How To Build A PC: A Beginner’s Guide To Picking Computer Components

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featured custom pc builds how to build a pc
(Credit: Cooler Master Official Store, Dynacore® Technologies™)

Custom-made gaming PCs truly are a sight to behold. With their incredible processing power and speed, browsing the web and rendering lifelike graphics becomes a cinch! Impressed by gaming PC builds that feature massive monoliths and flashy Red-Green-Blue (RGB) lighting? You don’t need to be afraid of how complicated building one can get. Our step-by-step guide on how to build a PC, including choosing the best components, will sort you right out!


How to build a PC: must-have components

Before you embark on your building your PC, you’ll first need to make sure you have all the necessary parts. These include:

How to build a PC: a step-by-step guide

1. Case

corsair pc case how to build a pc
(Credit: ConvergentSG)

Computer cases like the Corsair Crystal 460X (available on ConvergentSG) are more than just fancy shells. They’re responsible for making sure there’s enough upgrade space and constant airflow within the case, with more expensive cases even containing pre-installed fans! Of course, the more you spend, the fancier the case, with some featuring soundproofing, RGB lights and awe-inspiring designs.

How to build a PC – picking a case:

Types of cases Recommended Models Comparison
Mid Tower Cooler Master MasterCase H500P,
Corsair Carbide 275R
Reasonably priced
Nails the basics of providing reasonable upgrade space and sufficient airflow
Mini-ITX NZXT H440i,
Fractal Design Nano S
Space-saving
Portable
Full Tower Corsair Obsidian 1000D,
be quiet Dark Base Pro 900
Sufficient space for future upgrades
Unmatched cooling support


2. Motherboard

msi motherboard how to build a pc
(Credit: Dynacore® Technologies™)

Motherboards like MSI’s B450I (available on Dynacore® Technologies™) serve as the backbone of your gaming PC build. Rather than being just a component holder, a solid motherboard optimises your hardware!

As with any How To Build A PC guide, we recommend buying a premium motherboard. You’re better off playing it safe as a malfunction will only force you to rebuild your entire PC.

How to build a PC – picking a motherboard:

Types of motherboards Recommended Comparison
ATX MSI X370 SLI Plus Highest capacity for installing new upgrades
Micro-ATX Gigabyte Z370M-D3H Smaller in size compared to the ATX
Lowest in price
Mini-ITX MSI B450I Most portable and fits into mini computer cases


3. CPU

core i7 how to build a pc
(Credit: videopro)

For most beginners, it’s surprising how a tiny chip like Intel’s I7-7700K (available on videopro) can control the entire PC. Choosing the right CPU is much more complicated than just comparing which model has faster clock speed or has more cores. We suggest referring to benchmark tests performed online to decide which CPU best fits your needs!

Invest in a mid-tier CPU so you can game comfortably without spending too much money and in a high-end CPU only if you’re intending to use it for 4K recordings and editing.

How to build a PC – picking a CPU:

Types of CPU Recommended Comparison
i3 / Ryzen 3 i3-8100 Consumes the least power and is the most budget-friendly
Has the lowest performance of these four CPUs
i5 / Ryzen 5 i5-9600K Higher performance than the i3 while being slightly more expensive
i7 / Ryzen 7 Ryzen 7 2700X The most common CPU on the market — it strikes a good balance between price and performance
i9 / Ryzen 9 i9-9900K The best CPU available on the market — built for intensive gaming and video editing


4. Memory

ram memory how to build a pc
(Credit: TechDeals Pte Ltd)

Your PC’s bound to encounter some occasional slow down over time. As you try to multitask with memory-intensive software, you’ll require sufficient Random Access Memory (RAM) like Corsair’s Vengeance LPX RAM (available on TechDeals Pte Ltd) to keep things running smoothly! For today’s standards, we recommend getting at least 16GB to future-proof your rig.

How to build a PC – picking RAM:

Types of RAM Recommended Comparison
DDR3 Kingston HyperX Fury DDR3 Budget-friendly option
Does not require buyers to change the entire motherboard to fit the RAM
DDR4 G.Skill Ripjaws V Increased memory capacity, speed and power efficiency as compared to the DDR3
Incompatible with older motherboards


5. Cooling System

cooling system how to build a pc
(Credit: cherishcart.sg, Cooler Master Official Store)

When it comes to cooling your entire PC, it ultimately comes down to personal taste and preference. Choose between the simple brushless fan (available on cherishcart.sg) or the impressive looking MasterLiquid ML240R (available on Cooler Master Official Store). If you are tight on funds, go for the fan since it gets the cooling job done. However, if you plan on maximising PC performance, we recommend going for the liquid cooling system as it’s more efficient, allowing you to achieve greater performance through overclocking (tinkering with internal settings to make your PC work harder).

How to build a PC – picking cooling systems:

Types of cooling systems Recommended Comparison
Air Brushless fans Easier to install and is budget-friendly
Aside from dust clearing, it does not need regular maintenance
Liquid MaslerLiquid ML 240R Increased cooling efficiency and more aesthetically pleasing
Requires regular coolant change


6. Power Supply

power supply unit how to build a pc
(Credit: Vii GAMER SHOP)

You might be wondering why How To Build A PC guides often claim power supply units to be the unsung heroes of any gaming PC build. Although power supply units (PSUs) like EVGA’s G+ 1000W (available on Vii GAMER SHOP) might lack the appeal of flashier components like graphics cards or liquid coolers, their ability to provide consistent power to the rest of the components is crucial to maintaining your PC’s long-term health.

How to build a PC – picking power supply units:

Power supply units are usually differentiated by wattage and efficiency ratings. After calculating the total amount of power consumed by your PC, buy a PSU that offers 20% more wattage than what you need. This ensures your PC isn’t consuming more power than necessary and creates a safe amount of spare wattage for your PC to avoid overloads. We’ve not included a PSU comparison table since you’d need to get one that’s unique to your PC’s wattage rating.

7. Storage Disk

hdd ssd storage disk how to build a pc
(Credit: SG SanDisk, Vii GAMER SHOP)

Storage disk options are incredibly varied, with different mixes of speed and capacity. If you’re craving those lightning fast boot-up times, you’ll need a modern Solid State Drive (SSD) like Sandisk’s SSD Plus (available on SG SanDisk). Alternatively, if you require a hub to store all your data, you’ll require an old-school Hard Disk Drive (HDD) like Toshiba’s 1TB HDD (available on Vii GAMER SHOP).

We recommend getting the best of both worlds by installing your operating system and software you want to boot up quickly on the SSD and everything else on your HDD!

How to build a PC – picking storage disks:

Types of storage Recommended Comparison
SSDs Samsung Evo 860 Higher power efficiency, faster file copying speed and quicker boot time Higher price point
HDDs Western Digital 3.5” Slower boot time but useful for storing data due to its low cost to capacity ratio


8. Graphics Card

graphics card how to build a pc
(Credit: Bizgramsg Official Store)

Finally, we’ve come to the most expensive component of any gaming PC build. Graphics cards come in all shapes and sizes, with some like Gigabyte’s GTX 1080 TI (available on Bizgramsg Official Store) boasting an individual fan to keep temperatures low! These massive cards are prioritised on every How To Build A PC guide as they can make or break your gaming experience. Additionally, between Nvidia GTX and AMD’s Radeon, it comes down to personal preference. Nvidia are known for their range of premium graphic cards whereas AMD specialises in entry-level and mid-range graphic cards.

How to build a PC – picking graphics card:

Types of graphics cards Recommended Comparison
Entry-level GTX 1050
AMD RX 550
Perfect for those looking to play older games or less graphically intensive games.
Mid-range GTX 1060 6GB
AMD Radeon RX 580
Suitable enough to handle modern games without forcing you to pay a premium.
Premium RTX 2080 Ti
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
Uses the latest in graphics card technology to handle modern games or intensive graphic design work. Great for future proofing.


Install those cables!

Done with assembling all the different components? All you’ve to do now is hook them up to the right cables. While it might seem daunting for beginners, it’s pretty straightforward if you plug the pins to their respective slots. Given that different motherboards have varied layouts, it would be tough for us to provide an in-depth guide to this but if you follow the various motherboard labels and avoid unnecessary force pins that don’t belong, you’ll be done in no time.

Congratulations, you’re now done with the hardware portion! Once you’ve successfully powered up your PC and installed the relevant drivers, you’ll be ready to use your new rig. Why not check out our list of the best video games of 2018 to test the mettle of your gaming PC build! Alternatively, if you’re in for a good scare, read our list of the best horror video games to play with friends!

Alternatively, check this video out for a more hands-on review on how to build your own PC! Psst! There are giveaway vouchers to be won too! Contest ends 3 Dec 2019.

 

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