(Pocket-lint) - Building your own gaming PC can be one of the most rewarding experiences, not just the satisfaction of completing a build and turning it on, but the feeling you get every time you game. Playing on a machine you built yourself is a special feeling. 

Building your own can also be a good way to save money over buying a pre-built system. If you don't have the cash to build an extreme gaming PC, but still want something with punch, then you've come to the right place. 

In this guide, we'll be showing you how to build a mid-range/budget gaming PC with the essential parts for a machine that will keep you gaming happily for a few years without leaving you in a mountain of debt. 

We'll be talking you through the steps, the things you’ll need to think about and all the considerations along the way.

• Budgeting your gaming PC • Mounting the radiator on the case
• What components do you need? • Installing the heatsink
• How to build your gaming PC • Installing extra case fans
• Getting started with your PC build • Installing the Power Supply Unit
• Setting up the motherboard • Installing standard Solid State Drives
• Installing the CPU • Installing standard Hard disk drives
• Seating the RAM • Attach front-panel connectors
• Installing the M.2 NVMe SSD  • Installing the graphics card
• Preparing your case • Attaching and connecting power supply cables
• Installing the I/O shield • Cable tidying
• How to install the motherboard • Starting your machine for the first time
• Preparing to install the heatsink/liquid cooling system • How to install Microsoft Windows

Budgeting your gaming PC

Before you can get started, you'll need to consider your budget. If you want to keep costs down, you'll need to think about the essential parts and the ones that aren't easy to upgrade in future. No point in building a good PC now that you'll have to abandon in a year or two because the foundations are massively out of date. 

If you're looking to save money, you don't necessarily need the newest and best parts either. Older generations of CPU, motherboard and more might be cheaper but still work well enough to last you for a long time. 

It's worth spending extra on the core parts of the machine at the start. You can always add more RAM, a better graphics card or more hard drive storage at a later date if you need to.

What components do you need?

Depending on your budget, you'll need numerous components to craft your new gaming PC. It's really important to do your research first to make sure everything fits and will work together and you don't waste money on things you don't need. 


Gaming motherboards

The motherboard is the foundation of your new gaming PC. It works as the base for all the parts and will help control the system. Each device within the PC connects to it to allow the computer to function.

When choosing a motherboard, it's important not to skimp. The motherboard is not the easiest thing to upgrade in future, as you'll have to tear down the entire system to do so. So buying a good quality one is important. 

That said, a good way to save money is to look for a previous generation motherboard - the one that supports the last generation of CPU, rather than the current one. That'll bring the costs down without negatively impact performance too much. 

It's also very important that you thoroughly examine the specifications of the motherboard before you purchase other parts to ensure they'll not only fit, but also work with your system. 


As an example, the motherboard we're using for the build covered later in this article is the Asus ROG STRIX Z370-E. This motherboard supports DDR4 ram from 2133MHz to 4000MHz in dual-channel format. That's three different things to bear in mind just in relation to one component.

Dual-channel simply means two sticks of RAM work in pairs on the motherboard. Other versions of RAM include tri-channel and quad-channel. The latter will work in this motherboard as four sticks of RAM can fit, but tri-channel won't as they have to be installed in threes. 

The RAM's frequency is measured in MHz. This motherboard is capable of taking RAM with a maximum frequency of 4000MHz but not more and not less than 2133MHz either. You need to ensure you buy RAM that fits in the right category. 

This might all sound complicated but you just need to ensure you have the right architecture (channel, MHz, type and size) and it will work.


Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The Central Processing Unit (CPU), is the brain that powers your computer. The CPU can be one of the most costly parts of your PC build. You'll need to match the motherboard to the CPU. 

There are two main manufacturers of CPUs - AMD and Intel. These manufacturers also make a variety of processors with different chipsets. In order to work out which CPU fits which motherboard you'll need to first pick the manufacturer then work out how much money you have to spend.

Let's take Intel as an example. The current model of Intel CPU is the tenth generation of processor also referred to as "Ice Lake", these are the newest chips. If you want to build a cheaper, but still powerful gaming machine, then you can opt for previous generations. They'll still be capable but won't necessarily cost the big bucks. 

For this build, we're using a Coffee Lake processor, part of the eighth generation. These are socket LGA1151. It's important to bear this in mind as you'll need a motherboard that can accept this socket type. Motherboards are also purposely sold as AMD or Intel compatible to make this easier for you. 

The current Intel processors are also split into Core i3, i5, i7 and i9. At a basic level, the higher the number, the more powerful the processor. We are using an Intel Core i7-8086K processor for this guide. If you want to keep costs down further, you could choose a Core i5 or Core i3 instead. 


It is always possible to upgrade your CPU in future, but only purchase an upgraded processor that's the same socket as your motherboard. We've put together a guide on how to swap out your CPU here.

To assist you in selecting the right CPU Intel also has this handy tool to find the right CPU to match your motherboard or vice-versa.


Random Access Memory (RAM)


RAM is the memory of your gaming machine. It helps the PC to act quickly and efficiently as you game. The size of RAM is measured in GB. Most modern gaming PCs will run with at least 8GB of RAM as a minimum.

If you're working on a budget, then there are ways to save money here. For example, it's worth looking at the recommended specifications of games you want to play and future games being released soon. You can then build your PC to hit those specifications or slightly exceed them. 

RAM is one of the easiest things to upgrade in future. All you'll need is enough spare slots on your motherboard and purchase of more RAM that matches in terms of size, frequency and model number. You'll then be able to double your RAM amount in future. 


Power Supply Unit (PSU)


The power supply unit provides all the necessary juice your gaming machine needs. Every component needs to be plugged into it in order to run. 

Don't risk scrimp on this part as buying a cheap PSU could result in the unfortunate and early demise of your machine. You also need to choose a PSU which has enough power to run your machine and all the parts inside it. PSUs are sold according to wattage, in other words, the amount of power they're capable of putting out. 

Buy one that's too powerful and it won't run efficiently. Too weak and it won't give enough power to the parts which could see your machine turning off (or worse) in the middle of a game. 

To solve any headaches, you can use this nifty calculator to suss out which one you need based on the components you plan on including in your machine. 

Considering your storage options and requirements

There are a number of different options when it comes to storage for your machine. These are drives you'll use to store your games, videos, files and your operating system.

These are slightly different and vary in price as well as speed and storage size. We're going to assume you want something fast and modern but without massive expense. We'd recommend either standard SSDs or NVMe drives.


Solid State Drives (SSDs)


Solid State Drives have no moving parts and can transfer files quickly, as well as load games swiftly and reduce any issues you might have with lag. These vary in size, the smaller ones are cheaper but are likely to fill up quickly if you have a large library of games.  


M.2 NVME Drives


These are the newest and fastest sort of Solid State Drives. They're also the easiest to install and offer blisteringly fast load speeds that will reduce the time you spend staring at game loads screens. 


Graphics cards (GPU)


The GPU does the majority of the work when it comes to powering your games. New graphics cards are being released all the time and those components will help run the latest games on very high or ultra settings.

These are likely the most expensive single component you can buy though. But you don't necessarily have to have the newest or the best to get good results. 

The graphics card is also one of the easiest parts to upgrade in future. If you build your machine well, you can upgrade your GPU every couple of years or so and keep the whole thing running for many happy years to come. 

Graphics cards are produced by two manufacturers - Nvidia and AMD. These vary in price and the power they deliver. Again, it's worth checking minimum or recommended specifications when deciding what GPU to buy. 

Nvidia's RTX range of graphics cards are newer and support Ray Tracing, but don't necessarily have to break the bank. 


CPU heatsink/cooling


CPUs tend to get really hot when you're playing games. Keeping them cool is essential to ensure the smooth running of your PC and an enjoyable gaming experience. 

Heatsinks and all-in-one cooling systems are products you can purchase to keep the CPU running efficiently. We recommend using a self-contained liquid cooling system as these are easy to fit and do a fantastic job of keeping the CPU cool.

For this article, we'll be using a Corsair liquid cooling system with two fans to help cool the radiator. These systems offer fantastic cooling performance without all the danger of spillages that come with fully-fledged water-cooling setups. 

You do need to consider the size of your case when looking for CPU cooling system to make sure it will fit. The case we're using will only fit a max radiator of 280mm, so we've opted for one with a 260mm design. 


Computer case


Gaming PC cases are available in a range of different sizes, shapes, colours and with varying features. 

The main difference is size. Cases are available in full-tower, mid-tower, ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITC and more. For your first gaming PC build, we'd suggest using either a full-tower or mid-tower case. These are slightly larger and allow you more space to work, but also better airflow and will accept a wider range of motherboards. 


Case cooling

Most cases come with case fans already installed that can are plugged directly into the motherboard and powered to keep the case cool. There may also be space for extra fans if you want to add more to keep things really cool. Check the specs of your case, to see what size fans will fit in your case if you want to purchase extras. 


Anti-static wrist strap

One of the cheapest parts you'll buy. This is a strap that attaches to your wrist and you will use this while building your gaming PC. Static electricity that builds up in your body can fry electronics in your computer while you're building, so this is a worthwhile precaution.

Thermal paste

Thermal paste is another cheap but essential purchase. This is a cooling paste that goes between the CPU and the heatsink/cooling system. It helps with convection and cooling and ensures your PC will run as it should. Don't scrimp here, but you won't be spending the earth either. 


How to build your gaming PC

Once you have everything you need, the next step is to start building. The first time you do this, it can be quite daunting. But we're here to help things go smoothly. 

There are a few essential things to bear in mind that will ensure everything goes well: 

  • Building your own PC usually ends up with an excess of wires/cables, screws and parts that you don’t need. Don't panic if this happens.
  • Complete PC builds may include cables that don't connect to anything and this might not be a problem. Again, don't panic.
  • Use an anti-static wrist strap at all times. 
  • Don't start cable tying until the very end, in case you have something in the wrong place that needs to be moved. 
  • If the case has protective stickers on it, leave them on until the end to avoid accidental scratching while you're building.
  • Keep all instruction manuals handy so you can easily reference them while you work.
  • Keep any screws you remove in a logical place so you know where they are when they need to go back in.

To show you how to build your own gaming PC we're going to talk through each step of the build and how to put it together. This will vary slightly depending on the parts you're using, but will mostly require the same steps. 

For this build we used the following components:

Other things you'll need:

  • Time - if this is your first build it can take as much as a day or two to do it correctly and get your PC up and running. Don't rush. 
  • Screwdrivers - most parts require a Philips head screwdriver to install.
  • Anti-static wrist strap 

Getting started with your PC build

To start off unbox your case, remove any extra cables and bits that came with it, then set it to one side. 

Build in a place where you won't accidentally build up static electricity - on carpet for example. Also, be sure you wear the anti-static wrist strap throughout the build process. This clips to a radiator or any piece of metal that's grounded and works to disperse any static electricity build-up in your body to prevent damaging the important components. 

Note - scroll through each image gallery to see some of the steps described in the building process. 


Setting up the motherboard

Take your motherboard out of its box and remove it from the anti-static plastic bag it comes in. We find it's a good idea to use this as a mat to lay the motherboard on top on so it doesn't touch or scratch anything underneath while you work. 

Ensure the motherboard manual is easy to access - it's very handy to reference, especially when it comes to plugging cables into the right places. 


Installing the CPU

The CPU might be the smallest thing in this build, but it's also really easy to install as long as you do it with care.  

With the motherboard correctly oriented the CPU will be installed with a tiny little gold arrow pointing down to the bottom left corner. Check to make sure you can see that easily. 

Now remove the protective cover by lifting the lever arm to release the shielding and pop the cover off. Note how the lever fits as this is how the CPU will be held securely in place. 

One that shield is off, you can then gently place the CPU down in place. Make sure it lines up properly and don't force it. You can only put the CPU in one way round, so you shouldn't be forcing it in.

Now that's done, drop the metal cover and put the lever back down.

Sometimes you might find a CPU installation tool in the motherboard to make life easier. These come with instructions and involve a couple more steps but help you avoid touching things you shouldn't.


Seating the RAM

Now comes one of the next easiest jobs in this build process. Installing the RAM. With a close look, you'll see from markings on the motherboard and instructions in the manual that the RAM needs to be installed in a certain order. For this motherboard, you need to fit the sticks in DIMM slots A1 and A2 first if you only have a pair of RAM sticks. Putting them in B1 and B2 will not work - unless you already have RAM in A1 and A2 and ram needs to be installed in pairs. 

Take the RAM out and line it up with the slots. You'll see there are clips at the ends of the slots. Push these to loosen things up before you put the RAM in. Once you seat the RAM it will make a satisfying click when fully inserted. Just like with the CPU, don't force things. 


Installing the M.2 NVMe SSD 

M.2 NVMe drives are blissfully easy to install. These storage drives get power straight from the motherboard and transfer data that way too, so there's no need for pesky cables. 

Most modern motherboards have two or more slots for these drivers. The Asus ROG STRIX Z370-E motherboard that we're using has two slots. You can find their location in the manual. One is immediately obvious as it sits just below the CPU. 

The other is neatly tucked away under the heat shield on the bottom right of the motherboard. You can use either of these or both and the machine should automatically recognise the drives installed in them. 

Unscrew the heat shield from the motherboard by removing the three screws. You'll see a sticker underneath that needs to be removed before reinstalling and this will help keep the drive in place.  

With the cover off you can install the drive. It slots in easily in either slot. With a screw to hold it in place on the other end. Be sure to replace the heat shield and screw it back in too.

Preparing your case

With the motherboard prepared, it's time to fit it in the case. 

Lay the case on a flat surface so you can see the inside easily. The NZXT H510i case we're using has stand-off screws pre-installed to hold the motherboard in place once you've slipped it in and screwed it down.

There should be nine screws which essentially act as the bottom half of screws you'll be installing to hold the motherboard in place. These stand-off screws ensure the back of the motherboard doesn't fit flat against the back of the case. 

Different sized cases take different sized motherboards so the layout and number of stand-off screws might differ but the principle is the same. 


Installing the I/O shield

Before going any further you need to install the I/O shield. This is a bit of plastic that goes into the top rear of the PC case. This houses the inputs and outputs for the PC and protects the rear of the motherboard from contact with the case itself. 

This is included with the motherboard, so dig it out of the box, line it up with the holes on the back of the case and push it into place. This can be a little fiddly and takes some effort to pop into place in most cases. You should hear a pop and we'd recommend making sure it's secure before moving on. 


How to install the motherboard

Installing the motherboard requires you to line it up with both the I/O shield and the stand-off screws. The easiest thing to do this is to lower the motherboard into the case at a slight angle with the ports pointed down towards the holes they'll be going into first. 

Take care to lower it down gently into the case and over the stand-off screws. If done correctly, you should see the holes of the stand-off screws through the holes on the motherboard. 

Use the supplied screws to put the correct amount into the holes and tighten the motherboard securely onto the case without overtightening. 


Preparing to install the liquid cooling system

The next step is to prepare to install your heatsink. This will vary depending on what cooler you have chosen and what CPU you have installed (AMD and Intel use different brackets) but the process is relatively similar. 

For this task, it's easier to stand the case up vertically so you can access both sides.  

Follow these steps for the Corsair H100x cooler.

Find the Intel backplate in the cooler's box. For the CPU we're using here (socket LGA1151) you need to ensure the brackets towards the middle as there are two different settings available. Peel off the sticky back covering, then push the backplate against the back of the motherboard. This should result in the backplate being slightly visible through the other side or at least, the holes for installing the stand-off screws on the other side. 


Move back to the front of the machine. You'll now see there are two lots of screws to use to attach to the holes on the bracket that have pushed through the front. Check the instructions and pick the right set of four screws. For this build, we need the ones that are equal length on both sides. Screw these into the four holes of the backplate bracket. 

The next step is to work out where to fit the heatsink's radiator. For this build, the cooling system uses a 240mm radiator. This needs to be fit on the front of the case. 


Mounting the radiator on the case

The radiator for the liquid cooling system now needs to be mounted to the case.

To do this, first remove the fan mount from the front of the case. This is held in place by two thumbscrews, remove those and it will come away easily. 

Take it out and you can then attach the radiator to it before you reinsert it. 

Now you need to mount the cooling system's radiator to the fan mount. Firstly, ensure the radiator is the right way up. For front mounting, this will mean the cooling tubes are at the top of the case. Another way to check is to line the CPU heatsink up with the CPU itself. The Corsair logo should be readable from left-to-right. 

You'll also want to try to ensure the cables for the fans are pointed towards the rear of the case to allow for easier cable management and better airflow. Now you're sure of orientation, screw the radiator to the fan mount. You can tell the orientation of this by looking for the notches that just out on one side. Two large hinges fit into the back of the case to hold it in place with the thumbscrews holding the other side in. 


It's worth considering the setup of your case fans at this point too. Corsair recommends installing the fans to pull cold air across the radiator, so you may need to install them that way around, but if the rest of your case fans are already drawing in cold air then you might like to install them the other way as you need some exhaust fans. There's a great guide to case airflow here

You can now reinsert the fan mount into the case and screw it back in.


Installing the heatsink

This heatsink comes with pre-applied thermal paste which makes life a lot easier as you don't need to buy any paste or worry about not putting enough on (or applying too much).

Remove the protective cover and place the heatsink down, copper side first onto the top of the CPU. You're aiming to line it up to the holes on the arms with the screws you installed earlier.

Ensure the heatsink is the right way up – with "Corsair" being readable left-to-right. Then use the thumbscrews to fix it in place. You can use a screwdriver to finish this off and make sure it's nice and tight.  


There are two cables here that need to be installed in order for this system to work properly.

There's CPU fan cable from the pump fits onto the motherboard on the connection marked "CPU FAN". You might find this cable a bit long, so hiding it could be tricky. Some cable ties can be used later to neaten things up.


The cables from the fans easily and conveniently fit the to cables from the NZXT control box and allow it to help control these fans. 

There's also a SATA power cable for the pump - a large flat thin connector - that needs to be connected directly to a cable from your PSU to power the whole system.


Installing the Power Supply Unit

Installing the power supply will be slightly different from case to case. With the rear panel of the NZXT case off, you can easily see where this PSU fits, at the bottom of the case under a shield that keeps it out of sight. 

With the Corsair HX850 you'll find the standard power cables, the mains power plug and a fancy velvet-esque bag that holds the PSU. Take the PSU out. There's a large fan on it, this mounts downwards in the case so you can read labelling on the inputs for the cables.

Push the PSU into the back of the case and hold it there while you screw it in place. You'll find four holes at the rear that you can tighten screws into to hold the PSU tightly in place. 

Once it's in, you'll be able to install all the cables later on. 


Installing standard Solid State Drives

Now you can install the other hard drives in the machine. 

The NZXT has two 2.5-inch drive bays for SSD drives behind the rear panel of the case. To install an SSD in this case, you simply remove these drive bays by unscrewing the thumbscrew then take the drive off. 

The SSD can then be screwed to the tray you've removed with four small screws in each corner of the back, then you reattach the drive bay to the case with the thumbscrew. 

These types of SSD drives need to be powered by a single SATA power cable from the PSU and then attached to your motherboard using the supplied cable. There are two types of cable supplied with the motherboard - one that's flat at both ends and another that's flat one end and bends 90-degrees at the other. We'd recommend using the flat ones for this build or you won't be able to shut the rear door. 


Attach front-panel connectors

Every case has front-panel connectors of one sort or another that need to be connected to the motherboard in order to work. These include things like USB cables, audio cables (3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks), power buttons and more. 

In most cases, these are already attached to the front and fed through into the case. On the NZXT H510i, they're fed through and visible when you first open the case. These need correctly connected to the motherboard. This is where the manual comes in really handy. Each cable is clearly labelled in the case manual as to what it is and in the motherboard manual as to where it should plugin. 


Installing the graphics card

To install the graphics card you'll need to find the correct PCIe slot on the motherboard. On this motherboard, we're using that's the PCIE_X16 slot that sits roughly in the middle of the motherboard just below the CPU. Looking at the graphics card, you'll find the connectors that fit into this slot are on one side and require you to install the graphics card with its fans facing down towards the bottom of the case. 

Before you slot it in you need to remove the cover from the rear of the case. This is a strip of metal held in place with a thumbscrew. You'll need to remove two of these in order to fit the connectors through the back of the case so you can plug them into a monitor. 

Now you can put the graphics card into the slot. Line up the connectors with the holes. You'll note there is a small one next to a longer one, so it's impossible to install this component incorrectly, but don't force it. 

Once the graphics card is slotted into the motherboard, you can screw the thumbscrews back into the holes - through the metal plating on the back of the graphics card - this will help hold it in place. 


Vertically mounting the graphics card

As an alternative, it's possible to vertically mount your graphics card in some cases. You need a case that has the slots for it and a suitable extension cable. Mounting the graphics card like this has no particular benefits to the gaming prowess of your machine, but it does look amazing, especially if you have a glass-sided case you can see through. 

The NZXT H510i has a tempered glass side and the ability to side-mount with a panel at the real that can be removed and screwed in with thumbscrews. 


The process is essentially the same. You just need to remove the panel, slip the card in and put the screws in place to keep it there. The extension cable then plugs into the top PCIe slot on your motherboard and plugs into the underside of the graphics card around the back. 


Attaching and connecting power supply cables

This next stage is where things can get messy and fiddly - plugging in all the power cables. The more components you have in your gaming PC, the more cables need to be plugged in. It should be relatively straightforward, but keeping the cables neat can be difficult. 

Many cases have holes, hooks and channels for tidying your cables. The NZXT H510i has some nice channelling at the back for getting cables as neat as possible. You'll find hooks for cable ties, recesses cables can be tucked into and more. 


Inside the PSU box, you'll find a mass of cables in a bag. These are used to connect the various components of your machine to the PSU. There are a variety of different cables, but don't worry as the cables are labelled clearly.

You can also refer to the manual to see where each cable fits - it's worth noting that there are usually at least two power cables that need to go into the motherboard. This includes a large 24-pin cable and an 8-pin connector too. 

On the PSU you'll find labels for each of the cables and it's only possible to attach them one way up - with a clip that holds them in place, so it's relatively easy to do. 


Firstly plug in the 24-pin and 8-pin ATX and PCIe CPU cables and run them through the case to the front to plug them into the motherboard. On the motherboard we're using the 24-pin connector plugs in on the right, the 8-pin plugs into the top left. This may vary on other motherboards, but you can find the labels in the manual and usually clearly marked on the motherboard itself too. 

For standard SSDs you'll find cables and slots on the PSU marked "peripheral & SATA" these have thin, flat connectors on them that plug into SSDs.

The graphics card uses an 8-pin PCIe connector cable which is often split into two. This can be fed through from the rear of the case. Along with the cables for the motherboard but is plugged into the 6+2 PCIe slot on the PSU. 


Cable tidying

Now your build is nearly finished you can try to tidy up a bit and make sure everything is neat and tidy. This is worth spending time on as neat cables help with airflow in the case and help keep your components cool.   


It's worth checking everything is properly plugged in before you get to tidying. Plug your PC into the power and turn it on to make sure it boots up with touching the insides. 

Motherboards have lights and speakers for letting you know that everything is running ok. On the Asus ROG STRIX Z370-E there are lights on the top right of the motherboard which light up and let you know if there's an error. Check the manual to see what these coloured lights mean but hopefully, everything turns on just fine. If not, the lights will highlight what's wrong - maybe RAM isn't seated properly or graphics card doesn't have power. 

If it all works, turn off and unplug the PC again. You'll find cable ties in both the motherboard box and with the PSU. Loop cables together and tighten them up so they're held neatly together.

Run the cables through the various channels and use the ties and hooks to neaten everything up. 


Starting your machine for the first time

Now your first gaming PC is built. Congratulations! But it's not all over yet. You need to install Windows, some games and other software then get to the actual fun of playing games while bathing in the glory of having hand-built your own machine. 

Hopefully, you've already seen our guides on the best gaming mice, headsets and keyboards to buy and you've got yourself equipped with those and a shiny new monitor to plug into your gaming PC. 

You're going to need to plug those in to get started with the next bit.

You'll also need another PC or laptop in order to install Microsoft Windows.


How to install Microsoft Windows

Installing Windows 10 is relatively straightforward. You'll need a few things first though:

Using the Windows Installation Media tool you can turn your USB stick into a bootable drive - this means you'll be able to run the Windows installation program directly from it. 

Run the tool, follow the instructions and install it on your USB stick using another PC. Once that's done, plug it into your freshly built PC and turn it on. You'll need to then press DEL as soon as the computer starts up and enter the BIOS. From there, look for the boot menu - this is an order through which the computer tries to load and select the USB drive you've plugged in as the first drive to try. This means when you exit - save the changes and reset - the machine will then load from the USB drive and prompt you to install Windows. 

If you don't have access to another PC or laptop then you can buy a physical disc of Windows, but you'll also need to install an optical DVD drive in your PC. Borrowing a friend's computer is an easier option. 

Once you've done this the tool will talk you through installing Windows - choose 64-bit and the hard drive you want to install on. Installing on an M.2 drive or SSD will mean Windows loads more quickly every time you turn your PC on. 

After a while, you'll be asked to enter the license key and then the install will carry on. Your PC will eventually load Windows and then you'll be away! You'll need to plug in your Wi-Fi aerial or ethernet cable to connect to your home broadband, but then you can start downloading games and setting your PC up the way you want it. 

Upgrading your PC in future

As we said earlier, once you've completed a build your PC should serve you well for years to come, but you can also upgrade it by adding various parts. The easiest upgrades are extra RAM and a new GPU. You can also add another hard drive fairly easily if you need more storage. RGB lighting and fan upgrades also make your machine look more snazzy. 

Special thanks to NZXT, Asus, Corsair, Nvidia and Intel for the support provided in creating this article. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.