What parts do you need to build a gaming computer – 2021 | 10 Steps
Table of Contents
The ability to break down the building process into smaller steps makes it less daunting. Even if you’re new to the game don’t worry about it: no previous experience in building is needed. 1 2 3
The process of building a gaming PC by hand is the only guaranteed way to make sure that your system is able to meet every one of your preferences. If you can determine what connects to your computer from the power supply to you’ll be in a position to play the games you’d like at the speed you desire. Furthermore, a home-built PC will be able to open the door for upgrades – when technology evolves, your gaming preferences and requirements alter, or when your budget will allow.
While building a PC may be intimidating, you may discover that it’s much easier than you imagine, particularly when it’s broken down into easy steps. We’ve put together this comprehensive step-by step guide to creating your first gaming computer that includes helpful tips and tricks from our experienced builders.
PREP 1: PC Build Tools
The first thing to get ready is to make sure you have the tools needed for the building. The preparation of the items below prior to time will go far way to ensure that the building process runs smoothly.
- Workspace. You’ll need a big area for working on like an office table. To avoid an accidental electrostatic discharge (which could damage delicate components) be sure to sit on a non-carpeted surface.
- Screwdrivers. You’ll require the Phillips #2 screwdriver for almost everything. In the event that you are installing one of the M.2 device, you’ll also require an Phillips #0 screwdriver.
Pro-tip Magnetic screwdrivers can keep screws from falling within the case (the magnet’s tip itself is fragile and shouldn’t cause any effect on the components).
PREP 2: Gaming PC Cases
Before you begin deciding on parts, it is recommended to have a case or at the very least the size of your caseto think about.
The most important thing to bear in mind when choosing the right case is where you’re planning to put your computer. The location of your PC’s final home will determine how wide you are able to (or should not) be as well as determine if different top-quality cases with premium features are worth the price. It’s unlikely that you’ll want to buy an tempered glass side panel when the PC is hidden beneath your desk, as an example.
Cases are typically available with three different sizes: Full tower mid-tower and mini-tower. These are fairly general types (case dimensions aren’t standardized between manufacturers) however, they are dependent on the size of motherboards.
PREP 3: Gaming PC Parts
It’s time to put your pieces in place. This could be as hands-on, or as solitary as you’d like. You can research every single component yourself and then create an customized design from the ground up, or get a pre-built build online and modify the design to meet your individual budget and requirements.
We strongly suggest setting the budget prior to selecting items (it’s easy for the shopping for components to be out of control). Be aware that you are able to upgrade components at a later time.
Pro-tip: Create an inventory of the components before making any purchases. All components must be compatible with each different components.
Pro-tip When you’re building this system for the purpose of playing an specific game be sure to check that game’s system specifications and then plan according to the requirements.
Alongside the case you’re in you will also need the following components you will need to construct the gaming PC you want:
- Central Processing Unit (CPU)
- Memory (RAM)
- The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
- The power supply unit (PSU)
- System cooling
- Gaming peripherals
- OS operating system (OS)
Let’s examine the functions of each component and why it’s important, and what you should consider when you shop.
STEP 1: INSTALL CPU
Parts/tools: Motherboard, CPU
Remove the motherboard from its antistatic packaging and place it on the work surface. Locate the CPU socket, which is covered by the protective cap. On one side of the cap or, more often in inside the socket there’s an arrow that is small and note the position of the arrow.
In the vicinity of the CPU socket There’s a tiny lever of steel. The lever should be pressed down and gently pull it towards the side (away of the socket) to unlock to the socket tray.
Remove the CPU from its socket and open it from the packaging. Be cautious while handling the CPUthe CPU as well as the socket of the CPU are highly vulnerable to physical harm. Place the CPU on its edges and never be sure to touch the pins at the side of the chip since your fingers could introduce dust or oil, and don’t touch to the surface of the CPU.
In one corner of the CPU, you’ll see an arrow. Line this arrow up with the arrow on the socket, and gently place the CPU onto the socket. Once the CPU has been gently seated, you can lower the retention lever down and push it back into place. Lowering the lever may require some force, but seating the CPU will not!
STEP 2: (OPTIONAL) INSTALL M.2 SSDs
Tools/parts: Motherboard M.2 SSD Phillips #0 screwdriver user manual for motherboards
If you’re planning to put in your own M.2 SSD, now is an ideal time to do it. The first step is to locate that M.2 slot that is on the motherboard. It’s a tiny horizontal slot that has an extremely small screw running across it. If you don’t see it, or if you discover several M.2 slots or you’re planning to install several M.2 SSD, consult the user’s manual included with the motherboard you purchased.
Take out the screw using an Phillips #0 screwdriver. Don’t lose it.
Then slide it M.2 SSD gently into the slot. Once it’s fully seated it will be able to stand on the motherboard at 35 degrees. Then, push the SSD down and then replace the screw that is tiny to secure it into its place.
STEP 3: INSTALL CPU COOLING
Toolkits/parts: Motherboard, with installed CPU Cooler, CPU thermal paste and the manual for the CPU cooler
There are various types of coolers for CPUs. For precise installation instructions we suggest you refer to the instruction manual that came with your cooler.
Certain coolers require a bracket for mounting. The motherboard could come with a bracket already installed; it is possible to take out the bracket if your cooler does not require one or to replace it in case your cooler has an alternative bracket. This should be done prior to placing the motherboard into the case.
Certain coolers have thermal paste that is pre-applied to the conductive surface (which is located directly on top of the CPU) and certain coolers don’t. If your cooler doesn’t come with thermal paste pre-applied it will be required apply the thermal paste manually prior to seated the cooler. To apply the thermal paste simply squeeze a small dot (no more than one grain) on the middle on the CPU. Then, put the cooler onto the CPU. The pressure will distribute the thermal paste to a sufficient extent.
STEP 4: INSTALL MEMORY (RAM)
Parts/tools: Motherboard RAM User manual for motherboards
Check the number of RAM slots on your motherboard (most have two or four slots). If you’re intending to fill all RAM slots, just snap the RAM in the slot. If you don’t intend to fill all the slots in RAM, refer to the manual of the user to discover the right configuration and fill the RAM slots according to the instructions.
STEP 5: (OPTIONAL) DO A TEST RUN OUTSIDE THE CASE
Tools and parts: Motherboard, with CPU , CPU cooler RAM, GPU, PSU, screwdrivers manual for the motherboard, computer monitor (attached with GPU)
After you’ve installed the CPU and CPU cooler It’s a good idea to conduct a quick check of the components to verify that they’re working. This test can be more difficult to conduct (and troubleshoot) after everything has been placed in the chassis. To accomplish this, install the GPU and connect it with the power source (if you aren’t sure how to connect the GPU check out the section below). Make sure that the power source connects to your motherboard (both CPU 8pin and 24pin) and the GPU, then plug it in and switch it on.
Some motherboards that are more expensive come with power buttons, however the majority of motherboards don’t. If you don’t find the power button, look for those power switchessmall prongs that are dangling from vibrant nodules. The power switch’s pins might be marked (something similar to “PWR_ON”). To turn on the motherboard you need to use a screwdriver press each power switch’s power pin simultaneously.
You’ll now be able to determine if any of your components are not working or are otherwise not functioning. If your motherboard is flashing lights or is beeping it’s probably trying communicate with you about something. Some motherboards come with the post code display (two numbers) for you to determine the cause of the issue. To find out the message it’s trying to convey to you, check the user’s manual. If your motherboard does not have a posts code displays, plug in a monitor with the GPU and check if your system “posts” or starts up and displays the motherboard’s logo.
Once you’re done with the test, switch off the power source and wait for any of the LEDs in the motherboard’s LEDs to turn dark , to make sure there is no remaining power on the system. After that, remove the GPU and disconnect the power cords before going on to the next step.
STEP 6: MOUNT POWER SUPPLY
Parts/tools PSU Case, PSU cables, Phillips #2 screwdriver
Take it out of the PSU (or disconnect it from the other components in the event of an experiment) and place the cables aside (if you’re able to).
Have a look at the case and decide where the PSU is expected to be (probably in the bottom towards at the rear) and the best way it could be positioned. Ideally, you should position the PSU to ensure that the fan is facing outside of the case (via the vent). When your computer has an air vent at the bottom, it is possible to install your PSU on the upside, as that the vent on the bottom is able to receive adequate airflow once the PC is done.
If your case does not have vents, place the PSU in a way that the fan is facing upwards (into it into the box) and be sure that there is enough space.
Connect your PSU on the case with the four screws supplied along with the PSU.
In the event that you’re running a modular or semi-modular power source, now is the time to run the connected cables into the box until they reach where they’ll be (make use of the cable management features when your case comes with these features).
STEP 7: INSTALL MOTHERBOARD
Parts/tools: Case motherboard I/O shield (if not connected on the motherboard) Phillips #2 screwdriver and motherboard user’s manual
If your motherboard comes equipped with an in-built I/O shield — which is a rectangle piece of metal that has cutouts to ports on the motherboard — you’ll need to first snap it into the back of the case (make sure that it’s aligned correctly). I/O shields typically have razor-sharp edges. So be careful with your fingers.
After it is confirmed that the I/O shield is installed it is now time to install the motherboard. Make sure that your cables are all threaded in the right direction and then put in your motherboard (align it with the I/O shield first). With the Phillips #2 screwdriver, place one screw – -the center screwto secure the motherboard securely. Make sure that you don’t pull your motherboard across the standoffs connected on the frame.
There are a variety of screws you’ll require to attach the motherboard can vary depending on the model, but an all-size ATX motherboard will typically require nine screws. Fill in all holes on the screw.
The power source must be connected to the motherboard. There are two connections – an 8-pin connector for the CPU at the top of the board , and one with a 24-pin connector that is on the side.
STEP 8: INSTALL GPU
Tools/parts: Motherboard Phillips #2 screwdriver, GPU and screws, motherboard user’s manual
Look for the PCIe*x16 slot of your motherboard. It’s most extensive PCIe* slot, and could be different in colour than the other. If your motherboard is equipped with several PCIe*x16 slots go through the user’s manual to determine if one slot must be prioritized. If a slot is utilized, you must determine which slot you’ll choose depending on the location of other components are positioned as you’d like that your graphics card to be given breathing space.
Based on the case you have depending on your case, you might need remove the cover for I/O (small metal tabs that block the rear panel of your chassis) to allow for the I/O of your GPU (HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, etc.) and allow it to be accessible to the exterior of your chassis.
Take the GPU from its antistatic packaging. Carefully place it in alignment with the bracket for rear retention as well as the slot, and then gently insert it through the slot for PCIe* (you might hear the click). On the motherboard, there is a PCIe* tab that might be locked when you are required to replace the GPU.
When the GPU is completely seated, attach it to the back of the case by using two or three screws. When your GPU requires additional power connectors then join it with the power source.
STEP 9: INSTALL STORAGE
Toolkits: Parts for the Motherboard HDDs, SSDs and Screwdriver Phillips #2 the user manual for the case or chassis.
The first step is to inspect the case first. Then, look over your. Each case is different in terms of drive bays.
It is likely that you will discover a number of different size bays within your case. They might have small switches made of plastic, in which cases they’re not equipped with tools, or they might look more like brackets made of metal.
Storage is generally available in two sizes: 2.5-inch (HDDs as well SSDs) and 3.5-inch (HDDs). The majority of 3.5-inch bays are able to accommodate 2.5-inch drives but not vice versa (some 3.5-inch bays have trays designed to accommodate 2.5-inch drives, yet they’ll still accommodate 2.5-inch bays). There may be bigger bays in the case. They are designed for larger drives, like optical drives, and generally located in an area in the back of the cabinet towards the top.
If you have bays that are tool-free every bay will come with its own lever made of plastic or switch. Lift or unlock the lever or switch , and you’ll be able to remove the tray. Put the drive in the tray. Some 3.5-inch tray models are made to work with 2.5-inch tray. If so required, you’ll have to connect the 2.5-inch drive into the 3.5-inch tray to ensure it won’t shift around.
Place the tray to the side of the room. It should click in place.
If your case doesn’t come with tools-free bays, you’ll be able to see an iron bracket (it is large and shaped like sheets) and holes or slats. In order to install a drive on any of the “bays,” all you must do is move the drive between the bracket and the sides of the case, and then fix it with screws. Make sure you use the number of screws your guideline for your chassis, but should you not have enough screws, most drives can be used with only two screws.
When your drives are installed Connect them to the motherboard (using an SATA cable which must be included with your motherboard or your drive) and then to the power source.
STEP 10: INSTALL OPERATING SYSTEM
Parts/tools: PC mouse, monitor OS saved to a flash drive
If you’re not yet prepared to install the operating system (OS) on the USB drive this is the time to do it. (See the previous section about operating systems in “PREP 3: Select your components” for more information. )
Connect your USB flash drive, which contains your OS and the mouse, monitor and keyboard. Turn on your computer.
The first screen you will see will prompt that you need to press a key to open into the system set-up or BIOS. Click the button to enter BIOS. (If the screen goes off too fast for you to be able to see the key, refer to the manual of your motherboard’s user.)
The first step is to verify that the components you’ve installed are in place and are recognized. Locate the BIOS page which displays the PC’s system information (different motherboards come with different BIOS configurations however, you should see a screen that shows the details) and then confirm that your system recognizes all the components you’ve installed to date.
Then, explore BIOS until you come across your Boot Page (may be referred to as “Boot Order” or “Boot Priority”). Alter the order of booting so the flash drives are the first and the drive you wish to run an OS onto (if there’s an SSD as boot drive, you’ll need to download the OS there) is the second.
Make sure to restart your system. Your computer will boot up from your USB then the OS installation will show up. Follow the directions to complete the installation.
When you’ve made it way through our step-by-step guide and completed your project (especially when this is the first time)! The build, however, does not have to be finished this point.
The great thing about creating your own gaming computer is that the work will never be finished. As new hardware advancements continue to be made the capacity of a custom-built PC to be customized is virtually infinite, and your personal system can be as current as you’d like, in accordance with your budget and requirements.
If you’re looking at the recommended specifications for the next game you’d like to play, keep these options in your mind. The system you’ve built will be your base for the games to come, and tweaking your equipment is part of the enjoyment of having it.