A Beginners Guide to Building a Gaming PC

If you’re a fellow gamer, you must have heard that building your gaming PC isn’t a tough job and that it’s a rewarding and beneficial experience at least once before. The fact that you’re looking for instruction to get started with the process shows that you’re tempted.

The truth is that putting together your own PC can be the best technology investment as well as a fulfilling journey. However, as a beginner, there are certain steps you have to take to become ready for building a PC. You can’t just dive right into it with some screwdrivers!

Here is a general idea of what you’ll have to go through:
Step 1Learn About the PC Components and Their Functions.
Step 2Determine Why You’re Building a Gaming PC and Scale Your Budget.
Step 3Find the Right Gaming PC Components to Suit Your Needs.
Step 4Gather All the Tools You Need.
Step 5Prepare Before You Start.
Step 6Start Building Your PC.

This article will guide you through the process from the very beginning by educating you about the subject, helping you manage your budget and find the right components and tools to buy, and then help you put together the parts step by step.

Contents



Read on and enjoy the journey.

Step 1—Learn About the PC Components and Their Functions

Now, if you’re already familiar with the parts and components that make up a PC, you can skip this section. However, if there’s any doubt in your mind about the functionalities of any PC parts, read on. You’ll need this information for making a suitable decision on what components to buy.

Processor or CPU

The CPU or the Central Processing Unit is a small square-shaped component that sits on the motherboard. The CPU acts as your computer system’s brain, routing instructions from one component to the other. There are specific terms you must know about the CPU to fully understand its functions:

Cores: The cores are the independent processing units that make up the CPU. Each of the CPU cores is capable of executing program instructions. The more cores the CPU has, the better its performance and efficiency, especially in heavy tasks like gaming, video editing, and programming.

There are dual-core (two cores), quad-core (four cores), 6-core, and 8-core processors. To understand more about cores and how many you would need, check this article.

Clock Speed: The clock speed refers to the operational and processing speed of the CPU cores. It’s measured in Hertz, and it shows the number of cycles a core performs per second. The faster the clock speed, the faster the CPU can execute tasks. Check this article to learn more about clock speed.

Cache Memory: The Cache Memory is the CPU’s built-in fast RAM. The cache has different levels and layers that temporarily store data. When the CPU needs to read or write the main memory (RAM), it first checks the cache for the information.

A higher cache capacity assures a reduced average time for the CPU to access the RAM.

Threads: The CPU threads are a virtual version of the CPU cores and essentially the tasks that the CPU executes. Some CPUs have one thread associated with one core. However, some have twice as many threads to cores, which is called a multi-threaded CPU.

These CPUs are beneficial for running multi-threaded applications.

Socket Type: The CPU socket is the shape and form of the CPU. This term comes into play when you’re deciding on a motherboard, and you need to make sure the socket type is compatible with the motherboard. Hence, it provides a decent electrical interface and contact with the processor.

CPU Cooling Device: The CPU Cooler is also known as the HSF or the heatsink and fan. When you execute intensive programs, you put a load of pressure and stress on the CPU, which turns into heat. A heatsink fan is essential to sit on top of the CPU and keep it cool and quiet.

Some CPUs come with corresponding coolers. However, some don’t, and you’ll have to purchase a compatible cooler with the socket type. For heavy gaming, a powerful fan will boost the performance.

If you want to learn more about the CPU details, this article has got it covered.

Here is a good guide on how to buy the right CPU.

You can also check out the best CPU cooling device in this article.

Below is the hottest CPU on Amazon now.

SaleBestseller No. 1
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • AMD's fastest 8 core processor for mainstream desktop, with 16 procesing threads. OS Support-Windows 10 64-Bit Edition
  • Can deliver elite 100-plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended
  • 4.7 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 36 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards

Graphics Card or GPU

The GPU or Graphics Processing Unit, also known as the graphics card or video card, is the start of a gaming rig. Its job is to render the images from the PC and put them on the screen. The GPU is primarily responsible for how smoothly and high-quality your PC can run games.

Lots of CPUs and motherboards have integrated graphics components with limited embedded memory. These can work fine for everyday tasks, but if you want to use demanding graphics programs such as PC games, they’ll use the available RAM and slow down the performance considerably.

That’s why we use a GPU in a gaming PC with its dedicated processor and memory to perform only the graphics processing.

Let’s get to know dedicated GPU terms better:

Core Clock Speed: As mentioned, GPUs have built-in processors dedicated to accelerating graphics. The speed of the GPU processor is called the Core Clock Speed measured in Hertz. A faster clock speed will ensure faster graphics processing and less lag during games.

Memory Size: The GPU processor has its own memory used for screen images, sorting data, managing textures and depth coordinates in 3D graphics, and so on. The memory size of the GPU will directly affect the resolution you’ll be gaming at.

Maximum Resolution: Most graphics card manufacturers state the maximum resolution that their GPUs can support. You can use this information and choose a graphics card depending on the resolution you want to play games with, such as 1080p or 4K.

Interfaces: Each graphics card uses specific interfaces to connect to the motherboard, such as a PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 port. So, they should be compatible.

Ports: A port on the graphics card is used to connect it to the monitor, TV, projector, or any type of screen. Every GPU supports specific ports such as display port, digital visual interface (DVI), HDMI, and so on. The ports should also be compatible with your monitor.

GPU fans: The GPU has its own fans that keep it cool when under heavy load. Some GPUs have two, and some have three fans. The better the GPU architecture and the more powerful the fans, the cooler it stays, providing better performance.

To know more about the GPU and its functions, read here.

Here is a good round up of best GPU for a gaming PC.

You can also check the current Top Best Seller GPU on Amazon below.

Memory or RAM

The Memory or RAM sticks/modules go directly into the motherboard and temporarily store data and programs that your PC needs to access right away. The speed or bandwidth of your RAM determines how fast the RAM can transfer data to and from the CPU.

High RAM speed is essential for gaming. The total capacity of the RAM will determine the number of programs you can run at once and the quality of performance. RAMs come in different capacities; for instance, when you see a 16GB (2x8GB) RAM, it means that the total memory capacity is 16GB, using two 8GB RAM sticks.

If you plan on overclocking your RAM for gaming, you also need to consider its highest supported voltage. Many high-end memory modules come with HeatSpreaders, which help them get rid of the produced heat and prevent damage.

This article will help educate you further about RAMs.

You can also check the newest release on Amazon below.

New
WUKX Ram Memory DDR3 8GB 4GB 1600MHz 1866MHz RAM Ddr3 8 Gb PC3-12800 Desktop Memory for Gaming DIMM Memory Cards (Memory Capacity : HyperX 2PCS 4G 1600)
  • Application: Desktop, Type: DDR3
  • Capacity: 4GB/8GB, memory speed: 1600/1866MHz
  • Interface type: 240-pin, memory slot: memory stick
  • Memory channel: single channel/dual channel, CAS latency: CL9/CL11
  • Combination form: single, U: 1.5V/1.65V, feature: no buffer, function: non-ECC

Storage or HDD/SSD

The storage of your PC is where you can store your files when they’re not being used. They can read and write data like your files, games, programs, and so on.
There are two main types of hard drives available: Hard Disk Drives, shortly known as HDDs, and Solid State Drive, or SSDs for short.

The main difference between these two drive types is in how fast they can access data. You must know that SSDs are much more efficient at data access time, which is excellent for gaming purposes. However, they come at higher prices compared to HDDs. So, not everyone can afford to get all their PC storage in SSD form.

Additionally, M.2 SSDs have recently become popular among gamers because they’re much faster than the older SSD versions, take up less space, and go straight on the motherboard. Of course, they’re more expensive.

Here are the terms you must know about the storage:

Capacity: The storage capacity is how much data it can hold, measured in Gigabytes or Terabytes.

RPM: RPM is used for HDDs and shows the Rotations per Minute that the hard drive can perform. The faster the RPM, the quicker the HDD can access data, and the smoother the games will run.

Cache: The storage also has a cache memory used for temporarily storing previously opened data so the PC can access them faster in the future. It’s measured in megabytes, and the more capacity it has, the faster the PC performance will be.

Interface: The way the Storage connects to the motherboard is its interface. Different storage drives have different kinds of interfaces, including SATA Express, M.2, and so on. So, the compatibility between the motherboard and storage is important.

Form Factor: The Form Factor is the shape and size of the hard drive. HDDs are generally 3.5″, SDDs can be as small as 2.5″, and M.2 SDDs are as small as a gum stick.

Here’s a more detailed comparison of HDDs and SSDs if you’re interested.

Some people also get confused about the difference between storage and memory. See the basic differences below:

Motherboard

The motherboard is where all your PC parts come together. It’s like the nervous system of your PC, connecting all the components and letting them cooperate as a whole machine.

Let’s be more specific. The motherboard is an electronic circuit board with various connectors and sockets. Hundreds of feet of electrical traces run between the sockets, making it possible to plug devices into the sockets that can communicate with each other.

Interestingly, it’s possible to omit the motherboard from the PC and connect the parts with many messy wires running through the system. However, that’s not practical since the wire signals will interfere with one another, causing considerable power losses and horrible performance.

The main components that a motherboard holds are:

The Processor or CPU: The motherboard has a socket that fits and protects the CPU.

The RAM: There are memory slots on the motherboard to hold the RAM.

The BOIS: BIOS stands for the Basic Input/output system, which connects and links the PC’s software and hardware. The BIOS gets stored on a ROM chip on the motherboard, containing all the code required to boot up your PC and prepare to run the hardware like the display screen, keyboard, disk drives, and so on.

The reason behind storing the BIOS on a ROM chip is that it can retain information even when the PC has no power. If you’re interested, you can widen your knowledge of BIOS.

CMOS RAM and CMOS Battery: The motherboard also includes the CMOS RAM chips for storing basic data about the PC’s configuration that includes information about the CPU, RAM size, Floppy or Hard Disk drive types, power-saving settings, date and time, and so on.

The CMOS RAM needs a small amount of power to operate, which is the CMOS battery’s job. The battery helps keep the information alive even when the PC is powered off to prevent reconfiguration when you turn it back on.

Expansion Buses: The expansion buses are made up of several slots on the motherboard, creating an input/output pathway to peripheral devices from the CPU. They carry signals like power, data, memory addresses, and so on from one component to another.

The PCI is the most expansion bus on a motherboard. You can learn more about the expansion busses and their functionality if you want.

Chipsets: A Chipset is made of several small circuits that control the data flow to and from the PC’s important components, including the CPU, RAM, any devices connected to the buses, and so on. There are two main chipsets on the motherboard:

The Northbridge: The Northbridge manages transfers between the CPU and high-end devices like the main memory or RAM and the graphics controllers.

The Southbridge: The Southbridge controls the communications between the CPU and the slower peripheral devices like the storage and sound chips.

Knowing the details about motherboard chipsets and what every brand calls their chipsets won’t contribute to our purpose here and may confuse you as a beginner. However, if you’d like to learn more, this article can help.

CPU Clock: This component is the basic timing signal for the CPU and synchronizes the operation of all the PC components.

Here are some things to consider when purchasing a motherboard.

We present the current Top 2 Best Seller motherboard available on Amazon below.

Bestseller No. 1
ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II AMD AM4 (Ryzen 5000, 3rd Gen Ryzen ATX Gaming Motherboard (8+4 Power Stages, HDMI 2.0b/DP,2 x PCIe 3.0 x16, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, BIOS Flashback, 256Mb BIOS Flash ROM
  • AMD AM4 Socket: Compatible to Ryzen 5000, 3rd/2nd/1st Gen AMD Ryzen CPUs
  • Robust Power Design: 8+2 DrMOS power stages with high-quality alloy chokes and durable capacitors provide reliable power for the last AMD high-count-core CPUs
  • Optimized Thermal Solution: Extended VRM and PCH heatsinks, M.2 heatsinks, multiple hybrid fan headers and fan speed management with Fan Xpert utility
  • Best Gaming Connectivity: Supports HDMI 2.0b(4K@60HZ) and DisplayPort 1.2 output, featuring dual M.2 slots (NVMe SSD), 2x PCIe 3.0x16 Slot, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A & Type-C ports
  • Industry-leading Gaming Audio & AI Noise Canceling Microphone Technology: High fidelity audio from a SupremeFX S1220A codec with DTS Sound Unbound and Sonic Studio III draws you deeper into the action. Communicate clearly with ASUS AI Noise Cancelling Mic technology.
SaleBestseller No. 2
ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming (WiFi 6) AMD AM4 Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 & 3rd Gen Ryzen ATX Gaming Motherboard (PCIe 4.0, 2.5Gb LAN, BIOS Flashback, HDMI 2.1, Addressable Gen 2 RGB Header and Aura Sync)
  • Cutting edge gaming motherboard: with AMD AM4 socket, it is a perfect pairing for Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 & 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen CPUs
  • Faster memory: 4 memory slots support dual channel DDR4 memory up to 128 GB, with ASUS OptiMem enabling higher memory frequencies and lower latencies
  • Blazing data transmission speeds: Two M.2 slots, including the latest PCIe 4.0, provide maximum storage flexibility and the fastest data speeds available via the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen platform
  • High-performance gaming networking: Onboard WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and 2.5 Gb Ethernet for exceptionally fast and smooth online gaming experiences
  • Optimized thermal solution: Customizable fanless VRM and chipset heatsinks with ASUS Stack Cool 3+ design keep your system running reliably

Power Supply Unit or PSU

The Power Supply Unit, commonly known as the PSU, comes in the shape of a box that usually goes at the bottom of your case. It gets power from the wall outlet, sends it to different PC components, and brings them to life.

As you must know, the electricity we get from the wall outlets is regular alternating current or AC. The PSU’s job is to convert the AC power into Direct Current or DC so the internal PC parts can use it. So, one of the important factors about the PSU is its efficiency, which is the percentage of AC that it can successfully convert into DC.

Here are a couple of terms to know about the PSU:

PSU Form Factor: The type of power supply you choose depends on the purpose of your PC. Since we’re building a powerful gaming PC here, it’s wise to use the ATX PSU type, a technology standard of sizing for power supplies, cases, and motherboards.

Main Power Connector: The PC main power connector, also known as P1, connects the PSU to the motherboard. The connector can come with 20 or 24 (two connectors 20+4) pins.

+12V Rails or Power Connector: This is an additional connector with four or eight pins that go into the motherboard to get power to the CPU.

PCI-Express Connectors: This type of connector has either 6 or 8 pins and supplements power to any component that uses the PCI Express card, like the graphics card.

SATA Power Connector: As the name suggests, this connector powers up the SATA hardware, such as the hard drives or optical drives.

Peripheral Power Connectors: These small connectors go into various disk drives of the PC. Mostly they have four colorful wires: one red, one yellow, and two black.

Click here to see some of the best power supply units  in the market.

If you want to shop at Amazon, the product below is the Top 1 Best Seller. Please note that the best seller products may change over time.

SaleBestseller No. 1
EVGA 220-G5-0750-X1 Super Nova 750 G5, 80 Plus Gold 750W, Fully Modular, ECO Mode with Fdb Fan, 10 Year Warranty, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply
  • 80 plus Gold certified, with 91% efficiency or higher under typical loads
  • Fully modular to reduce clutter and improve airflow
  • 100% Japanese capacitors, active clamp +DC-DC converter design to improve 3.3V./ 5V. Stability
  • Fluid Dynamic Bearing fan and EVGA eco mode for ultra-quiet operation and increased lifespan
  • NVIDIA SLI & AMD Crossfire Ready

If you wonder where to shop computer parts online, you can click here for some tips.

Optical Drive

Source: Disk Drill

The Optical disc drive is the part of the case that you put a disc in. It holds the discs and reads or writes them through electromagnetic waves or lasers. Optical drives can read or write CDs, DVDs, and BLU-RAYs.

The common type of optical drives includes:

DVD Burner: Reads and writes CDs and DVDs.

BLU-RAY Burner: Reads and writes CDs, DVDs, and BLU-RAYs.

BLU-RAY Combo Drive: Reads and writes CDs and DVDs but only reads BLU-RAYS.

Some people consider installing an optical drive as optional. Here is what people have to say about having it.

Case

Source: techradar

The case or chassis is the part that everyone is familiar with; therefore, it doesn’t need an in-depth introduction. It houses all the PC parts that we’ve mentioned up to now in an arranged manner while keeping dust and dirt from corrupting them.

It also provides decent airflow for your system. You can install additional case fans to ensure your PC parts stay cool and perform at their best.

An expensive case is not essential. The main benefit of spending more money on a case is that it will look cooler. When it boils down to it it’s an aesthetic purchase. 

However, that doesn’t mean you can skip cases altogether. Cases house your parts and keep the dust out of all the parts of your PC that need to stay dust free.

One thing you might want to consider when purchasing a case is to look for one with built-in fans. This will help keep your PC cool and running smoother. Allowing your PC to overheat can damage its parts. 

Here is an article that discusses the things to consider when purchasing a computer case.

You can check the current Top 2 Best Seller computer case on Amazon below.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Corsair 5000D Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case - Black
  • The 5000D makes a stunning, showpiece-worthy PC easy to build, and even easier to keep cool with the space and flexibility to mount multiple 360mm radiators.
  • A minimalist solid steel front panel offers superb durability and sharp looks, with dedicated ventilation channels for ample airflow.
  • The CORSAIR RapidRoute cable management system makes it simple and fast to route your major cables through a single hidden channel, with an easy-access hinged door and a roomy 25mm of space behind the motherboard for all of your cables.
  • Includes two CORSAIR 120mm AirGuide fans, utilizing anti-vortex vanes to concentrate airflow and enhance cooling.
  • A motherboard tray with customizable fan mounts allows you to side-mount up to 3x 120mm fans or up to a 360mm radiator, enabling new flexible cooling options.
Bestseller No. 2
Corsair Obsidian Series 1000D Super-Tower Case, Smoked Tempered Glass, Aluminum Trim, Integrated Commander PRO fan and lighting controller
  • THE ULTIMATE SUPER-TOWER PC CASE: Iconic and clean exterior lines, four smoked tempered glass panels and seamlessly integrated RGB lighting make the Obsidian 1000D the best-looking Obsidian Series case yet.
  • STREAM AND GAME SIMULTANEOUSLY: The Obsidian 1000D can fit both a complete E-ATX and Mini-ITX system concurrently, so you can stream and game smoothly from one enclosure. Two motherboards, two power supplies, two full PCs in one case.
  • MASSIVE COOLING OPTIONS: Up to 18 fan mounts and room for up to four 480mm radiators simultaneously.
  • DIMENSIONS: 12.1" W x 27.3" L x 27.4" H
  • BUILT-IN SMART LIGHTING AND FAN CONTROL: An integrated CORSAIR Commander PRO fan and lighting controller grants superior control over almost every aspect of your system via CORSAIR iCUE software.

Peripherals (Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers)

We’ve covered all the core parts needed for building a PC, but they’re not enough to get the juices flowing. You need external components like a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and sound system to operate your new PC.

As we all know, the monitor displays the graphics that your GPU renders. The mouse and keyboard let you interact with your PC, and the speakers provide sounds, which can profoundly affect your gaming experience.

We suggest you check the top best selling computer peripherals on Amazon below.

Best Selling Monitor

Bestseller No. 1
LG 24ML600M-B Monitor 24” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Display, 3-Side Borderless Design, Radeon FreeSync, Dual HDMI, OnScreen Control - Black
  • 24” Full HD (1920x1080) IPS Display
  • 3-Side Virtually Borderless Design
  • Radeon FreeSync Technology
  • Dual HDMI
  • On-Screen Control with Scren Split

Best Selling Keyboard

SaleBestseller No. 1
Redragon S101 Wired Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo RGB Backlit Gaming Keyboard with Multimedia Keys Wrist Rest and Red Backlit Gaming Mouse 3200 DPI for Windows PC Gamers (Black)
  • PC GAMING KEYBOARD AND GAMING MOUSE COMBO: Includes Redragon RGB Backlit Computer Gaming Keyboard and RGB Backlit Gaming Mouse. ALL-IN-ONE PC GAMER VALUE KIT, Fantastic for Gamers (New Improved Version)
  • RGB BACKLIT GAMING KEYBOARD; 7 different RGB Lighting modes & effects, 4 backlight brightness levels, adjustable breathing speed. The keycaps offering clear uniform backlighting WIN key can be disabled for gaming. The PC Gaming Keyboard has been ergonomically designed to be a superb typing tool for office work as well. The gaming Keyboard is built to withstand the average liquid spill. The integrated wrist rest gives you the comfort you need for marathon gaming sessions
  • MULTI MEDIA & ANTI GHOSTING; The Gaming Keyboard has 25 conflict free (n-Key Rollover) 10 Dedicated Multimedia keys plus 12 additional FN+ Multimedia keys (Total 114 keys). Keys are quiet, designed for longevity, durability delivering precise tactile feedback. Comes with Full numeric keypad and a gold-plated corrosion free USB connector for a reliable connection and ultimate Gaming performance
  • WIRED GAMING MOUSE; Ergonomic Redragon RED Backlit Gaming Mouse up to 3200 DPI (user adjustable 800/1600/2400/3200 DPI), 30G acceleration and Weight Tuning set. Total 6 Buttons of which 5 are programmable. The High-Precision Sensor delivers Pinpoint Accuracy while the Gaming Grade Micro Switches ensure longevity, greater durability and extreme responsiveness, giving you an even greater edge over your competition
  • PC GAMING KEYBOARD AND GAMING MOUSE COMPATIBILITY: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, Limited Mac OS keyboard support. Works well with all major Computers Brands and Gaming PCs.

Best Selling Mouse

SaleBestseller No. 1
Razer DeathAdder Essential Gaming Mouse: 6400 DPI Optical Sensor - 5 Programmable Buttons - Mechanical Switches - Rubber Side Grips - Classic Black
  • High-Precision 6,400 DPI Optical Sensor: Offers on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment through dedicated DPI buttons (reprogrammable) for gaming and creative work
  • Durable Mechanical Switches: Supports up to 10 million clicks, backed by a 2 year warranty
  • Ridged, Rubberized Scroll Wheel for Maximum Accuracy: Small, tactile bumps increases grip and allows for more controlled scrolling in high-stakes gaming situations
  • 5 Programmable Buttons: Allows for button remapping and assignment of complex macro functions through Razer Synapse

Best Selling Speaker

SaleBestseller No. 1
Creative Pebble 2.0 USB-Powered Desktop Speakers with Far-Field Drivers and Passive Radiators for Pcs and Laptops (Black)
  • Single USB cable for computers and laptops | enjoy a hassle-free Audio experience with a single USB cable without the need for a power adapter
  • Far-field drivers and passive radiators | custom-tuned far-field driver solution with rear facing passive radiators for excellent audio and enhanced bass reproduction
  • 45° elevated drivers | for enhanced audio projection and an immersive personal listening experience
  • Modern and stylish aesthetics | perfect for any modern homes, offices and workspaces.
  • Easy access volume control | Conveniently placed Front-facing controls for instant adjustments

Step 2—Determine Why You’re Building a Gaming PC and Scale Your Budget

Now that you know the essential details about the PC components and have a general idea of what you’re dealing with, you need to determine your expectations from the PC you’re building. This way, you can set an estimated budget for yourself and find the proper hardware that fits your wallet.

Firstly, ask yourself about the performance goals you’re trying to achieve. Do you want only to play older and less demanding games, or do you have the newest games in mind? Do you want your PC to handle VR gaming, as well? Do you need to do video editing or other intensive tasks like going live while playing games?

In short, the amount of money you should spend on a gaming PC depends on the type of games you want to play, the resolution you expect from the games, and the frame rate and performance level.

You can start by looking at your games’ requirements and find out what components they suggest for an enjoyable experience. You can find this information in the game’s settings or on their official website. Also, searching online for benchmarks and suggestions can help you a lot.

To give you a rough idea of what to expect in terms of budget, let’s categorize the gaming PCs:

Entry-Level

To build an entry-level PC, you can consider a budget of under $500. Even in this situation, you can build yourself a decent gaming PC with a smart component choice that can play some AAA games at 1080p. Of course, that is if you don’t mind the occasional lag and slow down.

A PC with this budget will serve you well if your goal is to mostly play older and less demanding games and turn down the graphics settings for more intensive titles.

Mid-Level

A PC built on a $500-$1000 budget can be considered as a mid-level device. This gaming PC will allow you to enjoy AAA games with a 1080p resolution and an outstanding performance. You can even play them in the more immersive 1440p quality or enjoy the VR world.

High-End

Spending $1000-$2000 will get you a powerful high-end gaming PC capable of much more than regular gaming. You can play with 1440p+ resolution at maxed-out high settings and get the best out of your 144Hz monitor. The more you get close to the $2000, the closer you get to high definition 4K gaming and an excellent VR experience.

Those who’d like to stream online, edit high-end videos, develop games, or render 3D videos and animations, should aim at this budget as a start.

Ultra-High-End

A $2000+ budget is for those who want no compromises in the world of gaming. With this budget, you’ll get a PC that can rock 4K resolution at 144Hz or higher. You can even get higher refresh rates with a 1440p resolution. The VR experience will be flawless at this point.

Note: These budget estimations don’t include the peripherals such as a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and sound system. If you already have a high-resolution monitor and a decent gaming mouse and keyboard, you won’t have to worry about them. However, if you want to upgrade, account them into your budget.

Here is a quick guide on how you can successfully come up with a project budget.

This article itemizes the average cost of building a gaming PC.

Step 3—Find the Right Gaming PC Components to Suit Your Needs

Until now, you must have decided on your estimated budget for the project. Before we get to choosing components, here’s a great general rule of thumb to get you started:

A GPU is the most important component in a gaming PC, and dedicating a fair amount of your budget to it is wise. 25-40% of your total budget should be spent on the graphics card. If you go over 40%, you’ll be making sacrifices on the other components. Less than 25% means you’re sacrificing performance and not spending enough on the GPU.

Next on the list is the CPU, and spending 15-25% of your overall budget on it is a healthy proportion. If you want to do more CPU-intensive tasks besides gaming, dedicate a bit more to it.

Another point to consider is when and how to purchase the different parts. You might think that buying the components over some time, part by part would be a wise way of handling your budget, but on the contrary, it’s best to buy the pieces around the same time, especially as a beginner.

The first reason for that matter is that some of the parts you buy may be defective, and you only get to return or replace them in a limited time frame. If you wait months to gather all your parts and eventually realize one of them is faulty, you’ll lose your money.

Secondly, with the ever-developing technology, new parts come out every day. If you wait a while and purchase a newly introduced part, it might not be compatible with the old ones you’ve bought, and you’ll face compatibility issues.

The last point you should know before starting to choose the components is that they should all be compatible with each other. There are websites like PCPartPicker that can help you check the basic part compatibility.

However, it’s wise to do manual compatibility checks yourself with the help of this guide so that you won’t run into spacing, size, or similar issues.

The video below might also help you.

GPU—The Most Important Part When It Comes to Gaming

The GPU is the heart of a gaming PC, and its influence on your overall gaming experience makes it a great starting point. You can start by choosing the CPU or the power supply first, but starting your research from the GPU makes the process way more straightforward.

Techradar collates the best GPU of 2021 here.

Determine the Budget

There are thousands of GPU models out there, and if you just dive in, you’ll become overwhelmed. Your first step should be to determine your GPU-dedicated budget, thus focusing your attention on a specific part of the market.

You must have come up with an estimated budget for your gaming PC in the previous section. As mentioned, 25-40% of your total budget should go to the GPU. There! Now you can limit your research to this price range.

Nvidia vs. AMD

Your second step would be to choose the GPU brand. The biggest players in the GPU manufacturing industry are Nvidia and AMD. Both of these brands have their strengths, offering a wide variety of solid gaming GPUs covering the very low-end to the high-end of the GPU market.

Nvidia’s latest and most powerful GPUs are in its RTX 30-series. Their performance capabilities, number of CUDA or RTX cores, memory size, and so on increases with the model’s number. If you’ve decided to build an entry-level gaming PC, Nvidia’s RTX 20-series would be a viable option, as well.

AMD’s latest GPU flagship is the Radeon RX 6000 series, which are great for high-end gaming PCs, featuring RDNA 2 architecture. Their 5000 series feature RDNA architecture, still great for high-end builds. An entry-level build could go with their RX Vega series or RX 500 series.

Keep in mind that if you pick older models, they’ll lose their edge sooner, and you won’t be able to play new games after a while.

Choosing between these two brands requires a fair bit of research since they’ve been competing with each other for so long. Tom’s hardware detailed comparison between AMD and Nvidia can assist you further. If you need more help, open google, search up “AMD vs. Nvidia,” and read on!

Note that you may run into GPU models made by other companies, including ASUS, MSI, GIGABYTE, and so on. These models use an Nvidia or AMD-designed GPU chip and create a different graphics card with different details. But the main part stays the same.

What Games Do You Play?

Next on the list is checking the minimum or recommended hardware requirements for the PC games you want to play with your new computer. Pick the most fierce and demanding game you’d like to play, head on to the game’s settings or official website, and find out the GPU requirements.

Then, you should look up the benchmarks for the recommended GPUs and compare them to other GPU benchmarks with your chosen brand and in the proper price range, using tools like PassMark Software. The graphics cards with higher benchmarks can play your favorite games.

If you don’t have any idea about what game to play, this article can help you.

Final Pick

After comparing the GPUs using such tools as User Benchmark, you should have a couple of GPUs in mind. It’s time to research each one further. Look up gameplay videos with a particular GPU in a specific game.

You’ll find plenty of videos on YouTube that people recorded of themselves playing certain games with. Ask for recommendations and advice on computer hardware websites. Read about your top picks until you come to a conclusion.

See the top products on Amazon below.

Bestseller No. 1
ZOTAC GAMING GeForce GTX 1650 OC 4GB GDDR6 128-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16520F-10L
  • New Turing Architecture
  • 4GB 128-bit GDDR6
  • Super Compact 5.94-inch Card, Fits 99% of Systems
  • Dual slot, 4K Ready, PCI Bus Powered
  • DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI-D
Bestseller No. 2
ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 6GB GDDR5 192-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16600K-10M
  • New turing architecture
  • Classic and modern games at 1080p at 60 fps. Supported os windows 10 / 8 / 7
  • Super compACt 8.5-inch card, fits 99% of systems
  • Dual slot, 4k/ HDR/ VR ready. Supported os - windows 10 / 7 64-bit, Linux 64-bit
  • 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b
Bestseller No. 3
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super 192-bit HDMI/DP 6GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 Dual Fan VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1660 Super Gaming X)
  • Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super
  • Boost clock: 1830 MHz
  • Memory Interface: 192-Bit
  • Video Memory: 6GB GDDR6
  • Output: DisplayPort x 3 (V1. 4)/ HDMI 2. 0B x 1

CPU

To pick the second most crucial part of a gaming PC, you’ll have to go through the same steps. Since any CPU can go with any GPU, you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues just yet. However, these two parts should match each other’s strengths.

A system is as strong as its weakest link. So, if you get an entry-level CPU along with a high-end GPU, you can’t use the GPU to its full potential, and the processor will slow it down.

Determine the Budget

As mentioned, if you dedicate 15-25% of your overall budget to the CPU, you’re on the right path. So, determine a price range for the CPU considering your total budget, and search for CPUs in that range.

What Games Do You Play?

Next, you need to consider your personal requirements. Some people want to use apps and games that can use and benefit from multicore processors. Some games will benefit from single-core but fast CPUs.

Check your game’s recommended system requirements. Determine if you want to play them at the highest possible resolution and frame rate, or you’re okay with lower settings. Compare CPU benchmarks to narrow down your choice further.

Intel vs. AMD

The two big CPU manufacturers are Intel and AMD. Both brands offer a range of CPUs from entry-level to high-end, useful for low-end gaming all the way up to playing demanding games at high fps rates.

Read the detailed compression of AMD vs. Intel processors from Tom’s Hardware to make an informed decision. You may end up favoring one brand over the other depending on your specific needs that we discussed previously.

Final Pick

Once you’ve got a couple of CPUs in mind, research them a bit further. Search on YouTube for specific CPU gaming benchmarks to see the performance you’ll get on your favorite games. Read customer reviews for popular CPU models, and ask for advice on hardware forums. With a bit of research, you’ll have a winning CPU!

You can start by checking out this article that lists the best CPU of 2021.

See the top products on Amazon below.

SaleBestseller No. 1
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
  • AMD's fastest 8 core processor for mainstream desktop, with 16 procesing threads. OS Support-Windows 10 64-Bit Edition
  • Can deliver elite 100-plus FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Cooler not included, high-performance cooler recommended
  • 4.7 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 36 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
Bestseller No. 2
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
  • AMD's fastest 6 core processor for mainstream desktop, with 12 processing threads
  • Can deliver elite 100+ FPS performance in the world's most popular games
  • Bundled with the quiet, capable AMD Wraith Stealth cooler. System Memory Type: DDR4
  • 4.6 GHz Max Boost, unlocked for overclocking, 35 MB of cache, DDR-3200 support
  • For the advanced Socket AM4 platform, can support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards
SaleBestseller No. 3
Intel Core i5-9600K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.6 GHz Turbo unlocked LGA1151 300 Series 95W
  • 6 Cores / 6 Threads
  • 3.70 GHz up to 4.60 GHz / 9 MB Cache
  • Compatible only with Motherboards based on Intel 300 Series Chipsets
  • Intel Optane Memory Supported
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630

CPU Cooler

Your work isn’t over yet. Once you’ve picked a CPU, you need to check if it comes with a fan or heatsink and if they’re strong enough for your needs. If you’re planning on overclocking your CPU, most of the onboard fans won’t do the job of keeping the system cool.

You should consider the airflow for choosing a CPU fan, which is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). The higher the number, the stronger the fan. Also, keep in mind the fan’s noise output and additional RGB lighting for those who’re into it.

You can also go with liquid coolers. They’re much more effective than fans, especially for overclockers, because they use water for dissipating heat. However, they’re more expensive, as well.

Here’s an article Intel has provided to help you decide which one of the cooling systems is right for you.

Moreover, you need to pick a cooler that’s compatible with your CPU and your motherboard, which we’ll discuss in the following sections.

You can check out the best selling CPU cooler on Amazon below.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB V2, Close-Loop AIO CPU Liquid Cooler, 240 Radiator, Dual SickleFlow 120mm, RGB Lighting, 3rd Gen Dual Chamber Pump for AMD Ryzen/Intel LGA1151
  • 3rd Generation Dual Chamber Pump for overall cooling efficiency and performance
  • New SickleFlow Refreshed exterior design for improved lighting and fan blades for a quiet airflow performance
  • RGB Lighting Signature cooling performance with an RGB design for all of the users wanting lighting effects that are fully customizable
  • The larger surface area increased the surface area of the fins on the radiator for better heat dissipation
  • Industrial grade seal high: Industrial Grade EPDM material to strengthen the seal for improved longevity and Anti-Leaking

RAM

Follow these simple steps to choose the best memory for your build:

RAM Type

Different types of RAM include DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, and, soon, DDR5. The wisest thing to do is to purchase the latest RAM type, which is DDR4, at the time of writing. The type of RAM determines its compatibility with the motherboard, and most motherboards currently support DDR4 RAMs.

RAM Capacity

RAM capacity is the most important factor to consider for gaming PCs. It directly affects the system’s performance and the quality of gameplay. 8GB of RAM can suffice for less demanding games and is considered a budget option.

16GB of RAM would be perfect for a gaming PC and can handle multitasking and even video editing. If you can’t afford higher capacities right now, don’t push it. You can add more RAM at any point in the future.

Dual vs. Single Channel

As a gaming PC builder, you should always aim for dual-channel memory because it can significantly impact PC performance. Dual-channel means that you install RAM in matched pairs.

For instance, if you want 16GB of RAM, you get two 8GB RAM modules. This way, if one RAM stick faces a problem at any time, you can still use your computer.

You can take a quick look at the video below discussing the differences between single and dual channel memory.

RAM Speed

As a gamer, it’s essential to focus more on the RAM’s capacity than its frequency and speed. The RAM speed you can get directly depends on your budget. If you’re not yet sure about the money, you can dedicate to the RAM, choose a medium RAM speed, continue down this list, and if you have leftover cash at the end of the line, turn up the speed.

RAM Brand

After you’ve determined all the other features of your RAM, you’ll still have many options to choose from regarding different brands. The RAM quality won’t vary much with different brands, but it’s safer to research a bit. Look up topics like “Best RAM Brands” and read up on the topic to make a final decision. You can start by checking this article.

See the current top 2 RAM on Amazon below.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz C16 Desktop Memory Kit - Black (CMK16GX4M2B3200C16)
  • Hand-sorted memory chips ensure high performance with generous Overclocking headroom. SPD Speed-2133MHz
  • Vengeance LPX is optimized for wide compatibility with the latest Intel and AMD DDR4 motherboards.
  • A low-profile height of just 34mm ensures that vengeance LPX even fits in most small-form-factor builds.
  • A high-performance PCB guarantees strong signal quality and stability for superior Overclocking ability.
  • A solid aluminum heatspreader efficiently dissipates heat from each module so that they consistently run at high clock speeds.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 3600 (PC4-28800) C18 AMD Optimized Memory – Black
  • High performance DDR4 memory illuminates your system with vivid, animated lighting from ten ultra-bright, individually addressable RGB LEDs per module.
  • Take control with CORSAIR iCUE software and synchronize lighting across all your CORSAIR iCUE compatible products, including memory, fans, coolers, keyboards and more.
  • Customize lighting profiles with millions of different patterns and colors, or create your own in CORSAIR iCUE software.
  • Compatible with Intel and AMD DDR4 motherboards.
  • Requires no extra wires or cables for a clean and seamless install.

Storage

Storage Type

As explained before, SSD memories have many benefits over HDDs, and one downside: their higher price tag. If you’re no on a budget, getting all the storage in SSD form would significantly increase your PC’s performance.

Many gamers use both HDD and SSD drives to boost the PC’s performance. They store the operating system, most used files, and multiplayer games on the SSD to improve boot time and loading times, and all the other files on the HDD, including music, videos, photos, and so on. This way, you can save money.

Getting an even faster storage type, the M.2 SSD, for installing your OS and other important files will further boost your experience, but this option is mainly for those who aren’t on a strict budget.

To learn more about the differences between SSD and HDD, click here.

Storage Capacity

It’s easy to calculate how much storage capacity you’ll need by looking at the amount of data you currently store. You know how many games, media, and files you have or will want to install. Usually, 1TB of storage would be enough for a gaming PC. If you can’t afford big numbers right now, don’t worry. You can always add internal or external storage.

Storage Speed

The storage speed is important for HDDs. The higher the RPM speed, the faster the performance time. Try to aim towards 7200RPM while keeping in mind that 5200RPM is okay, too, especially if you use an SSD for your critical programs.

Storage Cache Memory

More cache memory will bring faster loading. For maximum performance, 32GB+ is ideal. However, you’ll be okay with less cache memory for decent gaming.

Storage Brand

Seagate, Samsung, Western Digital, and Toshiba store brand names that come up more often than others. Research their products that match your needs individually to find one that suits your taste and budget.

You can check out the this article featuring the best SDD in 2021. 

You can also see the the list of the best HDD in this article.

If you want to see what’s hot on Amazon, see the products below.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Samsung 870 EVO SATA III SSD 1TB 2.5” Internal Solid State Hard Drive, Upgrade PC or Laptop Memory and Storage for IT Pros, Creators, Everyday Users, MZ-77E1T0B/AM
  • THE SDD ALL-STAR: The latest 870 EVO has indisputable performance, reliability and compatibility built upon Samsung's pioneering technology
  • EXCELLENCE IN PERFORMANCE: Enjoy professional level SSD performance which maximizes the SATA interface limit to 560/530 MB/s sequential speeds*, accelerates write speeds and maintains long term high performance with a larger variable buffer
  • INDUSTRY-DEFINING RELIABILITY: From everyday computing to 8K video processing, you can multi-task efficiently with up to 600 TBW**, low lag with the 6th generation VNAND, and powerful MKX controller
  • MORE COMPATIBLE THAN EVER: 870 EVO has been compatibility tested*** for major host systems and applications, including chipsets, motherboards, NAS, and video recording devices
  • UPGRADE WITH EASE: Simply plug 870 EVO into the standard 2.5 inch SATA form factor on your PC or laptop computer and let the renewed migration software take care of the rest
SaleBestseller No. 2
SAMSUNG 870 QVO SATA III 2.5" SSD 1TB (MZ-77Q1T0B)
  • GO BIG, DO MORE: The 870 QVO is Samsung's latest 2nd generation QLC SSD with up to 8TB of storage capacity
  • ENHANCED IN EVERY WAY: With an expanded, SATA interface limit of 560/530 MB/s sequential speeds, the 870 QVO improves random access speed and sustained performance
  • BOOST CAPACITY: The 870 QVO is available in 1, 2, 4 and 8TB
  • RELIABLE AND SUSTAINABLE: The capacity of the 8TB 870 QVO increases reliability up to 2,880 TBW using a refined ECC algorithm for stable performance
  • UPGRADE WITH EASE: Upgrading to 870 QVO is now easier than ever for anyone with a desktop PC or laptop that supports a standard 2.5 inch SATA form factor.SAMSUNG MAGICIAN SOFTWARE: Manage your drive and enhance its performance with tools that keep up with the latest updates and monitor the drive's health and status.WORLD'S No.1 FLASH MEMORY BRAND: All firmware and components, including Samsung's world renowned DRAM and NAND, are produced in house, allowing end to end integration for quality you can trust

Motherboard

Shopping for a motherboard might be the most challenging part of this process since there are multiple factors to track. We’ll do our best to guide you through the factors you need to consider:

CPU Compatibility

Firstly, and most importantly, restrict your search to motherboards with specific chipsets that support your CPU and its socket type. Find the socket that your CPU requires in the specifications of its products.

Head on to the PC Part Picker website and scroll down a bit till you reach a section titled “Socket/CPU” on the left side of the page under Filters. Now click on Show more and choose the right name so the website filters out the ones you can use.

GPU Compatibility

A GPU uses PCIe slots to connect to the motherboard. PCIe slots have different versions like 2.0, 3.0, and the latest 4.0 with more bandwidth allowance. You can check the PCIe slot your GPU uses and get a motherboard that supports it.

The good news it the PCIe ports are backward compatible. If you want to have multiple graphics cards, get a motherboard with the appropriate number of slots. You can filter out the PCIe slots in the PC Part Picker website as a next step.

Memory Compatibility

Your motherboard should be compatible with the RAM’s type and support the RAM’s speed. It should also have enough RAM slots. ATX motherboards usually have four, and smaller models have two. The board should support a healthy amount of RAM capacity, ranging from 32GB to 128GB. Filter out all these factors in the website, as well.

SATA Ports

SATA ports connect storage devices to the motherboard, including hard drives, solid-state drives, and external drives. They use up a SATA port each, so choose the number of SATA ports depending on the number of storage devices you’re planning to have.

M.2 SSD Compatibility

If you’ve decided to install one or multiple M.2 SSDs, you’ll need a motherboard that supports it.

USB Ports

You’ll need enough USB ports for your peripherals like mouse, keyboard, headset, and so on. USB ports have different versions and numbers of headers, so filter them out accordingly.

Form Factor

As explained, the form factor is the size of the motherboard. Common form factors are ATX (the biggest), Micro ATX, and Mini ITX. USB port numbers stay the same between different sizes, but memory and PCIe slots are less for smaller sizes.

The Micro ATX and Mini ITX are also more expensive, so not that suitable for a budget build. Filter out the form factor of your choice on the website.

Premium Features

You may want additional options like CPU overclocking capabilities, Wi-fi built-in, lighting, crossfire capabilities, and so on. Keep an eye on a motherboard with these features.

Brand and Price

Your motherboard just needs to be reliable, not fancy. Search for a motherboard that supports your main pieces among the four big names in the industry: ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock.

There are multiple other brands, but as a beginner, stick to the known reliable ones. Choose a motherboard with the proper support, and don’t overspend.

Check out the top brands of motherboard and their products in this article.

We also show the current top selling motherboard on Amazon below.

SaleBestseller No. 1
MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK Gaming Motherboard (AMD AM4, DDR4, PCIe 4.0, SATA 6Gb/s, M.2, USB 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI/DP, ATX, AMD Ryzen 5000 Series processors)
  • Support for 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors and future AMD Ryzen processors with BIOS update
  • Supports dual channel DDR4 memory up to 128 GB (4866 MHz)
  • On-board dual LAN: 2.5G LAN plus Gigabit LAN
  • Mystic Light: RGB LED lighting and extendable pin headers – 16.8 million colors / 29 effects
  • Audio Boost rewards your ears with studio grade sound quality for immersive gaming experiences

Case

Case Form Factor

Choose the case’s form factor considering the form factor of your motherboard. If you’ve got an ATX motherboard, get an ATX case.

Case Size

The case size determines whether or not you can fit all the components in it. Common case sizes include Desktop, Full Tower, Mid Tower, and Mini Tower. For instance, a Mini Tower case can’t fit a full-sized GPU. Consider the number and size of your graphics card, storage, and other accessories.

Case Cooling

Most cases come with onboard cooling systems. To make sure the case’s cooling system is strong enough, read customer reviews. Those who plan on overclocking can benefit from additional case fans. You’d want a fan with high airflow, low noise output, and maybe RGB lighting.

Case Connections

Your case’s connection options should fit your motherboard. For example, if your board has front-facing USB options, your case should, too.

Case Aesthetics

Search for what looks more appealing to you. There are several case options out there with various shapes, colors, and other aesthetics like RGB color lighting.

See the newest products  on Amazon below.

New
Ranvo Desktop Computer Case, Simple Operation Light Delicate ITX Case Exquisite Compact Sturdy Durable for Hotel Computers for Self Service Terminals
  • High Quality Materials: Made of high quality aluminum alloy material, the desktop computer case is sturdy, durable and not deformed.
  • Scope of Application: The desktop computer case is suitable for home video computers, hotel computers, self service terminals, etc.
  • Good Heat Dissipation: Using anodized sandblasting process, the desktop computer case has good heat dissipation.
  • Exquisite Compact: The computer case is light in texture, delicate in texture, compact in size, placed horizontally, and takes up little space.
  • Professional Design: Can be used with Mini ITX 17x17cm motherboards, equipped with a wealth of expansion holes to meet all basic needs.
New
Aluminum Alloy Case, No Rust Heat Dissipation Box for Electronic for Computer Programming
  • Easy to produce a dense and firm protective film on the surface, which protects the substrate from corrosion, has strong wear resistance and is not easy to rust.
  • Oxidation sandblasting process, high hardness, strong pressure resistance, metallic luster, aluminum alloy material is more conducive to heat dissipation.
  • Built in heat conducting column, fast heat dissipation, cooling fan can be installed, all ports and slots of the shell are suitable for 4 Model B.
  • Ultra thin design, lightweight and durable, open slotted design, can ensure that our shell will not affect the wifi signal transmission.
  • For CPU heat is transferred to the aluminum alloy shell through the heat conduction column, and the dual fans further enhance the heat dissipation effect.
New
Computer Case, Practical Convenient Durable HTPC Computer Case, for Digital Signage Computers
  • With easy installation, and there is no need to waste your times, very convenient.
  • Suitable for living room computers, hotel computers, digital signage, advertising machines, self‑service terminals, etc.
  • Can be used with for Mini‑ITX 17x17cm motherboard, the whole machine runs without noise, and enjoys peace every day.
  • Compatible hard disk specifications is approx. 2.5in notebook hard drive.
  • Using anodized sandblasting process, outstanding texture, and you can use it for a long time.

Power Supply

The PSU should always be the last PC component you choose, and here’s why:

PSU Wattage

You need to calculate the amount of power that your PC components draw, add them up, and get a power supply that can easily support them all by offering a bit more than the total ballpark.

You can do this by finding out the maximum wattage each component uses by reading their specifications. You can also use calculators to give you the result, such as OuterVision Power Supply Calculator or Newegg Power Supply Calculator. Don’t forget to count for extra fans, RGB lighting, overclocking, and adding new equipment in the future.

PSU Efficiency Rate

Never settle for a poor efficiency rate because the PSU will create a lot of excess heat. Your chosen PSU should have an “80 Plus Certified” label.

PSU Form Factor

You should choose the PSU size according to your motherboard size and your case size. If you have an ATX motherboard, get an ATX PSU.

PSU Brand

Stick with reputable and trustworthy brands to get a quality PSU. Research the brands, read customer reviews, and ask online for advice. EVGA, Corsair, and SeaSonic are popular manufacturers.

Check out the best gaming power supply in this article.

Optical Drive

In the past, we had to install the Operating System on our PCs using an optical drive because they came on CDs or DVDs. The PC games also came on CDs, DVDs, or BLU-RAYs, so an optical drive was necessary for a gaming PC.

However, nowadays, you can easily use a USB drive to install the OS and download games from popular platforms like Steam. In conclusion, if you don’t have a specific purpose for including an optical drive in your build, don’t! I’ll just take up extra space and waste money.

For those who need an optical drive, your best bet of finding one you like is to look at Amazon’s best sellers in internal optical drives. Remember that it should be compatible with your OS, fit your case, and support the disks you want to read or write.

You can also consider getting an external optical drive somewhere down the road if you need it.

Note: Up to this point, we’ve tried to make the choosing process as easy as possible for you. However, if you still feel like it’s too much to handle or that you’re not sure about which parts will serve you best, you can use the recommended builds that many websites offer.

Open Google and type in “recommended gaming PC builds,” and you’ll see several recommendations come up with different budgets in mind. This way, you won’t have to worry about compatibility either. You can always swap some parts in the suggested builds to make them suit your taste better.

Find the Right External Components

It’s time for the easy and more fun part of building a PC; choosing the looks of your gaming system.

Monitor

Building a PC without being able to see anything is worthless, right? For choosing a monitor, you need to factor in the maximum resolution and refresh rate that your hardware (i.e., Graphics card) can handle. If you went for an entry-level build, a 1920x1080p/60Hz monitor would be enough. For a mid-level build, you can increase the refresh rate to 1080p/144Hz, or instead turn up the resolution to 1440p at 60Hz.

To get the most out of your high-end PC, go for 1080p/240Hz or 1440p/144Hz. An Ultra-high-level PC requires a 4K monitor with high resolutions.
Also, check what your chosen graphics card can connect to and what ports you need on your monitor, for instance, a DVI port, an HDMI port, or others.

Also, the display size and aspect ratio are up to you to choose, and they’ll affect the price. Remember to look for monitors with speakers if that’s what you need. Also, if you got an Nvidia GPU, look for a monitor with Nvidia’s G-Sync support. For an AMD GPU, it’s best if the monitor supports AMD’s FreeSync.

Check out the good video below discussing how you can pick the best monitor.

Mouse

Your gaming style and requirements play a huge role in choosing a mouse. Firstly, decide if you want a wired or a wireless mouse. A wired mouse gives you less freedom and restricts your movements a bit, but it’s always available.

A wireless mouse gives you the option of sitting back in your chair and playing at a fair distance. But you always have to make sure they’re fully charged before pulling off an all-nighter or have a stash of batteries on hand.

Secondly, consider whether adjustable DPI and mappable buttons are important to you. Do you want a laser sensor or an optical one? Do you like alien-like designs or prefer comfort?

All these factors will eliminate your choices a bit, but since there are thousands of options out there, you may need a bit more help. This article and video can assist you further.

See the top gaming mouse in this article.

Keyboard

A good keyboard is also a big part of the gaming experience. The wired and wireless matter goes the same for the keyboard. You can limit your search to a membrane keyboard with a traditional feel or one with precise mechanical switches.

Do you want macro keys? Is backlit RGB lighting vital to you? This article offers you everything you need to know about gaming keyboards and how to choose them.

You can also check the list of the best gaming keyboard here.

Speakers

Sound effects and music can play an essential role in your gaming experience, so don’t neglect your audio setup.

Your options for setting up a sound system are:

You can checkout the current top selling speakers on Amazon below.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Creative Pebble 2.0 USB-Powered Desktop Speakers with Far-Field Drivers and Passive Radiators for Pcs and Laptops (Black)
  • Single USB cable for computers and laptops | enjoy a hassle-free Audio experience with a single USB cable without the need for a power adapter
  • Far-field drivers and passive radiators | custom-tuned far-field driver solution with rear facing passive radiators for excellent audio and enhanced bass reproduction
  • 45° elevated drivers | for enhanced audio projection and an immersive personal listening experience
  • Modern and stylish aesthetics | perfect for any modern homes, offices and workspaces.
  • Easy access volume control | Conveniently placed Front-facing controls for instant adjustments
SaleBestseller No. 2
Amazon Basics USB Plug-n-Play Computer Speakers for PC or Laptop - 1 Pair (2 Speakers), Black with Blue LED Light
  • One pair of high-performance USB-powered (5V) computer speakers with bottom radiator for “springy” bass sound
  • Simple USB plug-and-play setup (no drivers needed); in-line volume control for easily adjusting the volume
  • Black metal finish with blue LED accent lights for sleek, modern style; padded base for scratch-free placement and stability
  • Frequency range of 80 Hz - 20 KHz; 2.4 watts of total RMS power (1.2 watts per speaker)
  • Measures 3.9 x 2.6 x 2.8 inches (LxWxH); weighs approximately 1.4 pounds
SaleBestseller No. 3
Computer Speaker, Wireless and Wired PC Soundbar, Stereo HiFi Bluetooth 5.0 & 3.5mm Aux-in Connection, USB Powered Sound Bar Speaker for Desktop PC Laptop Tablet Game Console
  • Stereo HiFi Music: 6 drivers & boosted bass bring fantastic stereo music no matter deep-bass or high-pitch. The unique anti-magnetic technology which can suppress static and other noise, makes the sound more live
  • Dual Connection: Adapted with AUX & Bluetooth 5.0, feel free to choose the desired audio sources between AUX mode and Bluetooth mode. Devices with Bluetooth can be connected via Bluetooth, and most devices equipped with 3.5mm jack can be connected through AUX
  • USB Powered: Plug in and use, the computer sound bar speaker turns on automatically after plugging in the USB port (such as a laptop, PC host, power bank, adapter)– no need to turn on the soundbar every time you want to use it
  • One Button Operation: You can Control all functions via only the knob, including volume adjustment, bluetooth pairing, pause/play music, and answer hands-free calls under Bluetooth mode
  • Save the Desk Room: Adopts Bluetooth 5.0 chip that provides transmission range up to 50 feet. Slim and stylish, save space and make the desk clean. Modern and stylish aesthetics, perfect for any modern homes, offices and work spaces

Find the Right OS

After packing up the hardware, you need to choose the Operating System or OS for short. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, the OS brings life to the hardware and lets you install and play the games you built the PC for.

Although it’s inevitable to an extent, we suggest you don’t let your past experience with the OS play a role in your decision. Do your research about the available operating systems and make an informed decision. There are three main operating systems available for gamers:

Windows

Windows is the most popular OS among the three, and there are valid reasons for that. Firstly, its interface is incredibly user-friendly, and anyone can pick it up rather quickly. Secondly, it’s easy to install.

As a gamer, you benefit from access to the built-in store with thousands of games and an XBOX app for multiplayer gaming from PC to PC or PC to console.

Windows also guarantee high-quality graphics in line with your graphics card with an increased FPS figure. Check this article to know the pros and cons of Windows OS.

macOS

macOS also has a dedicated group of users, especially since it’s an Apple product. The best feature that MacOS can offer to gamers is its excellent visuals. Its virus protection also beats the other operating systems.

That’s it! macOS falls short of Windows in the other categories. It’s not as user-friendly, and it doesn’t offer nearly as many downloadable games. It’s also more expensive. See the pros and cons of macOS here.

Linux

Linux isn’t as well-known as Windows and macOS. Linux has a very steep learning curve, and you should look at it as learning a new, fairly complex skill. It’s possible to download and play multiple games from different platforms, but the number isn’t close to Windows’.

It appears that it’s safe to say the only good part about Linux is that it’s free to download and install. See the advantages and disadvantages of a Linux OS here.

Below is a good video comparing Windows and Linux OS.

Step 4—Gather All the Tools You Need

Organization is key when it comes to building a PC. You should gather all the tools you may need in the process so that you won’t get distracted.

Screw Drivers: Screwdrivers will be your most important tool for building a PC. You should never try to install a part with a screwdriver that doesn’t match the screw because it won’t be secure enough, and you’ll end up damaging the screw.

You’ll definitely need a size #2 Phillips-head screwdriver for most of the work. You’ll need size #1 if you have an M.2 SSD to install.
If you don’t have a screwdriver kit yet, this is an excellent opportunity for getting one. The CREMAX 14-piece Magnetic Screwdriver Set is a perfect choice.

Cable Cutter and Cable Ties: Having a cable cutter and cable ties for organizing the wires and cables can help you. The Klein Tools Pliers cable cutter and the Hmrope Reusable Cable Ties are great options.

Anti-Static Equipment: Static electricity that your body produces can damage sensitive hardware components. You need to find a way of grounding yourself, such as using an anti-static/ESD wrist strap.

You can also touch a non-painted grounded metal object, like the PC case frame with the PSU plugged in and powered off, a metal desk leg, water pipe, gas pipe, radiator, and so on.

Also, remember to wear anti-static gloves to keep the components fingerprint-free and clean. Cotton gloves are the best option as they won’t create electrostatic charges.

Thermal Paste: You need a tube of thermal paste to keep your CPU from overheating. ARCTIC MX-4 Thermal Compound Paste is the best in the market. If you’ve got a CPU with a cooler, it has thermal paste already applied.

Compressed Air: A can of compressed air will help you dust off any particles that sit on the PC components while you’re working.

Flashlight: Your phone’s flashlight would suffice if you don’t want to use the phone to watch tutorials. If so, get another flashlight.

Organization Buckets (Optional): With an organizational bucket, you won’t have to search for suitable screws in a mixed-up container, or worse, lose some parts in the process. Although optional, these handy tools will make your job a lot easier.

If you are interested in getting a computer tool kit, see two of the best selling products on Amazon below.

Bestseller No. 1
Computer Repair Kit, 122 in 1 Magnetic Laptop Screwdriver Kit, Precision Screwdriver Set, Small Impact Screw Driver Set with Case for Computer, Laptop, PC, for iPhone, Watch, Ps4 DIY Hand Tools -Grey
  • 🔨【Higher Hardness 60HRC & 55HRC, More Durable】This small precision screwdriver set consists of 98 screwdriver bits, which made of Cr-V Steel (55HRC hardness) and 3 TorxTR screwdriver bits, which made of S2 alloy steel(60HRC hardness). The type of 3 TorxTR screwdriver bits is T6H, T8H, and T10H, which have higher hardness, stronger torque, and strong impact resistance. It can be installed on cordless screwdrivers and disassembled more than 500 Screws.
  • 🔨【122 in 1 Multifunction Screwdriver Kit】The 122 in 1 screwdriver set includes 98 screwdriver bits, 3TorxTR screwdriver bits, 1 magnetized driver handle, 1 magnetizer/demagnetizer, 1 flexible extension shaft, 1 hexagonal sleeve socket for cordless drills, 1 anti-static tweezer, 2 plastic pry crowbars,3 ultra-thin & 6 normal triangle pry tools, 1 micro screw magnetic pad, 1 SIM card pin and 1 suction cup.
  • 🔨【Electronic Screwdriver Kit Available For Cell Phones & Laptop Accessories】 The screwdriver flexible extension can be used for narrow corners. It is also equipped with anti-static tweezers and non-slip silicone handles. It is suitable for electronics, iPhones, watch, glasses, laptops,jewelers, and home appliances, such as televisions and air conditioners. We also prepared three special driver bits T6, T8, and T10 hollow plum, which are available for repairing game machines such as ps4.
  • 🔨【With Professional Storage Case And Magnetizer】This miniature screwdriver set comes with a shockproof plastic storage box. Each screwdriver bit is well placed in the corresponding slot, which is easy to find and store. The attached magnetizer can strengthen the magnetism of screwdriver bits easily. In addition, it is equipped with a magnetic pad to collect small screws and avoid screw loss.
  • 【Lifetime Warranty And Packaging With Magnetizer Instructions】 This screwdriver set is also the best father's day gift, which designed for disassembly and installation, making it easier for you to remove and install electronic equipment. This product provides a 90-day refund and lifetime warranty. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and we will get back to you within 24 hours.
Bestseller No. 2
iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit - Electronics, Smartphone, Computer & Tablet Repair Kit
  • COMPLETE: This ultimate DIY kit includes essential electronic device repair tools, like the iFixit Jimmy, opening tools, picks, prying spudgers, a screen removal suction cup, anti-static wristband, tweezers and our MAKO PRECISION DRIVER BIT SET.
  • UNIVERSAL: Huge variety of bits designed to fix devices like iPhone, PC laptop, MacBook, iPad, camera, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, desktop computer, Android, Chromebook, phone, tablet, gaming console, Dell, watch, glasses, jewelry, and other gadgets!
  • ENGINEERED STORAGE: Thanks to the foam insert and magnetic closure of the case, tools, components, and bits can be safely stored and transported. Additionally, the inside of the lid serves as a sorting/organization tray.
  • MUST-HAVE: Whether you are an advanced IT business technicians or household hobby repairer, this perfect gift for holidays and birthdays so your favorite fixer can replace tech parts like screens, batteries, hard drives, motherboards, joysticks, and more.
  • Covered by iFixit's Lifetime Warranty.

Step 5—Prepare Before You Start

Clean Your Workplace

Choose the area that you’ll be working in. Long flat surfaces with plenty of room in a well-lit environment are ideal. Before you start, clear the area thoroughly since your PC parts should stay clean and dust-free.

Get Windows Ready

Create a Windows 10 bootable USB drive using Microsoft’s guide for installing it after you’re done. If you plan on having an optical drive installed, you can use a CD or DVD for Windows installation.

Discharge Your Static Energy

Wear your wristband, or discharge your static energy some other way. Don’t work on a rug, and don’t walk on a carpet with socks. Keep the components in the anti-static bags they arrive in until just before installation.

Step 6—Start Building Your PC

Open up the Case and Prepare It

The first step is to unbox the case. Next, get your screwdrivers, put the case on its side, and remove the screws, so the side panel comes off. If both side panels are removable, get them off. Inside the case, you’ll see some wiring dangling inside and also a bag of screws you’ll need later.

Put the panels somewhere safe and the case aside for now.

Install Additional Case Fans (Optional)

If you’ve decided to install additional fans or replace the existing case fans with more powerful ones, now’s the time. After installing the motherboard, you won’t be able to reach the fans as easily. If you can’t reach the fans now, remove the case’s front panel with a bit of force. Remove the existing fans (if necessary).

Look for a small arrow on the fan indicating the airflow direction. Depending on if you’re going for a push or pull configuration, line up the arrow. Secure the fan in place with screws that came with it.

Here is a video showing how to do it.

Open up and Prepare the Motherboard

Unbox the motherboard and carefully remove it from its anti-static bag while holding it by the edges. Don’t touch any exposed circuitry on the board. Place the motherboard on a clean flat surface.

Open up your motherboard manual to its diagram page and keep the board’s layout next to you through this guide. It should look something like this:

Install the CPU onto the Motherboard

The process of installing both AMD and Intel processors is easy and relatively the same.
Step 1: Locate the CPU socket on the motherboard using the manual. You should see a lever next to the socket. Push it down a bit to release the hook, then to the side, and then lift it.
Step 2: Some motherboards have a plate that you should flip up and a plastic piece that will come loose and should be gently removed.
Step 3: Take your CPU out of the box and remove its protective plastic sleeve without touching the circuitry on the top or bottom.
Step 4: The CPU should either have a small arrow in one of its corners or a golden triangle. Line them up with the shapes on the motherboard and gently settle the CPU into the socket. The CPU pins should be facing down and the silver side up.
Step 5: You shouldn’t press it down or force it into place because it doesn’t snap. It should just rest on the socket.
Step 6: Lower the socket covering and push the lever back down to lock the processor in place.

If you’re more comfortable learning the process visually, this video can help:

Install the CPU Cooling System

If you’ve decided to use the stock coolers that AMD and Intel provide, you’re facing a straightforward process. The heatsink below these fans already comes with thermal paste applied, so no worries there.

To install Intel coolers, unbox them and place them on top of the CPU on the motherboard. Press down on the push pins through the board, twist the pins while following the arrow to lock the cooler in place.

You need to screw in an AMD cooler with a screwdriver and bolts. Some motherboards may have plastic notches screwed in place for clip-on coolers. Remove the plastic notches, line up the corner on the cooler with the holes, and screw in the bolts.

Ensure that the cooler wire reaches the CPU fan header on the motherboard, which should be close to the CPU and labeled “CPU Fan.” If you have questions about installing the cooler at any point, refer to its manual.

If you want to install third-party aftercoolers, the process is pretty much the same. How you connect the cooler onto the board may vary from brand to brand, so refer to the manual for detailed instructions.

The only difference would be adding thermal paste before installing third-party coolers. Check the base of the cooler for thermal paste in the shape of a thin gray layer. If it doesn’t have any, or if you want to use your own, read on.

To remove the previously applied thermal paste, use a lint-free cloth and some rubbing alcohol. Then, apply a single pea-sized dot at the center of the chip. Put the cooler on top of the chip without wiggling or twisting it so you create a smooth connection. Wait for the paste to cure.

The methods used in the following video can also be helpful.

If you’ve decided to install an AIO liquid cooling unit instead of a fan, the process would be different. Refer to the manual and watch this video to get the work done:

Insert the RAM onto The Motherboard

Step 1: Refer to the motherboard manual and find out what RAM slots are ideal to use depending on the number of RAM sticks you own. Usually, it’ll suggest that you install two modules into the number 2 and number 4 slot.
Step 2: Push the levers or hinged tabs on one or both ends of the slots to unlock them.
Step 3: Take the RAM modules out of their packaging. Line up the RAM stick with the slot so the notches on the stick and slot match.
Step 4: Push the RAM sticks into the slots firmly and make sure you hear a click. Make sure the lever is back in its place.

Check the video below for additional guide.

Insert the M.2 SSD onto the Motherboard (Optional)

With the motherboard still out in the open, install the M.2 SSD if you have one.
Step 1: Look at your motherboard’s manual and locate the M.2 SSD slot. It can be below or above the graphics card PCIe slot or hidden away somewhere else.
Step 2: Once found, locate the two or three holes next to the slot. One of them should have a standoff screw in it, which is where the other end of the M.2 SSD will rest on. If the M.2 SSD is too short to reach the hole where the screw is in, re-screw it into another hole.
Step 3: Unbox the M.2 SSD and while grabbing it by the edges, firmly insert it into the slot at a 30-degree angle.
Step 4: Find the small M.2 screw that your motherboard came with, and carefully screw the other end of the M.2 SSD onto the standoff with a Phillips head size #1 screwdriver.

If you face any problems through the process, this video can help:

Mount the Motherboard in the Case

Once you have all the small parts mounted on the motherboard, it’s time to install them inside the case.

Step 1: Locate a rectangular cut-out at the back or the top of your case. That’s where the motherboard’s I/O shield should go. It’s a rectangular metal or plastic shield that goes over the input/output ports of the motherboard. If you’ve purchased a motherboard with the I/O shield permanently affixed to it, skip the next step.
Step 2: Fit the I/O shield into the rectangular slot at the back of the case. You’ll have to press against each side of it firmly until it snaps. Here’s a video to help you along, as this can be a little tricky:


Step 3: Examine your case for holes around it. That’s where the motherboard standoffs go, which are small screw mounts that keep the board from making direct contact with the metal case.
Step 4: Some cases come with standoffs already installed in the holes, allowing you to skip the next step. If that’s not the situation for you, look in the bag or box full of screws that came with your case. Motherboard standoffs are usually copper or gold, and they look like screws with a hole on top.
Step 5: Once you’ve found the standoffs, find the suitable holes in the case to mount the standoffs in. Refer to the manual for details. Some cases have their holes labeled for different motherboard sizes:

● “A”: ATX.
● “M”: Micro ATX.
● “I”: Mini ITX.

Step 6: Screw the standoffs in the correct holes using standoff installed that some cases come with or a small socket wrench.
Step 7: Find the motherboard screws that came with the case, referring to the manual.
Step 8: Place the motherboard on top of the standoffs so that the I/O ports line up and go through the I/O shield.
Step 9: Secure the motherboard with the screws. Seat all the screws and give them a couple of turns first. In a star pattern, tighten the screws one by one. Don’t over tighten them.

Refer to this video for help at any point of the process:

Install the GPU in the Case

Step 1: Locate the PCIe x16 slot on the motherboard. It’s common to use the long slot closest to the CPU for the graphics card, but consult your motherboard manual for assurance. Push the small switch at the end of the slot down and outwards to open it up.
Step 2: Most cases come with bracket covers screwed in for unused expansion slots located on the left side of the PCIe slot. Unscrew the cover plate aligned with the PCIe slot and the one below it. Keep the screws.
Step 3: Unbox the graphics card and remove any protective plastic. Line up the contacts on the GPU with the PCIe slot on the board, while the ports face the empty spot where the bracket covers used to be.
Step 4: Insert the GPU into the slot and push firmly until you hear a click.
Step 5: Secure the GPU by putting back the expansion slot screws.

Here’s a video to show you the steps visually:

Also, if you have any other components that use PCIe slots, like sound, video capture, wireless networking, and so on, install them now. The process goes the same as the graphics card. Remove the metal bracket, install the card into the slot, and attach the screws.

Mount the HDD/SSD in the Case

HDDs and SSDs both slot into a drive bay. The location of the drive bay depends on the case’s design, so refer to the case manual to find where to install the drives.

An HDD uses a 3.5-inch drive bay, which can also cater to an SSD with an adapter; if your case doesn’t come with a 2.5-inch cage that you can just slide the SSD in.

Remove the drive tray and line up the HDD or SSD, so the SATA connectors face the back panel. Some cases allow a tool-free installation, meaning you can clip the drive into the drive tray. Others will need you to screw the drive into place.

Use this video along with the case manual as a guide if you run into problems:

Install the Optical Drive (Optional)

If you’ve included an Optical Drive in your build, now’s the time to install it. Remove the case’s front panel if you haven’t already. Unbox the optical drive and slide it through a 5.25-inch drive bay. Secure it with screws afterward.

You can refer to the video below for more detailed instructions.

Install the Power Supply in the Case

Step 1: Each case has a determined location for the PSU, so firstly, refer to the case manual to find out where it is.
Step 2: Take the power supply out of its box. If the unit is modular, take the cables and put them aside for now. If the wires don’t detach, arrange them to hang out the case’s side panel after installation.
Step 3: Determine if you want to install the PSU face up or down. If the case has a vent at the bottom, install the PSU face down so its fan can pull in cool air from the bottom. If there’s no vent, install the PSU face up.
Step 4: Consult the case manual to see if there are any mounting brackets you should screw to the PSU.
Step 5: Slide the power supply in its place so the power plug, on/off switches, and rear vent face the back of the case.
Step 6: Make sure all the wires are free and screw the PSU in the case. The screws might have come with the case or the power supply itself.

The video below may give you more guidance on how to install the power supply.

Connect the Power and Case Cables

Connect Front Panel Cables to Motherboard

A case should have the following front panel features: the power switch, the reset switch, USB ports, microphone jack, headphone jack, power light, and hard drive light. Your case should have front panel cables pre-attached, and you’ll have to plug them into the motherboard.

The ports on the motherboard you plug the cables into have different labels on different boards, so you should consult your motherboard manual to find out where they are.

Find the pages in the manual with titles like “Front Panel Connectors,” “USB Connectors,” “Front Audio Connectors,” and so on. If you can’t locate them, you’ll have to download the full motherboard manual from the manufacturer’s website.

Now that you know where on the board to plug the front panel cables in, start the job. Be aware of the positive and negative connections that some wires have, which you should link to their corresponding positive and negative ports on the board.

The video below will give more more ideas on how to connect front panel connectors.

Attach PSU Cables

If you have a modular or semi-modular PSU, now’s the time to attach all its cables. If you’re not sure what you’ll need, attach all the cables that came with the PSU and if one appears loose on one end, disconnect it.

As you’re connecting different cables, try to thread the PSU cables through the nearest cable management hole on the case’s motherboard tray. Check this article to get further guides.

Connect the Motherboard Power Cable

The main motherboard power cable has 24 pins. Consult the motherboard manual to find out where the 24-pin power cable should go and connect it.

Connect the CPU Power Cable

The cable that powers your CPU comes with eight pins in a 4+4 arrangement. See the manual to locate its port on the motherboard, and plug it in.

Connect the GPU PCIe Power Cable

Most modern GPUs need their own power cable. It’s either a six or eight-pin connector, usually located on the corner of the card. Your PSU should come with at least two PCIe power connector cables in the form of 6+2 pin connectors.

If the GPU has six pins, connect the six-pin cable. If it has eight, connect both six and two-pin cables.

Connect Storage and Accessories SATA Cables

There are two SATA cables you should connect to your storage drives (HDDs and SSDs). The first is the SATA data cable that comes with the motherboard. Consult the manual to find the correct SATA port on your motherboard to connect this cable, and plug the other end into the storage drive.

The second is the SATA power cable, which runs from the PSU to the storage drives. If your power supply doesn’t have enough SATA cables, you can use Molex connectors with a Molex to SATA adapter.

Other accessories like optical drives and some CPU liquid coolers use SATA power cables, as well. So, go ahead and connect them, too.

Connect Molex Power Cables

Some case fans and CPU liquid coolers still use Molex power cables instead of SATA cables. They’re 4-pin connectors and may be labeled peripheral cables in your PSU specs. If you don’t have enough fan headers on the motherboard to connect your case fans, connect them to the PSU using Molex cables.

If you need to learn more about motherboard connectors, check out the video below.

Tidy Up the Cable Management

Tidy up all the loose cables behind the motherboard using zip-ties or Velcro straps that came with the case or PSU. You can use the ones you bought yourself. This cable management guide will help you.

Connect the Peripherals

Plug the monitor cable into the video card. Connect the keyboard and mouse, as well. You’ll need these peripherals to see if the system boots. Connecting the computer peripherals should be easy, but it you need some guide, this article will help you.

Boot Your PC

Double-check everything, make sure the PSU’s power switch is turned on, and the power cable is connected to the wall socket, and press the power button on the case. Your PC should turn on, and the BIOS screen pops up on the monitor.

If your PC doesn’t turn on, go through this troubleshooting guide to solve its issue. Don’t panic, as it could be only a small, easily solvable issue.

Close up the Case

Once your PC boots up fine, you can close the case by installing the side and front panels and screwing them in. See this article to get some guide on how to properly close your PC case.

Set up the BIOS and OS

Now you should update the motherboard BIOS, either from within the BIOS screen for modern motherboards or using a USB stick with the files installed on it for older models.

Then you should connect the USB that you’ve installed Windows on and change the boot priority to the USB drive, so the PC loads up from it.
Since the set-up process needs its own in-depth article, read these two guides to help you through setting up the BIOS and installing the OS:

What to Do After Building a Computer?
How to download a Windows 10 ISO file legally and install Windows 10 from it?

Once you’re done with this step, you can start gaming on your new PC!

Final Words

Looking at this guide, you might be overwhelmed and hesitating about building a PC on your own, or you might be excited to start the process. The steps you need to go through can’t get any more straightforward and organized than this, so if you just don’t see it in yourself to build a PC, take a look at pre-built gaming PCs that match your dedicated price range.

Although it’ll be more expensive, hard to customize, and limited on hardware expansion, they’re thoroughly tested and ready to go straight out of the box, which may be just what you need.

However, if you’ve decided to embark upon the fantastic journey of building your own gaming PC, be sure to follow along with the guide and put enough time to educate yourself first and find the right components before picking up the screwdriver.

 

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About Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones is a 24-year old blogger from Europe and he is a certified Network Engineer. Love staying up to date with the latest technology products and builds pc for gaming setups. Read more about him.