PC Building Fundamentals aims to provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge in order to help you select the components for—and build—a new Personal Computer. As custom-built PCs have become more mainstream, the amount of users opting to build their own rather than purchase pre-built systems is steadily increasing. Whether you have just started to consider the idea of building your own PC or you have been doing it for quite some time, hopefully this series will be beneficial to you. Each individual episode covers a specific topic that will be tackled as objectively as possible, while striving to use a range of sources and factual references rather than just a singular opinion.
It is worth noting that building a PC is not for everyone; assembling a computer is very much ‘at your own risk’. Whilst the individual parts will usually be covered by warranties, there is an inherent risk with putting something together yourself. With that said, the satisfaction from putting together your own PC and having it work as intended vastly outweighs the convenience of purchasing a pre-built system. PC Building Fundamentals aims to provide you with the confidence to tackle your own custom build, as well as some tips and tricks along the way. The series will utilise a combination of my own knowledge, trusted references within the tech community, visual demonstrations, and virtual demonstrations using PC Building Simulator.
Which Case is Right for Me?
To be frank, only you can truly answer this question. But no matter whether you treat your computer as the centerpiece of your home office or just stuff it under your desk, buying the right PC case does indeed matter.
At a minimum, you want to choose a chassis that is the right size for your needs and has room for all of your hardware and USB devices. But some PC cases offer much, much more. Spacious innards, lower temperatures, muffled sound, extensive water-cooling support, premium tempered glass panels or RGB lighting are just some of the features you may be looking for.
Once you have decided how big of a PC case you need and the features you are looking for, the next step is figuring out your budget.
- If you are spending $50 or less, you will likely wind up with a bare-bones, nondescript case with few extra features. These cases will cover the basics but rarely offer much more than that.
- Things open up in the $50 to $150-ish price range, you will find a lot of variance in both design and construction in the mid-range. This price range will also offer a decent choice of extra features that are available.
- Once you extend beyond $150 or so, you should expect a PC case that excels in both performance and acoustics. Build materials tend to be swankier in high-end cases, with aluminum and tempered glass being much more common than in budget and mid-range cases.
PC Building Fundamentals: Choosing a Chassis
Following on from the last episode, this episode discusses some of the things to consider when purchasing a case.
PC cases used to be ugly beige boxes, with very few features that separated brands from each other. Nowadays though, some of the chassis that are available are not even recognisable as a PC case until the hardware is actually installed! Deciding on a chassis at an early stage of the building process, when planning your build for example, can be considerably beneficial; as you will know from an early stage which components you will able to fit into the chassis.
There is nothing worse than purchasing all of your hardware, only to realise that it will not fit in the ‘case of your dreams’. For that reason, I think in most ‘cases’ it makes sense to choose your chassis first.
If you want to further discuss the topics as the series progresses, you can get involved in the conversation via either the Scholarly Gamers’ Discord Server or over on our subreddit; where every article and video from the site is posted.
I hope you enjoy watching this series, as I know I will enjoy recording it.