Building a Gaming PC for the First Time? Don’t Panic, This Guide Can Help You Out
At first, selecting the appropriate components for the construct you need can seem like a difficult and time-consuming procedure. However, once you get started, you’ll discover that not only is it surprisingly easy, but it’s also a great deal of fun to do so. This is by no means intended to be a thorough guide; rather, it is more of a primer on what you’ll need to know in order to collect the appropriate parts and get started putting together the build of your dreams.
This tutorial will primarily focus on the construction of a personal computer for use in gaming; however, the fundamentals covered here should be applicable to the construction of any type of computer, from a complex workstation designed for use with professional software to a straightforward media computer.
We also have a guide available for those of you who would rather purchase one already constructed than construct your own.
Okay, let’s get down to business here!
What Components Are Required to Construct a Computer?
INTEL CORE I9 CPU WEBREADY-3 is the computer’s central processing unit (CPU).
The Central Processing Unit, more commonly known as the processor, is the “brain” of the personal computer. It is what transforms the instructions you give into actions that the computer can carry out and what communicates to all of the other components of your design how they should collaborate with one another. If the central processing unit (CPU) represents the brain, then the rest of the system represents the body.
A computer’s central processing unit (CPU) is perhaps the single most significant component, and as you might think, there is an almost unlimited selection of CPUs available in a variety of pricing points. Intel and AMD are the two most prominent manufacturers in the personal computer (PC) market for consumers, and even within those two brands, there are a plethora of available options. If you want a high-end computer system from AMD, you should probably consider a Ryzen processor of the third generation or a Threadripper. All of the processors that carry the Core I designation from Intel are good options; but, if you want to build a powerful system for gaming or streaming, you should probably look into the 12th Generation i5 or i7 processors. If you find that to be lacking in the power department, then a Core i9 is more up your alley.
Your computer’s motherboard is simply a big circuit board that connects all of the components that comprise your computer and enables communication between the various pieces of hardware. As is the case with every aspect of constructing a personal computer, there is an overwhelming variety of possibilities available, ranging from basic motherboards at the lower end of the price spectrum all the way up to feature-packed boards that include a wide variety of extra components.
Your choice of central processing unit (CPU) and the features you’re looking for will have a significant impact on the kind of motherboard that’s appropriate for your needs. Because not all central processing units (CPUs) are compatible with all motherboards, you will need to make sure that you get the appropriate one. When shopping for a motherboard, it is important to keep in mind a number of different features and options, including those for overclocking the CPU, lighting, and networking.
Check out this comprehensive guide that will provide you with all of the information you require to make an educated decision regarding how to select a motherboard.
newegg carries the AMD Radeon VII 7 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) in its inventory of video cards and GPUs (3)
Your Graphics Processing Unit, often known as a GPU, will have the most influence on the overall quality of your gaming experience. Your computer’s ability to perform the intricate graphics computations that are necessary to make your PC games seem so nice is mostly attributable to the graphics processing unit (GPU). Even though many recent CPUs come with built-in graphics, a graphics processing unit (GPU) is still required in order to have a modern gaming experience on a personal computer.
AMD and Nvidia are the two companies that have the most market share in the field of graphics cards. You have the option of going with a graphics processing unit (GPU) that is on the cheaper end of the modern market, such as Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 or AMD’s Radeon RX 6500, depending on how much money you are willing to spend. Nvidia’s RTX 3090 Ti is the current king of consumer-facing GPUs, and AMD’s Radeon RX 6900 XT is not far behind it. If you want an experience that is at the cutting edge, you should get one of them.
It’s possible that the graphics processing unit (GPU) will be the most expensive component you buy for your gaming rig, but you won’t want to compromise on it if you want the greatest possible gaming experience. This is especially true if you want to play games with higher resolutions and frame rates.
Check out our advice on how to pick a graphics card if you want additional information about which card would be the most suitable for your requirements.
Memory or RAM gskill how much memory do you have?
The Random Access Memory (RAM) in your personal computer serves primarily as its working memory. It makes the data you use frequently easy to access, preventing your personal computer from having to access a storage device each time you have a need for the data in question. RAM is distinct from your primary storage devices in that it will reset itself if it loses power. This is the reason why you will still need larger storage drives if you need to store data for an extended period of time.
When it comes to random access memory (RAM), the more you have, the better. There is no such thing as having an excessive amount of RAM; having 16 GB is sufficient for the vast majority of gaming systems, while 32 GB is recommended if you want your personal computer to remain functional for a number of years into the future.
There is a large amount of variation in the speed, size, and layout of RAM; thus, you should consult our RAM guide for answers to any questions you may have regarding memory.
Your data is kept in storage, also known simply as storage, so that your personal computer may access it. This includes the files, games, and operating system that you use, as well as any other data that you need to access and will be stored on a storage drive. Hard disc drives (HDD) were the most common type of storage device in the past, however now days solid state drives (SSD) are becoming increasingly commonplace. SSDs are substantially faster, quieter, and more durable than traditional hard drives; but, their cost per gigabyte is significantly higher.
The appropriate storage option will vary from case to case; however, a typical arrangement includes a smaller NVMe or SATA SSD for your operating system and the files that are used the most frequently, and a larger HDD for the data that are more extensive. You can also rely on external storage solutions, which offer the benefit of portability. This option is also available to you.
The Samsung 980 Pro M.2 SSD is one of the most popular alternatives for solid state storage, while the 3TB Seagate BarraCuda HDD will perform well for larger installations as well as for the storing of files.
Check out our article on selecting the appropriate storage if you are interested in learning more about the myriad of storage options that are available.
Cases of the FSP CMT520 kind CASE (3)
This is where all of your valuable components are going to be stored, and it’s also what most people picture in their heads when they think of a computer. Because the case is one of the most modifiable components of a personal computer, you can find cases in virtually any form and dimension your mind can conjure up. Even though each case is unique, they are all designed for approximately the same components, which means that they share similarities across brands in terms of both layout and components. For instance, there will always be a location to instal the motherboard and the power supply, despite the fact that the configurations of where everything is positioned can be somewhat different.
If you aren’t planning to construct something particularly compact or want to include more advanced features, such as bespoke cooling loops, then pretty much any casing will do. If you can get one that is the appropriate size for you and has the appearance that you desire, then you should be good to go.
When it comes to casings, cooling is yet another essential component to take into consideration. Many cases already have fans installed, which can be helpful; nevertheless, if maintaining low temperatures is vital to you, you’ll want to be sure there’s enough space within the case for the cooling solution you’ll require. If you want to do a lot of bespoke work, a good rule of thumb is that the larger the case, the better it is. But this isn’t always the case.
Check out the Thermaltake P5 if you want an open air design that is unlike anything else on the market. Take a look at the Carbide Spec-Omega RGB from Corsair if you are interested in having a variety of lighting options. Keep the Rosewill Cullinan in mind if you’re looking for something that’s uncomplicated, appealing, and dependable. Or, if you are thinking about going the custom watercooling way in the future, the Lian Li O11 Dynamic is a great option for you to consider.
Supply Unit for Electricity (PSU)
Because of its name, the Power Supply Unit (PSU) is the component of your build that is responsible for supplying the construct with the power necessary for it to work. The power supply unit (PSU) is frequently neglected because, in the majority of cases, any power supply will do the job if the design is relatively straightforward. Having said that, it is undoubtedly beneficial to conduct research on efficiency, wattage, and quality, particularly if you are putting up a more sophisticated system. You are going to want to make sure that your power supply unit (PSU) has enough watts if you are going to be using high-end video cards (or several video cards) or a bespoke cooling loop.
This power supply calculator is a useful resource since it enables you to determine, based on the specifications of your system, the type of power supply that will best meet your needs.
You can go all the way to the top of the line and purchase something like the Seasonic PRIME GS-1000 1000w Power Supply Unit if you need a robust PSU for an extremely high-end computer system. If you feel that a more straightforward solution would better meet your requirements, the Rosewill HIVE 550S 550w power supply can be a good option for you.
a cryogenic cooler with a CPU heatsink and fan
Your central processing unit (CPU) works very hard, which causes it to generate a lot of heat.
Maintaining a cool temperature on your central processing unit (CPU) is essential to the smooth operation of your system; however, even though many CPUs already come with a cooler, you will likely want something that is a little more potent. These alternatives might range from something as straightforward as fans and heatsinks to something as complex as liquid cooling systems. If you intend to overclock your CPU, your initial build should generally include either a solution based on fans or an all-in-one (AIO) liquid CPU cooler. If you do not intend to overclock your CPU, a fan-based solution should suffice. The process of installing these cooling solutions varies from product to product, but it typically involves attaching it to your motherboard and using thermal paste to ensure that heat is dissipated properly from your CPU. The installation process also varies depending on the type of cooling solution you purchase.
Although it may appear to be difficult, the process is actually quite simple. Even the all-in-one (AIO) liquid coolers are self-contained, so you never actually have to deal with the liquid that’s contained within them. The only thing you need to do is check that the CPU cooler is compatible with your motherboard and CPU, and that there is enough space in the case for it. The rest is as simple as following the directions that are included with the package.
If you want a moderately priced quiet fan from one of the top PC cooling manufacturers on the world, your best bet is to go with the Noctua NH-L9x65, which is one of the most popular entry-level air coolers currently available. Check out the NZXT Kraken X73 all-in-one liquid cooler if you’re interested in getting into the AIO liquid cooling market. In addition to being an excellent CPU cooler, it possesses a number of outstanding lighting customization possibilities.
Monitors \sBENQ MONITOR GAMING SETUP WEBREADY-4
It’s time to talk about everything else you’ll need for a high-quality gaming experience now that you’ve chosen the components for your build. This is the only way to ensure that you get the most out of your time spent gaming. Let’s begin with a screen, shall we? After all, having a sweet gaming PC that doesn’t let you see anything isn’t going to do you much good.
If you want, you can get by with a monitor or TV that has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, but part of the appeal of playing video games on a personal computer is that you have more options. If you have already made an investment in a good system, you may want to consider moving up to higher resolutions, such as 2540 by 1440 or even 3840 by 2160 (4K), for images that are truly crisp and clear. You also have the option of upgrading to a display that has a higher refresh rate, such as 144Hz or even 240Hz, which will result in a noticeably more fluid overall appearance. You may want to consider purchasing a monitor that supports either Nvidia’s G-Sync or AMD’s Freesync, as doing so will reduce the amount of screen tearing that you experience during gameplay and further improve the overall quality of the experience.
The price will go up as a result of all of these factors, in addition to others such as the display size or aspect ratio. Having said that, if what you’re seeing doesn’t look great on your powerful PC, there’s not much point in having one, so it’s probably worth the investment to get one that does. However, selecting a monitor that has a low input lag and a fast pixel response time is of the utmost importance when it comes to gaming.
Freesync and a 144 Hz refresh rate make the Acer ED242QR, a curved monitor with an entry-level to mid-range GPU that costs about as much as a moderately priced gaming monitor, the ideal choice for anyone looking for an affordable entry-level gaming monitor. If you want to give yourself a truly luxurious gaming experience, the Alienware 34 has virtually everything you could possibly require for such an endeavour.
Mouse \slogitech g502 15
Isn’t a mouse just a mouse and nothing more?
Nope. You can, just like with everything else that we have been discussing, find a mouse that is tailored to perfectly fit your aesthetic. If you are a gamer, the ability to adjust the DPI (which is essentially the speed of the cursor) on the fly and having mappable buttons might be important to you. It’s possible that you’re interested in a wireless mouse or an unconventional design.
The level of comfort is probably the single most important factor, so it is imperative that you search for a mouse that suits your hand. Although the Logitech G502 Hero is one of the most popular gaming mice (and for a good reason), there are many other excellent mice available on the market from companies such as Corsair, Razer, and plenty of other manufacturers.
For additional information, have a look at our guide that explains how to select the appropriate mouse.
Review of the Hyper-X-Alloy Computer Keyboard, Part 2
Even with an object that appears to be as uncomplicated as a keyboard, there are a great many customization options. Do you prefer the classic touch of a membrane keyboard, or the precise tactile feedback that mechanical switches provide? Do you prefer an unwired or wired connection? Do you need macro keys? How significant is the use of RGB lighting?
You have your choice of a fantastic keyboard thanks to the wide availability of such products on the market today. The Corsair K70 LUX is quickly becoming one of the most well-liked mechanical keyboards available. The Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition is a fantastic mechanical board with Razer optical switches, and it comes in a tournament-ready package.
Experimenting with a variety of keyboards is the most effective method for determining your personal preference, but reading this guide on how to pick the best keyboard is also a good place to begin.
Linux and Windows logos for the operating system
The software that enables you to communicate with your computer is referred to as the Operating System (OS). When it is finished being installed on your storage device (which should preferably be an SSD), you will be able to begin installing all of your programmes, games, and anything else that you intend to use your computer for.
There are a number of operating systems available, but Microsoft Windows 11 is by far the most popular choice for the typical person. This is due to the fact that it is used by a large number of people and provides an intuitive user experience. Even though a lot of people are still using Windows 10, it’s only a matter of time before Windows 11 becomes more popular than its predecessor.
Linux is also widely used and has the additional benefit of being free, despite the fact that it requires slightly more effort to become proficient with.
Assembling Your Personal Computer
After you have ensured that everything is in working order, it is time to begin the construction process.
This is the part that many people find intimidating, but once you get started, you’ll see that these components are designed to be easily put together once you get the hang of it. Putting together a high-end Lego set is actually quite simple as long as you have done your homework and are aware that all of the components are compatible with one another.
This video will guide you through the steps involved in the process in its entirety:
The following are some additional suggestions to keep in mind while you are getting started.
Putting in Place Memory (RAM)
Memory is one of the components that has a relatively simple installation process. To begin, open the two tabs that are located on either side of the RAM slot on the motherboard slot by pushing open the tabs. Check that you are installing the memory with the correct orientation by consulting the memory guide. As soon as the RAM module is positioned so that it is aligned with the slot, simply push down until you hear a click, and then check to see that the tabs are in their proper places. It is necessary to repeat those steps in order to remember everything.
It is possible that it will be simpler for you to complete this step before you instal the motherboard into the case if you do so.
Installing the Intel i5 central processing unit
The connector pins are typically located on the motherboard, so modern CPUs typically do not have any pins of their own. This is excellent news because damaging the costly CPU is a much more serious problem than damaging the (typically less expensive) motherboard.
The procedure might deviate slightly here and there according to the CPU and the motherboard, but in general, installation adheres to the same format.
Unlocking the CPU bar is the first step. Then, open the door to the central processing unit (CPU), place the CPU in the correct direction (there are arrows marked on both sides to assist you in lining it up), close the door, and secure the bar. The mounting of the heatsink is another aspect that is dependant on the hardware that you are using; however, it typically connects through the four holes that are located closest to the CPU socket. In most cases, this is accomplished with the use of screws or plastic pins that lock or twist. When mounting the heatsink, make sure to use a sufficient amount of thermal paste; as a point of reference, an amount that is approximately the size of a pea is a good choice.
Additionally, make sure that the CPU cooler is plugged into the motherboard so that it can receive the power that it needs to operate properly. The instructions that come with your cooler should explain the process in great detail and should be easy to understand.
Again, the easiest way to keep things as straightforward and uncomplicated as possible is to instal the central processing unit (CPU) and CPU cooler prior to installing the motherboard in the case.
Putting Together Your Arguments
The installation of standoffs is the first step in the process of getting your motherboard into your case. Standoffs are small brass spacers that match up with the screw holes on your motherboard. They work to prevent the metal on your motherboard from coming into contact with the metal in your case. Standoffs can be found in most computer supply stores. Be sure to instal them in the screw holes that are already present in the case, and refer to the instructions that came with your case if it isn’t clear where the screw holes are located.
An I/O shield is the name of the cover that will be included with your motherboard. This cover needs to be positioned over all of the external connections that can be seen when looking at the case from the outside. Be sure that you have it aligned correctly, and then snap it on. It is simple to forget this step, and because it can be a hassle to go back and reinstall it, you should make every effort to remember it the first time around.
The process of installing the ASUS X299 Motherboard Re-Edit 1 Keep in mind that your computer’s motherboard is essentially a large circuit board, and as such, it is quite fragile.
It is essential that you exercise extreme caution as you align the holes in your case and add screws to the standoffs that you previously installed inside it. You want the motherboard to be stable and not move around, but you don’t want the screws to be so tight that they damage the board. You have overtightened the screws if the board is bending in any way.
As long as you line up all of the screws, you should be good to go as long as you push the motherboard slightly back towards the expansion slot cover before screwing it in. However, it is possible that you will need to do this.
Install everything else that needs to be.
After you have mounted your motherboard, the rest of the installation should be relatively simple. For further clarification, please watch the video that was just provided.
The PCIe slot will serve as the GPU’s permanent home. Ensure that any expansion coverings are removed, and once the component has been installed, check that it clicks into place correctly and is screwed down securely.
If you have an M.2 drive, make sure it is installed correctly on your motherboard by inserting it into the appropriate slot and then tightening the accompanying small screw. Again, do not over-tighten.
When it comes to installing components, a good rule of thumb is to use some force; however, if you get the impression that something isn’t fitting properly, it’s a good idea to double check that it’s in the right spot. Since all of this is meant to go together, you shouldn’t have to exert an excessive amount of force.
The power supply is required for all of your components, including the motherboard, the storage devices, and the video card.
Your power supply unit (PSU) ought to come with the appropriate cables already attached. In that case, make use of the adapter that came packaged with the video card. If you are not using an M.2, your hard drive or SSD will additionally require a power cable, in addition to a SATA or data cable. If you are utilising an M.2, see the section above for more information. Your purchases need to come with each and every one of these cables already attached.
It should be quite evident which cable to use to connect the power supply to the components in the system that require that level of power. Simply match the plug to the connection that is required by the component, and consult any manuals if the instructions are not quite obvious.
The installation of fans will be different depending on the cooling system you have, but once again, it should be rather obvious what goes where. Just connect the cable to the appropriate port on your motherboard, and if you experience any difficulties, refer to the user manual.
Start It Off!
After you have ensured that everything is set up correctly and appears as you would like it to, it is time to connect the power supply, activate the new computer by pressing the power button, and begin using it. If everything is connected correctly, the screen that displays your motherboard’s BIOS should be visible to you.
Installing the operating system of your choosing is the final step, after which you can begin using your brand-new personal computer.
Do not feel discouraged if your first attempt at putting things together was unsuccessful; this happens to the best of us. In almost every case, there is a simple solution.
You will usually be able to figure out what is wrong with your computer by looking in the BIOS menu or reading an error message that is generated by your motherboard. Doing some research comes in handy at this point because whatever issue you are experiencing is likely one that someone else has experienced as well and has found a solution to.
Check out this helpful guide that we put together that covers five typical issues with personal computers and how to fix them before you waste too much time doing research on your own.
Congratulations on making the effort to learn how to set together a personal computer, regardless of whether this is your first or fifty-first time doing it. Even while there is always something new to discover, if you’ve made it this far, you’re already well on your way to becoming a DIY guru.