Setting up a new PC without losing performance: Things to avoid

Setting up a new PC can be quite a challenge, and I’m not just saying that because of the problems that the general consumer graphics card industry is experiencing where, as many of our readers will know, prices have inflated to such an extent that right now it’s virtually impossible to get a new generation model at its recommended price I say this because of all the implications it has.

To set up a new PC successfully, we need to choose the components that best suit our pocket, and our needs. It is not enough to just buy the most expensive or the cheapest, we must refine our purchases to get, within each price range, those components that best meet our needs, and that offer better value for what we want to spend. This is what is known as looking for the best price-performance value.

But that’s not all, we also there are other things that we must take into accountand with which we must be very careful when assembling a new PC, because, otherwise, we will lose performance, and in some cases can give us even more of a headache, and of great importance, so that’s why I have encouraged me to share with you this guide where we will discover those things we should avoid when assembling a new PC to avoid losing performance, and to ensure optimal operation of our new team.

If at the end, after reading this article, you still have any doubt, you can leave it in the comments and we’ll help you figure it out. That said, let’s get started with the guide, make yourselves comfortable, there’s a lot to read.

Things that will make you lose performance when setting up your new PC

If you’re upgrading your computer, do a clean install of Windows.

1.-Mounting a new PC on an old Windows installation

It is one of the most common mistakes made when mounting a new PC, especially when we decide to reuse storage drives and do not want to “waste time”, in quotation marks because, of course, doing a clean install of the operating system in these cases is not a waste of timequite the opposite.

When we do this, we are using an installation of Windows that has drivers, system files, and registries linked to our old computer. Needless to say, this can lead to conflicts and stability issues, especially if we have moved from an AMD CPU and Radeon GPU-based configuration to one that uses an Intel chip and NVIDIA GPU, or the other way around.

Similarly, we should not make the mistake of thinking that because we have moved from a computer that uses a CPU and GPU of the same brand that we will not have any problems, or that we will not lose performance. We will also be wrong to believe that, by cleaning up drivers and other files, it is no longer advisable or necessary to to do a clean install of the operating system.

Make a backup, then a clean install of Windows to welcome your new PC. Don’t hesitate, it’s worth itnot only for a performance issue, but also for stability.

Things that will cause you to lose performance when setting up your new PC

Here we can see what the RAM looks like when properly configured in dual-channel. The two modules occupy alternate slots.

2.-Not installing the RAM correctly

Yes, I know there is only one way to insert the RAM modules into their corresponding slots without breaking them, but if we have a motherboard with four slots and we are only going to use two modules, it is easy to make the mistake of not installing them in the proper order to enable dual-channeland this will cause us to lose performance, both at CPU and GPU level, in case we use an integrated solution.

All motherboards explain, perfectly, the order needed to activate the dual channel, so looking at the manual is more than enough. However, if you don’t want to bother doing it, I’ll tell you that usually just install the two modules in slots 1 and 3, or slots 2 and 4i.e. in odd with odd, or even with even. It is not a mystery.

Not turning on dual-channel mode when setting up your new PC will cause the RAM to working on a 64-bit bus instead of a 128-bit bus. This greatly reduces bandwidth, with all that means for the CPU, which works side-by-side with RAM, and for integrated GPUs, which use that memory as VRAM, since they lack their own.

Fortunately, it’s a problem you can solve without having to go to great lengths, although if you’ve already shut down and plugged in your new PC, you may have to unplug it and move it so you can open it up and change the order of the RAM modules If you have occupied all four slots on your motherboard don’t worry, dual-channel will have been activated.

Things that will cause you to lose performance when setting up your new PC

Downloading, and installing, the new drivers for your graphics card is essential, and very simple.

3.-Forget about drivers, and updates

Many times, when we finish setting up a new PC, it�s easy to get overwhelmed by the desire to start enjoying it, and this can make us forget about important things like installing the latest drivers for our graphics card, updating the BIOS of the motherboard, or perform any other type of update that may be important and may ultimately affect the performance of your computer.

Personally, I recommend that before you start setting up a new PC, you should be clear on all the software, drivers, and third-party applications that you will need to get the most out of it. This way, once you have finished the setup, you will only have to start working with install, one by one, all of the items that you have included in that list. Some will take longer, some will take less time, and some won’t even require you to restart your computer, but they are essential.

In my case, for example, when I finished setting up my new PC, the first thing I did was perform a clean install of Windows 10 Pro. Once that process was complete, I checked for BIOS updates, and then installed the latest drivers for my graphics card. I saved the peripheral applications for last, such as the software for the sound card and iCUE, which allows me to control the RGB LED lighting and fans.

Although I understand that the process of building a new PC can differ depending on the tastes of each user, in the end that order I gave you above is pretty much a standard, and it is the most recommended. Obviously, once we have all that installed, we can continue with applications and programs for leisure and work, and with our favorite games.

Things that will make you lose performance when setting up your new PC

Creating good airflow is critical to maintaining good operating temperatures.

4.-Never neglecting the cooling of your new computer

And I am not referring specifically to any component in particular, but I am speaking in general terms because not all computers have the same needsand they do not have the same particularities. Obviously, if we are going to build a new PC using mid-range components, whose power consumption is quite low, it will be very difficult to have temperature problems, but this can change if we make an important mistake during the assembly.

I have seen very serious things, such as installing cooling systems to which, by an oversight, the protective plastic on the copper base has not been removed which makes contact with the IHS of the CPU, assemblies with the power supply badly oriented, which made the heat accumulate inside, and also equipment with inadequate cooling solutions for their real needs, or badly oriented fans. In the end, all this can cause us to have temperature problems in one or more components, and these can not perform as they should.

To avoid this, you just have to make sure to choose the cooling solutions you need wiselyand install them correctly. You should also take care to properly mount all components that can generate a lot of heat, such as the power supply, as discussed in the previous paragraph.

So, for example, if you are going to use a processor like the Intel Core i9-12900K, you should keep in mind that this chip can consume almost 300 watts with overclock, and it will reach quite high temperatures when working with a load that puts all its cores at 100%. This means that, when working with small loads, it will generate very little heat and consume very little powerso it might seem that a simple 120mm fan mounted on a lightweight radiator would be enough to keep it under control, but the reality is totally differentand we will crash into it as soon as it begins to “chew the cud”.

Things that will make you lose performance when setting up your new PC

This is how easy it is to load an XMP profile in the BIOS.

5.-Do not fine-tune, and finish, the most important settings

This is very important, and the truth is that in the end we can also be influenced by those “anxious” to start enjoying our equipment as soon as we finish assembling a new PC. Before you start playing your favorite games, or start using it as if it were all finished, you need to complete a few fundamental settings that will allow your computer to truly reach its full potential.

Some settings will depend on the configuration you have chosen when building a new PC. For example, if you have an Intel  “K” series processor, you will probably want to overclock so that it can offer extra performance. Well, this will require a manual adjustment on our part, which we can carry out either through the BIOS, or by using the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility application, which is completely free. In the case that we have opted for a Ryzen 3000 or 5000, we can also overclock to scratch a little more performance.

The same will happen if we have mounted RAM memory that comes at frequencies higher than the JEDEC standards. For example, if you have RAM memory at 3600 MHz, you will have to go into the BIOS setup and load the XMP profile profile to run at that frequency. If we don’t do that, it will default to 2400 MHz. Fortunately, this is not complicated, and usually all current motherboards allow you to make this setting with a few simple clicks.

As we said in point three, to finish building a new PC successfully and ensure maximum performance and stability, you need to install drivers and updates, but you also need to make those extra adjustments that some components require to get the most out of them. Finally, if you have decided to overclock one or more components, I recommend that, before giving the assembly finished, run at least one stability test that loads the components you have used to 100%. This will ensure that the overclock you have achieved is completely stable.

I’m not speaking for no reason, a few years ago when I finished setting up a new PC that I was using as a personal computer for quite some time, I installed a Ryzen 7 1800X and was able to push it, to my surprise, to almost 4.1 GHz frequency. The machine booted up and ran, but when some games demanded a significant performance spike and loaded the CPU more than usual, it sufrÃa blue screens. At the end, i had to turn the overclock down to 4 GHz scratched.

Things that will make you lose performance when building your new PC

Endnotes: Setting up a new PC is not complicated, but to do it right you need to take it slow

Haste is never a good thing, and in this kind of case it can end in disaster Plan well the choice of components so that you don’t make mistakes when assembling your new computer, and when you start assembling a new PC, do it carefully and without rushing. Don’t worry if you have to stop for a moment to look something up in the manuals, and don’t feel bad if you need to interrupt the assembly to look something up or ask for help. It’s always better to do that than risk breaking something you’ve invested a lot of money in.

On the other hand, never forget that a well-assembled but misconfigured PC can end up being a huge headache. Invest the time and resources necessary to set up your new computer properly, and get all the programs and tools you will need to use it as you intend, in an optimal and safe way.

When you have finished the setup, and you have everything well installed and configured, you can finish with a stability test, as we said, but it is also a good idea to run some performance tests focused on the key components. For example, for the processor you can use Cinebench R23, as its multithreading test loads the CPU to 100%, and will allow you to compare performance with other processors.

For memory, AIDA64 is an excellent option, and for storage units the simplest and most recommended is CrystalDiskMark. Finally, for the graphics card there are several interesting applications that will allow you to measure the performance, but I think it is best to test it directly with the games and applications you plan to use, as this will allow you to find out if its performance is up to your expectations, and if it is up to the level of other similar models.

Keep in mind that it is normal for small discrepancies to occur, both upwards and downwards, even in configurations that at first glance seem identical. Don’t worry if your system performs a little less well than a seemingly identical one, as there is always a small margin of error, and variability, in performance testing Only if the difference is considerable (more than 5%), you might have a problem. Otherwise, it is totally normal.

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