8 Common Mistakes When Building a PC

Thinking of building your own PC? If you want to start this project to save money, it’s not recommended that you build a simple everyday machine. Retailers have buying power and can get multiple parts cheaper than your everyday consumer. Companies like Dell and HP pass on those savings to the basic buyer to compete with one another. Building your own high end PC can be cost saving, but make sure you don’t make the following mistakes when planning or completing your build.

Computer Motherboard

Incompatible Parts

Spending money on a great processor and it not working with your motherboard can be avoided. You can check the compatibility of all parts yourself or use online resources with the list you want to purchase to see if everything works together. Do not perform surgery on parts if they don’t fit! Many new PC builders hope if they can just cut off some plastic part and force the issue, they can find a quick fix. If the component doesn’t fit on your motherboard it isn’t compatible.

Computer Memory and Processor

Missing the details

These can be small technicalities like not removing the plastic from your CPU before installing, not clicking the components in the motherboard, forgetting to plug in all your cables, forgetting the motherboard standoffs etc. Some of these computer building issues won’t cause huge issues but will cause frustration; your new PC won’t turn on if the cables aren’t plugged in. However, not installing motherboard standoffs will cause the metal of the case to be in direct contact with the motherboard and it will short, ruining the motherboard. So take your time building, have plenty of room and keep track of your parts.

Desktop Computer Power Supply

Cheap Power Supply

Builders will try to save money on this part so they can sink more money into the processor or graphic card. The power supply is the foundation and life force of your computer. It seems obvious but poor power means the computer won’t work as needed. There are some inexpensive yet decent power supplies available but make sure that they will work with your specs. Take advantage of review sites and online forums to get advice from experts. If you make the error of going too cheap on the power supply, it could malfunction and damage your more expensive components.

computer cpu thermal paste

Thermal Paste

This application is a double edged sword. Too much thermal paste on your CPU and it will cause a mess, and could spill over the edge when you install the heat-sink; too little and you can heat up your CPU. Also there are some processors with exposed parts, and covering those parts with thermal paste could cause short circuits.

Fan Installation and Orientation

Remember that the fans should be pointing in the same direction. The goal is to move the air through the system. The front fan is pushing air into the case circulating cooler, fresher air. The fan in the back to is to remove the warm or hot air out of the system. If the fans’ air flow are facing each other the system’s temperature will increase. This may not be an issue if you are using fans that are already installed in your case. If you are upgrading or installing new ones keep the correct flow in mind.

Computer Hard Drive

The I/O Panel

It is common for new builders to forget this panel. This shield keeps the electromagnetic radiation inside of the case, keeps dust out and covers a hole in the back of the case. Though you could skip this panel it isn’t recommended. It must be installed before the motherboard is installed.


Think through how you want your cables to look so they won’t get in the way of coolers: use the different holes in your case to route them and secure the slack with ties. If you upgrade it will make it easier. Also, controlling the wires as you go makes it easier to ensure you have plugged in all cables.

Computer I/O Board

Installing Drivers

Using the Internet to get the most up to date drivers is a great idea as any discs provided may be out of date. However, to get the Internet working you need the motherboard driver disc. Make sure you don’t pitch that disc in favor of online updates or you won’t be able to get online at all!

All of these mistakes can be avoided if you take your time and pay attention to the details. There are many useful building guides online. Don’t dismiss the pamphlets that come with your components as well. Follow the build step by step, for example, install that I/O panel first before the motherboard. Finally, don’t go cheap on any parts where you think you can save money like the power supply – do the homework to buy a well made reasonable component and you won’t go wrong.

By: Jackie Edwards