Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

The ability to build a PC is a valuable skill if you are serious about games or interested in computer technology in general. Installing future upgrades, troubleshooting and fine-tuning your machine to run games and apps is much easier when you know exactly what components are in your PC, how they connect to each other, and where each wire goes.

Unfortunately, learning to build your own computer can be difficult. For an outsider looking in, the hobby can be a daunting mess of wires and circuit boards. (Expensive wires and printed circuit boards.) That is precisely why many PC users choose a pre-built computer from one of countless companies. While it’s an easy way to get a powerful PC with minimal effort, pre-built PCs will not teach you much about your machine or its hardware.

It’s there NZXT’s new BLD Kit comes in.

NZXT’s BLD Kit is designed to offer an accessible way to make your own PC with specifications based on the company’s advanced PC models. Each set contains all the components of one of the latter models, but users assemble the entire computer themselves.

The question is: are these PCs actually worth the price and the time and effort required to build them yourself? Or is this just a way for the company to offset labor costs on the consumer?

NZXT recently sent us a sample of its Streaming Plus BLD Kit, which allowed me to answer these questions myself.

Based on my experience building and using NZXT’s Streaming Pro BLD Kit for the past week, I think there’s a lot of value in the BLD Kit. It takes the guesswork out of finding the right parts while still offering the user’s convenient PC-building experience. In fact, a BLD Kit may be one of them best ways for beginners to learn how to build a computer, and a viable option for anyone looking for their next gaming PC.

What’s in the box?

When NZXT says that the BLD Kit comes with everything you need to build your own PC, the company means it: Every piece of electronic hardware, from the case to the motherboard, and every component and cable you connect to them is part of the mix .

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Photo: Brendan Hesse

All BLD sets come with NZXT’s H510 desktop case – you choose black or white – but the specific parts included in it vary with the set you choose.

NZXT sent us Streaming Plus set ($ 1599), which runs the following specifications:

  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor
  • GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GPU
  • 16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM (2 x 8GB sticks)
  • 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 650W Bronze power supply unit
  • NZXT Kraken M22 liquid cooler

There is also Starter Pro kit ($ 1399) available with similar specifications, but with an Intel Core i5-11400F 6-Core 2.6 GHz, a 550W bronze power supply and fan-based cooling instead.

In addition to the PC hardware, all BLD sets also include:

Image for the article titled Need to use NZXT's BLD kit to build your first PC?

Photo: Brendan Hesse

  • An illustrated and marked checklist of each item in the BLD set.
  • An 183-page instruction manual that guides you through the building, plus OEM installation instructions for each part.
  • A toolkit that includes an LED flashlight with keychain, shredders, a screwdriver with three interchangeable bits and a carrying case.
  • A selection of cables, screws, fasteners and zippers for cable handling.
  • Windows 10 Home edition DVD and authentication key.

(Note: BLD kits do not include a monitor, keyboard, mouse, gamepads, or other peripherals. You must purchase them separately or use the accessories you already own.)

BLDing of the BLD Kit

The BLD kit is sent in a single large box, where each item in it comes sealed in its own packaging, so there is a lot to unpack before you start. The pile of parts may seem daunting at first glance, but NZXT wisely labels each box or bag with a letter, and each step in the instructions shows which parts and tools you need by name and letter. It’s a bit like putting together a LEGO set – there are even QR codes you can scan with your phone to view video versions of the review.

NZXT injects the instructions – and the entire BLD Kit package – with a charming cartoon fantasy aesthetic that frames the passage like a treasure-hunting dungeon, giving what is usually a dry, technical process a more welcoming vibe. I mostly chose the video review, but the printed book is well written and contains clear visual instructions for each step. It also gives users lots of warnings if a part requires extra care or specific handling.

Image for the article titled Need to use NZXT's BLD kit to build your first PC?

Photo: Brendan Hesse

Overall, I enjoyed the BLD Kit collection. I have prior knowledge of PC building, but apart from installing a few upgrades on my old PC, was the last time I built a rig from scratch, almost 10 years ago, so I went into the assembly with an equally mix of Curiosity and Warning. Fortunately, NZXT’s reviews made the process simple. After following the guides, it took me about 4 hours to assemble the computer. Part of that time included taking pictures and writing notes along the way, but expect to spend at least a few hours on construction.

Of course, the true test of any build is whether the PC turns on properly when done. It’s easy to overlook small, yet critical steps while building a PC – but the whole set started right away and without error. (Puha.)

Image for the article titled Need to use NZXT's BLD kit to build your first PC?

Photo: Brendan Hesse

Once the PC is turned on, there is not much else to do. You do not need to install the operating system, motherboard BIOS, or other system-level software. An installation DVD for Windows 10 Home Edition is included in the kit, but you only need it for the product approval key printed on the case, and the operating system comes preloaded and runs immediately. The only tasks after startup that you need to worry about are running the installation wizard for Windows 10, approving the operating system in the system settings, and downloading a few system updates.

BLD Kit performance

With the PC up and running, I took a few days to put it through.

In terms of hardware power, the NZXT’s Streaming Pro PC is amazing. Newer games like Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis and Halo: Master Chief Collection, and apps like Adobe Premiere CS – all of which had a hard time running on my old PC – load quickly and perform great.

Sure, the PC’s specifications do not represent the bleeding tip, and my impressions are biased, as the Streaming Pro PC is a significant improvement over my previous machine, but it’s certainly powerful enough to handle both modern gaming and professional media creation. .

But since this is a PC I myself have built from parts pre-selected by NZXT, we also need to assess how the PC and its parts work on a more basic level.

For the most part, the computer has been running properly for the week since I quit it. There have been no issues with any of the components, drivers or operating system, other than a strange hiccup with the wifi card – for some reason my connection speed was abysmal.

I double checked that the wifi card was properly installed and found no issues so I checked if this was a common complaint. Based on reports from other customers using PCs with my specific wifi card (NZXT users or otherwise), this specific component appears to be notorious for slow wifi connections. Some claimed that activating Windows 10 solves the problem, but it was one of the first things I did after booting the pc so it seems unlikely. Others solve the problem by connecting to their routers 5GHz signal, but I have not seen any difference between the 5GHz and 2._Hz signals. Eventually I connected the PC to my router to work around the problem. While my internet speeds are now normal again, the slow wifi connection continues.

Image for the article titled Need to use NZXT's BLD kit to build your first PC?

Photo: Brendan Hesse

I do not blame NZXT or BLD Kit for my wifi problems. Unlike its pre-built desktops, the NZXT cannot test to make sure everything in your BLD kit is working properly before it is shipped to you. The wifi problems would be more frustrating if this was a pre-built pc assembled by NZXT, but chances are good that the problem may be due to a wrong installation with me, or maybe my specific wifi card is defective; none of these factors are within NZXT’s control (although the company’s 2-year-olds) BLD Kit warranty guarantees that NZXT will help you if something does not work or arrives broken).

That said, my wifi problem underscores one important thing to remember about the BLD Kit: Building the PC yourself requires you to assemble, test, and troubleshoot all aspects of the computer. It remains true even when a company selects the parts for you, sends you all the necessary tools and guides you through the assembly process. For that reason, the NZXT BLD Kit (or building a PC in general) is not for everyone.

Is the NZXT’s BLD Kit worth it?

NZXT’s BLD Kits have great specs, they look cool and probably offer a faster (and cheaper, in some cases) way to get an advanced PC for gaming or content creation right now, but the product’s do-it-yourself nature will do or ruin that for most people.

If you do not want to spend the time and effort required to build a PC, or take responsibility for troubleshooting and correcting any issues that arise along the way, stick to a pre-built PC – whether you are from NZXT or other places .

Even if you’re into the idea of ​​building your own machine, those who prefer to pick and choose their components may find NZXT’s pre-selected hardware limiting.

Image for the article titled Need to use NZXT's BLD kit to build your first PC?

Photo: Brendan Hesse

BLD Kit’s true selling point is that it teaches you how to build PCs and familiarizes you with your desktop hardware. Knowing exactly what components are in your PC, how they connect to each other, and where each wire goes will make it easier when you install future upgrades, troubleshoot errors, and fine-tune games and apps to run on your machine.

To that end, I found the BLD Kit to be an excellent introduction (or in my case refresher) to PC building. Whether you’re looking for an easy way to start building your own computers; is an experienced builder who enjoys assembling new computers; or you want to build a new PC without the hassle of shopping for each part individually, then the BLD Kit is worth the money. This is without a doubt the best way to buy a PC right now.

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