How to Build a Gaming PC: The Beginner’s Guide

A gaming PC isn’t just about the hardware – it’s about the experience. Creating your PC can feel like assembling a complicated Lego set, but it’s actually surprisingly easy.

Start by figuring out the basics: the motherboard, CPU, memory and storage. Then pick your games, and make sure everything is compatible with each other.


The engine of any gaming rig is the hardware – other parts like accessories and software are important, but they’re complementary to the capability of your rig. And the most critical piece of hardware in any PC is the central processing unit (CPU).

The CPU is responsible for processing information like game graphics, which it does millions of times per second. A better CPU means more responsive gameplay and a higher frame rate.

Regardless of what you’re doing, your PC needs a motherboard, a CPU, RAM, a hard disk or solid state drive for storage, a power supply, and a case. You may also want a GPU for graphics-intensive work like photo and video editing.

To begin assembling your computer, lay out your motherboard on a clean table and set up all the other components you’ll need in front of it. Be sure to keep all the instruction manuals close by. And don’t build on the carpet – it generates static electricity that can damage the components.


The GPU (graphics processing unit) is a powerful chip that handles calculations for visuals, such as images and video. It’s an important part of any gaming computer because it boosts in-game FPS and can make your games look more realistic.

GPUs work with a special type of memory called video RAM, or VRAM. This memory doesn’t have to rely on the computer’s main memory for information, which makes it faster. However, it does create more heat than the CPU, which is why GPUs are designed with their own fans to keep them cool.

GPUs connect to the motherboard via a PCIe slot, which is a physical interface with different sizes of lanes that transfer data at high speeds. For example, a x16 slot has 16 lanes while a x8 slot only offers 8 lanes. The x16 connection is ideal for GPUs because it provides the highest possible throughput.


RAM is a computer’s short term memory that keeps data that is used frequently readily available so your CPU doesn’t have to keep re-reading it from a storage device like a hard drive. RAM resets when the system shuts down, so it’s not a replacement for your primary storage devices.

Most PC gamers use 16GB of RAM or higher, which will be enough to run most modern games. If you do a lot of video editing, for instance, you may want to consider upping that amount to 32GB or more.

Another benefit of building a gaming PC is that you can keep upgrading the hardware components as technology advances over time. This means that a gaming rig built from the ground up will have more power and better performance than even the most expensive game console and last for years with regular upgrades. That’s what makes it an excellent value for your money compared to other consumer electronics.


A gaming PC needs a motherboard with a central processing unit (CPU), a graphics card for the display, storage in the form of solid state drives (SSDs) or hard disk drives (HDDs), memory, a power supply, and a case. You also need an operating system, and most gamers prefer Microsoft(r) Windows(r).

Depending on your budget, you can choose either a desktop CPU or an entry-level laptop. Both are powerful enough for most games, but the desktop CPU has more features and offers a better value.

A gaming mouse, keyboard, and headset will improve your gameplay experience. You can find a variety of different designs, colors, and prices for these peripherals.


A sweet gaming PC isn’t much good without a monitor. While you can buy a prebuilt PC with a monitor included, many gamers prefer to build their own to get better value and customizability.

When selecting a monitor, make sure it has the right resolution for your gaming setup. Also, if you plan on using an AIO liquid cooler, it’s a good idea to order one early as the new models are likely to sell out quickly.

Finally, you’ll need a hard drive or SSD (solid state drive) for storage and a power supply unit (PSU). The PSU is arguably the most important component in any PC. It needs to be reliable, powerful enough for your system, and ideally backed by a warranty.

Putting together your gaming PC isn’t as complicated as it may seem, though it helps to follow specific manuals and search YouTube for videos of people handling and installing your particular hardware. You’ll want to be sure you have a clean workspace and discharge any static before starting, as well as a Phillips-head screwdriver that matches the screws on your case.

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