Building a PC: How Long Does It Really Take

Get ready to count the minutes as you already grab the screwdrivers!

As a tech or DIY enthusiast, you know the excitement of building a computer from scratch. The prospect of selecting components, piecing them together, and bringing your creation to life is undeniably thrilling. However, PCs are not just motherboards and graphics cards. The fascinating creativity, innovation, and geeky touch leave a question for us: On average, how long does it take to build your PC or a gaming computer? Let’s explore the timeline.

How long does it take to build a PC

How Long Does It Take to Build a PC

Even though a PC might look simple and uncomplicated from the outside, it is much more than that when it comes to its components and chassis with many variables. Even though building a PC is not hard, it requires a lot of planning. An experienced person may build the PC in about 1-1.30 hours, while a beginner on average may take about 2-2.30 hours. There is a lot that goes behind building a PC that we will see at the time breakdown:

  • Unboxing PC components: Less than 10 minutes
  • Preparing Case: Less than 5 minutes
  • Setup of Motherboard, Storage, CPU, Cooler, and RAM: 10 minutes to 25 minutes
  • Motherboard and PSU Installation: 15 minutes to 25 minutes
  • Fan or Radiator Installation: 20 minutes to 30 minutes
  • GPU Installation: Less than 5 minutes
  • Wire Management: 20 minutes to 40 minutes
  • Installing Windows: 20 minutes
  • Installing Driver: 10 minutes

Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Build a PC 

1. Unboxing and Preparation (Less than 10 minutes)

The initial stage of constructing a PC involves unboxing and preparation. This step may consume some time in comparing components and checking for compatibility issues, particularly for those new to the process As you unbox your components, it’s important to keep the necessary screws and manuals aside in a safe and organized manner. Consider using a PC component box or a PSU box to store all necessary stickers and accessories.

2. CPU Setup (1-2 minutes)

Installing a CPU is the next step in building a PC. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, you can expect the process to take no more than 1-2 minutes. However, CPU installation must be done carefully, as correct placement and seating are crucial for ensuring smooth PC operation.

CPU Setup

3. RAM Setup (2-5 minutes)

RAM setup must be done in accordance with the type and orientation of the motherboard. Every motherboard has a similar retention lock style for RAM slots, which typically consists of one or two locks. Ensure that the RAM stick clicks twice to avoid any malfunction as well as for optimal gaming performance.

4. Storage Setup (3-5 minutes)

Your device’s storage is a crucial factor in its performance and one of the most efficient options available is NVMEs. It takes typically between 3-5 minutes to set up the storage while building a PC. However, it’s worth noting that NVME storage can be a bit tricky to install due to its angled insertion method and retention screw. In contrast, conventional SSDs and hard drives are difficult to install due to their screw mounts or rail retention system.

5. CPU Cooler Setup (7-15 minutes)

Installing a CPU cooler can be a time-consuming process, as it involves mounting a radiator with fans onto the case. However, if you opt for a Heatsink CPU cooler, the installation process will be significantly quicker.

Also Read: 15 Best Budget RGB Fans for Your PC

6. Motherboard Installation: (10-15 minutes)

The next step in the installation process is to install the motherboard, which comes with attached components. The standoffs for motherboard installation are in an ATX configuration, which can be easily adjusted if necessary. One should properly mount the IO shield while setting up the motherboard to ensure optimal performance and prevent any potential damage. 

7. Power Supply Installation (5-10 minutes)

Once all the PC components and motherboard are set up, it’s time to install the power supply. This step typically takes only 5-10 minutes, depending on the case. The amount of space allotted for the PSU can vary, and if a higher wattage is required, the PSU may be elongated.

8. GPU Installation (2-5 minutes)

The final step of building a PC is installing the GPU, which is also the easiest. Most cases highlight accommodation for small and larger components including the GPU at this stage.

GPU Installation

9. Wire Management (20-30 minutes)

Once the GPU has been installed, managing the cables and accessories becomes necessary. This involves accommodating cable routers, tie-downs, and other factors which can take about 20 minutes for experts and 30 for beginners.

10. Software and Drive Installation (30-40 minutes)

A PC is nothing but a tech box without software and drive installation. You need to install a suitable operating system and then drivers for your system to run it properly.

11. Benchmarks and Troubleshooting (15 minutes)

Finally, benchmarking and troubleshooting your PC is the last step in completing the build, internally and externally. Benchmarking helps with showing the PC’s performance and also comparing it to the scores of other computers. Troubleshooting any issues that arise is crucial to ensure your PC is running at its best.

Also Read: 20 Best PC Diagnostic Tool List

How Long Does It Take to Build a Gaming Computer

While building a regular and operational PC may take around 1-2.30 hours, building a gaming computer is a whole different ball game. The time it takes to build a gaming PC depends on various factors such as the system, the person, and the size of the PC. The cooling system is the most crucial component in a gaming PC as playing heavy games heats up the CPU. A professional can build a gaming computer within an hour, while an amateur may take up to 4 hours to complete the task.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Laptop

How Long Does It Take to Build a Laptop

Even though a laptop might seem small and building it may look like a quick and easy task, it actually takes longer to build it than a PC. A laptop requires a motherboard, storage devices, a CPU, a power supply, a monitor, a case, and memory. With all these components, building a laptop can take up to two weeks.

Also Read: What is the Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcontroller?

How Long Does It Take to Build a PC on Average

On average, the time it takes to build a PC, varies. For beginners, it may take around three to four hours, while an experienced builder can complete the task in less than an hour.

What is the Fastest Time to Build a PC?

Some people take it upon themselves to beat records. One of these records has been made in PC building races. In 2011, Journalist Stephen Fung put a PC together in mere 4 minutes at the Build Your Own PC Race for Charity in Las Vegas.

Can a Beginner Build a PC?

Unlike earlier times when only experts could put together a machine brain like a PC, today even beginners can do it at home. Yes, a beginner can build a high-performance PC with hands-on building instruction.

How Long Can a PC Build Last

As a consumer, it’s natural to wonder how long your PC build will last. The answer to this question is dependent on a few factors, including the components used and the level of maintenance provided. On average, a PC build can last anywhere from five to eight years.

Also Read: How Long Should My AMD GPU Last?

However, this lifespan can be extended with regular upgrades and proper care. Neglecting to clean your system or exposing it to harsh conditions can significantly reduce its longevity. With advancements in technology and the constant release of new components, it’s possible to extend the life of your build beyond the typical five to eight years.

We hope that the doc was insightful enough for you to answer your query on how long it takes to build a PC. Do let us know about your thoughts and don’t forget to leave your queries in the comments box below.

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