How to build your own PC

Building your own PC can save you money, and it allows you to create a system that’s perfectly suited to your needs.

It’s also a great way to gain familiarity with the way the various parts of your system work together – and it’s very easy to do.

That’s because every component and connector in a modern PC is strictly standardised, so you can safely buy off-the-shelf components and assemble them at home to make a working system. It isn’t for absolute beginners, however, but if you’re the sort of person who’s happy opening up your PC’s case to upgrade the RAM or fit a new graphics card, there’s nothing to fear.

Hard drive prices

Since this feature was written, the floods in Thailand have pushed up the prices of hard drives, so those listed may not be accurate – check retailers for up-to-date pricing

Building your own PC might not always be cheaper than buying a complete package. It’s a very competitive industry, and the professionals work to tight margins on complete systems.

But there’s plenty of scope to save money by reusing parts you may already own, such as the case, power supply and hard disk from an older PC. You may even be able to keep your operating system without paying for a new licence, as we’ll explain later.

In this feature, we’ll show you how to choose parts that work together, and what you can reuse to assemble a fully functioning, well-balanced system. We’ll also showcase three sample systems at different prices, to show how you can build an affordable home PC, an all-rounder, or a powerful graphical workstation.

How to build your own PC

Choosing your parts and building your PC

Move Windows to your new PC

How to build a value PC

How to build an all-rounder

How to build a premium machine

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