Updated at: 28-03-2023 - By: Leo Hall
When starting from scratch, how long does it take to assemble a computer? Find out how long it is likely to take by reading our brief explanation.

As a first-time PC builder, you may be curious about how long the entire process takes. It’s hard to give a precise time frame because, as you probably guessed, the answer is conditional on many variables.

Where do we start when constructing a PC, and how long does each step typically take? In this manual, we will show you exactly how to do that.

Preliminary Research

Even though the act of putting together a PC may be the quickest part of the DIY PC building process, you still need to purchase the necessary parts before you can start building your new powerful gaming rig. Also, before going out and purchasing the parts, you’ll need to determine which parts are essential.

Therefore, preliminary investigation is required.

Technically speaking, PC construction is easier than ever because hardware manufacturers adhere to a wide range of industry standards. As a result, checking for compatibility among your parts won’t be too much of a hassle. A certain amount of investigation is still required, however, if you want to assemble a build that is balanced and offers good value for the money.

How Long Does It Take To Build A PC? [Definitive Guide] - YouTube

Here then are the fundamentals:

  1. To begin, figure out how much money you can spare.
  2. It’s up to you to decide which graphics card is the best fit for you in terms of performance and budget.
  3. Select one from AMD and Intel.
  4. You should look for a CPU model that is both inexpensive and capable enough to not slow down the graphics processing unit (GPU).
  5. Choose a motherboard that has the right socket and expansion slots.
  6. Set your needs for memory and storage space.
  7. Locate a power supply unit (PSU) that can provide reliable power for everything.
  8. Choose a container that can actually hold all of your stuff.

Keep in mind that we frequently update our guides, so if any of the aforementioned articles appears to contain some dated information or dated products, then the article is likely scheduled for an update.

Finding the right parts for your new computer can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks of research. For more information on constructing a PC, please refer to our comprehensive guide.here.

If you’re just getting started, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by how much information there is to process. After all, you can find anything you want to know about this subject with a simple internet search, and we’ve probably already addressed most of your concerns.

Both our recommended gaming PC builds and our knowledge base articles are available for your perusal. If you’re on a tight budget, our $600 build is a good option; if you can afford a bit more, our $1000 build is a solid middle-of-the-road configuration that should please most gamers; and if you really want to go all out, our $1500 build is a worthy consideration.

How long it takes to do the research is ultimately determined by how well-versed you are in the industry at large and in hardware in general. It’s not a good idea to rush out and spend hundreds of dollars on a new computer if you know next to nothing about building one.

Getting The Hardware

Now that you know exactly what you need, it’s time to go out and get it. You can do it the old fashioned way by visiting a trustworthy local tech store near you; if they stock everything you need, you should be able to put everything together quickly. On the other hand, you could opt for the more convenient but slower route of shopping online and having everything shipped directly to your house.

Popular and trustworthy online computer hardware retailers include Amazon, Newegg, and BHPhotoVideo; however, the delivery time will vary depending on the retailer chosen and the customer’s location.

Putting everything in your online shopping cart and clicking “buy” is the simple part, but you shouldn’t immediately commit to the purchase without doing some research first. Why?

The problem is that the cost of PC parts is notoriously unstable. It could be because of impending new releases, fluctuations in supply, or demand. Furthermore, you may want to do some market research because a sale may be coming up soon or another store may be selling that expensive GPU for a little bit less.

If you want to know when is the best time to buy PC parts, we already did the research for you. If a new generation of graphics processing units (GPUs) is on the way, stores may lower the prices of some excellent models from the previous generation in preparation for the sale or the arrival of the new GPUs.

However, if there are no expected price drops in the near future, you should probably just buy the parts now.

As was previously mentioned, placing an order for the necessary hardware shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, but the actual delivery time will be much longer. Furthermore, there may be some additional roadblocks in the way, such as a lack of stock, shipping delays and mishaps, or the delivery of the incorrect product or a faulty model.

Delays or damaged goods should not be too much of a problem, thanks to the fact that large companies like Amazon typically don’t take too long to deliver and have a solid reputation for customer service. The longest part of your PC-building journey will still be waiting for the parts to arrive if you order them online.

Unboxing And Building

Unpacking and assembling the PC parts is where the real fun begins.

Unpacking doesn’t take long at all, but repacking everything into the case neatly is a different story. An experienced user with the proper tools could probably put together a PC in under an hour, but a novice user taking their time and referring to online tutorials could easily spend an entire afternoon on the project.

A larger case will make it simpler to properly fit all of the components inside. As a result, a Full Tower case will provide you with more ease of use than a Mid Tower, Mini Tower, or other small form factor case.

In this day and age of see-through cases and customizable color lighting, cable management is also a major consideration. If you’re going for a see-through or open case, you’ll want to make sure the PC’s interior is neat and tidy. Even if you aren’t, though, tidying up your cables will help your system run cooler and more quietly.

Putting together a computer may seem more daunting than it actually is, but if you’re worried about breaking your expensive new components, you can always have it assembled for you at some retailers. Alternatively, you can order a custom-built computer from a company that specializes in selling them.

Buying a computer from such a service would save you time and effort, but it would also cost you more money. Additionally, there is the fact that not all PC construction services provide the same degree of individualization.


We’ve all been there: the PC is finally assembled, the cables are neatly routed, and it’s a sight to behold. When you hit “boot,” nothing happens.

Getting to this point is where the less enjoyable troubleshooting begins. You messed up somewhere along the way. Possible causes include improper cable connections, pin mismatches, power supply failure, and a faulty part.

Whatever the case may be, there could be a wide variety of problems with the new computer, as well as a wide variety of answers. Depending on the nature of the issue, this could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours to resolve, making it the most frustrating part of the process.

Installing The Operating System And Other Software

Thank God, everything has been installed and the computer is up and running.

The first order of business is, of course, to set up the OS. Although Windows 10’s initial installation only takes about ten to twenty minutes, we all know how frustrating it can be to deal with all the updates. Waiting for all the updates to download and install could take up to an hour if you’re installing an older version of Windows 10.

How Long Does It Take To Build A PC? [2023 Guide]

Fortunately, while the OS is retrieving updates, you can download and install additional software. Don’t expect to have everything ready in under an hour because, like most people, you probably underestimated how long setting up would take. In fact, if your internet connection is particularly slow, this whole thing could take several hours.

Best PC Builds for Gaming: From Sub $500 Budgets to $3000

Best $500 PC Build for Gaming

A Gaming Computer for Less Than $500
Type of Substrate Model Cost (in American Dollars, as of Closing Time in the Pub)
CPU R5 5600G Ryzen $179
Motherboard Newest ASRock Motherboard, the B450M Pro4 $83
RAM DDR 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) 3200 MHz TeamGroup T-Force Zeus $55
Storage 500GB WD Blue SN550 $66
Case ThermoTake V18 Versa $54
PSU The Chill Master MWE 450 $35
Cooler No, it already has a CPU
Total $472

Unfortunately, due to recent GPU price increases, a gaming-quality discrete graphics card is now out of reach for any build under $500. Consequently, we advise investing in the highest quality integrated graphics that your budget allows. This requires an AMD Ryzen 5 5600G processor. The Ryzen 5 has six CPU cores and a boost clock speed of 4.4 GHz, and it is equipped with AMD Radeon Vega 7 graphics. That APU is packaged with AMD’s Wraith cooler, so there will be cost savings there as well.

While we don’t anticipate incredibly smooth gameplay, you should be able to play most games in 720p and maybe even 1080p on low to medium settings. It’s a good idea to put money aside for a new GPU in case you decide to upgrade in the future.

The motherboard can be any low-cost B450 or B550 model that has an M.2 slot, but we went with the ASRock B450M Pro4 due to its low price more than its features. Better GPU bandwidth and the option to upgrade to a fast PCIe Gen 4 SSD down the line are both worth the extra cost of a B550 motherboard, which is, however, not a top priority for this particular build.

To get the most out of our integrated GPU, which is dependent on system RAM, we are going with a TeamGroup 16GB (8×2) kit running at 3200 MHz because it is fast enough and cheap enough to meet our budget. This kit is the most cost-effective option, but any two 8GB DIMMs operating at 3200 MHz will do.

We decided on the WD Blue SN550, a 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD that offers great value for the money. It’s much quicker than a SATA drive and surprisingly powerful for the price, with theoretical sequential read and write speeds of 2,400 and 1,750 MBps, respectively. 500GB isn’t a lot of space for games, so if you can afford it, spring for the 1TB SSD or add a SATA SSD as a data drive later on.

The Thermaltake Versa H18 is our preferred model because of its affordable price (less than $60 as of press time) and premium design (tempered glass side panel). The included rear exhaust fan should be sufficient for cooling the system. The Cooler Master MWE 450 is not only a very reliable power supply from a well-known manufacturer, but it is also 80 Bronze certified for increased efficiency.

Best $1,000 PC Build for Gaming

Building a Gaming PC for under $1,000
Component Classification Model Cost (in US Dollars, as of closing time in a Bar)
CPU Both the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and the Intel Core i5-12400 are suitable options. $169 – $217
Motherboard Gigabyte H610M S2H (Intel) or ASRock B450M Pro4 (AMD). $83 – $99
GPU The AMD RX 6600 XT or 6600 (opens in new tab) $349 – $479
RAM DDR 16GB Kit (2 x 8GB) 3200 MHz by TeamGroup T-Force Zeus $55
Storage A 1 Terabyte Samsung 970 EVO $119
Case In a new window/tab, you can access the NZXT H510 Flow. $79
PSU Introducing the Corsair CV550 $44
Cooler No, it already has a CPU
Total: $1000 – $1100

If you’re willing to spend about $1,000 on a gaming PC, you’ll be able to run most games at a smooth 1080p resolution on the highest settings. The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT, which at press time could be had for less than $400, provides excellent mid-range gaming performance, with the reference card averaging 83.7 frames per second at 2K and 115 at 1080p in our benchmarks. When compared to Nvidia’s more expensive RTX 3060, this card is significantly faster. The RX 6600 offers really solid 1080p gaming, so it’s worth considering if the RX 6600 XT is out of stock when you’re looking or you just want to save $50 to $100.

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is our top pick for the CPU in this build. This low-power 6-core/12-thread CPU has a maximum speed of 4.6 GHz and requires only 65W to run. We’re using the same B450 motherboard from our $500 PC build, but any AMD board in the B450 or B550 series will do the trick. You won’t need to go out of your way to purchase a top-tier CPU cooler because a good air cooler is included.

The Ryzen 5 5600X, roughly speaking, is as fast as the Intel Core i5-12400, which is about $30 cheaper but requires a more expensive motherboard. The Core i5-12400, along with an H610 motherboard, is available for those who favor Intel processors. If you pair a Radeon GPU with the Ryzen CPU, however, you can increase performance by as much as 15 percent thanks to AMD’s Smart Access Memory (SAM) feature, which grants the CPU faster access to the GPU’s memory.

We are maintaining the same 16GB of RAM as in our budget configuration. At this price point, there is no compelling reason to either increase speed or capacity.

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus, with its 1 terabyte capacity and increased speed, represents a significant upgrade in our storage options. The 970 EVO Plus is a significant upgrade over the DRAM-less WD Blue SN550, which claims read and write transfer rates of 2,400 and 1,750 MBps, respectively, and a 1GB DRAM cache.

The NZXT H210 is our focus here. This case comes in three sleek colors—black, black and white, and red—and we can’t get enough of its sophisticated design. In addition to the Type-A and headphone jacks, the front panel also features a USB-C Gen 2 (10 Gbps) connector. It supports up to a 240mm front radiator and has two included case fans. Due to the mini ITX form factor, expansion cards will be more tightly packed than in larger cases.

We’ve upgraded to a 550-watt power supply, and once again, the Corsair CV550 is our PSU of choice, though any good 80 Bronze model will do.

Best Mid-Range PC Build For Gaming

The Ideal Mid-Range Gaming Computer System
Component Classification Model Estimated Cost (in US Dollars) as of Closing Time at Your Local Watering
CPU Core i5-12400 from Intel $169
Motherboard PCI Express Gigabyte H610M S2H $99
GPU GPU: RTX 3070 Ti (link opens in a new window) $699-$849
RAM Patriot Viper 32GB Steel DDR4 (2x16GB) 3200 $119
Storage SK hynix 2 Terabyte Gold P31 $198
Case Instinctive Phanteks P360A $89
PSU The MasterWatt 650 from Cooler Master $72
Cooler Likewise (included)
Total: $1500 – $1700

With this upgrade, we’re looking at a budget of around $1,500 (depending on the current price of the GPU) to construct a system that should be very powerful for 1080p gaming at high settings and transition into decent 2K gaming. The Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti is the best option, as it supports 1080p and 2K resolutions and is capable of ray tracing. This item can be purchased for $699 – $849 right now.

We saw an average of 104 frames per second at 1080p Ultra resolution and a steady 82.6 at 2K Ultra with an RTX 3070 Ti in our regular gaming tests. With ray tracing turned on, however, the frame rate dropped to a still respectable 54.5 fps, even at 2K Ultra.

Since we are using an Nvidia GPU and thus cannot take advantage of AMD’s Shared Memory Access, we opted for the Core i5-12400 as our CPU for this build instead of the $1000 build.

The Core i5-12400 has the standard six performance cores and twelve threads found in most Alder Lake processors, but none of the efficiency cores. The 12400 is not overclockable and has a maximum boost speed of 4.4 GHz, but given the low price, we have no intention of pushing it to its limits. Intel processors have built-in coolers, so you won’t have to shell out extra cash for an aftermarket solution.

We’ve settled on an inexpensive motherboard featuring Intel’s H610 chipset, which sits in the middle of the company’s product range. The Gigabyte H610M has only two DIMM slots and doesn’t support PCIe Gen 4 SSDs, but it should be sufficient for this setup.

Now that we have more money to spend, we’re upgrading to the 32GB RAM capacity of the widely acclaimed Patriot Viper Steel series. We’re also switching to the SK hynix Gold P31, a 2TB SSD with excellent performance. The sequential read and write speeds of this M.2 drive are advertised as 3,500 and 3,200 MBps.

The Phanteks P360A is our recommended chassis because of its superior cooling capabilities, high-quality tempered glass side panel, and two built-in RGB fans. The Cooler Master MasterWatt 650 is our system’s power supply. The fully modular design of this 80 Plus Bronze-certified PSU allows you to use only the cables you require.

Best High-End PC Build for Gaming

The Finest Custom-Built Computer for Playing the Latest Games
Kind of Part Model Suggested donation (in US dollars, as of closing time at your local watering hole)
CPU Atomic Processor Technology for Intel Core i5-12600K $277
Motherboard This is the ASRock Z690M Phantom Gaming 4 $190
GPU A new tab will open revealing the Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics card. $1000 – $1100
RAM Patriot Viper Steel 32GB DDR4 (3600) RAM (two 16GB sticks). $124
Storage The Two-Terabyte Samsung 980 Pro $289
Case Meshify 2 for Fractal Patterns $169
PSU A Corsair RM750x $106
Cooler 240mm Liquid CPU Cooler iCUE H100i PRO XT RGB by Corsair $113
Total: $2300 – $2400

Our high-end gaming PC build, which costs between $2,300 and $2,400, should be able to run games at 2K ultra settings with solid frame rates, and at 4K ultra settings with playable frame rates. The system’s graphics processing unit (GPU) is an RTX 3080 card, which retails for between $1,000 and $1,100 at present, and is supported by an Intel Core i5-12600K processor, widely regarded as one of the best CPUs for gaming.

With an RTX 3080 card, we were able to get an average of 61 frames per second at 4K resolution and Ultra settings in our benchmarks. The frame rate increases to 96 and 173 in 2K and 1080p, respectively. On average, ray tracing was enabled at 2K, and frame rates averaged 66 fps, placing it third behind the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090 graphics cards.

The Intel Core i5-12600K has 16 threads available, thanks to its 6 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores. Its maximum boost frequency is 4.9 GHz, and it can be overclocked to even higher speeds. Our Windows 11/1080p gaming suite (using an RTX 3090 card) ran smoothly at 5 GHz after a quick overclock, with an average frame rate of 186 fps. That’s just a hair slower than more expensive CPUs like the Core i9-12900K and the Ryzen 7 5800X3D.

When it comes to getting the most out of our overclockable processor, the ASRock Z690M Phantom Gaming 4 is the way to go. Featuring a 7-phase power design, PCIe 4.0 SSD compatibility, and Nahimic audio, this Micro ATX board is a great choice for any enthusiast.

Since we aren’t using the stock cooler and will be overclocking our CPU to more than 5 GHz, we’re using a 240mm AIO liquid cooler from Corsair called the iCUE H100i PRO XT RGB. Once again, we’re utilizing Patriot’s Viper Steel DDR RAM, but this time our 32GB kit operates at 3600 MHz, not 3200 MHz.

We’re including a Samsung 980 Pro 2TB NVMe SSD so you can take advantage of our motherboard’s PCIe 4.0 support. This high-powered drive boasts read and write speeds of 7,000 and 5,100 MBps, placing it among the top SSDs on the market.

The $159 Fractal Design Meshify 2 is our preferred case for this rig due to its excellent thermals, sleek design, and well-thought-out cable management. As an added bonus, there’s room for our radiator and three fans that aren’t RGB included.

The Corsair RM750x is a fully modular 80 Gold-certified power supply that provides ample juice for all of your high-end components. To save money, you could consider purchasing a slightly less expensive unit that

How Long Does it Take to Build a PC? A Beginner's Guide.

Best Super High-End PC Build for Gaming

A Super High-End Gaming Computer System
Characteristics of a Particular Kind of Part Model Cost (in US Dollars, as of closing time at a local watering hole)
CPU System Requirements for an AMD Ryzen 7 3800X3D $449
Motherboard Asu X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi $394
GPU Graphics card: Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti (new window) $1199 – $1349
RAM Memory Upgrade to the 64GB (2x32GB) Speed of the TeamGroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB 3600MHz Bus! $319
Storage Dual-Hard Drive Kingston KC3000 $346
Infrequently Used Materials Hard Drive, SK hynix Gold P31, 2 Terabytes $198
Case A Corsair iCUE 5000T RGB $399
PSU HX1000 Corsair $240
Cooler MasterLiquid ML360R RGB by Coolermaster $155
Total: $3700 – $3800

Our ultra-high-end rig can run the latest AAA titles in glorious 4K with maximum detail settings and provide buttery-smooth ray tracing. Our RTX 3080 Ti graphics processing unit (GPU) allows for this. Using an RTX 3090 card would yield marginally better performance, but at a cost of $1,749 , up from $1,199–$1,349. Our benchmarks showed that the RTX 3080 Ti averaged 66 frames per second at 4K Ultra, 103 frames per second at 2K Ultra, and 73 frames per second at 2K Ultra with ray tracing enabled.

Here at PC Perspective, we use AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D processor, which, with its 96MB of cache memory, dominates all of our benchmarks for gaming performance. Although it costs only $449, it is far superior to Intel’s flagship Core i9-12900KS and tops our list of best gaming CPUs. Our benchmarks with the RTX 3090 graphics card showed an average of 201 frames per second at 1080p and 177 at 2K.

We chose to base the system around an Asus X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi motherboard. You can theoretically overclock the CPU to its full potential thanks to the board’s 14-phase voltage regulator. It has a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port and 12 USB ports, eight of which can operate at 10 Gbps. If your desktop is too far from your router to use the Ethernet port, you can use the built-in Wi-Fi 6 connection instead.

Our Ryzen 7 5800X3D is kept cool by a Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R ARGB all-in-one (AIO) cooler. A 360mm radiator and dazzling LED lighting are just two of the cooler’s features.

For this build, we decided to splurge and get 64 GB of RAM from TeamGroup, specifically their T-Force Xtreem 3600 MHz ARGB RAM. For the time being, DDR4 memory will have to do as AMD’s platform does not support DDR5.

We’re upgrading slightly in terms of storage speed by using a 2TB version of Kingston’s lightning-fast KC3000 NVMe SSD. The KC3000’s Phison PS5018-E18 controller allows for transfer rates of up to 7,000 MB per second, in both reading and writing operations. Since two terabytes (TB) may not be enough for a gamer with a sizable library, we’ll be including a second TB (two thousand gigabyte) SK hynix Gold P31 SSD for data.

The Corsair iCue 5000T is our preferred chassis because of its three impressive RGB fans and ample space for our 360mm radiator. There is a wide variety of ports on the front panel, including four USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Our tests showed that the airflow was very good.

We need a power supply that can keep up with these high-end parts, and ideally one that can accommodate a future graphics card upgrade as well. We’ve decided to go with the Corsair HX1000 and its full thousand watts of power. This is a fully modular, 80 Platinum-rated power supply.


A computer can be assembled in as little as one day or as much as a month, depending on the complexity of the build.

Anyone with the necessary expertise could quickly choose their components, visit their neighborhood electronics retailer, take home the necessary hardware, and have their system up and running the same day.

But if you’ve never built a PC before, it’s going to take you a few days just to do the research to make sure you’re buying the right hardware and putting together your new gaming machine correctly. However, if you’re just starting out, the longest part of the process may be waiting for the parts to arrive after you order them online.