Assembling a new PC can be quite a challenge, and I’m not just saying this because of the problems that the general consumer graphics card industry is experiencing where, as many of our readers will know, prices have been so inflated that now itself, it is practically impossible to get a new generation model at its recommended price. I say this for all the implications it has.
To assemble a new PC successfully, we must choose the components that best suit our pocket, and our needs. It is not enough to limit ourselves to buying the most expensive or the cheapest, we must refine our purchases to get, within each price range, those components that best meet our needs, and that offer the best value depending on what we want to spend. This is what is known as looking for the best price-performance value.
But that’s not all, there are also other things that we must take into account , and with which we must be very careful when mounting a new PC, since, otherwise, they will make us lose performance, and in some cases they can even give us More than a headache, and of great importance, so that is why I have encouraged myself to share with you this guide where we are going to discover those things that we must avoid when mounting a new PC in order not to lose performance, and to ensure optimal operation of our new team.
If in the end, after reading this article, you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments and we will help you solve them. That said, we start with the guide, make yourself comfortable that there is a lot to read.
1.-Mount a new PC on an old Windows installation
It is one of the most frequent errors that are made when mounting a new PC, especially when we decide to reuse storage units and we do not want to “waste time”, in quotes because, of course, doing a clean installation of the operating system in these cases does not it is a waste of time , rather the opposite.
When we do this, we are using a Windows installation that has drivers, system files, and registries tied to our old computer . It goes without saying that this can lead to conflicts and stability issues, especially if we’ve gone from a configuration based on AMD CPU and Radeon GPU to one that uses an Intel chip and NVIDIA GPU, or vice versa.
Similarly, we must not fall into the error of thinking that, having gone from a computer that uses a CPU and a GPU of the same brand, we will not have any problem, or that we will not lose performance. We will also be wrong to believe that, by cleaning the drivers and other files, it is no longer recommended or necessary to do a clean installation of the operating system.
Make a backup, and later a clean installation of Windows to welcome your new PC. Do not hesitate, it is worth it , not only for a matter of performance, but also for stability.
2.-Not installing the RAM correctly
Yes, I know that there is only one way to insert the RAM modules in their corresponding slots without breaking them, but if we have a motherboard with four slots and we are only going to use two modules, it is easy for us to make the mistake of not installing them in the corresponding order to activate the dual channel , and this will make us lose performance, both at the CPU level and at the GPU level, in case we use an integrated solution.
All motherboards perfectly explain the order required to activate the dual channel, so looking at the manual is more than enough. However, if you don’t want to bother with it, I will tell you that it is usually enough to install the two modules in slots 1 and 3, or in slots 2 and 4 , that is, in odd to odd, or even to even regime. It has no greater mystery.
Not activating dual channel mode when mounting your new PC will cause the RAM to work on a 64-bit bus instead of a 128-bit bus. This greatly reduces the bandwidth, with all that this implies for the CPU, which works hand in hand with the RAM memory, and for the integrated GPUs, which use this memory as VRAM, since they lack their own.
Fortunately, it is a problem that you can solve without having to make a great effort, although if you have already closed and connected your new PC, you may have to disconnect it and move it to be able to open it and change the order of the RAM memory modules. If you have occupied all four slots on your motherboard, don’t worry, the dual channel will have been activated.
3.-Forget about drivers, and updates
Many times, when we finish assembling a new PC, it is easy for us to want to start enjoying it, and this can make us end up forgetting about such important things as, for example, installing the latest drivers for our graphics card, updating the BIOS of the motherboard, or carry out any other type of update that may be important and that, ultimately, may end up affecting the performance of the computer.
Personally, I recommend that, before starting to assemble a new PC, you are clear about all the software, drivers and third-party applications that you are going to need in order to get the most out of it. Thus, once you have finished the assembly, you will only have to start installing, one by one, all the elements that you have included in that list. Some will take longer, others less, and some will not even require you to restart your computer, but they are essential.
In my case, for example, when I finished assembling my new PC, the first thing I did was carry out a clean installation of Windows 10 Pro. Once the process was finished, I looked for updates for the BIOS, and then I installed the latest drivers for my graphics card. I saved the applications dedicated to peripherals for last, such as the software for the sound card and iCUE, which allows me to control the RGB LED lighting and the fans.
Although I understand that the process of assembling a new PC may differ depending on the tastes of each user, in the end that order that I gave you above is practically a standard, and it is the most recommended. Obviously, once we have all that installed, we can continue with applications and programs for leisure and work, and with our favorite games.
4.-Neglecting the cooling of your new equipment
And I am not referring specifically to any specific component, but I speak in a general way because not all teams have the same needs , and they do not have the same particularities. Obviously, if we are going to assemble a new PC that uses mid-range components, whose consumptions are quite contained, it will be very difficult for us to have temperature problems, but this may change if we make a major mistake during assembly.
I have seen very serious things, such as installing cooling systems that, due to a mistake, have not removed the protective plastic of the copper base that makes contact with the IHS of the CPU, assemblies with the wrongly oriented source , which caused the heat to end up accumulating inside, and also equipment with inadequate cooling solutions for their real needs, or poorly oriented fans. In the end, all this can cause us to have temperature problems in one or more components, and that these cannot perform as they should.
To avoid this, you just have to make sure that you choose the cooling solutions that you will need well , and that you install them correctly. You should also be careful to properly mount all the components that can generate a large amount of heat, such as the power supply, which is why we already discussed in the previous paragraph.
Thus, for example, if you are going to use a processor such as the Intel Core i9-12900K, you must bear in mind that this chip can consume almost 300 watts with overclock, and that it will reach quite high temperatures when working with a load that puts all its cores to 100%. This means that, when working with small loads, it will generate little heat and consume very little energy , so it might seem that a simple 120mm fan mounted on a lightweight radiator would be enough to keep it under control, but the reality is totally different , and we’ll crash into her as soon as she starts “chewing threads.”
5.-Do not tune, and finish, the most important settings
This is very important, and the truth is that in the end those “cravings” can also influence us to start enjoying our equipment as soon as we finish assembling a new PC. Before you start enjoying your favorite games, or starting to use it as if everything were already finished, you must complete some fundamental adjustments that will allow your computer to truly develop its full potential.
Some settings will depend on the configuration that we have chosen when mounting a new PC. For example, if we have mounted an Intel “K” series processor, we will probably want to overclock so that it can offer an extra performance. Well, this will require a manual adjustment on our part, which we can carry out either through the BIOS, or through the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility application, which is completely free. In the event that we have opted for a Ryzen 3000 or 5000, we can also overclock to scratch a little more performance.
The same will happen if we have mounted RAM memory that comes at frequencies higher than those of the JEDEC standards. For example, if we mount RAM memory at 3,600 MHz, we must enter the BIOS configuration and load the corresponding XMP profile so that it works at that frequency. If we don’t, it will default to 2400 MHz. Luckily, it’s not complicated, and all current motherboards usually allow you to do that with a few simple clicks.
As we have already said in point three, to finish assembling a new PC successfully and ensure its maximum performance and stability, it is necessary to install the relevant drivers and updates, but you also have to make those extra adjustments that require some components to be able to squeeze them to the fullest. Finally, if you have decided to overclock one or more components, I recommend that, before finishing the assembly, you carry out at least one stability test that loads the components you have used 100% . This will ensure that the overclock you have achieved is totally stable.
I’m not talking for no reason, a few years ago when I finished assembling a new PC that I have been using as a personal computer for quite some time, I installed a Ryzen 7 1800X and was able to take it, to my surprise, to almost 4.1 GHz frequency. The computer would start and work, but when some games demanded a significant performance spike and loaded the CPU more than usual, it had blue screens . In the end, I had to lower the overclock to scraped 4 GHz.
Final Notes: Building a new PC is not complicated, but to get it right you have to take it easy
Hurry is never good, and in this type of case it can end in disaster. Plan well the choice of components so as not to make mistakes when assembling your new equipment, and when you start assembling a new PC do so carefully and without haste. Don’t worry if you have to stop for a moment to look at something in the manuals, and don’t feel bad if you need to interrupt the assembly to consult something or to ask for help. It’s always better to do that than risk breaking something you’ve invested a lot of money in.
On the other hand, never forget that a well-assembled PC, but badly configured, can end up being a huge headache . Invest the time, and the necessary resources, to configure your new equipment well, and get all the programs and tools that you will need to give it the use you have planned, in an optimal and safe way.
When you have finished the assembly, and you have everything properly installed and configured, you can finish with a stability test, as we have said, but it is also a good idea to pass some performance tests focused on the key components. For example, for the processor you can use Cinebench R23, since in its multithreaded test it loads the CPU to 100%, and it will allow you to compare the performance with other processors.
For memory, AIDA64 is an excellent option, and for storage units the simplest and most recommended is CrystalDiskMark . Finally, for the graphics card there are several interesting applications that will allow you to measure performance, but I think it is best that you test it directly with the games and applications that you plan to use, as this will allow you to discover if its performance is up to par. up to your expectations, and if it borders on the level of other similar models.
Keep in mind that it is normal for small discrepancies to occur, both up and down, even in configurations that a priori seem identical. Don’t worry if your computer performs a little less than another apparently equal, since there is always a small margin of error, and variability, in performance tests. Only if the difference is considerable (more than 5%), yes you may have a problem. Otherwise, it is totally normal.