There comes a point when building your custom gaming PC will cross your mind if you’re serious about gaming. But immediately, there are all sorts of questions that need to be answered first. How much money is reasonable to spend on it? Which parts should be prioritized and how to pick them? With all the hardware you could get your hands on in this day and age, the decision may not be the easiest one to make. So before you jump into it, here are 10 considerations to make:
1. Choose the right graphics card
A good graphics card is the life and blood of your gaming rig. Take your time when choosing it; also, make a decision whether you’re going to install multiple graphics cards in the future. Bear in mind the decision is a bit more complex than it sounds – not all motherboards support running multiple graphics cards at the same time.
Also, doing so requires a specialized power supply that can take it. In terms of brands, both AMD and Nvidia are quite solid choices in their own respect. With regards to choosing a specific model, however, reading reviews before you buy is the recommended course of action. Also, know that not all graphics cards you can purchase are suitable for running every gaming title out there, so make sure to do your due diligence before proceeding.
2. Don’t skimp on your power supply unit
While the notion of skimping on your power supply unit may seem appealing to you at first, do know it’s never worth the drawbacks. As a general rule of thumb, quality should be the first priority when selecting one of these; everything else comes second. After all, this is what your hardware is powered by. Going for the pre-bundled option will do you more harm than good.
There is another reason why you shouldn’t buy the cheapest power supply unit you can find – warranty. In other words, if anything goes amiss, they’ll give you a new one at no additional charge. Before making the final buying decision, calculating how much power your machine needs to operate is a good idea.
3. Give your hard drive’s capacity a boost by installing an SSD
The old school hard drives are a major contributing factor to why your operating system is taking so long to boot up. Their modern SSD counterparts, however, are an effective solution to the problem, since the writing times are so much faster. Without a shred of doubt, investing in an SSD will speed up your system quite unlike anything else. The gamer crowd depends on the hardware speed, so if you’re a gamer, this should be somewhere around the top of your priority list.
Again, reading user reviews will allow you to pick an SSD that will hold up to your expectations – and then some. Still, merely installing an SSD won’t be enough; you’ll also need to learn how to use it effectively. One of the most important concepts to follow is installing the games on the SSD drive – that way, you can expect to see some improved performance.
4. Learn how to pick the right DRAM
As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to picking the right DRAM, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Still, memory is an important piece of hardware and you should aim for high capacity. This is what’s going to make your PC reach the speed of light. Simply put, picking a healthy reserve of memory will ensure that you’re going to have a strong enough machine to run pretty much every gaming title you can think of.
Even when it comes to using your PC for doing casual tasks such as browsing the internet, having a healthy memory reserve will allow you to have almost an unlimited amount of tabs open without crashing your browser or slowing it down. Gamers have their own preferences, so research what others are buying, see what’s selling best, and follow in the footsteps of what you’ve deduced.
5. Scour the marketplace for a great CPU
As with every other component, the CPU you choose plays a vital role in how fast your PC will operate. A CPU’s role is to carry out the tasks and process the data. Getting a strong unit will ensure that your PC can handle every task that gets thrown its way.
When it comes to the best brands, it’s hard to give advice that doesn’t seem biased, especially since things tend to change every couple of years. But as of right now, Intel and AMD are both solid choices that won’t leave you disappointed. As you’ve probably guessed, both of these cater to the needs of modern gamers. Even if you’re on a tight budget, both of these companies offer a product to accommodate it.
6. Know that the motherboard is the central unit of your PC
No matter what you’re going to be using your PC for, choosing a suitable motherboard is of crucial importance when it comes to upgrading it in the future. As you’re probably well familiar with yourself, gamers have a need to upgrade their PC quite often, so picking a versatile and modern motherboard that can handle it is of the utmost importance.
In essence, the motherboard is the central unit that houses every other piece of hardware that’s connected to your PC. If it stops working, your machine is out of commission until you find a suitable replacement. But how to choose one that’s going to stand the test of time? Well, apart from making sure it’s a modern model, you also need to make sure that it has enough slots to connect additional components to. Also, check that the wattage of your CPU is compatible with the motherboard you’ve laid your eyes on before purchasing.
7. Realize that cooling is instrumental to the lifespan of your machine
Did you know that cooling is one of the most essential factors that determine the lifespan of your PC? Whether you choose to cool your machine with water or air, there are a couple of things to know beforehand. For example, the air coolers get the job done on the cheap. However, they tend to produce quite a lot of noise. Water-based cooling systems run slower, but they make much less noise in comparison. On the flipside, it’s going to cost you more.
Whatever you choose, both of these options are solid – it simply comes down to what you prefer. Users with fairly basic needs will probably be more than content with air coolers. Power gamers who have the need to overlock their machines will enjoy the water-based cooling systems to keep their hardware cool.
8. The monitor you choose is the heart of your display
To truly bring out the most of what the modern technology can offer, getting a good monitor is a must. HD is the golden standard (you can also go a step higher and shoot for 4K), but there’s no need to break the bank to get something awesome. If you’re a hardcore Photoshop user, don’t forget that color calibration is an important factor in your decision.
Go for the high-end monitors and you’ll find that these tend to have better color consistency. 4K monitors may be expensive, but they’re well worth it in the long run.
9. Aesthetics will make you proud
Like it or not, building your own PC has an emotional component to it. Making it so that it’s as visually pleasing as possible will make you proud that what you’ve put together will remain at your side until it’s time to upgrade it once again. But don’t get too hung up on the visual aspect of your PC either; you should also make sure that it actually fits in the room you’re going to be using it the most.
Make no mistake – some smaller PCs are not to be underestimated when it comes to raw power. The hardware industry has come a long way, and the size is not the only thing that determines it. Smaller cases will probably limit you in terms of future upgrades, but if you’re looking for something more portable to bring with you to a gaming tournament, for example, the payoff may be worth it indeed.
10. Should you build it yourself or let the professionals handle it?
In case you’re not too tech-savvy, letting the professionals build your gaming rig might be a better idea than going at it all alone. You can read more about it yourself, but in essence, it works like this:
First, the professionals ask you about your budget, what you’re going to be using the PC for, and a couple of other details. Then, based on the answers you give them, they are willing to build your dream machine that will impress your fellow gamers and keep you motivated to keep playing and take your skills to the next level.
Building a custom gaming PC is the next logical step for those who are committed to become pro gamers or at least as close to it as possible. It’ll make you better at games and merely looking at it should be enough to get you overwhelmed with feelings of enjoyment and pride. Are you a proud owner of one of these already? If not, what are you waiting for?