So you’ve got a little time on your hands, some extra money in your pocket, and the desire to get a new computer. Looks like it’s time to finally buckle down and see what all this “build your own desktop” stuff is about.
We’ve selected five YouTube channels that feature some of the most useful tips for building a desktop PC of your very own. Some of them geek out a bit—after all, what’s the point of building a computer if you can’t make it awesome? But following along with their videos, especially those that are explicitly guides or budget builds, will be extremely illuminating for new builders.
Update, 11/9/21: Verified content is still accurate.
Paul Heimlich has been putting out tech-focused videos for the better part of a decade. While he sometimes indulges in home repair and upgrades, most of his stuff has to do with building sweet-ass gaming PCs. His advice is surprisingly useful and actionable, especially if you focus on his “Tutorials” and “Builds” playlists.
Those building a PC for the first time won’t be particularly interested in his exhaustive benchmarking of specific components, but it’s great fodder if you’re not quite sure which part to finish off your new build or upgrade your old one. And if you just want to chill out and watch someone build neat stuff, he puts out a new PC build every month—it’s a great place to get inspiration.
- Here’s What a $4000 Gaming PC Can Do…
- How To Take Apart and Salvage a Gaming PC
- 5 Things You Might Need When Building a PC
At this point, Linus Sebastian is probably the most prolific general tech guy on YouTube. His team has spent years building a channel that covers more or less everything having to do with personal computers, and that includes a huge amount of videos dedicated specifically to building them. If you dig around on the LinusTechTips channel, you should be able to find a build log for just about any kind of desktop PC.
Linus’ enthusiasm and attitude can sometimes border on the cloying, and there’s a lot of stuff in the channel that’s much more novelty video-fodder than anything else. But do some searching on the channel and you’ll find plenty of extremely useful videos for almost any part of the build process, from selecting individual parts all the way to putting finishing touches on your airflow.
- First Person View PC BUILD Guide!
- The Perfect DIY Gaming PC – Early 2020 Buyer’s Guide
- ULTIMATE Cable Management Guide
The HardwareCanucks (that means “Canadian” for non-hosers) channel is mostly focused on coverage of specific gaming-related hardware or collections of the same. But their “Computer Builds” playlist includes a wide selection of start-to-finish PC builds, with step-by-step accounts of the parts and assembly in surprisingly quick videos.
HardwareCanucks focuses on useful, actionable information, perfect for someone starting out with their first build, with fast editing that cuts out the fluff. You might need to keep a finger on the pause button, but it’s all good info.
- The Most AFFORDABLE Gaming PC We’ve Built!
- DON’T Do This When Building a PC! Our Common Mistakes
- IT’S DONE! The EPIC Workstation Build Is Alive!
If you’re looking to go big with your computer build and you want excitement to match, check out the Bitwit channel. Proprietor Kyle tends to lean into over-the-top hardware (and to be honest, video thumbnails that look like a free-to-play mobile game), but his experience and expertise can’t be denied.
Bitwit’s builds focus on the outrageous, with lots of watercooling and components beyond the standard budget, and he tends to get much more animated than you might want if you’re looking primarily for information and tips. But it’s an interesting way to spice up a process that, at least most of the time, can be a bit dry.
- This $199 “GeForce Now” PC is amazing
- $1,000 PC budget?…BUILD THIS!
- The best CPU & GPU combos for gaming on any budget
Most of the channels above focus one long, step-by-step build processes, or deep dives into specific components or categories. The official YouTube channel of Kingston Technology (a memory supplier that also has its own gaming brand, HyperX), goes for shorter guides about choosing and installing one part. The “DIY In 5” playlist is where it’s at.
Trisha Hershberger’s videos focus on getting the essentials of quick upgrades or building tips into five minutes or less. It’s great if you’re having some trouble with a specific portion of an install and don’t want to wade through half an hour of video to find an answer. The channel is a corporate one, so it shills pretty hard for Kingston products. But if you can get past that, it’s a great place for quick info.
- Memory Amount – How Much RAM Do You Need?
- Ryzen 7 or i7? DDR4 or DDR3? – Build a Video Editing PC
- PC Build — How to Choose a Case and Motherboard
If you’re looking to build or upgrade your PC, and you don’t like using videos to learn, may I humbly suggest checking out our sister site How-To Geek? They have a series of articles all about building your own desktop PC, complete with photos and step-by-step breakdowns.
If you’re only looking to upgrade a single part like a storage drive or RAM, they’ve got those too. And all of them are written by an expert PC builder who’s extremely talented. And intelligent. And attractive.