A Gaming Computer, also known as a gaming PC, is a personal computer capable of playing computationally and graphically demanding video games. They are very similar to conventional computers, except that these machines are fitted with performance-oriented video cards and other specifications. This type of computer can be easily bought in the market but at a much higher price than conventional computers. Since most gamers are both cost and performance-conscious, they opt to build their own gaming computer rather than buy a built-in gaming computer.
Building your own custom gaming computer means you buy all your computer components separately and piece them together to guild your gaming PC. With this method, you can achieve a fast and cost-effective gaming computer suited to your own gaming needs. Besides saving a lot of money and having an efficient machine, building your own gaming computer can also be a lot of fun.
How to choose your components?
Perhaps the biggest challenge one can face when building their own gaming computer is choosing the right components for your needs. So without further ado, here is a simple guide to help you build your own gaming computer.
1. Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is one of all computer systems’ most important core components. The CPU is a portion of the system that carries out the instructions of a computer program. In simple terms, it could describe as the brains of the computer. The performance of your games and other applications will depend on this microprocessor.
Choosing the best Central Processing Unit (CPU) for your gaming computer can be a hard decision to make. Picking the latest, fastest, or most expensive processor on the market won’t always result in the right CPU for your particular system. Some processors are designed to work with specific motherboards. Thus the CPU type limits the motherboard type you can use.
For a gaming computer, you will really need a powerful CPU for it to performing superbly. Luckily these CPUs are supplied by Intel and AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) at an affordable price. Intel has the Core i7 and Core i5 processor models. Currently, these models are the most popular ones used for gaming purposes, which are mostly recommended for gaming computers.
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AMD, on the other hand, has the Athlon and Phenom series. If you want to go AMD, you can try the most recommended Phenom X4 series.
The motherboard is the hub of the computer system. It is where all other components are connected to. If we consider the CPU as the brain of the computer system, then the motherboard is the central nervous system. Thus buying the best motherboard is a good investment. After choosing your CPU, next, you need to consider choosing your motherboard for your gaming computer. When selecting a motherboard, you should remember three things.
First, a motherboard will generally support one type of processor only. Different CPUs have different connectors that physically vary with one another; make sure that your CPU plug is suitable for your motherboard connector.
Second, motherboards have a certain speed limitation depending on the processor model. The maximum processor speed allowed by the motherboard will be quoted in the motherboard specifications. Before buying, check whether your selected motherboard can support your chosen CPU.
Third, motherboards are the ones that can dictate the type and amount of RAM you can have. You would want to have either DDR SDRAM or RDRAM is a gaming computer, at least 1G worth. So ensure that your motherboard can support this type and amount of memory. Here are some examples of well-known motherboards manufacturers where you can browse for your perfect gaming motherboard: ASUS, ABIT, MSI, XFX, EVGA, Intel, and Gigabyte.
3. Hard Drive
The hard drive is the computer component responsible for storing your files and programs. When buying a hard drive for your gaming computer, consider these three main features: speed, size, and interface type. [Speed] Basically, the faster the hard drive spins, the faster you can access and transfer your data. Currently, the best hard drives in the market can have a speed of around 7200rpm (rounds per minute). In a gaming computer, you don’t want anything less than this; else, it will cause delays between reading and writing data.
Faster hard drives that reach speeds of 10,000rpm and 15,000rpm are available in the market at a higher price. For your gaming computer, a 7200rpm hard drive is already enough, but if you can shell out more money, you can opt for these faster hard drives. [Size] Hard drives come in different sizes, ranging from 80GB to 500GB and more. It is always recommended that you purchase the largest hard drive you can afford for your gaming computer. This will allow you to store lots and lots of software and data (including games).
[Interface] The hard drive interface is responsible for managing the exchange of data between a computer and the hard drive. Currently, the most commonly used hard drive interface used today is Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA), which comes in two forms, the original Parallel ATA (PATA) and the newer and faster Serial ATA (SATA). There’s also the expensive Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) used primarily for high-end workstation computers. For your gaming computer, it is sufficient enough to have SATA if your motherboard can support it.
4. Video Card
Choosing the right video card supported by both your CPU and motherboard is a critical and tough decision. The gaming video card you choose will produce the dazzling 3D graphics and effects seen in the latest computer games. A better graphics card can deliver a better 3D gaming experience, so your gaming computer should buy the best and affordable video card. For your gaming computer, it is recommended that you use a graphics card connected through a PCI Express slot on your motherboard. The graphic processing unit (GPU) can be connected to your motherboard through AGP or PCI Express slot.
The speed and efficiency of the GPU should not be the only thing that counts when buying your video card. It would help if you also considered the advanced 3D rendering effects such as anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, bump-mapping, pixel shaders, and much more. For your gaming computer, consider a video card that can support such latest 3D rendering techniques in the software world. Like the CPU market, two primary competing companies currently dominate the graphic card. These companies are ATI and Nvidia. ATI is responsible for the Radeon series, while Nvidia is marketing the GeForce line of cards.
5. Power Supply
One of the vital and overlooked components of the computer system is the power supply. Without a power supply, the computer will not be able to operate its functions. Its main purpose is to convert AC power from the mainline to usable low-voltage DC power for the computer’s internal components. The power supply gives out three different DC voltages to your computer 12VDC, 5VDC, and 3VDC, which are used differently by computer components.
Each power supply has a certain amount of energy or wattage based on its maximum output power. Wattages commonly range from 300W to 500W, but some high-end gaming power supplies can reach 800W to 1kW. If you want to use a power supply for your gaming computer, it is recommended to have at least a power supply ranging from 500W and above.
6. Gaming Monitor
One of the most expensive components in your gaming computer would be the computer monitor. When buying a gaming computer monitor, you only need to consider three things: size, native resolution, and price.