If you can adequately follow instructions and are handy with some tools, building a gaming PC is not difficult. It actually can be an extremely satisfying experience. Once you see it boot up for the first time you’ll have a feeling of euphoria knowing you built it!
As an IT Tech professional, and an avid PC gamer, I have built many PCs in my day. Every person in my household or family who has a gaming PC, had me build it.
While it can seem like a daunting and even stressful thing, once you break it down and understand it, building a gaming PC begins to seem much more manageable. I hope that the knowledge I share with you today
Let’s gear up and get building.
- You will only need a Phillips screwdriver, preferably a magnetic one for the entire build.
- Follow closely with a guide, a step-by-step YouTube video is a great visual aid.
- Make sure when purchasing parts for your build, you do ample research on their compatibility and if they will bottleneck each other.
What Parts Go into Building a Gaming PC
While every part of a PC is integral to its functioning properly. The parts that you want to focus on splurging on for performance, are the graphics card, RAM, and CPU. About 30-50% of your budget should be allocated just for the Graphics card if constraints allow.
Go through the list below when purchasing your PC parts to make sure you have everything you need. Once you have gone through and checked each of these off, you should be ready to build it.
- Power Supply Unit (PSU)
- Computer Case
- Operating System
The CPU or central processing unit handles all of the system processes. Think of this part, as the brain of the entire operation. Be extremely gentle with the installation of the CPU as it has hundreds of very fragile pins, if even one is bent or broken, it will cease to function.
Some CPU-intensive games include total war games or ones where tons of NPCs are on screen at a single time.
Mid Range CPU prices are about $125-$300, here is a great AMD CPU I recommend.
GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit. The GPU is the powerhouse and main component when it comes to gaming.
It works in tandem with the CPU to get you the best performance. The graphics card takes care of the video output and needs to be strong enough to handle the games you throw at it.
Your GPU and CPU need to be close in performance so that one does not bottleneck the other. In other words, getting an expensive graphics card, but going cheap on the CPU, won’t give you the performance you desire since the CPU can’t keep up with your Graphics Card.
GPU prices can vary greatly. Some of the mid-range ones cost about $250-$500. Here is a great AMD GPU I recommend.
Ram also known as Random-Accessed-Memory, is what holds the short-term data for the computer, which helps the CPU better function.
Most recent gaming titles use anywhere from 8GB to 16GB of RAM. So when purchasing the parts for your very own gaming PC, take this into account.
16GB of RAM will cost between $45-$60. You can get a good pair of RAM here.
The Motherboard is the hub for all of your PC parts. It handles the power distribution and allows all of the different components that make up the computer to communicate with one another.
When purchasing your motherboard, you must make sure you purchase one that is compatible with the CPU you are getting. Whether it be Intel or AMD, you need to make sure that they will work together.
Motherboards can cost between $80-$300. I have linked a good AM4 motherboard here!
The storage is where all of your Games, files, and everything else will be permanently housed.
In this day and age, when it comes to gaming PCs, it is SSD or nothing. SSDs are small, fast, and nowadays, cost-efficient for price to performance.
The size of your gaming PC may vary. But I always say to go with at least 1TB. Games add up quickly, and before you know it, that storage space will start to disappear.
PCIe-mounted SSDs, bypass the SATA connection completely and plugs straight into the motherboard. Make sure that the motherboard you purchased has a PCIE slot if you end up going with this option.
Since it is connected directly through the PCIE slot, you will notice faster boot-up times and load speed.
If you are interested in a SATA SSD, click here, but if you’re more intrigued by the PCIe option, click here.
The PSU is the component that will power your motherboard and other components. Take extra care when handling the PSU, and plugging it in. Just to be extra safe, flip the switch into the off position before beginning work on it.
A Power Supply Unit should run you about $40-$100. You can get a 650w PSU here.
This part comes after all of your parts are in place, and you can boot into the bios. Purchase a Windows USB, or create a Windows Media Installation USB, and plug it into a USB slot. From within the bios, you can change the boot order to make the USB take priority.
Once you boot into the USB, install your Operating System on the available storage space.
Helpful Tips to Make Building a Gaming PC Even Easier
1. Stay Grounded
Making sure that you are working on a stable workstation, and that you have grounded yourself. Grounding yourself means getting rid of any static build-up your body has, that could cause damage to the pc parts.
2. Follow Manuals or Guides
Your motherboard should come with a manual that can assist you when building your PC. I also highly recommend that you follow closely alongside either a video guide or an article going into detail on the step-by-step process.
3. Take it Piece by Piece
It may seem daunting with all of the parts laid out in front of you. But if you break it off into segments, focusing on only one portion at a time, it becomes easier to manage. Start with the simplest things to connect.
Like the RAM, the CPU, and the MOBO. Save things like your GPU for the very end.
It should not be difficult at all to build a PC for a first-timer. If you can put in some time to research and follow instructions closely, there should be no trouble at all getting your very own PC built.