PCPartPicker: how to use it to build your own PC

Building a custom PC can be an exciting yet daunting task for beginners. With so many components to choose from and technical jargon to navigate, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s where PCPartPicker.com comes in.

This powerful online tool simplifies building a PC, allowing even inexperienced users to create their dream computer. In this article, we’ll dive into PCPartPicker’s features, user experience, and how it can help you build the perfect PC.

A Comprehensive Component Database

PCPartPicker.com boasts an extensive database of components, including CPUs, GPUs, motherboards, RAM, storage, and more. The site continuously updates its inventory with the latest products, ensuring you can always access the most cutting-edge technology. With filters for brands, specifications, and compatibility, finding the perfect components for your build is easier than ever.

Start a build from a blank list

One of the major advantages of PCPartPicker is its price comparison feature. The site aggregates prices from various online retailers, allowing you to find the best deals on your chosen components. Additionally, PCPartPicker offers price tracking and alerts, so you can monitor price drops and snag a deal when it comes along.

PCPartPicker might earn a commission on qualifying purchases made through links on the site. However, this does not affect the price you pay for your components.

Compatibility and Optimization

Automatic Compatibility Checking

The most useful feature of PCPartPicker.com is its automatic compatibility checking. The site cross-references the components you select, ensuring they work together seamlessly. This means you won’t accidentally purchase incompatible parts or face unexpected issues during the building process.

For example, if you select an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X CPU, PCPartPicker will only show compatible motherboards with the appropriate socket (AM4) and chipsets (such as B550 or X570). Similarly, if you choose a larger graphics card, the site will ensure that your selected case has enough clearance to accommodate it.

Filters, Compatibility & Wattage checks

In short, you can expect several compatibility checks, like:

  • BIOS updates & software updates
  • Clearance (space and sizing)
  • Socks and connectors
  • Power consumption (wattage)

The compatibility checker is one of the most useful features of PCPartPicker. Make sure you read the compatibility notes carefully, as they may contain important warningrmation about your build.

For example, some motherboards may require a BIOS update to support newer CPUs, which is something that can be remediated with a software update. Other compatibility issues might require a new computer piece altogether, which means you’ll have to return the piece you might have bought or exchange it for one that actually works with your build.

Performance and Budget Optimization

Whether building a high-performance gaming PC or a budget-friendly workstation, PCPartPicker can help you optimize your build. The site suggests alternative components that can boost performance or save money without compromising quality. This makes it easy to tailor your PC to your needs and budget.

For example, suppose you initially choose an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. In that case, PCPartPicker may suggest the more budget-friendly AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT as an alternative, allowing you to save money without significantly sacrificing performance. Similarly, if you’re aiming for a high-performance build and select a mid-tier CPU, the site might recommend a more powerful processor to ensure your system doesn’t bottleneck.

Choosing a CPU and looking at pricing

Power Supply and Cooling Considerations

PCPartPicker.com also helps you choose the proper power supply and cooling solutions for your build. The site calculates the estimated wattage of your selected components and recommends power supplies with enough capacity to support your system safely. It also considers the physical dimensions of your selected components to ensure that your power supply fits within your chosen case.

When it comes to cooling, PCPartPicker will show you compatible air and liquid cooling solutions based on your selected CPU and case. The site provides information about cooler dimensions, ensuring your chosen cooler will fit without interfering with other components like RAM or the case itself.

Storage and Peripheral Compatibility

PCPartPicker makes it simple to select storage options and peripherals compatible with your build. The site will show you storage options based on your chosen motherboard’s available slots and interfaces, ensuring that you don’t accidentally purchase an incompatible SSD or HDD. PCPartPicker displays compatible peripherals, such as monitors, keyboards, and mice, based on your selected components and available ports on your motherboard and GPU.

User Experience and Community

PCPartPicker’s user interface is clean, simple, and easy to navigate. Creating a build is as simple as adding components from the database, and the site’s automatic compatibility checking ensures that you will avoid running into any roadblocks. For beginners, PCPartPicker also offers step-by-step guides and tutorials to help demystify the process.

PCPartPicker.com has a vibrant community of users eager to share their knowledge and offer support. The site features forums where you can ask questions, seek advice, and discuss your build with fellow PC enthusiasts. This sense of camaraderie can make the building process feel less intimidating and more enjoyable.

Save and Share Your Builds

Personal Build Lists and Versioning

PCPartPicker allows you to save your builds for future reference or editing. This is especially useful for those who plan on upgrading their PC over time, as you can easily update your build list with new components. The site also supports versioning, so you can keep track of the changes you’ve made to your build over time. This feature is particularly helpful if you want to compare different component configurations or revisit a previous version of your build.

The last thing you want to avoid during a rush moment is having to figure out what computer components you have, like we described in our article “How to identify what Hardware you have”. With PCPartPicker, you can easily save your build and have it ready to review your components whenever you need it.

Collaborative Builds and Feedback

Another advantage of saving your build on PCPartPicker.com is the ability to collaborate with others. You can share your build with friends or fellow PC enthusiasts, allowing them to view, comment on, or edit your component list.

This collaborative process can help you get valuable feedback and suggestions on improving your build, whether you’re seeking advice on performance optimization, aesthetics, or budget considerations.

Exporting and Printing Your Build

PCPartPicker provides options for exporting your build in various formats, including plain text, Reddit markdown, and BBCode for forum posting. This makes it easy to share your build on different platforms or save it as a document for personal use. If you prefer a physical copy, PCPartPicker also offers a print-friendly version of your build, with component names, images, prices, and retailer information.

Showcase Your Creations and Get Inspired

Once you’ve completed your build, you can share it with the PCPartPicker community or on social media. This is a great way to showcase your hard work, gather feedback, or inspire others considering building their PC.

Completed builds

PCPartPicker also features a “Completed Builds” section where users can upload photos and descriptions of their finished projects. Browsing through these completed builds can inspire your build and help you discover new ideas or component combinations you might have yet to consider.

PCPartPicker.com is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to build a custom PC. With its comprehensive component database, compatibility checking, optimization features, and supportive community, the site takes the guesswork out of the building process. Whether a seasoned pro or a first-time builder, PCPartPicker can help you create the perfect computer tailored to your needs and budget. Try it and experience the satisfaction of creating your custom PC.