How to build a PC?

Javed Ali Javed Ali
How to build a PC?

Building a PC requires in-depth hardware knowledge to ensure optimum performance is achieved with no bottlenecks. The number of steps needed to complete an epic PC build might seem overwhelming. We intend to provide a guideline to How to build a PC in the form of easy-to-follow steps and make PC building a breeze.

To breakdown the entire process into a few sentences, we will be:

Tools and Requirements

We know how thrilling it is to build your first PC, but we want you to take things slowly. Take your time analyzing the components you are about to plug in, handle or take out of the box. For a PC built that is moderately priced, we would recommend the following list of components. It will ensure 60+fps gaming at 1440p and rapidly perform all the software-based functionalities. The processor and RAM are fast enough to support any analytical software used for educational purposes or research.

Steps to building a PC

Here are some simple steps; you need to follow to build your PC properly.

Computer components:

What do you need to build a PC

Prepare PC Case

Finding a suitable case is essential. Mainly the case should be compatible with your motherboard size. There are mainly four categories of PC cases:

The full tower is meant for E-ATX motherboards as they are large in dimensions and sometimes capable of installing two motherboards for superior streaming PC. The mid-tower is the most common PC case dimension used with the capability of installing an ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX motherboard. Micro ATX is smaller in dimension, meant for motherboards with tightened dimensions with no compromise on features. It is the best size for superior features and small size. Mini ITX is for SFF builds or HTPC. 

Ensure that your case has enough dimensions to fit your graphics card, motherboard, fans, cooling system, power supply unit, and storage devices. It should have decent features like rubber grommets, the latest generation USB ports, and proper airflow for your components. Some PC cases come with pre-installed fans and RGB lighting, which can be a cost saver. There will be a lot of screws; make sure you have a proper tray or magnetic holder to place them on in a segregated manner. Take your time and disassemble all the components to access where and how each part will fit.

Fans Installation

Fans keep the temperature of the system within the operating limit. The flow of air and the location of fans is vital. There are two types of fans:

If your PC case has enough vents to allow air to seep in, dynamic fans are a good choice; they are fast and move more air through the system. Static fans are designed for tightly closed enclosures; they are slow but pull air efficiently. The primary specification that every PC builder should look into is the bearing technology of the fans. There are ball bearings, sleeves, dynamic fluid sleeves, and many more. The life of the is represented in MTTF (Mean time to failure); you need to be sure that it is high as it represents the quality of the support system.

The foremost step in installing a fan is the direction of its air. Usually, two fans in the front blow air into the system, and one at the rear blows air out of the system. You can check the direction from the plastic enclosure. There is an arrow that indicates the direction of airflow. You can install the fans using four screws on each corner of the fans. Fans might make noise due to their inherent vibrations, so fans with anti-skid vibration pads will reduce the operational noise of your PC.

Motherboard Installation

The motherboard is a vital part of building the ultimate PC. You need to be sure that your motherboard is compatible with RAM, CPU, Graphic Card, and Storage devices. It should have enough VRM to support CPU and RAM overclocking. The PCIe protocol version of your M.2 SSDs and graphic card should match the protocol on motherboard PCIe slots. Selecting the right motherboard size is essential, as the number of components that will be attached requires slots and ports. There are limited M.2 slots and PCIe slots on a Mini-ITX size. Be sure that the hardware you install has a place to plug in.

Motherboard Installation

You should carefully approach the installation of the motherboard. Start with ensuring that the standoffs on the PC case are correctly installed and carefully place the motherboard over them to check if the holes in the motherboard align appropriately with the standoff points. There might be an M.2 slot on the back of the motherboard; it is time to install one and check if it hinders during the assembly. Also, if your CPU cooler comes with a backplate, install it now as it may be inaccessible after installation. Slowly place a screw in the mounting holes and tighten firmly but do not overtighten. Check for the I/O shield in the product box. You can snap the plate in its position from the back of your chassis.

CPU Installation

Your CPU should have the latest revision of PCIe support capability and provide enough PCIe lanes for all your hardware components. There are two major competitors in CPUs Intel and AMD. Intel 12th generation now supports PCIe 5.0 technology and DDR5. However, DDR5 RAMs are expensive, and the performance boost between DDR4 and DDR5 isn’t much. Some motherboards come with 12th generation Intel support with DDR4 RAM, which is the most economical choice. AMD, with its latest AM4, supports PCIe 4.0 and DDR4. They have a lower price tag and are popular amongst gamers due to the low TDP. CPU is overclockable, and some come with just a simple Turbo Frequency or Precision Boost technology. If you are not interested in overclocking, then a simple processor will be an economical choice.

CPU Installation

CPUs are expensive so take your time to install this into the socket. The motherboard might have a plastic covering to protect the pins where you will install the CPU. Lift the spring-loaded arm out of the hook and remove the cover to expose the socket.  The dimensions of your sockets and the number of pins should match your CPU. In Intel, it’s represented by LGAXXXX, and in AMD, it’s written as AMX. Note that the processor has a golden triangle on one of the edges; match it with the motherboard socket triangle, and lower the spring-loaded arm into the hook to firmly hold the CPU.

Memory Installation

Memory or RAM is the temporary storage that is required by your CPU. Running software needs some files to be continuously fetched by the CPU and therefore are stored in a faster storage device. They are volatile, so as soon as the power goes out, they lose all the data. Selecting the right RAM in our How to build a PC guide is a vital step. There are many types of RAM, but currently, the most widely available and used are the DDR4 and DDR5. Your CPU must support the RAM, and the motherboard has the right DIMM slots. RAMs also come in overclockable configurations. If you are an enthusiast who cares about every single frame in your gaming or requires memory-intensive work, then an overclockable high-frequency memory module will help. Otherwise, buying a simple RAM is a wise choice considering they are low-priced.

Insert the RAM

You need to check the RAM type and verify that the RAM installed has been cut in the correct location. Align the notch on the bottom of your product with the notch in the DIMM slot. Slide it properly in between the slots of the snap fasteners. Press the RAM firmly and evenly until you hear the fasteners on the DIMM slot snap into place. Read the slot number indicated on the motherboard and install it in the DIMM1 and DIMM2 slots, usually the ones furthest from the CPU socket and the second closest.

CPU Cooler Installation

Selecting the right CPU cooler can be tricky. There are mainly two categories:

The air-based coolers are easy to install and available in one single unit. They are also relatively low priced and last longer than a liquid cooler. However, there is a but, they have a limited TDP capacity as they have limited fans to remove heat from the limited surface area fins. They are installed directly above the CPU; thus, the chassis side panel restricts their height. Memory module(RAM) height is also restricted using an air-based cooler. The cooler extends over the DIMM module. So you need to be sure that the CPU cooler has enough space underneath to support your RAM height.

CPU cooler Installation

Suppose you want to go for liquid-based cooling. It is ideal for high-performance PCs as their processors have higher TDP and potentially be overclocked in certain scenarios. Liquid coolers can easily handle highly overclocked CPUs. It consists of a water block with a pump, a radiator with fans, and tubes filled with liquid. The number of components reduces the reliability of the overall system and thus causing lower warranty periods compared to air-based coolers. Liquid coolers occupy larger space and require a dedicated location to install the radiator. The PC case should have enough space to support the radiator function. Liquid coolers have compact water blocks, and unique LED displays that you can customize.

Some coolers require backplate installation for support. You may have already installed the backplate during the motherboard installation. Now you need to apply thermal paste. The quality of your thermal paste should be good as it will affect the heat transfer capability. Apply a pea-sized in the middle of the CPU, which will spread across once you install the base plate. Liquid coolers will have water block installation, and you will install an air-based cooler with complete assembly with a base plate. Fasten it into place using a screwdriver. It should be firm. Otherwise, your CPU will protect stop due to heat. Install the fans onto the radiator and fit them inside the PC case.

Storage Installation

The most advanced form of storage is M.2 NVMe SSD. However, they are priced high and may require smart decision-making. You can compare benchmarks of different SSDs to pick the right one. You can use one M.2 SSD for windows installation for fast software processing. Use one M.2 SSD to store the games you are playing. Store the remaining stuff on to a low-cost HDD with large space. We recommend buying a 256GB SSD for windows, a 500GB SSD for games, and a 2TB HDD for installation files. The performance of your PC will remain top-notch, and there will be no bottleneck due to hardware retrieval.

Storage Installation

Every PC case comes with an SSD mound and HDD mount depending on your drive size if you are going for the small 2.5” and 3.5” large size. The price changes with size. There is rarely any difference in performance. To install the M.2 SSD, make sure that the notch on the M2 SSD matches the notch on the motherboard. Place it in and screw it down firmly with a driver. If you are supplied with a heatsink for the M.2 drive as it keeps the drive from thermal throttling, then use a thermal pad to improve heat transfer between the heatsink and drive chip.

Position And Install Power Supply

A power supply unit (PSU) should be important as it gives your PC the electricity it needs. There are mainly two types of power supply:

Modular allows the user to attach and detach cables as per requirement, while a non-modular has fixed wires, thus making cable management difficult. We recommend going for a modular PSU. Calculate the electricity requirement of your PC by using an online PSU calculator or adding up the power consumption mentioned on each of your components.

Power Supply Installation

You will find a gold rating on power supplies. An “80 Gold” rating means it can maintain 87% efficiency when under 100% load. The most power-demanding components in your PC could be the CPU or the graphics card. So be sure that you have 100-200W overhead space when calculating PSU requirements. Slide the PSU from the inside or the back of your PC case, depending on the type. Make sure it is fastened properly, and if you live in the USA, it is a 110V-based supply. 

Connect Everything To Your Motherboard

Now that you have all the components fastened, their wires need to be correctly routed to the motherboard. Assembler needs to connect all your storage devices to SATA ports if they are 2.5” or 3.5” based. The wires running from the CPU cooler need to be connected to the specified port on the motherboard for the CPU cooler. Use the motherboard diagram to identify the correct power supply and control port.

The PC case will have a front I/O panel with a USB port, indications, headphone jack, power, and reset buttons. You need to plug them in the right socket to make them operational. Each pin must be installed in a direction aligning + with + and - with -. A hub might handle all the RGB in your system or fans; therefore, It must be plugged into the right fan cooler location and supplied power. 

Connect Power Supply

You can now supply power to the individual components. There are modular or non-modular PSU options for purchase. We recommend using the modular PSU to provide a cleaner look and replaceable cables. Start with the 8-pin cable used to supply the VRM of your motherboard. It is usually on the top of your motherboard around the CPU as the VRM is used to supply CPU and RAM. You can find rubber grommets or passthrough holes just beside the PSU. Route your cables through that hole and bring them back through the grommet beside the 8-pin socket on your motherboard. Plug the 8-pin in. The socket will vary depending on the motherboard and its number of VRM. Some high-end motherboards require two 8-pin supplies. Check the motherboard manual for correct instructions.

Next, find the 24-pin cable from the PSU that you have already routed to the back of the PC case. Route it back in front through the nearest cable routing hole of the 24-pin ATX power port. It is usually on the right edge of the motherboard near the DIMM slots. You will also need to plug in your power cable from the PSU to the storage devices. It can be plugged in easily if it’s in the back panel. Route it via the hole closest to the storage device trays and plug them in for font trays.

Last you will be installing a graphic card later, and the power supply to the GPU is usually an 8-pin connector, and you can route it through the grommet just below the 24-pin ATX power cable hole.  

Graphics Card Installation

The final component needs to be plugged in, which will make your PC display capable, and that is the graphic card. It is the largest and most expensive part of your PC build. Handle it with care as the fans are delicate, and heatsink heatpipes could bend on extensive use of force. If you are using a single graphics card without SLI or CrossFire, find the x16 slot that is always the closest to the CPU. The PCIe x16 slot usually has a GPU locking mechanism. Unscrew the PCIe slot cover at the back of your panel.

Graphics Card Installation

Usually, graphic cards take up two PCIe spaces, so unscrew two slots before installation. After the slots are taken out, align your GPU properly with the PCIe slot at the back of your PC case by spotting the IO ports of the graphic card. Now align the golden portion of the graphic card with the PCIe slot on the motherboard and press it by increasing force slowly until a clicking sound is observed. Screw the graphic card into place at the same place from where we removed the PCIe backplate slots. The last piece of the puzzle is now in place.

Turn On Your PC

It’s time to check whether your build is communicating correctly. Do not start cable management or Maintain a safe distance from the build. Connect your power cable to the PSU port. Press the power button and observe whether the system boots up or not. Monitor the beep closely if the system does not boot up and makes a sound. Note the time it takes and the number of times it beeps before each interval. If there is no sound, then check for any light indication. Follow your motherboard manufacturer troubleshooting guide by matching your beep or light to identify the hardware problem. Check if the hardware is plugged in and the power supply is provided correctly.

If you build boots up, plug in the mouse keyboard and display. Enter the BIOS by following the on-screen guide. It is usually the delete button required for entering BIOS. Go to statistics and monitor the CPU temperatures; if it is maintained at an atmospheric temperature, usually 35-40degree, then you are good to go. Otherwise, review your CPU cooler installation; there may be a problem with mounting or an insufficient thermal paste issue.

Move to the memory settings, check the operational frequencies, and enable the XMP profile for Intel and DOCP for AMD. It will overclock the RAM to tighter timings and frequency, leading to increased performance. Now press F10. Save the settings and Exit. Now power OFF your PC.

Clean Up Cables (Optional)

Now that you are sure that all the cables are correctly installed and plugged in, you can sort them out with the help of cable ties. Make certain the minimum length is visible from the front of your PC build, as it will be the highlight of the work desk or battle station. Some chassis have a built-in tying mechanism; it could be tape or plastic hooks to route the cables neatly. Use them to make your interior look clean.

Install Windows (Or The Operating System Of Your Choice)

Installing the latest operating system is the best way to go. They have regular security updates and better performance for the latest hardware. All the game software is tweaked as per the latest OS. Windows 11 is the newest version of Microsoft OS and has the widest compatibility across the software.


First, you will need another PC to build a flash drive that can boot into a windows setup. Download the iso file from the windows official website and use the software Rufus or Windows 11 Media Creation Kit to make your flash drive bootable for installation. There will be no data left on your flash drive, so be sure that you have backup your data already present on the flash drive before making it an installation drive for Windows 11. 

After making the flash drive, make sure your BIOS is set to boot first from USB. Restart the PC to start the installation process. Install the Windows into the desired M.2 drive. Remove the Flash Drive and boot up your system.

Desktop Maintenance

For Windows 11, finding the right driver for each of your hardware components is easy as just pressing Windows update. You can also go to each of your hardware manufacturer’s websites and find the latest drivers concerning your OS. Install them one by one for stable operation. Your PC is ready to work. Put back all the removed panels and screw them properly.

What components do I need for my PC?

We will divide PC builds into three categories Entry Level, Mid-Range, and High-End.

High-End Build: For a high-end build that is 4K gaming capable and has the best performance in computational load with ideal benchmarks for streaming, gaming, and encoding altogether. We recommend going for the latest 12th Generation Intel i9 12900KS combined with the 4K capable MSI Nvidia RTX 3090 and HyperX 32GB DDR5 RAM for unbeatable gaming or workstation load performance.

Mid-Range Build: Mid-range build should be capable of gaming at 4K but with DLSS enabled, no native, and should have enough power to stream and game together. Also, the CPU should have enough computational ability to cope with analytical software. The system should have the AMD Ryzen 5 5500 CPU combined with a Gigabyte Nvidia RTX 3070 and Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB DDR4 RAM.

Entry-Level Build: Entry-level PC should be able to perform gaming at 60+fps with ray-tracing enabled on a 1080p resolution. It can be used as an editing PC with some sluggish moments. Overall it will have balanced specs ideal for daily use and occasional gaming requirement. It needs to be powered with the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 CPU. You should boost the graphics with the Colorful Nvidia RTX 3050 and Corsair Vengence LPX 16GB DDR4.

What tools do I need to build a PC?

Tools required before diving into our How to build a PC guideline are fewer than you might think. Manufacturers have optimized the process to reduce complications and tool requirements.

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