Building a gaming PC can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be a daunting task, especially for beginners. There are a lot of parts needed to build a gaming PC, and choosing the right ones can make a big difference in performance and price. In this guide, we will walk you through the essential parts needed to build a gaming PC and help you understand what to look for when choosing each component.
The Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the “brain” of your gaming PC. It processes all of the data and instructions that your computer receives and executes them. When choosing a CPU, there are several factors to consider.
The socket type of your CPU will determine what kind of motherboard you need. AMD CPUs typically use AM4 sockets, while Intel CPUs use LGA 1200, LGA 1151, or LGA 2066 sockets. Make sure to check the compatibility of your CPU and motherboard before purchasing.
The number of cores in a CPU determines how many tasks it can handle simultaneously. For gaming, we recommend at least a quad-core CPU, but a six or eight-core CPU will provide even better performance.
The clock speed of a CPU determines how many instructions it can process per second. Higher clock speeds generally mean better performance, but keep in mind that other factors such as the number of cores can also impact performance.
Some CPUs come with integrated graphics, which means they can handle basic graphics tasks without the need for a separate graphics card. However, for gaming, we recommend a dedicated graphics card for the best performance.
The motherboard is the backbone of your gaming PC. It connects all of your components together and determines what features your PC will have.
The form factor of a motherboard determines what kind of case it will fit in. The most common form factors for gaming PCs are ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX.
As mentioned earlier, the socket type of your motherboard must match the socket type of your CPU.
The chipset of a motherboard determines what features it will have, such as the number of USB ports, SATA ports, and PCIe slots. Higher-end chipsets usually have more features, but they also cost more.
Make sure that your motherboard is compatible with the type and speed of RAM you plan to use. DDR4 RAM is the most common type for gaming PCs, and higher speeds generally mean better performance.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
Random Access Memory (RAM) is where your computer stores data that it is actively using. More RAM means your computer can handle more tasks at once without slowing down. When choosing RAM, consider the following factors:
The amount of RAM you need depends on what you plan to use your PC for. For gaming, we recommend at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB or more will provide even better performance.
The speed of your RAM is measured in MHz and determines how quickly your computer can access it. Higher speed RAM generally means better performance, but keep in mind that your motherboard and CPU must also be compatible with the speed.
DDR4 RAM is currently the most common type for gaming PCs, but make sure to check your motherboard’s compatibility before purchasing.
Storage is where your computer stores all of its files and programs. There are two main types of storage: Solid-State Drives (SSDs) and Hard Disk Drives (HDDs).
Solid-State Drive (SSD)
SSDs are much faster than HDDs and can greatly improve your PC’s performance. They are more expensive than HDDs, but we recommend at least a 250GB SSD for your operating system and frequently used programs.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
HDDs are slower than SSDs but offer more storage for a lower price. We recommend using an HDD for storing large files such as videos and photos.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is responsible for rendering images and video on your computer. For gaming, a dedicated graphics card is essential for the best performance.
The two main brands for graphics cards are AMD and Nvidia. Both offer great performance, but Nvidia currently dominates the high-end market.
The amount of memory on your graphics card determines how many textures and images it can store at once. For gaming, we recommend at least 4GB of memory, but 6GB or more will provide better performance.
The clock speed of your GPU determines how quickly it can process data. Higher clock speeds generally mean better performance.
Graphics cards can get very hot, so make sure to choose a card with adequate cooling, such as a large heatsink or a liquid cooling system.
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
The Power Supply Unit (PSU) provides power to all of your components. When choosing a PSU, consider the following factors:
Make sure to choose a PSU with enough wattage to power all of your components. A 600W PSU should be sufficient for most gaming PCs.
An 80+ Gold or Platinum rated PSU is more efficient than a standard PSU, which means it will use less power and generate less heat.
Modular or non-modular
Modular PSUs allow you to remove cables you don’t need, which can make cable management easier and improve airflow in your case.
The case is where all of your components are housed. When choosing a case, consider the following factors:
Make sure your case is compatible with your motherboard’s form factor.
Choose a case with adequate cooling, such as multiple fans or liquid cooling support.
A case with good cable management options can make your build look cleaner and improve airflow.
Proper cooling is essential for keeping your components running smoothly. There are two main types of cooling: air cooling and liquid cooling.
Air cooling uses fans to dissipate heat from your components. This is the most common type of cooling and is generally sufficient for most gaming PCs.
Liquid cooling uses a liquid coolant that is circulated through a series of tubes and a radiator to dissipate heat. Liquid cooling can provide better performance than air cooling but is also more expensive and can be more complex to install.
In addition to the above components, you may also need the following:
The motherboard is the backbone of your PC and connects all of your components. Make sure to choose a motherboard that is compatible with your chosen CPU and has all the features you need.
The CPU cooler is responsible for dissipating heat from your CPU. Some CPUs come with a stock cooler, but for better performance, you may want to choose an aftermarket cooler.
Don’t forget about peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. These components can greatly affect your overall gaming experience.
You will need an operating system such as Windows or Linux to run your PC.
Building a gaming PC can seem daunting, but with the right components and a little know-how, anyone can do it. Make sure to choose components that are compatible with each other and fit your budget and needs. And don’t forget to have fun with your new gaming rig!
How much does it cost to build a gaming PC?
The cost of building a gaming PC can vary widely depending on the components you choose. A basic gaming PC can cost around $500, while a high-end build can cost $2000 or more.
Is building a gaming PC difficult?
Building a gaming PC can be challenging, but there are many resources available online to help you through the process.
Can I upgrade my gaming PC in the future?
Yes, one of the benefits of building your own PC is that you can easily upgrade components as needed in the future.
Do I need a dedicated graphics card for gaming?
Yes, a dedicated graphics card is essential for the best gaming performance.
What is the best brand of components for a gaming PC?
There are many great brands for gaming PC components, so choose the ones that fit your needs and budget.