Building a gaming PC in 2021 requires an array of components. With the arrival of new technologies, components are constantly getting better, faster, and more efficient. Knowing what parts you need, their advantages, and the cost is pertinent to making a worthwhile purchase. This article will go over the essential components and offer tips and tricks to help you choose parts and build the perfect gaming PC.
When deciding upon which processor to purchase, you should take into account the type of games you plan to play. For basic gaming, an Intel Core i5 processor will do the job at a very reasonable price. However, if you plan to play more processor-intensive games, you should opt for an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 5. These will be able to handle more intensive games while still allowing for future upgrades.
A motherboard is the first component to consider since it is the foundation for the other components. The qualities to look for in a motherboard are its form factor, socket type, and number of RAM and PCIe slots. A mini ITX case would work for more basic gaming PCs, while a mid tower case is best for those wanting more options for expandability. Look for a motherboard with a good balance of RAM and PCIe slots for optimal performance.
A graphics card is one of the most important components of a gaming PC. In 2021, NVIDIA’s RTX 3000-series GPUs have set the standard for gaming performance. A mid-range RTX 3060 or 3070 will do the job to run all the latest games, while an RTX 3080 or 3090 may be needed for 4K gaming. However, keep in mind that these require more power to run and are more expensive.
When it comes to RAM, take into account the amount needed for the type of games you’ll be playing. For basic gaming, 8GB of DDR4 RAM is recommended, while 16GB is ideal for gaming on higher settings. Additionally, pay attention to the frequency of the RAM. A higher frequency of 3000MHz or more is ideal for gaming PCs.
For storage, the current standard is an SSD, which provides much faster loading times than a traditional hard disk drive. A 500GB SSD should be sufficient for basic gaming, though an SSD+HDD setup may be more beneficial in the long run. An HDD is better for storing non-essential data like media files, but its slower loading times can hinder gaming performance.
When choosing a power supply (PSU), the one rule of thumb is to always go with reputable brands like Corsair, EVGA, and Seasonic. The capacity of the PSU needed depends on the components in the PC. A 500W-600W PSU should suffice for most builds, though a more powerful 780W+ for RTX 3090 builds. Most mid-range GPUs can run on a quality 600W PSU.
Finally, a PC case is the part of the build you’ll have to look at every time you use your PC. Cases come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. However, the ones to look out for are the larger mid tower and full-tower cases. These provide more space for cooling components and water-cooling, as well as more room for future upgrades and expansion.
GPU cooling is an important factor to consider when building a gaming PC. The type of cooling you choose will depend on the intensity of your gaming. For basic gaming, an air-cooled GPU should provide decent cooling. However, if you plan to OC your GPU and run extensive 3D applications, it would be wise to invest in a liquid cooling system. This will help keep your GPU running cool and maintaining optimal performance.
When upgrading components, the main characteristics to consider are compatibility, budget and TDP. Many parts are designed to be upgraded and swapped around within the same socket type, RAM type, and form factor. Know what components you want and consider if they will fit in your PC’s hardware, as well as the cost. Additionally, make sure the TDP of each component is within the recommended range for your system.
Overclocking is the process of running components at speeds greater than their rated speeds. This allows components to achieve better performance, but it increases the temperature and power consumption of the processor. Before overclocking, you should make sure you have a proper cooling system in place, understand the risks, and always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Overclocking should be done with caution, as it could cause instability or even irreparable damage to hardware.
Future-proofing your gaming PC can help ensure it will last several years. Start by buying quality parts that are reliable and have some room for future upgradeability. Invest in a motherboard with more memory and PCIe slots available than you need now, as this will allow you to upgrade components as they become available. Additionally, consider the longevity of your cooling system and power supply, as both will eventually need to be replaced.