header image icon - block

Build Your Own PC Checklist

Build Your Own PC Checklist 9

Build your own pc to get your perfect computer. Every part tailored to your needs whether for gaming, design, sound or because you are a serious coder

Never built a PC from scratch before? Here is a checklist of parts you will need to build your dream PC.

What do you want the computer for? Gaming, business use or personal computer

Build your own PC Checklist

Case

A box where all the hardware is installed and gives protection to the delicate internal components.

Choosing the right computer case is important so remember to select a case that fits all your components.

  • Full Tower: Supports most motherboards
  • Mid Tower: Supports most motherboards
  • Tower: Supports most motherboards
  • Micro ATX: Only supports micro ATX motherboards
  • Mini ITX: Only supports mini ITX motherboards

Motherboard

The heart and backbone of every computer. A circuit board containing the principal components of a computer where the processor and RAM live. The motherboard coordinates everything that happens inside your computer.

Also, you plug in your other parts like SSDs, hard drives, and peripherals.

  • ATX Motherboard: Most functionality and better connectorbility
  • Micro ATX Motherboard: Reduced Functionality
  • Mini ITX Board: Limited Functionality

The main difference between these is size.

Processor: CPU (Central Processing Unit)

The brains of your computer where all the data will be crunched. Executes instructions from the software performing the arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations.

Storage: Hard drives (HDDs) solid-state drives (SSDs)

Long-term storage like operating system, software programs, and personal files.

Size determined by megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), and terabytes (TB).

HDD: Hard Drives – High capacity but slow

SSD: Solid- State drive – Quicker write speed

M.2: Solid state drive attached to the motherboard – Very Quick

TIP: Check you have a SATA socket or M.2 depending on choices.

Cooling: Fans / CPU Cooler

Fans / CPU Cooler dissipates the hot air from the computer.

CPU fan or water cooling? This is down to personal preference.

Air cooled: Fan circulating air through the radiator attached to the CPU.

Water Cooling: Block attached to the CPU with pipes coming off it full of water with a pump pushing it around to cool the PC.

Water cooled PCS have the option of a sealed loop or custom loops.

Memory: RAM (Random Access Memory)

Temporary, short-term storage of information for rapid retrieval without it a computer can’t perform simple tasks.

RAM: Random Access Memory. Performs two jobs, handling the main memory and the memory for graphics

ROM: Read-only memory.

Power: PSU (Power Supply Unit)

PSU (Power Supply Unit) converts power from the wall socket which is alternating current AC to low-voltage regulated DC power that your motherboard and processor needs.

Decide on the other components first so you know what power supply will need.

Calculating how much power you need in watts. Add all the components power consumption together and add additional 20% and that is the amount of wattage you need.

OPTIONAL: GPU graphical process unit

Purpose of rendering images.

OPTIONAL: Sound Cards

Allow the use of audio components.

OPTIONAL: Ethernet card

Transmit data from the network to your computer.

Some of these cards can include WIFI

Peripherals

Keyboard, Mouse, Webcam, Speakers, Microphone or headset.

Build Your Own PC Tools

Build your own PC tools

  • Thermal Paste
  • Watchmakers screwdrivers
  • Grounding Tool

Build Your Own PC Guide

Now that you have a checklist of the items required to build your own PC, you should know how to go about it. At first glance, putting together a computer yourself looks easy, and it can be. However, unless you have done it before, it can be a bit overwhelming. 

This DIY project takes some work, and you should be ready to put that in. If not, you could end up ruining the whole thing, and that would be a shameful waste. For that reason, we compiled this simple guide to tell you what to do to ensure that your DIY computer assembly turns out as planned.

Watch Tutorials

Regardless of how comprehensive a written guide is, it’s not the same as watching someone actually doing the work. Therefore, take the time to watch PC building tutorials. 

Loads of how-to videos are available for free. Watching a well-done tutorial gives you a good understanding of the basics. You can learn how to mount the cooler, seat the CPU and fit the RAM. Different people will use varying tactics to assemble PCs. 

Watch various assemblies then decide which method is the best. Of course, you have to consider the styles that suit your computer type and components.

 

Invest in The PCU

A common mistake some people make with DIY PCs is trying to cut too many corners. Understandably, you might want to save money. However, be careful where you do it. Don’t fall for the temptation to skimp out on the power supply, especially if you are building a gaming machine. If the computer is going to have high-end parts to facilitate gaming, then it needs sufficient power. A cheap, low-wattage PSU might have trouble handling the necessary load. Also, if at some point you have to upgrade your PC, you must be certain that the power supply will be enough. Be careful, though, not to get a PSU that is too powerful for the computer, because that would be wasteful.

Watch Out for Static

One tip that you will find in any PC building guide is to avoid static as much as possible. Static can destroy electronic parts. Although you might not necessarily have enough latent electricity to cause damage, it helps to be careful. First-timers should be particularly cautious. Wearing an anti-static bracelet or wrist wrap is recommended. However, an experienced builder could do without one. A neat trick to get rid of static is to touch a metal surface before holding components. Another precaution is to avoid working near a carpet. Extremely dry work areas are also likely to generate static.

Ask the Experts

Before settling to build your own PC, get some opinions from experienced builders. Even if you have done this before, you could still learn a few things. Post your computer configurations and building process on message boards and forums for some feedback. You can quickly learn about common mistakes that could save you a lot of trouble and money.

Putting together a PC can be fun and rewarding, but only if you get it right. So, make sure that you educate yourself on the best ways to assemble a computer for the best results.

Related Checklists