Building a gaming PC is an exciting process that requires careful consideration of components and prices to get the most bang for your buck. There are many factors to consider when purchasing the necessary hardware for your gaming PC. While this article is by no means a definitive guide for all gaming PCs, it offers a well-rounded list of components that should be included in any gamer’s setup. Here are the must-haves for a gaming PC:
1. A Powerful CPU: The CPU is arguably the most important component of any gaming PC. It determines the overall performance of the system and should be chosen with care. Look for a CPU with at least four cores and an impressive clock speed. Some gamers opt for the higher end models from AMD and Intel, such as the Ryzen and Core series, respectively. These are both popular choices, but they come with a hefty price tag.
2. A High-End Graphics Card: The graphics card is the most crucial component for any gaming PC. It is responsible for rendering visuals and providing an immersive gaming experience. Look for cards with ample memory, a high core clock, and at least two display ports. Nvidia and AMD are two of the most respected brands in the market, but there are many others to choose from.
3. A Suitable Motherboard: A motherboard is the foundation of any gaming PC. It is responsible for connecting the other components of the system and should be chosen appropriately. Look for a motherboard with enough slots for the other components you intend to use. It should also have high speed data transfer capabilities to allow for better performance.
4. Sufficient RAM: RAM is an important part of any gaming PC setup. It determines the system’s multitasking capabilities, so ensure that you pick the right type and enough of it. Aim for at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB is recommended if you plan to play more demanding games.
5. An Adequate PSU: A power supply is essential for any gaming PC. It is important to get the right power supply to prevent your system from overheating or crashing. Look for a unit that can provide more than 500 watts of power, as this is the recommended minimum for gaming PCs.
6. High Quality Storage: Storage space is another important component of any gaming PC. It determines how much space you can dedicate to games, so large capacity drives are important. An SSD is best for installing the operating system and your favorite games, and larger HDDs are also recommended for archiving files.
7. A Comfortable and Ergonomic Keyboard: The comfortable and ergonomic keyboard is essential for gamers who wish to stay in the game for long. Look for a keyboard with comfortable key placement, adjustable wrist rests, and advanced features such as backlighting and mechanical switches.
It is important to consider cooling solutions for your gaming PC. Good cooling helps to maintain temperatures, keeping the system running at peak performance. Look for a setup that includes multiple fans, liquid cooling, and air brackets. Most gamers prefer liquid cooling systems as they are more efficient. Additionally, air brackets are beneficial for those who don’t have the budget for a more expensive system.
Case airflow is a crucial factor for any gaming PC. Look for a case that has plenty of ventilation slots and fans to maintain proper airflow. The size of the case should be appropriate for its components as having an overly large case can obstruct flow and result in an overheated system. Alternatively, an overly small case will cause cramped wires, leading to overheating.
Finally, the cooler used can have a profound effect on the temperature of your gaming PC. The most popular cooling solutions include air and liquid. Air cooling is more cost effective, but it generally isn’t powerful enough to keep a heavily overclocked system cool. Liquid cooling, however, is more efficient and can help keep a system at optimum temperatures.
Sound quality has a major impact on the gaming experience. Good quality audio is essential for enjoying games fully, so invest in a gaming headset or some high-end speakers. Remember that sound quality isn’t only about loudness. Look for a headset or speaker with a wide frequency range, good soundstage, and noise canceling features.
The type of sound card you get also affects the overall sound quality. Sound cards make a big difference in the audio experience, so look for a card with good audio standards such as 32-bit or higher. Opt for a discrete sound card since it will offer better sound than an integrated one.
Good audio is also essential for communicating with other players. Look for a headset with a built-in microphone or get a separate standalone mic. Some headsets also offer noise cancellation and echo cancellation, which can help avoid distractions during gaming sessions.
Finally, an audio enhancer is crucial for getting the most out of your audio setup. It can help add clarity to audio and provide virtual surround sound for an immersive gaming experience. Audio enhancers can also help boost bass and minimize distortions to get the most out of your sound hardware.
Keyboard & Mouse
The keyboard and mouse are essential for playing games on a PC. A good gaming keyboard should have anti-ghosting keys, so it can register all the keystrokes you make at the same time. It should also have programmable keys and macros for added functionality. Mechanical keyboards are a popular choice, as they are durable, clicky, and responsive.
When it comes to gaming mice, look for an ergonomic design that fits comfortably in your hand, and a good sensor for heightened accuracy. Colourful lighting is also a great feature, as it adds an extra element of immersion when playing games. Some gaming mice also come with programmable keys, so you can assign them to do different tasks with a push of a button.
It is important to consider the mousepad as well. A good mousepad should have a smooth surface and cushioning for accurate tracking. It should also have a non-slip back to prevent it from moving around, and a large enough surface area for all your movements. Some mousepads also come with lighting and wireless charging, making them a great option for gamers who want a high-end mouse setup.
Monitor & Mounting Solutions
Getting the right monitor is important for any gaming setup. Look for a monitor that fits your budget and has good image quality, including adequate brightness and contrast levels. There are many types of gaming monitors available, including curved, ultrawide and even 4K models. It is also important to look for a monitor with a high refresh rate, as this helps reduce lag and provide a smoother gaming experience.
Once you’ve chosen a monitor, you need to consider the mounting solutions. The most common way to mount monitors is to wall mount them, although desks and monitor arm mounts are also options. Wall mounting provides the most flexibility, as it allows you to adjust the angle and rotation with ease. Monitor arm mounts let you adjust the monitor to your preferred height and depth. Finally, desk mounts are more affordable but have limited adjustability.
Finally, consider what type of cables you’ll use to connect your monitor. The most common cables are DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI. DisplayPort is the best for gaming as it provides the highest quality image and supports displays up to 8K. HDMI is also a good choice for connecting to a TV, as it supports 4K resolution. DVI is more common for budget monitors, but it does not support higher resolutions.
In addition to the main components, gamers often purchase a range of gaming peripherals. Good gaming peripherals include headsets, racing wheels, controllers and webcams. The right headset or controller can make or break the gaming experience, so make sure you choose the right ones for your needs.
Gaming headsets come in a range of designs and styles, such as wireless or wired, open or closed back designs, and in-ear or over-ear styles. Gaming racing wheels are also popular amongst serious gamers, as they provide an immersive experience and enhanced control. Look for a wheel that has a sturdy construction and adjustable settings.
If you like to stream your gaming sessions, a good webcam is essential for creating content. Look for a webcam with HD video streaming and a built-in microphone. A good webcam should also have a wide field of view, low light performance and a high frame rate.
Console controllers are also popular amongst PC gamers, as they provide an experience closer to the console gaming experience. There is a wide variety of controllers available, so it is important to ensure that the one you choose is compatible with your system.
Finally, gaming accessories can also improve your gaming experience. This could include things such as gaming chairs, mounts for gaming consoles and wallets for game keys. These items may seem minor, but they can add a lot of comfort and convenience to your setup.