How to Build a Computer that's Better than a Pre Built PC

A lot of people have wondered how to build a computer. Yet it's something very few people will try.  Start here, bookmark this page, it will guide you through the entire process from start to finish, if you get lost, head back here to get back on track.

The links below offer some more information on specific builds, click on the one that most suits the type of computer you want to build to learn more.  If this is your first time, you might want to read build a computer online on this site first.

If you have a specific purpose in mind for you computer that fits any description below, read through the information so you can customize your computer for that task.

Step 1. Determine the Budget

It seems fairly straight forward but what I usually find for myself, if I don't lay down some ground rules, I'll usually want to overspend.  Pick a dollar value for everything, then we'll break it down so you know roughly what you can spend on each component.

TIP! You can pick out any parts from my current recommendation by referencing the component list on the right.

Step 2. Pick out your Core Parts

So what are the core parts?  To me these are the parts you have to buy listed below.  We'll take all these parts out of our budget cost up front so we can make a more accurate estimate of what we can spend on the internal components.  If you already have the components you may choose to continue to use them so you can spend more money where it counts.

  • Monitor
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Computer Case
  • Power Supply
  • Speakers (Optional)
  • Microphone (Optional)
  • Webcam (Optional)

TIP! Find out more about the parts of a computer.

Step 3. Pick out your Components

Finally, we get to the meat and potatoes part of it, the rest of the parts that actually do all the work.  You should now have picked out what you want for the parts listed in step 2, whatever you have left to spend will get spent in this area.  There is a percent value beside some parts to use as a general guideline to help you divide the money.


Before handling any computer parts, touch the computer case frame to avoid damage from static shock.

  • Motherboard (20%)
  • CPU (25%)
  • RAM
  • Video Card
  • Hard Drive or SSD
  • Sound Card (Optional)
  • CPU Cooler (Optional)

Step 4. Assembling your Computer

To assemble the computer, you will need,

  • A flat screwdriver
  • A star screwdriver
  • A flashlight or nice bright portable light
  • A 3/16 socket with an extension. 

computer assembly tools

Personally, I like to add a cordless drill to make putting the screws in less tedious.   

computer tools with drill

With all your computer parts and tools in hand, it's time to put it all together.  The steps below are all in order, follow the links and complete all the steps.  If you prefer a complete video you can order a copy of an unedited computer assembly on DVD.

power supply

Step 5. Setting the BIOS and Installing Windows

Once you're done assembling your computer, you will need to set up your BIOS or CMOS.  What is a BIOS?

Install Windows 7.  Yes, the current version of Windows is Windows 8.  Enough said, back to installing Windows 7.  

Want to share your experience or read about others that have done this?  Share or read a computer building story.

Go from How To Build A Computer to Parts Of A Computer

Updated October 14 2013

My Core Computer Part Picks

Internal Computer Components

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