Building a custom PC tailored down to exactly how you want it can be a thrilling experience. However, as amazing as it sounds, once you start getting into the nitty-gritty of it, things can get a little intimidating.
Between choosing the parts, deciding the case, and selecting a PSU with the right power output, you need to consider a lot of things when building a PC.
In this article, we’re taking you through the steps you’ll have to go through until you reach your final build. We’ve also listed the top seven custom PC building websites.
Building a Custom PC
The simplest way you could build a custom PC involves at least three steps as listed below.
You can, of course, choose to have your PC assembled for you based on your choice of components, but that wouldn’t be as flexible as you might want it to be, not to mention a tad bit more expensive.
Then there’s the option of buying a pre-built PC altogether. In this case, you’re pretty much locked into whatever configuration the manufacturer decides unless, of course, you plan to spend more and upgrade the system.
However, since we’re only talking about building a custom PC in this article, we’ll stick to, well, building one.
Step 1: Acquiring the parts
It might surprise you, but this might be the most difficult step of the process. You need to sit down and take into account every expectation you have from your PC. You’ll then need to check how much money you can drop on your build.
Once you’ve adjusted your expectations according to your budget, you can finally get to buying parts. Note that we’re only talking about the CPU here and no additional peripherals like a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers and so on.
Memory and Storage
For most purposes, you’ll be just fine with 8-16 GB of RAM. Depending upon how much storage you need, you’re going to decide your storage drivers yourself. However, we recommend getting 512 GB SSD and installing your OS on it to get the best performance possible. You can, of course, install a cheaper HDD alongside the main SSD for your data dump.
Processor, GPU and Motherboard
The processor, GPU and motherboard will also be determined by what you plan to use your PC for. If you plan to play and/or stream a lot of games or edit photos/videos, you’re going to have to invest in a faster, more expensive processer, a powerful enough GPU with at least 4-6 GB dedicated video memory and a motherboard that can handle all that power.
Next, you’re going to need a power supply, fans to cool your system (or liquid cooling solutions if you’re going all out) and a case to fit everything in a neat package. We’ve already done a guide on acrylic vs glass cases before, which should help you pick the case.
Regarding your PSU, always make sure that you have a little bit of headroom over the estimated maximum power consumption. This way, if you decide to upgrade your components in the future, you might not have to upgrade your PSU as well.
Lastly, let’s quickly talk about the aesthetics of your machine. You can deck it out with as many RGB parts as you’d like. These days, everything from RAM modules, GPUs, fans and even motherboards themselves have RGB on them. One thing to keep in mind, though, the more flashy you go, the more you’ll be shelling out per component.
Here’s a table listing our recommendations for different components if you’re looking to build your own PC according to your use case scenario.
|10th Gen Intel i5 or higher
Ryzen 5 3600XT or higher
|11th Gen Intel i7 or higher
Ryzen 9 5950X or higher
|GTX 1650 or higher
|RTX 3060 or higher
|SSD + HDD (if required)
|SSD (size as required)
Step 2: Assembling everything
Assembling a PC is pretty much like solving a jigsaw puzzle. Just make sure to look up where everything fits, and you’ll be good to go. Most if not all components will come with some instruction manual on how to fit them together, so that shouldn’t be too hard.
A little bit of technical know-how will go a long way here. Don’t worry if you don’t know absolutely anything, though; there are enough guides on the internet for just about everything to get you through the assembling process. You need to be careful and dedicated enough.
Now the amount of time you’ll spend assembling your build can vary depending upon whether you get all the parts at once or if you’re ordering them one by one. If you have everything at hand, it’s not too difficult to get a build-up and running a jus a few hours.
Step 3: Installing the OS and drivers
The last thing left to do before you start using your machine is, of course, installing the OS and drivers. This is the easiest step of the three as well.
Installing Windows 10 is a relatively easy process, so is installing the drivers. Most peripherals will come with their drivers on a CD. If they don’t, the manual or the box will have a link where you can download and install drivers right away.
It’s just a little bit of a repetitive process where you install everything one by one and watch your machine becoming more functional with each install.
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Top seven websites to build a custom PC
Here’s a list of the top seven websites you can visit to order parts, cases and even peripherals to make your job easier. Some of these sites will even assemble your PC for you before they send it over.
The site is primarily known for its wide selection and solid prices. The base price for a gaming desktop can be as low as $750 and there are financing options available via Affirm.
The site also offers a wide variety of other helpful services such as cable management and liquid cooling selections.
|Ships only to US and Canada
|Easily for beginners
|Slower shipping times. Extra cost for faster shipping.
|Other helpful services are available
|Custom PC/Laptop building tool
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If you know your stuff when it comes to building PCs, look no further. The company has a rather huge selection of components for just bout any budget They also have gaming systems under $1000 that offer great performance for the price.
The site offers a rather ‘easy’ Easy Builder tool. There’s a 30-day moneyback guarantee on most if not all products. Do keep in mind that they do not shoulder any handling or shipping fees and there’s a 15% restocking fee on some products.
|Huge selection of components
|Not for beginners
|Additional services such as engraving, liquid cooling and cable management
|Only ships to US and Canada
|30-day moneyback guarantee
|Several products are subject to 15% restocking fees
Digital Storm offers some of the most affordable gaming PCs you can buy. Additionally, they have numerous payment options that can help you pay in easy monthly instalments.
You can extend labour warranties to up to six years and part warranties for up to four years as well. However, they don’t have as expansive a selection when it comes to their inventory.
|Limited inventory compared to its rivals
|Sub-par building tool with limited filters
|Numerous financing options available
|Extended warranties for labour and parts
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Right off the bat, Xidax offers the best warranties as compared to any other site on this list. You get lifetime warranties on labour and parts, except a few such as AMD video cards and liquid cooling components.
Xidax will replace your defective parts with similar, comparable parts for no additional costs. Should your PC be damaged, you can get it repaired for in-store credit as well. There’s a 45-day moneyback guarantee. You are, however, subject to a 20% restocking fee.
They don’t really have the same part variety as their competition, but they do offer additional services such as engraving, RGB lighting, CPU removal and faster shipping. You get financing options as well.
|Relatively lesser variety as compared to the competition
|Offers a bunch of additional services
|20% restocking fee on returns
|Financing options (monthly EMIs)
|45-day money-back guarantee
BLD by NZXT
BLD is relatively new to the custom PC building scene but since they’re backed by NZXT, a rather popular PC peripherals and hardware manufacturer, they do know a thing or two when it comes to building PCs.
BLD gives you complete control over your rig. You pick the game you want to play, enter your price and the site will automatically suggest several builds for you. You can then further go down and customise them to your liking.
They also have fast shipping wherein your rig is shipped within 48 hours of your order. Do keep in mind though that they charge a flat $350 for shipping and assembly.
|Great at customisation
|Ships only to US and Canada
|Easy to use site interface
|Flat $350 extra for shipping and assembly
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Origin PC offers custom-built systems for gaming as well as other professional uses. Pretty much all of their models are customisable to fit your preferences. They also have a great collection of small form-factor cases.
However, they cut no slack when it comes to their machines, with their least expensive option coming in at around $1300. The good news is, you do get financing options and they have a small selection of products on Amazon as well.
|Wide selection to choose from
|Only ships to US and Canada
|Multiple financing options available
|Several systems available on Amazon
|Free tech support for life
The oldest custom PC builder on this list, Falcon Northwest has been around since 1992. Needless to say, they offer a wide variety of premium systems to choose from for just about any purpose.
However, they don’t cut any slack on their systems either. Falcon’s desktop options start upwards of $2000 and laptop options from $2500. You can get custom painted cases as well. One big hiccup here is the absence of any financing options though.
|Wide variety of systems available
|Systems are rather expensive
|Option to custom paint cases
|No financing options