If you’re a dedicated gamer, you’ve probably wondered how to build your own gaming PC…more than once. Not only is this a cool project to undertake, but you know better than anyone what you need your computer to do.
The most prominent aspect of building your own gaming PC is getting the right parts for the job. So, that’s exactly what we’ll explore in this article.
Let’s dive in!
Before we dive in, here are a few general tips that are worth bearing in mind:
First of all, you should build your PC on a table or a flat surface away from the carpet. This avoids static electricity. However, to be doubly sure, test touch grounded metal objects before handling sensitive PC components – as static could damage them.
Prepare your screwdrivers, as you’ll definitely need these for the assembly. A Phillips #2 will come in handy for most parts. Magnetic screwdrivers will prevent you from dropping small screws during construction.
Keep your motherboard manual nearby so you can refer to the layout. The labels on that page should help you find direction when you’re unsure what goes where.
Allocate the most of your budget to your priorities. Then set yourself up to improve your rig in the future. You don’t need to spend tons of money on building your first gaming PC. In fact, you should be able to assemble a decent platform for less than $1,000.
The Core Components
Let’s assume you don’t have any spare parts at hand. There are seven core components you will need to consider to put together your build:
- A case
- A motherboard
- A power supply
- A CPU
- One or two graphics cards
To stick to your budget, identify which of these elements is a priority for your PC. When it comes to picking your parts, you can either be very hands-on or use pre-made parts where you can adjust specific elements to suit your exact needs and budget.
Your computer’s case needs to fit the size of your set up and will determine the overall looks of your PC. If these aren’t too important to you, you might be able to save money with this component.
If you’re placing your tower inside of a desk, there is no need to splurge on tempered glass panels.
Cases come in three sizes:
Case sizes aren’t standardized amongst manufacturers, instead, they’re based on the motherboard size.
For the uninitiated, the motherboard is the primary circuit board connecting everything on the PC. All other elements integrate into this component – the graphics cards, hard drives, memory, etc.
The main concern for choosing a motherboard is to make sure it fits the correct socket type for your processor. Besides this, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on this part.
The Central Processing Unit
The central processing unit (CPU) is the brains behind your set-up. CPU is chosen based on core count and Clock speed. A quality CPU can ensure your PC is fast at performing each task and determines how much your set-up can handle.
Your CPU can be crucial for gaming. However, most modern CPUs hit a performance minimum and are more efficient than ever. This means you can splurge on other components that might hold you back.
For mainstream gaming, you can get away with $171.99 CPU such as the Intel Core i5-8400 found at Amazon.
The Graphics Card
The graphics cards are more often than not where your gaming PC shows its true colors. This is what determines the FPS when gaming.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 is a modest but effective HD card. If you want to splurge, the GeForce GTX 1070 is a more robust model for around $400.
If you’re trying to build an impressive, gaming-specific machine, this is where you may want to spend most of your budget.
Random Access Memory (RAM) is your PC’s short term memory and keeps data you regularly use accessible.
RAM follows the simple rule of the more, the merrier. Practically speaking, most gaming systems work fine with 16Gb or 32GB RAM. The latter will keep your PC viable for several years. RAM can vary widely in speed, design, and size.
This component decides where the data on your PC is stored. Many modern games have large install sizes, so even 500 GB will fill up quickly. However, you can always add more storage later on. Your case will have space for more drives. Solid-state drives (SSD) don’t take up a lot of space either.
The GPU and CPU are the main power drains, so these determine how much power you’ll need to run the system. Ensure the power supply accommodates your components. For a simple build, a Power Supply Unit (PSU) will do.
Don’t Forget the Accessories
While the core of your PC will be your biggest consideration, you shouldn’t forget about the hardware on your desk, either. For a quality gaming experience, you will want a good monitor.
If you have a budget left over to splurge, a higher resolution 2540×1440 or even 3840×2160 monitor will give you fantastic quality images.
You’ll also want a gaming mouse that matches your style. Mappable buttons might matter to the games you play, and you will want a mouse that feels comfortable for you and is easy to handle. You can find the lightest gaming mice at Streamer Builds.
Build Your Own Gaming PC on Your Terms
For a newbie, following a pre-made build is an excellent way of creating the gaming PC of your dreams. Alternatively, you could do your own research to build your own gaming PC from scratch. The choice is yours!
Remember, you don’t need to splurge on every part. The key to sticking to a reasonable budget with a high pay-off is to prioritize the elements that matter most to your gaming experience.
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