With the current situation today, most people are in their homes. They may be bored; they may be looking for something to do. But thing is, there’s only so much that one can do before you run out. Well, we’re here to offer you another way to keep yourself occupied, and that’s through building a Gaming PC. Looking for a how to build a gaming PC guide? Continue down below and start creating the desktop of your dreams.
What Will You Need?
There’s a lot of components that you’ll need when making a Gaming PC. And each has an important part in playing your games. Some having more importance than others on specific titles. But first, let’s talk about what they are, and what they do. Take note though that you’ll need to ensure that the parts you’re buying are compatible with each other. After all, it’s a huge hassle to have bought a $150 Processor, only to find that it doesn’t fit your motherboard.
Your central processing unit, or CPU, is often said to be the PC’s brain. It controls the tasks your PC can do at once and how fast it can finish said tasks. It’s the 2nd impactful component on your PC’s gaming performance. And is the big kahuna for content creation. Some games might need the CPU more for getting high FPS as well.
In addition to this, there are 3 things to know about the CPU. These are Clock Speed, Cores, and Threads.
Clock Speed is how fast the CPU’s processing speed is in gigahertz (GHz). Cores are assigned to various tasks in the PC’s system, but certain apps may use multiple cores at once.
Threads are used to correspond to the cores, but a lot of high-end CPU’s now have tech called “hyperthreading”. This gives a thread per core. In short, it gives you an additional virtual core for your PC’s use.
A recommendation for people who are buying components of their PC is that you must always try and purchase up-to-date CPU’s. If you’re confused about a CPU’s performance in comparison to others there are tools like UserBenchmark that allow you to check and compare them in raw performance.
As for recommended CPU brands, we’ll go for Intel and AMD. These two brands offer the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to CPU’s, Most notably the Intel i5-9600KF and the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G.
It’s quite notable that the Intel i5-9600KF is a tad expensive for a budget build. In terms of processors, this the best that Intel has to offer that combines quality and the best bang-for-your-buck choice in terms of your budget. A good, solid choice for those beginning to create their own PC’s.
Check out this processor today and get excellent performance while staying on your budget.
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
The AMD Ryzen 5 3400G is another solid choice but this isn’t a CPU, more of an Accelerated Processing Unit. It’s made for lower-end builds but can still put out when it needs to. A solid choice if for those that wish for a good quality unit that’s easy on the wallet.
Check out the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G today and get a great addition to your dream gaming PC.
Did you pick your CPU? Good. Let’s talk about your motherboard.
One of the first things you need to do is check if your desired motherboard is compatible with your other components. Wouldn’t want to buy one and then find out it ain’t fitting in your CPU when you’re making the PC. That takes a huge chunk of your funds as well. Since you’ll need to buy SAID compatible Motherboard and just storage the incompatible one. Which is a waste, right?
The motherboard contains the parts of your gaming PC. it takes the many pieces, once attached, turns them into a harmonious orchestra of virtual harmony. Great stuff.
In addition to this, the difference between low-end and high-end motherboards is on how good they are in overclocking your PC, and on what components you’ll need to overclock them in the first place. This is only if you decide to overclock your PC though.
As for brands and products, we recommend the AMD MSI B450 Gaming Plus MAX and the Gigabyte Z390 UD.
What is Overclocking?
Now you might be wondering, the hell is Overclocking and how does that relate to my PC? Well, overclocking is you increasing a PC component’s clock rate. AKA, running said part at higher speeds than what it was designed to run in. Now usually this applies to the GPU and CPU. But the other parts can also be overclocked if you so wish.
Increasing their clock rate gives it the ability to perform more operations per second. But the drawback is that they produce additional heat. And if you’ve followed the trend, additional heat equals lots of detriments. Most notably an increased chance of fire. So if you’re planning to overclock your PC, try to invest in additional cooling.
AMD MSI B450 PLUS Max
The AMD MSI B450 is a reliable motherboard that’s built to provide the same performance power as other CPUs. A great choice if you want consistent performance from your motherboard
Check out the AMD MSI B450 on Amazon and get a great motherboard for your gaming PC.
Gigabyte Z390 UD
Meanwhile, the Gigabyte Z390 UD is a great entry-level motherboard that gives a consistent performance. You can expect the motherboard to perform admirably. This product is something you would want inside your gaming PC.
Check out this motherboard now and get a consistent performing motherboard.
Graphics Card (GPU)
The graphics processing unit, also known as the GPU (Also called Graphics Card and Video Card, but you do you.) is what some may say a flashy part of your PC. It impacts gaming performance the most in many titles.
Here’s an explanation: Think on a game like Dota 2, The CPU keeps track of the many player’s actions, where they are on the in-game map, what skills they’re using, if they’re attacking anyone, even if you can’t see it due to fog of war.
The GPU takes this info, and then renders the graphics you’re seeing, at the resolution and options you’ve inputted.
Do note though that while the GPU is by far the most important part of a Gaming PC build, you’ll still need a comparable CPU for it to function. This is because if the CPU isn’t at the very least comparable to the GPU, it won’t process what’s happening in the game as fast as it should be, thus bottlenecking your GPU’s visual output. Not cool.
Due to this, as a rule of thumb for most gaming PC builders, you should always try to not spend anything less than half of your GPU budget on your CPU.
When it comes to the GPU’s though, looking at their spec sheets will usually be less than helpful.
Importance of VRAM
Clock Speed, for example, is not that indicative of overall performance in a GPU. While VRAM (Video RAM) on the other hand is a more helpful measurement. Do note that not all GPU’s are created equal. And there’s a HUGE benchmark when it comes to VRAM. As a general rule:
- 2GB VRAM: You can expect acceptable performance in 1080p games with standard-definition textures.
- 4GB VRAM: You can play 1080p titles with high-def textures, and get a decent performance in a lot of 1440p titles.
- 6GB VRAM and Higher: You can play VR Titles, 4K titles, and 1440p titles with lots of high-def textures.
Something to keep in mind though is that it’s usually recommended to look at the benchmarks for this type of thing. For instance, if you’re looking to buy an AMD Radeon RX 550, you’ll want to search “AMD Radeon RX 550 Benchmarks” or something similar on Google.
As for products, go for the AMD Radeon RX 590 XFX and the EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC Gaming.
AMD Radeon Rx 590
The AMD Radeon is great for a budget build as it gives high FPS counts while maintaining graphic fidelity. It’s an absolute workhorse of a GPU that you would want to add to your list.
Check out the AMD Radeon on Amazon and get better graphics for your gaming PC.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1660
Meanwhile, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 walks the line between 1080 to 1440p and VR gaming. Giving you the ability to play games of that quality and give the most value. The EVGA GeForce is one of the items that you should add on your how to build a gaming PC list.
Check out the EVA GeForce GTX 1660 on Amazon and enjoy the graphics of your favorite games.
Let’s talk about memory now. A PC’s memory is called RAM or Random Access Memory. In terms of how important it is on gaming performance, it’s at a solid #3. As this is tied to your CPU, it’ll directly affect its performance. More so if you’re only running a single-channel RAM. It’s typically recommended to use dual or quad-channel RAM as if you don’t your CPU speed WILL plummet, affecting gameplay.
Other than the single or dual-channel debacle, RAM speed doesn’t make that much of a difference in gaming or on common multitasking. However, RAM speed excels in productivity applications. Do note that finding your RAM speed is a wee bit complicated than just looking for its clock speed.
Another thing you should know is WHICH type of RAM you’re buying. If you’re looking to play games, go for DDR4 RAM, as DDR3 is slower, and typically will be a bit of a pain. But it’s not the most important thing about RAM.
How much RAM you’ll need
What’s important is HOW MUCH RAM you got. The more the better. As it allows your system to manage multiple applications and meeting the memory needs of the more demanding games in your library. To start, here’s how much RAM you’ll need a minimum and maximum if you’re looking to play games:
- 4GB RAM: The bare minimum. This much RAM is best for light gaming and basic tasks on your PC. Do note that this much will be overwhelmed by most recent AAA titles.
- 8GB RAM: This is the happy medium. Good for gaming and multitasking apps. Although some titles are now taking this much RAM to use.
- 16GB RAM: The best amount of RAM for at LEAST 4 years, maybe more. Also great for productivity work.
- 32GB RAM: Now you’re just showing off.
For RAM, we would recommend Kingston Hyper X Predator Black and the Corsair Dominator Platinum. These two offers the most value all while remaining available for the budget pinchers.
Hyper X Predator Black
The Hyper X Predator Black in particular is notable as it also gives you a better chance to overclock without any issues.
Check out the Hyper X Predator Black and get all the RAM your gaming PC will need.
Meanwhile, the Corsair Dominator also gives a massive overclocking potential, it’s a cool design and great RAM capacity makes it a great choice even if it’s a premium option.
Check it out on Amazon and give your gaming PC the amount of RAM it needs.
Storage… is surprisingly easy. SSDs or Solid State Drives are storage drives with no moving parts. This makes them way faster than HDDs AKA Hard Disk Drives but also costs a pretty penny per GB of planned storage.
If you want quality, get SSDs. Not only are they more durable, they’re pretty compact.
If you want quantity, on the other hand, get HDDs. They’re bigger and less durable, but cheaper.
Do note though that some sites recommend getting both if you can afford it. And we’re one of those sites.
SSDs & HDDs
SSDs with around 1 TB and higher can contain your OS, programs, and some of your favorite games, whether AAA or not. This results in a very responsive feeling system. Everything (And we mean everything, this includes your games) will load faster. In addition to this, you can even use your SSD as a cache like RAM.
HDDs on the other hand, can be used for storing stuff like videos, pictures, music, and the rest of your games. especially single-player ones where loading times don’t matter. This may result in slower loading, but there’s nothing really to it as it’s a single-player, and there’s practically no change in watching the videos, or listening to music inside the HDD.
Now we’re going to feature a double whammy and present 4 products for Storage. 2 for both HDDs and SDDs. Starting with the SSD options we got the Samsung 970 EVO SSD 500 GB and the Crucial MX500 2TB. Then our 2 recommendations for HDDs will follow.
Samsung 970 EVO
The Samsung 970 EVO offers you a good amount of storage without blowing out your budget.
Check out the Samsung 970 EVO and get a better storage option for your gaming PC.
The Crucial MX500 gives a LOT of storage and even has enough of it to be used as a RAM Cache.
Check out the Crucial MX500 today and get a reliable 1TB SSD storage.
WD Blue 500GB HDD
Going to the HDD side of things we got the WD Blue 500GB HDD and the Seagate FireCuda 1TB. The WD Blue is a reliable name in making HDD’s. Not only is it reliable though, but also very inexpensive.
Check out the WD Blue today and get 500GB of storage without spending a fortune.
The Seagate FireCuda on the other hand, is another reliable one but a bit more expensive given the 1TB memory it offers. However, that is still 1TB of memory which will allow you to save more apps and games.
Check out the Seagate FireCuda and install more games for your gaming PC.
Power Supply Unit
A straightforward thing. You don’t have this, you can’t run your PC. Do note that there are some things to consider:
Tips when buying Power Supply Units
Purchase from a reliable manufacturer: Don’t buy Power Supply Units from no-name manufacturers. These will usually sell bad PSU’s for low prices. Now, this might be tempting to you, but do note that these are the kinds of hardware that will give up on you with catastrophic results (A fried PC at best, a house fire at worst). Save yourself the hassle and just get one from proven brands like EVGA, Corsair, et cetera.
Ensure you have enough wattage for your PC: Always try to use Wattage Calculator or a similar app to determine how big your PSU needs to get. The PSU needs to be listed on a lot of GPU’s are usually inflated, but if you want to overclock your PC, it’s best to exceed the minimum for the GPU.
80 and above ratings refer to its efficiency: Higher efficiency, less power consumed. Less power consumed, the less heat emitted. NEVER buy a below 80 certifications. That way leads to your Rig on fire which is not a good idea.
Now talking about products we recommend either the Corsair CX Series 450M or the EVGA SuperNOVA 750.
Corsair CX Series
The Corsair CX Series is something you have to check out today and it’s a great quality PSU and offers good wattage.
Check out the Corsair CX Series on Amazon and get a great power supply for your gaming PC.
Meanwhile, the EVGA SuperNOVA is a power supply that is also available on Amazon right now. This power supply offers better wattage, a modular design, great efficiency and offers a pretty long warranty. It is a great option to consider when buying a power supply for your custom gaming desktop.
Check out the EVGA SuperNOVA today and get better wattage for your gaming rig.
The simplest to do, yet conversely, has a lot to consider. Firstly, choose a size that matches your motherboard’s size. Whether it be MATX, ITX, et cetera.
You’ll also need to ensure that your case of choice has ample room for your GPU. Do note that some cases (notably ITX Cases), are less likely to fit bigger graphics cards. Something to keep in mind when choosing your PC Case. In addition to this, ensure that the case also comes with support for modern features. An example of which are USB3 Headers.
As an addition to this, ensure that your case has good cooling setups. At least 2 intake fans and vents are needed for airflow and ventilation for your PC. Or else you’ll run the risk of overheating. If your setup is water-cooled, you’ll need a PC case with room for putting a radiator. This is common in ITX builds, as they don’t have that much room for bigger air coolers.
By this time you’ve got cooling and compatibility out of the way. The last of this would be up to the builder’s personal preference. We recommend the Phanteks Eclipse P400 and the Thermaltake View 71.
The Phanteks Eclipse comes in a variety of colors like black, gray, and black/red, a stylish case that belies a great interior to build your PC in, and is available right now.
Check out the Phanteks Eclipse and give your Gaming PC a sleek casing.
Meanwhile, the Thermaltake View is visually striking, with its tempered glass case allowing you to showcase your PC build in full and has great aesthetic appeal. The Thermaltake is available on Amazon and it’s a great-looking PC Case.
Check it out today and finish off your gaming PC in style.
Other Parts and Your OS
Now that you’ve wrangled what build you’re going for, let’s discuss the other important things.
Operating System (OS)
Now you can’t use your PC if it doesn’t have an operating system now, can you? If you have the dough for it, getting Windows 10 is the way to go. Though it may not be a perfect OS, earlier Windows OS is losing support. That and Windows 10 is highly customizable.
If you can’t find or afford Windows 10, you might want to use a Linux Distribution. Ubuntu or Mint is best in this regard, but it’s typically recommended to go for a Windows 10 OS.
Mouse and Keyboard
Now here’s something that people don’t know: the type of game you’re playing will directly impact which of these two you’re getting a better version of. If you’re playing games like Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Dragonest, or anything similar then it’s typically recommended to get a better keyboard. If you’re playing shooters or any game that uses the mouse more, the opposite applies. But usually, it’s a better idea to get a great set of mouse and keyboard so that you can play any game you want.
Above all else, your monitor must scale to the rest of the gaming PC’s build. It’s incredibly inefficient to use a 1080p monitor on a $1500 and above build after all. Here’s a simple benchmark:
- Any build around $500 range: 1080p 60hz
- Builds up to $800: 1080p 144hz, or 1440p 60hz
- Builds up to and above $1000: 1440p 144/240hz, or 4K 60hz
Now if you’re an overclocker, then you better be ready to buy some extra case fans. Getting good quality fans doesn’t just improve airflow and keep your hardware on acceptable temperatures, but they also reduce the noise coming from your PC. VERY useful if you’re making a silent Gaming PC.
What is a Gaming PC?
A gaming PC is a Personal Computer that’s made to run games. And if you look at games nowadays? They’re pretty beefy when it comes to graphics. All those pretty colors and photorealistic hair takes a toll on a normal PC’s hardware. So if you’re looking to play games, then you’ll need to either buy or make one of these.
What do you need to do to build a gaming PC?
Before you can build a gaming PC, let’s talk about what you need first.
Above all else, you need a budget for your Gaming PC before you can even THINK of building it. The first thing you need to ask yourself is: How much am I willing to shell out for my Gaming PC?
How Much to Spend?
A stroke of luck for most is that if you’re looking for the absolute minimum, then you don’t need to spend THAT much when it comes to buying your PC components. The minimum that you can spend to make a gaming PC is around $300. Do note that this is the entry point of making a Gaming PC and you can’t expect it to play games like Doom Eternal and Resident Evil II: Remake without making some concessions. Those concessions being on the visual or performance variety. Although, you can still play them.
Now if you’re going on the $400 to $600 price range, you’re breaking into big boy territory. This is the range in which you can expect playable framerates even with high graphics. So this is more of a sweet spot when it comes to building a Gaming PC.
By the $700 to $800 range, you can now play VR games in addition to content creation. Couple that with the ability to play AAA Games in the Highest settings and you’re pretty much good to go on your PC.
However, if you’re planning on spending $1000 upwards on your PC, you’ll start to see diminishing returns on its actual performance. Especially if you’re the type of person who overclocks his/her PC. After all, what’s the point in overclocking your PC for performance if your PC itself is already a beast performance-wise? There’s no point at the thing. No point at all.
If you’re looking for an alternative here is our guide on the best prebuilt gaming PC models right now.
Pros and Cons of Building A Gaming PC
If you’re looking to play most AAA games out there you’ll need a fast PC. A lot of gaming rigs tend to have great RAM and VRAM that allows them to play many AAA games today. In addition to this, here are some of the reasons why building a gaming PC is preferable to buying one premade:
It’s Cost Efficient
Building your PC is very cost-efficient. A good entry-level gaming PC can be built for as low as $300 to $400 if you know which parts you should get. Meanwhile, those who want a beefy PC can also get just that with a $500 to $800 budget. Long story short, you’re better off getting the various parts and building it yourself.
Having a better cooling system
Buying your PC means contenting yourself with the prebuilt cooling system installed. NOT a good idea if you’re going to use it to play games. This is because most prebuilt cooling systems in PC’s are VERY inefficient. Having a better cooling system allows your PC’s parts to last longer, thus saving you money in the long run.
Easier to upgrade
Knowing the specs and capabilities of your PC because you built it gives you the information needed for which parts you need to upgrade. Something that those with prebuilt PC’s don’t have the luxury of. In addition to that, building your PC gives you the experience to DO the upgrading yourself. Which is not only saving your time, but also the money in your wallet.
Complete Control over customization
What’s more immediate than our no.3 and possibly the most important of all is the ability to have complete leeway on how you wish to customize your PC. As the one calling the shots, you can choose the components based on how you wish your PC to operate. Want to play AAA games on Ultra graphics with butter-smooth framerates? You can make a build that confirms that. Want to have a PC geared for multiplayer titles like Counter-Strike and Dota 2? You can do that too. Want a budget build that can play the games you love? You bet your nelly you can.
As for the cons of making a Gaming Rig? Well… There’s only a few of them. And it’s basically that while you have complete control on your PC build, there’s also the chance that you’ll screw up and buy the wrong item for your build. Other than that though? There’s no actual disadvantage to making your rig.
Understanding The Game You’re Playing
One thing you need to figure out is what type of game you’re going to play on your Gaming PC. Now you might think that it’s weird to do this, but it’s pretty important. For one, no game has the same amount of hardware strain that it’ll give on your PC. And some of them can even play even on the $300 budget PC’s that we’ve discussed. An example of these games are the ones with eSports tied to them like Counter Strike Global Offensive and Dota 2. These games are made so that they can be played even on low-end gaming PC’s.
However, if you’re looking to play AAA Games with world-class, cutting-edge graphics? Well, unless you want to customize on said graphics, you might want to shell off more money and go to the $600 price range. It gives you great, immersive gameplay in high framerates, awesome graphics options, and more.
Lastly, if you see yourself turning into a pro gamer anytime soon, then this is the time to look at your Gaming PC as an investment. At this point, $1000 or more is reasonable when we’re talking about your Gaming PC rig. With an additional note for a great CPU for streaming and rendering as you’ll be doing those daily.
Speaking of games you might want to try out, here’s our article talking about the top 25 Sandbox games of all time.
Websites That Help In Building A Gaming PC
Although it’s a good idea to make your PC, the process itself is hard when you’re either doing it by yourself or doing it for the first time. So it might be a good idea to consult websites that provide an in-depth look into PC building. Here are two of the most recommended ones:
Surprisingly enough, you can learn how to build your PC on YouTube itself. There are a lot of videos that act as guides on YouTube. And you can bet good money that there are how to’s on making a Gaming PC there. If you’re looking to make a Gaming PC and don’t know what things you need to buy, we recommend watching Bermor, JayzTwoCents, Austin Evans, and other YouTube Channels. You can also use the search function to look for video guides on how to build a gaming PC.
Exactly what it says on the tin. Pcpartpicker gives you a comprehensive guide on PC builds and even helps you make your own. Alongside that, is the fact that they also feature builds from other PC Builders. Expect creative and functional builds when going on this website.