Building a PC from scratch gives you a unique sense of accomplishment, but what happens when you press the power button and nothing happens? Today we take a look at five of the most common and overlooked mistakes that many people make when building their new rigs.
1. Buying a Cheap Power Supply
Easily the most overlooked component when people are building a new PC, the power supply is the lifeblood of your rig. Since it interfaces electrically with every component in a system its untimely death could take some components with it. Always buy from reputable brands and make sure that each PSU has the requisite protections to keep your hard earned hardware safe.
2. Going Overboard on Specs
Nearly everyone that has designed a build or considered building a PC has been guilty of this at least once. Whether it’s a 1000W power supply in a discreet GPU build, 16GB of RAM in a glorified email machine, or getting your parents a GTX970 to play Mahjong, you should always keep an eye on why you’re building a PC and do the research to make sure you know why you’re choosing that part. There’s nothing truly wrong with overspeccing, as long as you know why you’re doing it.
3. Forgetting to Install the I/O Panel
The small I/O panel that keeps dust out of the back of your PC, shields from EMI, and grounds your motherboard to the case is one of the easiest and inconspicuous mistakes people make. This is something that won’t directly affect the build but you should be sure to include it to prevent excessive dust or EMI.
4. Not Connecting Things How They Should Go
Nothing sucks more than spending hours on building a bleeding-edge gaming machine and getting that sinking feeling when nothing happens on that first power button press. For newer builders, some of the ports and sockets across the components can look like controls to a nuclear power plant. Always remember, square peg fits square hole, plug in the CPU power, and be sure to hit the I/O switch on the PSU before powering on!
5. Mounting the CPU Heatsink Incorrectly
For liquid coolers and stock heatsinks, things have gotten easier, but aftermarket air cooling still has the same struggles that have plagued it for ages. First, be sure to remove the plastic film from your heatsink or cooler before installation. You may think this is a given, but you’d be surprised to see even experienced builders forget this. (myself included…) Second, don’t drown your CPU in thermal paste. The goal is to merely fill the air pockets and promote heat transfer. A pea sized drop on the middle of the CPU works wonders for most heatsinks.
Learn More about Building a PC
So there you have it, some of the most common mistakes that people make when they’re building a PC. If you need more help, be sure to download our How to Build a PC eBook and feel free to ask us any questions.