How To Build A Gaming PC In 2022 (Step-By-Step Guide)

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How To Build A PC For Gaming

The entire idea behind building a gaming PC is a tempting one, to be honest. I know it might not sound like it.

But a lot of people have started shifting towards gaming PCs in the modern-day and age because a PC is usually going to offer you a lot of value as it can be used for multiple things.

But the main question remains “how to build a gaming PC,” especially in the market that is not only riddled with the shortage.

But finding the right parts can be difficult for anyone who is still new to the idea of buying the right gaming PC.

Well, the good news is that we are here to help you build the best possible PC that you can build in your budget.

Everything from tips to mistakes, as well as considerations, will be covered in detail, and we have even decided to talk about peripherals.

Table of Contents show

You Want To Build An Entry-level, Mid-level, or High-End Gaming PC?


Honestly, the first step into building a gaming PC is to decide the level of the gaming PC that you are looking to build.

You see, unlike consoles, PCs are a bit complicated, and although you can always pick up pre-built PCs that will save you from the hassle, they will also devoid you of any knowledge that you might gather during the building process.

That is why, the first step is to sort this out, so we can start moving ahead and decide what parts you should be focusing on.

Gaming pc 2

Entry-Level

Gaming pc 3

Mid-Level

Gaming pc 1

High-End


1- Entry-level


Your entry-level gaming PC is going to be a starting point. This is the point where you are like, “okay, I want to start gaming. Where do I start?” Perhaps the easiest levels to get into because here you do not have to spend a lot of money, and you do not have to spend a lot of thought process choosing the right parts either.

For starters, anyone who wants an entry-level PC usually starts with the need to go for at least a 1080p target resolution because anything below that is abysmal. An entry-level PC can easily target games that you would normally play on console and play them with the same settings or frame rates, and even better at times.

The point here is to start from 30 frames a second and remain somewhere between 30 to 50 and even 60 in some games. It might sound impossible, but honestly, over the past couple of years, even entry-level hardware has not only become accessible but also powerful enough to deliver the gaming experience that you require.


2- Mid-Level


Next up, we have the mid-level offerings in the market when you are looking for a good gaming PC. Again, you can go for pre-built, or you can build your own; the choice is yours here. However, as compared to the last one, this time, you are likely to spend more money across the board.

This means that not only are you getting powerful hardware, you are also getting better peripherals that can help with the quality of life improvements. Many people would still be targeting the 1080p resolution in this level, but now with higher frame rates starting from 60 frames per second and above.

However, some games would easily run at 1440p and good frame rates as well. Mid-level PCs are generally the most popular due to their high accessibility.


3- High-End


This is where you go all out with your budget and buy the best of everything available. Something that is not easily possible in the current landscape because a lot of the parts are not available, but if you are looking to spend money, there is no higher price bracket, the more money you pour in, the better your PC will keep getting.

Higher-end PCs normally target 1440p at 100 frames and beyond, and modern-day graphic cards like the RTX 3080 and above can easily push beyond 100 frames per second on 4K resolution as well. Again, sounds like a dream, but this is what the pinnacle of gaming often feels like.

You can get all the best peripherals, and all the best components once you reach this level, and while it is a continuous process of adding new things and making more improvements, higher-end PCs do tend to last you the longest, thanks to how good they are with the performance and everything else.


Should You Build A PC Or Go Prebuilt?


Now that we have talked about the different levels of PC that you can get, the next step is to start paying attention to the age-old question. Should you build a PC yourself or go pre-built, and honestly, this question is one of those that has divided the PC community for years now.

The advantages can be found on both sides. But being a PC enthusiast, I have always advocated for custom gaming PCs, and to be honest, the reason is simple. When you are building your PC, you are not only learning how to do it, but you are also gaining more experience, the more PCs you build on your own, the more you learn how to tinker and troubleshoot with the components.

This allows you to fix problems if they ever take place, and what is even better is that with the right skill, you can prevent any issue from ever coming to a problem for you in the first place.

Prebuilt vs Custom PC

As for pre-built gaming PCs, they do have a case in their favor, too, because, with those computers, you do not have to go through the hassle of setting up everything and having a fear of something that could go wrong in the process.

Pre-built computers simply plug and play. However, we would suggest that you still learn how to tweak with computers because at the end of the day, it is going to be much easier for you if you finally learn how to build and tweak your PC, so in case something goes wrong, you can just go ahead and fix things without having to worry.


What Components Should I Start The PC Building Process With?


If you are looking to get started, the process is not that difficult. However, you might need to start selecting the right components because building the PC with the lack of proper components is not going to be enough.

So, we should be getting started with choosing the proper components and then get started with the process of building. This will help everyone get on track, as getting your hands on the right components is incredibly important.

Again, we cannot just miss these things since it is only going to be a problem.


Quick Navigation

1- CPU

1- CPU

Motherboard

2- Motherboard

Ram

3- RAM

Power-Supply

4- Power Supply (PSU)

Graphics Card

5- Graphics Card

PC Case

6- PC Case

Storages

7- Storage

CPU Cooler

8- CPU Cooler

RGB Lights

9- RGB

Thermal Paste

10- Thermal Paste

Cables

11- Cables


1- CPU


The first part of the PC building process is going to be the CPU that you will choose. Now, I do understand that this might not be something that everyone is ready to decide on right away, but I believe that this serves as the basis of what your gaming PC is going to be like.

This means that choosing the right CPU can make or break the experience for a lot of people. But how does one choose the right CPU? Well, for starters, you are going to have to decide whether you want to go for AMD or Intel; once that is decided, you want to start considering your budget since both companies have a wide range of options that are available in terms of price, so you might end up running into something cheaper or more expensive.

The next up, you need to decide what your purpose is. Are you building a PC just for the sake of gaming, or do you want to perform some productivity tasks as well?

Image of a CPU
Photo By Brian Kostiuk On Unsplash

This is going to help you decide the right CPU, as you might want to get more cores and threads for a PC that is focused on delivering better overall performance in all the cases.

Next up, you need to start looking at the number of cores, as well as the socket of the CPU. Again, both factors are very important, and they are going to help you decide the right CPU and that too, with ease. I know it might be an overwhelming situation, but the more you are focused on this, the better it will be at the end of the day.

Choosing a CPU can be an overwhelming task at first, but as long as you are taking care of all these factors, you would be in the safer hands.

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2- Motherboard


Once you have decided on getting the CPU, the next step is to start looking at the motherboard. Normally, you shuffle between the CPU and the motherboard and decide on either before the other, but there is nothing wrong here since you can easily decide what you want to go with.

Simply put, choosing the motherboard is going to depend on the CPU that you have decided to go with. After all, you cannot just go with the wrong socket to begin with. You will need to pick up not only the right socket but also something that is within your budget.

In addition to that, you have to look at how many RAM slots are there, the form factor of the motherboard, along with additional slots for expansion cards like PCI-Express cards, as well. Modern motherboards do come with multiple storage options as well, so you can decide between those too, and it should not be that difficult for anyone to choose.

image of msi gaming motherboard
MSI Youtube

In addition to that, when choosing a motherboard, look for the power phase as well. You might feel the need to overclock your processor later down the road, and for that, you will need to get a motherboard that is good with the power phase design because you cannot just overclock your CPU on something that is more affordable and does not have proper power phases.

Last but not the least, the socket of the motherboard has to be the same as the socket of the processor that you picked up. Once you have decided between these factors, choosing the motherboard is going to be a lot easier for you.

Sure, you can easily mess this up, but we are here to help you be comfortable.

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3- RAM


Now that you are done choosing the CPU and the motherboard you want to go for, the next step is to start looking at the RAM capacity, as well. After all, you cannot build a proper gaming PC without the right amount of RAM. Even if you are not building a gaming PC, you are still going to need good RAM since that is important.

With that said, finding the right RAM capacity is not that difficult. Almost all the gaming PCs that people are using have at least 16 gigs of RAM, and with this capacity, you would be more than settled, and you will not need to have any worries either.

However, if you wish, you add 32 gigs or even higher than that by going for 64 gigs. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind. For starters, do you want to invest in RAM with RGB lighting, or are you okay with something stealthy as well?

Image of hyperx fury ram

Additionally, the RAM speed is going to be important too. However, we have concluded that when it comes to RAM speed, AMD processors benefit the most from faster RAM. So, if you are on Intel, you do not need to get the best possible or the fastest RAM in the market.

Rest assured, I believe choosing the RAM is one of the easiest things that you can go with. You will be able to choose the right RAM with ease, and there are countless options available in the market, and you will be able to find the right RAM, as well.

Just keep the above factors in mind, and you will be able to buy the best possible offering with ease.

Related articles: RAM Overclocking Guide in 2022


4- Power Supply (PSU)


I know this might surprise a lot of you, but I have always been an advocate about how a good power supply is the one thing that one should never miss out on when building a PC, and if possible, allocate one of the higher budgets to a power supply, as well.

Simply put, a power supply is going to be powering all the components on your computer, so it is only fair that you are buying something that is reliable and can perform consistently. What is the point of having a $3,000 PC only to use a $70 PSU? You never know what the results might be.

Choosing a power supply is a lot easier than one might think, though. You just have to look for some aspects to it, and you will be fine. For starters, understand the output wattage that you need, and in most cases, anything from 750 and above is what people go for.

Image of corsair ax 1600i PSU

However, if you are building an affordable PC, you can go lower than that too, and it should not cause you any trouble. Additionally, you have to be certain that you are going for a modular design because not having to deal with all the cables is always a better way than dealing with the mess.

Moving forward, we would also suggest that you look for a power supply that has good efficiency ratings. Starting from 80 Plus Bronze or higher, so at least you will know that the power supply you are investing money in is good for you and won’t give up on you.

Last but not the least, when selecting a power supply, be sure that you are choosing the right form factor for it as you are not going to like it when you end up buying a power supply that is either too small for the chassis or too big for it since that is never fun to deal with.

Related post: 6 Best 750W PSUs For Your High-End Graphics Cards In 2022


5- Graphics Card


Oh boy! Again, a very important part of your PC that you simply cannot skimp over and at the same time, one of the most difficult parts to acquire in the modern-day and age, to be honest. Choosing a graphics card used to be super easy. However, over the past couple of months, it has become extremely difficult.

It all started with the launch of the RTX 3000 series last year, perhaps the biggest launch since the revered GTX 1000 series, but the launch was more or less a soft launch since the supply was extremely limited at that time and people simply did not manage to get their hands on the GPUs at all.

Image of msi graphics card
Photo By Bruno Yamazaky On Unsplash

This is still the same case as Nvidia is not only trying to battle the miners, but also trying to take care of the shortage that seems to not end. With that said, choosing the right GPU is going to be incredibly important because you simply cannot go for whatever is available.

Your choice has to be sensible, and you have to look at all the available options before making a decision. You also have to be certain that the GPU you are buying is not causing any bottleneck with the other components, mainly your CPU, and the power supply you have is more than enough for not just the GPU but the rest of the components too.

Last but not the least, the size does matter here because you should not be getting a GPU that barely fits the chassis as it is going to cause some severe issues in terms of airflow. For the rest, do watch the benchmarks, and set a budget while you are at it because these things are going to be very important in the process.

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6- PC Case


It is safe to say at this point that all of your components have to fit somewhere, and unless you are building a test bench, you are going to need a PC case. Now, the PC case market is perhaps one of the easier ones to get into because you find countless sellers, each offering something that is both similar and different.

There are limitless options as far as cases are concerned, and sometimes I feel like that this absolute humongous choice leaves a lot of people confused, as well. Choosing the right PC case is not going to be difficult for anyone. You have to start by looking at the form factor of the case.

Image of gtx 1080 pc build
Photo By Maverick Timotius On Unsplash

Most of the modern PCs are more than enough in a mid-tower case. However, if you want to go big, you can always invest in a full-tower, provided you have enough space on your desk or wherever you are putting the PC.

The goal here is to get a PC case that fulfills your requirements without the need for you to go out of your way. In simpler ways, you should be investing in a PC case that is going to not only fit all your components with ease but also provides an ease of access because, at the end of the day, that is going to be important.

Rest assured, you will get all the bells and whistles that you can find in a PC case, like good aesthetics, RGB lighting, tempered glass, power supply shroud, tool-less installation, and more. So, this goes as far as your imagination takes you.

This also means you should spend as much time figuring it as you need, and you will be all good.

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7- Storage


Storage used to be one of the simplest components to choose from back in the day because you did not have a lot to choose from. There was a simple hard drive, and that was it.

However, over the past couple of years, the storage market has evolved to a point that you have a lot of offerings, each more expensive than the other, and each faster than the other as well.

Still, the enthusiasts are aware of what storage they need, and the best part is that if you do know what you are looking for, it is hardly going to take you a long time to decide what storage you should be going for.

Whatever the case might be, modern computers no longer rely on single storage. There is, in most cases, two different drives. One is strictly the drive for Windows and other programs, and then you have a larger capacity drive for the sake of putting your media, games, and everything else.

M.2, 2.5 & SSD

However, it is storage we are talking about, and you can go as wild as you want with the number of drives you want to add to your computer. The choice is yours, and well, you are only limited by either your budget or the space inside your computer.

With that said, you can take your time choosing the storage as it is going to be important, and to make it easier for you, we are also going to be breaking down every storage type in detail. This way, you will have a much easier time understanding the different storage types available, how they work, and how one is better than the other or worse.

For that, you can simply check everything that we have mentioned below, and you will be off to the races.

  • 2.5-Inch SSD

The first one that we are looking at is going to be a 2.5-inch SSD. This type of storage device started as really premium and expensive to attain, but over the past couple of years, the saturation of the market has allowed the prices to come down a lot.

Nowadays, a 2.5-inch SSD is available in the market for cheap and has reliable speed and endurance, as well. Some of the most renowned brands happen to be Samsung, and the SSDs that they have given the market are amazing in their own right and offer great performance.

For those wondering, 2.5-inch SSDs are still based on the SATA interface, which means that you are going to need to connect SATA data and SATA power cables to these SSDs they easily fit inside your case, and you can mount them with ease, as well.

SSD Drive

SATA drives do not have any moving parts, so they are protected against shocks or other data losses that a hard drive is prone to. Which makes these drives a lot better in terms of reliability as well.

With that said, 2.5-inch SATA drives are much faster than your traditional SATA-based hardware and can reach speeds as high as 550 MB/s. However, it is revealed that the speed threshold is hit only because of the SATA limitations and not by the limitations of the actual drives.

These solid-state drives are available in capacities starting from 60 GB up to 8 TB if you want to spend the money, and are slowly replacing traditional hard drives as the prices have started coming down. One of the most renowned series for SSDs happens to be Samsung’s EVO and QVO series that offer great drives for a great price, as well.

  • Hard Drives

The next storage device that is in concern is your big and chunky hard drives. These drives have been the industry standard for as long as one can remember and if you are looking for massive amounts of storage on cheap, buying a good hard drive is the way to go.

Two of the names that are synonymous with the hard drive market happen to be Western Digital and Seagate, and both have been providing us with some of the best and most reliable hard drives ever since they started the business.

One of the most important things that one should know about hard drives is that these do use moving parts in the form of a platter, magnets, and more, therefore, they are more susceptible to situations in which they can get shocked, or get damaged because of a power loss.

Hard Drives

But since hard drives are cheaper, a lot of people have set up RAID configurations using these drives or even used these drives in NAS (network-attached storage) just so they can have access to a large pool of data without having to worry about the cast.

Despite their slow speeds, hard drives are still being used around the world, thanks to how cheap they are. To this day, they offer the lowest price-per-gigabyte, which means that you do not have to pay a lot for storage. They are also easily replaceable since they do not cost a lot of money, either.

Hard drives are also the most common storage devices that we see being used in network-attached storage, where people just buy piles of them and hook them up to a network so everyone in the same building can have access to all the data that is stored on these drives with ease and convenience.

  • M.2 SSD

The last storage type that we are looking at is the M.2 SSD, now this is where things get a bit complicated as this SSD is available in two completely different standards, and that is what confuses a lot of newcomers. I have seen many PC builders buying the wrong M.2 SSD just because of this.

The first one that we have is the M.2 SSD that is based on the SATA interface; which means that it still shares the SATA interface, but instead of being plugged onto the SATA controller on your motherboard, it is plugged into the M.2 slot that is found on almost all the modern motherboards.

This means that this SSD is still going to be using the SATA lanes instead of the PCI-Express lanes, and it will still be hindered by the speeds that are set by the SATA standard. This means that an M.2 SSD that is based on SATA will reach 550 MB/s as its maximum speed.

However, the benefits here are that these are smaller, don’t require any wires, and can be installed with ease, as well. They are slightly more expensive than the 2.5-inch SSDs, though.

M.2 SSD

Now, the real deal here is the M.2 SSDs that are based on PCI-E NVMe standard because those are the speed demons that you want to go with. For instance, currently, a PCI-E 3rd generation M.2 SSD can go as high as 3,600 MB/s in speeds which is insane.

However, since this technology is still new, it is constantly evolving, and the latest PCI-E 4th generation M.2 SSDs can achieve speeds of over 7,000 MB/s. If a few years ago you told me that we would be able to see storage devices this fast, I would have not believed you, but here we are.

With that said, the M.2 SSDs that are based on PCI-E are still the most expensive available in the market, and they do not seem to be coming down at price. However, they are going to become more and more accessible as more companies enter the market.

Currently, you have Samsung and XPG as two of the biggest players, with many other companies like Corsair, Western Digital, Gigabyte, and more taking the charge, too. So, as the competition is only going to get better and better and eventually, the prices will drop as well.

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8- CPU Cooler (Airflow, Noise Output & RGB)


You are building yourself a gaming PC, one of the things that you will have to keep in mind is that having a good CPU cooler is one of the most important aspects there are because without one, you are not able to do much, in the first place.

Most modern CPUs generate enough heat, and to keep everything under control, you need a good CPU cooler that gets the job done, in the first place. However, modern-day CPU coolers are more than what their performance suggests.

You have to look at the airflow, as well as the noise output and RGB lighting, because, of course, most modern computers would be incomplete without having RGB lighting in some components and, most cases, in all the components.

EK CPU Cooler
EK Web

Starting with the airflow, the reason why this is important is that without good airflow, your cooler is going to be unable to cool down the components the way they are supposed to be cooled, and no one likes having hotter components.

The same goes for running quieter fans, and of course, RGB lighting is something we all should expect.

  • Fan-Based Solution, or an All In One (AIO) liquid CPU cooler?

Whenever you are in the market trying to figure out the right CPU cooler for your build, you will be greeted with a list of options that honestly can confuse the best of us, and in such situations, making the decision the right way is always important, and you simply cannot just skip it over because you are paying good money.

For starters, you will have to look at an air cooler or a fan-based solution. These are normally the safer bet as you do not have to worry about any moving parts, and therefore, can use the cooler with light maintenance now and then, and you are good to go.

On the other hand, the AIO coolers are quieter, and they look good. As far as the performance is concerned, a flagship air cooler can easily go head to head with a flagship AIO cooler. Which means that there is very little nudging room left. We would also tell you that with AIO coolers, you can run into pump failures, or worse, some sort of leakage, therefore, such things are to considered beforehand, just so nothing goes wrong or out of place here.

AIO Vs Air Cooler

Rest assured, making the right decision is up to you. If you don’t mind the obvious scares, you can go with an AIO. I have been running mine for over 4 years, and the only maintenance it requires is regular cleaning, and I am all set to go.

Air coolers are good too, but then you have to deal with more dust depending on what configuration you have gone for and not to mention, the obvious increase in the fan noise as well. So, trade-offs exist on both sides of the fence.

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9- RGB


Gone are the days when you could build a gaming PC without having to worry about allocating a good amount of budget to the lighting. You could just go on with your business, and no one would question you. This is not possible nowadays as you would be shunned from the PC Master Race if you don’t have good lighting or enough lighting.

This is also the reason why people spend a lot of money adding RGB to their PC because without it, you are left out. As far as RGB goes, thank the lord there are budget options. You do not have to go all out on the lighting. You could buy cheap remote-controlled RGB lighting if you wish to, these are available for cheap and work just fine.

However, the modern-day is all about ARGB, which can be synced up with your entire system, and that comes expensive, and for that, you will also need components that support the same lighting system. The point here is that if you find yourself in the market looking for RGB, you are going to have to spend some time before you can decide.

RBG Lights inside a gaming PC

Ideally, I never tell anyone what to do with RGB because it is a subjective choice altogether, and they will be able to find themselves in a better position as far as the decision is concerned but if you still need help, be sure that you go for the lighting that comfortably fits in your budget without making you want to reconsider the entire build altogether because that would be unfair, and honestly, you would end up with a product you have little faith in and we all want to avoid that, to begin with.


10- Thermal Paste


This is something that I have seen a lot of people overlooking altogether when they are building a PC because their first thought usually revolves around how thermal paste is pre-applied on a cooler, so they are not going to need it at all. However, that is not good at all because the pre-applied paste is average at best, and you need something good and long-lasting.

That is the reason why modern PC builders focus on getting a good, third-party thermal paste for the job as it tends to work better than whatever is applied on the coolers and cools your PC in a better, more efficient way, as well.

Now, in the older days, choosing a thermal paste was an easier thing. You could just look at the standard thermal paste, and that would be it. However, the modern-day scenario is not as standard. You now get the chance to get a lot of other offerings, with liquid metal being one of the most common ones.

Applying thermal paste on a cpu

A liquid metal thermal interface is not to be used unless you are delidding your CPU, as using it without that can cause little to no gain. However, since liquid metal is also conductive, it can do severe harm to your computer if it is spilt anywhere else.

You can buy the standard thermal pastes that are available in the market, and they will work just fine. If you are confused as to what brand that you should be picking, I have been using Noctua thermal compound for as long as I can remember, and it works just fine.

Alternatively, Kryonaut also makes some really good thermal compounds aside from their standard liquid metal offering, so you can look into those.

But the point here is that you have to avoid cheaping out on thermal paste.


11- Cables


The last thing that we should be looking at is going to be the cables or any other extras that you may have missed. I understand that you might be wondering just how do cables play a role here, in the first place. But trust me, they do.

For starters, you can now buy fully custom and individually sleeved cables for your PC that is going to make everything look a lot better, especially if you are into color coordination, then these cables are going to make things look great.

PC Cables

In this scenario, you can either go with cable extensions that come cheap, or you can go for fully sleeved cables that connect directly to your modular power supply. The latter is more expensive, and you have to always pick the cables that are made specifically for your PSU, or else you might end up blowing the unit up.

For extensions or full cable sets, the one company that I always recommend happens to be Cable Mod; thanks to their excellent support, and great cables. I have been using their cables on my computer for as long as I can remember and have not had a single issue.


PC Build Tools: Explained


Honestly, this is something that I have personally missed so many times because I did not need any tools to build a PC, in the first place. But then I realized that when you are doing the PC building for as long as you can remember, you stop needing the tools altogether.

However, newcomers do not feel the same way as they might have some issues building their computers on their own and can require some proper tools. Well, don’t worry, we are here to take care of that.

Tools of the Trade

1- Screwdrivers


The first thing that you are going to need is a set of screwdrivers. Normally, the standard-sized Philips head is more than enough for almost every screw that you need to tighten but in situations where you are dealing with something small and pesky, having a good screwdriver is always a good idea because it can save you a lot of hassle.

You can pick up any screwdriver, as I have said, and just be sure that you do not drop it inside the PC as it can damage the components.


2- Workstation


Honestly, I have built most of my computers sitting on the floor, or on some flimsy table, so I am used to the fact that I do not require a workstation. However, I cannot say the same for those who are still new to this entire concept of PC building.

If you are looking to build a computer and you want to have all the tools in the same place, we would highly recommend you use a good table for that so you can take care of those things without an issue.


3- Antistatic Band and Gloves


This is another thing that a lot of PC builders, including myself, have never used. However, at this point, it has become a safer practice more than anything else. If you are looking to build a PC and you wish to have everything under control, then get your hands on a good antistatic band and gloves or either one of them.

These will prevent any static from taking place and being transferred to the components because it can ruin and potentially kill the components, and well, we do not want that.


4- A Bucket or a Tray


When you are building a PC, there is going to be a lot of unboxing and a lot of packing material that will be going everywhere. What I do is place a bucket near myself where all the packing material and boxes go, later to be sorted out.

In addition to that, a magnetic tray for all the screws. Try and buy a tray that has separate compartments, as it makes everything easier to manage, and you will not be regretting the decision, either. The whole point here is to make your PC building experience as easy as possible.


What Softwares You Need?


You are building a new PC, so it is safe to say that you are going to need a couple of software as well. Now, this can be confusing based on the PC that you end up building, but the goal here is simple, just download all the latest drivers, and other software that is going to control the functionality of your computer.

The whole process of choosing the right software is not going to be as complicated, either. So, you can be at peace knowing there is nothing to worry about.


Windows 10


The first obvious thing that you are going to need here is going to be Windows 10. After all, you cannot do anything without an operating system. Unless you are interested in looking at your PC with all the fancy lights.

With that said, picking the right version of Windows 10 is not all that difficult, so you will be in good hands knowing that you can just install any version suitable for you, and it is going to run just fine. The license keys are also cheap for Windows 10, which means that there isn’t much to worry about in terms of spending a lot of money.


Discord


I would call Discord optional, but times have changed drastically. Nowadays, Discord has become one of the most important pieces of software on a modern-day computer. If you are someone who prefers to play online with their friends and the in-game voice chat is not enough, Discord is the place to be.

This free software has to be one of the most feature-packed software solutions that I have come across, and the best part is that it is not resource or network hungry, which ensures that you are in the right place as far as the overall experience is concerned in terms of the usage.

With Discord, you will be in safe hands, knowing that the software is great in every aspect.

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MSI Afterburner


Here is another suggestion that I am going to leave you with, and that is the MSI Afterburner, this is perhaps one of the most useful software pieces that I have used lately. I know every other company has created their version of the same software by now, but at least you get something that is complete here.

With MSI Afterburner, you can monitor your GPU temperatures, and not just that, you can even tweak the fan curves, voltages, core clock, and memory speed as well. If you want to tweak around and make your GPU even faster or run cooler, MSI Afterburner is the software to get.

However, be careful while using it as you don’t want to mess around with settings you are not familiar with.

Related guide: How To Use MSI Afterburner? Most Useful Tips!


Razer Cortex: Game Booster


For the longest time, game booster software used to be looked down upon and for all the right reasons. They brought in all the unnecessary trash, and didn’t work. As a matter of fact, instead of freeing up resources, they ended up taking more resources from your computer and would make your gaming experience a hell.

Thankfully, this has changed drastically as modern-day game booster software like the Razer Cortex is one of the best pieces of software you could want as it works well, actually frees up resources too, so you know that you are not just installing something that will mess up the experience.


CPU-Z


When you are looking for good software solutions to install on your computer, CPU-Z is one of the quintessential ones. I have been using it ever since I got my Core 2 Duo, and I’m on the latest Intel processor at the moment. Now, I understand that CPU-Z is not going to let you tweak anything according to your preferences.

However, you are getting a powerful tool that will give you every single piece of information about your processor and how it is functioning. You can even get GPU-Z and use both if you want to. But the point is that this software is very, very important for everyone.


Heaven Benchmark


The last part here is going to be the famous Heaven Benchmark, I honestly think that there is nothing better than Heaven Benchmark when you are talking about testing out your GPU specifically. Even though the technology has improved drastically, this software is still relevant today because it just works and does a great job at that, as well.

Heaven Benchmark is easy to use, simple, and a very small piece of software that we have been using for stress testing, and while it might not be completely practical since games don’t put that sort of load on a GPU, it still is a great measure. It can also be used in tandem with other benchmarking tools, and that gives you access to a plethora of choices as to what you want to go with.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours, but we want you to choose software that is good and is relevant. Because after all, what even is the point of using something that is not going to bring you any advantage over the other offerings in the market.


Putting It All Together: How To Build A Gaming PC



Now that you are done choosing all the components as well as software solutions, we are finally ready to move onto the next steps. The next steps involve putting together the entirety of the PC, so it might be a bit overwhelming for some. Therefore, we highly advise that you are paying close attention before you get started.

Things don’t go wrong if you are paying attention here, so that is certainly a good thing.

Building new gaming pc

1- Prepare Your Motherboard


The first step of the process involves preparing the motherboard. This is not that difficult as you just have to unbox the motherboard here and put it on the motherboard box or the table. Be sure that you are not unnecessarily touching the motherboard as that can cause potential damage, and we are here to avoid the exact thing, in the first place.

Motherboard preparation normally is the first step towards building the PC. You will also notice that there is a small cover where the CPU goes, we would highly advise that you leave that one for now as removing that is going to expose the CPU socket to dust and other elements. What’s worse is that you can damage the pins on the exposed socket. Therefore, the cover is to be removed only when you are going to install the CPU.

Preparing the motherboard

Once you are done preparing the motherboard, you can set it aside and start moving onto the rest of the building process. While you are at it, you might want to remove all stickers that you might find on the motherboard, this is not common, but companies do put stickers on the PCH or the VRM. Therefore, it is better that you are just getting rid of those stickers right away to have peace of mind.

I understand that for a lot of people, this is the easiest step there is, and honestly, it is as easy as it sounds. However, we are trying to guide you the best we can, so nothing else comes in the way in terms of your installation experience. Since we want everyone to be careful here.


2- Open Up Your Case


I would say that this is my favorite bit because we are finally getting down to business. Now, case preparation is important because, without that, you are not going to get far. The good news, however, is that almost all the cases that are available in the market are ready in terms of installation.

Considering how tool-less installation has become a thing, these cases are easy to work with, and you do not have to stress over anything going wrong. Still, we would highly suggest that you put your case on a large table with an even surface.

Considering that your case is probably heavier than you might think, it is better to remove any panels like the glass panels, as well as the front and top panels. Not only is this going to make the case a lot lighter in terms of weight, but it will also give you the benefit to work with the case with ease, and it will prevent any scratching or breaking.

Opening the pc casing

Once the panels are removed, the first thing that you want to check is whether there are motherboard standoffs installed. The majority of modern PC cases do ship with these standoffs, so there is nothing much to worry about here.

This is the step where I would suggest that you start putting in the motherboard and screwing everything. This solidifies that at least one of the larger steps is complete and while you are installing the motherboard, be sure that you are screwing it all the way, but not too tight as it can damage the motherboard and potentially cause a short circuit, as well.

However, you can install the motherboard later as well.


3- Install Additional Case Fans


There was a time when case fans existed purely for a utilitarian purpose. This means that installing case fans had nothing to do with anything other than getting good airflow and being sure that the components are as cool as possible.

However, things have changed in the modern day and age. Ever since PC lighting became a common thing, we have started using case fans for more than just airflow. RGB case fans have become all the rage, and if your PC does not have numerous of those installed, well, your PC is not properly built.

With that said, installing case fans is easy. However, you have to be careful of creating positive air pressure inside your case, so more fresh air can come in rather than being dissipated. To do that, you can use the following example.

Imagine you want to install a total of 8 fans in your case; this includes the fans that go on your air or liquid cooler. You would want to have at least five fans as intake and three fans as exhaust. This would result in more fresh air being pulled inside the case, and the remaining fans will get the job of exhausting any hot air out.

This is called positive pressure. However, if you want neutral, yon divide them equally, and have four fans set as intake, and the remaining four as exhaust, but in my experience, having positive air pressure is always a good thing.

Thankfully, fan installation is not as tricky as you might think, to begin with. For the most part, you can easily get things done and have them in order, too.


4- Install Your Power Supply


I still remember the first time I decided to disassemble my PC and build it from scratch. It was all easy, but I forgot to do the same with the power supply. It was only after my power supply failed after 5 years that I had to go through the process of removing and installing a new one, and I realized I should have learned it before.

I am not trying to scare you or anything, by the way. Installing a power supply is one of the easiest things that you can do. Especially if you are talking about a case that just has a motherboard and a CPU installed.

Now, most cases let you slide in the power supply from the rear side of it and screw it on. However, some cases do it from the back as they have a bracket that is first attached to the power supply and then it is slid in. If your power supply is modular, I would suggest attaching all the cables beforehand and only attach the cables you know you are going to use.

Corsair power supply getting inside the new gaming pc
Image: MSI Gaming

This will prevent any clutter from taking place, and you would be able to have everything ready in no time. Now, I do understand that this might not be an easy task for a lot of people, but a proper power supply installation takes less than 10 minutes.

You can route the cables right away, or you can wait for the rest of the components to be installed. However, please don’t cable manage right away as this is the step we save for later.


5- Install The CPU


This is perhaps the trickiest part, at least for a lot of people who have bought an Intel CPU because installation on that is on the more difficult side but do not worry, the CPU installation, if you are being careful, is only going to take 5 minutes or even less.

Now, remember, we are just installing the CPU and not going for any thermal paste. So, don’t take your cooler out just yet. To install the CPU, remove the retention arm from its lock so it can allow that plastic socket to be removed. You do not need to remove the socket by yourself as it gets removed on your own.

Now, on your CPU, there is going to be a golden triangle on one of the corners, match that golden triangle with the one on your motherboard’s CPU socket, and carefully seat your CPU down. Remember, you do not have to press anything or push anything. Simply seat it down and be sure that it is in place.

Installing the CPU
Image: MSI Gaming

Now, carefully move the socket down again, and remember, the retention arm will require some force, but don’t worry. Once it is in place, the black socket will come off. Put it in your motherboard box as you might need it later for claiming the warranty of the motherboard in case it ever comes by.

Once the CPU is installed, you no longer have to worry about seemingly the most difficult part of building a PC, and you can start focusing on other aspects of it. Remember, don’t put any force here when installing the CPU, or you are looking at a very expensive replacement as you cannot claim the broken or bent pins at all.


6- Installing The SSD/Storage


The next part is an easier one. You will have to start installing your SSD and other storage devices, if any. Now, remember, this varies for a lot of people, but we are going to cover everything for you so you can have an easier time here rather than being lost in what is what.

So, for starters, if you have an M.2 SSD and that is the only SSD that you have, you can simply install it in the M.2 slot, secure it with the screw, and you are done. However, in the case of a SATA-based drive, you need to fiddle with some cables.

Inserting the M.2 ssd
Image: MSI Gaming

For starters, you first mount the storage devices to their appropriate places and screw them in. Once that is done, plug the SATA power cable, as well as the SATA data cable. The SATA power cable is the one that is coming out of the power supply, and the SATA data cable can be found in your motherboard box.

Once both connections are plugged in, just make sure that they are properly secured so you can move onto the next part.

However, if you are using an SSD that is installed on the PCI-Express slot, then you just remove the PCI-E protector, install the SSD there, secure the bracket with the screw, and you are good to go. The entire process takes only a few minutes for you to be set up.


7- Install The RAM


Now is the time to install the RAM; I used to think it was the easiest part, but only a few days ago, a friend told me how he killed his RAM slot because he tried installing the RAM the wrong way. This is not possible since the RAM slots have a slit on them that corresponds to a slit on the RAM, and you cannot physically go ahead and install the RAM if you are doing it the opposite way unless you brute force your way in, and now it seems that is also possible.

Well, it is simple. You will see that the motherboard is going to have two latches on the RAM slot, one latch can be undone while the other one cannot be. Start by undoing the latch and sliding the RAM from one side, and then lowering the other side as you go along. Remember to press it until you hear an audible click.

Installing the memory on the motherboard
Image: MSI Gaming

Now, in case you are installing two RAMs on a motherboard with four slots, you would need to populate slot 1 and 3 with RAM sticks or slot 2 and 4 if you want. You never want to have two RAM sticks together unless you are populating all four of them because doing so will prevent the RAM from running in dual channel mode, and that is not what we want.

No need to secure the latches as they will secure themselves once you hear a loud click, and you will be off to the races.


8- Check Everything On The Motherboard


Now that you have installed pretty much everything that you did need to install, to begin with. You can start checking for all the connections and whether or not they are properly done on the motherboard. This step is not really necessary for the more seasoned PC builders, but if you are new to this and this is your first time, we highly suggest that you are going over this as it is going to drastically help you in building the right PC.

With that said, the reason why I am suggesting to check everything on the motherboard before you put it inside the case is simple. Doing so will allow you to spot any discrepancies right away, and you can take care of them without a hassle. This solves most of the issues that people genuinely face during motherboard installations as well.

Checking everything on the mobo
Image: MSI Gaming

For instance, you could have your RAM loose from one side, or you could have your storage loose, as well. The point is to be sure that you are installing everything the right way, and no loose connections. Loose connections, in simpler words, are the bane of PC building, as you would be left with a lot more to deal with if you end up messing up the connections.

Rest assured, as long as you are taking care of these minor things, and you are being sure that close attention was being paid when you were building your PC, we cannot really say there is going to be something that will come in the way. You need to be patient and careful, and just by being those, you can build your perfect PC.


9- Installing The I/O Shield


Now that we are done checking to see if everything is installed on the motherboard the way it was supposed to, the next step here is to divert our attention back to the case and install the I/O shield. This is funny because I have been building computers for over 10 years, and this is the most annoying part of the entire build.

Imagine a soft, seemingly flexible metal plate, and then imagine how that can cause so much nuisance. Thankfully, the good news here is that most modern motherboards do ship with integrated I/O shields, so you can skip that step entirely if that is the case for your motherboard.

IO Shield of the mobo
Image: MSI Gaming

However, if you do have an I/O shield separately, then you should know that it gets installed from the inside of the case. Simply pick up the I/O shield and gently start pushing it where it normally goes, and be sure that you are pushing it from all corners at once.

The key here is to get that satisfying snap that is synonymous with the PC building as a whole. Once the I/O shield is in place, you will hear a snap, and there won’t be any movement if you nudget it a little. Remember, you can go without an I/O shield as well, but that is just giving more ways for the dust to enter the case, and one really wants to deal with more dust, in the first place.


10- Installing The Motherboard


We have gone through pretty much everything that can be done outside the case when you are building a PC. This means that we can finally move on to what is my favorite step, and that is installing the motherboard within the case. I do not know about others, but to me, it is satisfying because there is something really nice about putting the motherboard inside the case, screwing it from all sides, and then marveling at it.

This is truly one of those instances where you feel like the work that you have been doing has finally started to show its true color, and everything is going to be ready without any issues.

Installing the motherboard in the pc case

With that said, installing the motherboard inside your case is not going to be difficult. However, you do need to have a screw driver, and some patience. For ease of access, make sure that your case is laying flat on the table, then gently pick up the motherboard and be sure there are no cables dangling.

Lower the motherboard into the case, carefully placing it on top of the middle stand-off. From there, all the screw holes will align perfectly, and you just have to go ahead and install the screws, and that is it.

On a standard ATX-sized motherboard, you are looking at 9 screws in total, three in the middle, three on the left, and three on the right. When screwing the motherboard, be sure that you do not screw it too hard because that is only going to create more problems for you and can damage the motherboard as well. Screw just the right amount, and you will be all done in no time


11- Applying The Thermal Paste


I know a lot of people who skip this step almost entirely because they prefer relying on the pre-installed thermal paste that is found on the cooler. I mean, sure. That will get the job done, but if you are looking for increased temperatures over time and you are genuinely okay with poor performance in thermals, then you can go ahead with it.

The point here is that that the thermal paste that comes preinstalled on coolers is average at best. Therefore, we install our own thermal paste, a better one, and trust me, doing so is the easiest thing that you can do.

Applying the thermal paste on the CPU
Image: MSI Gaming

Take out the thermal paste that you have bought, and carefully apply it in the middle of the motherboard. You are only going to need a pea-sized point in the middle of the processor, and that is about it. This is called a dot method. Alternatively, you can apply two lines making an X on the CPU as well, which is known as the line method. Last but not the least, you can even spread the thermal paste across the CPU using an applicator, but the choice really is yours.

The point here is to make sure that the layer is neither too thin, nor too thick because it will cause some issues in heat transference and dissipation, and no one really wants that when they are dealing with installing thermal paste.

This step should only take about a few minutes, even when you are being careful.


12- Installing The CPU Cooler


Now, this is one of those things that can drastically vary based on the user and their preference, in the first place. You see, the CPU cooler is one of the things that have various installation methods based on what cooler you have used, in the first place. Which means that there is no set way of installing it.

Therefore, we are going to give you the generic information, so you know what you should be doing, and there is not a problem that will come in the way.

Firstly, whatever cooler you are using, remove the pre-applied thermal paste using alcohol wipes.

Once that is done, for air coolers, you need to install the mounting hardware that is provided in the box. Different coolers use different mounting hardware, but it is impossible to miss. Once that is installed, you will then need to screw your cooler on top of that hardware and make sure that it is tight but not too tight or you could bend the CPU.

Installing the cpu cooler
Image: MSI Gaming

For air coolers, the mounting hardware needs to be installed from the back of the motherboard, then you place the cooler on top, and screw in the screws. Remember that you will need to screw in a cross, meaning that the after screwing the top right corner, you should move to the bottom left. Just to have the weight evenly spread across all the sides.

Installing the cooler is not as difficult as it may sound, but due to the endless variations of these coolers, it can become difficult to use the same method for every cooler.


13- Installing The Graphics Card


For a lot of people, this is the one step that is not only the easiest but also the most exciting. After all, it is the graphics card that we are installing. More or less the heart and soul of a gaming PC because without having one, there is no way of playing a game that we want to play, in the first place.

With that said, installing a GPU is a lot easier than you might think. You need a single screwdriver and some common sense, and you are all set to go. Start by removing any plastic or stickers from your GPU. This is not something that you can just miss as it can cause severe malfunction to the card if not taken care of.

Adding the graphics card
Image: MSI Gaming

Once all of these are removed, you can remove the PCI-E slot covers from your case based on how many slots the GPU itself is, and then slowly seat the GPU in the PCI-E slot until you hear a click, this one is not going to be as satisfying, but you will hear it when it happens.

Now, you have to secure the GPU by screwing down the brackets because, trust us, you do not want a dangling GPU inside your case as it is only going to create an active hazard for you, and we are all trying to avoid that, in the first place. Once you are done screwing everything, you can move on to the rest.

Installing the GPU is just as easy as installing the RAM and, in some cases, even easier than that.


14- Connecting The Cables


Now that we are done installing all the main components onto the motherboard, and the motherboard is now sitting nicely inside the case, the next step is the curious case of connecting the cables. Again, one of the easiest things that you can go through simply because plugging the cables in is not really going to take a lot of time.

However, it will vary based on just how many components you have installed inside your PC. For starters, you can start by connecting the 24-pin power and 8-pin EPS cable onto the motherboard. Then connect all your storage devices if they are SATA-based. Then you can move on to all the fan cables and installing them in their respective fan headers.

You can also go ahead and connect any lighting at this point if you have any installed, which wouldn’t really surprise us, considering how common these have become. Make sure that your cooler has all the cables connected and they are secure; these are the thinnest cables, so they can be difficult.

Connecting the cables
Image: MSI Gaming

While you are at it, also connect the front panel connectors properly, and last but not the least, you will need to install PCI-E power cables to your GPU because without that, you are not going to be able to use your GPU, and that can cause a lot of damage to your GPU as well.
Once all these installed, you should actually give your system a test boot to see that everything works and the PC actually boots up.

We are not done yet as the most crucial task that is cable management, is still left, so we need to focus on that as well. But for now, just test boot to see that your PC is booting up, if that is the case, you are all set to go.

Once it boots up, shut it down, wait for at least 5 minutes, and then unplug all the cables. Now it is time to cable manage.


15- Starting The Cable Management


Now that you are done checking if everything works and you are all good to go; the next step is to start managing cables. I honestly think the process of cable management is more or less a nightmare for a lot of people, especially if your case does not have a room at the rear side of it where you can just tuck the cables and close the panels.

On the front, it is not as difficult as you just have to route the cables neatly to your motherboard and GPU and neatly hide the rest of the cables on the motherboard, which is entirely possible. The actual issue arises when you are talking about sorting out the cables at the back.

Proper cable management
Image: MSI Gaming

The best suggestion that we can give you is that you can use as much cable ties as possible and also make use of the cable tie-down points that are available on the back of the case. That way, you will really hold the cables down and will be able to close down the panel as well.

Once you get a hang of it, managing the cables is not going to be difficult, but it will be different for every case, so you need to know that.


16- Install Your OS & Check The Connected Components


Now that we are done with managing the cables, the next process is to start looking at the process of installing the operating system. This should not really be difficult. However, to make things easier for yourself and to be sure that you do not have to wait longer than you should have, you should just prepare a bootable USB drive beforehand.

Once your computer is all ready, and all the cables are managed, plug in your USB, boot into the BIOS/UEFI, and once you are there, simply access the bootable USB, and start installing the Windows. At this point, you might have to consider making partitions if you are using a brand new drive.

The Windows 10 OS
Everything hardware is connected properly

Now, the best part is that through USB, the installation takes less than 15 minutes, and you are all booted up. Once you are booted up, you can check if your components are working. However, the proof that the Windows booted up alone serves as the fact that your components are working just fine, so you do not have to worry that something might be up with the components or the way they are working.

However, if you are really looking to troubleshoot the entirety of the process, you can start installing the drivers, and then we can guide you to some of the more steps that you can take to ensure that your PC is in the best possible condition. Normally, you do not need to do this, but if you are looking for the peace of mind, this is how it should be done.


17- Install All The Drivers


One more thing that we are going to let you know is that once you are done installing the Windows, and the computer is up and running, the next natural step that you need to take is that you will need to install the drivers because without that, you will not really have the way out and it is better that you are keeping an eye on that.

Now, downloading the drivers is a lot easier. You just have to look for your motherboard model number, and all the drivers can be found on the website. At this point, you might want to go ahead and start downloading the other applications as well, like lighting control and other similar packages. You can find them on the website, too.

Installing and updating the drivers

For your graphics card, you can head over to the Nvidia or AMD and download the latest driver from there, choose the correct Windows version and start downloading the drivers. I can assure you that you will not have any problems choosing the right driver for your PC.

However, if you are looking update the BIOS, think twice and be sure that there are absolutely no power interruptions, but since you have just built your computer, we would advise against updating the BIOS right away.

With that said, once all of the drivers are installed and ready to go, you can just restart your computer once to be sure that all the drivers have set themselves up, and you can be on your merry way in terms of running the computer. It is not that difficult, and you will be done in no time.


18- Windows Updates Must Be Up To Date.


Ideally, you would not really have to go through the process of updating the Windows if you installed the latest version, in the first place. But most of the times, people tend to forget that and install a slightly older version. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this either because you can just be sure that you are installing the right Windows.

However, in instances where you may have installed an older version of the Windows, the next step is to update your Windows. The thing with Windows 10 is that updating it is one of the easiest, just head over to the settings and get started. You would want to be certain that both the major and cumulative updates are installed, so you do not have to deal with any annoyances, later down the road.

The Windows is up to date

Once all the updates are installed and ready, you will have to restart your computer again. I know it is not fun, but hey, you have to go through it because that is how Windows work, to begin with. This time, the wait might be a little longer but considering how you are installing Windows updates, and there might be a lot of bug fixes and improvements, it is totally worth it.

Your PC could also restart several times during the update duration, so there is nothing to worry about what is going on here, you will be fine. Once the update process is done, you can start by just doing what you intended to do on your PC once you have built it. It is ready, and it is running.


19- Stress Test And Monitor Temperatures


This is normally something that I have skipped numerous times over the past couple of years, because my experience with building computers has told me that it is not needed, in the first place. So, you are good to go. However, in some cases, you might need to do the whole benchmarking and stress testing, especially if you are looking to be certain that everything is running in order.

Stress testing is important, too. For starters, it puts a 100% load on your components, which is something that is unrealistic and impossible in real-world scenario. This means that if your components gets through this stress testing without any crashes or freezes, then they are in the best possible shape, but for the sake of your own components, no need to run these for more than 30 minutes, with the minimum being 15 minutes here.

Monitoring the temperatures

So much load is never good for the components and can cause some unexpected behavior right out of the gate. An alternative way of stress testing which actually is more reliable, is by running game benchmarks. That will give you an accurate representation since the load through that is realistic and something that you can expect during gaming or other tasks.

Whatever testing methodology you use, be sure that you are monitoring the temperatures as you go on. This is important because we want to be sure that your CPU is keeping adequate temperature, and more importantly, there are no components that are overheating because if that is the case, you might have to double-check everything, and that is not what anyone likes.

Rest assured, this should not take more than an hour to sort it out.


20- Check Your CPU And GPU Temperatures


The thing with your PC is that the temperatures are going to be a lot more important than you might think. Now, I know that this is not going to concern a lot of people, but by having a close look at the temperatures, you are at least looking at the fact that everything is working perfectly and there is no weird throttling taking place. Again, this is different for everyone, so it is better that you are keeping a close check on all of this.

For starters, if you want to check temperatures, there are a number of tools that you can use. These software solutions are available, ranging from something that is basic, to something that is advanced. One of the tools that I use is HWINFO, it is one of the best tools for monitoring the temperatures, and you do not even have to worry about adding more stress to the overall resources of your computer.

Measuring the CPU and GPU temps

Rest assured, if you are looking for some good tools that can help you monitor the temperatures of your computer with ease and without any complications, you can just get started here, and you will be in the safe hands. These tools are easy to get, and they are free, as well.

So, you know what you are choosing and whether or not you are making the right decision in terms of the overall choice.
Once you are done monitoring the temperatures, more or less everything else is already taken care of. At this point, we would suggest that you just carry on with using your PC, since there is nothing left that you would want to do.


Common Mistakes While Building Your Gaming PC:


We have already guided you through how you can go ahead and build a good gaming PC. However, so far, we have not talked about the common PC building mistakes that you have to avoid because these are, as the name suggests, common and can ruin your overall experience too, and no one really wants that.

Avoiding these mistakes is not really that difficult, therefore, it is better that you are just reading through them, so you know what needs to be done and what does not need to be done.

A girl realising her mistakes

1- Motherboard That Doesn’t Have A USB 3.0 header.

If I am to recall, my first mistake that I made when I decided to go ahead and build a gaming PC was buying a motherboard that does not have a USB 3.0 header. I remember I upgraded to a new case that was really good and solved most of my issues, but at the same time, the lack of USB 3.0 header meant that there was no way to access any front-panel USB ports.

To be on the safer side, you should check this beforehand, but considering how USB 3.0 is more or less a standard, these mistakes do not happen that regularly.

2- Your Casing is Too Small For The Motherboard.

I know this is a common oversight for a lot of us, but whenever you are building a gaming PC or any PC, for that matter. You have to be sure that all the components are appropriately sized. Motherboards need to be of the right size so they can fit the casing, and graphic cards, too.

One of the most common mistakes that I have noticed is that the casing is too small for the motherboard for a lot of people, and while that might be a concern that is not as common, it still happens, and the wiser thing is to just avoid it altogether by buying a mid-tower or a full-tower, so you do not find yourself in that situation again.

3- CPU Cooler is Not Compatible With Your PC.

Another mistake that should never really happen under normal circumstances, but still manages to become the bane for a lot of people is that whenever they are building a gaming PC, they end up buying the wrong cooler. Now, this could happen in multiple ways.

For instance, you could end up buying an air cooler that is too tall for the case, or you could end up buying a liquid cooler that does not fit. Therefore, before you do any of that, just be sure that you are making the right decision and getting the cooler that is appropriate for your PC, so you do not have to go through the process of returns.

4- Motherboard & Casing Both Are Incompatible In Terms of Connectors.

This is perhaps one of those mistakes that have become highly unlikely over the past couple of years, thanks to how standard everything has become. But there are cases in which the front panel connectors on the casing might not be available on the motherboard. This is only the case with cheaper motherboard, and this is not going to break your experience as you will still be able to use your computer just fine.

The only difference here is that some functionalities will not be working, like front panel audio, or the front panel USB ports, but not a lot of people use those parts all the time, either. So, that is one thing to know.

5- CPU Doesn’t Seem To Fit in Socket.

This is a common problem that will only take place if you are buying a CPU and the motherboard of different sockets, altogether. Now, some CPUs and motherboard are backwards compatible, but despite that, they still have the same socket number, or socket variant.

If that is the case, don’t even open the CPU and try to install it in the socket because you might end up killing both the motherboard and the CPU in that case, and if you have not guessed it, these will not be covered in the warranty either. So, the best thing that you can do is avoid this.

6- Your PSU is Not Good EnoughTo Handle All The Hardware.

This is one of those simple and ordinary mistakes that can end up costing you a lot of money if you are not being careful. If you are buying a PC, you should at least have a proper understanding that you do not want to get a cheap power supply if the components are powerful and require more power. That way, you are just exposing yourself to the risk of a component failure that can more or less make things worse for you.

Always get a good power supply that is ample for the hardware rather than something cheap that is only going to create more problems in the future.

7- Forgetting To Put I/O Shield On.

This is one of the smaller mistakes that you might come across when building a PC, as it does not involve any damage. The most it can do is cause you to have a problem with dust inside your PC, but that is about it. Still, do not forget to put the I/O shield inside the case.

Now, most motherboards have integrated I/O shield, so you do not have to stress, but the cheaper ones do not come with those I/O shields, which means that you have to go for manual installation. The process only takes a few minutes if you know what you are doing, and you will be done in no time after that.

8- Failing To Install Memory In Dual Channel Configuration.

This is something that we have mentioned before too, and although it will not render your computer useless, as it will still work, the RAM is not going to perform optimally in this case. The wiser thing is to install the memory in dual channel configuration, and you will not have to worry about anything else.

Installing RAM in dual channel is not really difficult. If your motherboard has 4 slots, then you will need to install one stick in the first slot and the second one in the third slot. If you want to install it in the second slot, then the other RAM stick has to be in the fourth slot. This is how it should be done.

9- Applying Too Much or Too Little Thermal Paste.

Another common mistake that I have dealt with time and again every time someone is building a PC, and while it does not cause massive issues, it will cause an increase in CPU temperature, and we know how we all hate that.

Applying thermal paste is a lot easier than one might think. Just a pea-sized dot in the middle of the CPU should do just fine. No need to put a lot of it as it will severely cripple the efficiency, and we don’t really want that, to begin with.

10- All Cables Are Not Properly Connected.

Once you are done building the PC, and everything is installed in the case, I would highly suggest that you double-check if the cables are properly connected or not. The reason here is simple because most of the times, people just overlook this altogether, and we do not want to go there, to begin with.

Properly secured cables is the way to go because at least you will be certain that there is no damage or other problems that can occur when you are certain that all the cables are installed properly. You just have to be sure that you are doing the thing the right way, and you would be good to go.

11- Fans Are Too Small or Too Big For Your Casing.

Okay, this is one of the things that no longer happens ever since the cases become standardized with fan mounting options. Ideally, you will have support for both 120 and 140mm case fans, so you do not have to worry about anything going sideways.

However, if you are in the market looking for a larger fan like a 200mm one, then in that case, you will specifically have to check if the case that you have supports that size of a fan or not. This is definitely important, and something that can never be missed out since you would only lose money here, and we want to avoid that, altogether.

12- GPU is Not Installed Properly.

Whenever you are getting your system ready, and you are doing it yourself, you will have to be certain that all the add-in cards are installed properly and all the way in. This includes the GPU as well because, without that, you are only in danger, and we don’t want to suggest that for anyone, in the first place.

The right thing to do here is to be sure that the GPU has a tight fit inside the slot so nothing really goes wrong and you are able to not just yank it out. A tight fit for the GPU is important, or else there can be critical failure, and we all want to stay away from that.

13- Forgetting Standoff Screws.

This is something that can more or less kill your entire PC, and therefore, is one of the most crucial mistakes that you have to avoid.

The reason is that motherboard standoffs are important to hold the motherboard slightly higher than the case itself. If you don’t install the stand-offs, and install the motherboard directly, there can be some really bad conductivity that can take place, and that is not what anyone wants here.

The only way out of this is to install the stand-offs always, and thankfully, most modern cases do ship with stand-offs installed, so you are in safe hands.

14- Plugging Video Cable Into Motherboard Instead of Graphics Card.

I honestly wouldn’t really call this a PC building mistake as it happens after you are done installing everything, but when you are plugging the video cable, you might end up plugging it into the motherboard when you have a GPU installed.

This will do nothing, and there will be no display, either. You simply have to unplug the cable from the motherboard and plug it back into the GPU, and you are good to go. This only is going to take a few minutes to handle but is definitely an important thing to look into. So, you must not avoid this.

Rest assured, this is not going to cause you any trouble, that is what we can guarantee.

15- Not Reading The Manuals.

This is mostly something that is a mistake by people who are building a PC for the first time because they have zero idea as to where they should be getting started from. If you are looking to get things sorted, the right way is to at least read the manuals because that is going to solve a lot of issues for you.

Modern manuals are going to help you have a wonderful PC building experience, and if you do not want to deal with all that paper, you can even download PDF versions of said manuals, and that will guide you. The point here is to be certain that you are doing everything the way it was supposed to be done.


Choosing Peripherals: (Bonus Guide)


We are finally closing in towards the end of this build guide, and now, we are looking at how you can choose the right peripherals. A very important step that is not to be missed because doing so is only going to leave you confused as to what you should be spending your money on.

Thankfully, this is not as hard as building a PC, so you can relax knowing that you are going to get through this without any issues coming your way. Let’s begin, shall we?


1- Mouse (Wired vs. Wireless)


The first thing that we are going to focus is the mouse. Your mouse is going to determine your gaming experience a lot, and while an expensive gaming mouse is not going to make you a better player in your favorite shooting games, it can certainly elevate the overall experience, and that is something that we really cannot deny.

If you are looking for a wired mouse, the market has some amazing offerings available to choose from. However, at the same time, it is important to know that over the past couple of years, wireless mice have become a lot more popular too.

Especially with the companies like Logitech, Razer, and Corsair making their mice really powerful in terms of battery life and signal strength. You are getting offerings that have virtually no input delay and great battery life, too. Therefore, if you do need to get your hands on a good mouse, you can easily do so by looking at all the available options.

Wired Mouse vs Wireless

Just be sure that you are also checking the reviews while you are at it because at the end of the day, the reviews are a lot more important. You might also want to check which grip style you have because that plays a part in choosing the right mouse. The point here is that if you are looking for something good and reliable, you can easily pick up the mouse that you want to go with.

Both wireless and wired mice have become a lot better in the past, and in most cases, they can easily rival each other as well. So, I don’t see there can be any problem when choosing the mouse.

If it is lightweight, solid, and has great battery life, go for it, and you will thank us later.

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2- Keyboard (Wired vs. Wireless)


Being a writer and a hardcore gamer, I think the importance of a good keyboard is lost on this world. The reason is simple, I cannot recall the number of times I saw someone using a keyboard that is trashy or average at best, and when I asked them why they are using that specific keyboard, they did not really have an answer to that.

Now, I get it, mechanical keyboards are expensive, and they do not necessarily make you a “better” gamer. But there is a thing called finger fatigue that occurs with rubber dome keyboards, and it is not fun to deal with. By spending more, you can get a mechanical keyboard that is going to be infinitely better.

With that said, with keyboards, you have to deal with wired and wireless as well; however, wireless mechanical keyboards are not really that common, so you might be wondering what to do here. Honestly, there are some pretty good wireless keyboards that are also mechanical, but we have noticed some input delay in them, and that is not fun when you are typing.

Wired vs Wireless keyboards

On the other hand, there is a whole heap of wired mechanical keyboards available in various colors as well as sizes, and switch flavors. This ensures that whoever is in the market looking for something that is good and something that is going to last them a long time should be more than happy to know that keyboards have evolved a lot over the past couple of years, and finding a good keyboard nowadays is an easy process that takes no time.

You just have to decide on the size, the switches, and whether or not you are looking for RGB lighting, and you will be able to find countless keyboards that you can buy without an issue.

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3- Speakers


Now, the thing with speakers is that they are mostly overlooked because people just prefer using gaming headphones or other higher quality headphones for the purpose of gaming. But if you are looking to get your hands on a good pair of speakers, you have to be careful as far as the choice that you are making. You cannot really just choose something that is random at best.

Razer gaming speakers

We would always advise you to buy speakers that are good quality rather than the ones that are focused on gimmicks because they are not really going to deliver the performance that you are looking for. Rest assured, you will be in right hands once you make the right buying decision.


4- Capture Cards


Again, this is something that not everyone is going to want to buy, to begin with. But there are a lot of times when people genuinely need to have good capture cards for the sake of capturing feed directly from their computers.

Now, I do understand that the software solutions work really great, but at the end of the day, they do not provide the same level of quality as a dedicated capture card does, and therefore, you should always invest in one just so you can have a smoother and easier experience with these cards. Because they are of great importance.

Finding the right capture card is not really difficult, really. You just have to look for some really good options, and then you can opt for them as well. This is not going to be difficult for anyone, really, and you will be just fine when you choose the right card.


5- Gaming Chairs


It is obvious that gaming chairs are not really going to make you a good gamer, but they do provide you with great comfort, to begin with. I have been using a DX Racer chair for quite some time, and I cannot be more satisfied. So, if you are looking for something that is good, choose the gaming chair that you want which is good for you.

The market is filled with options, so you really will not have any problems.

Related: Are Gaming Chairs Worth It? Things To Consider Before Buying


6- Gaming Monitor


I know this might not seem like an important thing for a lot of people because they already have monitors ready beforehand, but if that is not the case, then choosing the right monitor is going to be incredibly important since the fate of your gaming experience depends on it a lot.

Ideally, you would want to go for something that offers a higher refresh rate because with modern gaming PCs, staying at 60Hz is not something that we are going to advise anyone, in the first place. Now, the good thing is that monitors with a faster refresh rate are available at large, so it all boils down to your choice.

We would also suggest that you are looking at the fact that your graphics card can drive the higher refresh rate monitors with ease. Not to forget, the panel choice is also an important factor here that you cannot miss out on. If you want the best of the both worlds and budget is not an issue, get an IPS panel with a higher refresh rate, and you will be all good.

Samsung gaming monitor

Last but not the least, when getting a monitor, stressing over the resolution is also something that you cannot pass on. Sure, you might think that you can just go for a 4K monitor, but really, there is no point in paying a premium if the monitor that you are buying cannot even be fully utilized on your graphics card.

You can take your time as far as deciding on the monitor is concerned since it is no easy feat, and you cannot just pick something random and call it a day. Rest assured, once you are done choosing the monitor, rest of the process is not going to be that difficult for you, thanks to the quality of these monitors.

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7- Gaming Headset


Audio is one of the most important aspects, to be honest. A lot of the times, people end up going for the wrong audio products because they are not really aware of how to tackles this concern. With so much to choose from, getting the right gaming headset or headset, in general, is going to be a very important step.

Now, here is one thing that a lot of people do not get. With gaming headsets, you are buying into something that is going to cost more but is also going to process the sound drastically. Which results in the essence of actual sound and music being lost.

If you want a headset for just the sake of gaming, then this is not going to be a problem for anyone. However, if you are looking to play games, watch movies, and listen to music, and you are looking for something that gives you the most accurate sound of the bunch, then it is wiser that you spend money on a good studio headset.

Razer Gaming headsets

Studio headphones are not that expensive, either. But remember, they have that utilitarian feel to them, which ensures that they are built for the sake of proper use rather than for looks. You will also need to buy a separate microphone with them since they never really ship with one.

Rest assured, in our experience, we have come to realize that whenever you are deciding on a headset for gaming, a proper, dedicated headset that has been made by a company with a lot of experience is going to be a much better choice than buying a gaming headset.

For instance, my Audio Technica ATH-M50X is one hell of a headset when it comes to gaming and has not failed me yet at all. The sound quality is still as good, and it works great with a microphone too. Not just that, it is great for music and movies.


8- Mouse Pad


This is just one of those things that normally do not really cause a fuss. Choosing a mousepad is honestly one of the easier things as these are easily available in the market, and you can make the right decision based on what you want to buy, in the first place. With so many great options, choosing the wrong mousepad is rarely the case, and you will do just fine in most of the cases.

Still, you can look at the options that you have available and then see which one would make the most sense to you and go for that specific mouse pad. Might have to choose between the one that ships with lighting or the one that has no RGB.

Aside from that, the only deciding factor here is going to be the size of the mousepad, and you are good to go.

A Razer mouse pad

The End Of The Line:

There you have it, folks. This is our most comprehensive guide yet, and in this guide, we have covered more or less everything that you need to know when you are building a gaming PC. We understand that this might take you some time to build the perfect gaming PC, but the purpose here is to deliver something that will truly help everyone get the PC that they want and that too, without any issues.

With this guide, you will not only be able to assemble your own PC, but you will also be able to have all the knowledge that you would normally need in terms of building a gaming PC. This will make your future endeavors a lot easier.


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – Is it cheaper to build or buy a gaming PC?

If you are looking to build your own gaming PC with the parts that you have bought, you might be able to save a couple of hundred of dollars but nothing more. Over the past couple of years, the price difference between prebuilts and custom-built PCs have reduced.

#2 – Is $1000 good for a gaming PC?

That depends, the thing is that the reason we spend a good amount of money on a gaming PC is so we can play the games we want to play at our preferred settings, but if you do not have those settings or those games in need, then you do not have to spend a large amount of money, in the first place.

#3 – How much would it cost to build a gaming PC?

Honestly, it all depends on the requirements you have. A PC can be built for as low as $1,000 or even lower than that, but in some cases, you are looking to spend a lot of money as well. It all depends on what you are planning on doing with the PC, the games you are planning to play, or the applications that you are trying to run.

#4 – Is it hard to build a gaming PC?

Honestly, as overwhelming as it might look in the start, PC building is one of the easiest things that you can do. Sure, you might be confused in the start, but the more attention you pay, the easier it gets.

#5 – Why are pre-built PCs bad?

They are not bad by any means, really. However, in the past, the problem with pre-built PC used to be the fact that they would ship with custom parts that would be almost impossible to replace on your own. However, that has changed, and now you are getting off-the-shelf parts that are easy to replace if the need arrives.

#6 – How much RAM do I need for gaming?

All modern gaming PCs use 16 gigs as the base RAM for gaming. I have not run into a single game that requires more RAM than that. Remember that no game really uses all of it as some of it is reserved for the Windows and other applications. So yes, you are good to go with 16 gigs of RAM.

#7 – Are gaming PCs worth it?

Yes, gaming PCs are excellent. The thing about a good gaming PC is that it is not just for gaming, you can do a lot of things on it. Everything ranging from entertainment like watching movies, listening to music, to productivity tasks such as working or using your PC for other things as well. It is an investment that can help you earn the money you spent on it back.

#8 – Are gaming laptops worth it?

Over the past couple of years, gaming laptops have become a lot better than they used to be. While they are not able to fully replace the desktop PCs, in terms of performance, they have come a lot closer, as well. So, if you are absolutely bound by the fact that you want something for portability, you can just get a good gaming laptop.

#9 – How long will a gaming PC last?

This is also something that depends on various factors, really. A good gaming PC can last as long as the parts are functioning and as long as the games are no longer creating problems. The best thing about a gaming PC is that instead of the entirety of it being outdated, it usually is just a graphics card. So, you can always change that, and you have a faster PC again.

#10 – Is Intel or AMD better for gaming?

For the longest time, AMD processors were known to be really bad in terms of the overall performance in gaming, but over the past couple of years, AMD processors have become a lot better in terms of single-threaded performance, and therefore, they have started becoming better at gaming. So, at the moment, both Intel and AMD are neck to neck in terms of performance.

#11 – Is PC gaming better than PS5?

If you are looking for performance, yes. But not all gaming PCs are going to be equal, which means that if you are building a gaming PC that costs as much as a PS5, you might not be getting the same performance. Additionally, you will also be devoid of exclusives.

#12 – Is a $2000 PC worth it?

$2,000 is more or less a starting point for a lot of popele when they are looking to build a gaming PC. This is where you start looking for that mid-high range gaming PCs, and you will do great if you are looking for something great. However, the supply issues with GPUs might make it difficult.

#13 – Can you build a gaming PC for 500?

If you are looking for something that is entry-level and you want to go with e-sports titles, for the most part. You can; however, you might have to opt for used parts.

#14 – Is 10th Gen i5 better than 8th gen i7?

No, not really. An 8th generation Core i7 still offers more threads, and better overclocking speeds as well. Not to forget, you are getting a better overall performance too.

#15 – Can you run a PC without a CPU?

No, there is no way of running your PC without a CPU, as it will simply not boot into anything. Sure, the motherboard and other components might turn on, but that would be it.

#16 – What is the best way to apply thermal paste?

Honestly, over the past couple of years, we have debated about this a lot, and there is no fixed way of applying thermal paste, in the first place. The dot method is just as effective as the line method. The goal here is to not apply too little or too much, and you will be fine.

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