Podcast: Building A PC Ain’t That Hard

Podcast: Building A PC Ain’t That Hard

Just how much of a pain is it to build your own PC? Is it worth the savings? And do you really need to use thermal paste?

Image: Chaiwat Srijankul/Shutterstock

Today on Kotaku Splitscreen, Kirk walks us through the process of ordering parts and building a gaming computer from scratch. He says it’s actually not so bad, despite all the goo. Also: we talk about BoxBoxBoy, Zero Time Dilemma, and some of the other games we’ve been playing in this terrible month of July.

You can listen to the podcast on iTunes or Google Play, or directly via Simplecast. (MP3 download here.) As always, you can reach us with questions, thoughts, and fan-art at splitscreen@kotaku.com.


  • I just finished my new pc. My brother in law got himself a fancy new graphics card so I took his old gtx 980ti. It’s all good.

  • I’d say the intimidating factor of getting into PC gaming comes down to the language used. I would argue that no one necessarily ‘builds’ a PC, you simply assemble it. Building implies a lot of work, whereas assemble is more akin to following instructions like lego or a cake.

    • Yeah very true. After i put together my first computer late last year i have since told people its like putting together really expensive lego.

  • The only difficulty spike in building a PC is building a cramped mini itx.

    You finish the build, look at your fingers, see paper cuts along your digits, and wonder how the hell they got there.

    No amount of dieting or fitness regime can shrink your man hands.

    • For my first mini itx, it was so cramped I had to cut pieces out of the case! Which was actually a lot of fun, but a whole lot more time and effort than an ATX.

    • Yep. Building my Corsair Obsidian 250D was still good fun though. For a tiny case it’s well designed and the only real squeesh I had to deal with was fitting the DVD drive in over the water cooler and PSU cables.

  • Noone seems to mention what happens when there’s an issue in building your pc. The last 2 builds I’ve done have both had faulty motherboards. So I had to trouble shoot the pc to find the issue, (very hard if you don’t have spares of everything), take EVERYTHING back out of the case, go back to the shop, get the parts tested, replaced and then put it back together again.

    Not such a simple exercise anymore. And I’ve been putting PCs together for almost 20 years now. Sure if everything works it’s simple.

    • I always worry I’m going to break the motherboard whenever I put in the 24 pin power plug. Those things never seem to want to slide in.

      • Hahaha. I crushed an i7 a few years ago because I didn’t align it ‘just right’ in the socket before I secured it.

        I said to the guy at the shop “i know what I’m doing I wouldn’t have done that” and he replied “guy like you do this ALL THE TIME! It’s really common!” and then he gave me a replacement on warranty anyway. I was so grateful. It was worth at least $500 and it was completely my fault that it was busted.

        So I always feel a bit perturbed about these ‘building a pc is easy’ articles. When things go wrong, which happens a lot, it gets really hard and frustrating.

        • Oh, god. CPUs. Even when you get them right the cover still snaps a little louder and harder than you think it should, and you’ve got the whole rest of the build to go before you know if you screwed it up.

          • The tension is real man! And they make them SOOOO much harder to put on than they used to be. Remember when it was this smooth little plastic lever that you could do with a finger?

    • PC building is easy when everything is going smoothly, hardest part is the case plugs as you have to reference the mobo manual. When things go wrong however… faulty ram? Bad Mobo? Did I forget to plug in something? Did not wearing a static strap bite me in the arse this time? Yeah, very stressful

  • I built my first PC a couple of years ago. Unknowingly I connected the case fan wires back to front resulting in the PC not turning on. I thought I had a faulty PSU after the PC turning on after connecting an old PSU (I had the case fans disconnected at the time). Lesson learnt.
    I would do it again, while stressful at times I did enjoy the experience.

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