How to Build a Gaming PC: The Complete Guide for Beginners
Building your gaming PC can be quite rewarding and enjoyable. However, it also comes with challenges, especially for newbies. Looking at a PC tower and imagining building it yourself can be daunting.
With all the parts, wires, and connections that make the task look very complicated, you’ll be surprised to learn that building your gaming PC isn’t as complicated as you think.
This article is written specifically for beginners to help them easily build their gaming PC. You’ll learn about a gaming PC’s tools, different parts, and components and how to build one.
Tools You’ll Need
For most of this task, you’ll use a Phillips screwdriver. Here are the different tools you need to build a gaming PC.
- No. 0, No. 1, and No. 2 Phillips Screwdriver
- Thermal Paste
- Cable ties
- USB Flash Drive (if you plan on installing the OS yourself)
Parts of a Gaming PC
Before building your gaming PC, ensure you have ready and available parts. Each of these parts should be working and compatible with each other.
- The central processing unit (CPU)
- Graphics processing unit (GPU)
- Memory (RAM)
- power supply unit (PSU)
- System cooling
- Gaming peripherals
- Operating system (OS)
How to Build a Gaming PC
You must follow several steps to build your own gaming PC without any hassle. That’s why you must ensure that you do or have these preparations.
- Build your PC on a flat surface.
- Touch your metal case frequently to ground yourself.
- Work in a well-lit environment.
Step 1: Prepare your Motherboard
The motherboard is an essential part of any PC where all components are connected to work and function properly. Place your motherboard on a flat work surface.
The goal is to install as many components as possible before placing your motherboard inside your case. Each component has a specific port on the motherboard. Check your manual for instructions.
Step 2: Install the CPU
The CPU is the first part you’ll install on the motherboard and is very easy. Simply locate your motherboard’s CPU socket and open it by pushing down the metal arm and exposing the socket.
The CPU will have indents and holes that fill the motherboard CPU socket, allowing you to install it properly.
Once you figure out the CPU’s position, place it gently, close the tray, and lock the metal arm. Do this step with extra caution.
Step 3: Install an M.2 SSD
This is the best time to install your M.2 SSDs. First, look at your motherboard manual for the location of the M.2 SSD slots. It’s usually a small horizontal slot with screws on each side. Remove the screws using a screwdriver and install your SSD.
Step 4: Install the CPU Cooler.
The cooler goes above the CPU, and motherboards may have a mounting bracket pre-installed. If your cooler doesn’t require a bracket, you may remove the bracket from your board. Otherwise, installing your CPU cooler is pretty straightforward.
One of the most important things you should have for your CPU is proper heat dissipation; this is where you’ll need a heatsink. Some coolers come with pre-applied thermal paste, but if yours doesn’t, you must apply the paste to the CPU’s conductive material.
Squeeze a small dot of thermal paste on the CPU and place your CPU cooler gently so that the pressure spreads the paste evenly. Screw your cooler into place.
Step 5: Install the RAM.
RAM slots can be easily identified by their long slots and locks, usually clustered together in one board area. To install your RAM, open the slot locks and place your RAM correctly.
Once you find the proper placement, press down on both sides of the RAM and lock it.
Step 6: Prepare Your Case and Install the Motherboard
Place your PC case flat on the table, and now it’s time to install the motherboard. The standoffs will make it easy for you to identify the proper placement of the boar inside the case.
However, you must ensure that the I/O ports fit correctly on the back of your case. It is a rectangular space located at the back of your PC case.
Once placed properly, this is where your motherboard’s I/O ports will be exposed, allowing easy access.
Step 7: Connect the Power Supply
This component will provide power for your PC parts to turn on. It is usually located at the bottom of most modern gaming PC cases. Refer to your case’s manual if you can’t find the PSU bracket.
The power supply will have a fan for cooling. The optimal position for PSU health is with the fan placed toward a vent. Put your power supply on the case’s mounting bracket and screw it into place.
Step 8: Connect the SATA SSD or HDD
Now, it’s time for your storage devices. Most modern cases have a bay area dedicated to these drives. These are usually located near the power supply and have two metal clamps where you can insert your SSD or HDD.
Put them inside and screw your drives in place. After that, plug the SATA and PSU cables into the motherboard and power supply.
Step 9: Connect everything to your power supply.
Now it’s time to plug your PC parts into the power supply. Again, this can be quite complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. But if you refer to your motherboard, case manuals, and YouTube videos, you can do this task effortlessly.
You’ll have to plug in all of your parts into the PSU, including the motherboard, cooling system, fans, and SATA drives.
Step 10: Install your fans.
Airflow is essential to keeping your gaming PC at maximum health and performance. PC cases have mounts for fans. All you have to do is screw them into place and connect the fans to your motherboard. The best way to maximize air cooling is with proper airflow.
Step 11: Cable Management
This step is essential to making your build look as clean as possible. Most modern PC cases have a hidden compartment reserved for cable management. Use cable ties to organize your cables easily. Refer to your case manual for this part.
Step 12: Install the Graphics Card
You can install your graphics card if your CPU isn’t a strangling mess. Unscrew and remove the needed expansion slot inserts from the back of your case, and place your graphics card properly on the PCIe express slot. Press down until you hear a click, and screw your graphics card into the bracket.
Congratulations on completing your first PC build!
Pat yourself on the back because you have finished building your first gaming PC. If you have followed every step correctly, all that’s left to do is install the OS and set up the software, and you’re good to go. With a bit of research and self-education, even a colossally perplexing task like PC building can be made easy and quick.