Building a custom gaming PC from the ground up can be an intimidating task. While the market for PC components has grown significantly in the last few years, that hasn’t made the process any simpler. Gaming PCs are complicated machines. Not only that, but you can end up spending thousands of dollars to build your dream setup. With all that money on the line, it’s important to plan your project accordingly.
If you don’t want to break the bank or you’re focusing your resources on a new graphics card, you need to be careful. Instead of getting anything that fits the bill, we recommend going through some top-tier budget PC cases and avoid compromising on quality.
The beauty of building your own gaming PC is that every piece of the puzzle can be customized to meet your exact specifications. After deciding on PC peripherals such as GPU and CPU, there are many other important factors to consider.
However, that’s not all you need to focus on. Here’s some information about the most important things to look for when building a PC.
Solid GPU Performance
When it comes to gaming, a high-quality GPU is a must-have. A GPU, or graphics processor unit, is responsible for rendering all of those high-resolution graphics and smooth animations. It gives your PC the power to display better-looking graphics than any console on the market.
A good CPU is also important. The CPU acts as the brains of the operations and is typically responsible for things like artificial intelligence and non-graphics related game mechanics. With that said, it’s always recommended to spend a bit more on your GPU.
This is because most modern PC games still rely heavily on the GPU to run smoothly. You can have the most powerful CPU in the world but it won’t do you any good if your GPU can’t keep. Luckily, there are tons of great units available for you to buy. Nvidia, in particular, has been slaying the game recently and producing some of the most powerful GPUs around.
If you can’t afford to invest in premium components, don’t worry. You can easily find mid-range GPUs that are more than capable of letting you play with very high graphical settings.
Just the Right Amount of Memory
RAM memory is a part of your build that you can save tons of money on. It’s a common misconception that you need a crazy amount of RAM. While more memory does help your PC run without any hiccups, most of the time extremely high amounts of RAM are completely unnecessary!
Unless you’re looking to perform some heavy-duty processing, you don’t necessarily need more than 16 GB of memory. You can even get away with 8 GB if you want to budget even further. At least 8 GB is recommended for modern gaming PCs. If you can afford it 16 GB or higher is preferred, as it allows you to play resource-heavy titles.
If you’re looking to future-proof your PC a bit, you can go higher. Just know that those extra RAM sticks aren’t going to affect your gameplay in any way. Instead of spending money on that memory now, why not put that extra cash into a better GPU?
Stick to Solid-State
When it comes time to choose a hard drive for your new build, stick to SSDs. Solid-state drives are quickly becoming the norm as traditional mechanical drives decrease in popularity. While SSD storage is a bit pricier, there are a lot of benefits you can take advantage of.
First, data is loaded quicker. This can help reduce load times and make your PC feel faster overall. Secondly, they tend to be more reliable. With no moving parts, there are fewer ways that your investment can get damaged.
When it comes to the size of your SSD, bigger is always better. You have to remember that AAA titles are typically over 25 GB in size. Larger games can exceed 100 GB. Unless you want to upgrade in the near future, get as many terabytes of disk space as you can afford. If you’re thinking about employing a RAID configuration for your PC, you’ll need even more storage.
Proper cooling is key when it comes to any custom-built PC. Gaming machines are notorious for becoming overheated. If you plan on overclocking your hardware, you’ll need to invest in some powerful cooling gear to avoid any permanent damage to your PC. Luckily, there are several options to fit anyone’s budget.
Typical fans and strategic heatsinks are the most cost-efficient way to keep your build running cool. You’ll be surprised at what a couple of strategically placed fans can do to keep temperatures down. Just make sure to arrange things appropriately and apply the thermal paste correctly.
Your second option would be to use liquid cooling. Liquid cooling systems act as a refrigerator. They use a series of tubes filled with liquid that absorbs heat. That residual heat is then removed through a radiator. These systems do cost a bit more, but they are some of the most efficient options around.
Don’t Forget About Software
One of the biggest mistakes that new PC gamers make is not monitoring the performance of their system. A custom-built PC is not guaranteed to run smoothly like a rig you get at your local electronics store. Things can go awry quickly, so you need to have the right software to highlight any potential issues.
Monitoring software and stress testing programs are essential. There are several apps available for download. You can also get proprietary software for your GPU or cooling system to fine-tune settings how you please.
Finally, don’t forget about all of the gaming essentials. Streaming apps, digital libraries, and multiplayer chat programs will complete your build and prepare you for hours of play.
Creating that perfect gaming PC is a rewarding experience. When all those components work together to produce amazing graphics and impeccable performance, there’s nothing else you can do but sit back and enjoy the ride. Before you get to that point, you’ll need to take some special care during your build. With a bit of planning and research, you’ll be gaming in no time.