Product Review

Intel PC DIY Stem Kit Review: An Easy Way to Build a Gaming PC from Scratch

As a mum of two teenage boys, watching their eyes light up with curiosity over something new is pure joy. And if your kids are magnets to the digital world of gadgets, games, and gizmos, then you’re in the right place! Imagine the high-fives and the “OMG, we did it!” moments when you and your child power up a gaming PC you built together. That’s exactly what happened in my house, and it can happen in yours too, thanks to these clever new build-your-own Intel PC DIY Stem Kit.

Now, before you think, “Techie stuff is not my jam,” let me tell you about these kits. It’s like a beginner’s Lego set, but for the digital age. They’re designed to turn what seems like a complex puzzle into an easy, fun-filled project.

What’s inside this Intel DIY PC Kit?

Intel has pulled together a clever build-your-own-PC kit with both kids and their parents in mind, ensuring it’s both an educational and great bonding experience.

Intel-DIY-Stem-PC-Kit-watching-video
Easy step-by-step instructions show you exactly what you need to do. Source: Mum Central

Each DIY kit can be purchased at one of the many Centre Com stores across NSW, SA or VIC, or shop online and have it couriered directly to your door (which is what we did).

It’s supported by an 11-minute step-by-step instructional video (embedded below) and is led by gaming developer SassQueenAmy, which is all described in everyday terms as it breaks down the process into 12 easy steps and takes you through each stage without any tech jargon while making it really easy to understand what each component is and how it fits in and operates within the PC.

YouTube video

And it’s not just any old computer you’re building either; this is a sleek machine that promises to make your child’s gaming experience smoother than ever – think of it as a shiny new playground for all their digital adventures.

It’s like a beginner’s Lego set for the digital age, designed to turn what seems like a complex puzzle into an easy, fun-filled project.

Intel-DIY-Stem-PC-Kit-Intel-i5-CPU
Source: Mum Central

A truly exceptional bonding experience

My youngest son, Alex, is 12. He loves gaming, technology – actually anything digital, and stealing my phone ‘to look something up’. He just loves technology (and it’s no surprise, really), because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

So I was actually quite excited when we were approached to review this DIY PC kit for Intel and Centre Com. Admittedly, I probably only took it on thanks to the trusty step-by-step video on offer; it’s like the secret weapon in your back pocket because, to be honest, we haven’t ever built a PC before.

I’d watched a few minutes of the 11-minute step-by-step instructional video beforehand to gauge what we needed to do in advance, and it all seemed pretty straightforward. So, from the moment we opened the box, it was game-on at our house.

As an avid PlayStation 5 user, I find that the quality of the graphics is important for Alex. He often plays high-intensity games that require quality graphics and a fast processor. Otherwise, it’ll keep ‘glitching’ and trust me, I’ll hear it! 😂 He kept asking me, ‘How many FPS does the computer’s graphics card have, Mum?’. Ummmmm …. I had no idea, so I bluffed my way through, assuring him that I was pretty sure Intel wouldn’t put a gaming PC together without a solid graphics setup.  Trust the process buddy, and let’s build this PC. More on that later.

Intel-DIY-Stem-PC-Kit-installing-Motherboard
Time to install the motherboard! Source: Mum Central

As it turned out, the kit is pretty foolproof. I really wanted Alex to drive this (it took all the willpower in the world too given the control freak I can be! 😉 ) But it didn’t take long for him to muster the courage to take charge, and we were in good flow. Initially, he was a little scared about plugging in components to the motherboard in case he’d damage some circuitry, but soon enough, he was flying and didn’t look back.

All in all, it probably took us just over an hour to build. Admittedly, we probably could have done it faster had we not been so impulsive and watched EXACTLY where to plug things in, but thankfully we had our trusty video to get us back on track! There’s a lesson in that, right?! ;o)

Then came our moment of truth … flicking on the power button! What an incredible sense of achievement we felt when it hummed to life, the LED lights lit up and we were in business! Alex lit up (as did the very cool-looking LED RAM!)

Intel-DIY-Stem-PC-Kit-led-ssd
Intel Arc A750 and T-Force LED RAM.  Source: Mum Central.

Intel PC DIY Stem Kit Tech Specs for the Curious

Let’s dig down a little more about what’s under the hood of our Intel PC DIY Stem Kit:

  • INTEL 12th Gen Core i5-12400F PROCESSOR:  The powerhouse at the core of this build, offering 6 cores and 12 threads to handle multitasking and complex gaming scenarios easily. Its 4.4GHz max turbo frequency ensures that even the most demanding games run smoothly.
  • ASUS PRIME H610M-A WIFI MOTHERBOARD:  The perfect foundation, with support for the latest DDR4 memory and PCIe 4.0. Dual M.2 slots so you can expand your storage with the fastest SSDs on the market, while built-in WiFi 5 provides a solid, high-speed internet connection.
  • INTEL ARC A750 GRAPHICS PROCESSOR UNIT (GPU):  For impressive gaming performance at 1080p and 1440p, featuring advanced AI-driven super sampling for enhanced visuals. It’s a competitive choice for gamers looking for high-quality graphics without breaking the bank.
  • TEAM GROUP T-FORCE DELTA RGB 16GB DDR4 RAM:  Not only does this brighten up your build with gorgeous colour-changing RGB lighting, but it also delivers high-performance 3600MHz speed for quick access to your most-used programs and games.
  • KINGSTON SNV2S 500GB NVMe SSD:  At the heart of the storage, boasting top-tier read and write speeds to reduce loading times so games and applications launch quickly.
  • DEEPCOOL MACUBE 110 mATX CASE WITH TEMPERED GLASS:  A durable and stylish-looking case. We love the full glass side, which magnetically detaches for easy access, allowing you to peek into the vibrant life of your PC’s components and watch the LED lights shine through for great visual effects.
  • BLACK PSA-VP650P-PLUS POWER SUPPLY: Powers the system, balancing energy efficiency and reliability. It’s 80 PLUS® 230V Standard certified, ensuring lower energy consumption and less heat generation, which is both good for the planet and for the longevity of your build.
  • WINDOWS 11: Ready to install on a USB for easy installation, offering the latest in security and performance with a user-friendly interface.

I really thought this kit is thoughtfully designed to ensure the end result is a PC that is not only about gaming, but also sees you with a quality, efficient, and expandable system that grows with your child’s needs and curiosity.

Uh, oh … we need help! 

I won’t sugarcoat it; we hit a stumbling block along the way that had us scratching our heads and rewatching the video time and time again to work out where we went wrong. As it turned out, we needed to remove a couple of sneaky plastic caps from HDMI plugs on the side of the Intel Graphics Processor. In hindsight, it wasn’t specifically highlighted in the instructional video, and to the beginner (like us), it definitely wasn’t an obvious step. It was probably a rookie mistake to those more experienced, but it is something that Intel and Centre Com need to consider when structuring their instructions.

The other thing that slowed down our build a little was that there were no instructions on what to do if we hit a snag. Either that or some instructional step-by-step go-to guides other than the motherboard guide. Ideally, it would have been wonderful to have a troubleshooting reference of some sort (and saved us some time in trying to work out what was happening).

That said, Intel support was awesome once we got in touch, and a big thumbs up to Jaydon from their support team, who really went above and beyond with any questions I had.

Once we figured out what we needed to do (lightbulb moment!), it was smooth sailing.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Intel DIY PC Stem Kit is a brand-new product to market. While the PC components aren’t new, the DIY Build Kit is. So this has been an awesome way for us to road-test it for Intel and Centre Com. We did raise the above issues with them separately, and they have ASSURED US they will be updating the instructions to include removing the stoppers from the GPU and to plug the monitor HDMI into the GPU not the back of the motherboard panel like I did. They have also asked Centre Com to add troubleshooting tips for during Windows setup, which will completely remove the issues I had and make for a 100% enjoyable experience! Now that’s what you want!

The verdict?

The graphics quality was excellent and ran rings around what Alex was used to with his PlayStation 5. The whole gaming experience was smooth; he was quiet (makes a change), and I found that his whole demeanour was much calmer than when he was playing with his mates on his PS5 games.

Alex already had a nice collection of games on the Steam platform from when he used to play on a gaming laptop a few years back, so he was excited to get back in there and get back into his favourite games. It’s been a refreshing change for me, he still gets his gaming fix, but he’s actually approaching it from a completely different angle than his time on the PS5.  He can still play games with his buddies on PlayStation, but I think things are going to play out a little differently from here on in, and i’m all for it!

Plus, of course, he now has a pretty decent machine to take him through his high school years, with the ability to upgrade and tweak as his needs and technology evolve.

All in all I really rate this – I think it’s been great. It’s certainly piqued Alex’s curiosity and driven a passion for the tech side of things, he definitely understands more than he did previously about how computers work (so do I) and we’d be very confident now to be able to upgrade the machine ourselves (with advice, of course, from experts like Centre Com etc to make sure it’s all compatible etc.)

I wasn’t sure when I started how I would feel about the whole experience, but it’s actually been really worthwhile, and I’d happily recommend that you give this a shot. It’s a quality product and a great experience for both adults and kids alike! Gosh, if we can do it, you can too! 😉

mum central

Intel DIY Stem PC Kit

9
Intel-DIY-Stem-PC-Kit-FI
Simple to Build9.0
Quality Components9.0
Affordable8.5
Educational9.5
Great Parent/Child Project9.0

mum central

Intel-DIY-Stem-PC-Kit-gaming
And just like that, we were in business! Source: Mum Central

Why it’s a Great Way to Teach Your Kids About Building a PC

I really do think this kit is a great investment in your child’s future. It’s more than just a gaming rig; it’s a learning experience, a creativity booster, and a memory maker all rolled into one.

So, are you ready to embark on this techie adventure with your child? Intel’s PC DIY Stem Kit awaits you. Grab yours at Centre Com, and who knows, maybe you’ll be the next mum-kid duo to conquer the PC-building world.

Now, instead of just playing games, Alex is on his way to creating worlds – building zoos and chasing  Big Foot. And let me tell you, the PC is whisper-quiet too, which is a great win too!

Build, bond, and game on! That’s what you’ll get with the Intel PC DIY Stem Kit. And trust me, if Alex and I can do it, you and your mini-me absolutely can, too. So why not make those screen hours count with something educational, exciting, and rewarding?

mum central


You might also like:

Avatar of Belinda Jennings

Belinda's a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. Mum to two cheeky boys, and wife to her superstar husband, they live a busy but crazy lifestyle in Adelaide. Great conversation, close friends and good chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. Oh, and bubbles. Champagne is key.

Comments are closed.