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HOW TO DESIGN A CUSTOM BUILT GAMING PC
A custom-built Gaming PC Rig is the best way to get exactly what you want. You have total control on all the components and you will be able to play the games you want, at the frame rates you want, without sacrificing the performance.
Building your own PC is not as difficult, not only it is enjoyable it also provides an upgradeable platform to technology changes as your gaming environment evolves.
Buying a custom built gaming PC isn't difficult, but it does can get a bit overwhelming at times. That's why we've put together this comprehensive step-by-step guide to purchase your Gaming PC.
WORK OUT YOUR BUDGET & GAMING NEEDS
Before buying your Gaming Computer, we recommend working out a budget that you would be comfortable with and the games you would like to play.
An entry-level cheap gaming computer might be a good start but it wouldn’t be suited for more cutting-edge modern games.
For playable frame rates you may need to spend and look at a middle level range from $1250 to $2000. These will be well equipped for most modern games with some VR gaming and content creation abilities.
Machines over $2000 will give you the extra performance, video rendering & streaming abilities along with enhanced VR experience. Liquid Cooling solutions are highly recommended for these ultimate extreme gaming rigs.
COMPONENTS OF A GAMING PC
When investing in a custom built PC, you have 2 options. You can thoroughly research each individual component on your own and create a custom build from scratch, or you can find a pre-made build online and adjust it to suit your specific budget and needs. When choosing parts for your PC, there’s a lot more to take into consideration than just price and popularity. Here are the components you’ll need to build a Gaming PC:
Pro-tip: If you're building this PC because you want to play a certain game, check that game's recommended system requirements and plan accordingly.
The best analogy of a CPU is the same as an engine of a car. It accounts for the performance of your computer. The CPU & Video Card (GPU) is critical in determining the performance and frame rate per second (FPS).
The processors are categorised based on its clock speed, cores, and threads to determine its performance. Core count tells us how many processors the CPU has and it indicates how many tasks the CPU can perform simultaneously. Core count and clock speed really only serve as direct measures of performance with processors in the same generation
The clock speed (GHZ) tells us how quickly the CPU is performing each task. Some higher-end CPUs feature hyper-threading, which allows each core to run multiple threads and offers improved performance on threaded software.
Intel processors are known for their stronger single-core performance, making them particularly suited for gaming. They are criticised frequently for being expensive & more restrictive on overclocking. AMD processors on other hand are known for their stronger multi-core performance and overclocking abilities and are more popular with gaming enthusiasts. They seem to offer much better value for your money.
Pro-tip: Most modern CPUs are multi-core and many modern games are designed to take advantage of this, so you should look for a CPU with at least four cores. Additional cores can be helpful as you start layering on more tasks, such as recording and streaming your game play.
Depending on your processor a compatible motherboard is required to build a Gaming PC.
Overclocking Abilities - “Do or Don’t”
The main difference between a low-end motherboard and a high-end one is primarily the overclocking capabilities. Intel manufacturers the “K-Series” (usually a suffix) indicating the overclocking capabilities while all modern AMD processors will be fine. For Intel Processors you will need a Z-series motherboard, while for the AMD a B or X-Series will be needed.
Motherboard Size & Expansion Slots
Once you’ve decided whether you want overclocking or not, it’s time to decide your MOBO and corresponding case size: ATX, MATX, or ITX?
ATX being biggest, ITX being smallest. The less RAM and PCIe slots you have. MATX is the most popular configuration and usually cheaper than the other two. You would normally look for ATX if you want more expansion slots for adding more interface cards while ITX are mostly used for small form factor or portable gaming computers. ATX motherboards May require a slightly larger case which also adds to the cost.
Pro-Tip:The motherboards have the least, if any, effect on gaming performance. You don’t need to buy a gaming motherboard for a great gaming rig.
GRAPHIC CARD (GPU)
The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) also known as the Video Card will be the component that has a major impact on your gaming performance. The GPU renders the actual graphics that you see at the resolution & settings the graphic card has been set at.
There are two types of graphics processors: Integrated and discrete. Integrated graphics processors are integrated with the CPU. Integrated graphics have improved significantly throughout the years, though they are still generally less powerful than discrete graphics.
The CPU & GPU need to work in tandem, if the CPU isn’t processing fast enough, the GPU’s visual output will be bottle necked and you will experience a lag since it will have to wait for the CPU to catch up.
When selecting a graphic card, Clock speed may not be indicative of overall performance, VRAM (Video RAM) is much relevant metric. Higher the VRAM better the performance and screen textures. Basically a 6GB Video Card will outperform a 2GB Graphic Card.
Don’t despair if all you can afford is 2GB Video Card as even they will offer decent performance 1080p with standard definition textures.
Decent gaming would want to look for graphics cards that produce consistent frame rates of at least 60 frames per second (FPS) at your desired resolution (anything lower may look choppy), while gamers looking to play in virtual reality should look for cards that produce consistent frame rates of at least 90 fps.
Pro-tip: The GPU isn't the only component that affects frame rate, so it's important to balance out your build or you'll run into performance bottlenecks elsewhere.
RAM, or Random Access Memory, is the next most important component for gaming performance. Using Single Channel Ram will affect the CPU’s performance, Using Dual or Quad-Channel whenever possible is highly recommended. This is where the PC stores data that it is actively using (those "instruction lists" that the CPU needs to read and execute).
RAM speed usually won’t make a very big difference in gaming or common multitasking unless you are running productivity applications. RAM quantity certainly makes a difference, the more RAM you have, the better the gaming system.
- 4GB - Suitable for light gaming not recommended for modern games.
- 8GB – Balanced Performance. Great for Gaming Experience.
- 16GB – Recommended Option. High Performance & will run all modern games with optimal performance.
- 32GB – Not very advantageous for a Gaming PC Platform more needed for Workstations running productivity applications.
Figuring out how much RAM you need can be tricky, because having more RAM than you use will do nothing (except waste money), and having too little RAM will negatively affect performance. Ideally, you want the perfect amount of RAM for you/your build. (But generally speaking, the average gaming rig needs 8 - 16GB of RAM.)
Pro-tip: RAM that's faster than what your system supports will reduce in clock speed to run at your system's capabilities.High-speed RAM will run at a standard (lower-than-advertised) speed unless it's overclocked.
STORAGE – HARD DRIVES OR SOLID STATE
There are two main types of storage: Solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs). There are pros and cons to both, and the good news is that you don't have to choose just one.
Unlike the standard hard drives, SSD, (Solid State Drive) is a storage drive with no moving parts. This makes it much, much faster than an HDD (hard disk drive).
SSD are much more expensive per GB of storage. So having a combination of SSD with the boot operating system and the programs include the games along with an HDD as a secondary storage for holders the data and the backup files is a good combination. This makes the much more responsive by speeding up the boot times and loading your favourite games.
Modern SSDs come in two protocols, SATA (the older protocol, which has higher latency and lower peak bandwidth) and Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) which utilises the PCI Express interface to achieve higher performance.
In addition to traditional SSDs and HDDs, there's also an option that helps bridge the speed gap: Intel® Optane™ memory storage acceleration. Intel® Optane™ memory uses 3D Xpoint memory technology to accelerate slower drives (primarily HDDs) by storing frequently-used data and access patterns. Intel® Optane™ memory learns which games you use most often and uses that data to boost game launch and level load times. This option is only available on Intel Gaming Platforms.
Using Optane memory as a cache you can easily speed up your hard disk drive if the SSD is not an option, but your motherboard must support the M.2 Slot.
Pro-tip: You don't have to pick one. Many people use a small SSD as a boot drive (for the operating system, games, and other programs) and fill the rest of their bays with cheap HDDs for maximum storage capacity.
POWER SUPPLY UNITS (PSU)
The Power Supply Unit (PSU) is also a critical part of the. Gaming PC Design, do not compromise here. It needs to be robust and powerful enough to handle all current and future components.
Make sure you have enough wattage for your system. The total power dissipation PSU requirements listed on GPUs will usually give you some idea be inflated, but you may want to opt for these if you plan on overclocking.
Cable management is very. Important, not only it looks like clean build, it doesn’t obstruct the airflow causing the system to under perform. PSUs come in non-modular, semi-modular, and full-modular styles. Non-modular is a cheaper option as PSUs have all cables permanently attached. Semi-modular PSUs come with a handful of essential cables attached and are cheaper than full-modular styles. Full-modular PSUs are even easier to work with than semi-modular PSUs, but you'll be paying for the added convenience.
The PSU are available as Standard or 80+ Certification. This can then be further categorised as Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. This indicates the robustness and the efficiency of a power supply.
Pro-tip: 80+ ratings refer to efficiency. The higher the efficiency, the less excess power the PSU will consume and the less heat it will exhaust. A PSU with at 80+ certification is highly recommended.
CASE (CHASSIS) & COOLING FANS
Fortunately, this one is the simplest. First, pick a size that matches your motherboard size: ATX, MATX, or ITX.
You’ll also want to make sure that your case of choice has room for your GPU (ATX and MATX cases will generally fit even the biggest of modern GPUs). ITX cases, however, will be much less likely to fit large cards...so keep this in mind.
Now that you’ve decided on a size, make sure that you find a case with support for modern features like USB3 headers.
High-end gaming PCs generates a lot of heat. You will get some default cooling features with your components: GPUs and PSUs have dedicated fans and cases often come with a couple of fans.
You’ll also want to make sure that your case has an adequate cooling setup-- if it has room for two intake fans and vents for those fans, your basic airflow needs are most likely being met.
For water-cooling setups, you’ll want to find cases with room for mounting a radiator on top-- this is actually fairly common in ITX builds, where there isn’t much room for larger air coolers.
There are two main ways to cool your PC: Air and liquid.
Air cooling uses fans to funnel hot air through your system and away from components to prevent overheating. Air cooling depends on efficient air flow inside the case to move hot air away from components, so any air flow restriction can be problematic
Liquid cooling uses a liquid coolant (such as distilled water) to soak up heat from components and move it to an area that's less restricted (where the radiator is placed). Liquid cooling is less dependent on air flow inside the chassis, and therefore more efficient at cooling specific components.
Once you’ve gotten compatibility and cooling out of the way… the rest just comes down to build quality and personal preference.
If you’re really dedicated to keeping your system cool (especially important for overclockers), then you should be ready to buy some extra case fans. You just need to ensure using good fans with ball bearing to make them quiet. You always have the option of going with RGB fans to give it a nice ambience.
Pro-tip: In an air-cooled system, more fans do not necessarily mean better cooling. Fan quality and placement make a difference.
Gaming Monitors, Keyboards, Mice, Chairs & Headphones, and other peripherals mostly come down to personal preference. You don't need to purchase these items with your components, but you will need a display, a keyboard, and a mouse to set up your system after you build it.
Pro-tip: Keep build balance in mind when picking peripherals — if you've got the best components in the world but you're still using a 1080p, 60Hz monitor, you won't be taking full advantage of your hardware.
NEED HELP WITH BUILDING A GAMING PC - CONTACT US TODAY
The best thing about owning a gaming PC is that it’s never truly finished. The biggest advantage of a custom built gaming computer is that when the next demanding game comes out, you can easily upgrade your components in an affordable manner and keep enjoying.