Building a gaming computer is easier than you might think. A self-assembled system is less expensive than you would buy a ready-made computer and is also tailored to your personal gaming needs, rather than being stuck with expensive specs and prices due to in-store PC assembly. Of course, you’ll need to know a few basics to build your computer, but that’s not difficult when it can result in big PC savings.
System requirements for a gaming computer
Check the system requirements of the games you plan to play. You will have to buy parts for the games with the highest system requirements. On the internet, several different configurations and their performance for games are available, and one of the things that most influences this is the video card. However, there must be a balance between it and the other components, since the best video card on the market and a computer that can’t handle the processing won’t do any good. Also, it’s no use putting specific requirements here as they change from time to time.
Where to buy a gaming computer?
Find a good store to buy your gaming computer parts. Read lots of reviews not only for the store where you want to buy your hardware, but also about the hardware itself. And forget about physical stores: although shopping at physical stores is more practical, the price of a computer on the Internet is much cheaper than a computer in a physical store.
How to choose a gaming computer motherboard?
Purchase the CPU separately from the motherboard. If you think you can upgrade the CPU in the future, the motherboard should be able to accept a faster CPU than the one you chose. Your motherboard must have multiple PCI slots for upgrading, as well as one PCI Express slot. Also make sure it has USB ports as you will need it for various devices such as modems, mouse and joystick. Also, make sure the specifications are in line with the most modern on the market. At the time of this writing, the most current version of PCI Express was 3.0 with 16X speed, DDR3 memory, USB 3.0 and, just in case the motherboard has built-in Bluetooth, 4.0. Other connections may also have modified specifications and must be verified at the time of purchase. If the new specification is very recent, the cost of the board will be higher.
Most important at this moment of choosing the motherboard is deciding whether you are going to build a computer with an AMD or an Intel processor. Historically, AMD has processors that are easier to overclock and have much cheaper prices. Intel already has a track record of better performing processors without needing to be overclocked, but at more expensive prices. Both can offer the best for your needs, but it depends on your personal taste and especially your pocket, to decide which is the best choice for you.
ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, Intel and MSI are the best motherboard brands on the market.
How to choose a computer memory for games?
Please follow the motherboard manufacturer’s instructions for purchasing RAM strictly. The manufacturer has a list of manufacturers and memories that will work on your computer, available on the motherboard manufacturer’s website. Give preference to buying pairs or kits with four memories to activate the motherboard’s dual and quad-channel, if they are present, and allow faster access to memory. Remember they have to have the same ability.
Kingston, G.Skill, Corsair, Crucial, Transcend and Patriot are all good and trustworthy brands.
How to choose a computer hard drive for gaming?
Buy the biggest and fastest hard drive you can afford. In most cases, you’ll want a 7200 RPM SATA drive at the very least. However, an SSD (Solid State Drive) can access data at a much faster speed than a normal hard disk, and despite having a higher price, the investment can be very worth it. The recommendation is to buy a smaller SSD for some games and your operating system and a larger normal hard drive to store your other files. Keep in mind that the more storage the better, as games take a lot out of a computer’s storage.
Seagate, Western Digital and Hitachi are good well-known brands in the market, with Western Digital leading in reliability at the time of this writing. As for SSDs, the dispute is between OCZ, Samsung, Corsair and Plextor.
How to choose a video card for a gaming computer?
You will at least want to get the graphics card that supports the most demanding games. The market options are nVidia GeForce and ATI Radeon. The manufacturer of the cards also influences the performance of the cards, even though nVidia and ATI indicate elements of engineering that must be present in the cards. There’s no way to tell which card is the best for you because of the specifications, since the items that make up a computer are updated more frequently. What counts is the maxim: the higher the numbers, the better. But nothing will beat a performance comparison you can find on various websites, including performance by price and overclocking capability.
Here we have a fierce fight between the brands: both manage to deliver a good performance. However, ATI manages to have lower values to nVidia, higher values and a superior performance.
How to choose a sound card for a gaming computer?
If you bought a good motherboard, the soundcard will not be needed. But if you want the best sound performance, playing 3D games, you may need a sound card that processes 3D sound. You may also need a special sound card to support other devices, such as MIDI devices, headphones, special speakers, or other input devices.
Creative Soundblaster is the absolute leader here, and while there are excellent competitors in the market, the company’s history and the quality standards it has established make it the most cost-effective in any range of audio products.
How to choose a computer case for gaming?
Select an enclosure that will house all your internal devices. Make sure your case and motherboard have the same form factor (ATX, in most cases). Pay special attention to whether or not any of your internal devices have front panels, as you will have to buy a case that can store them. Prefer cabinets that have locking systems and not screws, as it makes their manipulation much easier.
Corsair, Cooler Master, Thermaltake, Silverstone and Antec are the best. I don’t recommend any of the Brazilian brands, as they are usually copying the original designs of the foreign ones with lower quality materials.
How to choose a source for a gaming computer?
You will need a power supply of at least 750 watts. A modular power supply, which has cables that detach directly from the power supply, allows for better management of the power cables. But non-modular power supplies, which only have fixed cables, are cheaper.
Good brands are Corsair, Seasonic, Antec, OCZ and Cooler Master.
How to choose a computer’s CD, DVD and/or Blu-Ray drive for gaming?
It is simply not worth buying a physical media drive that does not read or write to Blu-Ray media, as this is the highest definition media on the market. These units also read and write to CD and DVD, making a good all-in-one kit that will meet your needs.
LG, Samsung, ASUS, Pioneer and Panasonic are the most sensible options.
How to choose a computer monitor for gaming?
Monitors for gaming computers must be LED (LCD) or Plasma with a minimum resolution of Full HD or higher. Unlike normal televisions, the higher the monitor’s refresh rate, measured in MHz, the better for the computer, which will be able to refresh the screen at the same frequency. 3D monitors add an extra thrill to any game, as opposed to the disappointment many 3D movies have caused. You can also, instead of buying a monitor, buy a television with an HDMI input and use it as a computer monitor, as long as you are aware that a larger monitor also uses more electricity.
Samsung, LG or Panasonic (monitor/Plasma TVs only) are the brand options you should look for.
How to choose a computer mouse, keyboard and joystick for gaming?
Wireless mouse and keyboard are practical, but the response time for every command given to the computer can result in precious milliseconds lost in gaming. So if you don’t want practicality but performance, look for a wired mouse and keyboard. As for the keyboard keys, prefer brands that have more mechanical and easy-to-clean models. There are good models from many different brands, so you only need to check the DPI (mouse accuracy: the bigger the more accurate) and mouse and keyboard weight/ergonomy for your hands.
If you want a controller, the XBox 360 controller has a computer version, wired or wireless. As for steering wheels and joysticks, Logitech has the best options.
How to choose a gaming computer cooling system?
Whether using fans or a water-cooling kit, you’ll need to cool your computer’s parts well so that it doesn’t suffer damage.
Corsair has great kits already prepared for processors. If you also want to cool your video cards, compare some on the market, since the best brands tend to vary a lot from series to series.
How to build a gaming computer?
Assemble your gaming computer using extreme caution. Start with installing the CPU, heatsink, cooling and motherboard RAM. Then install the power supply in the case. Install the motherboard and connect it to the power source. Install front devices and boards in place. Then install the hard drive, CD-ROM/DVD/Blu-Ray. Connect peripheral devices only after all internal parts are fully installed. Power on your computer for operating system installation and BIOS hardware setup.
Consult manuals throughout the build process for specific instructions on how to connect components. Always ground yourself on an unpainted part of the computer chassis, or wear an antistatic wrist strap, before installing any computer components.
Hold all boards and circuits by the edges and be careful not to touch any metal on the cards.
Prevent screws or screwdrivers from coming into contact with any component of the computer.
Keep magnetic devices away from computer components.
Work at a table on an uncarpeted surface.
Use genuine software. Windows is the best option for games, but it is possible that you can also get good games with the Linux system, if that is your preference.