You have made the decision to venture into the world of building a gaming PC. Good for you! The task may seem daunting at first however, building your own PC is a fun and rewarding experience. Now that the decision to tackle a DIY build has been made, you may be wondering where to begin. Any PC build project can be broken down into 4 major milestones: determining the budget, selecting hardware, assembly, and first power-up. Before diving in, ask yourself the following 4 questions:
- How much do I want to spend?
- Which components do I choose?
- What goes where?
- What do I do once my build is complete?
Determining the budget
The first milestone in the build process requires you to do a little math. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer to how much you need to spend. At the time of this writing, a low to mid-tier baseline for the PC components (minus peripherals) would be ~$500-$600. One major consideration to be made when determining the budget is whether or not you require peripherals (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.) If you do, you will need to account for that cost in your budget.
A lot of time will be spent deciding how to most effectively spread your budget out amongst the components required to build your new gaming machine. You will need to acquire the following Components:
- CPU (Central Processing Unit)
- CPU cooler (only if purchasing an Intel CPU. Modern AMD CPUs include a great stock cooler)
- GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) aka “video card”
- RAM module(s)
- Hard drive
- PC Case
- Additional case fans for cooling (if your case does not come with any pre-installed)
Pay close attention to compatibility when shopping for components. Further detail is outside of the scope of this post, however, documentation can typically be downloaded from the manufacturers’ websites which will provide all of the detailed information you should need.
Time to build!
At this point in the project, you will be familiar with your hardware and ready to get hands-on. Do not be afraid! This is the fun part. It is essentially building blocks for grown-ups. There are no special tools needed other than a Phillips screwdriver and a couple of cable ties. If you have zero experience inside of a PC, it is recommended to utilize a guide (plenty of video guides available online) or phone a friend who does have experience. Just remember that the CPU pins are very fragile. Otherwise, it is pretty hard to break anything else that you are installing.
First power up
Your machine is assembled, your OS has been installed, and you have a fully functioning DIY gaming PC build. Congratulations! But what’s next? Before you dive into a game of Fortnite or Minecraft, you need to install drivers and update, update, update.
- Perform all required Windows updates
- Update the motherboard’s BIOS to the most recent version
- Download and install all up to date drivers for your components and/or peripherals (GPU is a must)
Now that everything is assembled and updated, go enjoy your new gaming PC! If the task still seems monumental after reading this beginner’s guide, contact us today. We would be glad to help you with building a gaming PC!