You want to create your own PC, but don’t know exactly where to start? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll give you basic tips and show you step by step how to build your own computer. We’ll also explain what to look out for when buying components and give you additional alternatives for every budget.
Think before you buy what you’re building the PC for
A high-end Intel CPU has no place in an ordinary office computer. On the other hand, you need more than an onboard graphics card for a fast gaming PC. In any case, make sure that all components are compatible with each other. The CPU must match the motherboard socket, and you also need the right DDR3 or DDR4 memory modules and a sufficiently powerful power supply. You’ll have to do some research yourself and check the manufacturer’s websites to see if the components fit together.
Set a price limit in advance, for example 1000 Euro (you’ll get a very good gaming calculator for that). When you assemble your own PC, you can quickly go from a hundred to thousands – and you’ll always find a component that can do a little more, but is also more expensive. On the other hand you shouldn’t save money in the wrong place – invest in a good brand power supply and sufficient cooling.
Assemble the PC yourself: Many advantages, few disadvantages
Assembling a PC yourself has more advantages than disadvantages – and not only if you want to gamble with it. On the one hand, it is much cheaper to order the individual components online and screw them into a case than to buy a pre-assembled computer off the rack. It’s also more efficient because you only order and install the components you actually need. In addition, you don’t have any bloatware if you install the operating system yourself.
The last point should not be underestimated either: Assembling a PC is a lot of fun! The moment when, after hours of screwing up, you are greeted by the BIOS beep is irreplaceable. So if you’re even a little enthusiastic about such handicrafts, don’t hesitate a second longer.
The only disadvantage of a PC made by yourself is that it takes a lot of time to assemble. For the selection of the components you roll test reports, check performance tables and compare the prices in the net. Then there is the actual installation. With a little experience, assembly is quick, but it’s not easy for a beginner – especially if something doesn’t work and you have to go troubleshooting.
That’s exactly why we’ve compiled this guide! With the following guide you can build your own computer in no time at all and don’t have to worry that something will break or that the expensive components are a disaster.
Tip for absolute beginners: If you really have no experience assembling a PC (or don’t even know what each component does), it might not be a bad idea to ask a friend for help.
Schedule a few hours, get a detailed explanation of what the mainboard, graphics card and CPU are for, and then try to install the components under guidance. The best way to learn how to assemble a PC is to do it yourself – but it’s extremely helpful if someone with more experience looks over your shoulder.
Assemble a PC: You need these components
Before you can get started, you first need the various PC components, i.e. the individual parts that make up the computer. These are absolutely necessary:
Working memory (RAM)
A graphics card is optional but advisable: Many mainboards or CPUs have an onboard graphics chip – if you intend to play with the PC you have assembled or edit videos, you can’t avoid a separate graphics card.
The case accommodates all your components. From the Mini-ITX barebone to the Mini-, Midi- and Big-Tower, different sizes are available. Make sure you have enough room for the fan and drives. If you are using a graphics card, it must also fit into the case. In addition there are the cables, which you ideally hide behind the rear panel.
The motherboard is the motherboard to which all components are connected. Important: The socket decides which CPU you can use there. The biggest differences are in the equipment of the board.
When purchasing, pay attention to modularity (unused cables can be removed), efficiency (minimum 80 plus seal) and power (watts). More about this here Select the right power supply unit. We recommend not to save money on the power supply and to always use the branded product.
The heart of the PC. Most people ask themselves the question: Intel or AMD? We recommend an Intel CPU – but the most important thing is that the contact points match the socket of the motherboard. Furthermore, you should know beforehand if you want to overclock to choose a CPU with free multiplier.
Graphics card (GPU)
In fact, some CPUs have already integrated a graphics unit that is sufficient for normal office work. Gamers should use a dedicated graphics card. Here the basic decision between Nvidia or AMD must be made. There are different versions of each model from third-party manufacturers, which differ in cooling solution and often also clock rates.
Notice which RAM bars fit on your motherboards – the latest generation is DDR4. Today at least 8 GB should be installed. Always buy a kit (consisting of two bars), so that you can use Dual Channel and thus a faster data transfer.
Our system and data storage. Operating system and programs should be on a Solid State Drive (SSD) because of the enormous speed advantage. If you have large quantities of pictures, photos and video files, you should get a large mechanical disk for this.
In addition to the basic components that are mandatory for every PC, there are other elements that you should also consider depending on your needs:
Do you often watch movies on DVD or Blu-ray? Then you shouldn’t do without an optical drive. Blu-ray burner at Amazon*
Can it be a bit more than the onboard sound? Anyone who cares about audio quality, for example for music production, should not do without a dedicated sound card. Sound card at Amazon*
Some CPUs come with the appropriate fan, others do not. Even if a fan is included, it pays to buy a quieter and more powerful model. We have installed the Cooler Master Hyper TX3i (approx. 20 Euro) in our self-built PC. Processor fan at Amazon*
Installing a water cooling system is no longer a witch’s work nowadays – but it is only necessary with absolute high-end computers (1500 Euro and more). In the best case the system is quieter and can be easily overclocked. Water cooling systems are available as a complete set or they can be assembled component by component, almost like a PC itself.