Motherboard: MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Parts used: PC case, motherboard I/O shield. This step is super easy, and it can be done now, much earlier in the build (eg, before installing the motherboard into the case), or even later. The CPU routes instructions from one system in your computer to another. There are literally thousands of possible components; where do you even start? As such: I need a computer that can run the latest games smoothly, but I don’t necessarily need to crank everything up to 8K resolution and 120 frames per second. Now lay the case flat on your table so that the main cavity faces up. Thank you for signing up to Tom's Guide. The challenge: Build the best gaming PC possible for under a grand. To help you make this important choice, let's look at the pros and cons and then price out what it costs, as of today, to buy or build your own budget, mid-range and high-end gaming rig. The best gaming PCs have a reputation for being really expensive, with extremely high-end systems setting you back thousands of dollars to buy or build. Snap the I/O shield into place. The tabs will click into place when the sticks are fully inserted. It helps to get a power supply with cables that are long enough to reach the desired location with some additional leeway. small but mighty.....and the gods witnessed the awe of the great sun move across the sky and from its wake came a whisper, “of fools who thought so little of my power their time will deaden in the coming darkness I will bring... Read More. Dispel any built-up bodily charge by touching a grounded metal object before you touch sensitive PC components. (There are also mini- and microATX motherboards, and you can do some very cool things with them, but they can be expensive and difficult to put together.) But if you get a truly enormous power supply, you’ll be spending a lot of money for power that you never use, so that’s not necessarily the best strategy, either. They're usually located on the right side of the board, conveniently close to a cable management opening. CyberPowerPC is a global leader of custom gaming pcs, custom gaming laptops, small form factor pcs, desktop workstations, 4K Gaming systems, and Syber Gaming consoles. With a little jiggling, you'll likely have a working PC. Do this in an 'X' pattern, partially tightening the screws first and then fully tightening once all the screws/bolts are in place. There's much more to come, and it's all being made possible by Razer, which stepped up to support this months-long project. There are plenty of good guides out there, particularly from our sister sites like PC Gamer and Tom’s Hardware. Furthermore, overclocking draws more electricity, which might have required a bigger, more expensive power supply. We’ll have a better idea of where this one excels and falls short in a few weeks. You can also check your motherboard for the appropriate holes, which are usually surrounded by small metal dots. Obviously, you don’t want to spend $1,500 on a $1,000 concept, but don’t throw the whole build out if it comes to $1,050. We have a fully modular PSU, so we'll need the primary 24-pin ATX connector and the secondary 8-pin EPS12V connector for the motherboard, one PCIe cable with two 8-pin PEG connectors, plus any SATA/Molex cables for fans and storage. Parts used: PC case, motherboard, graphics card, power supply. When it's slotted in, re-insert the thumbscrews you just took out to keep the graphics card strongly locked into place. Click to customize by processor, graphics card, and more! Either way, you'll want the appropriate standoffs screwed into the correct holes. If you ever get confused about what goes where, the labels on this page should help you sort it out. The best-case scenario is overheating your components and burning them out well before their expected lifespan. A common meme in PC-building communities is a power supply as a ticking time bomb. But due to the pandemic, I’ve been working from home for the last few months, and the old workhorse isn’t cutting it anymore. Remember: You can’t just buy the first seven parts you see and expect them all to fit together. Depending on how much power your card needs, you might need to use a single 6-pin or 8-pin connection (use the extra 2-pin attachment that fits snugly against the 6-pins), or some graphics cards will need up to two 8-pin connections. The latter is only a little more expensive, but you can overclock it — a huge boon for a gaming PC. But before you do that, or modular power supplies, it's a good idea to attach the appropriate cables. Even if you love fast SSD storage, it's not a bad idea to add a 4TB or larger HDD for mass storage and backup purposes. This is often the trickiest step for first-time PC builders. The first step to building a gaming PC is selecting the right components. 2. The power, reset, and LED connections are more difficult, because they are tiny and you need to match the appropriate power and ground connectors to the correct pins. Nearly every new genre, like battle royale, got its start on the PC. On Amazon. New York, Zak Storey I also need something that will be at least as powerful as the PS5 and Xbox Series X, in case I need to compare games across platforms. To check compatibility with the parts you’ve selected, look at the “Specs” section on a given motherboard (every site should have something like this), and ensure that all the inputs match up. The other two cards would have eaten up too much of the cost. Power supply: Possibly the least interesting and most vital piece of the PC puzzle, the power supply is exactly what it sounds like: It gets electricity from an outlet to individual systems in your computer. Custom Gaming PC and Desktop Computers built on Windows 10 Home by iBUYPOWER®. So you’ve decided to go all out… You’re … You could theoretically save a lot of money by going with no-name storage, RAM or power supplies. Enjoy your new gaming PC and take pride in the fact that you assembled it yourself! Then make sure the power switch on the back of the PSU is in the on position and press the case's power button. If you're using a standard ATX motherboard, there should be nine standoffs, potentially pre-installed. Our case has multiple 3.5/2.5-inch storage trays, which can be used with HDDs or SSDs. Find the first x16 PCIe slot on your motherboard—the long slot closest to the CPU socket—and remove the expansion slot cover plates to the left of it. Seriously, putting together your PC isn't much tougher than putting together a model kit or a big Lego set. Personally, I need to build a new machine because my current gaming rig is 10 years old. Examine your case. My personal favorite is Micro Center, especially if you have one of these electronics meccas near you. Orient it so that the I/O ports line up properly with the I/O shield, then lower the motherboard until it's resting on the standoffs. You can do it later, but with the board out in the open it makes dealing with the small, sometimes fiddly screws much easier. Alternatively, consult Reddit or Tom’s Hardware, both of which have “critique my build” options in their forums. Depending on your case, you might not have a lot of extra space behind the motherboard tray, in which case you want the cables to lie flat if possible—no big clusters or the side panel won't go back on (this is a potential issue with the H440 case). All cases will have a power switch at a minimum, and most include a reset switch as well as LEDs for power and storage activity. Don't worry about pressing too hard—it takes some pressure. Visit our corporate site. When you determine everything that goes into your PC from the power supply up, you know that you'll be able to play the games you want at the frame rates you want. Many motherboards include an M.2 slot cooler, though they're not really required. A lot of cases and power supplies include one or more of those, so you shouldn't need any extra bits. While it’s possible to do an “open-air” build, a case is probably a better choice for keeping dust out and components sheltered. As the holiday season brings a lot of discounts on electronics, it is the best time to build your own custom PC. To install the I/O shield on the case, first orient it correctly in relation to the motherboard, then fit it into the rectangular slot at the back of the case. If you see the BIOS screen pop up on the monitor, that's even better. Selecting a case is mostly a matter of looks. With regular maintenance, one of these systems could last five years — with regular upgrades, maybe ten. How to build a gaming PC Starting from scratch? If the CPU is the brains of your new PC, the motherboard is the … we should do any article? You will receive a verification email shortly. Custom PC: How to Choose. Another point of disagreement among the TG staff was whether to buy a large SSD, or a small SSD for Windows and a large HDD for game storage. After doing some research, I found that $1,500 tends to be the sweet spot for a PC that’s powerful, but not quite top-of-the-line. But I’ll also discuss my thought process behind each part, and what tradeoffs I was willing to make. It’s harder than it sounds, but truthfully, this is a skill you’ll have to develop if you want to build a PC. While the 10700 comes with its own cooling unit, the 10700K doesn’t, and a good cooling system would tack another $100 or so onto the price. It's worth mentioning that at the time of writing, the RTX 3070 is still a few weeks away from release, and it's probably going to sell out quite fast. Data SSD: Intel 760p 2TB The Kraken X62 comes with a circle of thermal paste already in place, and we've found it works fine. In the market for a new gaming PC? These are the parts you need to go from a pile of hardware to a functioning PC. By Mat Paget on August 31, 2020 at 2:00PM PDT 10 Comments If you but a single large M.2 SSD, you could completely omit this step, but we included an extra SATA SSD in our build video for reference. Bigger drives mean more storage space, which means more room for files, games, media and so forth. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? To oversimplify things considerably, RAM is where your computer stores information it needs to access right away. And how can you make sense of the hundreds of different tech specs between the half-a-dozen different pieces you’ll need? It could be an issue common to your motherboard, so you can try searching for the error message plus the name of your motherboard. Depending on your CPU cooler, it may already come with thermal paste applied, but if you want to use a different thermal paste, you should remove any pre-applied paste. If your case has a vent at the bottom, you can orient that fan down to pull in cool air from below the case. Read this first. If you get nothing at all—no lights or beeps or moving fans—the most likely cause is a loose on improperly connected cable. It's generally best practice to configure your cooling to provide positive air pressure—meaning, more fans pulling air into the case than fans exhausting from the case. Thanks, Razer! Our case has a mounting bracket that we first screw into the power supply, and then the power supply slides into the back of the case. No offense, but are you pulling off one of those "just buy it" Tom's Hardware pulled off recently and went super well for them? It will tell you which ports belong to the motherboard chipset (we recommend using those) versus a third-party SATA controller. Find the motherboard standoffs—these are often gold, and the bottom halves of the standoffs are threaded, while the top halves are screw holes that you'll be screwing the motherboard into. We've compiled a list of parts for building a high-end gaming PC that'll handle most PC games at high frame rates. I also knew I wanted a motherboard with Wi-Fi built in, since my computer desk is far from my router. Powered by NVIDIA or AMD graphics, configure your Xidax PC online today custom-built in the USA. Please refresh the page and try again. Intel Core i5-10600K; Parametric Video Card (Chipset: GeForce RTX 3070) Corsair 4000D Airflow ATX … Once you find the gear you need, you can bargain hunt at Amazon, Best Buy and other big electronics retailers. Pre-built gaming PCs have come a long way, and building a PC just isn't for everyone, so here are the best machines you can snag right now. My strategy was to choose my GPU and CPU first, then find a motherboard that would support them both. That's right – you … Our dedication to high quality gaming pcs … For around $500, you can build a brand new gaming PC that has a recent-generation Intel Core i3 processor, Nvidia’s entry-level GTX 1650 graphics and 512GB of speedy solid-state storage. You'll also want good lighting, and maybe even a flashlight (your smartphone can probably suffice). If you absolutely, positively have to build something now, you could go with the older Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 series, which is currently dropping in price, or the similarly powerful AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT. You can get between 16 GB and 128 GB of memory, and between 3000 and 4800 MHz of speed. Installing the waterblock is pretty easy once you've got the mounting bracket and fans in place: just place it over the CPU and tighten the four thumbscrews. Look at the CPU and match the arrow on the bottom-left corner of the chip with the bottom corner of the socket. Case: NZXT H440 Razer Edition. There should be a wad of cables somewhere inside the case, including any included fans, USB, and audio ports. If you're yet to choose one, here's our guide to the best CPUs for gaming. Parts used: PC case, SATA HDD/SSD, SATA power and data cables. The first big choice you’ll have to make is between Nvidia and AMD, each of which produces high-end graphics cards. We have a second, larger M.2 drive for mass storage, which is admittedly overkill for most builds. From gearing up for competitive gameplay to optimizing your gaming PC with overclocking software, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your new PC. There was a problem. Now that we have the power supply installed, it's time to connect the other ends of several of the cables: you need to supply power to the motherboard, parts of the case, and later your graphics card. Before you do, you should see if your computer is working as intended. Open your motherboard manual to the diagram page that shows a layout of the motherboard. The slots are sometimes color coordinated, but on most modern boards you'll want to install two sticks into slots 2 and 4. Excellent Intel Gaming/Streaming Build. NY 10036. The EPS12V cable goes to the top-left of our system, where there's a small cutout, and because we're using a larger AIO cooler we need to connect that first. Note: our original build featured an MSI GTX 1080 X, however that card has since been discontinued and is now much more expensive than it should be. There are usually multiple connections from the case to the motherboard, and the number and type of cable as well as where these connect on the motherboard varies. And they’re not wrong: If there is one component you really, really don’t want to mess up, it’s this one. Our particular case has a built-in fan controller hub with pre-wired fans on the front of the case. The better the processor, the faster it can transmit information for both software and hardware functions. You can also use an 'X' or a line about the size of a grain of rice. Modern motherboards allow updating the BIOS from within the BIOS screen, which is much easier than the old boot disks of yesteryear. Obviously, Newegg is just one place to shop. If everything worked properly up to this point, the final steps are to check for an updated motherboard BIOS. All that's left is to feed it power. Once the motherboard is in place, install and tighten the screws down—and don't overtighten, just tight enough that things are secure. Processor, or CPU: More so than any other component, the CPU (central processing unit) is what makes your computer run. By Power supply: EVGA SuperNova 750 G3 Higher numbers are generally better, but not every system can leverage higher RAM speeds perfectly, so don’t sweat it too much. Double check that everything is plugged in where it needs to be, especially the front panel power switch wire. It's … OS SSD: Samsung 970 Evo 500GB A high-priced powerhouse to last the ages? … Whether you need a gaming rig that'll handle games at decent settings with a Full HD monitor or a beast of a machine with expensive hardware for 4K entertainment, NZXT can build it for you. Because I had a $1,500 budget in mind, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 was the natural choice. To take them off, simply unscrew the thumbscrews and slide them out. A beautifully balanced design for serious PC enthusiasts. With your graphics card fully powered, you're ready to game. Memory, or RAM: RAM (random access memory) determines how much data your computer can process at any given moment. Plug in the system and attach a monitor (make sure you plug the monitor cable into the video card) and a keyboard, the bare essentials for seeing if the system will boot. As such, our final build may have slightly different components, depending on what they have available. © Receive news and offers from our other brands? Shop 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ Desktop & Gaming PCs. As noted above, the Kraken X62 we're using blocks access to the EPS12V connector on the motherboard, so we had to connect that before installing the radiator. One of the more time-consuming parts of assembling any build is the process of installing your CPU cooler. On the next page, we've compiled some advanced building tips and troubleshooting advice. You'll then need to use the case thumbscrews to secure the mounting bracket to the case. If you get any kind of error message here that doesn't immediately make sense, Google's probably your best resource. So every time something new is coming out. Do you pick a GPU and build around it? No knowledge of computer hardware is required, simply select your favorite games and define your budget to view a list of gaming PCs. If in any doubt, here's the best RAM for gaming right now. The Kraken X62 has multiple connections: two for the fans that we've routed behind the motherboard, one for the motherboard's CPU fan header (so that your motherboard knows the CPU is being cooled), one USB 2.0 connector for the motherboard (this allows control of the fan speeds via software in Windows), and one SATA power connector that powers the pump as well as the fans. Use the first M.2 slot if there are multiple options for you OS drive. Open your CPU box and take the processor out. Thread them through one of the cable management openings into the main case cavity and plug them into the SATA data ports on the motherboard. Route the fat 24-pin ATX cable to the appropriate area in your case, using space behind the motherboard tray if possible. Wes Fenlon, For most cases, opening it is as simple as undoing the thumbscrews at the back of the case that hold the panels in place, and then removing them. Easy PC Builder makes building a gaming PC simple, efficient, and budget-friendly. (Building a Linux machine is a whole different can of worms; let’s just say that Windows 10 is the best gaming platform for most users.). More powerful GPUs facilitate better in-game graphics and settings. Graphics card: MSI GeForce RTX 2070 The CPU fits into the socket, and you don't need to press down to force it into place. See the big fan on top of your power supply? Parts used: PC case, motherboard I/O shield. Parts used: PC case, motherboard standoff screws, motherboard. Tom's Guide is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. When it comes to build a PC the users have to work hard due to lack of knowledge about the various PC components and in the end, many of us just get compromised with some low build component. Still, building a PC can be a daunting process, particularly for newcomers. Your build will likely differ slightly, and depending on component choices you might need to rearrange a few steps, but the process is mostly universal, and the end result should look and function similarly: Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K The cables from the case should have a small triangle on the positive connector, or if you have white and colored cables, the white cables are for ground ('negative') and the colored cables are positive. A quality gaming rig lasts longer than a smartphone, boasts more power than a gaming console, and is infinitely more versatile than even the most powerful streaming box. Got it? Depending on how you build your machine, the motherboard may be either the first or last component you choose. But we're here to help. Generally speaking, more memory is better than less, so I went with 32 GB — twice what the PS5 and Xbox Series X will offer. NY 10036. Your case should've come with a box or bag full of screws, zip-ties, and other odds and ends you'll use for installation. You can use either a small socket wrench that fits the standoffs, or some cases come with a 'standoff installer' that you can use with a screwdriver. Visit our corporate site. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Before I built my first PC, even these guides would have been a little daunting. But now, with the availability of BuildMyPC, the users can easily build their dream PC with just a little bit of knowledge, without … The more RAM you have, the more efficiently your computer can process lots of information — helpful for productivity; essential for games. Check out our comprehensive article on building a gaming PC, and watch the video below to see how we install each component. Then press the RAM sticks firmly into the slots. If you have any concerns, try Newegg’s PC Builder tool, which helps ensure compatibility. god of war. This is less of a guide as a shopping list of what you bought. (Note that some cases have built-in standoffs that allow you to skip this step.) After the SATA data cable comes the SATA power cable. Seems to focus more on the "why" for a singular, personal scenario. Other cases may give you an inch or so of clearance, and if so you should have no issues getting the sides on. All of them should work fine, but refer to your motherboard manual for information on the SATA controller. Naturally, higher memory levels and speed cost more money. Here are our recommendations for building a budget gaming PC for around $1,000. Like RDNA2 is coming soon and Zen3 is coming soon. Memory: G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB DDR4-3200 Don't completely close your case just yet. You'll want to refer to your specific motherboard manual here. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, Cyber Monday 2020: the best PC gaming deals still available today, Bungie boss says the studio has been working on new games for three years, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices. CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62 If you're unsure, here are the best SSDs for gaming right now. CyberPowerPC makes choosing your next gaming system easy with numerous configurations at price points for shoppers to click and buy with our new Instant Ship Gaming PCs … Now is also a good time to find the correct screws for the standoffs that will hold the motherboard in place. I was actually hoping for something a little cheaper than the Corsair 4000D Tempered Glass case, but it was the least expensive case I could find that also had a USB-C input on the front. It's important to note that this price doesn't account for the operating system or any required peripherals. 02 April 2019. To finish the installation, simply lower the socket covering and push the lever arm back into place. The pros and cons of each is probably worth its own article, but in my own PC builds, I’ve had good luck with Nvidia and bad luck with AMD, and going with brands you trust is one of the best strategies in this process. We know it can be daunting to know what to pack into a new machine, however, so we have regularly updated gaming PC build guide to give you the low-down on what the best parts are to put into your new machine. Don’t forget that you’ll also need a copy of Windows 10 — which can be very expensive or free, depending on what sort of software you already have on hand. Build your dream gaming PC with iBUYPOWER. You'll have to press it firmly into the slot from within the case; they can be finicky to install, and the edges are sharp, so watch your fingers. This page will tell you which RAM slots are the ideal slots to use based on how many sticks you have. But that’s the beauty of building a PC: No two are alike, and every one has pros and cons. You'll need to do this from a different PC and download the appropriate file to a USB stick. Like any creative project, the hardest part about building a PC is getting started. The first part of this step is easy. If you're using an M.2 SSD, which we like to do—both to remove a couple of cables from our completed build as well as for performance reasons, now is also a good time to take care of that. Receive news and offers from our other brands? Storage, or SSD/HDD: PC storage essentially comes in two flavors: Solid state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs). The power and reset switches can be reversed, but the LED leads have to be installed properly or you won't get any lights. PC Gamer is going back to the basics with a series of guides, how-tos, and deep dives into PC gaming's core concepts that we're calling The Complete Guide to PC Gaming. This will allow you to run power and data cables behind the motherboard tray and out of sight, keeping the interior cavity nice and clear. In the end, I settled on the 10700, because the 10700K would have caused sort of a pricing cascade. There's never been a better time to be a PC gamer. Anything else, such as additional cooling systems or secondary hard drives, are nice to have, but not strictly necessary. We connected an appropriate cable with two 6/8-pin PEG connectors above, so just route those through an opening close to the graphics card and then plug them in. Memory. PC Gamer readers have also given us some great tips, which we've compiled here. For this build, we're using the components shown in the list and gallery above. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, The SATA port is notched, so the cable can only fit one way. Here are some general starting tips before getting into the step-by-step process: You want to avoid static electricity, so build your PC on a table or some flat surface away from carpet. But device quality is a total crapshoot, and customer service in small brands tends to be either haphazard or nonexistent. In general, how you apply the thermal paste isn't usually critical—use enough but not too much, and let the pressure from the heatsink or waterblock spread out the paste. RAM speed is less important. From standalone gaming PCs to 2-in-1 gaming PCs that combines a gaming PC with a streaming PC, we strive to cater to what gamers want and need. You could very conceivably walk in with nothing and walk out with an unbuilt computer, at a very reasonable price. PC building 101. There was also the question of whether to buy two SSDs: a small one just for system files, and a larger one for games. Case: Your computer case is, for the most part, an aesthetic choice, although some models include fans for additional cooling. CyberPowerPC gaming pcs are assembled in the USA with meticulous attention to detail and unbeatable value. As mentioned above, the GPU is the most important (or at least the most straightforward) place to start with a gaming PC build. © I already have a mouse, keyboard, headset and monitor, so those didn’t factor into my budget. A more versatile alternative to the next-gen consoles? Experience elite performance in games, content creation, and intense multi-tasking. As is, if just feels like it got rushed out before arguments for Zen3 and RDNA2 can come out. Nearly all video cards use a dual-slot design, which means you need to remove the cover plate directly left of the PCIe slot, and the one below it. Custom PCs and gaming computers with amazing graphics and stunning performance. Then you just need to install an OS and you're all set. As such, we've replaced it with the current-gen RTX 2070, which comes in at about the same price and power level as the GTX 1080 originally did. To be a proper guide, IMO, should go into more detail regarding choice of hardware, what specs to look for, how to check for compatibility, and offer more information on procuring them. Everything from inventory allocation, assembly, testing, and quality assurance are done in-house to ensure we provide only the very best for our customers. Newegg’s Power Supply Calculator pegged my overall draw at a little less than 550W, so a 650W power supply should be more than I need. Press against each side of the I/O shield until it gives you a solid snap. Remember: Your motherboard will have front-facing USB options, so make sure that your case has the proper connections for them. My last piece of advice is to be somewhat flexible with your budget, if possible. Picking the right one can be tricky, but once you do, you’ll probably never need to think about it again. Do you want a productivity machine that can play some games on the side? If your case doesn't have that ventilation at the bottom, simply orient the power supply so that the fan faces up, into the case. High performance computers at a low price. Most cases have a peg that fits up through a hole in the center of the motherboard, so if you have it properly positioned, it should now be locked into place. In the interest of full disclosure, Tom’s Guide will request these parts directly from their manufacturers, since we’ll hopefully be using this PC to test gear for the next few years. Your build will likely differ slightly, but most of the steps below are universal and will look and function very similarly. If you're using a different cooler and need to apply paste, a small pea-sized blob in the center of the CPU works well. USB 3.0 connectors are larger, and some boards and cases have a new USB 3.1 Gen2 connector. Horus Gaming PC. Once you know where you're putting the RAM, unlock the slots by pushing down on the hinged tabs on one or both ends. Now is also a great time to tidy up all those loose cables behind the motherboard tray, using either zip-ties, Velcro straps, or twist ties. A few years after Dell acquired popular custom PC builder Alienware, … It's less complex than it sounds. As such, we oriented the two fans on the radiator to be intake fans, then passed the fan cables and waterblock cables out one of the top routing locations to keep things clean. For this build, we're using the following components. Which parts will facilitate that goal? The Intel Core i7-10700 is a powerful CPU, and while it’s not absolutely top-of-the-line, it’s a good match with the GeForce 3070 GPU. You will receive a verification email shortly. If you're not rubbing your socked feet back and forth and building up a static charge, you're probably fine. Also, don't forget to clean out the dust at least once every six months, if not quarterly. Hard drives have much higher capacities with lower prices, but they're much slower than SSDs and we often omit them in high-end builds. Jarred Walton, In our next PC-building article, I’ll discuss how to put all these various components together, as well as common pitfalls you might encounter along the way. Gaming PC. If you’re building a machine at home, you can simply order what you want, when you want it. Now align your graphics card's PCIe interface with the slot and press it into place. Before I lay out my thought process behind each part, there are, at minimum, seven parts you’ll need to build a gaming PC: Graphics card, or GPU: Arguably the most important component in a gaming rig, the GPU (graphics processing unit) renders images from your PC and puts them on your monitor. Parts used: Power supply, PC case, power supply cables. It’s best to start with the most important component (in my opinion, the GPU) and work your way down. Well, almost. The benefits from this setup tend to be limited, however, and it increases the overall system complexity. With that in mind, the first part of our “How to build a PC” series focuses on picking parts. The most important thing about a motherboard is its compatibility with the parts you choose, but motherboards can also have integrated graphics cards, Wi-Fi systems and more. With the standoffs in place, it's time to screw in the motherboard. But don't orient the PSU downwards if your PC will be resting on carpet. Black Friday 2020 deals: The cheapest gaming PC you can build This year's cheap gaming build sets you back just a little over $250—including the Windows license. This is where places like PCPartPicker.com can be handy, since it has a compatibility filter that should ensure all your parts will fit in your selected case and work with your chosen motherboard. Your motherboard usually comes with a rectangular plastic or metal I/O shield that fits over the motherboard's input/output ports—some newer boards have the IO shield permanently affixed to the motherboard, in which case you can skip this step. Building a gaming PC is arguably the best technological investment you can make. Depending on the model, the power supply may be completely modular (in which case, no cables are permanently attached), partially modular (primary motherboard power cables are hardwired in), or not at all modular (a whole big mess of permanently attached cables). Depending on your case, you may have the option to orient the power supply face up or face down. Can’t decide whether to buy a pre-built pc or build a custom pc? Parts used: PC case, AIO cooler, motherboard, power cables, thermal paste (may be pre-installed). Thank you for signing up to PC Gamer. Either way, it’s where your files live when they’re not in use. It also has a pair of dedicated 2.5-inch SSD mount points, which is what we've used in our video. In a broad sense, we’ll cover the hardware that makes a PC tick. When the time comes to upgrade anything in the future, as it inevitably will, you're now better prepared to do so. Orient your RAM so that the notch on the stick matches with the notch on the slot. Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors. Whether you’re typing up documents, editing video or cranking up the settings on the latest and greatest games, a gaming PC is the best tool for the job. This wasn’t a big issue when I had a more powerful PC in the Tom’s Guide office for game and peripheral testing. Our build costs less than $1,500, and it's more powerful than most gaming desktops. Regardless, this step of the installation process is the same: you're going to put the PSU into the case, usually at the bottom, so that the rear vent, power plug, and on/off switch face out of the back of the case. Final step: your SATA data cables are probably just dangling from the drives right now. The pins face down, so the plain silver side should be facing up. Get instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips. Assuming your PC powers on, there are a few final steps to take. You’ll have to figure out what you’re comfortable spending and factor in your own peripherals, but knowing exactly what you want your PC to do will help a lot. However both of these stories focus a lot on mechanics: what components you need, and how to fit them all into a motherboard. There was a problem. The fan needs clear airflow. Building a gaming PC from scratch is the only sure-fire way to ensure that your system is capable of satisfying all of your personal preferences. PS5 could get a smart VR upgrade — here's how, OnePlus 9 release date, price, specs and leaks, Where to buy PS5 in the UK — latest stock updates from Amazon, Game, Currys and more, Where to buy Xbox Series X UK — latest stock updates from Game, Amazon, Currys and more, Where to buy Xbox Series X — latest stock updates and how to get yours, iPhone 12 has a serious signal problem — what you need to know. The worst-case scenario involves a fire extinguisher. What kind of PC do you want to build? Here we are: the final step before your gaming rig is fully operational. Once your drives are installed, it's time to plug 'em in. Build a streaming PC, customize a professionally designed gaming computer, or build your own gaming desktop using trusted PC … A good PC will last a long time, and a few dozen dollars make very little difference over the course of a few years. Unless this is to make Intel and nVidia happy, this guide should really be made after those come out to actually recommend parts based on reviews of everything. Before installing, refer to your motherboard manual's page about the RAM slots. Now you're ready to install the processor. Most modern cases include convenient trays that slide in and out, or plastic runners that snap onto the sides of the HDD. It's a good practice to try to keep the wiring and cables tidy, especially in the front area where the CPU and graphics card will want as much airflow as possible. Before you build a PC, you need to decide why you want to build it. Depending on your case, they may be labeled for different size motherboards: A for ATX, M for micro ATX, and I for mini ITX. What do you want that you can’t get from a prebuilt machine? You’ll have to do a little legwork to determine how much power each component of your machine draws, add it all up, and choose a power supply that offers more than that by a comfortable margin. There should be about a dozen small holes around the inside of the case where the standoffs go. It doesn't 'snap' in—it just rests on top of the pins. Now, remove your gaming motherboard from its anti-static sleeve and place it on a clean, flat surface. Take your RAM sticks (you probably have two, or perhaps four if you're going for a high-end X299 or X399 build) out of their packaging. Dust reduces cooling performance and increases heat buildup, and it's the enemy of high-performance gaming PCs. Overclocking isn’t really necessary for testing games and peripherals, so the 10700K wouldn’t add much to this build. When I ran my proposed build by the Tom’s Guide crew, the CPU was easily the most controversial selection. However, it was a tough call between the 10700 and the 10700K. Other cases may require you to connect fans to the motherboard's fan headers or separate Molex connectors. Without going into too much detail about the relative pros and cons, I eventually decided that the PS5 and Xbox Series X will both use SSDs exclusively; why build a PC that’s less advanced out of the gate? If you're ready to take the plunge and build your next rig, our step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of how to build a gaming PC, and our instructional video above covers each major step. Games that push the envelope of graphical fidelity look best on the PC, and it's the first stop for independent developers making creative and surprising new games. If you prefer larger but slightly slower SATA SSDs over M.2, that's also completely viable. One of the most common reasons a new PC won't boot is that the RAM is unseated, so double check to make sure they've clicked in properly. In any case, Nvidia recommends a 650W power supply for a 3070-equipped machine, and that’s with an i9 processor. And the best part is that building a great gaming PC doesn't need to cost a ton of money, with capable budget rigs starting at under $750. Check out our part-by-part recipe for a killer RGB-wild rig, and follow along in a replay of our live build! This is fine but I don't know about this being a "guide" per se. Building a gaming PC is arguably the best technological investment you can make. Orient your HDD or SSD so that its ports face out of the back of the tray. Elite $2,000 Gaming Computer Build. I decided on a full-size ATX design, because it’s easier to fit components inside. capable budget rigs starting at under $750, Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti review Founders Edition. Use the power supply screws that came with it (or potentially screws that came with your case) and screw it in tight. Find the section on front panel connectors. However, AMD will also release a new GPU (the Big Navi) shortly, so it's probably best to just be patient and catch a restock. The USB and audio connectors look similar but are keyed differently, so you can't install them on the wrong pin cluster on the motherboard. If the computer turns on, that's a promising start! Today's best Kingston HyperX Predator RGB 32GB (4x 8GB) DDR4-3200 deals. Pre-Built PC Vs. Feed these cables through the PSU hole at the bottom of the case as you slide the power supply into place, and then use the thumbscrews to hold it in. With over a decade of experience in building the world’s most advanced custom gaming computers, every gaming PC is hand built by skilled technicians. Once your BIOS is updated, at a minimum we recommend enabling the XMP memory setting and configuring your date/time and boot device. Scour Newegg for whatever’s on sale and hope it all fits together? It's probably safely housed in a plastic sleeve. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? Find the SATA data cables included with your motherboard and plug those into the small SATA ports on the drives. Best Budget Gaming PC. Tom’s Guide has decided instead to split the process into two parts and take a more experiential tack. If there's one potential cause for concern, it's that those new to the process may find themselves wondering how to build a gaming PC (of course, you can skip ahead and grab one of the best gaming PCs prebuilt and ready to plug and play). Origin PC. This is our easy walkthrough to building a PC for the first time, with a video showing each step of the process. Motherboard: The motherboard is where all the hardware in your computer lives. Skytech Archangel. The MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge was the cheapest motherboard I could find that met my specifications. The whole thing gets power from a single Molex connector, which makes things a lot easier. RAM is a tricky topic, since there are a lot of variables at play. We're using a large 240mm AIO cooler, which has a big radiator with two 120mm fans. If you have an HDD and SATA SSD that are close together, you should only need one cable to power them both. Which port should you use? Unless you're using an included box cooler (see above), you'll need to first add the appropriate mounting bracket to your motherboard, then install the cooler itself. Believe it or not, those are all viable build strategies, but mine is a little simpler: Figure out the “why” first, and the “what” will follow. Find a case you like and see what will fit inside? When possible, buy gear from established, known brands — Corsair, HyperX, Western Digital, and so forth. There are also two notches on the top half of the chip. Take your power supply out of its box and set aside all the cables, which you'll be using a bit later. These should all be labeled, and plugging them in is as simple as reading your manual and figuring out what goes where. The fans connect to leads that come off the waterblock, the motherboard CPU fan header connects to a different lead from the waterblock, the SATA power connector only fits the PSU SATA connectors, and the USB connector typically hooks up near the bottom of your motherboard. We attached the necessary cable in an earlier step, and you should have several extras included with the power supply. Memory is pretty straightforward these days, though if the price isn't … Seems more like a blog with a few helpful tips. From there, I went to Newegg (the best place to buy PC components online, in my experience) and started looking for components. New York, Parts used: PC case, fan cables, power supply cables. From there, it was just a matter of selecting one of Nvidia’s three new cards: the GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 or 3090. Learn more. Lower tier builds, particularly if you're not going to overclock, can get by with far less cooling. Motherboard. Buying older cards can save you some money, but makes your machine less future-proof. The result you're looking for is a thin, even layer between the cooler and the CPU, not a big gloopy mess. There's only one possible way to correctly orient the CPU, which makes it easy to install. Bo Moore, It's time to open that shiny new PC case you bought. Remove the protective plastic covering over the CPU socket on the motherboard by pushing the lever arm down and to the side, then pulling the covering up. Please refresh the page and try again. PC Gamer is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Sorry, but it is paculiar timing. 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