When one starts to consider how to turn an old PC into a gaming PC, there are several steps to take. Firstly, define what makes gaming unique from other computer functions. Gaming demands consistent, powerful hardware and software at a minimum. The goal is to make the computer as capable as possible: faster processor; more RAM and a dedicated graphics card, to name a few. Secondly, make sure the machine is ready for gaming. Clean the fan, update drivers and the OS and check for cooling system defects. Thirdly, understand the type of gaming intended to determine the most appropriate components. Build systems are available, but may not fit the budget of an unfit machine. Fourthly, select a graphics card. Make sure the card fits the system, remembering the power source and bus connection. Fifthly, identify the type of RAM required between DDR2, DDR3, DDR4 and others. Selecting the wrong RAM could result in slower speeds and potentially destabilize the system.
For gaming, it pays to have the latest processor. Depending on the type of processor socket, determine the type of CPU that fits. Pay piece attention to the thermal rating, as the processor generates more power produces more heat. Use a reliable processor cooling fan to prevent damage. Also, ensure the processor’s frontside bus matches the motherboard. If a discrepancy, remove the CPU and select a new one compatible with the motherboard.
As gaming demands more data than ever, it is essential to have an adequate amount of storage space on the hard drive. Also, consider getting a faster hard drive, such as a Solid State Drive, which offers faster performance and quieter operation. Store files and the OS on a single partition or use separate partitions for each.
The graphics card utilizes the most power from the machine. So, before choosing a power supply, check the graphics card’s requirements to determine the wattage and amp requirements. Select a few power supply that fits the requirements to determine the best option for the machine. The power supply is the lifeblood of the system, so buy as much capacity as possible.
Upgrade and Replacement Parts
To turn an old PC into a gaming PC, upgrading parts and replacing certain components is necessary. If the motherboard is out dated, replacing it is beneficial, but ensure it has the same form factor. Some components may be upgradeable and replacement parts available. Research the specs of each component to find the correct matching parts.
The goal of turning an old computer into a gaming PC is to “trick it out”. That being said, it is important to consider what type of gaming is desired, as certain games may demand more RAM, processor power and graphics card capability. Also, the expectation should be relative to the budget, as some items may be too expensive or unobtainable. Finally, it pays to spend a little extra money to buy the best parts or upgrade components, instead of buying an inferior part and replacing it with a better one.
When turning an old computer into a gaming PC, research each component and select the best possible parts and components. Make sure the computer’s thermal system is sufficient to handle the increased power. Always keep in in mind the type of game being played, so the expected performance is met. At the same time, be aware of the budget and the available parts needed and the compatibility of such with the machine itself.