Here it is. Step El Numero Uno. The first step! Congrats, you are on your way to learning how to build your own Person Computer System. Let’s begin this thing with the basics and go from there.
1. What do you need for a complete PC Build?
It’s hard to build something when you don’t have all the parts. Kinda like making a Pizza without the cheese….I don’t care what kind of pizza you have, you MUST have some cheese to make a complete pizza!
Here are the components for a complete PC build:
- PC Case
- CPU (Central Processing Unit)
- CPU Cooler
- GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
- RAM (Random Access Memory)
- HDD or SSD Storage
- PSU (Power Supply Unit)
- PC Essential Accessories (Mouse, Monitor, and Keyboard)
- OS (Operating System ex: Windows)
This is the list of components you will need for a complete build. Some may argue that the GPU isn’t an absolute necessity for a basic PC build, but that isn’t necessarily truth.
Not only does it help playing games on your PC, it also assists with image modification, video editing, playing higher quality video, and more!
2. Decide Why You Are Building the PC…
Knowing is half the battle. You need to assess your individual needs for this specific computer. Ask yourself questions such as:
- Is it being built for basic internet access?
- Are you using it solely for gaming?
- Low end or high end gaming?
- Is it going to be used for entertainment (DVD, Blue Ray, Etc.)
- Do you care about case size? Is it going in a certain spot which is small?
- Are you using a 1080 display, or do you need 4k?
- Will this be used more for work editing documents, images, and/or video?
- Are you going for an extreme gaming PC with glowing lights and extra power?
- etc. etc. and etc.
These are only a sample of important questions you might ask yourself. The answers will determine what kind of components you need and don’t need. Example, if you only need a basic computer for internet browsing…your PC will be a minimal build with low cost.
Is 4k a must have? You will need the right CPU and GPU to get there. Is it for casual gaming? You don’t need the best of the best. Just enough for 720p or 1080p output on medium settings.
There is an incredible amount of options when it comes to building a PC!
3. Make Sure your PC Components are Compatible!
You know what REALLY sucks?
Spending a bunch of money on parts, then discovering they are not compatible with each other when you go to build…Yikers!
You need to figure out what you want (specific build part guides are coming very soon) and then check if everything is compatible. There are many sites out there which can help with this. For me personally, I have always referred to the website: www.PCPartPicker.com for checking compatibility.
I suggest you start with your case size (Full tower ATX, mid-tower, and mini-ITX, etc) and then work out from there. Make sure the motherboard fits the case your getting, the CPU works with the Motherboard, Etc.
4. Get Your Tools Ready
What tools, you may ask? Mainly a screwdriver BUT there is are more things which come in handy. Here is a list of tools:
- Screwdrivers and nut drivers. You should have, at a minimum, small- and medium-sized Phillips and flat screwdrivers and a 1/4″ nut driver.
- Needle-Nosed Pliers or Forceps.
- Cable Ties.
- Anti-Static Kit.
- Thermal Paste
- Bowl or a Small Container.
Screwdrivers are self explanatory. What about the rest? Lets take a look…
–Needle nose pliers help get in hard to reach places and can be a great help.
–Cable ties are needed to keep it clean inside when you are done building and wires are everywhere.
–Anti-Static kits are recommended for any build. If you want to risk it without these kits you can, as long as you are careful. Ground yourself each time by touching metal (like the case), work on something like a wooden table, and over an area without carpet…but choice is yours!
–Thermal Paste is necessary to help keep the CPU itself cool. You add a small amount (about the size of a grain of rice) right on it before installed the CPU cooler. You will need this in most cases.
–Bowl or small container…which is for the small screws and parts you will be dealing with. They come with most components you are installing, so you don’t want to lose them during installation.
5. Scheduled Time to Focus on Building
Listen…This might sound like it’s not even worth noting, HOWEVER this is an important part of the while thing!
Life is full of distractions. Distractions can be anything from a loved one needing some time with you, or work/school that needs to be finished at the last second. It could be the “internets” setting you off-schedule because you decided to look something up and fell in the rabbit whole that is the World Wide Web.
Plan ahead by following the above steps, which are simply:
- deciding what you need
- making a list of components
- making sure they are compatible
- and getting the right tools for the job
THEN do the next hugely important step which is is planning! Schedule a time on a day off work when you are free to be clear minded and ready to focus on this project. Tell your family and friends what you are doing so they know to leave you alone.
If not, you could become distracted enough to make small mistakes. Small mistakes cost time, and sometimes money. What if you aren’t paying attention and accidentally damage a component? Now you have to wait until a new one arrives (time AND money). It’s just like building any other project be it a car your building, woodshop creation, or something else.
BUT the end result? A beautiful piece of machinery you pieced together with your own hands. A PC more powerful and capable to play games or create and edit anything within your own imagination.
Friggin Awesome Sauce!
Building your own PC opens up doors to your own future. Since you built it yourself, you can upgrade components anytime you want to. It’s your machine, and it’s up-gradable! You are future-proofing your PC, because technology changes so quickly these days…but that doesn’t matter to you Mr. Personal Computer Builder!
I hope this checklist has been a help to you. In the future this post will be updated as new and more specific build instructions are added to the website.
Let me know in the comments what you are building, and any other questions you might have!