Finding the components of a good gaming computer may seem an easy task to some, but there aren’t too many that understand what you should actually look for and well how to look for it. I’m going to go through some tips and tricks to find the best components for your PC.
There are 6 key components that you have to search for:
- GFX Card
- Hard Drive
- Power Supply
Then of course you have all the accessories which I will touch upon including the case, mouse, keyboard & headset.
Motherboard & Processor
You can buy these separately or together but I tend when searching to buy them together just because it’s easier to do as you don’t have to glue the processor in place. When searching for a Motherboard / Processor you can often find good bundles at a low price but for the sake of this I’m going to split them to define what you need to look out for.
Motherboard – The most important part of your motherboard is making sure it is compatible with the processor you are planning to buy. You also want to make sure that you have HDMI, a lot of space for RAM DDR4 (more slots the better) and space for a large graphics card with good support. There isn’t really too much to motherboards it’s pretty self-explanatory, just make sure you don’t skimp out on it and you’ll be fine! Also make sure that it has enough USB slots and audio jack connections for your gear.
Processor – You have two choices, AMD & Intel, personally I prefer AMD for gaming as opposed to Intel but they both have their perks but I’m not going to get into that as that’s a whole topic in itself. The best way to define the processor you want to buy is compare your opinions against each other you also need to keep in mind that some i5’s are better than i7’s (confusing I know). The way in which to compare is use the CPUBoss website it gives a breakdown of all the core performances which is perfect, for gaming you need to ensure you have a high Performance from all the cores – integrated graphics doesn’t matter; you need to buy a GFX card regardless.
Getting the best price just takes a lot of searching, for processors you can use your basic Ebuyer, Amazon, Dabs, Best Buy and Google Shopping to provide you with the best prices, just do your research!
RAM you need to ensure that firstly you get the right DDR which your motherboard is compatible with, DDR3 is most likely but currently the most up to date systems are on DDR4. In order to get the best RAM you need to look at the MHz, the higher the better. Typically my preferred RAM is the Corsair Vengeance 2400MHZ, but you can go for something a little more budget if required just make sure it is compatible with your motherboard and is 1600MHz + preferably.
Currently what I operate with is a primary SSD which is only 256gb as my primary drive with a 1TB hard drive. The reason for this is decent SSD’s with a large amount of memory are expensive and unnecessary, all you need on your SSD is your operating system and your games to ensure that they launch quicker, the rest of your files such as music, documents etc can all go on your secondary hard drive.
The most important thing to look at when you’re buying an SSD is the read and write speed, you want to ensure that you get as high as possible for the price you are paying. One of the best ones currently available is the Samsung 850 PRO 256gb, and I definitely suggest this to anyone, its amazing!
GFX cards are extremely important when it comes to building your PC, as your planning on building a gaming rig you need to ensure the majority of your money goes into your GFX card. The perfect site I’ve found for showing high end graphics card ratings is the videocardbenchmark.net, the best thing to do is work your way down the list researching the prices of each of the graphics cards and getting the highest but most affordable option (don’t trust the prices on that site, there not updated regularly!) .
You’ve also got to ensure that your case has space for the GFX card and that your power supply can support it as well as your motherboard. Everything revolves around the GFX card, you need to buy everything else to support this component.
The power supply is important as you have to get a supply that is efficient enough to power your PC and predominately your GFX card, yet it can save you money in the long run if you dish out more for a decent power supply. In order to save the most money you need to go for the most efficient power supply, each power supply is given a standard rating Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, you also want to look for a label that says 80 PLUS. Ideally the least you should go for is Gold 80 PLUS if possible.
Making Sure Everything Is Compatible
Before you buy everything make sure that it’s all compatible! One of the most important steps is to ensure that every component works with one another; obviously, as you don’t want to have to return or sell products that you’ve bought. The best way in which to do this is use the PC Part Picker a fantastic tool that will tell you for each individual piece if it is compatible.
I’m only going to touch upon this as most people know of good brands for accessories and it could potentially be its own post in the future. All I’m going to mention is some top brands and gear for a mouse, keyboard, headset and PC case.
Mouse – I actually prefer old gaming mice like the current Logitech G500 I have due to it having a nice weight cartridge and DPI settings, but it depends on your preference and what you are using it for. Ideally the two brands you want to stick around are Razer & Mad Catz at the moment.
Keyboard – Again is completely up to you, Razor do some nice keyboards same as Corsair & Asus, but you need to determine the set up that you like and if you prefer a mechanical keyboard or not. I currently don’t have a mechanical keyboard, but they are far better and are generally worth the money in my opinion.
Headset – Corsair, Steel Series, Tritons, there are loads of brands out there. You want to look at the surround sound system they are offering but unfortunately with headsets is typically the more you pay the better you get, there’s no real getting around this.
PC Cases – This is something that bugs me, never buy a PC case with all the bells and whistles generally speaking if it has a load of flashy lights and pointless features it’s a crap case that’s just for show. You need a spacious case with great aspects of ventilation, the more space the better to fit your GFX card in and potentially a large power supply. Don’t go for looks when it comes to a case, too many people fall into that trap, go for something that does the job.