Part 1 – Picking the Parts
We teach you how to pick and your build your first PC!
I'm guilty. I am one of those PC enthusiasts that thinks everyone knows how to build a PC. Everyone has done it before, and all you need from the tech community is the recommendation for parts, right? Turns out that isn't the case at all, and as more and more gamers and users come into our community, they are overwhelmed and often under served. It's time to fix that.
This cropped up for me personally when my nephew asked me about getting him a computer. At just 14 years old, he had never built a PC, watched a PC be constructed – nothing of that sort. Even though his uncle had built computers nearly every week for 15 years or more, he had little to no background on what the process was like. I decided that this was perfect opportunity to teach him and create a useful resource for the community at large to help empower another generation to adopt the DIY mindset.
I decided to start with three specific directions:
- Part 1 – Introduce the array of PC components, what the function of each is and why we picked the specific hardware we did.
- Part 2 – Show him the process of actual construction from CPU install to cable routing
- Part 3 – Walk through the installation of Windows and get him setup with Steam and the idea of modern PC gaming.
Each of the above sections was broken up into a separate video during our day at the office, and will be presented here and on our YouTube channel.
I would like to thank Gigabyte for sponsoring this project with us, providing the motherboard, graphics card and helping work with the other vendors to get us a great combination of hardware. Visit them at Gigabyte.com for the full lineup of motherboard, graphics cards and more!!
Part 1 – Picking the Parts
Selecting the parts to build a PC can be a daunting task for a first timer. What exactly is a motherboard and do you need one? Should you get 2 or 4 or more memory modules? SSD vs HDD? Let's lay it all out there for you.
The specific configuration used in Austin's PC build is pretty impressive!
|Austin's First PC Build|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-6600K – $249|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 5 – $189|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-3200 – $192|
|Graphics Card||Gigabyte GTX 970 Gaming Xtreme – $374|
|Storage||Corsair Neutron XT 480GB – $184
Western Digital 3TB Red – $109
|Case||Corsair Obsidian 450D – $119|
|Power Supply||Corsair RM550x – $117|
|Keyboard||Logitech G910 Orion Spark – $159|
|Mouse||Logitech G602 – $51|
|Headset||Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum – $192|
|Monitor||Acer XB280HK – $699|
|OS||Windows 10 Home – $119|
|Total Price||$2054 (not including the monitor) – Amazon.com Cart|
Clearly the boy is spoiled. But if your uncle owns a hardware review website, that seems like a likely outcome. A couple of comments worth noting though.
- I would probably have recommended moving to a 2x8GB configuration for system memory. It tends to be a little bit cheaper and gives you the option to upgrade down the road should you need it.
- Adding in a second Western Digital 3TB drive would give peace of mind if you configure them in a RAID-1 array for data redundancy. But this is a complication I didn't want to introduce quite yet.
- The Corsair RM550x power supply doesn't have additional power cables for a second GPU that requires two connections. Upgrading to a 650-750 watt power supply should allow you to upgrade to multiple GPUs in the future if you want.
- The Acer XB280HK monitor is a 4K G-Sync display and likely overkill for the GTX 970 graphics card we chose for his build. As it stands, for modern games, we'll likely have to configure the rendering output at 1920×1080 and allow it to scale up to 4K. That's a totally workable solution, but a 2560×1440 monitor might have been a better selection to pair with the GPU.
- A $2,000 PC build might seem extravagant, but if you remove the keyboard/mouse/headset combination that totals over $400, a system price of around $1,600 is more in-line with expectations.
Part 2 – Building the Computer
Now that we have the components laid out, let's dive into the construction process.
Obviously if you select different hardware the process will be changed to some small degree, but in general, this is the order that makes the most sense to us. If you go with an AMD platform, or want to delve into the world of small form factors, hit up the PC Perspective Forums to find some like minded people to help you out!
Part 3 – Install the OS and Getting to the Gaming
After getting the hardware setup complete, it's time to power on the system. The first steps usually start in the BIOS or UEFI, the motherboard's software layer that sets up hardware and prompts the operating system to do its own thing. After setting a couple of specific things in there we dive into installing Windows 10 and then Valve's Steam software, the most common PC gaming market and management suite.
That's pretty much it! There is an entire world of exploring to do with your new PC on the gaming front and much more. Install some good anti-virus software (NOD32 is pretty good these days) and get to it!
I hope you found this article and set of videos helpful for your first steps into the world of enthusiast and DIY PC building. Let me know in the comments below if you have questions or would like to see anything added or followed up on. Thanks for reading and welcome to the community!
I want to say this is exactly
I want to say this is exactly the same mistakes I made with my first build back in the day. Its not a bad build at all. But, maybe a 970 is best if he’s getting a 1080ti in a year…
Having said that, for everyone else, the only thing that matters is the GPU.
Get a cheap $60 SSD if you have to. It will have enough space for 2-3 big games easily.
Get the cheapest 8GB DIMM stick(not 2×4, its 2016, 2x8GB is sweet spot, 8GB is OK base) MHz has not mattered since late DDR2. You can more easily sell, re-use the 8GB than 2x4GB.
You can live with i3-6300. Why? because the $110+ you save versus an i5-6500/i5-6600k spent on GPU gets you so many more FPS and eye candy in games.
Get a cheap and small motherboard. Smaller and simpler is better. Less stuff to cause issues. You will never use any of the stuff on it. Intel LAN if you can. M.2 socket supporting NVMe. For future or now, it gets rid of 2 cables, better air flow now. Or later, you just plug in. No worry about cabling/power, location…
Its GPU times 100 and everything else has like 1 multiplier as long as you are not breaking the system. Anything above the basics will really not get you at best more than a few FPS if any at all. Well, CPU can actually hold you back a bit sometimes. Throwing away a $300 GPU vs $110 CPU… AND that 980 ti was still giving you awesome experience all that time.
Get the 980ti first and than later on, upgrade other stuff. They just don’t matter or give any bang for buck for FPS or quality pixels.
That’s what i would tell new builders.
But we are in strange time right now with 28nm -> 14nm AND GDDR5 to HBM2 AND GPU driver does everything to game engine does everything AND Maxwell to Pascal…
It is a waste to get high end card if you’re being spoiled with 1080ti soon. You should milk out the goody peripherals first. Good job nephew 🙂
Fyi mx200 ssd 500 gigs is on
Fyi mx200 ssd 500 gigs is on sale newegg for $138,
$159 on a keyboard and almost $200/on a headset lol 1st build going all out on things you could have spent elsewhere on a better gaming experience like the graphics card!
In all likely hood Ryan’s
In all likely hood Ryan’s parts are probably free. Free is better than save, he’s doing better than your suggestion.
The purpose of the article is
The purpose of the article is to encourage people to build their own rig hence the price tag for each component. Lol i thought that was obvious.
I enjoyed this series
I enjoyed this series immensely.
If someone I know ever needs a tutorial for their first build, I’m going to let Austin show them how it’s done.
That is so cool how his uncle has the connections to get him a kick-ass, mostly free PC.
only thing cringe worthy i
only thing cringe worthy i noticed was the thermal paste. when he lifted the cooler for a sec only half the cpu was coated. maybe shoulda lifted it up and checked then spread some to the bare side for even coverage. But it prolly got full coverage once the cooler was tightened down so im nitpicking. other than that good video, pcper probably got half the stuff for free so the cost wasnt an issue.
Man, some of these comments
Man, some of these comments are depressing. The build was very reasonable and the article was good quality. I feel sorry for Ryan getting such stupid comments.
Agreed. Most of the “dickie”
Agreed. Most of the “dickie” comments come from anonymous posters. I suppose you just have to expect it these days. This is a very well balanced system and should remain relevant for years as such. If the “dickies” want to make a best “bang for your bucks”, “4k gaming”, “console competing”, “Photo editing”, “ETC” PC there are articles on that. They’ve missed the point again. Bit jealous though, nice system.
Ryans’ parts are like a Best
Ryans’ parts are like a Best Buy/Brick and mortar sales rep try’n to upsell you on stuff you don’t need.
Most of you miss or are ignoring the part where his nephew says what he going to use it for and are justify Ryan choice of overkill parts.
And what your missing is he
And what your missing is he is not trying to make the cheapest PC that can game in 1080p which is all that is required, he’s doing a video using medium consumer parts to make a generic PC that can game, video edit, etc. Of course it’s over kill more than $1,000 is is over kill. If you aren’t making move from it $600 PC is enough, anything more is a hobby. But that is not the point of this video demonstration. Posters picking on the choice of parts are basically retards who have yet to grasp the point of the video, which is to demonstrate how to build a PC. Unfortunately most the posters seem confused that the selection of parts is not the point of the video.
Most of you miss or are ignoring the part where his nephew says what he going to use it for and are justify Ryan choice of overkill parts. – You completely miss the point of the video.
everything about this build
everything about this build is great…but that monitor means this computer can barely game because it is 4k, as a 970 owner, unless he is downsampling to 1080p in every game, he’s going to be forced to drop every graphics slider way down in order to get even close to 60 fps.
Had he gone with 1080p, he could max every slider, and gotten over 60 fps in every game out there. Sure the desktop is going to look pretty, but games are going to run like crap, and this kids going to think “omg this computer cost over $2000, and can’t run 90% of the games out there, PC gaming is retarded”. That monitor, unless properly explained by his uncle, is absolutely crippling this build…and the worst part is he wants to stream, have fun streaming a game played at 4k…
I liked it, it is something
I liked it, it is something that Ryan didn’t have to do but look like it was fun build to do with his nephew. Liked 🙂
4k monitor destroys the
4k monitor destroys the gaming power of this build…the kid is going to think his computer sucks, when the power required to drive that monitor just isn’t there unless you’re spending about a thousand bucks on a video card… I would think as his uncle and a veteran of the pc world, you would have either chose a more suitable monitor (970 is amazing for 1080p, you can max out every game and get buttery smooth framerates, for 4k the kids going to have worse visuals than xbox due to the required lowering of quality in order to get playable framerates…not to mention the VRAM required to process those 4k frames is going to be a major issue with the 970). The build is great, but that monitor is just an awful choice.
Ryan mentions this in the
Ryan mentions this in the article.
“Clearly the boy is spoiled. But if your uncle owns a hardware review website, that seems like a likely outcome. A couple of comments worth noting though.”
“The Acer XB280HK monitor is a 4K G-Sync display and likely overkill for the GTX 970 graphics card we chose for his build. As it stands, for modern games, we’ll likely have to configure the rendering output at 1920×1080 and allow it to scale up to 4K. That’s a totally workable solution, but a 2560×1440 monitor might have been a better selection to pair with the GPU.”
So assuming Ryan is aware of the monitor being more than what he should be using he more than likely explained this to his nephew. The GPU will more than likely be upgraded at a later time down the road seeing how he has Ryan as his uncle, so he will have a 4K all ready to go for the better GPU.
hopefully, nothing turns
hopefully, nothing turns someone off to PC gaming quicker than their brand new expensive gaming rig being unable to play games at a decent framerate.
Loved the videos, in total I
Loved the videos, in total I felt they were the best PCPer has produced to date. My only complaint is that when the heatsink was lifted back up it was clear he did not put enough thermal paste on, nearly a 3rd of the surface was dry. Should have used the credit card method. 😉
Suggestion to deal with the trolls in this thread: hold a competition whereby people can submit videos of their own PC’s with the theme being: what would you have built for someone Austin’s age. Require entries to discuss each part and show each part being installed by someone under 18 (with adult supervision).
Good educational videos Ryan
Good educational videos Ryan for young enthusiasts. Well done nice system there should be fine for gaming and everyday productivity. Hope Austin enjoys his new system.