For those looking to get started building their own gaming PC, the task can be daunting. What components do you need? How do you put them all together? What sort of research should you be doing? To help, here’s a guide to getting started on your gaming PC build:
Start by considering budget and quality. How much are you willing to spend? Doing some research around gaming PCs, what they look like, and what they can do can help you determine a rough budget. You don’t have to drop a ton of money to build a great computer – in fact, you can often get away with spending less than retail prices. Decide on a range and stick to it.
Once you know your budget, it’s time to research and pick components. The main components of a gaming PC include a processor, graphics card, RAM, and storage, among other items. If you want to build a high-end gaming PC, you’ll want to make sure each part delivers the performance you’re looking for, and that it all works together harmoniously. Do your research on specs and compatibility, and be sure to read reviews for individual components – one good or bad review may make all the difference in the world.
When you know what parts are a “go,” it’s time to order them. Most of the major parts will be ordered online, and come with what you need to build your PC in terms of cables and connectors. For any smaller items (screws, memory cards, etc.) you may have to make a trip to a computer store to pick them up. Don’t forget to check out any sales or deals that may be going on before making your purchase.
Once all the pieces are collected, you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get building. Don’t be intimidated – building a gaming PC is actually a lot easier than it sounds. Most components come with guide to installing them. As you go, keep the building guide handy and refer to it if you run into any issues. And if you get stuck, there are plenty of online resources to help you out.
Finally, test, install, and enjoy. Once your gaming PC is assembled and powered on for the first time, test to make sure all the components are working properly. Installing the necessary software and drivers will also come after the system starts up, and then you can enjoy gaming with your new rig!
Researching Gaming PC Components
When researching gaming PC parts, it’s important to think about the performance you’re looking for. For a top-tier gaming PC, find components that offer the capabilities you need. Think about the kind of games you’ll be playing, if you’ll be using virtual reality, or if you’ll be live streaming, each of these activities can require different specs than others. Of course, if you’re just gaming casually, you can get away with slightly less powerful parts, which will help save money.
Pay attention to any system requirements listed for games you want to play. This can help you determine the type of processor, graphics card, and RAM you’ll need. Don’t forget about the individual benchmark scores for components as well – lot of gaming enthusiasts post real-world benchmark scores for various equipment and share their experiences.
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, be sure to check out any deals or discounts available for the parts you want. Many retailers offer including limited-time offers, referral discounts, and more, which can really help when you’re shopping for expensive parts.
In addition to research, talk to your friends who are avid PC gamers and check out online forums, like Reddit. Knowing what other users have built, what components they chose, and how satisfied they are with the results can be all the help you need when selecting the parts for your gaming PC.
Finally, get the advice of a professional before committing to your purchase. Buying a single part like a graphics card is relatively easy, but building a complete PC yourself is a bit more complex, and help from an experienced tech should put you at ease and help you avoid costly mistakes.
Gathering Your Tools
No matter how knowledgeable you are about computer parts, you’ll need some tools to build your gaming PC. Before you start, make sure you have the necessary tools plus any other items like an extra fan, external cooling methods, and extra cables.
The basic toolkit should include a Phillips screwdriver; preferably magnetic so screws don’t fall out. A flat, wide-bladed screwdriver can also be useful for removing parts from the case. If you’re planning to overclock, you’ll need a screwdriver for that as well.
Additionally, it’s useful to have some secondary items, like a static wristband or static-safe gloves, depending on how grounded your building area is. You may also want to get a flashlight or bright lamp, a tray to place removed parts, and some cables for cable management.
Finally, if you’re uncomfortable with handling the parts, there is usually no harm done in getting a friend or professional to take a look first. A second person can help you ensure that everything is in place and give you peace of mind when putting together a build.
Building the PC
It’s finally time to start piecing together the gaming PC. This can be a little nerve-wracking at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too hard. First, check the box and make sure all the parts are in it and that they all match what was ordered. If not, check with the vendor or manufacturer before proceeding further.
When you know you have the correct parts, read through the instructions included in the box. Pay attention to instructions for the processor, memory, power supply and other parts. Be sure to take note of how much space the parts require to fit correctly, and how much power each part draws. This will help you make sure the individual parts are compatible with each other and won’t be overloading the power supply.
If you’re having trouble following the instructions, online tutorials or YouTube videos from gaming PC fanatics can help guide you step-by-step. That said, don’t try to wing it – make sure you understand each step before continuing to the next.
Try to do the build on a flat, static-resistant surface and be sure to ground yourself when working with the parts. Wear a static wristband or make sure you are not wearing any fabric or something made of wool when touching the parts. Keep all the parts packaged until you’re ready to use them and take your time, handling components gently.
Installing Software & Drivers
One of the more time-consuming aspects of building a gaming PC is installing the software and drivers needed for it to run properly. Depending on the parts you installed, you’ll need to make sure everything has the latest firmware, BIOS version, and any other updates. This can be done automatically or manually.
Keep in mind that some components, such as the processor and GPU, require setting up BIOS configurations before they are ready to be used. This can be a tricky process, so it’s best to research the steps needed before attempting it. Don’t forget about any additional software needed for the parts, like monitoring software for the CPU core temperature.
Installing the OS is one of the last steps, and you will want to choose one that supports the hardware you have and meets your gaming needs. CD or DVD versions require no internet connection, but you may need an optical drive to install them. For most users today, an installation from a USB flash drive is easier, but it does require downloading the OS from the web.
Finally, make sure to back up your gaming PC before heading into your first game. This will allow you to restore the system quickly and easily if you run into any issues while gaming.
Testing and Optimizing
Before you start gaming, test and optimize your gaming PC to make sure it’s running as efficiently and quickly as possible. This means running tests on the performance and making sure everything is working properly, like:
- Making sure the CPU doesn’t overheat.
- Checking that RAM is properly cooled.
- Checking that all fan speeds are correct.
- Checking to make sure all setup requirements for overclock, if applicable, are being met.
If you’re not confident in your troubleshooting, get help from an experienced tech who knows gaming PCs. This person can help identify and fix any lingering issues before you jump into the gaming.
Finally, it’s time to calibrate your gaming PC to make sure you’re getting the best performance you can. Install any optimization software available and tweak the settings to get the most out of your system. If you’re feeling adventurous, try overclocking CPU and GPU to get the best gaming performance, although this can be risky. No matter how you optimize, keep in mind that results vary and you won’t get the same performance as others. With patience and a bit of trial and error, you’ll be able to get the most out of your gaming PC!