You may have an idea of what you want your dream gaming computer to be. You might have a budget in mind, and maybe even a list of specifications that you need for the perfect rig. The problem is, there are so many options out there when it comes to PC building – where do you start? In this guide, we will cover everything from choosing your components to setting up your system once it’s all together.
The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of the computer. A fast and modern CPU from Intel or AMD will give you a decent, if not amazing gaming experience. You can pretty much forget about the ultra-budget CPUs, because they are simply not good enough. The more cores your CPU has (and therefore higher end it is), the better experience you will have with games that support multiple threads (which most modern titles do).
Graphics Card / GPU / Graphics Memory
After deciding on what CPU best suits your needs, it is time to focus on the next most important thing about your gaming PC – the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). The GPU is the most important component for rendering graphics and it impacts virtually every aspect of PC gaming. More importantly, today’s games require a lot more horsepower than your typical desktop computer can deliver – at least without using an external GPU to boost performance.
The RAM (Random Access Memory) of your PC is an essential player in determining how well your machine runs games without lag. However, it is also a very complex part of your machine. It can be easy to get lost when trying to determine how much RAM you need, and what type to buy!
It doesn’t matter if you are buying DDR-400 or DDR-800 for example – they all have the same speed rating (the 400’s just work at a slightly slower frequency). The main thing that determines whether one stick is faster than another has more to do with access times. So basically, look out for low CAS latency speeds in reviews, because this will directly affect performance in games.
Storage Drive – HDD/SSD/NVME M.
In addition to your CPU and RAM, another major factor determining the performance of your gaming rig is the type of storage you use.
Storage drives can be broken down into three categories: HDDs, SSDs, and NVME M. The main difference between the three is the speed of access (how quickly you can open your files). If you’re building a gaming PC for fast load times as well as high FPS in games then an SSD or NVME M drive would suit your needs best. However, these drives are more expensive than their HDD counterparts, so if the budget is a concern then that’s something to keep in mind when deciding on what kind of storage drive will work best with your build.
Monitor Display Panel Type – IPS, TN or VA
Another key component you need to take into account when building your gaming PC is the type of panel (or screen) that you use. There are three main types: IPS, TN and VA. IPS panels offer superior color accuracy over both TN and VA but they also tend to be more expensive than either one, so if you are on a tight budget, then it might not be worth investing in an IPS monitor for your build. Monitors come with different resolutions, which can make things slightly confusing unless you know what resolution will work best on specific monitors or TVs.
Monitor Screen Size and Resolution
Varying monitor sizes are available with different resolutions. The most common ones that you’ll see for PC monitors include 1080p, 1440p, and UHD/QHD (which is a fancy way of saying ultra-high definition). Keep in mind the resolution your favorite games were designed to run at on standard HD screens – this might be something you want to look up before buying a new monitor, so as not to cause any issues with performance or annoyances when playing games.
Monitor Refresh Rate
The monitor refresh rate is the number of times per second your screen will update itself. The higher this number, the smoother and more fluid everything will look on your screen. A 60Hz monitor refreshes at a speed of sixty frames every second, meaning it updates once for each frame that passes by during playtime. This may seem like an ideal range but many gamers prefer to go with faster monitors (or even multiple). However, you should not pick up either end of the spectrum as they are both subpar options when compared to 144Hz or 240Hz alternatives, respectively. It’s important to note that only high-end gaming PCs can take advantage of speeds above 120 Hz, so if you want something mid-range then you should not go over the 120 Hz mark. The refresh rate is arguably one of the most important features to consider when building a gaming PC, so it’s best to take your time and find what works for you!
The response time of an LCD monitor is the amount of time it takes to display new data. The shorter this interval, the better. For gamers, a lower latency rate provides smoother gameplay and less motion blur when moving objects rapidly across the screen. Response times are typically measured in milliseconds (ms). As they decrease, so does the impact on your gaming experience?
The dynamic adjusting of a monitor’s vertical refresh rate to the frame rate of the graphics card (GPU) is a technology that eliminates screen tearing without any performance penalty.
It does this by allowing the monitor to sync its refresh rate with whatever you are doing on your computer, whether it be gaming or watching Netflix from your couch.
Frame rates and display refresh rates must match for Adaptive Sync to work: if either of these is out of whack then there will be stuttering and/or screen-tearing, which can cause nausea in some gamers (and just looks plain bad).
So even though adaptive sync gaming monitors do cost slightly more than their non-adaptive counterparts, they provide an improved experience overall.
Cooling and Noise Reduction
Cooling is also a very important parameter in your PC’s overall performance that is often overlooked by users.
When it comes to cooling, two types of gamers exist: those who are cool and collected, not caring about the noise their PC makes while indulging in their favorite activity; or those that can’t stand even a little bit of fan hum.
If you’re part of the latter group then there are some things you should know before building your gaming PC. First off, if possible try to purchase a graphics card with an open-air cooler, so it doesn’t get too hot when sitting right next to another piece of hardware emitting heat (like your motherboard). Secondly, ensure all fans on your machine spin counterclockwise. This is because spinning clockwise encourages airflow backward, which increases turbulence – meaning more fan noise! Thirdly, make sure your graphics card has a power connector facing towards the front of your PC. This way all hot air from inside the case is quickly released through your computer’s rear, thus creating less heat and reducing fan noise.
Last but not least, you should keep an eye on your finances. Be prepared to make some sacrifices for some less important parts in order to make room for some essential components.
For example, if your CPU is the bottleneck then consider saving on things like a solid-state drive or more RAM in order to upgrade to a better graphics card. If you have some cash leftover after building your PC and you are wondering what else you can do with it, shop around for some amazing gaming accessories every gamer would enjoy!