I recently built my very first custom PC and it was so much fun that I want to help others do the same. I’m not going to give an in-depth guide on how to build a PC (NZXT has already done that), but I do want to share some things I learned during my first PC build.
The most important lesson I learned is that there will mistakes in this process, but I think anyone can build the PC they always dreamed of if they really try.
Here is a list of the parts I chose for my build:
• NZXT H440 Designed by Razer Case
• MSI Z97 Gaming 9 ACK Motherboard
• Intel Core I7-4790K Processor
• MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G Graphics Card
• 16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum RAM
• Corsair H110i GT Cooler
• Corsair AX 860i Power Supply
• Western Digital 1TB Black Hard Drive
• 3 Corsair SP120 Fans
• 1 Corsair AF140 Green LED Fan
• Razer BlackWidow Keyboard
• Razer Imperator Mouse
• Asus VG248 LCD Monitor
This was my first build, but despite all my mistakes, everything turned out fine. If you’re nervous about building your first PC, don’t worry!
Taking the first step (installing the HDD inside the case)
The first thing I did was test the components before mounting them inside the case. This is really important because you don’t want to put a lot of time into completing your build only to find out something wasn’t working from the beginning. Thankfully, everything worked outside of the case without a problem.
Next, I opened the outrageous H440 Designed by Razer case. I really like the design of this case and once you see my finished build you’ll know why (I’m a huge Razer fan).
I only used one HDD slot so I removed all the unused brackets because I figured this would improve the airflow. Because this is such a silent case, this was very important to me because I wanted to get as much air as possible flowing through the PC. This is something you should keep in mind when choosing a silent case in the future.
I recommend you use both an SSD and HDD. While SSDs are more expensive, they are considerably faster than HDDs. Also, SSD prices are starting to become very affordable! The only reason I didn’t put one inside my build is because I want to purchase a large capacity SSD once I can afford it.
The confusing part (installing the motherboard, radiator, and fans)
Installing the motherboard inside the case may seem scary but it was effortless. Just tilt the motherboard, shove it into place, and screw it down. This was easy thanks to the included motherboard standoffs on the H440 Designed by Razer case.
Next on my agenda was installing the Corsair H1101GT 280mm radiator. This is where I encountered my first real obstacle in building my PC. Thankfully, I can tell you how to avoid the same problem.
When orienting the fans – regardless of where the radiator is located – there should be more intake than output. This is important if your rig is situated inside a dusty room because it will make your PC hardware last a lot longer.
Also, you should keep in mind there are different ways to configure radiators. If you have a push configuration, you’ll want to configure the fans to blow air into the radiator. If you have a push-pull configuration, you’ll also want fans pulling heat away from the hardware.
Because I wanted a pull configuration for less dust build-up in the radiator, I came across a problem. The radiator was planned to be mounted on top of the case but having the radiator mounted above the fans wouldn’t fit. Even though the radiator wasn’t particularly large, there was an irregularity in the upper side of the case which made the radiator stand out of balance and prevented me from mounting it the way it should have gone. In the end, I had to reverse the position of the radiator and fans but it came out OK.
I guess you can’t have everything you want in life!
The easy stuff (installing the PSU, RAM, CPU, and cooler)
The rest of the PC building process was kind of straight forward. The power supply is perfectly hidden by the shroud and the cable management was easier than I thought it would be. I was expecting a lack of space due to the noise damping foam, but thanks to the overwhelming space left in the basement of the panel, it closed as smooth as the front panel.
Installing the RAM, CPU, and cooler was as simple as plug-and-play. And once everything was wired up, I booted the computer and gamed happily ever after. I think this was a good learning experience and even though the build took me a full 6 hours it was totally worth it because it made me realize building a PC isn’t so hard. I’ll be sure to do this as many times as I can!
Building a PC is fun
I had a great time building my first PC and I’m already thinking of what I’m going to do next. I wouldn’t mind adding another GPU and I’m eagerly saving up for a high-capacity SSD. I’m even considering a PCI-E SSD but I may have to save up for a little while longer.
The best part about building your PC is that you never really finish it. There are always things you can change or upgrade and they will always make a difference. Even minor changes like adding the HUE+ or customizing the case with some paint can go a long way.
The only limit is your imagination.
Written by: Thomas “Digidream Gamer” Busaan