How to Build a Gaming PC

by turbolence1988dec 22nd, 2018

Tool and Product Recommendations

It’s very likely you can put a PC together using products you have around the house. Regardless, we suggest the following to make your build go smoother.

#1 Size Philips head screwdriver

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At minimum, you will need a screwdriver for securing your power supply and motherboard. Most “tool-less” cases have hand screws with heads that accept a screwdriver as well, and PCI slot covers in particular are much easier to work with when you have the added leverage from a screwdriver.

Anti-Static Wristband

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Though modern motherboards and computer components are very well-shielded against static shock, there is always the chance an errant shock could damage a component. We recommend an anti-static wristband to ground yourself (that is, remove any static buildup by touching something metallic) on the off chance this happens. The wristband connects to a metal part of the case and removes any static from your skin, preventing these shocks from happening.

Table cover

We recommend some sort of table cover purely to keep your case from getting damaged as you work. Any tablecloth or towel will do. Old blankets or sheets are fine, but avoid fleece and other materials prone to building up static.

Microfiber cloth

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If you plan on applying your own thermal paste (which is not required for most stock coolers, but comes highly recommended by the OzTalksHW team), you will need to clean off the existing thermal paste and CPU lid. Microfiber cloths are preferred for this as they won’t leave behind fibers that can negatively impact cooling performance. They are also useful for cleaning your case, especially window panels and glossy surfaces that show fingerprints.

Thermal paste

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A small tube of thermal paste will only cost a few dollars and most will provide better thermal performance than stock paste. There’s no need to spend extravagant amounts here unless you’re working with high-end cooling. We recommend Arctic Silver 5 as it represents an excellent balance between price and performance, and has been the go-to thermal paste for system builders for over a decade.

Isopropyl alcohol, 70% or higher

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There are some products specifically sold as thermal paste removal and surface purification kits, but isopropyl alcohol will serve the purpose just fine. 70% is the minimum we recommend to ensure the alcohol evaporates fully and won’t leave behind trace amounts of water.

Zip or Velcro ties

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Last, zip-ties or Velcro-ties come recommended for cable management. There are plenty of opportunities to secure a power or data cable out of the way and make the build look cleaner by using such ties. The advantage of Velcro ties is that they can be repositioned easily, but are more prone to catching dust.