Are you an avid gamer? Perhaps, like us, you are always looking for the next best hack to improve your overall gaming experience. When it comes to fully appreciating the game as the designers intended, then a Gaming PC is often recommended.
A must-have piece of kit in the gaming industry, purchasing a Gaming PC can accompany a hefty price tag.
For those wanting to experience the joy of playing with a gaming computer, we aim to walk you through the steps needed to create your own gaming pc. We explain the parts you need to build a gaming PC and explain the challenges that this build can create.
When creating your own gaming pc, start by determining your available budget for the whole project.
If creating a low budget Gaming PC, start with a low budget of around £300. However for those wanting to play the latest PC games, a budget of around £700-800+ is a figure to aim towards.
Before you start purchasing your components, it is best to take a small amount of time to discover what exactly you are intending to use the PC for. Are you using it solely to play the latest games? Or are you hoping to stream and render videos on a daily basis? By determining your true intentions, you can purchase the correct components required.
Also referred to as a CPU, choosing your processor is one of the first tasks when building your own Gaming PC. The brain within the computer, the processor is one of the most important components and can create the biggest impact to your gaming experience. When gaming, the processor can be important in creating a high FPS, frames per second.
Three top things to consider when purchasing a processor: clock speed, cores and threads.
A clock speed is a measure of processing speed in GHz, gigahertz, while the cores are assigned to different tasks within the system. With clock speeds only comparable to processors in the same generation, a quad-core 3 GHz from 2019 will be much more powerful than quad-core 3 GHz from 2012.
Consider purchasing the latest up to date processor and compare it to those from the same generation.
Intel or AMD?
When it comes to gaming, Intel is the best option. Known for a stronger, single-core performance, AMD, however, is useful for those wanting to switch between different tasks and are generally the cheaper option.
When purchasing the motherboard for your Gaming PC, first you must make sure that it is compatible with your purchased Processor.
The difference between a high end and a low end motherboard is the overclocking capabilities.
Let us presume that you have decided to purchase an Intel CPU, you will need to purchase both a K-series and a Z-series motherboard.
Your decision on whether you want overclocking will alter your choice of motherboard and case.
Things that will also need to be considered are USB ports. The smaller the port you go, the less RAM and PCIe slots you can have.
The biggest impact to your gaming experience, is the GPU or Graphics Processing Unit. A vital piece of equipment, the GPU will take the information of the game before rending the actual graphics that you are seeing on the screen.
When it comes to building your Gaming PC, try not to spend less than half of your graphics card budge on a CPU.
Random Access Memory or RAM is another important component that can affect your gaming performance. Linked directly to the CPU, the quality of the random access memory can affect the performance of the CPU, especially in running a single-channel RAM.
The speed of RAM, will generally not make a difference, the big question however is single- or dual channel and the quantity.
The more RAM you have, the better the system will cope at managing multiple applications and memory required when playing modern games.
When it comes to memory, 16GB is one of the best options available for adding to your Gaming PC.
Referred to as SSD or HDD, choosing which to get may feel like a challenge, which is far from the truth.
SSD or Solid State Drive is a storage drive with no moving parts, making it a faster option than a HDD, hard disk drive but also more expensive. Durable and smaller, when it comes to quality, consider SSD while if you want quantity, consider a HDD, if you can, purchase both.
Power Supply Unit
Fairly straight forward, follow these key rules when purchasing a power supply unit or PSU. Make sure that you are buying from a reputable manufacturer and that the power supply unit is from a reputable brand. It is also vital to make sure that you have enough wattage and that it is an efficient unit.
The higher the efficiency, the less excess power the PSU will consume and less heat it will create. Therefore, you should be looking for 80+ ratings for efficiency and anything minus of 80 should not be purchased.
One of the simplest decisions, start your process by choosing a size suited to your motherboard size.
You will also need to make sure that your case has room for your GPU and that it can support modern features like USB3 headers etc and that it has an adequate cooling setup. When it comes to a cooling system, ideally you want room for two intake fans and vents.
Now that the hard parts has been picked and purchased, the time has come to consider peripherals and the operating system.
An essential piece, make your decision on the size of your budget. If you have the money to do so, consider getting Windows 10, if however you cannot afford Windows 10, opt instead for Linux distribution.
Mouse and Keyboard
Two essential pieces of kit that you will require. When playing shooter based games, your mouse is the important one of the two, the reverse is true is playing MMOs or strategy games.
Choose your monitor to fit into scale with the rest of the build. With many different options of screens available, choosing a screen suited to your gaming needs should take time and careful consideration.
Now that we have walked you through the many key components required before you can consider making your Gaming PC.
Here is the list of building steps, that when followed correctly can result in a gaming PC.
1- Get your PC build tools
You will need a large surface area to work on as well as a Phillips #2 screwdriver. It is recommended that you cover the floor, or use a room without a carpeted floor to prevent electrostatic discharge.
If installing a M.2 device, you will need a Phillips #0 screwdriver.
It is also recommended that you use a magnetic screwdriver, helping you not to drop screws inside of the case.
2- Install CPU
To install the CPU, take the motherboard out of its packaging before putting onto your work surface. Start by finding the CPU socket, which should be covered in a protective plastic cap.
In one of the corners of the plastic cap, will be an arrow; beside the socket is a small metal level, press down the level and pull gently to the side to open the socket tray.
Open the CPU and remove from packaging, be careful when handling both the CPU and CPU socket.
Line the arrow of the CPU up with the arrow on the socket and gently place the CPU onto the socket. Once gently seated, lower the retention lever down and push into place.
3- Install M.2 SSDs (Optional)
Using your motherboard, M.2 SSD, Phillips #0 screwdriver and motherboard user manual, install the M.2 SSD.
Find the M.2 slot in the motherboard, a small, horizontal slot with tiny screws.
Safely remove the screws from the motherboard before sliding the SSD gently into the slot. When placed, the SSD will stand off the motherboard at a 35-degree angle. Push down and lock into place by replacing the screws.
4- Install CPU Cooling
You will require your CPU installed motherboard, CPU cooler, thermal paste and CPU cooler manual.
With different types of CPU coolers, when it comes to installing your CPU, we recommend using the instructions that come with the cooler.
Some coolers may require a mounting bracket, others have a bracket installed, the key is to follow the instructions supplied.
5- Install the memory
With the tools, motherboard, RAM and motherboard user manual, determine how many RAM slots your motherboard has. To fill each RAM slot, all you simply must do is snap the RAM into place. If you are not planning to fill all the RAM slots, we recommend following motherboard user manual.
6- Test run
Now that you have installed the CPU and the CPU cooler, you may want to conduct a test run of all your components to be confident that they work.
Difficult to conduct, install the GPU and connect to the power supply. When the power supply has been connected to the motherboard and GPU, plug in and turn on.
With many motherboards not having a power point, locate the power pins and switch on. Once on, you will be able to locate which of the components are faulty as the motherboard will blink lights at you, allowing you to locate the location of the fault.
Switch off and wait for all the LED lights on the motherboard to switch off before conducting the required repairs if required.
Step 7- Mount the power supply
Unpack the PSU and set the cables to the side. Before doing anything, discover where the PSU is to go and oriente it so that the fans face towards the vent. Attach the PSU to the case using the four screws that were included.
Step 8: Install the motherboard
If an unattached I/O shield, rectangular sheet with metal was included along with your motherboard, you will need to snap it into place at the back of the case. Once in place, you can then begin to install the motherboard, making sure to check that the cables are threaded correctly.
Using your Phillips #2 screwdriver, mount the center screw, this will hold the motherboard in place. Finish by connecting the power supply to the motherboard through the two main connections, a 8-pin and a 24 pin.
Step 9- Install the GPU
Find the PCIe* x16 slot on your motherboard, this is the longest PCIe* slot and is a different colour to the others. Depending on the case, you might have to remove I/0 covers to accommodate the GPU’s I/O while making it accessible to the outside chassis. Remove the GPU from its antistatic packaging and align with the retention bracket and the slot before gently pushing into the PCIe* slot. Once the GPU is positioned, secure it with one or two screws.
Step 10- Install the storage
Every case is different and there should be a stack of bays in a range of sizes within your case. With little plastic switches or metal, there are generally two sizes to choose from, 2.5 inches for HDD and SSD and 3.5 HHD. To install, either open or unlock the lever or switch to remove the tray before entering the storage into the tray. Slide the tray back into the bay until it clicks into place. Once the drives are in place, connect to the motherboard, as well as the power supply.
Step 11 – Install the operating system
Approaching the finishing line, the time has come to install the operating system. With your chosen operating system, install it onto your PC and download the installer onto the flash drive.
Plug in the flash drive, along with the monitor, mouse and keyword before turning on your computer.
The first screen you will spot will tell you to press a key to enter the system setup, press the key.
Make sure that all components have been installed and that your PC is recognizing all key parts. Go to the Boot page and change the boot order so that the flash drive is first and the drive with the operating system is second. Restart your computer, this will boot the USB and OS installer and a pop up will occur, follow the instructions to complete your installation.
And there you have it! Here is our guide for building your own Gaming PC. Saving you money, there is something rewarding about playing on a PC that you have built from scratch.
Time consuming, by building your own custom-built Gaming PC, you can create a machine that allows you to play the game as you have always envisioned.
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