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Is It Hard To Build A Gaming PC? (Definitive Guide)

Is It Hard To Build A Gaming PC Cover

‘Is it hard to build a gaming PC?’ If you are asking such a question, it is likely, you have never gotten around to building a system before and are considering it for the first time, probably because of some newfound interest in games.

To a newcomer like you, the thought of constructing an entire system by yourself may seem excessively complex but let me assure you that things are only difficult so long as they are an enigma.

At first, you may be confused about how to fix things into their places, the thought of matching a web of similar-looking wires and plugs will make you scratch your head, and you might even not know the name of many of the components, but that’s only natural for someone who is new.

With a couple of minutes of research, and you will know what what is and that will get you building soon.

Figure Out What You Want To Do?

Your first action should be to collect yourself and establish a line of objectives. You can not act if you have no course of action.

Ask yourself what it is that you want but not just once; keep asking yourself until your brain starts to focus on it and you narrow it down to the specifics if you can try and establish a recourse too as a contingency to augment your main goal.

Congratulations, you now know what to do.

Choose Your Motherboard Based On The Cpu You Select

To build your system, start by building its base. To lay the foundation, you need a motherboard, and to build upon it, you will need a CPU or a Processor.

CPU and Motherboard are the two very basic parts of a system, and so it is imperative that they share compatibility.

amd ryzen 7 3700x cpu inside a motherboard

Motherboard accommodates the CPU in a special socket, and different motherboards have different sizes, and very rarely do they support the CPU of a different company; e.g., An AMD board and an Intel processor are a bad match, so take special care when buying.

Refer To The Motherboard Manual For Instructions

Whenever you buy a motherboard, it does not matter if you ordered it online or purchased it physically from a dealership, it comes with an instruction manual inside the packaging, and this goes without saying for all companies.

Inside the instruction manual, you will be able to read the model and version of your board, things about its BIOS, extra features that it offers, and explicit information on socket type, VRMs, heatsinks, etc.

You will also find an assembly manual with visual instructions like diagrams etc., so at any point during assembly, if you are not certain about something, remember to make use of the manual.

Choose A Case For Your PC Based On The Motherboard And Graphics Card

Casings come in all shapes and sizes, some are big while others are not very much so. Unfortunately, we don’t enjoy the unimpeded luxury of selecting the casing that we want because there are certain requirements that a casing has to fulfill to be eligible for selection.

A White ASUS ROG Themed RTX 3090 PC Build
Credits: ASUS

Almost all those requirements depend on the previously selected motherboard and GPU. Not all motherboards and GPUs are the same, many boards have extra VRMs, and cards can have multiple fans.

They essentially decide what type of casing is best, and in the end, you’ll have to opt for a casing able to easily incorporate your GPU and motherboard.

Find Out How To Attach A CU To The Motherboard

Though the process of CPU inclusion will be explained briefly in the manual but considering the delicate nature of the task, it is best that you do further research. I will explain the gist of it.

  1. Place your motherboard in front and open the CPU socket (a screwdriver may or may not be needed).
  2. Gently insert the processor.
  3. Apply the thermal paste.
  4. Install processor cooler.

That was the gist of it but be sure to do a test run.

Watch Videos To Correctly Apply The Thermal Paste

As I mentioned previously about applying thermal paste to your processor but didn’t explain how, so I am doing it now.

The thermal paste helps regulate and keep down the temperature of whatever you apply it to, be it a CPU or a GPU or something else, and prevents overheating.

a guy applying thermal paste on a cpu

To apply it, make sure the CPU is clean and then squeeze out a very tiny amount of paste and spread it evenly on the center, and add the cooler without wasting any time.

Do Your Research To Compare Products, Such As The RTX 3090 Vs The RTX 4090

When you are indecisive between two objects and are having difficulties with which one would be a better alternative in performance and value for you, weigh them against each other.

Let’s take, for example, RTX 3090 & 4090.

The 4090 is the first of the 40 series and is currently the fastest card on the market, while the 3090 used to be the fastest.

The 4090 is significantly faster, better at ray tracing, and has more CUDA cores but is also 60% more expensive.

In comparison, the 3090 is cheaper, offers more battery-smooth frames, and requires 100 watts less power.

Once you draw specs like these, all the features become clear, including the price tag, and choosing becomes relatively easy.

How Much Ram Do You Need? See What Is Needed To Play Your Favorite Games

There are quite a lot of options when it comes to choosing RAM, and based on the RAM you select, you will either have a faster or a slower computer; while 8 gigs of RAM will serve you well enough in casual use, a lot more will be needed for gaming. Let’s take a look at some games.

  • Elden ring requires a minimum of 12 GB RAM.
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey & Valhalla have minimum requirements of 8 gigs of RAM but recommend 12 for the optimal experience.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 also recommends 12 gigs of RAM.

Looking At The Motherboard And CPU Specifications Will Show You What Speed Ram Is Supported

You are also not at liberty to select RAM of any speed that you please. The speed of the RAM you purchase must be compatible with the RAM speed supported by your motherboard and CPU.

image of itx board rtx 3090 psu and ram
Credits: ASUS

You can find out what speed of RAM your motherboard supports by googling its version and model and looking into specifications, the same is true for the CPU.

Most likely, the CPU and board support different speeds, so the lower supported speed will be the limiting factor. Select your RAM accordingly.

Is Overclocking Worth Your Time And Effort?

This debate about overclocking is a dividing one, and people choose to support or denounce it on personal preference and experience. I’ll lay down the argument and let you decide.

Folks at the official Intel website write in support of overclocking and the increased performance it provides.

They state that modern equipment can handle much more than we give it credit for, but users with experience have reported brevity in the lifetime of their computers ever since overclocking.

In short, I believe overclocking is a bit like running on steroids but without significantly worrisome negative effects.

Acquire Knowledge Of Cooling And Cable Management

Whenever asked, I have said that a cool system is the best system, and I will back it up so long as I am alive. Efficient cooling can significantly increase the lifespan of your system and save you from all the negative effects of overheating.

a custom water looped pc

Liquid coolant is the most preferred type of system coolant, especially water coolant, because of its high specific heat.

Cable management is just as important to learn because it will give your setup a tidy look. Managed cables are also less likely to suffer damage.

Becoming Familiar With Cables And Connectors

After only building once, it is unlikely that you remember each wire by color or know what it is connected to.

It will even take you some time to learn what all the different ports are for. Slowly and steadily, you will learn all that is needed, and it is good to learn because once you know what something is, you have no further use for instructions or manuals.

And if in the future you decide to build another PC, the experience that you gathered during your first project will see to it that you assemble it perfectly.

It’s Time To Select A PSU Based On The Chosen Components

Once you have selected all the components, you only need a source of power to have a functional PC. Each system has a required wattage.

It is the power in watts recommended for the PC to operate at the best possible capacity, and it depends on your components.

Input the model and variant of all your components in an online power calculator and buy a PSU according to the calculated result.

A PSU of a little higher wattage will be a better option since the extra may come in handy when upgrading a certain part.

So, Is It Hard To Build A Gaming PC?

Nothing is hard so long as you have the means, a plan of action, and the courage to take the first step.

Many people think building a PC is hard or out of their abilities just because they haven’t built one before, but the same people are shown the light during the actual experience, and all of them are equally surprised at how easy the real process was.

Building a gaming PC isn’t that hard, in fact, it is easier than expected. It is assembly, not manufacture.

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Furqan Shahid

Furqan Shahid

Reader, writer, and gamer. I started my gaming journey with NES and back then, it was the greatest thing that I had ever put my hands on.

For me, it was the best thing in the world. However, as I progressed into the world of gaming, it soon dawned on me how this rabbit hole is a never-ending one and soon gaming turned from my passion to my profession. I have been gaming for 24 years and have extensive knowledge about not just platforms, but building computers as well.

My Expertise is in Computer hardware, PC Gaming, Video Games, Software and Apps, Computers, and Laptops.

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