Most first-time PC builders get through the process relatively smoothly. However, some may run into trouble. Two types of problems can cause this. First, a new builder may assume that a particular component is dead on arrival. Secondly, a new builder may not realize a part is defective when it arrives.
Mistakes to avoid
While most first-time PC builders go through the process without too many problems, a few things may go wrong. One common mistake is choosing incompatible components. For example, a person may purchase an Intel processor for a motherboard that supports DDR4 memory but pair it with an AMD motherboard that supports DDR5. It is essential to ensure that your components are compatible before purchasing them.
The temperature of the CPU will rise when playing games, so the CPU should be adequately cooled. Using thermal paste is vital to keep the CPU cool. The paste should be applied to the CPU heatsink using a thin layer. The thermal paste must be applied evenly, but first-time PC builders often overlook this crucial step.
A triple monitor setup mistake is rare, but it can happen. Most modern GPUs have at least two HDMI, DVI, or DisplayPort ports for connecting multiple monitors. But it is possible to make a mistake if you do not have enough experience. If you make this mistake, you’ll waste a lot of money and suffer from a sub-par gaming experience.
Another common mistake first-time PC builders make is that they don’t ensure all components are correctly seated. This could cause the system to fail. Also, first-timers often forget to install their motherboard’s I/O shield. As a result, their system might not turn on or start working correctly. If you’re new to PC building, it is essential to follow a step-by-step guide to avoid common mistakes.
When purchasing parts, compatibility is the top priority. While many first-timers buy high-end components, ensuring that your CPU and graphics card complement each other is crucial. Often, manufacturers don’t provide detailed information about which parts are compatible.
Choosing compatible components
If you’re a first-time PC builder, you must learn how to choose components that work well together. You can use a site called PCPartPicker to check compatibility. However, please don’t rely on the website to ensure your parts will work together because it doesn’t cover every possible issue. For example, it won’t check for size and spacing issues.
The CPU is the brain of your PC. It carries out instructions to programs and dictates tasks to the other components. Therefore, choosing the right CPU is essential for your PC’s performance. Selecting the correct CPU for your build is vital if you’re building a gaming PC.
It cannot be obvious to decide which components you’ll need. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult, and it’s easy to get help from a community of PC builders. It’s also essential to find an excellent place to purchase the parts.
Once you’ve decided on the parts you’ll need, you can create shareable links for the individual elements on PCPartPicker. These links will bring users to a curated list of features. You can also export the link to a forum or Reddit page. The site also allows you to search for components using different filters. For instance, you can narrow your search by price and product rating. PCPartPicker will also keep track of the number of members you need and filter out those that won’t fit into your build.
Setting a budget
Whether a first-time PC builder or a seasoned veteran, you should set a budget when starting your first build. Computer parts vary in price wildly. Most builders will want to match the performance of the pre-built PCs they are using, but if you want to make your PC stand out from the rest, you’ll need to pay more. Adding more memory, faster processors, and SSDs will add to the final price.
The cost of building a PC can range from $300 to $1000, and not two builds are exactly alike. While you can spend as little as $300 on a simple internet browsing PC, a higher-end gaming PC can easily cost $1000 or more. The price range is extensive, depending on your budget and what you intend to use the PC for.
Besides a CPU, GPU, and motherboard, you’ll also need other PC peripherals, like speakers, a headset, and a monitor. These extras can cost anywhere from $20 to $30 or even more. You may also want to consider buying refurbished PC parts. Although they can be expensive, they can yield good savings.
After you’ve set a budget, you can shop for the necessary components. A mid-range 1080p gaming PC can be built for around $400-$800. You can also go with a hybrid AMD+Nvidia system. Remember that GPU and CPU are the most critical components of your system, so choosing them carefully will help you stay within your budget.
Handling components with care
A first-time PC builder should take extra care when handling components. For instance, he should not put his hands on a carpeted surface, as static electricity could cause damage to computer components. Instead, use a wooden work surface. A kitchen counter can also be an acceptable work surface. Another essential thing to remember when handling components is to manage cables. This will keep parts neat and prevent clogging of the airflow.
One of the biggest pitfalls for a first-time PC builder is purchasing incompatible components. Therefore, before buying any parts, make sure that they are compatible with each other. It is also a good idea to use a PC builder such as Micro Center if you aren’t sure whether certain parts are compatible with each other. As a general rule, the CPU and fan should be installed first before the motherboard.