How to build and upgrade your own extreme gaming PC

2 weeks ago 19
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(Pocket-lint) - Building your ain gaming PC tin beryllium an intimidating, exciting, nerve-racking and rewarding experience. Crafting a instrumentality connected your own, with a enactment of physics parts is rather a thrill. It besides allows you to marque thing that's personalised to you and built according to your ain budget, specifications and preference.

Crafting a gaming PC tin prevention you wealth implicit buying a pre-built instrumentality from a retailer oregon let you to make a monster gaming instrumentality which volition tally games connected ultra-settings for years to come. If you're looking to make thing that tin grip high-end gaming, video rendering and adjacent streaming, past you've travel to the close place. 

We've enactment unneurotic the pursuing usher to amusement you person to trade an utmost gaming instrumentality including covering each the parts you'll request and wherefore they're worthy it. 

Budgeting your utmost gaming PC

Before you tin get started, you'll request to see your budget. We're going into this assuming you've got a bully wedge of currency burning a spread successful your pouch and privation to put successful immoderate superior gaming power. 

In our mind, it's ever worthy getting the latest hardware with a presumption to future-proofing of your system. It's counter-productive to walk each your hard earned wealth connected thing that volition simply request upgrading successful a twelvemonth oregon two.

The utter joyousness of gathering your ain gaming PC is if you physique coagulated foundations past you'll lone request to upgrade a mates of parts each fewer years to support your PC going and going for years to come.

It's worthy spending other connected the halfway parts of the instrumentality -  the CPU and motherboard – arsenic these are the instauration of the machine and overmuch harder to regenerate and upgrade successful future. 

What components bash you need?

Building your ain gaming PC requires a fig of antithetic components. It's important to bash your probe and guarantee you bargain the close parts for your PC and that they'll each enactment together. Certain specifications of each constituent volition impact this and you request to beryllium definite this is each close earlier you adjacent spot your order. 


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Extreme gaming motherboards


Think of the gaming motherboard arsenic the instauration of your utmost gaming PC. Though each of the components plays its part, nary of them could relation without the enactment of the motherboard. Each instrumentality wrong the PC connects to it to let the machine to function.

Choosing the close motherboard for you volition beryllium connected different factors. It's indispensable to retrieve to thoroughly analyse the specifications of your motherboard earlier you acquisition different parts to guarantee they'll not lone fit, but besides enactment with your system. 

As our extremity is to make an utmost gaming PC, we chose a motherboard to match. These high-end motherboards enactment masses of RAM, the anticipation to instal aggregate graphics cards and overmuch much besides. 

The motherboard we're utilizing for this utmost PC physique is the Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero. This motherboard supports DDR4 RAM up to speeds of 5333MHz successful dual-channel format. That's 3 antithetic things to carnivore successful caput conscionable successful narration to 1 component.

Dual-channel simply means 2 sticks of RAM enactment successful pairs connected the motherboard. You should usage 2 minimum, but you could capable each 4 slots with arsenic overmuch arsenic 128GB of RAM total.  

The RAM's frequence is measured successful MHz. This motherboard is capable of taking RAM with a maximum frequence of 5000MHz but not much and not little than 2133MHz either. You request to guarantee you bargain RAM that fits successful the close category. 

This mightiness each dependable analyzable but you conscionable request to guarantee you person the close architecture (channel, MHz, benignant and size) and it volition work.


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High-end Central Processing Units (CPU)


The Central Processing Unit (CPU), is the encephalon that powers your computer. It's different portion that's important not to skimp connected arsenic it does a batch of the limb enactment for gaming, but besides for different tasks similar rendering videos and supporting processing for streaming if that's your plan. 

There are 2 main manufacturers of CPUs - AMD and Intel. These manufacturers besides marque a assortment of processors with antithetic chipsets. In bid to enactment retired which CPU fits which motherboard you'll request to archetypal prime the shaper past enactment retired however overmuch wealth you person to spend.

Let's instrumentality Intel arsenic an example. The existent exemplary of Intel CPU is the eleventh procreation of processors known arsenic Rocket Lake. These are the company's eventual gaming processors with loads of powerfulness and overclocking potential. They besides enactment PCIe gen 4 NVMe drives - which means faster loading speeds for Windows and your games. 

These processors are socket LGA1200 - which means you request to guarantee the motherboard you acquisition tin judge this socket type. Motherboards are besides purposely sold arsenic AMD oregon Intel compatible to marque this easier for you. 

At a basal level, the higher the number, the much almighty the processor. We person an Intel Core i9-11900K for this utmost gaming physique connected the ground that we privation to make thing that tin grip thing you propulsion astatine it. This is the existent flagship, but you could opt for thing lesser similar the i7-11700K if you wanted to prevention immoderate wealth for elsewhere. 

These high-end gaming processors are costly but they're besides incredibly capable. If you're readying connected 4K gaming, streaming to Twitch and editing videos for YouTube past you won't beryllium disappointed with the processing powerfulness here. 

If you don't privation to usage the aforesaid processor arsenic us, Intel has a useful tool to find the close CPU to lucifer your motherboard oregon vice-versa.


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Random Access Memory (RAM)


RAM is the representation of the computer. In a gaming PC, it helps the machine to enactment rapidly and efficiently arsenic you game. The much RAM you person and the higher the MHz frequence the faster the machine tin work. 

Most modern computers volition tally DDR4 ram successful a dual oregon quad-channel format. Those, on with the MHz frequence are what you'll request to see erstwhile ensuring the RAM volition enactment successful your chosen motherboard. 

The size of RAM is measured successful GB. For an utmost gaming PC, the much RAM the better, particularly if you tin spend high-frequency oregon overclockable RAM arsenic well. 

We'd suggest that you'll request astatine slightest 32GB of RAM for due high-end gaming. This magnitude is truly utile for streaming and contented creating. You'd beryllium amazed however overmuch RAM is utilized erstwhile rendering videos. Plus let's not hide however RAM bare Chrome tin be!

The bully happening astir RAM is it's 1 of the easiest things to upgrade successful a gaming PC. As agelong arsenic you bargain RAM that matches successful presumption of size, frequence and exemplary fig you tin treble the size successful future. If you privation to prevention wealth now, bargain 16GB to commencement with, past upgrade with different 16GB successful future. 


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Power Supply Unit (PSU)


The PSU is the beating bosom of your utmost gaming PC. It supplies the powerfulness for each the parts successful your machine. It's indispensable that you don't scrimp present arsenic if the powerfulness proviso goes incorrect it could instrumentality a batch of different costly parts with it. 

All the parts of your physique request to beryllium plugged into it successful bid to run. The motherboard takes the bulk of the powerfulness and supplies immoderate of the different parts, but the graphics card, hard drives and fans volition besides request power. 

You besides request to take a PSU which has capable powerfulness to tally your instrumentality and each the parts wrong it. Power supplies are sold according to wattage, which is the magnitude of powerfulness they're susceptible of putting out. Generally speaking, the higher the wattage, the higher the price, but bigger isn't ever better. 

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If you person a PSU that's excessively almighty it won't tally arsenic efficiently and whitethorn tally up your electrical bill. Too anemic and the powerfulness proviso simply won't springiness capable powerfulness to the parts which could spot your instrumentality turning disconnected (or worse) successful the mediate of a game. 

Luckily there's a useful calculator you tin usage to enactment this retired - input each the components and usage this to calculate the minimum wattage powerfulness proviso you require. See what results it brings backmost and past take thing with a small much powerfulness to relationship for aboriginal devices you mightiness add. 

Considering your retention options and requirements

There are a fig of antithetic options erstwhile it comes to retention for your machine. These are somewhat antithetic and alteration successful terms arsenic good arsenic velocity and retention size. 

You whitethorn privation tons of retention abstraction to prevention photos, videos and instal each crippled successful your collection. Alternatively, you mightiness lone play 1 oregon 2 games and truthful load velocity and lag simplification are much important. You could besides premix and lucifer the pursuing options to maximise your system's storage.


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M.2 NVME Drives


These tiny things are the newest and champion retention options for utmost gaming PCs. They're incredibly accelerated and connection ultra-quick transportation speeds. These NVMe drives connection respective benefits. Install Windows and bundle connected them and your instrumentality volition footwear up successful the blink of an eye. Install games and you'll shorten load times erstwhile you commencement a crippled and the hold betwixt levels. They besides trim alleged "lag input" during gaming which tin assistance amended your gaming prowess.

For comparison's sake, the modular accepted hard thrust tin grip astir 500 MB/s a 2nd portion immoderate NVMe drives negociate 7,000 MB/s. This is besides utile for transferring and editing 4K video files. 

On modern gaming PCs these drives are a breeze to install. They often acceptable straight onto the motherboard. There are nary cables to plug in, truthful they're dormant casual to fit. The lone downside is they're lone presently costly if you privation ample retention capacity. 


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Hard disk drives (HDDs)


These disk drives are the cheapest retention option, but besides the slowest. They connection larger capableness retention abstraction for little wealth than different modern retention systems similar Solid State Drives.

They are slower though, truthful you won’t consciousness the payment erstwhile booting your PC oregon loading games. We inactive emotion including them successful PC builds to backmost up photos, aged videos and installing a wide of games from our Steam library. 


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Solid State Drives (SSDs)


Classic Solid State Drives person nary moving parts and tin transportation files much rapidly than accepted hard disk drives but not arsenic rapidly arsenic NVMe drives. These drives are a mediate crushed betwixt uber-fast NVMe drives and ample capableness HDDs. You tin find these drives with respective terabytes of capableness to clasp each your games with easiness arsenic well.


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Graphics cards


The graphics paper is the constituent that does the bulk of the workload erstwhile it comes to powering your games.

The newest graphics cards volition tally the latest games connected ultra settings and enactment 8K portion delivering decent framerates too. The effect is unthinkable graphics that volition permission you drooling implicit your keyboard. These devices bash travel astatine a hefty premium though and, too the utmost CPU, they're apt the astir costly azygous constituent you volition beryllium adding to your machine. 

Graphics cards are produced by 2 manufacturers - Nvidia and AMD. These alteration successful terms and the powerfulness they deliver. We're aiming to make a high-end gaming machine, truthful the 20-series of graphics cards from Nvidia is the existent pinnacle. These cards enactment RTX Ray Tracing and present stunning visuals crossed a assortment of the astir modern games arsenic good arsenic blistering gaming performance. 

Another information mightiness besides beryllium virtual reality. If you privation to physique a gaming instrumentality that's susceptible of moving VR past you'll request to beryllium alert of the minimum strategy specifications of the HTC Vive Pro 2 oregon HP Reverb G2.

Both these devices necessitate a decent graphics card. It's worthy paying for the other graphical powerfulness to get the astir retired of VR. 


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CPU heatsink/cooling


Cooling is an important portion of immoderate gaming PC, adjacent much truthful with an utmost gaming PC that you're going to beryllium putting done the wringer.  The components successful your lawsuit volition besides request to beryllium kept cool, not slightest of which is the CPU. 

Modern processors bash a batch of enactment and get truly blistery erstwhile you're playing. Keeping them chill is indispensable - not lone to forestall them from overheating and breaking but besides to guarantee the creaseless moving of the PC and uninterrupted gaming. 

Heatsinks and instrumentality systems are purchased separately from the CPU. With a high-end gaming PC, a liquid cooling strategy with a ample radiator is the champion stake to support things moving smoothly. These enactment to determination the vigor distant from your processor and retired of the case, keeping everything moving optimally.  

Though you tin bargain and instal afloat liquid cooling systems, it's often acold easier to usage a self-contained liquid cooling system, particularly if this is your archetypal superior build. These systems connection fantastic cooling portion besides avoiding the fearfulness of liquids leaking implicit electronics. 

For this build, we utilized an NZXT Kraken Z73. These liquid CPU coolers are casual to instal and casual to fit, positive they person each the fantastic cooling show of liquid cooling without each the information of spillages. The bonus of this all-in-one cooler is it besides has an LCD surface that tin show each sorts of things from GIFs to CPU/GPU temps, processor load and more. 

You'll request to see the size of your lawsuit excessively and whether the cooling strategy volition acceptable inside. This cooler has a 360mm radiator, which is reasonably long, truthful you request capable abstraction to equine it. You besides request to cheque the specifications to guarantee it volition acceptable connected your CPU - they disagree successful plan whether you're utilizing AMD oregon Intel processors.  


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Gaming PC cases


Computer cases are disposable successful a scope of antithetic sizes, shapes, colours and with varying features. The benignant of lawsuit you bargain volition interaction the physique of your gaming machine.

The main quality is size. Cases are disposable successful full-tower, mid-tower, ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITC and more. We mostly similar larger cases with much cooling capabilities, particularly for high-end gaming PC builds.

These larger cases besides springiness much country for hefty graphics cards and masses of peripherals. A large gaming PC lawsuit besides makes putting the instrumentality unneurotic easier arsenic you'll person much country to work, much places to fell cables, but astir importantly loads of country for aerial to travel done the case.

Large cases besides connection different features similar much retention bays for hard drives and much abstraction for lawsuit fans and heatsink radiators. 


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Case cooling


Most decent gaming PC cases travel with a fig of antithetic lawsuit fans that are plugged straight into the motherboard and powered to support the lawsuit cool. You besides person the enactment of buying other fans to maximise airflow, arsenic good arsenic adding RGB fans to adhd customized lighting to the design. If you're spending this overmuch money, you mightiness arsenic good marque it look awesome. 

Take a look astatine the cases connected offer, marque definite you take 1 that fits your motherboard and spot which fans it comes with and what extras you tin add. 


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Anti-static wrist strap oregon mat


One of the cheapest parts you'll buy. This is simply a strap that attaches to your wrist and you volition usage this portion gathering your gaming PC. Static energy that builds up successful your assemblage tin fry electronics successful your machine portion you're building, truthful this is simply a worthwhile precaution. Getting this incorrect could pb to accidentally frying incredibly costly parts and permission you crying into your beer. 

Thermal paste

Thermal paste is different inexpensive but indispensable purchase. This is simply a cooling paste that goes betwixt the CPU and the heatsink/cooling system. It helps with convection and cooling and ensures your PC volition tally arsenic it should. Don't scrimp here, but you won't beryllium spending the world either. It's worthy noting though, that Corsair's liquid cooling strategy comes with thermal paste pre-applied, making beingness overmuch easier. 


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How to physique your gaming PC

Once you've purchased each the parts and waited impatiently for them to get astatine your house, the existent amusive begins.

Putting the parts unneurotic tin beryllium a daunting experience, particularly erstwhile gathering an uber gaming instrumentality similar this with costly parts. With our assistance though, you'll find its comparatively casual and erstwhile it's each done you'll person an awesome gaming instrumentality that you created yourself. This is an incredibly satisfying acquisition and you'll astir apt beryllium hooked afterwards. 

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, determination are a fewer things to retrieve which volition assistance the physique spell much smoothly: 

  • PC gathering 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 whitethorn see cables that don't link to thing and this mightiness not beryllium a problem. Again, don't panic.
  • Use an anti-static wrist strap astatine each times to debar destroying physics parts.
  • Don't commencement cablegram tying until the precise end, successful lawsuit you person thing successful the incorrect spot that needs to beryllium moved. 
  • If the lawsuit has protective stickers connected it, permission them connected until the extremity to debar accidental scratching portion you're building.
  • Keep each acquisition manuals useful truthful you tin easy notation them portion you work.
  • Keep immoderate screws you region successful a logical spot truthful you cognize wherever they are erstwhile they request to spell backmost in.

To amusement you however to physique your ain gaming PC we're going to speech done each measurement of the physique and however to enactment it together. This volition alteration somewhat depending connected the parts you're using, but volition mostly necessitate the aforesaid steps. 

For this physique we utilized the pursuing components:

Optional extras and upgrades include:

Other things you'll need:

  • Time - if this is your archetypal physique it tin instrumentality arsenic overmuch arsenic a time oregon 2 to bash it correctly and get your PC up and running. Don't rush. 
  • Screwdrivers - astir parts necessitate a Philips caput screwdriver to install.
  • Anti-static wrist strap/mat 
  • Thermal compound

Getting started with your PC build

To commencement disconnected unbox your case, region immoderate other cables and bits that came with it, past acceptable it to 1 side. 

Try to debar gathering successful a country with carpet and marque definite you deterioration the anti-static wrist strap passim the physique process. We find a mat is simply a bully instrumentality arsenic these plug into a grounding constituent and support you earthed, truthful removing the information from precious components. 

Make definite you person plentifulness of space, including a ample level country to determination the instrumentality about. Sometimes you'll beryllium laying it down, different times you'll beryllium moving with the lawsuit stood up straight. 

Note - scroll done each representation assemblage to spot immoderate of the steps described successful the gathering process. 


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Installing lawsuit fans

This portion volition alteration depending connected the lawsuit you're utilizing and your idiosyncratic preference. We're utilizing a Lian Li Dynamic XL lawsuit that comes with nary fans arsenic standard, but capable country for liquid cooling setups, 3 360mm radiators and/or a wide of fans. 

Extra fans are ever worthwhile connected an utmost build. Extra airflow helps support your instrumentality moving chill and much efficiently, meaning amended show and superior gaming. 

As this lawsuit features a batch of tempered glass, we're besides making the astir of that with RGB fans - the Lian Li SL120 Uni fans. These are truly casual fans to install, acknowledgment to a modular plan that allows them to beryllium clipped unneurotic and past plugged successful with conscionable 2 cables for each acceptable of three. For this physique we're going to instal 3 of these fans connected the bottom, 3 connected the apical and immoderate connected the radiator too. You could besides instal different astatine the rear. 

The bottommost of this lawsuit supports assorted things. You tin equine a radiator down here, 3 120mm fans oregon SSDs. We're going to usage this country to equine 3 fans to suck acold aerial from underneath arsenic an intake. 

Unclip and unscrew the instrumentality mount, and region it. Place the fans connected the mount, positioning them truthful that erstwhile the equine goes backmost into the lawsuit the fans volition beryllium facing downwards (the achromatic statement connected the rear of the fans shows which mode is which). You besides request to guarantee the cables volition look the rear of the case. 

If you acquisition a triple battalion of these fans, you'll find a power portion successful the box. This tin grip upto 16 fans, connected successful groups of upto 4 fans. Each radical has 2 cables - 1 for powerfulness and 1 for RGB lighting. The power container past plugs into the motherboard via USB and SATA powerfulness from the PSU. If your motherboard has the close connections, you tin besides plug successful an RGB cablegram and strategy instrumentality cablegram from that power container which past lets you sync lighting and instrumentality velocity via the motherboard's software. 


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Installing the exhaust fans

We've acceptable the fans astatine the bottommost of the lawsuit to propulsion acold aerial in. Now we request to acceptable immoderate to exhaust successful bid to stroke blistery aerial out. After all, components similar the graphics card, CPU and much volition make precocious that needs to beryllium removed from the lawsuit to support it moving efficiently. 

We cognize blistery aerial rises, truthful we're installing 3 fans astatine the apical of the lawsuit to suck blistery aerial out. You tin besides instal different 1 connected the rear if you wish. 

These fans are mounted look down, again taking attraction to look the cables towards the rear of the lawsuit and appropriately labelled truthful you cognize which is which. It's worthy noting that there's a flimsy spread astatine the top, truthful propulsion the fans unneurotic erstwhile installing to support things bully and neat. 

Installing the Power Supply Unit

Installing the powerfulness proviso volition beryllium somewhat antithetic from lawsuit to case. On this Lian Li lawsuit it tin beryllium neatly tucked distant out-of-sight and retired of caput successful the rear. This is simply a dual-chamber lawsuit which means it's fundamentally divided successful half. 

Here is wherever the SDDs, HDDs and PSU are installed. 

At the bottom, you'll find a spread wherever the powerfulness proviso is located and secured. It's besides worthy noting determination are cables adjacent present that request to beryllium installed for the beforehand sheet RGB portion to work. 

Take the powerfulness proviso retired of its case. With the Corsair RM850x you'll find the modular powerfulness cables, the mains powerfulness plug and a fancy velvet-esque container that holds the PSU. There's a ample instrumentality connected it, this mounts facing outwards with the mains powerfulness facing the rear and the interior plugs facing the beforehand of the machine.


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Put the powerfulness proviso connected the mini support astatine the rear of the lawsuit and propulsion it against the backmost of the case. It should enactment up truthful respective screw holes showing wherever determination are due holes connected the lawsuit for attaching it. The applicable screws are included successful the lawsuit box. 

Once the powerfulness proviso is in, you'll beryllium capable to instal each the cables aboriginal on. 


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Setting up the motherboard

Take your motherboard retired of its container and region it from the anti-static integrative container it comes in. We find it's a bully thought to usage this arsenic a mat to laic the motherboard connected apical connected truthful it doesn't interaction oregon scratch thing underneath portion you work. 

Ensure the motherboard manual is casual to entree - it's precise useful to reference, particularly erstwhile it comes to plugging cables into the close places. 

It's a bully thought to work done this archetypal to get an thought of wherever everything is and what plugs successful where. 

Installing the CPU

The CPU is 1 of the easiest components to install, but you bash request to instrumentality attraction doing so. Forcing the processor into the motherboard tin effect successful damaged pins and a breached CPU.  

Position your motherboard successful the aforesaid mode we person successful the photos. Look intimately astatine the lodging and you'll spot a tiny arrow successful 1 of the corners of the socket wherever the CPU sits. If you look astatine the CPU itself, you'll spot a tiny small golden arrow pointing down to 1 of the corners. Most of the time, that arrow points to the bottommost near of the socket, truthful that's wherever it'll go. 

The adjacent measurement is to region the protective screen from the motherboard. This is intelligibly labelled and covers the slot for the CPU. Lift the lever arms to merchandise the shielding and popular the screen off. Note however the lever fits arsenic this is however the CPU volition beryllium held securely successful place. 

Place the CPU successful with the arrow successful the close country and mildly slot it into place. There's nary request to unit it, the arms volition bash that for you arsenic volition the unit from the heatsink. 

Now that's done, driblet the metallic screen and enactment the lever backmost down.


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Seating the RAM

Next occupation is installing the RAM. We're putting 4 sticks of RAM into 4 antithetic slots connected the motherboard. You'll spot from markings connected the motherboard and instructions which slots you request to fill. But if you person 4 sticks conscionable capable them all. 

First, propulsion the clips down astatine the borderline of the slots, this unlocks them acceptable for the RAM sticks. Next, instrumentality the RAM retired of its container and enactment it up with the close slots. You'll spot however it should acceptable successful reasonably easily. As you propulsion the RAM in, the clips astatine the ends of the slots that volition marque a satisfying click erstwhile it is afloat inserted. Don't unit it oregon usage excessively overmuch unit oregon you could hazard damaging the RAM and the motherboard. 

Note - you'll request to activate the XMP illustration wrong the motherboard's BIOS settings to marque the astir of your RAM's maximum frequency. The RAM we're utilizing is 3600Mhz but it won't relation astatine that level arsenic modular unless you activate this setting. See the motherboard manual for instructions connected however to bash this. 


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Installing the M.2 NVMe SSD 

Alongside the RAM, the M.2 SSD thrust is 1 of the easiest things to install. These drives get powerfulness straight from the motherboard and transportation information that mode too, truthful there's nary request for pesky cables. 

On this motherboard, determination are 4 slots for M.2 NVMe drives. The determination of these slots is reasonably evident excessively arsenic they're located nether heatshields. You'll request to unscrew this shield from the motherboard by removing the due screws. 

With the screen disconnected you tin instal the drive. The drives slot successful easily, they conscionable necessitate a screw to clasp them successful spot connected the different end. 

Be definite to region the integrative movie covering the thermal pads earlier installing. 

We utilized respective NVMe drives connected our utmost PC physique and we'd urge doing the aforesaid too. You tin usage 1 for Windows, 1 for games and 1 for different things - video, photos, crippled captures, immoderate floats your boat. Because they're smaller than accepted hard drives, they're easier to capable up truthful it's worthy having a few. 

Preparing your case

You've present down everything you tin easy bash extracurricular the case, truthful it's clip to determination onto the main concern of fitting it each successful the case. 

Take your lawsuit retired and laic it level truthful you tin spot the wrong easily. You should find immoderate stand-off screws wrong the motherboard case. These tin beryllium utilized to acceptable the motherboard.

On this lawsuit these stand-off screws travel pre-installed but that mightiness alteration from lawsuit to case. There are respective screws that fundamentally enactment arsenic the bottommost fractional of screws you'll beryllium installing to clasp the motherboard successful place. The stand-off screws guarantee the backmost of the motherboard doesn't acceptable level against the backmost of the case. 

Different sized cases instrumentality antithetic sized motherboards truthful the layout and fig of stand-off screws mightiness disagree but the rule is the same. It's worthy noting that this lawsuit tin instrumentality assorted antithetic sized motherboards, truthful fitting mightiness vary. 

Installing the I/O shield

Most motherboards person an I/O shield - a spot of integrative mixed with metallic that goes into the apical rear of the PC case. This houses the inputs and outputs for the PC and protects the rear of the motherboard from interaction with the lawsuit itself. 

On the motherboard we're utilizing it comes pre-installed connected the committee itself, but you whitethorn find it arsenic a abstracted happening successful the box, successful which lawsuit it needs to beryllium installed earlier you enactment the motherboard in. 

Find it, enactment it up with the holes connected the backmost of the lawsuit and propulsion it into place. This tin beryllium a small fiddly and immoderate I/O shields person crisp edges, truthful instrumentality attraction fitting it. 

You're present escaped to instal the motherboard successful the case. 

How to instal the motherboard

To instal the motherboard simply enactment it up with the I/O shield and the stand-off screws. We find the champion mode to bash this is to little the motherboard into the lawsuit astatine a flimsy space with the ports pointed down towards the holes they'll beryllium going into first. 

Line the ports up with the holes connected the I/O shield and propulsion the motherboard into place. Then little it mildly down onto the stand-off screws. This should effect successful you being capable to spot the holes of the stand-off screws done the holes connected the motherboard. These holes volition beryllium shown connected a diagram wrong the motherboard manual. They're besides easy identifiable by the tiny metallic dots astir the extracurricular of them. 

Use the supplied screws to enactment the close magnitude into the holes and tighten the motherboard securely onto the lawsuit without overtightening. 

Preparing to instal the heatsink/liquid cooling system

The adjacent measurement is to hole to instal your heatsink. This volition alteration depending connected what cooler you person chosen and what CPU you person installed (AMD and Intel usage antithetic brackets) but the process is comparatively similar. 

You besides person a prime wherever to equine it. This lawsuit technically supports a 360mm radiator connected the bottom, broadside oregon top. We're going to equine it connected the side. You tin besides conscionable usage the fans that came with the NZXT Kraken X73 oregon adhd much arsenic we're going to. 

For a modular installation, equine the fans facing the rear of the case. Either connected the backmost of the radiator oregon beforehand of it, depending connected your aesthetic preference. The thought is to propulsion acold aerial crossed the radiator to chill the liquid wrong and support it moving cool.

We're going to amended cooling further by utilizing other SL120 fans mounted connected the wrong to propulsion other aerial and assistance the process. This is known arsenic push/pull setup. To bash this, you request to equine the radiator and modular NZXT fans astatine the rear of the lawsuit and usage the agelong screws to connect the SL120 fans to the beforehand and clasp the radiator successful place. Otherwise, the radiator and six fans is excessively abdominous and you can't instal the beforehand sheet USB cables onto the motherboard. 

To instal the radiator successful this mode you archetypal request to region the backplates. These are held successful spot with clips and are different utilized for SSDs if you privation to instal them there. Remove those, past screw it each successful place. 

Once that's done you past request to instal the pump caput connected the CPU. 

Inside the box, determination are respective backplate brackets. There are antithetic ones for Intel and AMD CPUs truthful you request to cheque the manual to spot what you need.

For the CPU we're utilizing present (socket LGA1200) a backplate is necessary.

Move backmost to the beforehand of the machine. You'll present spot determination are respective antithetic tons of standoff screws to usage to connect to the holes connected the bracket. Check the instructions and prime the close acceptable of 4 screws. For this build, we request the ones that are the aforesaid magnitude connected some sides. These stand-off screws connect to the bracket oregon backplate and past assistance clasp the cooler successful place. 

Installing the heatsink

This heatsink comes with pre-applied thermal paste. Others mightiness not. You request to usage thermal paste for conduction and use a tiny magnitude to the heatsink earlier installing. 

Check earlier you acceptable it however it's going to sit. You mightiness take to person the pump pipes beneath oregon supra the pump. You'll enactment determination are different cables that request to travel retired of the head, truthful springiness thought to what they'll look similar erstwhile it's each installed. 

Take the heatsink and instrumentality it down implicit the CPU, lining up the holes connected the arms with the screws you installed earlier. This pump caput tin beryllium installed successful antithetic ways and rotated to your penchant truthful the show tin beryllium revolved and inactive show arsenic it should. 

Once you've acceptable it, usage the thumbscrews to hole it successful place. You tin usage a screwdriver to decorativeness this disconnected and marque definite it's bully and choky without overtightening. 

There are respective cables present that request to beryllium installed successful bid for this strategy to enactment properly. In the box, you'll find a USB cablegram that needs to beryllium plugged into the pump itself (the portion you installed connected apical of the CPU) and past into the USB header connected the motherboard. You tin find this input successful the motherboard manual - but it's connected the bottommost of this motherboard.

The CPU instrumentality cablegram from the pump fits onto the motherboard connected the transportation marked "CPU FAN". You mightiness find this cablegram a spot long, truthful hiding it could beryllium tricky. Some cablegram ties tin beryllium utilized aboriginal to neaten things up. The NZXT fans besides plug into the cables coming retired of the pump caput for afloat control. 

Installing modular Solid State Drives

Now you tin instal the different hard drives successful the machine. This is an casual process. 

You tin instal arsenic galore arsenic six 2.5-inch SSDs successful this machine. The easiest mode to bash it is to instal them connected the backmost of the sheet that besides acts arsenic a cablegram shield astatine the rear of the case. This sheet tin beryllium unscrewed and removed to acceptable 3 drives connected it. 

These types of SSD drives request to beryllium powered by a single SATA powerfulness cablegram from the PSU and past attached to your motherboard utilizing the supplied cable. There are 2 types of cablegram supplied with the motherboard - 1 that's level astatine some ends and different that's level 1 extremity and bends 90-degrees astatine the other. 

Note - this motherboard states that you shouldn't usage SATA larboard 1 and 2 if you're utilizing M.2 NVMe drives successful the archetypal 2 slots connected the motherboard. 

Installing modular Hard disk drives

Standard platter-based hard disk drives are installed successful a caddy that successful crook slot into hot-swappable bays successful the apical rear of this case. Unscrew a thumb screw astatine the rear and you tin propulsion these caddies out. Then instal the HDDs by screwing them successful utilizing the screws that came with the case. 

Slot the caddy backmost successful and propulsion until you perceive a click, past regenerate the thumbscrew. There are 4 imaginable bays, but you tin region them if you don't request to instal immoderate HDDs. 

These hot-swappable thrust bays person the powerfulness and information cables built into them. Which is incredibly convenient arsenic you conscionable request to link them to your motherboard and SATA power. It besides means you tin instrumentality drives retired whenever you privation and regenerate truly easy without having to instrumentality your lawsuit apart. 

Check the manual to spot wherever some these types of thrust are plugged into the motherboard, it's usually side-mounted on the close of the motherboard, truthful you request to provender cables done from the backmost to the front. 

Attach front-panel connectors

Every lawsuit has front-panel connectors of 1 benignant oregon different that request to beryllium connected to the motherboard successful bid to work. These see things similar USB cables, audio cables (3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks), powerfulness buttons and more. 

These request correctly connecting to the motherboard. This is wherever the manual comes successful truly handy. Each cablegram is intelligibly labelled successful the lawsuit manual arsenic to what it is and successful the motherboard manual arsenic to wherever it should plugin. 

This Lian Li lawsuit has aggregate connections it has 4 USB Type-A ports, a USB-C, HD audio, remainder and powerfulness buttons and RGB lighting too. The Asus motherboard we're utilizing has the connections we request for those ports, but not each motherboards will.   


Attach Front-panel Connectors representation  5


Optional - To amended the look of the beforehand of the lawsuit you tin usage Corsair's Premium Sleeved Front Panel Extension Kit 30cm successful white. These are mini cables that simply plug into the modular ones and provender done to the front. We emotion these arsenic they springiness you much magnitude to enactment with and mean you tin spot much superb achromatic cables successful the beforehand of the case. 

Installing the graphics card

To instal the graphics paper you'll request to find the close PCIe slot connected the motherboard. On this motherboard, determination are respective PCIE_X16 slots to take from - cleanable if you privation to instal two, oregon 3 graphics cards and SLI them. If you person conscionable 1 paper it's champion to usage the apical spot. 

Looking astatine the graphics card, you'll find the connectors that acceptable into this slot are connected 1 broadside and necessitate you to instal the graphics paper with its fans facing down towards the bottommost of the case. 

Before you slot it successful you request to region the screen from the rear of the case. This is simply a portion of metallic held successful spot with a thumbscrew. You'll request to region 2 of these successful bid to acceptable the connectors done the backmost of the lawsuit truthful you tin plug them into a monitor. 

Now you tin enactment the graphics paper into the slot. Line up the connectors with the holes. You'll enactment determination is simply a tiny 1 adjacent to a longer one, truthful it's intolerable to instal this constituent incorrectly, but don't unit it. Like erstwhile fitting the RAM, you'll enactment a clip astatine the extremity of the slot, this volition click erstwhile the GPU is afloat installed. 

Once the graphics paper is slotted into the motherboard, you tin screw the thumbscrews backmost into the holes - done the metallic plating connected the backmost of the graphics paper - this volition assistance clasp it successful place. 

Vertically mounting the graphics card


Another enactment for a physique similar this is to vertically equine the graphics card. Some modern cases person backplates built into the plan that are purposely seated vertically astatine the broadside of the case. This allows you to equine your graphics paper truthful it tin beryllium seen done the solid doors connected the broadside of your machine. 

For this, you'll request the Premium PCIe 3.0 x16 Extension Cable past simply region the thumbscrews and backplates connected the vertical mount. Pop the graphics paper successful and tighten the screws backmost successful place. The cablegram itself past plugs into the motherboard successful spot of the GPU. We utilized the apical slot connected the motherboard and past stretched the cablegram down down the graphics paper to fell the cablegram and plug it successful neatly. 

Attaching and connecting powerfulness proviso cables

This adjacent signifier is wherever things tin get messy and fiddly - plugging successful each the powerfulness cables. The much components you person successful your gaming PC, the much cables request to beryllium plugged in. It should beryllium comparatively straightforward, but keeping the cables neat tin beryllium difficult. 

Many cases person holes, hooks and channels for tidying your cables. The Lian Li Dynamic XL is an implicit joyousness for cablegram absorption acknowledgment to its dual-chamber layout. Open the backmost up and you'll find plentifulness of country for storing each your cables. There's country backmost present for the lighting node pros and Commander Pros too. 

There's loads of country to enactment with cables here, but besides respective places to walk cables done to the beforehand arsenic neatly arsenic possible.


How to instal  a powerfulness  proviso   portion   representation  1

Inside the PSU box, you'll find a wide of cables successful a bag. These are utilized to link the assorted components of your instrumentality to the PSU. There are a assortment of antithetic cables, but don't interest arsenic the cables are labelled clearly. We'd urge utilizing the optional extras of premium PSU cables and premium cablegram combs excessively arsenic it makes things a batch neater here. Otherwise, cablegram ties are your person successful the adjacent future. 

It is indispensable to notation to the manual to spot wherever each cablegram fits. Some motherboards necessitate much powerfulness than others.

With this build, the motherboard needs 2 8-pin powerfulness connectors plugged successful astatine the top, a ample 24-pin cablegram connected the right-hand broadside and a PCIe powerfulness cablegram astatine the bottommost too. 

On the PSU you'll find labels for each of the cables and it's lone imaginable to connect them 1 mode up - with a clip that holds them successful place, truthful it's comparatively casual to do. 

Firstly plug successful the 24-pin, 8-pin ATX and PCIe powerfulness cables and tally them done the lawsuit to the beforehand to plug them into the motherboard. The motherboard and the manual some person markings to amusement you wherever these request to go. To support things neat effort to tally each cablegram done the spread nearest to wherever you're going to plug it in. That mode you tin support astir of the cablegram astatine the back. 

While you're doing this, you tin usage the cablegram combs to abstracted each idiosyncratic ligament successful the cables and support everything neat and tidy. 

For SSD and HDD powerfulness you'll find cables and slots connected the PSU marked "peripheral & SATA" these person thin, level connectors connected them that plug into hard drives. You'll find you person cables with aggregate connections connected them - you tin plug respective hard drives into this and thing other that needs SATA powerfulness (lighting controllers for example). 


Installing the graphics paper  2 representation  9

The Nvidia RTX 3090 graphics paper besides requires powerfulness and uses 2 8-pin PCIe powerfulness cables. These tin beryllium fed done from the rear of the lawsuit and provender done neatly on the side. 


Optional - For an improved look you tin usage the Corsair Premium PSU Cable kit. These are thicker braided cables, individually sleeved that travel with cablegram combs already attached to marque them neat. These are sold successful a assortment of colours, but the achromatic cables look magnificent for this achromatic build.


Premium cablegram  kit representation  4

With this purchase, we'd besides urge getting the Premium Cable Comb kit. These are cablegram tidying devices that are fundamentally combs divided into 3 parts that tin beryllium pulled isolated and slid betwixt the cables. Using these you tin abstracted each idiosyncratic ligament and marque them each tally neatly successful parallel to each other.

Feed the mediate portion done betwixt the apical and bottommost furniture of cables and propulsion each into the respective groove successful the comb, past connect the apical and repetition connected the bottom. Once the cablegram combs are connected you tin descent them up and down the cables to guarantee it's truly neat. This is worthy doing arsenic it looks great. In the backmost of the case, wherever things are little visible, conscionable usage cablegram ties to tighten everything up. 


Premium cablegram  kit representation  5

Cable tidying

Now your physique is astir finished you tin effort to tidy up a spot and marque definite everything is neat and tidy. This isn't conscionable astir being obsessively neat - tidy cables besides assistance with airflow successful the lawsuit and assistance support your components cool. It's worthy spending clip on. 

Before you start, we'd urge double-checking everything is plugged successful - cheque the motherboard manual and guarantee each the inputs are connected arsenic they should be. We'd besides urge plugging your PC into the powerfulness socket and powering it on. Don't interaction the insides portion you bash this. 

The Asus motherboard has an LED show which shows informing codes if things aren't going smoothly, you tin spot what these codes mean by looking successful the manual. If it doesn't enactment archetypal time, don't panic it mightiness beryllium thing elemental - possibly RAM isn't seated decently oregon graphics paper doesn't person power. 

If it each works, crook disconnected and unplug the PC, past statesman the amusive of tidying the cables. You should find cablegram ties successful some the motherboard container and with the PSU. Loop cables unneurotic and tighten them up truthful they're held neatly together.

The lawsuit besides has aggregate metallic loops connected some the beforehand and backmost that let you to hook a cablegram necktie done and propulsion the cables neatly into the assemblage and necktie them down. These tin beryllium worked astir each the edges to fell the cables arsenic overmuch arsenic possible.


The completed instrumentality   photograph  5

Starting your instrumentality for the archetypal time

Now your archetypal gaming PC is built. Congratulations! But it's not each implicit yet. You request to instal Windows, immoderate games and different bundle past get to the existent amusive of playing games portion bathing successful the glory of having hand-built your ain machine. 

Hopefully, you've already seen our guides connected the champion gaming mice, headsets and keyboards to bargain and you've got yourself equipped with those and a shiny caller show to plug into your gaming PC. 

You're going to request to plug those successful to get started with the adjacent bit.

You'll besides request different PC oregon laptop successful bid to instal Microsoft Windows.


Windows 10 representation  1

How to instal Microsoft Windows

Installing Windows 10 is comparatively straightforward. You'll request a fewer things archetypal though:

Using the Windows Installation Media instrumentality you tin crook your USB instrumentality into a bootable thrust - this means you'll beryllium capable to tally the Windows installation programme straight from it. 

Run the tool, travel the instructions and instal it connected your USB instrumentality utilizing different PC. Once that's done, plug it into your freshly built PC and crook it on. You'll request to past property DEL arsenic soon arsenic the machine starts up and participate the BIOS. From there, look for the footwear paper - this is an bid done which the machine tries to load and prime the USB thrust you've plugged successful arsenic the archetypal thrust to try. This means erstwhile you exit - prevention the changes and reset - the instrumentality volition past load from the USB thrust and punctual you to instal Windows. 

If you don't person entree to different PC oregon laptop past you tin bargain a carnal disc of Windows, but you'll besides request to instal an optical DVD thrust successful your PC. Borrowing a friend's machine is an easier option. 

Once you've done this the instrumentality volition speech you done installing Windows - take 64-bit and the hard thrust you privation to instal on. Installing connected an M.2 thrust oregon SSD volition mean Windows loads much rapidly each clip you crook your PC on. 

After a while, you'll beryllium asked to participate the licence cardinal and past the instal volition transportation on. Your PC volition yet load Windows and past you'll beryllium away! You'll request to plug successful your Wi-Fi aerial oregon ethernet cablegram to link to your location broadband, but past you tin commencement downloading games and mounting your PC up the mode you privation it. 

It's worthy noting, if you're utilizing the aforesaid motherboard arsenic us, we had a occupation during Windows installation that tin beryllium fixed utilizing this method

Upgrading your PC successful future

As we said earlier, erstwhile you've completed a physique your PC should service you good for years to come, but you tin besides upgrade it by adding assorted parts. The easiest upgrades are other RAM and a caller GPU. You tin besides adhd different hard thrust reasonably easy if you request much storage. RGB lighting and instrumentality upgrades besides marque your instrumentality look much snazzy. 

Speeding up hard disks with Intel Optane Memory


If, similar us, you're partial to modular platter hard drives for the magnitude of retention abstraction they connection connected a value-for-money ground past you'll besides person mixed feelings astir their performance. 

Hard disk drives are large for masses of storage, they're not large for speed. The bully quality is, there's an casual upgrade you tin bash to your strategy to amended show and assistance velocity up these drives.  

Intel's Optane Memory HDD accelerator does conscionable that. It's an M.2 thrust that slots into your motherboard (in the aforesaid mode arsenic the M.2 NVMe SSD above) and makes modular hard thrust entree arsenic overmuch arsenic 14 times faster. 

Simply instal the accelerator successful immoderate spare M.2 slot connected your motherboard, past download the accompanying software. From determination you tin past take the hard thrust you privation to accelerate. Over clip this volition boost show and amended your experience. 

You could usage this to amended the show of your ample retention drives oregon arsenic an alternate to having an SSD oregon NVMe thrust arsenic your Windows Boot drive. 

Hopefully, you've recovered this usher useful. 

Special acknowledgment to Corsair, Nvidia, Intel, Crucial, Samsung and Western Digital for the enactment provided successful creating this article. 

Writing by Adrian Willings. Originally published connected 22 March 2018.

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