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Interview

A Simple Gaming PC Build! Part Two Of What You Should Know!

So you’re still looking to learn what it takes to build a simple gaming PC… You came to the right place! Welcome back for part two of a builder’s advice on what things a gaming PC build beginner should know! Continuing from part one, we rejoin PC builder and hobbyist Torey Stickrath as he divulges more knowledge on topics like over-clocking your PC and keeping your build well-ventilated.

A completed water cooling setup! Picture credit to YouTube (via JayzTwoCents channel)

First, there’s what’s cool (or not cool) about “water cooling” in your gaming PC build.

TOREY STICKRATH: “Water cooling refers to a method of cooling in which water is used to circulate heat away from components. Water flows from a reservoir via pump, to the parts, which the water heats up, passes into a radiator that has fans blowing to cool the water, from where it circulates back into the reservoir.”

Water cooling installed in a Thermaltake Core V21 Micro ATX! Picture credit to modders-inc.com

TOREY STICKRATH: “Water cooling has a LOT more considerations, and not something I recommend for the beginner. There’s concerns over things like galvanic corrosion, the type of piping you’re using, different kind of cooling blocks. And technically you can go further than that, but that gets into dry ice. At that point you’re not gaming; you’re trying to push your PC to extremes that they REALLY aren’t meant to run at.”

Stickrath said he couldn’t think of any parts to outright avoid in the build; he does, however, advise first-timers to keep things simple. Sounds like water cooling is something to steer clear of at least for convenience-sake!

The builder then gave advice about “overclocking” your PC; what it is, and how it should be handled (if at all).

TOREY STICKRATH: “Overclocking refers to altering the clock rate at which a specific component operates in order to push it beyond what manufacture spec is. In reference, you’ll hear people talk about altering voltages as well, which is just to ensure stability at the higher clock.”

How to overclock a video card! Picture credit to YouTube (via JayzTwoCents channel)

TOREY STICKRATH: “Clock-Rate is just simply altering the timing of pulses within a processor. Altering a processor’s clock-rates actually causes it to heat up dramatically, so you have to plan accordingly and make sure you have proper cooling to deal. Also, overclocking voids your warranty and can shorten the lifetime of your parts since you’re going above spec. Honestly, I’d say avoid going into overclocking until you’re absolutely sure its what you want to do and you’ve installed beefier cooling solutions to help dissipate heat”.

See the good ventilation in the Thermaltake Core V21 Micro ATX! Picture credit to newegg.com

Ventilation for the gaming PC build is important; heat must escape to keep your computer cool… I asked Stickrath how important it is and how to keep things from overheating. Basically, you don’t want to cause too much heat to make your build suffer while it screams “spirit willing; body WEAK!!”

TOREY STICKRATH: “It’s extremely important. When parts overheat, this magical thing called ‘thermal throttling’ happens where your parts go ‘I’m too hot! I’m gonna slow WAY down so that I don’t die!’ And sometimes parts can still die from overheating due to the solder suddenly flowing and causing something to detach. Ensuring proper ventilation through cable management, as well as proper fan orientation (making sure you have proper push/pull sat up) within the case helps prevent this; as well as general cleaning every so often.”

A gaming PC build with the Noctua NH-D15 premium CPU Cooler with 2X NF-A15 PWM 140mm fans! Picture credit to YouTube (via Hardware Canucks channel)

In a nutshell — or a PC case — a builder must keep track of how much heat their project is going to make; proper ventilation goes a long way! Water cooling is an option, but it isn’t necessarily the coolest route for a first-timer. Also, overclocking may cause build parts to die faster under heat than the hope of a snow day for Tatooine Elementary kids!

The next beginner’s look at what to know about a gaming PC build concludes this exploration with necessary skills and how long a build takes; be there or be square!

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