Build F.A.Q


When you’re building your first PC, there are going to be lots of questions floating around, and they are probably the exact same questions that a lot of other people have asked at one point.

So, in an effort to save both your time and mine, I’ve put together this page containing the most frequently asked questions that PC Game Haven gets about putting together gaming PC builds.

By no means am I trying to discourage you from leaving a comment by guiding you to this page, but sometimes I can’t get to every comment right away, and this page just might have the answer you’re looking for!

If you can’t find an answer to your question down below, then feel free to fire me an email via this Contact Form, or leave a comment on the build your question is about.

Basics

A. I’m constantly looking for ways to make my builds better, but I try to only make major changes once a month.
A. The first date “Fresh Since: …” shows the last time a page was updated (updating the price, adding extra content, etc), and the second (usually older) date shows when the build itself was last updated.
A. Probably, yep. But because videos are way better than words, you could go to YouTube and type the name of the game + the graphics card + processor into the search to easily find benchmark videos.

Example: “CS:GO gtx 960 + i5 4460 benchmark”

A. Absolutely not. The performance difference between a dual channel and a single channel RAM configuration is like 4%. So, feel free to run a single 8GB stick over 2x 4GB.
A. Nope! Lots of people buy 1 or 2 components at a time until they have everything assembled.
A. Although anti-static wristbands are definitely helpful, there are other ways to beat static build up.

One of the most basic ways to beat the static is to keep a random piece of metal nearby that you can touch sporadically to discharge any built-up static.

Hardware / Software

A. 99.9% of the time, no. The components I pick will ship with the various bits you’ll need to get it plugged in / set up. But one thing to keep in mind is that only 2 SATA cables are included, and if you’re running an HDD an SSD and an optical drive, then you will need a total of 3 SATA cables.
A. Unless you’re buying an unlocked Skylake or Kaby Lake processor (like an i5 6600K or i5 7600K), you don’t need to buy an aftermarket CPU cooler. Yes, an aftermarket cooler will extend the life of your PC compared to a stock one, but you definitely don’t *need* to buy one.
A. Probably not. Most people are still running 8GB or less, and the big game developers will build their games with this in mind. Having more than 8GB wouldn’t hurt, and some games (typically MMOs) will benifit from more, but it’s not necessary by any means… Not yet.
A. If you have to ask, then you likely don’t have much use for an optical drive.

Although they’re handy to have, and used to be necessary, now they’re mostly used to install Windows and then never used again. But, you can actually buy Windows installers on USB flash drives now, and as long as you have a working internet connection you’ll be able to download all of the other drives that you might need – so you can definitely get by without a DVD drive.

A. As long as you have 1 in the front sucking air in (intake) and 1 at the rear to blow it out (exhaust) then you should be okay. Feel free to add more, but keep positive vs. negative air pressure in mind.
A. Both brands have their pros & cons, and are good for different price points & games. At the end of the day, you’ll get extremely similar performance out of competing cards, so support whichever brand you prefer! Go for the better deal (price vs. performance) and avoid all of the bias!
A. Lots! Depending on the motherboard form-factor (mATX or ATX) and the length of the graphics card, there are tons of cases that would work for each and every one of my builds. Look around, find one you like, and feel free to ask me about it!

General / Troubleshooting

A. Short answer, yes. Each company puts out their own overclocking utility to go along with their cards. These utilities are almost necessary if you want to squeeze the maximum performance out of your graphics card.
A. It depends entirely on the processor. Most AMD processors will be unlocked, and you’ll be able to OC them. But Intel is different and you can tell if it’s unlocked by the “k” like in “i5 6600k”. The motherboard will also have to support it. Like overclocking your graphics card, I wouldn’t suggest trying to OC your CPU unless you really know what you’re doing.
A. It depends on the game and how high you’re pushing the clocks. In most cases, you’ll only see a 5fps increase, which is usually not worth the extra stress on a CPU.
A. Open up your manuals and check the diagrams! It’s easy to build an Ikea table without the manual, but building a PC is going to be a little tougher!
A. Before you toss your newly built PC out the window or down some stairs, follow the steps found in this troubleshooting guide one by one.

Since PC Game Haven is still so new, there haven’t been a whole lot of questions asked yet. But, as we start to get more & more recurring questions, this F.A.Q will be updated and kept recent.

If you don’t see your question in this F.A.Q, then feel free to ask me in the comment section of the build you’re curious about, or fire me an email through this Contact Form!