Many people dream of building their own custom gaming PC but worry about the countless myths and horror stories that float around the internet.
Most have heard about builds gone wrong, ending in broken parts, wasted money, and tears over an RGB keyboard.
Building your own PC isn’t half as risky and complex as these tales can make it out to be, though. Building a PC is easy and straightforward with the right approach and knowledge.
Take a look at six of the most common myths about building a gaming PC so you can get started without fear or preventable accidents.
1. It’s extremely complicated
This is the most common misconception about building a gaming PC by far. Most people don’t know how the inner workings of their computers operate, so it is only natural to assume it’s too complex for a beginner.
This is not the case, however. In fact, it’s no more difficult than building a LEGO set. You just need the right instructions and parts, and everything pretty much clicks together one piece at a time.
Building your own PC comes down to two main stages: choosing the parts and putting them together. Luckily, every PC uses the same basic set of components and basic building process.
Once you know what pieces you need and what they do, things are very straightforward.
2. Prebuilt PCs are a better deal
Too many people fall for the prebuilt PC trap, especially budget gamers. A prebuilt PC is usually not the way to go if you’re looking for the best graphics for your money.
As a general rule, they are rarely a better deal. Of course, there are some great prebuilt PCs out there. However, you could build the same one for less money yourself.
Prebuilt versions have to tack on labor charges, so you’re paying more to have someone spend a couple of hours doing something you could do for free.
Plus, shipping will likely be dangerous and expensive since the whole unit is shipped at once.
Instead of paying someone to build your PC, you could put those extra dollars toward better parts or even games.
3. Building a PC is risky
A common fear among hesitant PC builders is that they could break their parts during the building process.
It’s only natural to worry about these things, especially after pouring hundreds or thousands of dollars into your parts. Some may even worry about their physical safety when building their own electronic device.
In reality, though, PC building is safe for you and your parts as long as you take basic intuitive precautions.
For example, don’t connect your power supply to your PC during the building process — then you don’t need to worry about electrical burns.
Plus, even when your computer is plugged in, it only uses around 110 volts of power, whereas serious injury is primarily only caused by voltages of 500 or more. Basically, there’s virtually no risk of injury to yourself when building your system.
Set up a static-safe workspace, and your parts will be safe, too. You can do this by simply laying out some cardboard to build on and wearing an anti-static bracelet.
Plug in your power supply, keeping it disconnected from everything else, and turn it off. Clip your bracelet to something metal on the PSU, such as the fan slits, and you’re grounded and good to go.
It’s that easy. Most PC parts are fairly sturdy and difficult to break as long as they are installed properly.
4. You need a GPU
One of today’s most common PC building woes is the price of GPUs.
Computer chip shortages, crypto mining, and scalping have jacked up the cost far above the usual MSRP. Budget gamers often think they can’t build a PC because a graphics card would be too expensive.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a dedicated graphics card to build a great gaming PC. You can go with a high-performance CPU with integrated graphics instead. As a general rule, though, AMD’s integrated graphics tend to outperform Intel’s.
Budget gamers should opt for something like the AMD Ryzen 5600G, which can happily run most games you throw at it, from beefed up “Minecraft” mods to “Halo” and even esports titles.
The graphics performance is comparable to a GTX 1650 in regular gameplay.
Will a GPU-less PC outperform an RTX 3080? No, of course not. However, it will perform great for gamers who are trying to build on a budget, and that’s what counts.
5. 500 GB of storage is fine
Insufficient storage is mainly a problem in budget builds and prebuilts, but it’s something to look out for. You will be shocked how fast you fill up 500 GB of storage.
A few of today’s most popular games will eat it all up in no time. For example, “Sea of Thieves” alone needs almost 100 GB of storage space.
You probably want to play more than four games if you’re building your own gaming PC. Never settle for 500 GB of storage. The extra money for 1 or 2 TB of storage will be worth it.
6. It’s fine to put your PC on the floor
This is less a building myth and more a caretaking myth, but it is still a big problem in the gaming community.
Don’t put your PC on the floor. It’d be better to place it on top of your fridge, in the middle of your coffee table, or literally anywhere else.
Dust is the enemy of custom PCs. It will get sucked in by your cooling fans, make a mess, and potentially even slow down or damage your carefully assembled parts.
There’s way more dust and debris on the floor than on your desk. Get a side table or stand for your PC if your desk is too small.
This applies to the building process, too. Never put your PC together on the floor, especially not on carpet or any fabric surface.
This is a recipe for a static disaster. It’s also a quick and dirty way to lose parts like the tiny screws for your PCIe slots.
Building your own PC fearlessly
You don’t need to be a computer genius to build your own custom gaming PC. You don’t need the fanciest parts on the market or a special facility, either.
There are some things to look out for in the building process, but it is actually very straightforward. Choosing your parts is easier than you think and can even be a lot of fun once you understand what components you need.
Now that these PC-building myths have been debunked, you can get started with confidence.
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