What is a Modular Computer?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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In the world of personal computers (PCs), many are tempted to purchase discount packages from big brand names. Although these packaged sets are built to sell inexpensively and can offer great technology, they often feature a flaw. Many PCs are difficult to upgrade, a flaw some experts attribute to marketing schemes that require the user to keep purchasing new models every few years in order to stay up to date with technology. The answer to this is the modular computer. Using standardized parts and being easy to upgrade and retrofit, a modular computer allows users to move with technology and buy new and more advanced components as they appear on the market.

Since very few manufacturers offer a modular computer system, it is often necessary to build one from scratch. To do this requires some computer savvy, although the basic requirements are no different than any computer. A monitor, speakers, keyboard, and central processing unit (CPU) are the very basic building blocks of any computer. The point of a modular system is to find parts that allow for easy interchange and facilitate upgrades. Like a closet that changes contents as new trends arise, the features of a modular computer can be shifted out, exchanged, and altered as easily as last year's sweaters.


When building a modular computer system, bear in mind that the power needs of tomorrow are likely to be far greater than those of today. To compensate, it will be necessary to purchase a power supply and CPU case that offer the highest capacity and best cooling options. This will allow new technology to incorporate without blowing the power or overheating the system. Also, look for parts that offer the greatest amount of ports for attaching additional components and upgrading the system with external parts.

Memory is important when building a modular computer, but not as important as it may seem. The flexibility and easy use of external hard drives and flash drives is now well established. Additionally, to cut down on memory needs, practice recycling techniques with the computer. If there are 50 video games installed, it is unlikely that all of them are being currently played. Back up saved games to an external drive and uninstall the game to return much-needed space without losing data.

The downside to modular machines is the initial price. As the components may come from far and wide, they will usually cost more than a full computer system purchased at a big box store or online. Yet carefully keeping an eye on supply warehouses will allow modular users to purchase the best parts at the best price. Since the ease of upgrading eliminates the need to buy a new computer every few years, a modular computer can save the user a considerable amount of money on a long-term basis.



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