Building Your Own Gaming PC? Avoid These Common Mistakes

What’s the easiest way to find the computer of your dreams? Build it! Building your own computer is an affordable and rewarding way of getting a great gaming PC that is tailored to your exact needs. The best part is that you don’t have to be a computer whizz to assemble your own computer — however, it doesn't hurt to know your way around the insides of a computer.

While building your own computer sounds much more daunting than it actually is, there are still a number of pitfalls along the process that can trip up even seasoned builders. To help you avoid some of these common mistakes, Magic Micro has put together this list of helpful reminders.

Don’t have time to read this article or to assemble your own computer? But you still want to reap the benefits of a custom-built PC? Hey, we can help! This is actually our specialty! At Magic Micro, we make the process of building your own computer simple, effortless, and affordable. We have a wide variety of computers that are ready to be configured with all the components you need. You simply configure it to your liking, and we assemble, test, and send it off to you. We even have barebones kits!

Choose Your Space Wisely
The very first thing you want to do before you begin assembling your computer is set up shop in a space that is clean, clear, and free of static electricity (avoid carpeted floors). A large table is ideal. The building process requires lots of cables, screws, and components. Having a large clean space will help you keep everything in order.

Before You Build
Make sure all of your components are compatible. For instance, if you have bought an Intel motherboard to go along with your AMD processor, you are going to be in for a rude awakening when it comes time to assemble. Similarly, using mismatched motherboard and RAM can also be problematic. Be sure to buy matching RAM sticks as well. Also, buying a cheap, off-brand power supply unit (PSU) can have a direct impact on your custom-built PC, and it can even damage your expensive new system. For this reason, we recommend treating your PSU like you do your graphics card. Choose a name you trust and don’t automatically pick the least expensive.  

Keep Cords Straight
We’re not trying to be the tech support crew that asks you if your device is plugged in. But the plugs for your custom PC can be slightly confusing, and it’s worth a warning. For instance, the internal power supply likely has two different kinds of 8-pin power cables. One is supposed to go into your graphics card and the other into the motherboard. While these pins have different shapes and you would have to force it when trying to plug in the wrong cord, this is a pretty common mistake for first-time builders.

Prepare Your Motherboard
Before you install your first component, it is crucial to first take your motherboard’s shield, which is the cover for the ports on the rear of the PC and install it. Forgetting to install this shield may seem minor, but this can require you to pull the entire motherboard out once you’ve assembled the major components, which can be a massive headache. Also, don’t forget to install your motherboard risers. While some cases come with preinstalled motherboard risers, this is not always the case. These risers keep the motherboard safe by preventing it from directly touching the metal of the case.

Plug In Your Graphics Card
Oftentimes, builders will screw the GPU into the case, plug it into power, and assume it’s good to go. This is not the case. Your graphics card has to be plugged into the motherboard. This will typically require you to remove the rubber shield and plug the card into the matching PCI-Express lane on the board. Make sure it is pushed in all the way and snapped into place.

Push Power Plugs All The Way In
Whether it is the motherboard power cable, the GPU, or some other component, without power they are as good as useless. Sometimes, they can even appear plugged in but are actually just millimeters shy of being properly plugged in. Making sure everything is plugged in can help avoid annoying troubleshooting at the end, and it can even save you money. There are stories of people not fully plugging in their graphics cards all the way, and then when the power is switched on, the GPU gets fried, emitting a sad and expensive little cloud of smoke from the computer.

Manage All Your Cables
Although this isn’t crucial to the functionality of your rig, it can help improve the look of your PC as well as make it much easier down the line when you decide you want to add or change something. Remember, twist ties can be a lifesaver when trying to organize all of your cables.

This is in no way a comprehensive list. However, making an effort to avoid these common mistakes can help you avoid a lot of frustration. Does this all seem like more than you can handle? Not sure what’s compatible? Afraid of frying your expensive graphics card? Magic Micro has the solution for you! We specialize in helping you build a custom computer. We make the process simple and affordable. Check out our custom-built PCs and barebones kits!