The Top 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Building My Own PC | One PC Panda

The Top 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Building My Own PC

Building your own PC can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s also very easy to make mistakes and build a computer that doesn’t work or works poorly. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 5 mistakes new PC builders make when building their first computer, so you don’t have to find out the hard way! These tips will help you avoid building your first PC and save you time and money in the process!

1) Pairing an overclockable CPU to a non-overclockable Motherboard

Pairing an overclockable CPU with a non-overclockable motherboard is a waste of money, so be sure that if you’re going to invest in a new CPU and motherboard combo that they are both capable of overclocking. Otherwise, you’ll have one component that can overclock and another component that can’t even though it could—it’s a disappointment for your wallet and for your overclocking efforts.

Now that you know to pair a CPU with a motherboard that can overclock, how do you tell if your CPU is actually overclockable? Overclocking friendly CPUs usually have multiple cores and will say overclockable somewhere on its packaging. It may also be designated as a K series CPU like Intel’s Core i7-7700K.

How do we know if a motherboard is overclockable? Most overclockable motherboards will say so right on its packaging. The socket type can also tell you something about whether it can be overclocked. For example, if you have an Intel Core i7-7700K and want to get an overclockable motherboard for it, look for one with a Z270 chipset—the Z designation tells you that it’s capable of overclocking. For AMD Motherboards look for the letters X (X370) or B (B350).

2) Buying One stick of RAM instead of Two

Having one stick of RAM is better than having no RAM at all, but if you’re going to spend money on a new build, go ahead and get two sticks. Dual-channel RAM allows your computer to access memory in pairs, making it run more efficiently. If you only buy one stick of RAM, your computer will try to use both channels at once; having less bandwidth results in slower speeds.

Dual-channel memory means that your computer is accessing data in pairs, instead of just one. This speeds up performance and makes more efficient use of your RAM—something you definitely want if you’re gaming. Buying a single stick of RAM instead of two slows down your system significantly and can cause crashes. If you have a new computer with only one RAM slot, it may not be able to take advantage of dual channeling.

3) Buying faster RAM that your Motherboard cannot support

With RAM, you typically get what you pay for. While it may be tempting to purchase high-speed RAM that’s overkill for your motherboard and processor, it’s always best to buy RAM that’s compatible with these components. Otherwise, you may experience crashing or other strange errors.

There are several different RAM speeds available. Which speed you need depends on your motherboard. You may need DDR3 or DDR4, or maybe even LPDDR3 or LPDDR4. It’s best to check with your motherboard’s documentation to determine what you need and ensure that it supports whatever type of RAM you choose.

4) Buying generic PSU

If you’re new to computer building, one of your first decisions is probably whether to get a generic or branded power supply unit (PSU). Since they’re so cheap, many new builders tend to go for generic units. While they may be good enough for some people and some builds, though, generics are almost always inferior—you should avoid them unless money is an issue.

So, why should you buy branded PSUs instead of generics? The answer is simple: quality. Branded PSUs will typically provide better power delivery—they’ll provide your components with more stable voltages and fewer voltage drops under load. Brand-name PSUs are also usually a lot quieter than generic units. Another advantage is that they tend to last longer—generics can break easily after just a few months of use, especially if you push them too hard or overclock your components.

If you’re thinking of buying a generic PSU, one thing you should keep in mind is that most PSU manufacturers like Corsair, Antec, and Cooler Master have more than one series of PSUs. Some are entry-level units aimed at budget builds, others are high-end units for hardcore overclockers.

5) Not buying an SSD

The speed of your hard drive is a big factor in how well your computer performs. Most modern PCs use solid-state drives, or SSDs because they’re faster and more durable than traditional spinning hard drives. If you’re building a new computer, an SSD should be one of your first purchases.

SSDs are up to five times faster than HDDs, which means your computer will boot more quickly and programs will launch and run more smoothly. These benefits come at a price—an SSD will cost you about five times as much as an HDD. Fortunately, most modern PCs come with a small amount of storage already built-in, which should be enough for installing your operating system. If not, adding an inexpensive SSD is one of the easiest ways to speed up your computer dramatically.

Reminder: Always read the manual

Reading manuals may seem like a boring task, but when you’re building your own computer from scratch, they’re invaluable. They can provide basic troubleshooting tips that are hard to find anywhere else, as well as inform you of any potential issues with components and compatibility. Plus, if something goes wrong during installation or use, you’ll have all relevant information right at your fingertips.


Once you’ve built your first computer, there are a few gotchas that can catch even experienced builders off guard. These five mistakes should be avoided at all costs, so take a look at them now and save yourself some future heartache. Most importantly, have fun! Building a computer is an extremely rewarding experience—even if it doesn’t work right away. There is something truly amazing about bringing life to an inanimate object through hours of tinkering...

If you have any questions about building your first computer, please let me know in a comment below. I’m happy to help! And as always, thanks for reading!