How to Build Your Own Gaming PC: A Step-by-Step Guide

Build Your Own Gaming PC: A Step-by-step Guide - Comwave
Calender Icon Jun 15 2023

Any serious gamer knows that the right hardware can make all the difference. If you’re looking to step up your gameplay, you know that the natural next step is to get a real gaming PC. It’s one of the best ways to optimize your performance—and even more so when you build yours.

While there’s no shortage of prebuilt gaming PCs on retail, they can’t compare to building your own. A custom-built gaming PC means you have full control over its specs so that you can deck it out for high-performance play. But of course, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Naturally, as awesome as it sounds, building a gaming PC is complex and even expensive.

The good news is, that’s exactly what this guide is all about. Here’s everything you need to build your own gaming PC, with all the nuts and bolts. Check out our complete assembly guide, and take your new, custom-built gaming PC for a spin with the best, cheapest internet from Comwave.

Before You Build: Tools, Supplies, and Parts

Are you ready to get your hands dirty? Building a gaming PC can be a daunting task, but there’s no denying just how rewarding it is to use a computer that’s built according to your exact specification. 

To start, you need to have the right tools and parts on-hand. And while it sounds very difficult especially when you’re not familiar with the internal workings of a computer, don’t let that discourage you. The truth is, the basic principle isn’t much different than putting together self-assembly furniture, so it’s helpful to get into that mindset.

Tools and Supplies

Here’s what you need to start:

  • Workspace: Choose a large surface, such as a table to work on. Make sure you stand on bare floors without a carpet to prevent electrostatic discharge.
  • Screwdrivers: Next, get your magnetic screwdrivers ready. You’ll rely on them a lot to put the parts together and prevent screws from falling into the PC case. For best results, get a Phillips #2 screwdriver, and have a #0 one as a back-up too.
  • Flashlight: You can use your smartphone or an actual flashlight to see clearly when installing some cables and components.
  • Thermal paste: This helps regulate the CPU’s temperature while in use, so it doesn’t overheat. Some CPU coolers already have thermal paste applied, but it’s always a good idea to have a back-up in place.
  • Flash drive: Get an 8 Gb flash drive or larger for the installer of your operating system (OS).

Gaming PC Parts

Next, get the PC’s parts ready. Now, don’t worry if these hardware terms sound intimidating and some are more familiar than others. We’ll go over what each part does, so you know exactly what makes up your gaming PC:

  • GPU: The graphics processing unit or another name for the graphics card which displays images on your PC. For high-performance gaming, you’ll need a powerful graphics card, such as those from Nvidia or AMD.
  • CPU: The central processing unit or processor, responsible for all processes and calculations on your PC. For reliable performance, choose one from Intel or AMD.
  • Motherboard: Where all of the components are installed.
  • SATA: A type of connection, like USB, used in hard drives and SSDs for transferring data.
  • PCIe: Another type of connection typically used for graphics cards and M.2 SSDs.
  • NVMe: Another type of connection supported by M.2 SSDs, allowing for much faster saving and access to data.
  • M.2 SSD: A part that provides storage space using any of the 3 types of connections above.
  • RAM: Random Access Memory, which stores data that is processed by the CPU. The more RAM you have and the more powerful your processor is, the faster your PC performs, which is the most important aspect of a gaming PC.
  • Cooling system: This protects your CPU from overheating.
  • PSU: Also known as your PC’s power supply.
  • OS: Your operating system. For gaming PCs today, Windows 10 is the standard, although some gamers opt for Linux.

Assembly: Steps for Putting Together your Gaming PC

Now that you have all the tools and parts ready, it’s time to put it all together and start building your gaming PC. You’ll see that all of these components are designed to fit together, so as long as they’re compatible, it should be easy to assemble your gaming PC.

1. Prep the case

The first step in assembling your gaming PC is getting the case ready and installing standoffs or small brass spacers that match up with the screw holes on the motherboard. These prevent the motherboard from touching the metal in the case.

The motherboard comes with a cover called an I/O shield. Line up the cover properly and snap it on, making sure that it’s placed over the external connections. Make sure to handle the motherboard with care as it is essentially a big, delicate circuit board. When screwing in the standoffs, tighten them just enough so they’re not loose, but not overly tight either to prevent the board from bending.

2. Install the RAM

Next, install the memory or RAM by pushing open the tabs on either side of the RAM slot of the motherboard. Make sure that the memory is installed in the right direction, then once it’s lined up with its slot, push down until you hear a click so all the tabs are closed.

3. Install the CPU

Unlike CPUs in the past, modern models don’t typically have pins. This means the connector pins are on the motherboard itself, making the processor easier to install while preventing damage to it.

Now, keep in mind that the process may vary slightly depending on the exact model of your CPU and motherboard, but the installation process looks something like this:

  • Unlock the CPU bar.
  • Open the CPU door and place the processor in the right direction using the marked arrows for guidance.
  • Then, close the door and make sure that the bar is locked.
  • Mount the heatsink by connecting it to the 4 holes closest to the CPU socket. You can use screws or locking or twisting pins to do this. Don’t forget to use a pea-sized amount of thermal paste to mount the heatsink.
  • Plug the CPU cooler into the motherboard.

4. Finish up: install the GPU and everything else

Once the base parts are done—the motherboard is mounted and the case is ready to go—you’re ready to install everything else. You’ve finished the hard parts. Everything else should be easy to install, so just follow these steps:

  • Connect the GPU through the PCIe slot. But before you do, make sure to remove expansion coverings so the GPU clicks into place properly and can be secured with screws once installed.
  • If you’re using an M.2 drive, install it on the dedicated slot on your motherboard. Use the #0 screwdriver to secure it in place, but remember not to over-tighten.
  • Check if the proper cables have been included with your PSU. If not, use the adapter that came with the video card box. Similarly, make sure that your hard drive or SSD came with power and SATA or data cables.
  • Connect the components to the power supply. Match the plug to the connection for each component.
  • Lastly, install the fans by matching the cable to the indicated input on the motherboard.

And there you have it—if you’ve made it to the last step, you have built your very own gaming PC! All that’s left to do is to fire up your gaming PC. Plug in the power supply and press the power button. If you did everything right, you should see the BIOS screen upon start-up, so you can install your OS.

Troubleshooting Tips

But what happens if your computer doesn’t turn on or you’re getting error messages? Don’t fret just yet because we’ll help you try these easy fixes, so you can start using your gaming PC.

Error Messages

  • Check the message displayed and go to the BIOS menu to find the right settings. If you’re unsure where to look, online forums are your friend. Chances are, someone else has experienced the same issue, so find out what they did to resolve it.

PC Not Turning On

  • If your gaming PC doesn’t turn on, there are a number of possible reasons for that. Other than actual product malfunctions, they’re all easy fixes. To start, check the power supply to make sure it’s plugged in and the power supply itself is switched on.
  • Next, check the power supply cables in the motherboard to make sure that they’re properly connected. You may have to disconnect then reconnect them. 
  • And finally, check each part to make sure that it’s connected properly. It’s a tedious process that involves reconnecting your RAM and CPU, or even moving the RAM sticks into different slots, but every step is worth a try.

Unfortunately, if all else fails, it’s a sign that the components themselves are defective. They may have shipped this way or got damaged while you were building the PC. If this is the case, return the item to the manufacturer or store, and get it exchanged right away, so you can get back to starting up your brand-new gaming PC.

Experience Gaming Like a Pro with Comwave Home Internet

And there you have it—you’re now the proud owner and builder of your very own gaming PC. It takes a serious commitment to get this done, so don’t forget to complete the job with the best, cheapest home internet from Comwave.

Don’t settle for anything less than the fastest internet speeds at the cheapest prices. Enjoy gaming without frustrating lags and delays, so you can advance to the next level and win, all without breaking a swear. Finish your setup with the best internet speed for high-performance gameplay, only from Comwave.

Want to be the best gamer you can be? For more tips on improving your gaming experience, browse the best Comwave internet plans built for high-performance gaming, at the cheapest prices.

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