The most important part of a gaming PC is a quality processor. It’s the brain of your machine and the part that will determine what games you can run, their frame rate and the resolution you can play at. A good processor – like the Intel 9th gen or AMD Ryzen 5 – will allow you to run most AAA games, with high frame rates and impressive graphics. It’s essential for gaming performance and is vital for ensuring your machine can last as long as possible.
A good dedicated graphics card is also essential. This piece of hardware will increase the fidelity of games and allow you to run higher resolutions and detailed textures. If your aim is to run games at 4K resolution or above, this part is extremely important. GPU’s like the NVIDIA RTX 2060 should be the minimum for 4K gaming and the RTX 2080 the minimum for any serious high-end gaming.
RAM is another vital component for gaming. Most modern games will require at least 8GB of RAM, which is becoming the minimum standard nowadays. More memory is always better, and serious gamers will want 16GB or 32GB. The amount of RAM will affect load times, how many applications and games can run at once and will provide more space for games to run at their highest settings.
A good quality motherboard is also very important. Without the right board your components will not be able to operate at their fullest potential and you could be left with bottlenecking and slow speeds. The motherboard you choose should be suitable for your processor, be able to support multiple GPUs, have plenty of RAM slots, an adequate cooling system and multiple USB ports.
A large capacity hard drive is another essential component of any gaming PC. Games store a tremendous amount of data and the size of their files is increasing every year. A large capacity hard drive – like a 2TB SSD – will be able to store even the biggest of games and will drastically reduce load times.
The power supply is one part that gamers do not tend to skimp on. Without the right power supply your machine will be unable to run at its full potential and may become damaged over time. A quality PSU should provide a reliable voltage output, have multiple connectors and have a suitable fan for adequate cooling.
Finally, a good quality case is often overlooked by many gamers. It’s important to find the right case for your components and one that will provide adequate cooling and good airflow. It should also be easy to use with great cable management solutions and offer adequate noise insulation.
The Cooling System
The cooling system is one of the most important parts of any gaming PC. A good cooling system will help keep the processor and other components at optimal operating temperatures. An air cooler like the Fractal Design Core 3000R is usually adequate enough for most applications and will provide plenty of airflow.
For high-end machines or those that are using overclocking – like the Intel 9th gen – a water-cooler may be more suitable. A liquid-cooling system like the Corsair H115i will provide greater cooling capacity and will be a more reliable solution for ensuring your components are working at their full potential.
It’s also important to make sure your case has the right number and type of fans for your components. A case that has fans at the front, back, bottom and top will provide the best airflow, but it’s important to make sure you have the right size and type – such as PWM or RGB fans.
Finally, it’s also important to ensure your case has adequate noise insulation. An insulated case will help keep noise to a minimum and this is especially important for those that are looking to record or stream their games.
A good storage solution is also an essential part of a gaming PC. For most machines a 2TB hard drive – a combination of solid-state drive (SSD) and hard disk drive (HDD) – is a great place to start. An SSD provides better speed than a standard HDD and will drastically reduce load times. Meanwhile, an HDD provides much more space and is great for those with a larger gaming library.
However, it’s not just the size and type of drive that’s important. It’s also important to consider the drive’s read/write speed. This is measured in megabytes per second and describes how quickly data can be transferred to and from the drive.
For those that need even more space or fast speed, a PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) may be the best option. These drives use the fastest form of storage technology and are great for storing games, photos, videos and other large files. The Samsung 970 Evo Plus is a good example of a high-end PCIe SSD and should provide the best performance for any serious gamers.
The power supply (PSU) is a hugely important part of a gaming PC. Without a reliable and properly sized PSU your machine won’t be able to run at its fullest potential. A quality PSU will provide a reliable voltage output, have multiple connectors and have a suitable fan for adequate cooling.
It’s important to choose the right PSU for your machine and make sure it has enough wattage to support all your components. An 80 Plus rating means it’s at least 80% efficient and meets the industry standard, but most high-end PSU’s will exceed this rating. Also make sure you have the right number and type of connectors – such as 6-pin or 8-pin – to support your graphics cards.
A quality PSU should also have a decent fan size and adequate cooling capacity. This is especially important for overclocking, as the PSU will be under more strain and will require adequate cooling. If you plan on overclocking, make sure you choose a PSU with a fan size that can handle the extra heat.
Finally, it’s also important to consider noise insulation. Some PSU’s can be quite loud and it’s important to make sure the noise is kept to a minimum.
Cables and Connectors
The cables and connectors used to actually connect all the components together are also an important part of a gaming PC. Poor cables can cause all sorts of issues, from slowdown and poor performance to even damaging components. It’s essential to choose the right cables and connectors for your components.
Most graphics cards require PCIE 3.0 x16 cables with 6-pin connections, while other components like the motherboard usually take standard SATA cables. Make sure you choose the right type and size of cable – such as 6-pin or 8-pin – to avoid any compatibility issues.
You should also make sure all your cables are good quality and have a decent thickness. Poor quality cables will degrade your performance and put your machine under extra strain. It’s also important to make sure your cables are long enough and not causing any clutter, for optimal airflow.
Finally, it’s also important to make sure your cables are well insulated. Cables that are not properly insulated can cause issues like slowdown and even permanently damage your components.
Case and Cable Management
The case of your gaming PC is also important for keeping everything running smoothly. Most modern cases are designed with airflow in mind and have various fans and vents to keep components cool. It’s important to make sure your case is suitable for your GPU’s and processor and has decent insulation to reduce any noise.
It’s also important to consider cable management. Poor cable management can suck the life out of your machine – both literally and figuratively. Your cables should be organised with minimal opportunity for mess and should keep out of the way of your fans and other components.
Finally, it’s also important to make sure your case has good water cooling systems. Water cooling systems can be great for keeping your machine cool and will reduce its overall noise levels. A case with a good water cooling system – such as the NZXT H700i – will make sure your components are running optimally and will keep your machine running cool, quiet and efficient.