Because you are in control of what goes into your PC, you can build it according to the games you play. It’s easier than you think to build your own PC. The best part is that it is extremely rewarding as well. Before you build your own computer, you should consider a few things.
This comprehensive, step-by-step guide will teach you everything you need to know about building your own gaming PC. Let’s begin.
1. Hardware Requirements
Before we can move forward to explore other aspects of building your gaming battle station, you need to understand what hardware is necessary for a complete computer.
Hardware parts you should invest in, along with screws and screwdrivers, are:
- Graphics card (if not incorporated in the CPU)
- Power supply
- keyboard and other peripherals
- Operating system
- Processor (CPU)
- CPU cooler (if yours doesn’t come with one)
- Onboard storage (HDD and SSD both if you have the budget)
The above-mentioned parts are essential for building a gaming PC. However, there are other optional accessories that will make your gaming computer even more enjoyable. If you have a limited budget, you can add these add-ons at the time of building your PC or at a later stage.
Let’s examine each hardware piece individually to understand why you need it.
2. Processor (CPU)
The central processing unit is the brain of your computer. This component is mounted on the motherboard and is responsible for calculating and allocating resources for your computer. In building a gaming computer, the central processing unit is the most crucial piece of hardware.
When it comes to choosing a central processing unit, there are three main components or factors to consider.
- Clock speed: GHz stands for gigahertz, and it describes how fast the CPU is. This is one of the direct measures of processor performance.
- Cores: The higher the number of cores, the better the processor’s performance. Each core is assigned a specific task. Several cores can be used simultaneously by some applications.
- Threads: This is the process of aligning the cores with one another. Most recent cores come with hyperthreading (more than one thread), so that applications can use multiple cores simultaneously.
Today, Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 are the most popular processors. Find out which one is better for gaming PCs by clicking this link. Here are some of the best CPUs for gaming PCs.
3. CPU Cooler
A cooling device that sits directly on the CPU for cooling and quiet operation, also called Heatsink and Fan (HSF). The fact that most gaming applications are intensive and require a lot of processing power makes keeping the CPU in optimal working conditions crucial.
CPUs usually include a built-in or preinstalled HSF. Therefore, you might not need to purchase one. If your CPU does not come with an HSF, make sure you invest in one.
Moreover, if you are looking to build a high-end gaming computer, you should replace the stock cooler with something more efficient and effective. Also, if you want to overclock (make your processor run faster) your CPU, you should add an external CPU.
Without it, the processor will heat up and become very noisy. You can choose from many low-profile CPU coolers and high-profile liquid coolers.
It is the motherboard that provides harmony between all the components of your computer. The motherboard is the heart of the gaming computer, if you refer to the CPU as the brain.
Motherboards play a key role in the performance of your CPU. Your motherboard determines whether you can overclock your CPU. In the future, you can also upgrade this piece of hardware.
Choosing a motherboard begins with deciding whether you want to overclock your CPU. The next step is to determine the size of the motherboard.
ATX is the largest and ITX is the smallest. The size of the motherboard has no bearing on the performance of your PC. It does, however, affect the amount of RAM you will be able to add and the number of I/O ports you will have.
Make sure you invest in a motherboard from a reputed company when building your gaming PC. Some of these companies include Gigabyte, ASUS, MSI, EVGA, etc.
Random Access Memory is yet another extremely important component that greatly affects the performance of your gaming computer. The RAM capacity of your gaming PC determines how much memory your applications will use during their operation.]
In general, the more RAM you have, the faster your programs will run. At this point, your budget constraints kick in. The highest RAM capacity currently available is 32 GB. You might want to consider 8 GB or 16 GB RAM if you are looking to build an affordable gaming PC under $1,000.
As RAM is directly connected to your CPU, it also indirectly affects its performance. When choosing the best RAM, you need to consider the following:
- Channels: A higher number of channels means faster speeds. If possible, a dual or quad-channel system is recommended.
- RAM Type available: on the market, DDR4 and DDR3. Investing in DDR3 is a bad idea since it is slower.
- RAM Quantity : This is of primary importance. The higher the quantity, the faster your system will be. 8 GB of RAM gives you a good balance between price and performance. Currently, most games don’t require a RAM higher than 8 GB.
6. Onboard Storage
Depending on the onboard storage of your gaming computer, you can store a certain number of games. It is the same piece of hardware that stores your operating system and programs.
Like all other parts, onboard storage also comes in different types. There are two types of onboard systems most commonly used.
- HDD (hard disk drive): This type of onboard storage is most common. It is reasonably priced and works well. HDDs are better if you want more quantity.
- SSDs (Solid State Drives): are currently popular for their high performance. Although they are more durable, they are also more expensive.
Most individuals use a combination of both to perform at their best. The most common combination is a 1 TB HDD and a 256 GB SSD.
As SSDs have a faster response rate, they are used for the operating system and a few favorite games.
Multiplayer games should be stored on SSDs, while non-multiplayer games and media should be kept on HDDs.
7. Graphics Card
A graphics card is the heart of any gaming computer. Graphics rendering is handled by this hardware, also known as the Graphics Processing Unit. Unless you have a good graphics card, you won’t be able to view and run your games at their best.
Most gamers recommend you allocate a large portion of your budget to the graphics card. This does not mean you can ignore the CPU, however.
The CPU keeps track of the player’s actions. GPUs, on the other hand, take the information from the CPU and convert it into graphics.
GPUs also rely on VRAM (Video RAM) just like CPUs do. GDDR5 is the most basic VRAM available on the market. Anything below that is garbage. You can upgrade to GDDR5X, GDDR6, or HBM if you prefer.
GPUs come with capacities of 2 GB, 4 GB, or 6 GB VRAM. A 2GB VRAM will be sufficient to run 1080p at basic settings. It can be pretty challenging to find a GPU that meets your needs. Nevertheless, reading reviews from renowned technicians can be helpful.
8. Power Supply
Power is supplied to all parts of your computer through the power supply. Most newbies overlook the power supply, which can result in damage to the expensive parts of your PC.
Even if you are building an affordable gaming PC, don’t choose a cheap power supply. If your power supply fails, it could cause other expensive parts of your gaming computer to fail as well.
A defective or cheap power supply is a huge liability, contrary to popular belief. Make sure you purchase a device from a reputable manufacturer when buying a PSU. Numerous no-name manufacturers claim to provide the same services at a lower price. You can rest assured that it’s a scam.
Another important factor to consider when selecting a PSU for a gaming PC is the power output. Before you purchase a power supply unit, make sure you know the wattage requirements of your PC.
Last but not least is the efficiency of the power supply. Invest in a power supply with at least 80% efficiency. PSUs with higher efficiency consume less energy and don’t overheat.
The above-mentioned components are all key components of a gaming PC. You shouldn’t compromise on any of the core components when building a budget PC.
Peripherals, on the other hand, may be slightly compromised. However, your PC is useless without peripherals.
Without these units, you won’t be able to control your PC or play the games you built it for. Peripheral devices are input and output devices required to run core units.
Monitors display the output of whatever program is running on your computer. You will not be able to enjoy your game without a good HD monitor.
Your monitor should match the build of your PC, as a general rule. Don’t buy a 4K display if you have invested $1,000 in your PC.
There are a variety of monitors on the market, ranging in price, features, sizes, and resolutions.
Choosing the right monitor can be tricky. It is best to stick with renowned manufacturers and refrain from going overboard with the features.
You need this input device to operate your computer. Newbies believe that all mice are the same, which is not true.
In shooting games, the mouse makes a huge difference; however, in other games, you need a high-quality keyboard. You can get mice in all price ranges, just like other peripherals.
Another crucial input device for gamers is the keyboard, especially for strategy and royale-based games.
It is crucial that you get a keyboard with high latency if you don’t already have one.
The best gaming keyboards have high quality keys with extra macro buttons and sometimes cool LED backlighting. In most cases, the backlighting color can be customized.
13. Speaker & Microphones
Not only do they provide high-quality audio, but they also include built-in microphones to enhance multi-player gaming. For less than $200, you can easily find good headphones.
For speakers, you’ll find a lot of monitors with built-in speakers, but most of them are not very good. External speakers will give your video that extra oomph.
14. Operating System
The two most common operating systems used by gamers are Windows and Ubuntu (Linux). Although Linux is mostly used by programmers, since it is an open-source operating system, it is also popular among gamers.
Windows 10 might be too expensive for you, and previous versions of Windows (7 and XP) don’t get most updates.
If you can afford it, Windows is the most powerful operating system for gamers. If you have a fixed budget, you don’t have any other option, but if you can afford it, then Windows is the way to go. Windows is also supported by most of the games.
The case houses all the main components and provides adequate airflow via its grills and fans. Additionally, it gives your PC a chic and dandy look from the outside. There are many aesthetic PC tower cases available on the market. Some have a soft, subtle look, while others are bright and rugged. The latter is preferred by most gamers.
The choice of casing is largely determined by the size of the motherboard. A case must have enough space for all your components. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the case, as this will only lead to overheating.
Additionally, if you plan on upgrading your PC, get a slightly larger case so that you will have enough space to add new components. In addition, the case should have slots for the I/O ports you intend to install.
In the case of a water-cooling system, you might want to consider a larger case.
In most gaming PC cases on the market, there is tempered glass so that the user can see all the components without disassembling the whole case.
Choosing The Right Budget
After you know what units you need to invest in, it’s time to set a budget. Budget is solely determined by your needs. The type of games you play, the monitor resolution you want, the processing power required, etc.
Based on the budget and the type of core units used, gaming PCs can usually be classified into three main categories.
Entry-level Gaming PC
They cost between $300 and $500. Gaming PCs are no more efficient than basic entertainment PCs built by manufacturers. The games come with a number of restrictions, and you will have to stick with old, less demanding games.
Since you cannot exceed 4 GB RAM, you may also experience occasional lag and slowdown. You cannot expect much in terms of peripherals either. Rather than building cheap entry-level gaming PCs, most gamers opt for entertainment laptops.
Mid-range Gaming PCs
The most common PCs cost less than $1,000 but more than $500.
The resolution is good, the processing power is reasonable, and the RAM is adequate. When it comes to striking the right balance between good gaming experience and a reasonable price, self-built midrange gaming PCs excel.
High-end Gaming PCs
These high-end, self-built PCs cost more than $1,000 and offer flawless performance.
A high-end gaming PC has a refresh rate greater than 144 Hz and a resolution greater than 1,440 pixels. The majority of these PCs are built for/by professional creators, producers, game streamers and artists who perform demanding non-gaming tasks such as high-end video editing, game development or 3D rendering. In most cases, people who aren’t professional gamers don’t invest in high-end gaming PCs.
Furthermore to the above types, we also have premium level gaming PCs that top $2,000, but these are extremely rare and are typically used by professionals who play games as a source of income.
Planning your budget
Planning your budget and allocating a percentage to each core and to the peripherals is the last step in building a gaming PC. This is the most fun part of building a PC, according to gamers.
Even though it is recommended that you allocate your budget chunks based on your needs and requirements, it is critical that you focus on the two most important parts of your PC.
You should allocate 25% to 40% of the total budget to the GPU and 15% to 25% to the CPU. The more efficient these devices are, the more durable your PC and the more effective and ergonomic its performance.
In the case of a $1000 budget, at least $250 to $400 should be spent on your GPU and $150 to $250 on your processor. The remaining $350 to $600 should cover the motherboard, RAM, storage, case, OS, and peripherals.
The process of building a gaming PC is not as difficult as it might seem if you have the right knowledge. Make sure you know what you are doing.
Upgrading your system is a good idea since games always change and with time, they need more processing power, more RAM. More storage is also needed. Gaming PCs aren’t something you replace every year. As a result, keeping room for upgrades is extremely important.
In addition, it is crucial to ensure that each device is compatible with the others. All the core units complement one another rather than working independently. The units will start malfunctioning after some time if they are not compatible.
There are many YouTube videos and step-by-step guides available for assembling your computer. You can refer to them or take the parts to a professional builder for assembly. You won’t have to worry about assembly costs messing with your budget.