Should You Use NZXT’s BLD Kit to Build Your First PC?
Knowing how to build a PC is a valuable skill if you are serious about gaming or have an interest in computer technology in general. Installing future updates, troubleshooting, and fine-tuning your computer to run games and applications is much easier if you know exactly what components are on your PC, how they connect to each other, and where each wire runs.
Unfortunately, learning how to build your own computer can be tricky. For an outsider looking inside, the hobby can be a daunting mess of wires and printed circuit boards. ( Expensive wires and circuit boards.) It is for this reason that many PC users choose a pre-assembled computer from one of countless companies. While this is an easy way to get a powerful PC with minimal effort, turnkey PCs know little about your machine or its hardware.
This is where NZXT’s new BLD kit comes in handy .
NZXT’s BLD kits are designed to offer an affordable way to DIY your own PC with specifications based on the company’s off-the-shelf PCs. Each kit includes all the components included in one of the latest models, but users assemble the entire computer themselves.
The question arises: are these PCs really worth the price, and the time and effort required to build them yourself? Or is it just the company’s way of offsetting labor costs for the consumer?
NZXT recently sent us a sample of their Streaming Plus BLD Kit, which gave me the opportunity to answer these questions for myself.
Based on my experience with creating and using the NZXT Streaming Pro BLD Kit over the past week, I think the BLD Kit is of great value. It removes the guesswork to find the parts you want, while still offering the user a hands-on PC build experience. In fact, the BLD Kit can be one of the best ways for newbies to learn how to build computers, and a viable option for anyone looking for their next gaming PC.
What is in the box?
When NZXT says the BLD Kit comes with everything you need to build your own PC, the company means it: every electronic hardware, from case to motherboard, and every component and cable you plug into them is a part of mix. …
All BLD kits come with an NZXT H510 desktop case – you choose black or white – but the specific parts that go into it depend on the kit you choose.
NZXT sent us a Streaming Plus kit ($ 1,599) that meets the following specifications:
- AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor
- GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GPU
- 16 GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM (2 x 8 GB cards)
- 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD
- 650W Bronze Power Supply
- Liquid cooler NZXT Kraken M22
There is also a Starter Pro kit ($ 1,399) with similar specs but with a 2.6GHz Intel Core i5-11400F 6-core processor, 550W Bronze PSU, and fan-based cooling.
Besides PC hardware, all BLD kits also include:
- An illustrated and bulleted checklist of each item in the BLD kit.
- 183 page assembly manual as well as OEM installation guides for each part.
- Tool kit including LED flashlight on key chain, scissors, screwdriver with 3 replaceable bits and carrying case.
- A set of cables, screws, fasteners and cable ties for cable management.
- Windows 10 Home edition DVD and Authentication Key.
(Note: BLD kits do not include a monitor, keyboard, mouse, gamepads, or any other peripherals. You must purchase them separately or use accessories that you already own.)
BLDing set BLD
The BLD kit comes in one large box, with each item sealed in its own packaging, so there’s plenty to unpack before you start. At first glance, the pile of parts may seem intimidating, but NZXT intelligently marks each box or bag with a letter, and at each step, the instructions list what parts and tools you need, by name and letter. It’s like assembling a LEGO set – there are even QR codes that you can scan with your phone to trigger video versions of the walkthrough. NZXT inserts instructions – and the entire BLD Kit – with a charming cartoon fantasy aesthetic of treasure hunt dungeon crawling, giving what is usually a dry, technical process a more welcoming atmosphere. I mostly chose the video walkthrough, but the printed book is well written and includes clear visual instructions for each step. It also gives users many warnings if a part requires special care or handling.
Overall, I enjoyed building the BLD Kit. I have previous knowledge of PC building, but apart from installing a few updates on my old PC, the last time I assembled a rig from scratch was almost 10 years ago, so I proceeded to build with an equal mixture of curiosity and caution. Fortunately, the NZXT walkthroughs made this process easy. It took me about 4 hours to assemble the computer following the instructions. Part of that time was to take photos and take notes along the way, but expect to spend at least a few hours getting it together.
Of course, the real test of any build is whether the computer turns on properly after completing it. It’s easy to overlook small but important steps when building a PC, but the assembled kit loads immediately and without errors. (Phew.)
When the computer is on, there is nothing else to do. You don’t need to install the operating system, motherboard BIOS, or any other system-level software. The kit includes a Windows 10 Home Edition installation DVD, but it is only needed for the Product Authentication Key printed on the case, and the OS comes pre-loaded and starts immediately. The only post-boot tasks you need to worry about are running the Windows 10 setup wizard, verifying the OS in system settings, and downloading multiple system updates.
BLD Kit Performance
After the computer was up and running, it took me a few days to test it myself.
When it comes to hardware power, the NZXT Streaming Pro PC is great. New games like Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis and Halo: Master Chief Collection , as well as apps like Adobe Premiere CS that had a hard time launching on my old PC, load quickly and work great.
Granted, the PC specs don’t represent a cutting edge apex and my impressions are biased as the Streaming Pro PC is a noticeable improvement over my previous machine, but it’s certainly powerful enough to handle both modern games and professional builds. multimedia.
However, since this is a PC that I built myself from parts pre-selected by NZXT, we also have to evaluate how the PC and its parts perform at a more basic level.
For the most part, the computer has been working fine in the week since I shut it down. There were no issues with any components, drivers, or OS other than a weird wifi card glitch – my connection speed was terrible for some reason.
I double checked if the wifi card was installed correctly and did not find any problems, so I checked to see if this is a common complaint. Based on reports from other clients using PCs with my specific Wi-Fi card (NZXT users or others), this particular component seems to be infamous for slow Wi-Fi connections. Some have argued that activating Windows 10 solves the problem, but that was one of the first things I did after booting up the PC, so it seems unlikely. Other people solve the problem by connecting to their router’s 5GHz signal, but I haven’t noticed any difference between 5GHz and 2._Hz signals. I ended up hard-wiring my computer to my router to work around the problem. Although my internet speed is now normal again, the slow wifi connection persists.
I don’t blame NZXT or BLD Kit for my wifi problems. Unlike its pre-installed desktops, NZXT cannot test to make sure everything in your BLD kit is working as expected before shipping it to you. The Wi-Fi problems would be more annoying if it was a pre-built PC built by NZXT, but there is a good chance the problem could be due to improper installation on my part, or perhaps my particular Wi-Fi card is faulty; None of these factors are under NZXT’s control (although BLD Kit’s two-year warranty ensures that NZXT will help you if something doesn’t work or turns out to be broken).
However, my Wi-Fi issue highlights an important thing to remember about the BLD kit: When you build a PC yourself, you have the burden of building, testing, and troubleshooting every aspect of your computer. This remains true even when the company selects the parts for you, ships you all the tools you need, and walks you through the assembly process. For this reason, the NZXT BLD Kit (or PC build in general) is not for everyone.
Is the NZXT BLD kit worth it?
NZXT BLD kits have great specs, look cool, and probably offer a faster (and in some cases cheaper) way to get a high-performance PC for gaming or content creation right now, but the homemade nature of the product will or break it for most people.
If you don’t want to waste the time and effort required to build a PC, or take responsibility for troubleshooting and fixing any issues that arise in the process, use a pre-built PC – whether from NZXT or elsewhere. …
Even if you’re considering building your own machine, those who choose to choose their own components may find that NZXT’s pre-selected hardware is limiting.
The true argument for the BLD Kit is that it teaches you how to build a PC and introduces you to your desktop hardware. Knowing exactly what components are on your computer, how they connect to each other, and where each wire runs will make it easier to install future updates, troubleshoot and fine tune games and applications to run on your computer.
To that end, I found the BLD Kit to be a great introduction (or, in my case, an update) to PC building. Are you looking for an easy way to start building your own computers; an experienced builder with a passion for assembling new computers; or if you want to build a new PC without buying every part separately, then the BLD kit is well worth the money. This is arguably the best way to buy a PC right now.