Embarking on the adventure of building a gaming PC is super exciting! It’s like crafting your very own gaming super-machine, but there are some tricky parts too. Choosing the best parts can make your gaming experience awesome, but watch out for mistakes. To have a successful PC building journey, it’s important to avoid common slip-ups. These mistakes can mess with how well your PC works and might make you less happy with your gaming setup. In this guide, we’ll look at ten common mistakes and share tips on how to dodge them. This way, you’ll be all set for a smooth and super fun PC building ride!

custom built PC Photo by gelver redfield

Running out of Motherboard Headers

When building your PC, many forget about a key part which is motherboard headers. These are like connection points for fans, RGB lights, and other cool stuff. If you don’t think ahead about how many of these connection points you’ll need, you might end up in a rush at the end of your build. But don’t worry, there are easy fixes, like using ARGB fan hubs or connecting compatible parts one after another. These solutions make sure you have enough ways to connect things, so you won’t get frustrated realizing you’re short on these essential connection points. Just deal with this early on, and your PC building will be way smoother!

Buying the Wrong SSD

A common pitfall in PC building is the misconception surrounding Gen3 SSDs. While seeking budget-friendly options, builders may inadvertently choose SSDs with lower read/write speeds than expected. This oversight can significantly impact overall system performance and user satisfaction. To make informed decisions, look at SSD specifications closely, ensuring they align with your intended usage. Differentiating between SSD generations, especially Gen3 and Gen4, becomes paramount. Awareness of these nuances prevents the inadvertent purchase of a subpar SSD, enhancing the overall efficiency and speed of your gaming PC.

Buying an Underpowered Gaming Monitor

A crucial yet often overlooked aspect of PC building is aligning the gaming PC’s capabilities with an appropriate monitor. While enthusiasts invest in high-performance gaming rigs, pairing them with a 1080p 60Hz monitor can severely hamper the gaming experience. The outdated resolution and refresh rate diminish the potential of a modern gaming PC. It’s advisable to opt for at least a 1080p 144Hz monitor, ensuring a smoother and more immersive gaming experience. Affordable options, such as the Gigabyte M27Q, offer an optimal balance between resolution, refresh rate, and cost, maximizing the visual potential of your gaming setup.

Ignoring the QoL Features of the Case

When selecting a PC case, aesthetics often take center stage, but overlooking quality-of-life (QoL) features can impact your overall building experience. QoL features include tool-less side panels, efficient cable management options, built-in case fans, PSU shrouds, and reversible designs. These elements transform a case from ordinary to extraordinary, simplifying the build process and future upgrades. Cases like the Lian Li O11 Dynamic EVO excel in providing such features without significantly increasing costs. Prioritizing QoL features ensures a smoother building process and enhances accessibility, making it worthwhile to invest in a case that goes beyond mere visual appeal.

‘Sticking’ with the Stock Thermal Paste

A prevalent misconception in PC building is underestimating the importance of thermal paste. Many builders assume the stock thermal paste, pre-applied to the cooler heatsink, suffices. However, upgrading to a slightly superior thermal paste, like the Arctic MX-4, can yield significantly improved thermal performance. This small investment not only allows your CPU to run cooler but also ensures long-lasting efficacy compared to factory-applied options. For beginners, overcoming hesitation to switch thermal paste is crucial. Applying the change during the build process is a quick and straightforward task, offering tangible benefits for temperature management.

Forgetting about XMP & EXPO

Another common oversight in PC building involves neglecting the XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) and EXPO (Extreme Performance Overclocking) settings for RAM. When investing in high-speed DDR4 or DDR5 kits, enthusiasts often overlook the need to manually enable these settings in the BIOS. Failure to activate XMP or EXPO means your RAM may run at default speeds, leaving performance untapped. This seemingly minor detail can significantly impact overall system speed. For new builders, understanding and enabling these settings is crucial to unleash the full potential of their hardware, ensuring a seamless and optimized gaming experience.

Not Optimizing Fan Curves

While building a gaming PC, many overlook the crucial step of optimizing fan curves. This involves setting the behavior of your system’s fans for optimal performance and noise levels. New builders might assume that a noisy PC is the norm, but with tools like Fan Control, fan curves can be fine-tuned. By adjusting the speed of your CPU, GPU, and case fans based on temperature, you achieve efficient cooling without unnecessary noise. Understanding and implementing fan curve optimization ensures a quieter system, prolongs hardware lifespan, and enhances the overall gaming experience through a well-balanced thermal solution.

Being Lazy about RGB Customization

RGB lighting has become a vibrant part of gaming PC aesthetics, but some builders overlook the importance of customization. Beyond mere visuals, RGB offers a chance to elevate your PC’s appearance to a personalized masterpiece. Failing to invest time in customizing your RGB theme can result in a lackluster light show. Take advantage of user-friendly tools like SignalRGB or OpenRGB to synchronize RGB components seamlessly. Whether through dynamic lighting on Windows 11 or third-party applications, crafting a personalized RGB theme adds depth to your build. Don’t miss out on the satisfaction of a visually stunning and harmonized gaming setup.

Plugging HDMI into the Motherboard Instead of GPU

A common rookie mistake in PC building involves incorrectly connecting the HDMI cable to the motherboard instead of the GPU. This oversight can significantly impact display performance and GPU utilization. When the HDMI is plugged into the motherboard, the system may rely on integrated graphics, neglecting the power of a dedicated GPU. Ensure optimal performance by correctly connecting the HDMI to the GPU, unlocking the full potential of your graphics card. By avoiding this simple error, you guarantee a smoother gaming experience and harness the capabilities of your high-performance GPU for immersive gameplay.

Plugging RAM into the Wrong Slots

Correctly installing RAM is crucial for optimal performance, and a common mistake is placing it in the wrong slots. Referencing the motherboard manual is vital, as manufacturers may recommend specific configurations. The significance of dual-channel RAM cannot be overstated, providing double the bandwidth for improved data sharing with the CPU. Typically, manufacturers suggest using specific slots for this configuration, such as DIMM_A2 and DIMM_B2. Following these guidelines ensures that your RAM operates at peak efficiency, contributing to a smoother gaming experience. Adhering to the manual guarantees the proper utilization of your system’s memory capabilities.


In conclusion, building a gaming PC is both thrilling and challenging. Avoiding common mistakes is crucial for success. From planning motherboard headers to choosing SSDs and monitors, every step matters. Stay informed, connect with the community, and maximize your post-build experience to unlock your gaming rig’s full potential.