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How to Build Your Own PC

Why Build It Yourself?

There are multiple reasons why you might choose to build your own PC. Some people simply enjoy the challenge of doing so. Others are hoping to save money by doing the assembly themselves. The real advantage to building your own computer is the degree of customization it offers. Building your own PC gives you the freedom to choose the parts that are right for you – from the latest graphics card for 3D games to an overclockable CPU for the ultimate performance.

Planning & Research

Researching the parts you'll need for your dream system is the most important stage of the DIY process. But first you need to define your requirements as an user. Do you want to play lots of new, graphic-hungry games? Are you a professional that requires applications for image/video editing, programming or 3D rendering? Beyond that, what's your budget? The answers to these questions will help structure your research and determine what parts you need.

Choosing Your Parts

To build your own computer, you'll need the right parts. The motherboard will determine what type of components will be compatible with your machine. A video card is needed to display images from your computer on your monitor. Your choice of CPU and RAM will determine how fast and efficient your computer will be, while the hard drive will provide the storage space you need. A computer case with ventilation and integrated fans is important, but consider a liquid cooling system for maximum ventilation. Finally, don’t forget the power supply.

Building & Installation

Building your own computer might seem daunting, but it can be easy if you take your time and read each component manual. Give yourself lots of time and set up in a clean, spacious area to build so you can easily throw your packaging debris to the side. Something to consider is building your computer outside your case first to ensure all the components work together. That way if you make a mistake, you don't have to go through the trouble of unscrewing everything from the case and starting over.

Operating System

An operating system (OS) controls the computer’s hardware and software and is needed to make your programs run. For PCs, Windows is the most popular and widespread OS, while Linux, an open-source OS, is another popular option. Macs, on the other hand, run on Apple’s OS X. Many popular games only work on Windows or Apple’s OS X, so keep this in mind if you’re building a gaming PC.

Want to learn more about building your PC?

Read our PC Building Buying Guide

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Hardware and Parts for a Custom PC

They say that when you want something done right, do it yourself. Build your own PC for maximum speed and performance by starting with the best computer parts, from the hardware up. With Best Buy’s selection of CPUs, motherboards, RAM, hard drivesvideo cards and more, you’ll have everything you need to build the computer of your dreams.

Customize the Insides

Before you start to build your own computer, you’ll need the right parts. Start from the inside out with a motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive, sound card, video card and network card. Like the mother of your PC, the motherboard holds all the computer parts together. Your choice of CPU and RAM will determine how fast and efficient your computer will be, while the hard drive will provide the storage space you need. With a suitable sound card, video card and network card, your computer will be set for all your entertainment, from gaming to web-surfing to movie-watching.

Make it Look and Feel Cool

Complement your computer’s stealth performance with a cool computer case. A case with ventilation and integrated fans will keep your system cool for smooth performance. If the case doesn’t have fans, add some. For a high-performance PC such as a gaming computer, consider a liquid cooling system for maximum ventilation. Finally, don’t forget the power supply to get your PC up and running.

Want more info? Check out some of our resources:

Build Your Own PC Buying Guide
Plug-in Blog: Building Your Own Gaming PC, Part One: The Basics 
Plug-in Blog: Build Your Own Gaming PC, Part Two: Buy or Build?
Plug-in Blog: Building Your Own Gaming PC, Part Three: The Video Card