Whether you are a part time gamer, or gaming is your life, the one piece of hardware that can make you a better player with more speed, more upgrades and more gamer “cred” is a powerful gaming computer. Long gone are the days that you can configure a computer online and have it delivered, ready to play the latest games. Prices of powerful PC’s have skyrocketed and many gamers are left using older systems that just can’t keep up no matter how overclocked they are. What are these gamers to do when they can’t afford a powerful system? They build a gaming computer and that is what this article was designed to do.
If you have always wanted the satisfaction of building your own gaming computer, but were unsure as to how to go about it, we are going to show you. This article will show you how to build the best gaming computer possible that is within your budget and your abilities.
First off, you will need some basic components: a motherboard and CPU, graphics card, hard drive or solid-state drive, RAM, a lot of RAM, a power supply and case and some other parts that we will get into. To explain some of these components, let’s take a quick look at what they do:
Motherboard-this is where all of your components will either be connected to or installed on. The better the motherboard, the better your gaming PC will be.
CPU-the brains of the computer. You want a minimum 4-core CPU for gaming while a top of the line Ryzen 16-core will give you some bragging rights.
Hard Drive-this is your storage. A solid-state drive, SSD, is a much faster, smaller and more powerful version. Choose both and load your OS on the SSD for faster boot times.
Graphics Card-many of today’s games require a powerful graphics card that has built-in memory and a fan for cooling. A good graphics card will produce 4K graphics making your gaming experience better.
RAM-Random Access Memory. This enables your PC to multitask better and operate faster. More RAM means a faster gaming computer.
Disk Drive-similar to your DVD player, a disk drive enables you to play CD’s, DVD’s and other discs on your computer.
Power Supply-a power supply is needed to power your components. Choose a good one that offers high wattage and protection.
Case-your components are installed in a computer case. There is a wide range of computer cases available and you should choose one that fits your motherboard platform and that offers plenty of ventilation for cooling.
When choosing your components, purchase the motherboard and CPU together and make sure both are built for gaming performance. Intel and AMD are the top CPU manufacturers. Next, you will need RAM. A minimum of 8G of RAM is good for gaming, but you may want to opt for 16G of performance RAM so you can overclock your system.
Now choose a video card. Look to spend around $200-300 for a good one that offers at least 2-4G of built in memory and a cooling fan. There are many HD and 4K cards available in this price range.
When choosing a hard drive or solid-state drive, I suggest that you choose both. A solid-state drive can hold your operating system making boot times lower as well as giving more space for other programs on your hard drive. As for your hard drive, a 1TB drive is good, but you may want more space so either add a second hard drive, or purchase one that offers 2TB or more.
Your computer case and power supply will need to be based on the same platform so everything fits nicely inside. Choose a computer case that offers the size and looks you want. Your power supply should be at least 650W. Less, and you could affect PC performance. The more powerful your gaming PC is, the more power it will need from the power supply.
Assembling your gaming PC isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Install your CPU and RAM to the motherboard. Install the power supply, disk drive, hard drive/s and SSD and motherboard into the computer case. The wiring is straightforward is you follow the directions that came with each component. It is simple plug and play wiring harnesses and color-coded connectors.
Once you have your components installed in the computer case, install your graphics card and double-check that everything is in place. Now it is time to turn on your gaming computer, enter the BIOS screen and load your operating system. The first boot could take a while as all of the new components’ drivers need to be installed.
Once you have a home screen, log in and go to settings where you can verify your RAM and hard drive space as well as personalize your computer to your liking.