Building a gaming PC requires various components, and it can seem quite daunting. That said, a few core components are essential when constructing a gaming machine. Firstly, an adequate processor is a must-have in a gaming PC. If you’ve got the budget, a processor such as Intel Core i7 or Ryzen 5 series will give you a big base to work on. Secondly, your graphical processing unit or GPU is just as important. A decent GPU such as Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 or AMD Radeon RX 580 is sufficient for any gaming experience. Thirdly, the motherboard is the glue that holds everything together, so spend the extra money for higher quality. Fourthly, the RAM – or random access memory – is like the brain of your PC, and will determine how quickly things run. A minimum of 8GB should be enough, though 16GB is more ideal for an optimal gaming machine. Fifthly, storage is key, as you’ll need enough space to store all your games, as well as other software. Invest in an SSD for faster load times and improved game performance. Sixthly, a solid power supply unit is necessary for the components to function correctly, and the bigger the wattage, the better. Lastly, the case you choose to build your PC in is entirely up to your own preference, as aesthetics in this part of PC building is highly subjective.
A CPU is the heart of any gaming PC. Without a good processor, your PC won’t be able to run heavy games or multitask. The number of cores and threads you’ll need depends on the type of gaming you’ll be doing and the types of games you’ll be playing. If you’re playing AAA titles, such as Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll need a processor with more than 4 cores with high clock speeds, such as the Intel Core i7 8700K. If you’re into competitive games, such as League of Legends or Dota 2, you’ll want more cores and threads, such as the Ryzen 7 3700X. There are plenty of choices for both situations. Make sure your CPU is compatible with the other components you’ve chosen.
The GPU is arguably one of the most important components of a gaming PC. It’s what renders the graphics of your games and produces the visuals you see. A good GPU can make your games look great, while a bad one can mean you don’t reach higher frame rates or resolutions. When choosing a graphics card, it really depends on your budget and the types of games you’ll be playing. For a mid-range card for AAA titles, go for Nvidia’s GTX 1660 Ti. If esports gaming is more your style, the AMD Radeon RX 570 will more than do the job. If you’re a fan of ray tracing and DLSS, then a RTX 2080 Ti is probably what you’ll need.
The motherboard is the foundation that connects all your components together, also referred to as a “backbone.” It determines the size of the processor, RAM, and other components that can be installed in your gaming PC. Thus, it’s important to make sure your motherboard is compatible with the other components you’ve chosen. A good rule of thumb is to get a motherboard that is at least one socket higher than your processor. For example, if you have an Intel Core i7 9700K, then a Z390 motherboard is perfect.
RAM is a key component as it determines how quickly and effectively your PC can process data. It can cause programs to lag and fail if you don’t have enough, so make sure you have at least 8GB. For those who need an extra boost, 16GB is recommended for an optimal gaming set-up. It’s important to make sure the type of RAM you purchase is compatible with the motherboard you have chosen.
It is always important to ensure you have enough storage in your PC. This is especially true when it comes to gaming, as today’s games take up huge amounts of space. An SSD (solid-state drive) is the go-to issue when it comes to fast load times and improved game performance, however the cost per GB is usually much higher than a traditional hard drive. If you’re working with a budget, a good rule of thumb is to have at least 500GB of storage, but if you’re a heavy user, then you’ll want at least 1TB of storage of SSD or 2TB of HDD for all your gaming needs.
A power supply unit is essentially the engine that makes your PC come alive. It’s used to provide power to all the components, and is usually rated in wattage. Your PSU should be rated higher than the combined maximum wattage of all your components, to ensure it can handle it. It’s recommended that you go for at least a 500-watt power supply for a gaming PC.
The case is the most visible component of any gaming PC, as this is where all the other components will fit inside. Getting a well-ventilated case is important, as it’ll help keep your components cool. A good rule of thumb is to look for cases with plenty of fans and good airflow. Additionally, sound dampening can be helpful, as this will help reduce the sound of the fans. Cases come in all shapes, sizes and colours, so find one that fits both your personal style, and the rest of your components.