How to Build Your Own Custom Gaming PC in 2023

Building your own custom gaming PC allows you to get more performance for your money compared to buying a pre-built gaming PC. You can customize the parts to meet your specific gaming needs and budget. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to build your dream gaming rig.

Building vs Buying a Pre-Built Gaming PC

Here is a comparison between building your own custom gaming PC and buying a pre-built gaming PC:

Custom Built PC Pre-Built Gaming PC
Cost Tends to cost less for better performance $500 – $3000+
Parts Quality Can pick high quality components Varies greatly
Customization Fully customizable – get exactly what you need Limited customization options
Ease of Building Requires research and hands-on assembly Just unbox and setup
Upgradeability All parts can be upgraded easily Limited depending on proprietary parts
Warranty Individual part warranties Usually 1-3 years included
Tech Support Online forums and videos Phone, email, online support

As you can see, custom building allows you to get better performance per dollar spent, carefully pick components to meet your needs, and upgrade easily in the future. The tradeoff is it requires more research and effort upfront.

Choosing Gaming PC Parts

The core components that go into a gaming PC build are:

  • CPU – The “brains” of the operation
  • GPU – Handles graphics and video processing
  • RAM – Provides short-term memory for multitasking
  • Motherboard – Connects all components together
  • Storage – Saves files and games long term
  • Power Supply – Delivers stable, clean power
  • PC Case – Houses all the parts

Here are some popular part recommendations for a high-end 2023 gaming build:


CPU Details Price
AMD Ryzen 9 7900X 12 cores, 24 threads, top-tier AMD gaming CPU $549
Intel Core i9-13900K 24 cores, 32 threads, top-tier Intel gaming CPU $689

You can’t go wrong with either the AMD Ryzen 9 7900X or Intel Core i9-13900K. The extra efficiency cores on the 13900K gives it an edge for gaming frame rates.


GPU Details Price
Nvidia RTX 4090 Fastest gaming GPU available $1,299+
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Great price-to-performance $899

The RTX 4090 is in a league of its own performance-wise but is very expensive. The RX 7900 XTX still delivers excellent 4K gaming performance for hundreds less.


Memory Details Price
Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR5 6600 High-speed low latency DDR5 $359
G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB (2 x 16GB) 3600MHz (PC4-28800) CL16 Fast DDR4 memory $114

DDR5 offers the best performance but is more expensive. DDR4 still gets the job done well at a much lower cost. 32GB is the ideal capacity for future-proofing.

And the list goes on for motherboard, SSD, power supply, PC case, and other components. Visit PCPartPicker to configure complete builds.

Step-by-Step Guide to Assemble Your Custom Gaming PC

Here is a step-by-step overview of the part installation process:

  1. Install the CPU, cooler, RAM, and M.2 SSD on the motherboard outside of the case. This is easier to access before installing in the case.

  2. Install the power supply and any case fans in the PC case. Modular power supplies make cable management much easier.

  3. Carefully place the motherboard in the case and secure it with screws. Be sure ports align with cutouts.

  4. Connect case cables like power switch, USB, audio, etc per the motherboard manual. Double check they are oriented properly.

  5. Connect SATA data and power cables to any hard drives and optical drives. Modular power supplies minimize excess cabling.

  6. Connect GPU, routing video cables out the back plate opening. Support heavy GPUs with a brace or stand if needed.

  7. Connect all power supply cables – motherboard power, CPU power, GPU power. Use cable combs for a clean look.

  8. Double check all connections, close up the case, connect peripherals like keyboard and mouse, connect power cable and monitor, and power it on!

The actual assembly process should take 1-2 hours even for beginners taking their time. It’s very straight forward once you know what goes where.

Installing Windows on a Custom Built Gaming PC

Here are the basic steps to install Windows:

  • Have a 8GB+ USB flash drive formatted as FAT32
  • Use Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool to create a bootable Windows install drive
  • With the new PC powered off, insert the flash drive and power it on, booting from the flash drive
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to install Windows 10 or Windows 11
  • Skip any product key entry (it can be added later)
  • Once the install is done, install motherboard, GPU, and other hardware drivers

Once Windows is setup, install antivirus, games, programs, and any utilities you need for a complete gaming PC!

FAQ About Building Your Own Gaming PC

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about building a custom gaming PC:

Is building a PC hard for a beginner?

Building a PC is like putting together a complex Lego set. It seems intimidating but thousands of first-timers have built systems by following online guides. The parts only fit together one way, so have patience and follow instructions carefully.

What tools do I need to build a gaming PC?

A Philips head screwdriver is the only tool absolutely necessary. Needle nose pliers can help attach small connectors. A anti-static wrist strap helps prevent costly damage but is optional.

Can I mess up computer parts if I install something wrong?

Modern PC parts are quite durable and designed to prevent damage from basic installation mistakes. Avoid obvious things like forcing plugs in the wrong way. As long as you are patient and double check connections, you’ll be fine.

How much cheaper is it to build vs buy a gaming PC?

Pre-built gaming PCs often cost $300-$600 more for a given combination of parts. Building yourself avoids inflated labor and licensing costs. Dedicated gaming PCs also tend to cheap out on motherboards, RAM, and power supplies compared to custom builds.

Can I upgrade a custom built PC easily in the future?

Absolutely! Custom PCs use standardized parts so you can upgrade the CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, or anything that needs more performance later on. Pre-built PCs often have some proprietary limitations on what you can upgrade.

How long does a custom built PC last for gaming?

A well designed custom gaming PC can easily last 5+ years. While the most demanding games require better GPUs over time, other components like CPU, RAM, and storage have much longer viable lifespans for gaming. You can always drop in a newer GPU later on.

Is overclocking safe for gaming PC builds?

Overclocking pushes components past factory speeds but generates extra heat. With proper CPU coolers and GPU cooling, overclocking mildly is safe. Stress test for stability and monitor temperatures. Overclocking allows users to extract extra performance from their hardware when desired.

What size PC case do I need?

Go with a mid-tower ATX case which provides ample room for components and air flow. Full tower cases are extremely large. Small form factor cases can fit full power components but heat management is harder.

How can I control RGB lighting in my PC?

Many motherboards have RGB headers to control lighting built-in. Or you can connect RGB components to a dedicated controller. Software like Asus Aura Sync allows controlling lighting across an entire system.

Should I pay more for a high wattage power supply?

Not necessarily. Calculate your expected total system power draw and get a reputable PSU 100W above that. Extra watts just mean the power supply runs less efficiently. 80 Plus Gold or better rated units produce less excess heat.

What tools can help assemble components?

Magnetic tip screwdrivers prevent dropped screws. A set of precision tweezers aids in small connections. Headlamps provide hands free task lighting. Anti-static mats protect against electrical discharge damage. Small bins hold various connectors.

How often should thermal paste be reapplied on a CPU?

Quality thermal pastes designed for PCs last 3-5 years before drying out. Monitor CPU temperatures over time. If they start creeping up higher than before, it could indicate a need for fresh thermal paste between the CPU and cooler.

What is the easiest operating system to setup for gaming?

Windows 10 or Windows 11 are designed to automatically install drivers for PC components and peripherals. This plug-and-play capability makes setting up gaming PCs very straight forward compared to past Windows versions. Windows is the dominant OS for PC gaming by far.


Constructing a tailored high-end gaming PC offers enthusiasts ultimate performance, flexibility, and satisfaction that no pre-built PC can match. From selecting elite components like a 12-core Ryzen or Core i9 processor and RTX 4090 graphics driving frame rates above 240 FPS to customizing RGB lighting effects across the entire build, the opportunities are unlimited.

Future upgradeability is a key advantage as well. Dropping in a new RTX 5090 GPU in a few years into your existing liquid cooled rig lets you push maxed out graphics as games continue advancing. Or bumping up to a speedier 7600 MHz DDR5 memory kit takes rendering and physics to the next level.

While casually ordering a pre-configured tower off the shelf may sound convenient upfront, an afternoon of research and a Saturday building session lets you unlock discounted parts pricing for your dream gaming machine. Following online build guides from passionate PC enthusiasts makes first-time construction simple too. The final satisfaction of seeing your custom gaming creation POST to life is worth the effort.

So tap into specialized PC gaming communities, create your ideal parts list, grab some zip ties and a magnetic screwdriver, carefully turn power on for first boot, and enjoy supercharged experiences on your tailor-made powerhouse. The full personalization journey makes all those high frame rate victories even sweeter. Game on!