building a pc

What To Buy First When Building A PC: Ultimate Singapore Guide

Welcome to the ultimate Singapore guide that demystifies the initial steps of building a PC! Whether you’re a tech aficionado with years of experience or a newcomer eager to piece together your first computer, this blog is your essential resource. We’ll guide you through the intricate maze of PC assembly, starting from identifying your specific needs and budget constraints to choosing both core and supplementary components. Additionally, we’ll spotlight reputable brands and explain why VOLTA PC is your ideal one-stop-shop for all your PC component requirements.

Assembling a PC in Singapore offers a unique set of opportunities and challenges, given the local market conditions and availability of components. This guide is tailored to provide you with localized insights and recommendations, ensuring you make informed choices that suit your individual needs.

So, if you’ve been contemplating how to build a PC that perfectly aligns with your goals, especially within the Singapore market, you’ve come to the right place. This blog aims to arm you with the essential knowledge and components you need before building a PC.

1. Understanding Your Needs Before Building A PC

a) Identify the primary purpose of the PC

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of PC components, let’s pause for a moment. First and foremost, you need to identify the primary purpose of your PC. This decision will guide every other choice you make. So, let’s explore the various reasons you might be building a PC.


If you’re an avid gamer, your PC will need some serious horsepower. High-end graphics cards and processors are a must. Moreover, you’ll want a system that can handle the latest AAA titles at high resolutions.

For a GPU, aim for one that supports at least 8GB of VRAM. This will ensure that you can play the latest AAA titles at high resolutions without any hiccups. While the specific brand and model can vary based on your personal preferences and budget, the VRAM is a key specification you shouldn’t compromise on for gaming.

Just as important as the GPU is a powerful CPU. It’s essential to choose a CPU that won’t bottleneck your high-end graphics card. A multi-core processor with at least 6 cores and a base clock speed of around 3.0GHz should be your target. This will allow your system to handle even the most complex gaming scenarios without lag, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.

A high-refresh-rate monitor can make your gaming experience much more immersive and fluid. Aim for a monitor with at least a 144Hz refresh rate. This will allow you to experience games as they’re meant to be seen, with smooth motion and no screen tearing.

Professional Work

If your professional life revolves around video editing, 3D modeling, or software development, your computing needs are going to be quite specific. Multitasking capabilities and fast rendering times aren’t just conveniences; they’re necessities.

In such scenarios, a multi-core CPU becomes crucial. A 12-core processor should be your baseline to ensure that you can handle multiple tasks efficiently and achieve fast rendering times. This kind of CPU will allow you to run several applications at the same time without experiencing performance hiccups.

RAM is another area where you shouldn’t skimp. For professional tasks like video editing and 3D modeling, a minimum of 32GB of RAM is recommended. This will enable smooth multitasking and quick data access. If your projects involve extremely high-resolution assets or complex 3D scenes, you might even consider going up to 64GB of RAM to ensure that your system can handle these demanding tasks without lag.

Storage is another critical consideration, especially given the large file sizes associated with video editing and 3D modeling. An SSD is highly recommended for faster data retrieval and quicker saving of large files. A 1TB SSD should be the minimum you aim for, and if your budget allows, a 2TB or even larger SSD will provide you with ample space to store all your projects without worrying about running out of room.

A high-quality monitor is another key component. Look for one with accurate color reproduction and at least a 1440p resolution. If you’re into video editing, a monitor that supports HDR can be a valuable addition.

Media Server

If you’re a movie buff or a music aficionado, your PC will serve primarily as a media center, making storage your top priority. You should aim for multiple high-capacity hard drives, starting with at least a 2TB HDD for your primary storage. If your budget allows, adding an additional 4TB or even 8TB HDD can future-proof your media library.

While storage is crucial, you’ll also need a decent CPU to ensure smooth streaming and media playback. A quad-core processor should suffice for these tasks, allowing your system to handle multiple activities like streaming and downloading simultaneously. Alongside the CPU, sufficient RAM is essential for smooth media playback and multitasking. A minimum of 8GB RAM should be adequate for most media-related tasks, but if you plan to do some light video editing or other demanding tasks, consider upgrading to 16GB.

Interestingly, a high-end GPU is not a necessity in this scenario. However, if you plan to connect your PC to a 4K TV or indulge in some light gaming, a GPU that supports at least 4GB of VRAM would be beneficial. Additional considerations include a power supply with at least 500 watts to ensure all your components are well-powered.

General Use

For everyday tasks like web browsing, word processing, and light media consumption, you don’t need to invest in a high-end machine. A mid-range CPU is more than sufficient for these activities. Many modern CPUs come with integrated graphics that can easily handle tasks like streaming videos or browsing the web, eliminating the need for a separate, high-end GPU.

When it comes to RAM, moderate amounts are generally adequate for everyday computing. Around 8GB of RAM should be sufficient for most users, allowing for smooth multitasking and quick application loading. If your usage involves having multiple tabs open or using more resource-intensive software occasionally, you might consider going up to 16GB, but for most people, 8GB will do the job just fine.

Storage is another consideration. While you may not need a high-capacity hard drive for basic tasks, an SSD can make a noticeable difference in system responsiveness and boot times. A 256GB SSD should provide ample storage for most users, and it will make your system feel much snappier compared to a traditional HDD.

Hybrid Use

If you’re someone who games casually but also uses your PC for work, a balanced build is the way to go. A strong CPU is essential as it serves as the backbone of your system, ensuring that both work-related tasks and gaming can be handled efficiently. Aim for a CPU with at least 6 cores and a base clock speed of around 3.0GHz for a good balance between performance and cost.

On the graphics side, a mid-range GPU can offer the versatility you need. While you may not need the top-of-the-line graphics card for casual gaming, you’ll still want something that can handle modern titles at medium settings. Look for a GPU that supports at least 4GB of VRAM to ensure you can play games and also handle tasks like video editing or 3D rendering if needed.

RAM is another component where you can strike a balance. Around 16GB should be sufficient for both work and play, allowing for smooth multitasking and quick application loading. For storage, consider a 512GB SSD for the operating system and essential programs, and perhaps a 1TB or larger HDD for additional storage, especially if your work involves large files.

gaming pc

b) Budget considerations

After identifying the purpose of your PC, the next pivotal step is budgeting. Indeed, your budget will serve as the framework for your entire build. It dictates the quality and performance of the components you can afford. So, let’s delve into how to make the most of your budget.

Setting a Budget

Firstly, determine how much you’re willing to spend. This might seem obvious, but it’s a step many overlook. A clear budget helps you avoid overspending and narrows down your component choices. Moreover, it allows you to allocate funds to the most crucial parts of your build.

Prioritizing Components

Not all components are created equal. Some parts of your build will require more financial attention than others. For example, gamers should allocate a significant portion of their budget to a high-end GPU. Conversely, those building a media server should focus on storage solutions. Therefore, prioritize according to your needs.

The Cost of Cutting Corners

While it’s tempting to opt for cheaper components, consider the long-term impact. Low-quality parts can lead to poor performance and may even fail prematurely. Additionally, they often lack features that could be beneficial down the line. Thus, it’s essential to find a balance between cost and quality.

Value for Money

Always look for components that offer the best bang for your buck. These are parts that provide excellent performance without breaking the bank. For instance, AMD’s Ryzen CPUs often offer better value than their Intel counterparts. Similarly, some mid-range GPUs deliver performance close to high-end models but at a fraction of the cost.

Seasonal Sales and Discounts

One smart way to stretch your budget is to take advantage of sales. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday sales often feature deep discounts on PC components. Furthermore, new product releases often lead to price drops for older models. So, keep an eye on the calendar and be ready to pounce when the time is right.

Used and Refurbished Components

If you’re on a tight budget, used or refurbished parts are worth considering. These components are often much cheaper and can perform like new. However, make sure to buy from reputable sources and check for warranties. This approach minimizes the risks associated with used components.

Future Upgrades

Planning for future upgrades can also influence your initial budget. For example, you might opt for a motherboard with extra RAM slots for future expansion. Alternatively, you could choose a case with room for additional storage drives. Either way, leaving room for upgrades can save you money in the long run.

Peripheral Costs

Don’t forget about the cost of peripherals like monitors, keyboards, and mice. These items can add up quickly and should be part of your budget. Moreover, specialized peripherals like gaming mice or mechanical keyboards can be quite expensive. Therefore, factor these into your initial budget to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Software Costs

Last but not least, remember that software can also impact your budget. Operating systems, productivity software, and games are not free. Some software, like Adobe’s Creative Suite, requires a subscription. Consequently, these ongoing costs should be part of your budgeting process.

2. What To Buy First When Building A PC: Starting with the Core Components

Now that you’ve defined your needs and set your budget, it’s time to dive into the core components. These are the building blocks of your PC. They determine its performance, capabilities, and longevity. So, let’s get started.

Processor (CPU)

The CPU serves as the brain of your computer. It handles all the computations and controls other hardware. For gaming, you’ll want a CPU that can keep up with your GPU. AMD’s Ryzen series and Intel’s Core i-series are popular choices. Moreover, consider the number of cores and threads for multitasking.

Optimal CPU Recommendations for Your Specific Use Cases

For gaming enthusiasts, CPUs like the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X or the Intel Core i7-12700K are popular choices. Both offer 8 cores and 16 threads, making them excellent for high-end gaming and multitasking.

For those who primarily use their PC as a media server, the requirements are a bit different. CPUs like the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G or the Intel Core i5-12600K are more than adequate. Both come with 6 cores and 12 threads, and their integrated graphics can easily handle media streaming tasks.

For general everyday use, such as web browsing and word processing, you don’t need to go all out. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 or the Intel Core i3-13100 are budget-friendly options that offer solid performance. Both have 6 cores and 12 threads, making them suitable for a range of everyday tasks.

Lastly, if your computing needs are hybrid—meaning you game casually but also use your PC for work—a balanced CPU is ideal. Again, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X or the Intel Core i7-13700K could be your go-to options. Their 8 cores and 16 threads offer the versatility to handle both gaming and work tasks efficiently.

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

Next up is the GPU, the heart of any gaming or graphics-intensive workstation. Nvidia and AMD dominate this space. High-end models like the Nvidia RTX 3090 or AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT offer stellar performance. However, mid-range options like the Nvidia RTX 3060 or AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT provide good value for money. Therefore, choose based on your specific needs and budget.

Optimal GPU Recommendations for Your Specific Use Cases

For those who are serious about gaming, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 is a well-rounded card that delivers decent 1080p gaming performance without breaking the bank. Alternatively, AMD’s Radeon RX 6600 is a reliable midrange card with support for modern graphics features like ray tracing and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) upscaling.

If you’re into video editing, you might want to consider GPUs that have excellent raw performance. While the article didn’t specify GPUs for video editing, high-end options like the Nvidia RTX 4080 or AMD RX 7900 XTX could be suitable for such tasks due to their high computational power.

For a media server, you don’t necessarily need a high-end GPU. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 is a budget-friendly option that should suffice for such needs. It’s designed for 1080p play and is priced competitively.

For everyday tasks like web browsing and light media consumption, you don’t need a high-end GPU. The AMD Radeon RX 6400 could be a good fit here, offering decent performance without being overkill for general use.

If your needs span both gaming and work, you might want to look at GPUs that offer a balance of performance and features. The AMD Radeon RX 7600 or 7600X, based on the company’s RDNA 3 architecture, drives excellent performance at 1080p resolutions and could be a good fit for such hybrid use.

Motherboard/ Mainboard

The motherboard connects all your components. It’s crucial to choose one compatible with your CPU and RAM. Additionally, look for features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the number of USB ports. Some motherboards also offer built-in RGB lighting and support for liquid cooling. Thus, pick a motherboard that aligns with both your current and future needs.

Optimal Motherboard Recommendations for Your Specific Use Cases

For gaming, motherboards like the Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Xtreme are high-end options that offer excellent power delivery and support for the latest Intel 13th Gen CPUs. These boards often come with features like multiple PCIe slots, high-speed Ethernet, and Thunderbolt ports, making them ideal for gamers who need high performance.

If you’re into video editing, you’ll want a motherboard that can handle high computational tasks and offer stable performance. The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 is a good choice for those with deep pockets and high expectations. These boards offer robust power delivery systems and multiple PCIe slots for additional GPUs or storage drives.

For a media server, the requirements are generally less demanding. Motherboards like the Gigabyte B550 offer a balance of features and cost. They provide decent power delivery and enough PCIe slots for additional storage or a budget-friendly GPU.

For everyday tasks, motherboards like the MSI Pro X670-P offer good value and decent performance. These boards are not as feature-rich as their high-end counterparts but offer stable performance for general computing needs.

If you have a mix of gaming and work tasks, you’ll want a motherboard that offers a good balance of features. The ASUS ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming WiFi is a versatile board that offers high stability and performance, allowing the rest of your PC to perform at its potential.

System Memory (RAM)

RAM acts as your computer’s short-term memory. For general use, 8GB of RAM is often sufficient. However, 16GB or more is advisable for gaming and professional work. RAM also comes in different speeds, measured in MHz. Faster RAM can offer slight performance gains, so keep that in mind.

Optimal RAM Recommendations for Your Specific Use Cases

For gaming, G.Skill’s RipJaws S5 is a top pick. It offers memory bundles up to 96GB and base clock speeds up to 6,000MHz. This makes it great for both office and creative work as well as gaming. The higher the RAM, the smoother your gaming experience will be.

For video editing, you’ll want a RAM with high capacity and speed. The G.Skill RipJaws S5 can also be a good fit as well, especially its configurations that go up to 96GB. High capacity is crucial for handling large video files and multitasking with editing software.

For a media server, you might not need as much RAM as for gaming or video editing. However, having a decent amount can help with data caching and serving files more quickly. Kingston’s Fury Renegade Pro, designed for servers, offers bundles up to 256GB and has Intel XMP support.

For general use like web browsing, word processing, and light media consumption, 8GB to 16GB of RAM is often sufficient. Corsair’s Vengeance LED series offers a 16GB kit with a speed of 3466MHz, making it a good all-around choice.

If you have a mix of gaming and work tasks, you’ll want a RAM that offers a good balance of features. The G.Skill Trident Z RGB offers bundles up to 256GB and is compatible with both Intel and AMD chipsets. Its customizable RGB lighting can be a fun addition to your setup.

Data Storage

For storage, you have two main options: HDDs and SSDs. SSDs are faster but more expensive per gigabyte. HDDs offer more storage for less money but are slower. Many people opt for a smaller SSD for the operating system and frequently used programs, complemented by a larger HDD for other files. Consequently, this setup offers a good balance between speed and storage capacity.

Optimal RAM Recommendations for Your Specific Use Cases

For gamers, speed is of the essence. The Samsung 990 Pro is a top choice, offering up to 7,450 / 6,900 MBps of sequential read/write throughput. This ensures less time waiting for game levels to load and a snappier experience overall.

For video editing, where large files and fast rendering are the norm, the Samsung 990 is also a strong contender. Its high sequential throughput makes it ideal for handling large video files and ensuring quick rendering times.

For a media server and everyday computing tasks, where speed may not be the top priority but reliability is, the Samsung 870 EVO is a good option. It’s a SATA SSD that offers excellent performance, especially with small file operations, and is available in up to 4TB of capacity.

Power Supply Unit (PSU)

Don’t underestimate the importance of a reliable PSU. A poor-quality power supply can lead to system instability or even hardware failure. Brands like MSI, Asus, and Seasonic are known for their reliable PSUs. Furthermore, consider the wattage you’ll need, which depends on your other components.

MSI’s MPG A850GF is an 850W PSU that offers 80 PLUS Gold efficiency. It’s fully modular and provides ample power for high-end gaming setups.

Seasonic’s Prime TX-850/750 Titanium is a high-wattage option, ideal for video editing rigs that require stable and robust power. It offers 80 PLUS Titanium efficiency and is fully modular.

Seasonic’s Focus Gold with 650W-1000W is a reliable choice for media servers. It offers 80 PLUS Gold efficiency and a fully modular design, providing a balance between performance and power.

Seasonic S12III 500W offers 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency and is perfect for general computing tasks. It’s fully modular.

MSI’s MPG A750GF with 750W is a versatile option suitable for both gaming and professional work. It offers 80 PLUS Gold efficiency and is fully modular, making it a balanced choice for hybrid use.

Cooling Systems

Cooling is essential for system stability and longevity. Stock coolers often come with CPUs and suffice for basic needs. However, aftermarket coolers offer better performance and aesthetics. Liquid cooling is another option but tends to be more expensive. Therefore, choose a cooling solution that fits your performance requirements and budget.

Additional Features

Some components offer extra features like RGB lighting, built-in Wi-Fi, or premium audio capacitors. While these features are nice to have, they’re not essential. Nonetheless, if your budget allows, they can add to the overall experience and aesthetics of your build.

3. Additional Components You Need To Build A PC

You’ve selected your core components, but your PC build isn’t complete yet. Additional components can enhance performance, aesthetics, and functionality. So, let’s delve into these often-overlooked but crucial parts of your PC build..

Computer Casing

Your case houses all your components. It also contributes to airflow and aesthetics. Cases come in various sizes, like Full-ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX. Additionally, they offer different features like tempered glass panels, RGB lighting, and cable management systems. Thus, choose a case that accommodates all your components and fits your style.

Sound Cards and Network Adapters

Most motherboards come with built-in sound and network capabilities. However, dedicated sound cards and network adapters can offer improved performance. Brands like Creative Labs and TP-Link are good choices in this category. Consequently, consider these if you’re looking for enhanced audio or network performance.


Don’t forget the peripherals: monitors, keyboards, and mouse. For gaming, a high-refresh-rate monitor and a mechanical keyboard can make a significant difference. Brands like Acer, Logitech, and Razer offer excellent peripheral options. Therefore, allocate some of your budget for quality peripherals.

Additional Storage Options

External hard drives and Network Attached Storage (NAS) are worth considering for extra storage. They offer a way to back up important files and can serve as media servers. Brands like Western Digital and Synology are leaders in this space.

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

A UPS can be a lifesaver during power outages. It provides temporary power to allow you to save your work and shut down safely. APC and CyberPower offer reliable UPS options. So, consider investing in one to protect your data and hardware.

Cable Management

Good cable management improves airflow and aesthetics. Velcro straps, cable channels, and cable boxes can help organize your setup. Brands like JOTO and D-Line offer various cable management solutions.


Lastly, consider the software you’ll need. Operating systems, antivirus software, and other utilities are essential. Microsoft Windows is the most popular OS, while Norton and McAfee offer robust antivirus solutions. Additionally, software for productivity or creative work may require subscriptions, like Adobe Creative Cloud.

4. Trusted Brands to Familiarize Yourself with Before Building a PC

You’ve explored the components and additional features your PC might need. Now, let’s talk about the brands that can reliably provide these parts. Trusted brands offer not just quality products but also excellent customer service and warranties. So, let’s dive into some of the most reliable brands in the PC building landscape.

CPUs: AMD and Intel

When it comes to CPUs, two names dominate the market: AMD and Intel. AMD’s Ryzen series offers excellent performance and value. Moreover, their Threadripper CPUs are a hit among professionals for their multitasking capabilities. On the other hand, Intel’s Core series has been a staple in both gaming and professional builds. Therefore, you can’t go wrong with either brand for CPUs.

GPUs: Nvidia and AMD

For GPUs, Nvidia and AMD are the go-to brands. Nvidia’s GeForce series, especially the RTX models, are renowned for their performance and ray tracing capabilities. AMD’s Radeon series is also a strong contender, often offering better value for the price. Consequently, both brands are reliable choices for graphics cards.

Motherboards: ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte

ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte are trusted names in the motherboard sector. ASUS is known for its robust build quality and excellent BIOS interface. MSI offers motherboards with great gaming features and aesthetics. Gigabyte provides a balanced mix of performance and value. Thus, any of these brands make a solid choice for motherboards.

RAM: Corsair, G.Skill, and Kingston

Corsair, G.Skill, and Kingston are leaders in the RAM market. Corsair’s Vengeance series is popular for its performance and reliability. G.Skill’s Trident Z series offers high speeds and RGB options. Kingston’s HyperX series provides a good balance of speed and affordability. Therefore, these brands are excellent choices for system memory.

Storage: Samsung, and Seagate

For storage solutions, Samsung, and Seagate stand out. Western Digital offers reliable HDDs and SSDs for all kinds of needs. Samsung’s SSDs, especially the NVMe types, are some of the fastest on the market. Seagate provides high-capacity HDDs that are perfect for media storage. Consequently, these brands offer reliable options for both SSDs and HDDs.

5. Where Can You Purchase Components for Your PC Build in Singapore: Discover with VOLTA PC

You’ve mapped out your needs, selected your components, and chosen your brands. Now comes the exciting part: buying the components. VOLTA PC is your one-stop-shop for all your PC building needs in Singapore. So, let’s explore why VOLTA PC should be your go-to destination for PC components.

Wide Range of Components

Firstly, VOLTA PC offers a comprehensive range of components. From CPUs and GPUs to RAM and storage solutions, we have it all. Moreover, you’ll find products from all the trusted brands we’ve discussed earlier. Therefore, you can complete your entire shopping list in one place.

Competitive Pricing

Price is a significant factor in any purchase. At VOLTA PC, we offer competitive pricing on all our products. Additionally, we have frequent sales and discounts. So, you can build your dream PC without breaking the bank.

Expert Advice

Building a PC can be daunting, especially for beginners. That’s why VOLTA PC provides expert advice to all our customers. Our staff are well-versed in the latest components and can guide you through your build. Consequently, you can make informed decisions and avoid common pitfalls.

Quality Assurance

Quality is a cornerstone of VOLTA PC’s philosophy. We only stock components from reputable brands. Furthermore, each product undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it meets our quality standards. Thus, you can shop with confidence, knowing you’re getting reliable components.

Multiple payment options – ATOME & Shopback

Shopping at VOLTA PC is a breeze. Our website is user-friendly, with various filters to help you find what you need. Moreover, we offer multiple payment options for your convenience, including ATOME and Shopback. Therefore, you can focus on the exciting parts of PC building, leaving the logistics to us.

Aftersales Services

One of the standout features of VOLTA PC is our aftersales services. We offer extended warranties, free technical support, and even upgrade options for certain components. Moreover, our aftersales team is always ready to assist you with any issues that may arise after your purchase. Therefore, you can rest easy knowing that we’ve got your back long after the transaction is complete.

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