First-time PC builder’s guideFirst-time PC builder’s guide

Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Arnav Sharma

If you’re looking to build your first PC, this guide will help get you started. We’ll review the basics of picking the right components, putting everything together, and troubleshooting common issues. By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to start gaming, streaming, and doing pretty much anything else your new PC can handle.

What to consider before building

Building your first PC can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little planning and forethought, anyone can put together a great system. Here are a few things to keep in mind when building your first PC.

  • First, decide what you want to use your PC for. Are you a gamer? A power user? A casual user? This will help you determine what kind of components you’ll need. For example, gamers will need a powerful graphics card, while casual users can get away with an integrated graphics solution.
  • Next, take a look at your budget. How much money do you have to spend on this project? Remember that the more money you spend, the better the performance will be. You’ll find that the sweet spot for most builds is between $800-$1500. This amount will get you a solid system with decent performance.

Gathering the right components for a PC

When it comes to building your PC, the most important factor is choosing the right components. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start.

A good starting point is this website: https://pcpartpicker.com/

It’ll help you to explore the parts and compatibility and also select the components.

Here are a few tips for gathering the components you need for your new PC:

Decide what type of PC you want to build. There are three main types of PCs: gaming, workstation, and home theatre. Each type has different requirements in terms of components.

  1. Enclosures: The first thing you’ll need to do is choose a case. There are many different types of cases, from small form-factor cases to full tower cases.
    • Full Tower Case This is a large case that has enough room to hold up to ten hard drives. The power supply can be over 500 watts and often has built-in fans.
    • Mid-Tower Case This is a smaller case that still offers enough room to hold up to five hard drives. The power supply can be up to 300 watts and often has built-in fans.
  2. Choose a CPU that fits your needs. The CPU is the PC’s brain, so it’s important to choose one with enough power for your needs. If you’re planning on doing a lot of video editing or other resource-intensive tasks, you’ll need a more powerful CPU than someone who just wants to surf the web and check email.
  3. The motherboard: A motherboard is one of the most important parts of a computer. It is the main circuit board that everything else in the computer is connected to. It can be very overwhelming for a first-time PC builder to try and figure out which motherboard to buy. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a motherboard.
    • The first thing you need to do is figure out what socket type your CPU uses. This will narrow down the choices of motherboards significantly. Then you need to decide what chipset you want. .
    • The two most common chipsets are Intel and AMD. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. Once you’ve decided on a socket type and chipset, you can start looking at specific models of motherboards.
  4. Storage: Assuming you’re starting with a blank slate, these are the must-have components for a custom PC build. When it comes to storage, there are really only two options: a hard drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD).
    • HDDs are cheaper and have more storage capacity, while SSDs are faster and more reliable. If you can afford it, I recommend getting an SSD for your operating system and programs, and an HDD for your files and media. That way, you’ll get the best of both worlds.
    • If you’re on a budget, however, an HDD is the way to go. Just make sure to get one with at least 1TB of storage space, so you don’t have to worry about running out of room.
  5. Memory: When you are choosing memory for your PC, you need to make sure that it is compatible with your motherboard.
    • The two main types of memory are DDR3 and DDR4.
    • Most motherboards will support one another, but some newer ones support both.
  6. Graphics card: A graphics card is one of the most important parts of a PC, especially if you’re looking to game on it. A good graphics card can make all the difference in image quality and framerate. For first-time PC builders, it’s important to understand the different types of graphics cards and how they perform. T
    • here are two main types of graphics cards: AMD and NVIDIA. Both offer a variety of models at different price points.
    • In general, NVIDIA cards are more expensive but offer better performance, while AMD cards are cheaper but may not perform as well. It’s important to compare benchmarks and reviews before making a decision.
    • When choosing a graphics card, it’s also important to consider the power requirements. Some high-end cards can require up to 500 watts of power!
  7. Cooling: There are a few different ways to cool your PC.
    • The most common is using air cooling, which uses fans to circulate air around the components.
    • You can also use water cooling, which uses water to dissipate heat. Whichever method you choose, make sure you have enough cooling for all of your components.
    • Another important factor in cooling is airflow. Ensure there is enough airflow inside your case so that hot air can escape and cool air can enter. You can achieve this by adding more fans or by using a bigger case. Finally, pay attention to the orientation of your components.
  8. Power supply unit: A power supply unit (PSU) is one of the most important components in a computer. It supplies power to all the other components and ensures that they operate smoothly. Choosing a good PSU is essential for a first-time PC builder.
    • There are two main types of PSU: internal and external. Internal PSUs are installed inside the computer case, while external PSUs are mounted outside the case. External PSUs are more expensive, but they offer more flexibility and easier installation.
    • When choosing a PSU, it is important to consider its wattage, efficiency, and modularity. The wattage rating indicates how much power the PSU can deliver. A higher wattage means that the PSU can power more components or larger ones. Efficiency ratings indicate how much of the power drawn from the wall socket is converted into usable power for the components.
  9. Cables and connectors: Cables and connectors are an important part of any computer build. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to connect your various components. Most of the cables will be supplied with Motherboard or the parent component, but other cables you want to buy could be HDMI or Display Port.

How to assembly your PC components

  • Check your case for any sharp edges
  • Remove all the components from their packaging
  • Place the motherboard in the case
  • Install the CPU and CPU cooler
  • Install the RAM
  • Install the Graphics Card.
  • Install the storage drives
  • Connect the components as per motherboard specs.

Make sure your PC is working properly

Before you do anything else, you should test your PC to make sure everything is working properly. This is especially important if you’re a first-time PC builder. To do this, you’ll need to connect all of your components and turn on your PC. Once it’s on, check that the fans are spinning and that there aren’t any error messages on the screen. Then, open up a few different programs to ensure they work properly. If everything looks good, then you’re ready to start using your new PC!


Q: How do you start to build a pc from scratch?

A: To build a pc from scratch, you’ll first need to gather all the essential components for your pc. This includes selecting a compatible motherboard, processor (CPU), graphics card (GPU), RAM, storage options like an SSD or hard drive (HDD), a power supply, and a suitable pc case. It’s also advisable to have a step-by-step guide or pc building guide at hand, especially if it’s your first build.

Q: What are the core components I need to build a pc?

A: Every pc build requires a motherboard, a processor (CPU), RAM, a storage device (like an M.2 drive or a SATA hard disk drive), a graphics card (if the CPU doesn’t have integrated graphics or for gaming and heavy tasks), a power supply, and a case to house all the components. Depending on your needs, you may also consider additional components like a dedicated sound card, cooling solutions, and more.

Q: How do I install the motherboard into the pc case?

A: To install the motherboard, start by laying down the pc case, ensuring you have ample workspace. Place the motherboard inside the case, aligning the screw holes. Secure the motherboard using the screws provided with the case or the motherboard. Make sure the back of the case lines up with the ports on the motherboard. Always consult the motherboard guide that comes with the board for any specific instructions.

Q: What’s the role of a CPU in a pc build, and how do you install it?

A: The CPU, or central processing unit, acts as the brain of your pc, handling most of the computational tasks. To install the CPU, first, locate the processor socket on the motherboard. Lift the lever, align the pins of the CPU with the socket, and gently place the CPU into the socket. Close the lever to secure it. Remember to apply thermal paste before placing the CPU cooler on top for optimal heat dissipation.

Q: How do you set up storage for your pc build?

A: For storage, you can choose between an SSD (Solid State Drive), HDD (Hard Disk Drive), or both. The M.2 drive is a type of SSD that fits directly into a slot on your motherboard. To install an M.2, slide it into the M.2 slot on the motherboard and secure it with a screw. For SATA drives, connect them to the SATA ports on the motherboard using a SATA cable and secure the drive inside the case. Always ensure your storage devices have good airflow and aren’t cramped.

Q: Can you explain the importance of RAM in a pc and how to install it?

A: RAM (Random Access Memory) temporarily stores data that the CPU uses during operations, allowing for quicker access than fetching it from storage devices. To install RAM, first, locate the RAM slots on the motherboard. Open the latches, align the notch on the RAM module with the notch on the slot, and firmly press down until the latches click into place.

Q: Once the pc is assembled, what’s the next step?

A: After assembling your pc, the next step is to install an operating system (OS) like Windows, Linux, or macOS. Connect your pc to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Power on the pc and boot from the installation media (like a USB drive or DVD). Follow the on-screen prompts to install the OS. After the installation, you can install drivers, software, and start enjoying your custom-built pc.

Q: Is there any beginner’s guide or resources you recommend for building a pc?

A: Absolutely! There are numerous resources available for beginners looking to build a pc. The “ultimate beginner’s guide to pc building” is a great starting point. Many experienced pc builders also share their knowledge on online forums, YouTube channels, and dedicated pc building websites. It’s always a good idea to take your time, research thoroughly, and seek advice when needed.

Q: What’s the role of a graphics card in a pc?

A: The graphics card, also known as a GPU, plays a critical role in rendering images and videos on your monitor. It’s especially important for tasks like gaming, video editing, and 3D modeling where high-resolution graphics and smooth performance are essential. For gaming enthusiasts, building a gaming pc with a powerful graphics card ensures a better gaming experience.

Q: Why is the right cable management essential in a pc build?

A: Proper cable management ensures that your pc has good airflow, which is crucial for optimal cooling. Using the right power cable and making sure you need to plug them into the correct ports is essential. It also makes your build look tidy and makes future upgrades or maintenance easier. Additionally, well-managed cables can prevent any unwanted snags or pulls that might damage components.

Q: What are the advantages of using an SSD over a traditional HDD?

A: An SSD (Solid State Drive) offers faster data access speeds compared to a traditional HDD (Hard Disk Drive). This means quicker boot times, faster application launches, and generally more responsive system performance. If you’re building a modern pc, it’s recommended to have at least one SSD for the operating system and frequently used applications.

Q: Can you explain the difference between M.2 and SATA drives?

A: M.2 and SATA are both interfaces for connecting storage devices. M.2 drives are compact and connect directly to the motherboard, providing faster data transfer rates. SATA drives, on the other hand, use the SATA interface and are typically larger. While M.2 drives are ideal for tasks that require quick data access, SATA drives, especially HDDs, offer more storage at a lower cost.

Q: Why is a CPU cooler necessary, and how does it work?

A: A CPU cooler is essential to dissipate the heat generated by the processor during operations. It ensures that the CPU maintains an optimal temperature, preventing overheating which can lead to decreased performance or damage. Coolers often come with a heatsink and a fan, and in some cases, liquid cooling solutions are used for more efficient cooling.

Q: How do you determine the components for your pc build?

A: Determining the components for your pc depends on your specific needs and budget. If you’re building a gaming pc, you’ll prioritize a powerful graphics card and CPU. For tasks like video editing, ample RAM and storage are essential. It’s always a good idea to consult a motherboard guide and a buying guide to ensure component compatibility and get the best value for your money.

Q: Why is choosing the right operating system crucial for your pc?

A: The operating system (OS) acts as an intermediary between the user and the computer hardware. Choosing the right OS is crucial as it determines software compatibility, user experience, and overall system stability. Whether you’re building a gaming pc or a workstation, selecting an OS that aligns with your needs ensures a smooth computing experience.

Q: Can you provide some insights into building your own pc versus buying a pre-built one?

A: Building your own pc offers the advantage of customization, allowing you to select each component based on your needs. It can also be more cost-effective. On the other hand, buying a pre-built pc saves time and ensures that all components are compatible. For beginners or those not willing to go through the building process, a pre-built system might be more convenient. However, if you’re building your own pc, the experience is rewarding, and you get a deeper understanding of how your computer works.

Q: What is the role of a hard drive in pcs?

A: The hard drive serves as the primary storage device in pcs, holding the operating system, applications, files, and user data. The speed and capacity of the hard drive can greatly affect the performance and storage capabilities of a computer.

Q: How do you correctly install the cpu on the motherboard?

A: To install the CPU, you must first identify the correct orientation by matching the corner markings on the processor and the socket on the motherboard. Open the CPU socket latch, carefully place the CPU into the socket without applying force, and then close the latch. It’s crucial to ensure that no pins are bent during this process. Applying thermal paste and attaching the CPU cooler comes next.

Q: Why is thermal paste essential when setting up a processor?

A: Thermal paste is a compound that improves heat conductivity between the processor and the cooler. It fills in microscopic imperfections on the surfaces, ensuring efficient heat transfer from the CPU to the cooler. This helps keep the processor at optimal temperatures, especially during intensive tasks.

Q: Do you have a guide on how to build your pc?

A: Yes, there are numerous guides on how to build your PC. These guides provide step-by-step instructions, from selecting the right components, preparing your workspace, to the actual assembly process. Following a “guide on how to build” ensures that even beginners can assemble their PCs correctly and safely.

Q: What is the purpose of the PCIE slot on a motherboard?

A: The PCIE (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) slot is an interface on the motherboard used to connect high-speed components like graphics cards, sound cards, and network cards. Depending on the motherboard and its design, there might be multiple PCIE slots of varying sizes to accommodate different types of components.

Q: Why is the power button important in a PC build?

A: The power button is essential as it allows you to turn on or restart your PC. It sends a signal to the power supply to initiate the boot-up process. Ensuring that it’s correctly connected to the motherboard is crucial for the system to function properly.

Q: In what scenarios would having a motherboard guide come in handy?

A: A motherboard guide comes in handy, especially for first-time PC builders. It provides detailed information about the motherboard’s layout, component compatibility, and installation procedures. Additionally, it can be useful for troubleshooting issues, understanding the motherboard’s features, and ensuring you’re connecting components to the right ports or slots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Toggle Dark Mode