a 256gb or 512gb. Your media, documents, and HM2archive can safely be stored on an external drive or secondary HDD. an internal will provide the fastest speed.
Graphics card. Unless you play a lot of intensive new games, you will not need a top of the line graphics card. It should have at least 1gb RAM. It should have enough outputs to use your desired number of monitors. It should have the maximum resolution that your monitors can support.
Power supply. You do not want to have too weak of a power supply. I would get at least a 600-watt. Modular power supplies are popular. They allow you to take out cables that you do not need. However, it is not fully customizable, and in my experience, it did not eliminate enough. There always seemed to be one plug I needed on each module. I do not think they are worth the extra price.
Case. A case is a case for the most part. But it does need to have enough bays for your drives. They are almost all the same. If you have a full size motherboard though, make sure it is a full case. There should be enough space to work freely and to space out your cables some for airflow. There should be space for fans - at least one in front, one in back, and one on top. Preferably, 2 in front, and one on the side as well. The more airflow, the cooler it will stay. It is nice to have a hot swap for another hard drive as well. You can get a bay insert for this. I have an Antec 300. I like the power supply being on the bottom - it is easier to work around the drive bays.
CPU fan. If you get a boxed CPU, it will come with a cooling fan. Most of the time, these are good enough. An aftermarket one is sometimes very difficult to install and can be so large that it interferes with the rest of your tower. Do research first. Do research before using a liquid cooling. This is not necessary. You will need heat sink compound. Your CPU will come with some, but it's not that great. Arctic Silver is solid. You do not need that much. Make sure that you wipe any excess off.
Case fans You can buy these for $3-5 each. There is no reason to spend more. Your Power Supply will have either 3 or 4 pins. Make sure you buy the corresponding fans. They are cheap enough, get as many as your case will hold.
Sound, Ethernet, Wireless adapter. Unless you have a home theater PC, your onboard sound card should meet all of your needs. Even then, most have 5.1/7.1 cards. The onboard ethernet should be good too. If you do decide on a wireless adapter, make sure it matches your router's capabilities.
Don't forget, you will need Windows to install on the hard drive. Other than that, you'll just need a phillips head screw driver.