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Everything You Need To Know For Building A Gaming PC In A Few Simple Steps

pc game player with headset in silhouette backlit by green wall and red glow from great gaming computer
pc game player with headset in silhouette backlit by green wall and red glow from great gaming computer

Building a gaming pc from scratch can be one of the most rewarding projects you'll ever undertake.

And it's also much easier than you think.

With the introduction of more mind-blowing graphics in games like Doom Eternal and Cyberpunk 2077, a lot of older gaming pcs are having a hard time keeping up.

Which why now is the perfect time to start building a gaming pc that gives you the most out of every game.

Console: Something non-PC owners will need once their new toy becomes outdated." -- PCgamer

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Determine Your Budget

When building a gaming pc, it's vital that you have a set budget in mind.

Of course, if you have the money to build a system with only the latest and greatest technology, obviously budgets won't matter.

However, most of us usually have to work within a budget when building a gaming pc.

man throwing paper with budget written

Image via giphy.com

But here's some good news:

There are a ton of recommended builds for nearly every budget. Using these builds as guides, you can find parts within your budget and make something special.

However, most of us usually have to work within a budget when building a gaming pc.

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Here's a general idea of what you can expect from builds that cost a certain amount. 

budget build

Gamesniped.com

Those were just a few examples, and you can find plenty of suggestions on what components to buy on countless websites and forums.

Another good thing about building a gaming pc is that you have a very active community of builders willing to help you out with suggestions and guidance.

Gaming PC Components

components of a gaming computer

Image via blukacsandrea

When building a gaming pc, you want to use the best parts you can afford.

Listed below are the vital components you'll need along with some optional components you can add to enhance your rig.

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Operating System (OS)

image of binary code over a person using a laptop with connection lines indicating operating systems

Image via Geralt

For most people building a gaming pc, they are going to most likely have to install Windows 10, which is the most current version of the operating system.

For those who want to be a little rebellious and use an alternative OS, Linux would be the best choice.

If you're doing a clean install, you can purchase the latest version of Windows 10 for between $100 and $200.

Good News:

If you have an existing copy of Windows 10 installed on another hard drive, you can also migrate or clone it over to a newer drive using special software.

You can get a free copy of Linux (which has many versions) and either burn it to a hard disk or USB drive to install on your new system.

Motherboard

image of a motherboard

Image via ?Skeeze

The motherboard should be the first component on your list to purchase.

That's because this component determines how much you can upgrade your system.

For example:

A motherboard that has a maximum of RAM capacity of 8 Gigabytes or a maximum bus speed of 1600 Megahertz is probably not a good choice if you want to upgrade parts later.

This is important:

Be sure to pay close attention to the type of board you're buying.

AMD and Intel boards have different socket designs. Therefore CPUs opposite those designs will not fit.

Always make sure your new board is compatible with your CPU.

When it comes to your budget, buying the best board you can afford is one of the wisest investments.

Even if you can't afford one of the higher-end boards, you can still find a quality board that will give you room to grow.

CPU

cpu rendering in blue and black

Image via ColiN00B

Your CPU or processor is like the right side of the brain for your system.

In other words:

It's responsible for processing the

nearly infinite number of calculations needed to make both hardware and software work on your computer.

There are two major brands of CPUs on the market today: Intel and AMD.

Intel

Intel processors are by far the most well-known brand of CPUs on the market.

They are also considered to be the best CPUs for gaming because of their strong single core performance.

But here's the bad part:

They're also the most expensive and have more restrictions on overclocking than their competitor AMD.

AMD

amd processor

Image via ?Pixabay

AMD processors are considered the better CPU for multitasking productivity tasks like video editing and graphics design.

These CPUs are generally cheaper than Intel but traditionally lose to Intel in gaming performance.

But there's good news for gamers:

Over the years AMD processors have slowly started to catch up with Intel's single core performance.

Today, there are a lot of killer budget gaming rigs running on AMD processors.

Cutting edge: About $400 more than you secretly know you actually needed to spend." -- PCgamer

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The 3 factors

There are three CPU factors to consider while building a gaming pc.

1. Core Count

The core count tells you how many processors the CPU has to offer.

In other words:

It determines how many tasks the CPU can do at the same time.

We recommend a processor with at least four cores for gaming.

2. Threads

Some more advanced CPUs have features like hyperthreading that creates multiple threads for each core.

These additional threads are essentially virtual cores, allowing you to multi-task beyond the CPU's core count.

3. Clock Speed

A CPU's clock speed is measured in Gigahertz (GHz). This factor tells you how quickly the CPU can perform a single task.

The more CPU speed, the faster and smoother your games will run. When building a gaming pc, this factor can be more important than core count.

Here's why:

Many games use only a single core, which means that having six or eight cores won't make much of a difference in their performance.

Even games like Witcher 3 that uses multiple cores don't exceed four cores.

Therefore, clock speed is usually a more valuable asset for gaming.

RAM

RAM is another vital component that you need to consider carefully before buying.

Here are four factors that you should think about:

ram chips on a white background

Image via Pixabay

1. How much RAM you need

For most gamers building a gaming PC, 8 to 16 Gigabytes of RAM should be more than enough to meet your needs.

However, the real answer depends on what you plan to use your system for other than gaming.

Here's the deal:

If your gaming PC is also going to be a high-end workstation PC used for things like video editing and graphics design, then at least 16 Gigabytes or more is the best option.

Otherwise, you can probably do okay with just 8 gigabytes if you're building a gaming PC $300 to $500 budget, for example.

But, 16 Gigabytes is ideal.

Now, this is crazy:

Some motherboards allow up to 128 Gigabytes of RAM.

Very few gamers will ever need that much RAM, though, unless they're programming Skynet or something.

You need to remember this:

Make sure your motherboard supports the amount of RAM you're buying.

For example:

If you have a motherboard that supports up to 16 Gigabytes of RAM and you buy 32 Gigabytes, then you're going to have 16 Gigabytes of RAM sitting around doing nothing.

2. Compatibility

With RAM you need to be mindful of compatibility issues, that's where DDR generation comes into play.

The latest DDR generation on the market right now is DDR4 RAM.

DDR3 memory won't work on a motherboard that only uses DDR4 and vice versa.

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3. RAM speed

RAM speed (frequency) is kind of a trick area. Ideally, you would think that buying the fastest RAM would give you better gaming performance. Right?

Not so fast:

Faster frequency RAM with higher latency generally does outperform RAM with lower frequency and latency.

However, the performance difference can vary from game to game. Some games benefit while others don't.

That said:

It's still smart to get the highest frequency (speed) you can afford if you're interested in future gaming experiences like virtual reality (VR) games.

Having a little extra usable speed is better than less speed in games where it can make a difference.

4. Upgradability

If you can't afford 64 Gigs (short for Gigabytes) of that super fast DDR4 4400 ram, don't despair.

With the right motherboard and CPU, you can always upgrade your ram when you have the cash.

Pro tip:

When upgrading RAM, it's best not to mix and match different RAM modules (also called sticks).

For example:

If you're adding 16 Gigs of RAM to your system, the new RAM should be the same as the ones you have installed.

While different RAM can work in your system, you run the risk of more errors and crashes by mixing them.

Also, it's always best when upgrading to higher speed RAM to get all new sticks rather than leave the old ones in your system.

In other words:

If you want 32 Gigs of DDR4 4400 RAM and you have 16 Gigs of DDR4 2666, then you should buy 32 Gigs of DDR4 4400 and take the old sticks out.

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A quick note about dual and quad channel memory

There's a debate among gamers about whether it's better to have a motherboard and CPU that had dual or quad channel support.

Let's make this simple:

If you only plan to use your gaming pc for gaming, then you'll just need dual channel support.


If you plan to do video editing, graphics design, or some other memory intensive activity, then quad channel memory is the better option.

Graphics card

computer graphics card.

Image via wccftech.com

Now we get into the supreme difference maker for a gaming PC. The graphics card.

There's no

question that we would all love to have the $2,000 ultra super deluxe destroy the universe graphics card running in our rigs.

Unfortunately, that's not a reality most of us can afford.

No Problem:

Because you don't need to decide between a graphics card and a used car to get a game slaying card.

The truth is:

There comes the point where graphics cards stop improving graphics in most games.

What you want to do is get as close to that line as possible without falling into the swamp of diminishing returns.

For example:

It's possible to find $150 graphics card that you can overclock to perform almost as good as a $300 to $400 card.

The only downside is that the card may not last as long, but in two or three years you'll probably want a new card anyway.

You can also find graphics cards that have an average of one to six Gigabytes of built-in memory that takes some of the graphics processing load off your CPU.

So when building a gaming PC, don't be discouraged by the sticker shock of high-end graphics cards.

The fun for many builders is getting the most out of a system at the lowest cost.

In fact, many builders love to brag about their game crushing budget builds.

Hard drive

If the CPU represents the right side of the brain, then a hard drive represents the left.

Your hard drive stores all your data and programs. This is where your OS lives.

Technically, your motherboard stores your BIOS (software built the motherboard) but let's not get lost in semantics.

If you're building a gaming pc, then you want to use an ultra-fast SSD (Solid State Drive) as your main hard drive.

Check this out:

SSD drives work just like a USB flash drive and offer insanely fast read-write speeds over regular hard drives.

They're also smaller and much more durable.

Ideally, you would use your main SSD drive to hold your OS and a few choice programs and games.

But hold on:

These drives are not recommended for long-term storage and are more expensive.

You can buy a wired 2.5 inch SSD drive that plugs into your motherboard's SATA port and requires a separate connection to your power supply.,

Or, you can opt for the newer PCIe SSD drive that fits into an extra PCIe port, usually right next to your graphics card.

Secondary hard drive

For storing all your other files, you may want to consider a secondary hard drive.

This drive can hold your movies, music, pictures, and other files.

And that's not all:

You can make this drive internal or external depending on your preference.

An internal drive usually installs right under your main drive, while an external drive plugs into a USB port and has a separate power connection via a plug adapter.

Also, most gaming pcs use an SSD drive as their main hard drive and a traditional HDD drive as their secondary drive.

Traditional HDD drives can offer more space much cheaper than SSD drives.

However, they do have moving parts (like a record player) and can breakdown after a few years.

DLC: The rest of the game you bought." -- PCgamer

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A quick note on hybrid hard drives

Some gamers who want to balance the performance of an SSD with the capacity of an HDD are turning to hybrid hard drives.

While these drives do offer faster read-write speeds than traditional drives, they still lag far behind the performance of SSD drives.

Remember this:

These drives are better solutions for laptops than for desktops at this time.


However as hard drive technology improves, Hybrid drives could become the way of the future in desktop gaming.

Power Supply

computer power supply

Image via BlueBudgie

Your power supply (or PSU) regulates, converts, and delivers power to all of your components.

This is very important:

When building a gaming pc,

you want to make sure you buy a PSU that has the right connections for your graphics card.

You also want to make sure that it has enough power (measured in wattage) to accommodate all your components.

Most gaming systems use a PSU with a minimum of 400 to 500 watts.

However, if you can find a compatible 600 to 1,000-Watt PSU for a few dollars more, it's not a bad idea to have extra power for future expansion.

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Case

Your gaming case is the component that figuratively and literally ties everything together.

Ideally, when building a gaming PC, you want your case to make a statement.

Pricewise, cases are probably the least expensive component, especially if your sacrifice looks for function.

But if you want to replace that plain case with something a bit more flashy later on, it can be a bit cumbersome to change everything over into a new case.

Ideally, when building a gaming PC, you want your case to make a statement.

But here's some good news:

Many cases on the market offer some flashy extras like extra USB 3.0 ports, powerful case fans. and RGB lighting for a reasonable price.

So you don't necessarily have to sacrifice style with function.

You also want to look for this:

Fans are another important factor when buying a case. If you like the fan configuration, but not the fans, you can always replace them.

A case's airflow is very important for a gaming pc. The right airflow can reduce dust and excess heat build up.

Additionally, you want to make sure the case has at least one mount for a 2.5-inch SSD drive, or you'll have to buy a mount adapter to fit a 3.5-inch drive bay.

Size matters:

When buying a new case make sure it's made for your motherboard size.

Also, some cases may not fit some larger graphics cards.

So make sure your new case gives you plenty of room for your current components and room for any desired future expansion.

Mid-tower and full-tower cases are the most common used by gamers building a gaming pc.

Gaming mouse and keyboard

gaming keyboard lit up in red

Image via ExplorereBob

If you're building a gaming PC, having a quality gaming mouse and keyboard is vital.

However, not all games are the same.

Some games like FPS (first person shooters) may benefit more from an advanced gaming mouse.

While, other game genres like MOBA (multi-online battle arena), MMOG (massive multiplayer online game also called MMO), or strategy games may benefit more from advanced gaming keyboards.

That said:

There are some really advanced MMO mice out there that give players tons of extra functionality.

Additionally, if you really want to get the most out of your gaming mouse, you may want to consider investing in a quality gaming mouse pad.

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Monitor

three gaming monitors set up together with a boy playing games

Image via ExplorerBob

No gaming pc system's complete without a good gaming monitor.

Look:

Spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on building a gaming pc is meaningless unless you can visually appreciate its benefits.

In other words:

That old tube monitor from 1995 isn't going to cut it.

Your monitor's resolution should be on scale with your build budget.

Also, for gaming look for monitors that also include the frame rate per second along with the number of pixels

For example: (designer_start) Please add a table with this info.

1080p60 (60 represent the number of frames per second) works well for build budgets up to $500.

While, 1080p44 or 1440p60 is a good good range for build budgets up to $800.

For budgets above $1,000 go with 1440p144 or 4k60.

Optional components

There are a few optional components you can include when building a gaming pc that can enhance your gaming experience and system's performance.

Here are are some of the more impactful options:

Water cooling

The average system relies on air cooling using fans embedded in the case, graphics card, and on the CPU's heatsink (cooler) to keep components cool.

A heat sink comes included with a processor; its job is to keep the CPU cool by drawing heat away from the chip.

These heat sinks are usually made of metal, and many have powerful fans to help further cool down the CPU.

But there's another choice:

Water-cooled systems replace air-cooled heat sinks by using liquid coolant (such as distilled water) to soak up heat from components.

Here's a basic rundown of how a water cooling system works, keep in mind different systems can have slightly different configurations.

  • 1
    The water reservoir and pump move the liquid through the radiator's cooling fins which disperse heat through cooling fans located on top of the radiator (usually at the top of the PC).
  • 2
    The liquid passes through the radiator to a small tube that transports the water to a waterblock inlet that connects to the CPU waterblock (works like a heatsink).
  • 3
    The liquid makes contact with the waterblock drawing heat from the CPU to the waterblock outlet.
  • 4
    After the liquid then travels through the waterblock outlet to either other waterblocks on components like the graphics card and RAM, or back to the heated water inlet going back into the reservoir and pump.

Beware:

Water-cooled systems do have an inherent danger if set up improperly, if a part's defective, or if the computer receives physical damage.

However, the benefits are cooler temperatures that can help improve overall system performance and longevity.

M.2 SSD

If you're building a gaming pc and want to consider buying a motherboard that supports M.2 SSD cards.

These are the latest SSD drives that offer transfer speeds 50 to 650 times faster than an SSD SATA drive.

Newer motherboards will have dedicated slots that allow you to plug in these special hard drives which resemble a stick of RAM.

You can also do this:

Buy a PCIe adapter and plug your M.2 SSD drive in using a PCIe slot.

However, you won't be able to boot from the PCIe slot, which kind of defeats the purpose of buying M.2 SSD.

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Here's some wonderful news:

M.2 SSD drives don't cost much more than SSD SATA drives.

A 500 Gigabyte M.2 SSD drive can cost around $100 and a 1 Terabyte drive between $200 and $250.

A note of caution:

Intel currently sells a product called M.2 Octane Memory which looks like an M.2 SSD drive.

However, this is a supplemental memory component that serves an accelerating cache for another drive.

In other words:

It's not a hard drive but rather a memory booster which can improve aspects of your computer's performance such as boot time, application launch time, and gaming.

Also, M.2 SSD drives can have two connections, PCIe and SATA.

PCIe drives will have a single notch on the right side, while SATA has two notches.

It's vital that you know what kind of M.2 connection your motherboard has before buying an M.2 SSD drive.

Sound cards, gaming headphones, and speakers

If you want to unlock the full audio power of your new gaming pc, you'll need to get a sound card.

Internal sound cards plug into PCIe slots, while external cards use a USB connection.

Both have interfaces that plug into your speakers or gaming headphones.

But, while these cards can pull out a game's full audio potential, they do need high-quality speakers or gaming headphones to deliver the sound.

Investing in a set of gaming headphones will allow you to fully immerse yourself into the game, while not waking the neighbors.

On the other hand:

Great gaming speakers will make the neighbors think that WWIII is kicking off at your place.

Wi-Fi adapter and gaming router

When building a gaming pc, you'll find that many newer motherboards have built-in Wi-Fi.

However, if you want the best speed over your home high-speed internet connection, then you need to look into getting a gaming router and Wi-Fi adapter.

Here's why:

A gaming router allows you to dedicate bandwidth to specific games and applications using a unique "game mode setting."

Right now the fastest network standard available for a router and Wi-Fi adapter is the 802.11AC standard.

God mode: Invulnerability to most or all things that might cause injury; also spelled ‘IDDQD’" -- PCgamer

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Virtual Reality

Virtual reality will soon become a reality to consider when building a gaming pc.

Today, more new generation motherboards, CPUs, and graphics cards promote themselves as VR-ready.

This is crazy:

Windows 12 (they're skipping 11) will reportedly feature a virtual reality system.

Owning the best VR gear may become a new standard for PC gaming in the near future.

Other optional components to consider

  • Gaming chair
  • Gaming desk
  • PC gaming controllers
  • Blu Ray DVD Drive
  • A second or third monitor
  • A Second or third graphics card
  • Extra hard drive
  • Third-party CPU cooler
  • Case fans

Tools You Need When Building A Gaming PC

When building a gaming pc, you'll need a few tools.

However, before you get started, it's important first to have the right working environment.

Here are a few pointers:

You'll need a large surface to work on, such as a table.

To help prevent electrostatic discharge (this is very bad for computer parts like CPUs and RAM) you need to work on an uncarpeted surface.

And that's not all:

Your work area must also be well-lit with multiple light sources if possible, this way you don't block your only light source while working.

Make sure you have an organization system set up for keeping your screws, tools, manuals, cables, and other necessary items where you can reach them easily.

Here is a list of tools you should have: (designer_start) Please lump these together in a graphic.

Anti-static wrist strap and mat

These are optional but greatly help reduce the risk of an electrostatic discharge while handling sensitive components.

antistatic


Screwdrivers

screwdriver

You'll most likely only need a Phillips head screwdrivers, but sometimes you'll encounter flathead screws.

Pro tip:

Magnetic screwdrivers are excellent when building a gaming pc.

If you drop a screw, the magnetic tip will help you get it from some tight spots without hurting the components.

They even make magnetic parts trays for screws.

Zip ties

These are also optional, but they can keep your wires neat and tidy while building a gaming pc.

zip ties and screwdriver on table

Scissors

scissors

Used to cut your zip ties.

Thermal paste

You'll need a tube of thermal paste to put on the processor if your CPU cooler doesn't come with some pre-applied. This paste transfers heat between the CPU and the cooler.

tooth paste

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Guide To Building A Gaming PC

So, now you're ready to start building a gaming pc.

We've broken this process down into 15 simple steps along with an instructional video.

But first, watch this hilarious video on how you should absolutely NOT to build a gaming pc.

Step 1: Strip down the case

The first step in building a gaming pc is to strip down the case.

You want to use your screwdriver to remove every panel you can and store them somewhere safe, like the case box until they're needed again.

This includes the back slot covers where you'll need to install your graphics card and other components.

Remember to have your containers ready to hold those loose screws.

Step 2: Fan-tastic voyage

If you bought some replacement or extra cooling case fans, this is the time to install them.

It's important that you make sure your cooling fans are balanced, so there's as much air being drawn in as blown out.

Some cases give you the option of screwing extra fans on the top for additional exhaust.

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Step 3: Installing that Mobo (Motherboard)

Before you get started on installing your motherboard, first you want to check a few things inside your case.

Check to make sure your case has pre-installed motherboard standoffs. If not, install them.

The standoffs usually look like brass or steel spacers that separate your case from the motherboard.

These are important because they prevent electric shorts due to contact between your board and the case.

Then make sure the number and configuration match the holes found on your motherboard.

Next, if your CPU cooler requires a backplate, install it in your case now.

Now locate the I/O shield plate included with your motherboard.

Make sure the I/O plate port cut-outs line up with the port arrangement on your motherboard.

Next, push the I/O plate into the rectangular slot located in the back of your case.

Now it's time to put in the motherboard. Make sure you're wearing your anti-static wrist strap.

Gently lay the motherboard down inside the case, carefully lining up its rear ports with the holes in the I/O plate.

The screw holes in your board should now line up perfectly with the standoffs.

Now take the screws that came with your case and carefully screw in the motherboard.

Be sure not to screw too tight, or you can damage your board.

Step 4: CPU installation

Once your motherboard is secure, you'll then socket your CPU into the motherboard.

CPU installation differs between AMD and Intel processors. This is an explanation of how to install the latest Intel CPU.

  1. Locate the CPU socket on the motherboard.
  2. Slide the spring-loaded retention arm out and up
  3. Lift up the bracket leaving the plastic cover in place
  4. Very gently place the CPU in the socket, matching the golden arrow located at the bottom left of the processor with the arrow located on the board's socket bracket.

Once it's in place, slide the securing bracket back into its original position until it locks in place underneath the screw.

Then secure the retention arm back down.

During this process, the plastic protective cover will pop off, don't freak out this is normal.

Save the cover in a safe place in case you ever need to remove the CPU.

The AMD processor installs in the same manner, except there's no plastic cover.

CPU installation complete.

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Step 5: Installing some new memories

Next is installing RAM, which thankfully is one of the easiest steps.

Locate the memory slots on the motherboard.

Start by pushing down the latches at either end of the slots. These latches must be pushed down all the way.

Once again, make sure your anti-static strap is on tight.

Now you will carefully take one memory module and carefully line it up with the divided slot.

Push the module down into the slot and press down on one end until you hear a click. Then push down on the other end until you hear a click.

If you can't push it down, don't try to force it. You may have the stick in the wrong way.

Merely turn the stick around and try pushing it down again. Both sides should easily click.

If you have four slots but are only installing two sticks of RAM, make sure you fit them in the slots farthest and second closest to the CPU.

It should look like: RAM, empty, RAM, empty, CPU.

Step 6: Conquering mount cool

This is probably the toughest part of the building process, mounting the CPU cooler.

These are steps to install an air-cooler CPU heatsink.

For instructions on installing a liquid-cooler system, we recommend this guide.

The majority of third-party CPU coolers require that you first install a backplate (see step three).

Each cooler will have its own set of instructions to follow. But they usually involve connecting the mounting plate to the backplate.

Once you've completed those instructions, apply a small blob, the size of a pea, of thermal paste to the middle of the CPU. Don't worry, this will spread out once you've mounted the cooler.

Next, carefully orient the heatsink so that it fits perfectly on top of the pins or threads located on the mounting plate.

Secure the heatsink in place using the screws provided with the CPU cooler.

Now attach the fan to the heatsink (follow the instructions with the cooler).

Then attach the wire from the fan ending with a 4-pin PWM fan header to the CPU fan slot on your motherboard (there should be a diagram in your board's manual if you have trouble finding it.)

And guess what:

This is also an excellent opportunity to attach any other case fan wires to your motherboard per the diagram in your manual.

NPC: A non-player character. Often has a missing dog or cow you need to find; sometimes sells you things." -- PCgamer

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Step 7: Installing your hard drive

This step involves mounting your hard drives.

If you have a SATA cable connected 2.5-inch SDD drive, then just slide the drive into the case's custom 2.5 drive caddy.

But, if your case does not have a 2.5-inch caddy, you'll need to install a 2.5 to 3.5 inch hard drive adapter into the 3.5-inch drive bay.

Don't fret, that's very easy, just follow your adapter's instructions.

Once your SDD drive is secure in the caddy:

Secure it further by using the appropriate screws.

The process for installing internal Blu-ray disk, DVD ROM drives, or 3.5-inch drives will be the same as mentioned above.

For M.2 SSD drives, you'll need to locate the M.2 slots on your motherboard, line up the notches on the card, and slide it into place.

Step 8: Grab the power

Now you'll install the power supply (PSU).

If you have a modular PSU, decide what cable's you'll need and plug them into the PSU ahead of time.

Should your computer case include a PSU bracket, remove it ahead of time and attach it to the PSU.

Next:

Thread the cables through the PSU slot in the back of the case first, then push the PSU into place, securing the bracket (if included) back onto the chassis.

On older cases, you'll just need to slide the PSU through the inside of the case and push it firmly against the wall where you will attach it with four screws.

Step 9: Fun with cables

In this step, you'll need to start plugging in your cables to their corresponding motherboard headers.

Use your motherboard manual to locate the correct locations.

When plugging in these cables be gentle as not to bend any pins. Take your time.

Make sure the case LED lights (Power and HDD) headers are oriented correctly, with the - and + cables installed in the corresponding pins on the board.

This is also a good opportunity to plug in the USB 3.0 header, USB 2.0 header, and audio pass-through. Audio is located on the bottom left on most motherboard designs.

It will be labeled, and the pinouts will differ from the USB 2.0 headers.

Now install you USB 3.0 cables (identifiable by their blue-colored end) into any available slots on the board.

Don't forget:

Be sure to lineup the pins with the correct holes in the USB 3.0 cables.

NVIDIA: The way it’s meant to be played. Unless AMD paid for their logo at the start of the game instead. Then that." -- PCgamer

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Step 10: Cable wiring adventure

You're now going to connect the rest of your power cables.

At this point, you want to really focus on cable arrangement and order. You may find a good use for those zip ties at this stage.

First, identify your 8-pin EPS cable on your power supply, this could also be a 4-pin ATX connector depending on your board.

You want to thread this wire through your chassis where there should be several tabs to hold wires into place.

Plug the cable into your motherboard (see manual for exact location).

Next, you'll do the same for the bulkier 24-pin ATX power cable plugging it into the power port on the motherboard (you can't miss it).

Next up:

Your SATA power cables.

You'll follow the same pattern, threading your cables along the chassis until you reach your SATA SSD or HDD drive.

Repeat for all SATA cabled devices, and connect the SATA data cables to the motherboard while you're at it.

Last, you'll need to thread your PCI3 power cable through the cutout in the PSU cover or any side holes, so it's ready to go when you install your graphics card.

Step 11: Warning this step contains graphic components

Now it's time to install the PCIe graphics card.

Take the graphics card out of its anti-static bag and carefully guide it to the PCIe slot you want to install it in on your motherboard.

Line it up with the slots and slide it in. You should hear a snap as the card locks in.

The rear interfaces should automatically push through the open slot with no issues.

Once the card's in place screw it into the chassis using the screw you took out earlier.

If you have a PCIe SSD drive card using an extra PCIe slot on your board, follow the same process used for installing the graphics card.

This is very important:

Plug in your PCIe power cables.

Open-world: Most games trap you in a small box. These games offer a much bigger box." -- PCgamer

Funny Gaming Truths

Step 12: Step into the BIOS

This is the moment of truth.

Before you start putting your case panels back on and uncorking the champagne (or sparkling apple cider if you're under 21), check each cable to sure everything's plugged in securely.

Once you've finished your cable check, plug the power cable to your PSU's power plug connection, attach your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Now turn on your new gaming pc for the first time.

As your computer boots up, press the delete key to bring up the BIOS screen.

Once in BIOS, you need to check this:

Your CPU temperature, which should be between 30 and 40-degrees Farenheight.

Then make sure your boot drive shows up correctly.

If the temperature's okay and your boot drives registers, then next you enable XMP for Intel boards or DOCP for AMD to make sure your memory is working at the right frequency.

After that checks out, press F10, save, and exit. Then turn the system off.

Real-time strategy: A genre in which the goal is to build refineries very quickly." -- PCgamer

Funny Gaming Truths

Step 13: Clean up your mess

In this step, you'll re-attach your PC panels and do some more cable maintenance to make sure you have a nice tidy system.

This is essential:

Cable management is important for airflow and heat management, so don't neglect this task.

The good thing about it is that you usually only have to worry about it once if done right.

Use your zip ties to bundle cables as you see fit.

Step 14: Say hello to Uncle Bill!

Now it's time to install windows. If you're installing from a USB, you'll need to download the Windows 10 media creation kit on another computer.

Then install Windows 10 onto a USB stick with at least 8 GB of space.

Or:

If you have a windows 10 disk, you can pop it into your installed DVD drive.

After you plug in the USB, fire up your system and go back into your BIOS.

Go into your boot order and select boot from USB as the first option.

If you're using a DVD:

More than likely your system is already set to boot from that first, if not follow the same steps to change the boot order.

Once you've got the Windows 10 installation up and running, just follow the prompts.

You don't have to worry about having a key during the installation process. However, you'll need one after it's installed.

Replay value: A thing no game ever has as much of as it claims to" -- PCgamer

Funny Gaming Truths

Step 15: Desktop maintenance

Once you've completed your Windows installation, go over to your motherboard manufacturer's website.

  • Find your motherboard
  • Download the correct chipset drivers for your system.

For quick installations of some of your favorite programs check out Ninite.

This nifty little tool lets you select all the programs you want to install then just let the program installer do the hard work.

Finally, you also want to visit the website for your graphics card manufacturer and download the latest drivers for your card.

Now get some games installed and rule the world!

As promised here's a comprehensive video guiding you through building a gaming PC step by step.

Experience The Pride Of Building A Gaming PC

Retrogaming: Going back to play games, usually from childhood, and then realizing the controls are rubbish." -- PCgamer

Funny Gaming Truths

Building a gaming PC isn't for everyone.

But if you have what it takes to follow through and learn, you too can reap the indescribable joy of building a gaming PC.

We hope you've found this guide informative and helpful.

We wish you the very best of luck in your future buildPixabay?ChristianaT??? and offer you our applause in advance in honor of your future achievement.

Have you built a gaming PC? How did it turn out? Let us know in the comments!

Featured image via Pixabay

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