Every DIYer has a creative spirit that always compels them to move towards altering already existing things or creating new ones. Not only is building a PC yourself cheap and fun, but it is also pleasing because you get to customize your creation the way you like it. If you want to build a personal computer and wondering whether it is difficult to handle, keep reading let’s find out if it is or not and know more detail about ‘Is Building A PC Hard?’.
Is Building A PC Hard?
Building a personal computer is not hard because most of the parts come with guides that show you how to install and use them, plus there are lots of well-informed materials online as this article, will show you the step-by-step methods in getting it done successfully.
What do you need to build a PC?
Looking at a pre-built personal computer, it may seem like only special people with the gift of tech and engineering embedded together can build it without prior knowledge; however, this isn’t the case. With the right well-informed guide to follow, the necessary parts, and the right installation tools, you will be on your way to becoming a guru yourself.
Here are what you need to build a PC:
The motherboard is the main part that will allow other parts or components to communicate to make your PC work successfully. Motherboards come in different types, sizes, and configurations, yet serve the same function. The two basic types you can find on the market are the LGA and AM, which supports Intel and AMD chips.
The CPU or processor should be the first thing you decide on before the motherboard; this is because the type you select will influence the motherboard you buy. The CPU is like the powerhouse of your PC that impacts its overall performance and so, it will be best to choose one with a high-performance grade. Intel and AMD have commercial CPUs with different performance levels.
For instance, the Intel Core i9 is the most powerful and most expensive CPU, while the Intel Celeron is the least powerful and least expensive. The Intel Pentium, Core i3, i5, and i7 are in-between these two. For AMD, Ryzen 9 is the most powerful and expensive, while Anthlon is the least powerful and expensive CPU. Ryzen 3 and 5 are in-between them.
So, the more power your activities on the PC will require, the higher CPU you should go for. Note that a high-end CPU will require a premium motherboard because anything less will impair your PC’s performance.
On average, 8GB RAM is fair for home or office uses, but if you are going to be doing so much work that requires high-performance speed, especially for professional tasks, you will need at least 16GB RAM.
Integrated graphics cards are built-in onto CPUs while dedicated graphics cards are connected to the PCIe slot on the motherboard. The graphics card controls the display capability of your PC so, if you do not want a dedicated graphics card, make sure that the CPU you choose has an integrated graphics card and the motherboard has ports for video output.
Your storage can either be Solid State Drive (SSD) or Hard Disk Drive (HDD). While HDDs are cheaper and have large storage capacities, they tend to be slower. SSDs are faster but more expensive and don’t have huge storage space like HDDs.
Pc casing or housing
All these components we discussed need to be packaged and organized in a casing. You need housing that houses your graphics card and motherboard conveniently while allowing for cable management and utmost ventilation. Some optional features you can include on your PC casing are fans, RGB lighting, Front-Panel connectivity ports, dust filters, etc.
Power supply unit (PSU)
This is how you deliver power to the PC. You will find PSU in various forms and sizes, make sure the one you select fits into your PC case.
Fan or cooler
Come CPUs come with built-in fans or cooling systems, but in case yours doesn’t come with one, you can buy it separately and install it.
What factors should you consider when choosing parts for a Personal Computer?
Like with building or creating anything from the scratch, you have to consider several factors and ensure they align with your plans before you start the building process.
Spending much does not mean you will get a high-performance PC so the rule here is not to overspend or underspend. One of the reasons why building your computer is exciting is that it helps you cut down unnecessary costs with a pre-built PC. I understand that you want to build a top-notch computer with high-quality and exceptional performance; nevertheless, it will be best to only spend on the parts that are powerful enough to get the job done for now. Maybe later in the future, you can change them to something more expensive according to your preference. If you are building a PC for daily tasks like internet surfing, typing, etc., $500 will get you great parts. For gaming, $1500 to $200 will do just fine.
You can’t just walk into a computer hardware store and start calling the different parts or selecting them without first finding out if they are compatible with each other. The CPU and motherboard must have matching chipsets or sockets else, they won’t work together. So instead of buying them separately, it will be best to buy a CPU-motherboard combo that already has matching sockets.
Although most modern motherboards support DDR4 RAM, confirm the RAM generation that is compatible with your motherboard because not all are cross-compatible. Thirdly, while modern motherboards have multiple slots for your storage, the older generation may have only a single slot. High-end graphics card needs enough space on the motherboard for upgrades in the future, so you have to ensure your motherboard can handle this.
The CPU impacts the overall performance of your computer. When comparing the performance of different CPU products, use popular benchmark scores, like that of PassMark and Cinebench R15/R20/R23. Also note the difference between their overclock and underclock frequencies, especially if you want to build a gaming PC. Also, compare the versions of the PCI lanes that the CPU supports and its cache capacities. The comparison parameters for CPUs work for GPUs too.
What do you need to build a PC?
- Anti-static equipment to prevent electricity discharge
- Velcro or zip ties to bundle cables together
- A tube of high-quality thermal paste to prevent overheating
- A working PC for troubleshooting in case your newly built computer doesn’t pass the power-on self-test
Before mounting parts, consider the following rules.
- Your first step before assembling the parts is to ensure that your work surface is clean and dust-free. You can use your kitchen countertop or dining table. Arrange all parts and tools neatly on the surface to avoid looking for them.
- Wear an anti-static wristband to prevent the flow of static electricity between hardware.
- Use compressed air to remove dust when installing the parts.
What are the step-by-step guides to building a PC?
Now, assembling the PC parts is where the real work comes in; notwithstanding, once you can find where all cables and sockets connect, it becomes easier. If any step seems unclear to you, you can consult the manual that comes with each component for clearer instructions.
- Take the motherboard out of its plastic wraps and connect the CPU and RAM to their matching notches each. Once you alight the notches to the matching modules, press down hard until you hear a ‘click’ sound.
- Install your storage drive (HDD or SSD) by matching the notches. With SSD, you will have to screw it into place.
- Apply the thermal paste as you mount the fan to the motherboard. Connect the fan’s power cable to the 4-pin CPU Fan Header on the motherboard.
- After mounting the fan, install the motherboard into the PC case or housing. Following the instruction guidebook that comes with the motherboard, notch, and screw accordingly.
- For cable management in the PC case, use Velcro ties to hold all cables together and organize them neatly in the case.
- Connect the PSU and screw it in. Next, install the 8-pin CPU power cable and 24-pin motherboard power cable to the motherboard.
- Locate the PCIe slot on the motherboard and connect your GPU if you are using a dedicated graphics card.
- Boot your computer and install an operating system.
- Congratulations, you have built a working computer.
What will it cost to build a PC?
How much you will spend depends on the parts you want to buy and the type of PC you want to build. An average-performance PC for home and office use will cost between $300 and $500. For gaming and other professional uses, you may spend between $1000 and $2000 or even more.
Should I buy or build a PC?
Building your PC can save you more money and opportune you to customize your PC with the limitless choices of components you have at your disposal. On the downside, it may be stressful for a beginner, especially when testing the compatibility of components. Also, you may experience user error if you mount the wrong parts, which may cause some damage and bring about some extra expenses for you.
On the other hand, buying a pre-built PC may be expensive with lower performance and limited configuration; nevertheless, you won’t have to go through the stress of looking for compatible parts, and setting up is quite easy.
Building a PC is somewhat stressful, but the process isn’t a hard one even for beginners. The real pain comes from buying the right parts and making sure they are compatible. Once sorted out, it gets easier. You may face some unforeseen glitches more than once, but that’s okay. Follow the steps highlighted in the articles and those in the guidebooks of the components you buy and you’ll get it right.
- How long will it take to build a PC?
As a beginner, it will take you between two to four hours.
- Does the motherboard come with a manual that can help me locate the different ports?
Yes, it does. The motherboard manual can be your guide for building a PC as it will show you the various ports where the all components go.