Whether you’re a certified gamer or a remote employee working from home, having a great personal computer (PC) is one of the most fulfilling and life-changing things you can give yourself. However, a PC doesn’t come cheap. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive devices you can buy.
Typically, a PC may cost you around USD$1,000 to USD$1,500 depending on parts like processors. Some PCs may even cost you more, especially when it comes to gaming PCs, where essential parts and features are considered top of the line.
But if you’re not a gamer, forget about gaming PCs. It’s best to choose a PC that fits your lifestyle and needs. However, even if you let go of all the gaming aspects of a PC, it will still be expensive. In that case, you may consider building a PC from scratch.
Building your computer can be daunting and overwhelming. This is especially true for newbies without experience and knowledge about a PC’s essential parts and functions. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be like that.
Below is a step-by-step guide to teach you how to build a budget PC. But before that, here’s a rundown of all the components you need and some suggestions to save:
What Are The Essential Components Of A PC?
Before you start building a PC from scratch, make sure you have all the components on your side. In this way, the installation process will be smoother and more efficient.
Also, you want to purchase all the components you need only from trusted suppliers. Check this company page to see if they’re legitimate and have all you need.
Moreover, the essential components of a working PC are as follows:
- Central Processing Unit (CPU): The CPU is an essential element of a PC. For a low-cost CPU with superb performance, look for the Intel i3 (USD$100).
- Graphic Processing Unit (GPU): GPU is responsible for rendering high-quality videos and images. For GPU with balanced cost and performance, go for Radeon RX 6600 (USD$240).
- Motherboard: This connects the hardware of a PC to its other parts. A good yet budget-friendly motherboard you can buy is the MSI MAG B550M Mortar (USD$150).
- Power Supply Unit (PSU): This is responsible for giving power to your system. The best PSU you can get at a cheaper cost is the Corsair CX450 (USD$60).
- Storage: This is responsible for storing all that’s inside your PC, such as applications, games, and files. For a budget storage drive, go for Samsung 870EVO (USD$60).
- Random Access Memory (RAM): This is a short-term memory used to store working data. For powerful yet cost-effective RAM, go for Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB.
- PC Case: This is where all the components mentioned above will be installed. For a budget-friendly yet sturdy and aesthetic PC case, go for AeroCool AeroOne (USD$55).
Now that you know what to purchase, it’s time to learn how to build a PC from scratch.
How To Build A Budget PC From Scratch?
Once you have all the essential components you need, you’re ready to build your very own PC. Below are the steps to follow when building a PC.
Step 1: Strip Down The Case
The first thing to do is to strip your PC case as much as possible. Remove all the panels and keep them somewhere safe, preferably within the box. You can use a magnetic tray to hold all the small metal parts and prevent losing them.
Step 2: Install The Motherboard
Locate the rear I/O shield of your motherboard and punch it right into the rectangular area at the back of the case. Then, lay down the chassis above the standoffs. Lastly, secure the motherboard using the screws you removed earlier from the chassis. Be sure to use the right screws to avoid threading the standoffs later.
Step 3: Install The CPU
First, slide the retention arm out and raise the bracket. Then, gently secure the CPU to the socket, but ensure that the golden triangle symbol matches the triangle on the socket. Afterward, return the bracket and slide the retention arm back to its normal position. That’s how you install a CPU.
Step 4: Install The RAM
Locate the latches on your PC case, on the motherboard, and push them down. Then, insert the notch of the random-access memory (RAM) into the notch of the latches. After that, gently push the memory to install it. If you hear a clicking sound, it means that the RAM has been installed completely.
Step 5: Install The Storage
Once the RAM has been installed, it’s time to set up the storage. Modern PC cases often have a built-in solid-state drive (SSD) insert bays. Locate these and gently insert your SSDs. Also, you want to ensure that the connection ports face toward the chassis to easily arrange the routing cables later.
Step 6: Install The PSU
Many modern PC cases have a PSU bracket. Once you find this, you have to remove it. Then, attach it to the back of the case. After that, thread the cables starting at the back of the unit and slide the PSU inside.
Step 7: Connect Everything To Your Motherboard
To ensure that the on/off buttons work perfectly, check if all the cables are plugged in correctly. First, check the manual included on your motherboard and determine all the cables and pins that need to be connected. Do this as gently as possible to prevent bending the pins. At this point, you may also connect your USB headers and install their cables into the slots available.
Step 8: Connect The Power Supply
After connecting cables to the motherboard, it’s time to connect the power source. First, locate your 8-pin EPS cable and connect it to the 8-pin slot above the motherboard. Then, look for the 24-pin cable and connect it to the 24-pin ATX slot in the same location. After that, grab the SATA power cable and plug it into the storage devices.
Step 9: Install The GPU
Go to your motherboard and find the PCIe slot. Once you find them, unscrew them and line up the graphic card with the slots you opened. Then, gently push the GPU until a clicking sound is heard. After that, secure the GPU to the motherboard using the same screws you removed earlier.
Step 10: Turn The PC On
Now is the moment of truth. Turn your PC on to see if it runs perfectly. Plug your monitor, keyboard, and mouse as well as you do this step. If everything’s fine, enable the DOCP or XMP to ensure that the memory operates at the right frequency. Then, click the F10 button to save your progress and leave. After that, turn it off.
Building a budget PC can be tricky since you have to balance cost and performance. Luckily, there are good components you can purchase at a good price. And once you have them, you can start building your very own PC, a PC that speaks about your personality and lifestyle. If issues arise, consult a professional right away to prevent further damage.