Figuring out how to build a PC is still super exciting and worthwhile, even if it’s a bit difficult to find PC components at a decent price now – especially when it comes to the best graphics cards. But, just as ever it’s all a matter of picking out the parts you need to build the best PC you can, and setting aside the time to build a beautiful rig you can be proud of.
But building a PC is a lot of work, and it can be incredibly daunting if you haven’t done it before. So, while there is a lot of pressure out there to pretend that building a gaming PC is a walk in the park, it’s totally ok if you don’t know what you’re doing – we’ve all been there.
Luckily, we here at TechRadar have built dozens of PCs in our time, and we’ve come up with a step-to-step guide on how to build a PC. We’ll walk you through the entire process to make sure you get to a finished machine with as little stress as possible. And, if you have any questions while building your PC, don’t be afraid to reach out to us on Twitter or through email, and we’ll help you through it.
These days, basically everyone needs a decent PC to get through life, but they come in so many shapes and sizes that it’s important to know what you’re trying to build before you even get started.
For instance, if you’re just going to be using your PC to do daily office work – like web browsing or writing up documents – you don’t need to drop thousands of dollars on a fancy gaming rig. Building a PC with something like the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G will get you a quick and responsive PC that will last you years, with enough graphics horsepower to get you through all tasks that most people experience on a day-to-day basis.
However, there are plenty of people that need something with a bit more oomph. Computers are legitimately more powerful now than they’ve ever been, and there’s never been more options to build something that will tear through the best PC games like they were so much paper. But, powerful hardware like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X come at a high price.
Luckily, if you’re on more of a budget, you can get something like an Intel Core i5-11600K and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (if you can find one in stock at a decent price, that is), and have an incredible 1080p gaming machine. And, that will be able to get some video editing done on the side too.
Although a single phillips screwdriver is all you need to construct a PC, you may want a few more things on hand just in case. For example, needle nose pliers or a simple pair of tweezers may come in handy to place screws into tight places or retrieve them.
Zip ties are useful for tidying up all your PC cables and luckily, you most likely won’t have to buy them as they often come included with several different types of computer parts. You’ll also need a pair of side cutters (or just scissors) to cut those said zip ties.
You can’t go wrong with an anti-static wrist strap, either – though you can get away with not having one. Unless you’ve been running around on carpet all day, or have cats, you likely aren’t holding enough static charge to damage the electronics. Just do yourself a favor and discharge any latent electricity by placing your hand on metal, like your PC case or power supply.