If you’re new to PC building, you might feel like you’ll never get the hang of it. Perhaps your first build was a disaster, resulting in spilled coolant or a PC that won’t turn on no matter what you do. As a relatively new builder myself, I know that feeling. But know that things do get better! So, here are 5 things I wish I knew before I started PC building. Hopefully, this will make your first build experience (or second attempt) a little easier.
1. You don’t have to be super delicate with every component
When I first started building, one of my biggest issues was treating everything like it was made with glass. For some things like your CPU it’s good to be gentle, but some other components do need a bit of force behind them like inserting your RAM, or getting some AIO water block to sit flush. Confidence is certainly key here and with time you will learn what components you can throw across the room and it will be fine (like many RAM sticks), and which do require a gentler touch.
2. You don’t always need top of the range
When I was looking at my first big upgrade, I went straight to the newest CPU and GPU on the market. But after chatting with my work mates, I discovered there was really no point. As my monitors are quite old but I wasn’t planning on upgrading them, getting the top of the range stuff wouldn’t benefit me all that much as I didn’t even have a 4k monitor yet. So, just know that top of the range doesn’t always equal the best for you. Sometimes something mid-tier will still be great, and saves your wallet too.
3. Doing research
We get lots of questions about how to build PCs, or certain specific parts like installing fans. These are super good questions and its great you guys are reaching out, but there is SO much information on the internet already and it’s worth absorbing. We even have a bunch of How To videos up on our channel that is worth a watch through, as well as write ups of some of them too if you prefer to read vs watch. There’s also lots of forums and online groups dedicated to helping people learn about PCs. So, no excuses! Get out there and get researching!
4. Building takes a while
If you’re only blocking out half an hour to do your first build, ohhhh booooooyyy do I have news for you! Even our builder here at Thermaltake whose entire job is building PC’s says he takes about 30 – 40 minutes on a basic build, sometimes even up to an hour depending on how good the case is to build in. So, if he is blocking out an hour you need to block out even longer! I usually dedicate a good part of the day for a build as I am a lot slower and less confident than Nick. So, if you were hoping to just smash it out real quick before bed, maybe wait for a day where you have more time. Rushing yourself is only going to make you more stressed. Which brings me to my final point….
5. Don’t stress
Honestly, even the most confusing aspects of a build can be sorted out. I guarantee that if you do your research first, plan out a good day for it and take it slowly, your first build will work out totally fine! Plus Google is your friend of course, so building a PC is easier now that is has ever been.
* (PSST Secret 6th point: remember that you have to initialize Hard drives, so don’t panic if you are running one and it doesn’t pop up at first, that’s totally normal! This is mainly because I’ve done this in the past myself and I FREAKED OUT before realizing what was happening) *
So, there were 5 (and a secret extra one!) things I wish I knew before I started PC building. I hope these help make your first build slightly less stressful. You’ve got this!