Building your own PC can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be a huge headache if you don't know what you're doing. While it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the build, it's important to be aware of some pc building errors that even experienced builders make.
First, we must learn the anatomy of a PC to understand where potential problems may arise. In this PC building beginners guide, we'll go over the types of components that make up a custom PC and the proper setup and installation process. After this, we'll be able to identify the most common PC building mistakes and how to avoid them.
The Anatomy of a PC
Before getting started with our PC building beginners guide, it's important to learn about the different PC hardware components you'll need to assemble in your own pc build. This includes the motherboard, CPU, graphics card, RAM modules, power supply, storage drives, and CPU power connector. Research each piece and decide which components best fit your needs and budget.
A motherboard is the main printed circuit board in a computer. Buying one should also come with a motherboard's manual that provides instructions on installing and configuring a motherboard.
The motherboard is the central component of a PC, connecting all other components. It provides the basic structure for the system, including slots for CPUs, RAM, and other components. The motherboard also acts as a kind of central hub, allowing the components to communicate with one another. It also provides power to the other components, allowing them to function.
Choosing the right motherboard for your build is important, as the wrong choice can affect the system's performance. Read the motherboard's manual for the proper installation instructions if you don't want to risk plugging wires in the wrong motherboard socket. The motherboard also has the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), which is responsible for the booting and loading of the system.
2. Central Processing Unit (CPU)
A CPU, or central processing unit, is the computer's brain responsible for executing commands and calculations. It is an essential component of any PC build, as it is responsible for the system's processing power.
CPUs come in different types and sizes, from single-core to multi-core processors. They also come in different speeds, with higher speeds usually providing better performance.
When choosing a CPU, it is important to consider the type, speed, and system needs. It is also crucial to have compatible cooling for the CPU, as overheating can cause damage to the processor.
3. Random Access Memory (RAM)
Random-access memory, or RAM, is where programs and data are stored while the computer runs. It is important to choose the right RAM for your build and install compatible RAM properly to avoid system instability.
RAM comes in different types and sizes, with DDR4 being the most common for modern PCs. It also comes in different speeds, with higher speeds usually providing better performance.
When choosing RAM, it's important to consider the type, speed, and amount of RAM needed for your system. Having too little RAM can significantly reduce the performance of your system.
4. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
A graphics processing unit (GPU) is responsible for rendering visuals, allowing the use of powerful graphics software and gaming. It is the most power-hungry component in your new PC.
GPUs come in different types, with dedicated and integrated GPUs being the two main types. Dedicated GPUs are more powerful than integrated GPUs, as they have their own dedicated memory and processing power.
When choosing a GPU, it's important to consider the type and performance needed for the system. GPUs also come in different sizes, with larger GPUs providing more power. It is also important to make sure that the GPU has compatible cooling.
5. Power Supply (PSU)
One of the most important things to remember in this PC building beginners guide is the PSU. Generally, a power supply unit (PSU) provides power to the PC's components. Choosing the correct wattage for your build is important, as too little or too much power can cause damage to your components.
PSUs come in different types, most commonly being ATX and SFX form factors. They also come in different wattages, with higher wattages usually providing better performance.
When choosing a PSU, it's important to consider the type, wattage, and the system's needs. It is also important to ensure that the PSU is made from quality components.
6. Storage (HDD/SSD)
Storage is where data is stored for long-term use. Hard drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs) are two types of storage. HDDs are mechanical hard drives that use spinning disks to store data, while SSDs are electronic drives that use flash memory.
Additionally, HDDs are usually cheaper than SSDs but are slower and more prone to failure. SSDs are faster and more reliable, but they are more expensive. When choosing a storage drive, it's important to consider the type, speed, and capacity needed for the system.
7. CPU Coolers
A CPU cooler is a device that cools the CPU, generating proper airflow and preventing it from overheating. CPU coolers come in different types, with the most common being air and liquid coolers. Air coolers use their own fans to push air over the CPU, while liquid coolers use a liquid-filled radiator to dissipate heat.
When choosing a CPU cooler, it's important to consider the type, noise level, and cooling performance needed for the system. Air coolers are usually cheaper than liquid coolers but are often louder and less efficient at cooling.
Common PC Building Mistakes to Avoid
Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, it's important to be aware of the most common mistakes people make when building.
Building your own computer can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also become upsetting and stressful if you have zero knowledge of what you're doing. Taking the time to read this PC building beginners guide can save you time, money, and a lot of stress in the long run.
1. Not Checking Compatibility
Incompatible components can result in issues of poor performance, system instability, and incompatibilities between components in your entire PC. These issues can be difficult and expensive to fix and may require replacing components.
Checking compatibility beforehand can help to ensure that all of your components are compatible and will work together properly. For instance, they might match their motherboard with the incorrect CPU or RAM. If a motherboard and CPU are not compatible, the system will not boot.
Additionally, if you have incompatible hardware, such as if a motherboard is not compatible with a certain type of RAM, the system may not be able to support the RAM, resulting in poor performance.
2. Forgetting the Motherboard I/O Shield Installation
Before installing the motherboard into the case, first-timers should ensure that their motherboard's I/O shield has been installed.
Forgetting to install the motherboard shield will have to take apart all the components to install it or risk unscrewing the motherboard and GPU while everything else is connected. To prevent all this extra work, make sure to install the I/O shield before securing the motherboard in the PC case.
3. Not Checking for Clearance
Though the motherboard and CPU are important parts of PC hardware, you should also pay attention to the sizes of other hardware components.
Checking for clearance is important when building a PC because it ensures that all components fit properly and do not interfere with each other. If clearance is not checked, components may not fit correctly and can cause damage to the components or the PC, as well as reduce the system's stability, performance, and longevity.
Cable management would also be tough if there were not enough room. You don't want your case to be smaller than your components and have them squished against each other.
4. Wrong Installation in the CPU socket
This error may be made by some first-time PC builders who are new to the PC building process. Avoiding too much force when installing your CPU is a common mistake. You must assess how much force to apply because you may risk breaking your CPU socket's pins.
Fortunately, determining where to install and how to place your CPU is very simple. The corners of every processor are marked to indicate which component goes exactly where on the motherboard to avoid locking it in the wrong way. Once you've located the marking, carefully install the processor by aligning it with the marking on the motherboard's CPU socket.
5. Forgetting to Plug-in All the Cables
Forgetting to plug in the cables can cause several problems with a PC build. If the cables are not connected properly, the PC components may not receive the necessary power, leading to poor performance, unexpected shutdowns, and even damage to the components. Additionally, all cables not plugged-in can create a potential hazard for users and cause the PC to be unstable.
6. Not Paying Attention to Cooling
Without proper cooling, all components will run hotter, leading to decreased performance and even hardware damage due to overheating. Additionally, the PC will be louder due to the additional cooling fans running. You can ensure that your PC runs smoothly and quietly by ensuring your PC receives enough cooling.
7. Not Using the Right Thermal Paste
If you are a first-time pc builder, you may wonder how important thermal paste is in your own PC. Thermal paste is an essential component for PC building. It could get pretty messy if you don't take care when installing your thermal paste.
Installation of thermal paste is creative. If you apply liquid metal, too much of it may seep out and damage the surface. Your PC build will overheat if there is an insufficient thermal paste, and you might not even be aware of it.
When putting the thermal paste, it is recommended that you put a drop of thermal paste about the size of a rice grain in the center of the back of your CPU, where it should spread out nicely and evenly in a thin layer.
8. Buying a Low-Quality PSU
One of the common PC building mistakes is buying a low-quality power supply. When it comes to power supplies, there is a difference between spending less money on a low-quality model and a cheap power supply. It's acceptable to spend on an affordable power supply if you have a tight budget and your PC's other components don't require a lot of power.
Not all power supplies are created equal. Buying a low-quality PSU can be prone to failure, leading to expensive repair bills, the risk of damaging components in the system due to static electricity, or even a complete system failure. Low-quality PSUs may also produce more electrical noise than high-quality ones, leading to reduced system stability and performance.
Tips on PC Building Process
As part of this PC building beginners guide, you can take a look at these top three rigs to get you started in gaming right away!
The Corsair One i164 Compact Gaming PC is a small form factor gaming computer that packs a powerful punch. It is powered by an Intel Core i9-9900K processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. The system also includes a 480GB M.2 NVMe SSD and 2TB of HDD storage. The Corsair One i164 is designed to provide an incredible gaming experience with its powerful hardware and small size.
- Intel Core i9-9900K processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU provides excellent performance for gaming and other tasks
- The Corsair One i164 is only 11 liters, making it ideal for gamers who need a powerful PC but don't have a lot of space
- Designed to be easily upgradable, allowing users to add more RAM, storage, and graphics cards
- The Corsair One i164 is one of the most expensive gaming PCs on the market
- Only has two USB 3
- No air filters
The Skytech Shadow AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6GHz Gaming Computer is a powerful gaming PC built for speed and performance. It has a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor and 16GB of RAM, allowing for smooth multitasking and gaming. Also, it features a 500GB NVMe SSD for fast loading times and a Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card for intense gaming visuals.
- 500GB NVMe SSD for fast loading times
- Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card for intense gaming visuals
- Highly configurable, allowing users to customize their gaming experience
- Powerful AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor and 16GB of RAM for smooth multitasking and gaming
- Not as powerful as some of the newer gaming PCs on the market
- It can be expensive for some budgets
The Skytech Blaze II Gaming Computer is a high-performance gaming PC designed to provide users with an immersive gaming experience. It features a powerful Intel Core i5-9400F processor with 6 cores and 4.1GHz speed, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 500GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU. This is also equipped with the latest Windows 10 operating system for added convenience.
- Powerful processor and graphics card for a smooth gaming experience
- Spacious 500GB SSD for storing large games and files
- 16GB of DDR4 RAM for a fast and responsive system
- Windows 10 operating system for added convenience
- Relatively expensive compared to other gaming PCs
- No optical drive for playing physical discs
- SSD issues
Enjoy Your Newly Built PC!
If you are new to PC building, you're probably hesitating to build your own PC. Here are some gaming rigs that you could choose from. The Corsair One i164 Compact Gaming PC, Skytech Shadow AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6GHz Gaming Computer, and Skytech Blaze II Gaming Computer will not disappoint you!
Be sure to check each product on Amazon, or you can also check our selections on our website. Did you find this PC building beginners guide helpful? Let us know in the comments below!