Building a computer is a daunting task and there’s a lot to take in if you’re new to it. Many components are expensive and fragile and the ones that aren’t are often small and easily lost. If you are – or are thinking about – building your own computer for the first time, here are five handy tips you should consider before you start.
- Consider what you are going to be using it for
When building a PC, people always overshoot or undershoot the mark, either on budget, parts, or usage. That’s why it is important to have a long hard think about what you’re using it for. If you like video games, consider how resource-heavy they are. Mobile browser games such as the Magic Shoppe Game or Cookie Clicker, which can be played on a variety of different platforms, will run great on integrated graphics or the Radeon RX 550. If you’re planning on playing FPS games or processing videos, more high-end GPUs like the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is more what you should be after.
- Budget and Plan Ahead
Ensure that you have some money set aside after you have bought your parts for spares and items you didn’t think of beforehand, as it is entirely possible that your build will require a cable or tool that you don’t have. While you’re planning, ensure that all your parts are compatible. Information on a motherboard’s compatibility with RAM and CPU can be found online or in the manual. You should check as well that all the components are running at the power level your Power Supply Unit (PSU) is going to run at. Lastly, always test all your parts on the motherboard before you install everything in your case, to be sure that no parts are dead on arrival.
- Futureproof your build
Futureproofing will save you many future headaches. Buy a bigger case than you think you need, so if you need to upgrade in the future, you can. Spend the most on your PSU and hard drive, as they are the components that you’ll be keeping the longest. A good PSU will also protect your component from power surges, which will save you a lot of money in the long run.
- Take all Safety Precautions During the Build.
After all the work of planning and purchasing your components, breaking them in the build is a heart-breaking experience. Take the time to ground yourself by touching your case or a metal object touching the floor, to prevent static electricity from breaking your components. Ensure you apply the correct amount of thermal paste. Never add components while your computer is running and ensure you clean your case out before you put the parts in, to stop dust from destroying your components.
- Finishing your Build.
Consider some post-build measures. Your driver disks will be out of date, so consider downloading the latest drivers online onto a memory stick to use. Double check everything. Then check again; specifically cooling measures such as fans and wires. Also, save old parts (to sell), and boxes and bags. The boxes are great storage and should you want to sell your new parts down the line the boxes will get you a bit more money.
There are many other things you should know, so do some more research! There are plenty of PC build enthusiasts that are happy to help! But otherwise, good luck with your new PC, and happy building!