A gaming computer gives you many advantages over a console rig. PCs outperform consoles, and PC graphics are better. Your games run smoother and faster on a PC. You’ll save money buying games online, especially on sale, and downloading them.
You won’t need to buy memberships or subscriptions. You won’t need to share a TV screen with family members because you’ll play games on your own computer.You can also use your gaming computer for regular computer work.
Trust me – it’s easy to build your own gaming computer. They even come in kits.
- Make a list of the components you’ll need
If you decide not to go with a kit, you’ll need the following parts for your gaming computer: Memory (RAM), motherboard, central processing unit, graphics processing unit (graphics card), cooling system, power supply unit, storage, and a case to enclose everything. You’ll be installing an operating system in your PC like Windows 10. Your rig also needs a gaming mouse, keyboard, headphones, and in some cases, a Wi-Fi card.
It can be cheaper to buy parts separately because you can catch hardware on sale or even on resale websites. Buying the parts separately enables you to better customize your rig. I would recommend it; however, you must be very careful to make sure your parts are compatible with one another or your rig won’t operate.
When you select your components, I hope you’ll think in terms of the future. If you put in a high-performance processor and a top-notch graphics card, for example, your PC may be able to process gaming experiences of the future, the enhanced virtual experiences that are three or four years down the road.
- Figure Out How Much You Can Spend on Your Rig
Gaming computers you build yourself can start around $400 and go all the way up to over $2200. That said, most people spend around $1200. If you have enough money to buy a top of the line rig, it will be more customizable now and in the future.
I know it takes a lot of time, but if you decide to go the independent route, you must do homework. You’ll have to research components and prices so you can stay within your total budget. You must make sure all components are compatible.
The graphics card alone can run upwards of $600, but in the long run, it is best not to buy a cheap card. A more expensive, powerful graphics card won’t have to be upgraded several times in the next five years. It will play games at higher graphic settings, which makes your experience more fun.
You can find gaming websites that feature complete rigs and all their parts for budgets of $400, $600, $800, $1000 and up.
- Pick Out Your Processor, Motherboard and Graphics Card first
Your central processing unit (CPU) must be powerful if you want your rig to last more than a few years. A good one might cost about $200 retail. Your motherboard must be compatible with your CPU because they work together. I like to say the CPU is the brain of your gaming computer, and the motherboard is its nervous system. Your motherboard tells all the other parts of the system, like the graphics card and hard drive, what your CPU wants them to do.
Motherboards don’t have to be super-expensive. A nice one can cost under $50.
The quality of your graphics card determines the quality of your gaming experience. When you buy your graphics card, think in terms of frame rate, which is a measurement of how fast images appear. The more frames per second, the better the gaming experience. Discrete graphics are more vivid and intense than integrated graphics, so I say spend the money on high-end, discrete graphics.
- You’ll Need A Few More Things, and An Assembly Guide
Next you decide on RAM, storage, operating systems, cooling, power supply unit, and case.
Look for a decent power supply unit, because cheap onescan fry your machine. A good one costs over $60.
Air-cooling systems are cheaper than liquid-cooling, but liquid works better. I know people who get away without cooling, but I think it’s best to have it.
High quality RAM (random access memory) enhances gaming. The basic number to look for is 4GB, but 16GB is best.
Regular hard drives are fine for ordinary PCs, but solid-state drives work better for gaming.
You’ll need an operating system for your PC. Windows 10 is the most common, and costs about $120. Linux is also popular.
You can personalize your case, which come in many styles. Your case must be the right size to hold all your components, I recommend buying one that’s roomy enough for future upgrades.
Your components will come with manufacturer’s instructions on how to put them together. You can install the parts in the order that feels easiest for you. The Internet is full of guides about assembling gaming PCs.
- Your Rig Deserves an Actual Gaming Mouse
Although you can use a regular mouse for gaming, it will put you at a disadvantage. Gaming mice are made differently, and they really do improve your game. They are built for comfort with special side grips. They have more precise sensors and will give you faster response times. You can customize them.
Engineers at Forbes tested over 60 gaming mice ranging in price and size. Each one passed in terms of sensors, polling rates and sensitivity. Polling rate is how many times the mouse registers movement, and sensitivity is how far the cursor moves when your hand moves.
After the team played Overwatch for over 50 hours, their number one choice was the Razer DeathAdder Elite, which is the one I use. Logitech’s G502 Proteus Spectrum, a heavier mouse with two times as many buttons as the Razer DeathAdder Elite, came in second. PC World and
PC Guide also gave the G502 high marks.
The Logitech G703 is often recommended for gamers who prefer a wireless mouse.
Gaming mice work for regular computer tasks, and speed up surfing the net.
Huzzah! Your Rig Works Perfectly!
Building your own gaming computer takes patience and work, but I think it’s worth it. You’ll spend more time researching components than you will putting the rig together.
Building your own gaming computer is fun and rewarding. Think about it. When a buddy says, Nice rig, you can say, Thanks, I built it myself.