Building a PC can be daunting. Where do you start? How much money should you spend? Are different parts better for certain builds? The list of questions is endless — but knowing where to start is half the battle.
1. The Starting Point: Choosing the right CPU
When you get into the nitty-gritty of building your own gaming rig, it’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole of options. When it’s all said and done, investing in the right CPU is what pulls your entire build together. A CPU is like the drill sergeant of your computer; it carries out the instructions of a computer program.
2. Motherboard or bust
When building your own gaming PC, selecting a motherboard is a critical decision. It houses the most important parts of your PC, such as the graphics card, CPU, and every other component your computer needs to be functional. If your motherboard dies, your PC is out of commission until it’s fixed or replaced. When you’re building a PC designed to support your gaming habits, the reliability of your motherboard matters. Gamers push the limits when it comes to the capabilities of a PC, so you’ll want a motherboard that stands up to the test.
3. DRAM is not ‘one size fits all’
In my opinion, you really can’t get anywhere without solid memory performance. It’s what gives your PC the speed to win. Memory features should be unique to your personal gaming needs. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a budding esports pro, there’s a variety of memory modules available to boost your speed. Think of it like preparing a meal in the kitchen: a home cook doesn’t need professional cookware to meet their needs, whereas a Master Chef dishing out Michelin-star food, will definitely require the professional-grade equipment.
4. A solid graphics card
Without a graphics card, your gaming rig is essentially lifeless. Choosing a good graphics card will be one of the most important components of your build and it’s imperative to keep future PC expansion in mind. If you are a gamer that plans to have multiple graphic cards in the future, make sure you have a case, motherboard, and power supply that will support multiple video cards down the road.
5. Why you should invest in an SSD
From vacation photos slowing down your performance, to an older system struggling to boot up thanks to an outdated hard drive, investing in a solid state drive solves dozens of computer-related issues0. It’s the most substantial upgrade you can invest in to keep your system running at top speed. This makes an SSD is an essential building block for any gamer looking to build their own rig.
6. Choose a quality power supply unit
When choosing a power supply unit (PSU), remember the golden rule: quality over anything else! You don’t want to cut corners on your PSU purchase, as it’s what drives all the hardware in your build. Opting to settle for the pre-bundled option that came with your case can do more harm than good. Yesm pre-bundled options are often cheaper, but they’ve been known to burn out pricier components you’ve bought for your build, like the motherboard. The benefits of choosing a more expensive, better quality PSU far outweigh the additional cost, so choose one with a decent warranty and you’ll be set.
7. Choose a case that fits your unique build
It sounds simple enough, but you need to make sure the case you choose fits the components you’ve purchased. For example, if you purchase a mini ITX case meant for a media center, it may not fit a high-end video card or a big power supply. Even worse, it may not have the right screw holes for your motherboard. It’s easy to overlook these details when you’re buying equipment from different vendors and websites, but ultimately the case you select has to fit the components you’ve chosen for your build or you’re back to square one.