How Long Does It Take to Build a PC?

For a beginner, assembling your PC to completion could take 3-4 hours. This varies significantly on several factors that I will get into below. If you are a more experienced builder, you can reduce this time to about an hour.

Hello, my name is Ty Robinson. I have spent the last few years in the IT field dealing with hundreds of tech-related questions, issues, and tasks. My favorite thing to deal with is the building of a PC. I am happiest with a screwdriver, staring down at the unassembled parts of a computer.

Building a PC can be a challenging and arduous process, but also an extremely rewarding one. There are a few things that go into the time required for the build. You’ll need to do ample research, on any issues you run into during the build, adding your customization, and managing cables. 

Research to Cut Down on Build Time

Doing your due diligence before diving head first into the build process will save you copious amounts of time, and headaches. This may seem like a step you can skip, but it is arguably one of the most critical steps. 

The compatibility of parts is something you won’t notice until you’ve begun building unless you’ve researched the parts beforehand. When you go to seat your Intel CPU into your AM4 motherboard, you’re in for a very rude awakening (since they are incompatible).

You’ll mainly run into this issue regarding motherboards and CPUs. Make sure that the two are compatible when you purchase them. Once you find a CPU of your liking, I would highly recommend looking up “motherboards compatible with X”. 

Your motherboard has a specific socket type, for a particular CPU. For example, the Gigabyte b550 auros elite ax v2 has a section on the store page where it tells you exactly what socket type it is, and what CPUs are compatible with it. All motherboard pages have this

Making sure you’ve watched or read a few build guides could also help cut down an ample portion of your build time. The more familiar you are with the process, how everything fits together, and what goes where it will be much easier come time to sit down and build. 

Complications During Your Build

If you have not done ample research, this is when complications can arise. Even with all of the research done, it is possible to run into unforeseen issues, which can heavily impact the overall time to completion for your build. 

The main complication most seems to run into, are the power cables. Whether it be the cables not being correctly seated, or the cables not being able to reach where they are supposed to plug into, all power cables should click into place when you install them.

If you are not gentle when seating the CPU, the CPU or motherboard pins may bend, or even worse, break entirely. While unlikely, this is one of the worst-case scenarios, as there is no real way to repair this.

If your CPU heatsink is not securely fastened all of the way down, your CPU could overheat, causing your computer to force shutdown to protect the hardware before any damage can be done. 

An issue with your bios and CPU can also stop your system from booting up past the bios screen. Resetting your bios and updating to the newest version should rectify this issue.

Clean Up

The routing of your cables and any personalization you want can also add to the build time. Cable management might not seem important, but when you want to go in and change something, but you have a nest of cables you can’t maneuver through, you’ll wish you had

If you do not correctly manage and route your cables, it can also restrict the airflow within your PC, leading to unusually high temperatures. The image below shows the difference between a cable-managed PC (right) and the alternative. 

Cable management will add to the build time, but will save you so much time in the long run. 

Final Thoughts

In total, the build time can take between 3 and 4 hours for a beginner. The more experienced builders can cut this time down to less than an hour if there are no complications. 

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