Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to build a gaming PC. The purpose is primarily to help beginners in this field. Other PC users will find helpful advice and solve some doubts. Although it seems that this whole process is too complicated for beginners in practice, it’s not so terrible. You only need to have goodwill and a desire to learn new things.
The pleasure of building a gaming PC yourself from start to finish is priceless, and I believe you will enjoy the whole process. There’s an alternative to getting a prebuilt brand-name gaming PC already assembled for those who don’t have the time, will, and patience. Still, I advise them to read the guide because they may decide to build their configuration another time.
The first thing to build your gaming PC is a list of necessary components:
- Motherboard (often the short name is MB),
- CPU (Central Processing Unit or just processor),
- CPU Cooler (usually comes in the box with CPU),
- Graphics Card (VGA or GPU),
- Memory (RAM),
- Storage Drive (HDD, SSD, or M.2 NVMe SSD)
- Power Supply Unit (PSU),
- Case (Housing),
- Peripherals (DVD writer, Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers, Headphone)
- Operating System (OS) – Windows, Linux
- Drivers for MB, VGA, Chipset, etc.
- Utility programs
In this guide, I used the next hardware:
The following is a brief description of all the essential PC components mentioned above. I recommend reading the following text to understand how each part works and how they are interconnected to create one compact whole called a (gaming) PC.
Motherboard – the basis of how to build a gaming PC
The motherboard connects all PC components (graphics card, processor, RAM, SSD, hard drives) inside the case. When assembling a new PC, the first thing you need to pay attention to is the choice of motherboard. The built-in chipset on it determines all the features and capabilities of the motherboard.
Suppose we define the motherboard as the basis of every PC system. In that case, we can say that the chipset is the basis of every motherboard. It can quickly happen that a motherboard with a better chipset and a worse processor gives better performance than a system with a worse chipset and a better processor.
The chipset is the connection between the CPU and all other system components. It determines the motherboard’s capabilities:
- Bus speed
- Amount and speed of memory (RAM)
- The type of processor installed on the motherboard
We can divide the chipset into northbridge and southbridge. Northbridge is essentially the main component of the motherboard, whose task is to connect the memory (RAM), graphics card, and processor.
SouthBridge is slower than northbridge. The role of southbridge is communication between the processor and input/output devices (USB, printers, etc.) and the hardware on the motherboard that does not require high-speed communication.
Often, one type of southbridge is used in combination with different North Bridges, allowing for more flexibility and cheaper production of motherboards. Manufacturers have begun integrating southbridge and northbridge into one integrated circuit (especially on smaller and cheaper motherboards) to save on the required dimensions and energy.
Motherboards come in several popular formats (dimensions):
- ATX and Micro-ATX go in standard housings (midi or ATX Full Tower), and
- mini-ITX goes in small computers (HTPC)
We can install a mini-ITX motherboard in standard ATX enclosures. The motherboard’s dimensions also determine how much space it has for expansion (RAM slots, PCI slots, SATA connectors, etc.).
Premium motherboard models have an integrated WiFi card and a quality audio chip supporting a 5.1 or 7.1 channel sound system. Suppose your motherboard model doesn’t come with these features. In that case, it remains to install a separate WiFi card in a free PCI slot on the motherboard or USB WiFi adapter.
Motherboards of $ 100 or less will satisfy most (if not more than that) of boards that cost over $ 200.
Before buying a new motherboard, consider whether you need extra features to support it like:
- two or more graphics cards
- multiphase processor power supply for extreme overclocking (OC)
- integrated WiFi chip
- powerful 7.1 audio chip
- RGB lighting
A built-in sound card on most cheaper boards is enough for most users. Get a particular (external or PCI) sound card if you are engaged in sound processing or planning to get a serious sound system.
The Processor (CPU) – the brain of every PC
The processor is a vital component of every computer. It can be said that the central part without which the system will not work, and we can’t build a gaming PC (or any type of PC).
According to pre-written program procedures, the processor manages the entire system. The more expensive the processor, the more frequency it has, the more cores and caches it has, and the faster it performs its tasks. However, suppose a good processor is limited by a cheap motherboard, weak chipset, slow memory, and graphics card. In that case, it will not give the performance you expect.
When handling the processor, we should take care of the pins located in the CPU motherboard slot (Intel chipset – socket 115x) or the processor itself (AMD AM3, AM4 chipset). It’s usually well marked with a pinout and instructions (which come with each processor) on how to place the processor in the slot. If it doesn’t lie properly, no force should be applied, and we should check the pins once again to avoid damage to the processor or motherboard.
Intel and AMD are the two main competitors left on the market in producing processors for desktop computers, laptops, and servers. Both manufacturers have perfected the production process to make very reliable and quality processors, so you won’t go wrong with either of them.
AMD CPU has a slight advantage when building a gaming PC as a budget configuration because it has high-quality integrated solutions with a graphics card.
Choose The Suitable CPU
The fundamental question that every computer user should ask themselves is: for what purpose do I need a PC?
Is it internet surfing, watching movies, office work, severe rendering, or gaming (casual or modern titles)? Perhaps someone is looking for a computer for all this a little bit because they can’t decide now. It’s essential not to overpay the processor to build a gaming PC to throw money at something you don’t need.
In my experience, a good Core i5 processor (even the newer Core i3 with four physical cores) is a better solution for average and undemanding gamers than a Core i7 (i9). The same story goes for the AMD processor range unless you are gaming in 2K (or 4K) resolution on ultra settings or work in CAD and 3D rendering programs requiring raw processor power.
Modern motherboards have the LGA 1151 socket for Intel chipsets. AMD has an AM4 socket, so be careful when choosing the motherboard and processor to be compatible. If you want to overclock your processor, you should pay attention to the choice of the motherboard (not everyone supports advanced options for OC) and the label of the processor itself.
Intel processors with a factory unlocked multiplier for OC have the suffix K in their designation – for example, Intel Core i5-10600K. On the other hand, AMD sells all its new processors with an unlocked multiplier for OC.
Also, suppose you want to work with the OC of your processor. In that case, you should consider the choice of the appropriate aftermarket cooler and thermal paste, the size of the case, and the number of fans. All this affects your processor’s longevity and reliable operation of the entire pc system.
You want to build a gaming PC but must carry about the processor’s cooling because it generates a lot of heat in its work (in addition to the graphics card). The surface between the processor and the cooler isn’t ideally flat. The cooler may not dissipate heat evenly from the processor. We place thermal paste between the processor and the cooler for better heat dissipation.
When you first install a new processor, you will notice a factory-applied thermal paste on the surface of the heatsink that’s sufficient for proper heat dissipation. A factory cooler will not be enough if it’s a more potent example of a processor and a user request for overclocking.
The biggest enemy of the processor and the entire system is undoubtedly heating. Heating can disrupt the reliable operation of the computer (ambient room temperature, small case without ventilation, poor factory cooler, and dust.) Therefore, we must care about the size of the case, the number of installed fans, and proper cabling. All this affects the excellent heat dissipation from the processor and the system.
Choose The Suitable CPU Cooler
For enthusiasts (overclockers) and more reliable processor operation, you can replace the factory cooler with better quality solutions on the market. There’s a large selection of great aftermarket coolers (air-based cooling or water cooling). Still, when choosing, you need to see if they will fit the dimensions in your case.
In addition to the choice of cooler, you should pay attention to the appropriate thermal paste because it can significantly reduce the temperature of the processor and graphics card. We do all this to make the system as reliable as possible and achieve longer service life.
Graphics Card (GPU) – there’s no gaming without it!
A graphics card is crucial if you are an avid gamer or a professional computer user doing video editing or rendering. The primary role of the graphics card is to see the image on the monitor screen. Any integrated graphics card can do this too. If we take a powerful graphics card, the rest of the configuration must follow its projected performance – processor speed, amount and speed of RAM, and storage speed. Otherwise, a bottleneck will represent congestion of the entire system’s performance.
Bottlenecks occur when one component (e.g., a weaker CPU) retains the full potential of another element (e.g., a strong graphics card). There’s a large selection of graphics cards on the market today to build gaming PC. However, we can talk about only two main competitors, AMD and NVIDIA.
Choose The Right Graphics Card
From my many years of experience, I have had minor problems using graphics cards with NVIDIA products. Still, I will not say that AMD is a worse solution. The issues are mainly related to unfinished drivers. Still, as far as I can see in recent years, AMD has been trying to tighten it and minimize the problems.
Also, a big problem in recent years is the availability and price of graphics cards due to the famous mining process. No one can predict how long this will take, so the problem is to get a copy of a new and more powerful graphics card (at an affordable price).
Suppose you somehow get a cheap and used graphics card. In that case, you have to ask yourself if it didn’t happen to work in a mining rig. This graphics card has significantly shortened its service life (although it may still be under warranty).
What if the graphics card is from a mining story?
Beware, mainly, and more prolonged use for mining goes to AMD graphics cards. Signs that the graphics card is from some mining rig can be:
- the fans can be loose and noisy
- the temperature is much higher than recommended (thermal paste has lost its properties or the GPU chip is damaged)
- grease residues on the card due to silicone leaks from the thermal strips.
Also, check the sticker (seal) on the graphics card’s back (usually located on the screws around the graphics chip). The graphics card is probably open and cleaned before selling if the seal is damaged. Thus you will lose any warranty where it’s purchased. Anyway, I can advise strong caution before buying a used graphic card.
I recommend that the graphics card has a 256-bit interface and 4GB of DDR5 video memory for building a gaming PC. This criterion is the optimum for 1080p resolution on the monitor screen and modern games (AMD RX 570 or NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti or higher). Anything beyond 1080p requires more video memory and a powerful GPU (AMD RX 580 8GB DDR5 or higher, NVidia GTX 1060 6GB DDR5 or higher).
System Memory (RAM)
Memory (RAM) stores data while the PC is running. The contents of the system memory are lost when the computer is off (unlike ROM memory in the BIOS).
Modern motherboards usually have one, two, or four slots for installing memory modules. This number of places depends on:
- the built-in chipset on the motherboard,
- the method of production, e.g., MB format (ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini ITX)
- the equipment of the motherboard etc.
RAM is never enough, especially for all modern programs and games. However, you should not overdo it and take more than you need considering the purpose of the computer.
How much RAM is enough?
4 to 8GB is enough for everyday use like internet surfing, office, and multimedia. Suppose you want to build a gaming PC. In that case, the recommended size is 8 to 16GB RAM, and everything beyond that is for professional users and demanding gamers.
Always choose a motherboard with more than one memory slot for future upgrades. See the specification (online or the manual that comes with the motherboard) for a specific model of your motherboard. Read how much RAM and what capacities the memory modules have. Always select the maximum available memory module capacity in a single slot for future upgrades.
For example, if your motherboard has two memory slots and the chipset supports 32GB of memory, insert one 16GB module. You can add another 16GB later when you need it. All newer motherboards, Intel or AMD chipset, support the latest DDR4 memory, so be careful when buying or upgrading not to confuse it with the older DDR2 and DDR3 standards.
Always consult the manual for the specific model of your motherboard.
Storage (HDD vs. SSD vs. M.2 NVMe)
When it comes to storing data on your PC, we have several solutions that depend on your needs. The oldest form of data storage is undoubtedly the hard disk drive (HDD). HDD has survived in almost every configuration thanks to its capacity and price per gigabyte. Today, we use HDD mainly as a backup solution for storing important data, movies, and music.
Also, a common practice is that we install the operating system and other vital applications on a much faster but more expensive SSD (Solid-state drive) than HDD. M.2 NVMe SSDs are faster and replace classic SSDs in building gaming PC. The motherboard must have an M.2 slot to take advantage of the NVMe ( or purchase a special adapter that plugs into a free PCI slot.)
Choose The Proper Storage
Today’s modern configurations have combined disks for data storage: SSD for the operating system and HDD as a backup disk for slower access. You should note that the number of SSDs and the number of HDDs on one computer also depend on the number of SATA ports on the motherboard.
Installing an M.2 SSD drive can shut down several SATA ports on the motherboard, so you need to take care of that detail. You can find this emphasized note in the instructions for the specific model of motherboard that has an M.2 slot. The minimum SSD size for a modern operating system and associated applications is 120GB (without installing modern AAA games).
Since SSD prices are falling to some acceptable level, You should consider installing at least 240GB SSD as the primary drive. Install one or more HDDs as the secondary drive (2TB or higher capacity).
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
The power supply unit (PSU) is an electronic component for desktop computers that provides power for the motherboard, graphics card(s), disks, and optical drives. In short, a power supply unit supplies power for all components in one desktop case. The whole system must work reliably and for a long time.
PSU is one of the most critical elements of any desktop computer, especially for building a gaming PC. Its quality must be taken into account when buying.
80+ (80 Plus) PSU Certificate
This certificate determines the quality and reliability of PSU except for rated power. 80 Plus is a certificate indicating that the PSU is at least 80% efficient at three new loads: 20%, 50%, and 100%. This certificate means that a 600W certified 80 Plus PSU would be pulled from the 750W mains under full load by consuming only 150W for heat dissipation.
There are even stricter 80 Plus certifications, such as 80 Plus Bronze (82%), Silver (85%), Gold (87%), Platinum (90%), and Titanium (92%). Of course, these are all more expensive variants compared to the basic 80 Plus certificate.
Advantages of buying a PSU with an 80 Plus certificate:
- Lower electricity consumption,
- Less heating, and therefore PSU is quieter,
- Lower cost of the air-conditioned room,
- There’s enough room for future expansion
Of course, the average computer user or gamer doesn’t have to take the most expensive 80 Plus Titanium-certified PSU. It’s enough to take the 80 Plus with a bronze certificate for most jobs or game demands. As for the design of the PSU, they can be:
- ordinary (non-modular),
- semi-modular, and
- fully modular.
An ordinary PSU has all the cables permanently connected. You cannot remove unnecessary excess cables. The semi-modular design usually has a permanently attached 24-pin motherboard cable, and you can add other modular cables as needed.
Fully modular doesn’t have any cable fixed. You have the freedom to install the cables essential for the PC configuration. A fully modular PSU is great for cable management in a case.
A modular type of PSU allows better cable management inside the case, better airflow, and better cooling of the components. There are no excess cables that bother you, as with a standard power supply unit.
Choose The Suitable PSU
When choosing the PSU for your case, you can consult one of the power calculators on the net. Alternatively, you can roughly gather the largest consumers and add approximately another 250W to 300W.
Example: AMD RX 580 has a TDP of approximately 185W, Core i5 9600K has a TDP of 95W, and you must add another 300W for other components. (TDP stands for Thermal Design Power, in watts, and refers to the power consumption under maximum load.) The approximately calculated power is about 600W. You can take a little less, but this is a recommendation for this setup, and we leave room for a possible upgrade.
It would be best not to choose a weaker PSU that will work under a load of over 80% for a long time for efficiency. From all the above, the conclusion is that we choose a higher quality PSU with an 80 Plus certificate with room for extra power for future upgrades.
Maybe you want a more robust graphics card, a faster processor with more cores, or to overclock the existing one. Always think ahead about what you could and would like to do in the near or distant future because a little more investment can now pay off in the long run.
We must combine all computer components (motherboard, processor, graphics card, power supply) into a whole. We don’t want them to stand on the table (although some like this variant for experimenting). The housing (or case) serves to place all the above components and complete the system into one whole.
Nowadays, we can choose according to the dimensions, features, and appearance. To build a gaming or any other more powerful PC, the cooling efficiency of the components inside the housing depends on the correct airflow or the correct choice of the case. The most significant heat generators are the graphics card and the processor.
Even the best cooler on a processor or graphics card can’t help you if the case is small, poorly ventilated, and poorly done with cable management. Ensure that pc case has at least one or two fans on the front to suck cold air from the room and that there is at least one fan on the back to blow hot air out of the housing. It’s desirable that the case also has at least one fan on the upper side for expelling warm air outside.
How To Choose A Case?
You may not have enough space to accommodate a full-ATX; then, you have the option of installing a micro ATX board in a smaller case. That’s fine; you can choose more miniature housings with well-placed openings for other fans. These extra fans aren’t expensive.
Fans can be purchased plain or with RGB lighting for those who like it. We usually connect them to the motherboard with 3pin or 4pin connectors. You can change their speed via the motherboard BIOS or the appropriate software for the specific motherboard model.
Do you plan your case on a table next to the monitor or under the table? Please pay attention to the USB ports and audio outputs, whether they are at your fingertips so that you don’t get up or crawl behind the case.
Does the case have space to install water cooling and place the radiator on the back or top? Pay attention to whether the built-in fans on the case interfere with other components inside.
Do you want the case to have RGB lighting that you can turn off if necessary? Consider all of these aspects when deciding on a good gaming case.
In addition to the listed components built into the case, you should also pay attention to other elements that make the computer ready for serious work or gaming:
1. An optical drive (CD, DVD, BlueRay) is unnecessary in the era of large disks and cloud storage. Still, if you have some CDs and DVDs on which you store some data, you need the device to read them from them. I recommend you purchase an external USB DVD burner for this purpose.
2. The monitor is crucial for our eyes. When choosing a monitor, we must consider the following parameters: size, resolution, type of connector, whether NVIDIA G-Sync or AMD FreeSync supports, refresh frequency, and, but not least, monitor design. All of the above affects the monitor’s price but should be chosen wisely according to your needs.
3. The mouse is also one of the most crucial PC peripherals because a severe gamer or CAD user cannot work with an ordinary ”300 dpi” mouse. Also, a quality mouse can already be found for under $ 50, while premium models with numerous features cost several hundred $.
4. The keyboard is usually a neglected computer peripheral because most don’t pay much attention to quality and features. Better models offer quality mechanical keys, backlighting, programmable macro keys, and even an LCD on the keyboard. More advanced users pay attention to these details. Also, you can already find a quality keyboard for under $50.
5. You need speakers or headphones to enjoy the sound from your computer. Gamers prefer quality headphones because of the richer gaming experience. However, most users are satisfied with the integrated speakers in the monitor. Separate speakers can come in various combinations, like 2.0, 2.1, 5.1, or 7.1.
The operating system (OS) is the first software you need when building your gaming PC. The most common operating systems are Windows and Linux. Windows is relatively easy to install, has excellent support, a massive number of applications, and is ideal for gaming.
Linux is for users who want control over all aspects of the system but is harder to install and learn than Windows.
If you are a beginner, I advise you to deal with Windows first. Drivers are programs through which the operating system recognizes all the components installed on your PC. For example, you can’t use your graphics or sound card without a driver.
Windows has a great driver’s database and automatically downloads them to your PC after installation. These primary drivers don’t have advanced settings like drivers from the official manufacturer’s sites. So, I recommend installing the official and latest drivers from the hardware manufacturer’s support pages.
Now that we are familiar with all the necessary parts for building a gaming PC let’s start preparing.
Preparation to build a gaming PC
Good preparation is half the job. Before precisely building a gaming PC, ensure that you have all in your stock ( check the list at the beginning of this guide).
You can well prepare in the following way:
- Provide free workspace on a well-lit desk.
- Place all component boxes near the table but don’t remove them from the original packaging until it’s their turn to install.
- It would be best to have a few Phillips screwdrivers, tweezers, plastic ties, a notch or scalpel, a screwdriver bowl, and an antistatic bracelet from the tools.
- If you don’t have an antistatic bracelet, the floor on which you stand should be laminate or wood. A carpet or other synthetic backing can generate static electricity that can be detrimental to components. Also, before taking the motherboard from the antistatic bag, touch a metal object in the vicinity (radiator or metal chair).
- The motherboard is the first component you need to carefully take out of the box and place on your desk. We do this to place the CPU, CPU cooler, and RAM on the motherboard while everything is still on the table. Place the motherboard on a book of its dimensions or the original box to avoid physical damage.
- Keep the motherboard instructions with you at all times. The guide is handy because it summarizes correctly placing the CPU, RAM, graphics card, etc.
Now that everything is ready, you can assemble the components and build a gaming PC.
Build gaming PC – Action
1 – Prepare tools:
From the tools, you need a few Phillips screwdrivers, tweezers, plastic ties, a notch or scalpel, a screwdriver bowl, and an antistatic bracelet.
If you do not have an antistatic bracelet, the floor on which you stand should be laminate or wood.
If you do not have an antistatic bracelet, the floor on which you stand should be laminate or wood. A carpet or other synthetic backing can generate static electricity that can be detrimental to components. Also, before taking the motherboard from the antistatic bag, touch a metal object in the vicinity (radiator, chair) for electrostatic discarge.
2 – Install processor and RAM in the motherboard:
AMD Ryzen 5 processor for the AM4 socket on the motherboard. In BOX with good Wraith Sealth cooler.
The picture shows the AMD Ryzen 5 processor for the AM4 socket on the motherboard. There is also a good Wraith Sealth cooler in the original packaging with the processor, which is more than enough for everyday work and gaming.
AMD AM4 Wraith Stealth cooler is more than enough for decent cooling.
AMD AM4 Wraith Stealth (come in the box with CPU). Cooler is more than enough for decent cooling.
Carefully remove the processor from its original packaging and look at the arrow mark on his left corner.
Notice that there is a similar arrow on the socket. They must match when you put the processor in the socket.
Place the motherboard on the original box to avoid possible physical damage.
The motherboard is the first component you need to carefully take out of the box and place on your desk. We do this to place the processor, heatsink, and memory on the motherboard while everything is still on the table and easy to assemble. Place the motherboard on the original box to avoid possible physical damage.
Remove the plastic brackets to mount the cooler that comes with the processor.
Remove the plastic brackets to mount the cooler that comes with the processor. These plastic brackets are suitable for other types of cooler. Do not throw them away. Put them in the motherboard box if you want to change the cooler in the future.
Please don't remove the backplate from another side of the motherboard because it must be there for proper mounting.
After removing plastic brackets, you will see four places for mounting the stock cooler. Please don't remove the backplate from another side of the motherboard because it must be there for proper mounting.
Gently lift the lever up on the CPU socket. In this way, the socket is ready to put processor.
Carefully place the processor into a socket. Make sure the arrows on the processor and socket match. Lower the lever so that the processor fits snugly and is fixed in the socket.
It's done. The processor is mounted and fixed in the socket. Now you can place a stock cooler.
If you install a better aftermarket cooler or remove an old one for cleaning, you need to put in a new thermal paste.
If you are setting up a better aftermarket cooler (due to the OC or RGB effect), you need to apply a new thermal paste to the processor. Also, if you decide to take off the old cooler for cleaning after a while, you need to change the thermal paste again. My recommendation is Arctic MX 2 or MX 4. Also, for OC, use Grizzly Kryonaut or a similar thermal paste.
Note that the factory cooler has a thermal paste on its contact surface. In that case, don't apply another thermal paste to the processor.
There are several ways to apply thermal paste to the processor. Still, the easiest way is to put a small amount in the middle of the processor, like in the picture. Note that the factory cooler has a thermal paste on its contact surface. In that case, don't apply another thermal paste to the processor.
Install the stock cooler that comes with the processor. Don't forget to connect the fan cable to the motherboard.
Install the stock cooler that comes with the processor. It is necessary to gently place the cooler over the processor and tighten the four screws through the holes around the motherboard's socket. Don't forget to connect the fan cable to the motherboard. The connector is marked as CPU FAN or a similar name that you know its purpose.
Memory (RAM) comes in packs of one, two, or four memory modules
Memory (RAM) comes in packs of one, two, or four memory modules. In the picture, we have two memory modules of 2x8GB DDR4 declared speed of 3000Mhz.
Memory modules must follow the correct orientation in memory slots determined by the small notch on the bottom of the module.
Memory modules must follow the correct orientation in motherboards memory slots. You won't easily make a mistake if you pay attention to the small notch on the bottom of the memory module contact, determining module direction.
Insert the memory module(s) into the slot(s) on the motherboard. Consult the manual regarding the order in which the memory slots are filled.
3- Install I/O Shield, PSU, motherboard, and storage in case:
The I/O shield comes with a motherboard. Its role is to protect the connectors that will be located behind the case.
When you finish installing the processor, cooler, and memory, it remains to install the I/O shield in the case before putting the motherboard in it. The I/O shield comes with a motherboard. Its role is to protect the connectors that will be located behind the case.
I recommend that you install the PSU first before installing the motherboard.
I recommend that you install the PSU first before installing the motherboard. Nowadays, the most popular PSU position is at the bottom of the case. If the PSU is on top of the case, it can be annoying due to installing water cooling, an aftermarket CPU cooler, and complex cable management. Also, It heats up more.
To install PSU is not a difficult job. Turn around the PSU fan down how will intake cooler air out of the room. Tighten with four screws.
To install PSU is not a difficult job. The advice is to take a semi-modular or fully modular PSU for easier cable management. Turn around the PSU fan down how will intake cooler air out of the room. Tighten with four screws.
Dust filter for PSU to intake fresh air. I recommend cleaning this filter from time to time.
Dust filter for PSU to intake fresh air. I recommend cleaning this filter from time to time. Every two or three months will be enough. Wash in water, dry, and return in his place on the case.
See the layout of the holes on the motherboard. If it doesn't match the bumpers in the case, adjust the bumpers to the holes on the system board.
When installing the PSU, place the case on the back to see the empty interior with the panel bumpers. See the arrangement of the holes on the motherboard. Does the number and arrangement of the bumpers match the holes on the motherboard? If the layout is not good, move the bumpers according to the holes in the motherboard.
Place the motherboard in the case on the bumpers and let the back panel easily enter the I/O shield. Screw the screws into the holes in the motherboard.
Place the motherboard in the case on the bumpers and let the back panel easily enter the I/O shield. When everything sits well, screw the screws into the holes in the motherboard. After this, the motherboard is fixed in the case. Leave the case lying on a table or floor to install internal cables.
These are connectors for the case's front panel (like the power button, reset, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, audio). It's easy to install, every cable is well marked.
These are connectors for the case's front panel (like the power button, reset, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, audio). It's easy to install, every cable is well marked but consults the motherboard manual if you are stuck in the process.
Connect ATX 24 pin cable from PSU on the motherboard socket. Also, connect the CPU 8 pin (or 4 pins) CPU power cable.
Connect ATX 24 pin cable from PSU on the motherboard socket. Also, connect the CPU 8 pin (or 4 pins) power cable near the CPU socket. You cannot mistake the orientation of cables. All are well marked, don't use force.
Tighten SSD with four screws and connect with SATA power cable and SATA data cable. The other end of the SATA data cable connects to the SATA port on the motherboard.
The SSD has a special place for mounting on the case. Usually, at least 2 areas are left for SSD installation, like in the picture. Tighten SSD with four screws and connect with SATA power cable and SATA data cable. The other end of the SATA data cable connects to the SATA port on the motherboard. I prefer to connect the primary boot disk to SATA 0 port.
If you have an M.2 NVMe SSD, look at the mounting slot on the board. I provisory put M.2 SSD for you to see how to mount in the slot.
If you have an M.2 NVMe SSD, look at the mounting slot on the board. Tighten with one screw (come with the motherboard, especially for M.2 SSD). In the picture, I provisory put M.2 SSD for you to see how to mount in the slot.
This picture is an example of a correctly placed M.2 NVMe SSD in the motherboard.
This picture is an example of a correctly placed M.2 NVMe SSD in the motherboard. M.2 SSD comes with varying 30, 42, 60, 80, and 110 mm lengths. The codes for the M.2 SSD sizes contain both the width and length of a particular model. "2280" denotes a module 22 mm wide and 80 mm long. Before you buy, check the motherboard manual to see what model supports.
Some motherboards come with a heatsink for M.2 SSD. Don't hesitate to use a heatsink because M.2 generates a lot of heat in use.
Some motherboards come with a heatsink for M.2 SSD. Like we already know, heat shortens the life of any electronic component inside of the case. Don't hesitate to use a heatsink because M.2 generates a lot of heat in use. On the market, you can find a fine choice of M.2 heatsinks.
On the backside of the case, we see bays for HDD installation. In the picture, this case has two bays for HDD installation.
Put the HDD in a screwless plastic frame like in the picture. Pretty much the same installation is on many modern cases.
Put the HDD in a screwless plastic frame like in the picture. Pretty much the same installation is on many modern cases. It's easy to install comparing the old method with fixed HDD bays and work with screws.
Now, according to the picture HDD is correctly mounted. Another step is to connect the SATA power cable and SATA data cable.
Now, according to the picture HDD is correctly mounted. Another step is to connect the SATA power cable and SATA data cable. You can do it now or after cable management. In this way, HDD is properly seated and connected.
4 – Install Graphics card:
The two red slots on the motherboard shown in the picture serve to insert one or two graphics cards. I recommend for gamers install only one strong graphics card.
The two red slots on the motherboard shown in the picture serve to insert one or two graphics cards. If you only have one graphics card, insert it into the first PCIe slot. Two graphics cards are for AMD Crossfire or Nvidia SLI mode. I recommend for gamers install only one strong graphics card.
The two red slots on the motherboard shown in the picture serve to insert one or two graphics cards. If you only have one graphics card, insert it into the first PCIe slot. Two graphics cards are for AMD Crossfire or Nvidia SLI mode.
I recommend for gamers install only one strong graphics card.
On the picture is AMD RX 570. This mid-range graphics card is enough for comfortable gaming in 1080p resolution.
The figure shows an AMD RX 570 graphics card that requires one 8-pin connector from the PSU. This mid-range graphics card is enough for comfortable gaming in 1080p resolution.
The graphics card can have several video outputs - VGA, DVI, HDMI, and Display Port (DP). You must see what kind of video input is on the monitor.
The graphics card can have several video outputs - VGA, DVI, HDMI, and Display Port (DP). You must see what kind of video input is on the monitor. HDMI and DP beside video signal give audio output to TV or monitor.
As can be seen on this new AOC monitor, we have a good selection of video ports on it. Newer monitors come with multiple HDMI or Display Port ports.
As can be seen on this new AOC monitor, we have a good selection of video ports on it. Newer monitors come with multiple HDMI or Display Port ports. The old D-SUB VGA connector has been left due to compatibility with old graphics cards.
The PCI Express (PCIe) connector on the graphics card plugs into the PCIe x16 slot marked on the motherboard.
The PCI Express (PCIe) connector on the graphics card plugs into the PCIe x16 slot on the motherboard. You can't go wrong with the motherboard slot; it's marked, even in a different colour than the other slots.
Insert the graphics card slowly and gently into the PCIe slot until it is fully seated. Tighten one or two screws to the bracket of the graphics card and chassis.
Insert the graphics card slowly and gently into the PCIe slot until it is fully seated. Tighten one or two screws to the bracket of the graphics card and chassis. Make sure the graphics card cooler does not interfere with SATA ports or cables. If necessary, remove the card and rearrange the cable layout to do not interfere with each other.
Connect the power cable from the PSU to the graphics card. The PCIe power connector is marked in a different colour on the PSU.
Connect the power cable from the PSU to the graphics card. The PCIe power connector is marked in a different colour on the PSU. Also, the pin layout only matches the connector on the graphics card. Hence, you need to consider the power of the graphics card and power supply before purchasing.
5 – Cable management:
Last but not least in PC gaming build is cable management. Each modern case has provided routes for laying the cables of the PSU, fans, and data cables (located on the back of the case). It is essential to do good cable management and thus ensure normal airflow.
Let’s see how does look good cable management from the right side of the case (with removed cover):
And from the left side:
It’s time to turn on the PC when you have connected all the components to have power and do the cable management. Don’t mount the side panels on the chassis.
Place the monitor on a table and connect the cable to the output on the graphics card. Chances are your card has HDMI, Display Port, and DVI outputs. Make sure your monitor has such inputs. Connect the keyboard and mouse to the USB ports on the motherboard.
Each PSU has a 0 and 1 switch. Make sure it’s in position 0 (Zero). Press the switch on PSU on position one (1) and then press the power button on the case. Check inside the case to see if all the fans have started: case fans, CPU Cooler, and graphics card.
You should now hear a sound signal from the motherboard BIOS. If there’s no image on the monitor screen, turn off the computer at PSU in switch position zero (0). Check all connections once more. After correcting the problem, return position one (1) on PSU if everything is OK. Press the power button on the case, and the BIOS image appears on the monitor screen.
The BIOS is a hardware-level operating system located in the ROM chip of the motherboard. For details and BIOS setup, consult the enclosed instructions from your motherboard. For now, you must know a few settings in BIOS to install an operating system and build a gaming PC.
After pressing the power button, you should press the appropriate key on the keyboard (usually DEL) to display the BIOS settings on the monitor screen. Maybe you must quickly press the DEL key several times to enter BIOS. To enter the BIOS, you must sometimes press some of these keys: F1, F2, F9, or F10. That depends on the model of your motherboard.
Suppose your SSD/HDD on which you plan to install the operating system is new or empty (deleted). In that case, BIOS automatically redirects you to the BIOS settings.
How to configure BIOS settings
This screen is an example of the main screen of BIOS.
As You can see, there’s a lot of info about your system—type of installed processor, RAM and in which memory slot is installed, installed storage, etc. Press F2 on the keyboard and go to the classic BIOS screen.
In BIOS, you can navigate by the keyboard’s arrow keys or mouse. We will not go into the detailed BIOS settings now. Still, the goal is to set up your boot disk to install the operating system. Select BIOS from the menu.
Presume your boot device is a USB flash drive with the prepared operating system on him. In the picture above, the USB flash drive is VerbatimSTORE N GO ( your USB flash drive can have a different name). Go to Boot Option #1 and press ENTER.
Choose VerbatimSTORE N Go in the menu as a primary boot device. Press ENTER to confirm. After that, press F10 on the keyboard to save settings. Alternatively, you can go to Save&Exit on the BIOS menu. Confirm changes in BIOS settings, and after that, the PC goes to restart.
Installation of the operating system begins from a USB flash drive. Follow the instructions on the screen of the monitor.
OS preparation and installation
Your operating system may be on a DVD or USB flash drive. If it’s on a DVD, you must have an internal or USB external DVD writer/reader to install. I recommend that your operating system is on a USB flash drive for easier and faster installation. Look here for instructions on preparing a USB flash disk to install the operating system.
Before turning on the computer, insert the USB flash drive with the prepared operating system into a free USB port on the motherboard. In BIOS, set primary boot device USB flash drive. Save the setting in BIOS and reset the PC.
Steps to a successful install the Windows 10 operating system
After You set the primary boot device in BIOS and PC restart, there’s the first picture on the screen like this:
This first screen is pretty clear about what you need to do; select the language, regional settings, and keyboard layout. After that, click on the button Next.
The second screen appears.
Click on the screen button; Install now.
Here you are asked to type in the product key when purchasing a copy of the operating system.
You can skip this and do it later after installing Windows. So click on Skip to the next screen.
Here on this screen, select which version of the operating system you purchased.
Make no mistake because the license for one version doesn’t match the other. Click on Next.
If you have time, read the license agreement. If you cannot wait for the installation to complete, just check the box – I accept the license terms and click Next.
Here you choose the type of installation. Upgrade from an earlier version of Windows or fresh new Install.
We select the option Install Windows only – because our PC is new. Click on Next.
This screen is significant now. We choose which disk we want to install the operating system on this screen.
If your SSD is new and empty, click on its label and the Next button.
The disc label on your computer can be Drive 0, Drive 1, etc. Don’t let that confuse you. You will recognize your disk by size in GB (Total size).
If you have an HDD, it’s shown here. Anyway, commonly, the size of the HDD is much more than SSD.
Wait for the Windows installation to finish. It’s normal for the PC to restart once or twice during OS installation.
On this screen, Windows again ask for a license key. Of course, if you are in a hurry, press Do this later and Next.
Click on the Use Express setting on this screen if you don’t want to customize settings now.
Anyway, you can do this later when finishing the installation.
Since this is your personal computer, please select the I own it option.
You can open a Microsoft account on this screen. If you don’t want to do this now, click on Skip this step and Next.
Finally, enter your user name for the PC. Choose the name you like.
And, this is it. You installed the operating system. Remove USB flash disk with Windows installation.
To enter the license key, click on the Windows sign in the left corner of the screen.
Choose the Settings option.
Click on the Windows isn’t activated. Activate Windows now.
Here’s the final touch of Windows installation. Enter your license key and congratulation on a successful Windows installation.
You can connect to the Internet via a WiFi card or LAN cable. In either case, you need divers for those components. Windows likely has all the necessary drivers in its database. If Windows doesn’t have drivers, look for them on the motherboard DVD. It remains to install the drivers for the motherboard chipset, network (LAN or WiFi), sound card, and graphics card.
When Windows connects to the Internet, it will automatically download all the primary component drivers. Depending on the speed of your internet process can take some time, be patient. I still recommend manually downloading the drivers for your graphics card and all the newer drivers for your devices from the manufacturer’s official website.
If you followed all the written steps, you managed to build your gaming PC. The whole process isn’t complicated. I think the feeling of satisfaction is the first thing that overwhelms you and gives you the strength to continue to explore further in this direction. You build a gaming PC and set up the operating system and all the drivers.
I recommend that you also install an antivirus program. Windows Security, built into the operating system, is enough for some. If we are looking for something better, the recommendation is Avast antivirus. It comes in a free version, and after many years of experience, I have never had a problem with it.
After installing the antivirus program, you can also install several valuable utilities. I use it, and that will make your daily work on your computer easier:
At the end of this tutorial, I hope it clarifies it build your gaming PC without much effort and stress. Before building a gaming PC, look at my recommended configurations that I’ve singled out as attractive for everyone’s pocket.
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if anything isn’t clear.