With the surge in professional gaming and e-sports taking the world by storm, there has been an expected increase in gaming PC builds. Whether you are already an experienced gamer or just starting, there are several factors to consider when choosing the best PC for your needs. While there are several options of prebuilt gaming PCs available on the market, a large number of users still prefer to build their own. Building your own gaming PC allows you to truly customize every piece of the puzzle and it’s relatively easy to do. In this article, we will go over the different types of equipment needed to build a gaming PC and how you can shop for them.
Before anyone takes on the task of building a PC, there are a few things to consider. First, you should understand your needs concerning to the components you can afford. After reading this, hopefully, you’ll know whether building a gaming PC is right for you or if you should go with a prebuilt machine instead. Building a gaming PC is arguably the best technological investment you can make. The first step to doing this is choosing the right parts. If done correctly, a quality gaming platform will outlast your smartphone, have more power than the newest gaming consoles, and more useful than the most powerful streaming box. Whether you’re typing up documents, editing video, or cranking up the settings on the latest and greatest games, a gaming PC is the best tool for the job.
The Seven Essentials
These are the seven key parts you’ll need to build a gaming PC. For this segment, we’ll focus strictly on the bare bones it takes to build the PC itself. Once the PC is operable, then you can look more into the accessories like the gaming chair, monitors, webcam, wireless controllers, keyboard, mouse, and headsets. For now, these are the main essentials of any PC build.
- Case: The case is the component that all of the additional hardware will rest in. For the most part, the case is a personal choice as they all come in different designs and colors. Although, some case models come with fans for additional cooling features. It’s possible to do an “open-air” build, but a case is a better choice for ensuring dust stays out as much as possible.
- Graphics card, or GPU: Perhaps the most important component in a gaming setup is the graphics card or GPU. The GPU (graphics processing unit) sends images from your PC and displays them on your monitor. More powerful GPUs facilitate better in-game graphics and settings.
- Processor, or CPU: More than any other piece, the CPU (central processing unit) is what makes your computer run. The CPU routes instructions from one system in your computer to another. The better the processor, the faster it can transmit information for both software and hardware functions, thus running more efficiently.
- Motherboard: Think of the motherboard as the “home”. The motherboard is where all the hardware resides. The most important thing about a motherboard is its compatibility with the parts you choose. Some more sophisticated motherboards can include built-in graphics cards, Wi-Fi systems, and more.
- RAM: RAM (random access memory) defines how much data your computer can process at a time. RAM is where your computer stores information it needs to access right away. The more RAM you have, the more efficiently your computer can process lots of information. A large amount of RAM is essential for gaming.
- Storage: PC storage comes in two types: Solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs). Unlike RAM, this is where your files live when they’re not in use. Bigger drives mean more storage space, which means more room for files, games, and media.
- Power Supply: The power supply is probably the least fun but most vital piece of the puzzle. The power supply does exactly what it says, it gets electricity from an outlet to individual systems in your computer.
How to Find the Parts
Now that you know the main pieces to build your PC puzzle, how do you find them? Several online retailers that can help with your PC build but knowing who to trust in a vast market can be tricky. Newegg.com is widely considered the best place to buy PC components online. However, you shouldn’t just buy the first parts you see and expect them all to work together. Research and asking questions are necessary. It’s best to start with the most important component, the GPU, and work your way from there.
Newegg is just one of many places to shop for the components you need. You can also check Amazon, Best Buy, and other big electronics retailers for deals or specials they have at the time. When possible, buy gear from established, known brands such as Corsair, HyperX, Western Digital, and HP. You could ideally save a lot of money by going with off-brand equipment, but the quality is an unknown variable, and customer service can be lacking. As a last piece of advice, be a bit flexible with your budget. A good PC will last a long time, and a few dollars make very little difference over a few years.