Building your own home computer is a right of passage for many people, but it’s not without its pitfalls as this recent survey of the most commonly searched PC building questions shows. BroadbandDeals (opens in new tab), a UK-based consumer advice website that helps people find the best internet provider, commissioned the survey to find out what people were looking for when building a new PC.
While there are plenty of companies who will sell you a pre-built model, there are some advantages to building your own home computer (opens in new tab). You get complete freedom when choosing the specs, look, and cost of your machine. You also get yourself a mini project, as you’ll have to buy all the components individually and assemble them yourself. Building your own rig is as popular as ever too, with BroadbandDeals’ report (opens in new tab) showing that there are more than 43,000 searches for “how to build a PC” on Google every month - that’s a 140% increase in searches over the last year.
Everyone’s getting in on the action, including Hollywood star Henry Cavill, who set the internet ablaze when he posted a video of himself building a gaming PC to his Instagram account in July last year. Even Superman had some issues with building a PC, so of course the rest of us mere mortals do too.
Diving into specific search terms, you can see what people are interested in, and where they’re having issues when assembling their own PC. The top component that people search for is the mythical water cooler (PC water cooler was the actual search term). Water cooling is an alternative way of cooling your computer’s internal components when running. It’s more effective, but also more expensive and complicated to install than traditional cooling fans.
Coming in just behind that is people searching for the “best graphics card” to power their sweet gaming rig. The term “best graphics card'' had 54,900 searches per month on average. It’s hardly surprising that these two take the top spots, as custom PCs are most popular with gamers. This is reinforced by the third highest search term - best motherboard for gaming which, at 32,500 searches per month, had more searches than best motherboard does alone.
Graphics cards aren’t just for gamers though. While most laptops (opens in new tab) and some computers come with integrated graphics, you’ll see a big boost in performance for numerous activities if you get a dedicated graphics card. Games are the obvious beneficiary, but they also help with video and photo editing (opens in new tab), 3d modeling, game development and even running the best web browsers (opens in new tab). You can check out our integrated vs dedicated graphics card (opens in new tab) article to see which option is right for you.