Building a gaming PC is a task that is exciting and enjoyable from start to finish. However, for those attempting their first PC build, it can seem daunting. Beginners often have no idea where to begin. So, here are some tips to help those who are putting together their first gaming PC, as well as for the more seasoned builders who may occasionally find themselves pondering on one aspect of the process or another.
1- Pick what kind of games you want to play
A good way to decide your budget is to first look at the kind of games you’ll be playing. Carefully sift through the requirements and recommendations that come with your favorite games to get an idea of what kind of hardware you may need to run them.
A clear idea of what you need will tell you how much you may have to spend. Some games will only require an entry-level system, while the playable framerates in the more innovative ones can ask for a more well-equipped system.
Another thing to factor in at this point is whether you can leverage your current monitor to play games at the level you want; if not you would have to consider adding a monitor to your shopping list.
2- Decide your budget
Before you actually do anything, you must decide how much you are willing to spend on the build. You already have an idea of what equipment is required based on the games you want to play, now is the time to narrow down on equipment choice from a price viewpoint. This is a major factor leading to the right decision. Poor planning at this stage often leads to systems that do not meet your requirements, or simply end up costing you way too much.
You can check for available equipment and prices on Amazon as well as other credible sites. A stable and fast internet connection will come handy as you explore your options. So, if you are without access to seamless connectivity, you must check out offerings from Spectrum Internet. To make things expedient you can get Spectrum Internet Service and access details conveniently.
Remember, a beginner-level system can cost you $300 or above, while a budget of up to $800 can, in fact, set you up with the perfect PC able to run all the modern game titles, as well as let you explore VR’s role in gaming.
3- Looks or Performance?
This usually applies if you have a small or mid-sized budget. If you can afford to spend $1000 or more on building your gaming PC, this consideration isn’t for you. However, for those who don’t have a ton of money to put into their machines, it is an important decision.
A big part of gaming, for most, is looking like a gamer. Decide early on what is more important to you – a flashy system with RGB lighting that attracts your neighbors’ attention at night, or a simple-looking one that may not look attractive but does push performance to the maximum. Everyone strikes their own personal balance between performance and flash, just make sure you take a little bit of both.
4- DIY or pre-built?
While shopping for a system, you may find sellers who offer pre-built systems. The advantage of getting these systems is you often get store warranty and the machines have had their components tested so problems are less likely. However, these machines are always more expensive than the parts that make them up; after all it is not just the parts but the cost of assembling too that you incur. You could always buy parts yourself and build a system to your pre-determined specifications.
Ultimately, it depends on what you prefer, the convenience of a pre-built system or the cost-effectiveness and customizability that comes with building your own.
5- Shop at trusted websites
This is a pretty intuitive tip, nevertheless, important to reiterate. Often people end up on shady sites with poor reviews just to find a good deal. More often than not, people do have preferred marketplaces, but if you don’t, you must take advice from people who have the experience and whose word you trust. Remember, every deal is a bad deal if you do not get what you need.
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6- Used or New?
Buying used hardware is always cheaper than opting for new, especially when it comes to high-value items such as Graphics Cards and processors. Some people are skeptical about buying used hardware due to lack of a warranty and the frequent scams that unfortunately are part and parcel of the trade.
Often, you’ll find online deals for dirt-cheap hardware, as incredible as $100 for an i9-9900K processor. From experience, one can safely assume such cases either involve false advertising or fake hardware. So avoid getting enticed by deals that sound too good to be true, because the product on offer is often not what the seller claims.
If you’re not technically inclined or simply not confident about your ability to examine and evaluate used hardware, we will advise you to go for new. If however, you do have the necessary knowledge, we will add that carefully selected used hardware can, in fact, set you up with a performance similar to what a system with all new parts would deliver – and all at about half the cost.
7- Focus on the essentials
While shopping for parts, remember to prioritize right and focus on getting the components that bear a significant impact on optimizing performance levels. That means you must focus on getting the right Graphics Card or GPU, an efficient processor i.e. CPU, and a hard drive or SSD that is able to store your OS, programs and all-time gaming favorites. Ideally speaking, you must not scrunch your budget for the CPU to any more than half of what you invest in the GPU. That will ensure your system does not turn snail-slow when it comes to games that like to make the CPU work hard.
As for other components such as the PC case and the cooling set up, these are important, nonetheless, items that you can somewhat cut corners on – not that such parts don’t impact the performance, just not as directly and as significantly.
8- Make sure it all fits
While you may have managed to get your hands on a GeForce RTX 2080 Super, it would prove worthless if not compatible with other components you have picked. So, make sure all your parts are compatible with each other, especially the motherboard which forms the core of your system. A good way to see if various parts you have narrowed down to are compatible is to go online and search for builds that use the same parts. Try and find videos that use your chosen hardware or something close so that you can discern more accurately.
9- Tune your hardware
Manufacturers often don’t push their hardware to its maximum capacity for stability reasons, however, there is always room to push the performance to enhanced levels, that is if you know-how. The most common way to get more out of your rig is to overclock the CPU and GPU. This can be done easily through one of the numerous free overclocking software available, such as MSI Afterburner or Intel XTU. Overclocking the hardware successfully can furnish an output that is on average 10% more enhanced.
One last thing. Remember to have fun while you build your system – that is a must as you experience building a new gaming PC. Whether it’s your first build or you’ve built multiple systems, there’s always something unique to learn from each exercise.