I designed the NZXT BLD Kit gaming PC with my kids and it was a great experience

I built my first gaming PC about two years ago, right before COVID-19 and the subsequent supply chain issues it caused. I spent about a month doing my research, picking part by part and an ingredient that would go into it. I’ve also watched very many hours of YouTube videos, detailing how to put a computer together from scratch.

I knew nothing about assembling a computer, let alone one in which I invested close to $2000. But after a few trials and tribulations—and many, many swear words—it worked.

also: How to build a gaming PC for under $600

Since then, my two boys have been asking (well, begging) to let them build a gaming PC. I kept telling them we’d do the project when GPUs were easier to find, or at least more affordable.

Likes

  • Endless shopping for spare parts
  • Includes a toolkit
  • Instruction manual and videos to guide you through the process

You do not like

  • I hope the process includes some BIOS education

About a month ago, NZXT called me to tell me that they were about to launch a new product called the NZXT BLD Kit. Instead of selling a NZXT BLD gaming PC, NZXT will sell you a complete kit with the tools and components you need to assemble a gaming PC yourself. The kit also includes all the instructions, walks you through each step in an easy-to-use book, and if you need more visual demonstrations, there are videos too.

My boys and I have now completed the build process, turning a stack of crates into a gaming PC they enjoyed testing (it’s the best part, right?).

You have two options for the NZXT BLD set

NZXT currently sells two regular BLDs pre-built that arrive at your door, completely assembled and ready to use, and are marked as also available as a set. The two builds are the Streaming Plus BLD at $1,799 and the $1,499 Starter Pro BLD. Both are powerful enough to keep up with the just-released multiplayer mode Halo Infinite, Fortnite, or any other AAA game. NZXT even includes a list of games and expected frame rates based on the resolution you’ll be playing at.

However, when you order either model as a BLD Kit, the NZXT takes some money off the price of the computer, making the Start Pro BLD Kit $1,399 and the Streaming Plus BLD Kit $1,599.

There is a full spec sheet for each build on the respective page for each model, and you can choose between the black or white housing.

NZXT sent me a Streaming Plus BLD set with a white case. The specifications of this build are:

  • Issue: H510
  • You: Windows 10 Home
  • Healer: AMD Rizen 5 5600x
  • GPU: GeForce 3060 T
  • memory: 16 GB 3200 DDR4
  • storage: 1 TB M2 SSD
  • Motherboard: B550 ATX
  • power supply: 650 W Bronze
  • Guarantee: Two years

It’s time to build

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NZXT’s BLD Handbook.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Once the big box containing all the bits and pieces arrived, we started to unpack it and put it all on our workstation. We put aside the included tool kit and instruction book. Each box is marked with a letter. For boxes with multiple items, each bag inside this box has a label with a corresponding QR code that you can scan with your phone to get more information about it.

The instruction book, or as NZXT calls it, Adventurer’s Map for PC Building, uses the same letters and QR codes to guide you through construction.

I won’t get bored going through each step of the book, but I will say this: the book is not laid out like an IKEA instruction booklet. It’s an interactive book that adds a cartoonish feel to the experience, meticulously explaining each step along the way, complete with photos that give you an overall idea of ​​the task at hand.

also: Cheap, but good: How to build a PC on a budget of $400 or less

It is designed to make you feel like you are passing through an ancient temple, exploring and discovering new artifacts along the way. It’s a little cheesy at times, but it’s also very welcoming and friendly to first time builders.

My kids, ages 10-11, loved the overall theme of the book. It kept them intrigued and entertained, all while learning the parts that go where and what to do.

The design starts with the motherboard, installing the memory, CPU, and SSD (which comes with Windows 10 pre-installed on it) and then proceeds to installing various components inside the computer case, such as the CPU cooler, the CPU and the boot space. All these components. Wiring for a clean looking build.

There were only a few times that we had to refer to a YouTube video for a section – once when inserting the CPU cooling fan to make sure we rotated it properly, and two more times to double-check that they installed the component correctly. Other than that, the instructions in the book were comprehensive enough to follow without any additional questions.

Few areas that could be improved

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See instructions during NZXT BLD.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Having made quite a few gaming PCs myself, I appreciate NZXT’s approach to simplifying the build process. More specifically, by preinstalling Windows 10 on the SSD that comes with every kit. However, part of the excitement of building a computer is turning it on for the first time and watching the BIOS screen appear, letting you know you did everything right. The next step, then, is to install Windows 10 yourself.

If anything, I think there should be an option to install Windows 10 on an SSD or for NZXT to include a Windows 10 USB installation thumb drive to flash Windows 10 for a more comprehensive setup experience.

Another aspect of the build that I hope NZXT includes at least Some The specifics are that it is important to learn about your system’s BIOS and what settings and features can and should be changed there. For example, out of the box, the kit we compiled is not set up to take full advantage of the speed of system memory. We had to go into the BIOS and turn on this capability. The only reason I’ve learned to check it out is from experience, but someone who just finished their first gaming PC would have no idea to check it out.

As now, the instruction book bypasses the fact that there is a BIOS. And if you did everything right during assembly, the first time you turn on your computer, you’ll be greeted with the Windows 10 setup screen. A welcome sight, no doubt. But it’s not the first screen that a PC builder usually sees.

Support is nothing but a conversation or a phone call

You are bound to encounter problems when you build a computer. I made the first time I built one, and I’ve had it every time since. Including this. The AMD processor that shipped with the BLD kit has the pins bent out of the box. The bending pins are bad and it is almost impossible to bend them and fix them yourself. I tried though. For about an hour. But I couldn’t get the pins to line up properly with the socket on the motherboard to install them properly.

I contacted NZXT customer service for a BLD Kit and had a brand new processor with straight pins the next day. There are no questions. Even if you bend the screws while trying to install the CPU, they will be replaced.

You can either chat with the online support team or call the customer service number if you encounter any issues. Even if you don’t understand any instructions and need someone to help guide you through them.

minimum

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That feeling when the system you just built started running on the first try.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

What makes the NZXT BLD Kit so attractive is that you don’t have to shop around for different parts and hope you get lucky with the GPU lottery. Everything is included, and comes with a two-year warranty.

If you’re looking for a gift this holiday season, or something to do as a bonding experience with a friend or family member, consider building a gaming PC. I can tell my boys and I really appreciate the experience spanning a few weeks with a broken arm – but I think what my oldest son said as we walked out of the room after building finished sums up the experience well.

“I started this project as a boy, and now I’m leaving as a man.” I think the whole project means a lot to him, right?

The BLD kits are currently sold out, but I expect NZXT to have more in stock for Black Friday, if not sooner.