When building a gaming PC, it’s hard to pay attention to tiny things that make the overall experience better, such as spending too much money on PC components, thinking too much about thermal paste, choosing the higher variant of CPUs instead of the base variant for gaming workloads, and more. On paper, these things look tiny, and most people forget about them as soon as their Windows PC boots up and starts working.

pc building tips for beginners

But if you look closely, you’ll realize that individually, these things aren’t major issues, but when you look at them in a group, they can greatly improve your Windows experience. By following simple PC tips and understanding how they can improve the overall user experience, you’ll not only gain performance benefits, but you’ll also save some money that you can use for other things like good PC peripherals.

If you’re ready to improve your overall experience during and after building a PC, you’ve landed on the right blog because, in this blog, we’re going to give you 15 essential PC building tips that you can use to improve many aspects of your PC, so let’s take a look at our PC building tips, starting with tip number 1.

15 PC Building Tips for Beginners

Don’t overspend on your PC components

Spending too much on your PC components may have been a good option in 2016 or 2017, but these days, even the basics pack a punch. To figure out which component is better, you need to be clear about your needs. If you’re a gamer and want to build a gaming PC, a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 is the best choice right now, as you won’t need more than a 6-core CPU to play games at 1080p, and if you’re playing at higher resolutions, CPU utilization drops even further.

don't overspend on the pc components

This is an important PC building tip regarding the GPU. Don’t spend more on GPUs, either. While there are improvements in terms of efficiency, the performance improvements of current graphics cards aren’t huge. You won’t get a big performance boost. In fact, we’d say that you should try to buy last-generation components if possible, as they’ll deliver more or less the same results and be easier on your wallet.

This PC building tip also applies to your motherboard, case, and memory. So think about your use case first and then make an informed purchase by following PC building tips like these.

Don’t overthink the thermal paste application

Many people overrate the application of thermal paste, but this is one of the most important tips for PC building. Don’t think too much when applying thermal paste. Too little is bad for thermal conductivity, but too much won’t cause any problems, and a perfect amount of paste is perfectly fine. Instead of thinking about how much thermal paste to use, try to spread it properly on the IHS to get the best results.

right thermal paste application
Image: Optimum Tech/ Youtube

Also, try to use a high-quality thermal compound. Many companies like Noctua and Cooler Master make excellent thermal pastes that you can use if you want.

Pro Tip:
Please remove the plastic wrap from your CPU cooler before doing anything else. No matter how well your thermal paste is applied or how good your thermal paste is, many people just forget, and then your Windows PC keeps crashing.

Use SSDs instead of HDDs

While hard disks are great for mass storage, SSDs are getting cheaper and more cost-effective these days. Of course, you can use a large hard drive to store your media or old files, but we recommend you follow this PC building tip and get an SSD for your operating system and make it your trunk drive. Also, if you play a lot of games or do anything creative like photo or video editing, just use an SSD and don’t even think about an HDD.

use ssds instead of hdds

If you follow this PC building tip, you’ll find that things like trunk times and game load times will improve significantly, and even your video editing performance will improve. If you want to know how the improvements play out in practice, just use a disk speed testing app to see the numbers for yourself. This is a PC building tip that everyone should follow, whether you’re building your first PC or already have one.

Don’t overtighten everything

Please follow this PC building tip if you are a beginner. Many people tend to overtighten PC components because they think they won’t come loose, which is true. But this often loosens the small screws, and you can no longer fasten your components. Always try to aim for a tightness of around 95%.

don't overtighten everything
Image: Optimum Tech/ Youtube

This PC building tip may not apply in one case, namely when tightening the CPU cooler and your CPU pump head. In this case, you should only ever proceed with 100% tightness and not overdo it, as this could exert incorrect pressure on your CPU.

Keep the component placement in order

If you follow this PC building tip, it will help you build a PC. You have to follow a certain pattern when building a PC. We’ll explain it to you in detail: follow this PC building tip when assembling your PC, as it will streamline the whole process: Always install your CPU into the motherboard first, then your SSD, then your RAM, then the CPU cooler brackets onto your motherboard, and then the motherboard into your case. If you follow this process, you can assemble your PC without any extra effort.

  • Install the CPU on the motherboard first.
  • Then, install the SSD.
  • Then, install the RAM.
  • Then, install the correct CPU cooler brackets.
  • Then, install the motherboard in the cabinet.

These are the right first steps that will lead you to a perfect PC build without you having to put in any extra effort.

Use a proper toolkit to build a PC

This is a simple PC building tip that everyone should follow. Sometimes, you need more than a screwdriver and a pair of scissors to build a PC. Even though you can tighten most components with the same screwdriver, you need to know that the right tools are just as important as the right PC components when building a high-end PC.

use a proper toolkit

The right tool kit will make it easier for you to install multiple components in a high-end PC, so consider this PC building tip before you start building a PC.

Proper cooling is important

If you follow this PC building tip, you can not only achieve good performance but also improve the thermal performance of your PC. Many people tend to spend more on the core components, which is not wrong, but they forget about cooling their components. For the best performance, you need good airflow in your PC. So follow these small PC building tips to improve the air circulation in your PC.

proper cooling is important

  • Use a high-quality AIO cooler (One Cooler) to cool your CPU, preferably an Air Cooler for an i3, i5, Ryzen 3, or Ryzen 5, and try to stick with an AIO for an i7, Ryzen 7 or i9 or Ryzen 9.
  • Try to maintain a neutral airflow by always using an equal number of intake and exhaust fans to achieve this.
  • Try to choose the fans that provide the best airflow and noise performance.
  • If you can’t install multiple fans, you should only install one intake fan at the bottom to cool the GPU.
  • Negative airflow works better with ITX PC builds.

Check out these inexpensive fans. They provide good airflow and also have a bit of ARGB flair:

Deepcool CF 120 Plus Fans and Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 V2 ARGB Fans are both great fans if you want to buy a kit of 3 fans, and each fan is also available individually.

Get a good Power supply

If you follow this PC building tip, it’s like insuring your PC for a long time. Yes, a good power supply is important because a good power supply can save your PC components from power surges and extreme power outages. A good power supply not only keeps your components safe but also helps your PC components work at their maximum performance.

get a good psu

To select the power supply according to the maximum load of your PC components, you can calculate the load of your PC components by visiting the website of your CPU or GPU, adding their maximum wattage, and then adding another 20-30% for future expansion.

Also, always use power supplies from reputable brands such as CoolerMaster and Deppcool, and don’t forget to visit the Power Supply Tier list. This will help you find out which is the best PSU for you. But don’t go below Tier C if you want to build a mid-range PC. And always buy a PSU with a tier rating such as 80+ Bronze, Silver, or Platinum.

If you follow this PC building tip and get a good PSU, you’ll be set for years to come.

Plan your PC builds before

You should definitely follow this tip if you are new to PC building. Always plan your build first. Remember that the PC PART PICKER is your best friend. Planning a PC before you order parts is always a good practice because it gives you an idea of the compatibility of your parts and also gives you the best prices for your PC parts, which can save you a lot of money.

plan your builds before

When following this PC building tip, remember that prices for PC components always fluctuate. Also, remember to set yourself a budget for your PC, as this will help you make an informed decision.

Cable Management is important

How you handle the cables in your PC is important. If you follow this PC building tip, you can not only build a good-looking PC but also upgrade your components more easily because if you route the cables in your PC properly, you can troubleshoot more easily and upgrade the components without any problems. This is a simple PC building tip that every builder should follow.

Pro Tip:
Use good crows and cable ties to manage your cables inside your case. You can also remove your hard drive enclosure if you’re not using hard drives or SATA SSDs and use the space for the power supply cables. You should also try to use semi or fully modular power supplies for better cable management.

16GB of RAM was the sweet spot

This PC building tip could be important for people who want to build a productive computer. While 16 GB of RAM is enough for most tasks, many editing software like Adobe Premier and Davinci require 32 GB of RAM if you are serious about video editing and want to edit 4k video at high bitrates, some graphics and 3D tasks require 32 GB of RAM in dual channel mode. In addition, many games can now use up to 12 to 16 GB of RAM, and if you want to do other tasks besides gaming (e.g. streaming), 16 GB
of RAM can become a bottleneck faster than you think.

16gb ram vs 32gb ram

After this PC building tip, we must also remember that if you don’t have a budget, you can start with 16 GB of RAM and add another 16 GB later.

Going with DDR4 vs. DDR5

After the previous PC building tip, we also need to consider which type of RAM to choose. DDR4 vs. DDR5 might be the most important factor right now when building a new PC. If you want to future-proof your system and have a budget of around 750 USD or more, we would recommend DDR5. Otherwise, you should go for DDR4 RAM, as all current offerings from Intel and AMD support DDR5 RAM, while the Intel counterparts also support DDR4 memory.

ddr4 vs. ddr5

If you don’t have a creative workflow and mainly use your PC for gaming, DDR4 won’t give you any performance difference, at least in 2023. If you want to understand in detail which is better in 2023 and beyond, check out our article comparing DDR4 vs DDR5 in detail.

Performance First Aesthetics later

Many experienced PC builders will agree with this PC building tip: You don’t need to spend a lot of money on the look of your computer, but first, make sure you get optimal performance, and then design your computer the way you like it. There’s nothing wrong with using your favorite RGB RAM or RGB fan, but the point of this PC building tip is that you should spend more on the components that perform better than the ones that look better.

When setting your PC build budget, you should go for the best core components like the CPU and GPU and then choose the components like RAM, SSD, and motherboard that perform better than the ones that look better.

Try to stick to an ecosystem of Products

By sticking to an ecosystem of products, we mean that you should stick to components from the same manufacturer. If you follow this PC building tip, it simply means that it’s easier to manage one brand’s products. For example, if you use most NZXT products, such as motherboards, CPU coolers, and PC cases, it’s easier to manage them with NZXT’s CAM software.

Don’t forget that there’s nothing wrong with choosing products from multiple brands. It’s just that it’s easier to manage different components if you choose a single brand.

Activate your Windows

This is the most important PC building tip that everyone should follow. Whether you’re building a new PC or already using one, activating Windows is by far the most important step that novice PC builders often ignore. If you don’t activate Windows, not only can your PC be vulnerable to numerous internet security vulnerabilities, but you won’t get the full Windows experience that every other PC has if you don’t activate Windows.

activate windows

We also recommend that you budget $10 to $20 for your Windows activation key when budgeting for your PC. While this isn’t a huge amount, most people tend to ignore the whole process, so they don’t get the experience they should after building a PC.

Wrapping Up

These are some PC building tips that every beginner should consider when building a PC. With these tips, the whole PC building experience will be much better and more efficient. You can save money, get the most out of your components, and get the most out of your gaming PC while being prepared for future upgrades and more. By following these PC building tips, you can better manage your budget and even build a themed PC if you choose the right components.

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