Decide What Type of Gaming PC You Need
The case you build depends on how heavy of a gamer you are. If you are looking for a simple gaming system to play your favorite MMORPG, you will not need an expensive, high end PC with double GPUs and extensive water cooling. Knowing this and your budget will help you narrow down and find components that give the best bang for your buck.
It is possible to build a gaming PC on just about any reasonable budget. There are many different parts you can buy for your PC which makes for millions of combinations; therefore, it is important to know how much money you have and what you need, so that step #2 is easier.
Know What Requirements Your Games Need
Picture this - you order all of your components, PC case, and games and you spend time putting together this magnificent piece of art. You turn on your PC and install your games and then BAM - you are told your computer does not meet the minimum system requirements of the game.
Do yourself a favor and look up the system requirements of your games before you buy your parts! Most games will have their specs listed on the manufacturer website. Here are the key factors that you will need to look for:
» Operating System
Choosing Your HardwareThe two biggest companies that manufacture CPUs are Intel (Integrated Electronics Corporation) and AMD (Advanced Micro Devices). Intel CPUs will generally be more expensive but are better for overclocking. AMD CPUs are a little cheaper but still great processors. No matter which brand you decide to go with, it is important to make sure also pick the corresponding motherboard with the same socket numbers.
For example, if your CPU is an LGA 1155 socket, you will want to make sure your motherboard is also an LGA 1155 socket.
When it comes to your GPU, the two biggest players are NVIDIA and AMD. The biggest factor you should always be looking at is the card’s price:performance ratio. When you know your budget, you can pick a few cards from each company that fit your price range and research the benchmarks.
If you know what games you’ll be playing, you can use the GPU benchmark tool by Andandtech which will show you how each card performs in different games.
For extensive reviews on the GPUs you’re looking at, Toms Hardware is a good resource guide to see how the cards actually square up compared to others.
Select Your PC Case, Storage, & RAM
One of the most important factors in building your gaming PC is deciding what case you need. The size, cable management, and air-flow of the case are important factors to look at. Larger full tower cases tend to provide better airflow for your parts over mid tower cases. This comes in handy as the GPU and CPU can get extremely hot. If it is within your budget, we recommend opting in for a full tower case.
In our previous blog post, we talked about the pros and cons of SSD and HDD. As a recap, HDD have moving parts which can make it load slower and cause your computer to lag when it performs certain operations. Solid state drives have no moving parts and are much faster than HDD.
We recommend using a SSD to run your OS so that the main tasks done by the computer can be done much quicker. You can install a separate HDD to store your larger programs, music, or video files.
RAM is additional memory for your PC to perform tasks. For gaming, 8GB of RAM should suffice. If you ever decide to upgrade to 16GB, it is important that your second memory stick is also 8GB and by the same make and type as the first.
Provide Proper Airflow
Plan out your build beforehand so that you get proper airflow throughout your case. Your cable management will be very important here so it doesn’t heavily obstruct airflow. The top fan of your case should always be an exhaust fan (air going out), as hot air rises. Depending on your case, you can fit more than one fan at the top.
Here’s another article we wrote about how you can improve the airflow of your PC case.