It may seem overwhelming to research all the components required to construct a gaming PC, but there isn't much to learn. And constructing a gaming PC should be rather easy once you are aware of which hardware components are necessary.
Importantly, building one yourself should work out cheaper than buying a prebuilt gaming PC and will allow you to customize your setup exactly how you want it. Plus, you’ll get to learn a lot about your computer and how to maintain it and upgrade it in the future.
But knowing the names of every component you will want is only half the battle; you also need to comprehend what each component does and how it interacts with other components. Learning this will provide you with the information you need to get the best hardware and assure you that you are capable of handling any issues that may arise in the future with your computer.
PC Parts Compatibility
Before talking about the components required to build a gaming PC, it is crucial to consider compatibility. If you don't make sure that all of the components are compatible with one another, you can end up creating a computer that doesn't function because many components can only be used with specific kinds of other components.
Fortunately, there are ways to determine how well-matched the components of your gaming PC are. The names of compatible motherboard chipsets can be found on the manufacturer's website. For instance, if you know you want an Intel Core i5-12600K CPU, you can look it up in the CPU's 'Compatible Products' section on Intel's website.
- Here are the essential parts for building a gaming PC:
- Central Processing Unit (CPU)
- Random Access Memory (RAM)
- Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or Solid-State Drive (SSD)
- Graphics Card
- Power Supply Unit (PSU)
The only time you might omit one of them is if you're building a super-cheap gaming computer, in which case you might choose a CPU with integrated graphics rather than spending the extra money on a separate graphics card.
The motherboard is the circuit board that connects to the rest of the list of computer parts to allow them to communicate. A motherboard should be examined primarily for three things: voltage management, compatibility, and expansion potential.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The CPU, which processes and computes all the instructions supplied to it by a program, is frequently referred to as the "brain" of the computer. Consider the CPU as the "computer" itself and the other components as tools that the CPU assigns various duties to function more effectively.
The majority of midrange, four- or six-core current-generation CPUs are sufficient for gaming today; you frequently don't need one of the top gaming CPUs. However, it's worthwhile to choose something high-end if you want to use apps that demand more processing power.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
RAM acts as the short-term memory of your computer, providing instructions for the CPU to process. It also keeps the most crucial information that the CPU will occasionally need to rely on while it executes programs.
Because the CPU relies on RAM to provide instructions and data, you need RAM that can supply the CPU with this information as quickly as the CPU can process it if you want your computer to run as quickly as possible. Additionally, it must have the storage space that your CPU might require.
For gaming today, two 8GB RAM sticks operating in twin channels on the motherboard are typically more than adequate. Performance should also be improved by the RAM's speed (faster is better) and latency timings (lower is better).
Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or Solid-State Drive (SSD)
Mass storage devices like HDDs and SSDs serve as your computer's long-term memory. The operating system, files, folders, and programs that are stored on them continue to exist after the system has been shut off. They load information and software instructions into RAM, which subsequently transfers it to your CPU for processing.
If you need a lot of inexpensive storage, HDDs are an excellent option, but SSDs are significantly faster. The fastest SSDs are NVMe SSDs, which transport data on compatible motherboards following the NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) protocol. They are the ideal option for a gaming setup because they are not too pricey any longer.
If you can afford it, a 1TB NVMe SSD should provide you with adequate storage space for a large number of games and files, as well as enough speed to enable quick Windows startup, file access and transfer, and game loading.
Just be sure to verify that your motherboard supports the PCIe generation listed for your chosen SSD as well as NVMe SSDs.
Since the graphics card has numerous "shade cores" that work on geometrical and other similar computations for rendering, it renders in-game graphics more effectively than the CPU. Getting one of the top graphics cards should give you the biggest speed gain for gaming, even though the CPU is still the most crucial part of any PC after you've got a midrange (or better) CPU.
Checking internet reviews and benchmark comparisons is the most effective technique to decide which graphics card to purchase given your budget. There are more factors to take into account, such as the fact that NVIDIA cards from the 20-series and 30-series provide hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing technology.
Compatibility shouldn't often be an issue since any motherboard with a PCIe slot should support any graphics card. If your graphics card supports PCIe, you should strive to pick a current motherboard that can provide some of the fastest PCIe transfer speeds available.
Finally, if you're aiming to design a cheap system, you can decide to forgo a standalone graphics card in favor of a CPU with an integrated GPU. However, some of them will be able to run current games at 1080p on low or medium settings at playable frame rates. These systems won't be able to run games as well as ones with dedicated graphics.
Power Supply Unit
The PSU transforms AC power from an outlet into DC electricity that your computer may use. There are three primary factors to take into account when choosing a power supply: whether it is modular or non-modular, how many watts it has, and its efficiency rating.
A modular power supply (PSU) allows you to attach or unplug wires from it as needed, making cable management simpler. Additionally, while non-modular power supplies may have marginally better power conversion efficiency, the difference is typically quite marginal.
Each power supply has a maximum wattage rating, and this must be sufficient to power all of your components. You should total up the maximum wattages of all your components to get the PSU wattage you need, and then check to see if the PSU can output a little bit more than this. A 750W PSU with a high-efficiency rating ought to be adequate in the majority of systems.
The '80 PLUS' efficiency rating of a PSU indicates how well it converts AC power to DC power. It is possible that, for instance, a 750W PSU will only provide your system with 650W because the lower the rating, the less power will be translated from the outlet to power your system. It is best to choose a PSU with a "Gold" rating or higher because these are estimated to be at least 90% efficient under all load levels.
All of the aforementioned hardware is stored in the computer case. Cases exist in a wide variety of sizes and forms, but for an ATX setup, you'll typically want a full or mid tower.
You should evaluate whether your other stuff will fit in addition to making sure the case can support the type of motherboard you have. You should determine whether it is large enough to accommodate your graphics card and CPU cooling, for instance.
The majority of other factors are convenience-related. More expensive gaming PC cases frequently provide you with simpler cable management options and more room to add additional case fans. For your PSU, they may also have a shroud to keep it isolated from the rest of your system.
The monitor is the screen that your computer uses to display everything. Having a powerful gaming rig is useless if you're using a screen that is too old to demonstrate the capabilities of your setup.
Which monitor you should choose relies on several factors, the most important of which is obviously how powerful your PC is. You can think about a 1440p or even 4K resolution monitor if your gaming PC can run games smoothly at high resolutions. Additionally, you should think about a monitor with a high refresh rate if you enjoy playing against others.
Depending on whether you play casually or competitively, most gamers with a midrange or high-end system will likely want to choose a 27-inch monitor with 1440p resolution or a 24-inch monitor with 1080p resolution and a high refresh rate. But a lot depends on your game requirements.
Additionally, you should think about investing in a G-Sync or FreeSync monitor because they are now reasonably priced and should effectively stop screen tearing in games with a little performance impact.
Similar to gaming mice, the kind of games you intend to play will have a big impact on the gaming keyboard you should purchase. In contrast to gaming mice, there aren't quite as many variations to take into account:
Mechanical vs. Membrane
Membrane keyboards have a thin membrane that converts your keystrokes to an under layer conductive circuit. Some claim they are quieter and "mushier" feeling. Additionally, membrane keyboards only allow you to register one key press at a time, which might lead to mistakes. Under each key on a mechanical keyboard are mechanical switches, which tend to be more dependable (and more expensive) and give the keyboard a "clicky" feel. If changing out keycaps is your thing, they are highly accurate and customizable.
You might wish to look for keyboards with lots of macro keys for binding actions if you play RPGs or MMOs. Most RPG keyboards include six to twelve macro keys. Make sure you have enough workspace to accommodate your choice of keyboard by keeping in mind that the more keys you have, the bigger the keyboard will be!
You might want a keyboard that matches if you selected PC components with eye-catching RGB lighting or a specific color scheme for your computer's internals. The lighting isn't functional, and adding RGB lighting will raise the cost. If being flamboyant isn't your thing, this can be an excellent place to cut costs.
Building a gaming PC has the advantage that you can always update individual components or add RAM sticks or SSDs as needed or as your budget allows. This amount of personalization is not possible with a conventional gaming console. We hope your build goes well and works the first time. Happy gaming!