How To Set Up a Gaming Computer

From the Motherboard to the Case

Child playing online games

A Gaming Oriented PC is a computer which has gaming as its main objective. It needs to run the newest games, and as such, it needs to be very powerful. If you aren't careful, your rig may not be powerful enough if you make some basic mistakes when choosing the parts that will be your computer. Of course, you have the option of buying a gaming PC from some manufacturer, but sometimes that is not enough and might be expensive. So, what do you need to do?

  1. Define how much you want to spend. Before building your computer, make sure you know how much money you are willing to spend on your computer. If your aim is to have a very powerful, lasting computer with our ever-advancing technology, you may need to spend a lot. Otherwise, if you plan to have a mid-range, not very powerful gaming PC, it shouldn't be too expensive, based on your choices.
  2. Choose your computer's components. The PC's components must be chosen wisely, because they will define whether your computer is a hit or a miss. Let's start:

    • Motherboard. The motherboard connects the processor, the video card, the hard disks and everything else to make your computer work. It will also restrict the kinds of processor you will be able to use (there are various kinds of sockets for processors). You may want to check what kind of socket the motherboard has, and the presence of PCI, PCIe or AGP slots.
    • Processor (CPU). The processor, along with the video card, is the main factor for gaming performance. The computers in the mid-range price should get dual-core processors, because they are getting cheaper and are very effective. For the top PCs, I recommend getting a quad-core processor. They are more expensive, but it might be worth it. There are two main CPU manufacturers: Intel and AMD.
    • Video card. The graphics that your computer will be able to support will depend mostly on your video card. For the mid-end computer, you may want to get any nVidia 7 series video card, or an ATI equivalent. To the top-end computer, you may want a nVidia 8 series video card, or an ATI equivalent. Or, do a SLI/Crossfire combo, which is using 2 equal video cards to boost performance. (the SLI combo uses 2 nVidia video cards; a Crossfire combo uses 2 ATI video cards). Note that the availability of SLI/Crossfire depends on your motherboard.
    • Hard Disk (HD). Considering that today's games need a lot of space available, a good HD is needed. But, again, make sure your motherboard has the right kind of connection. It could be IDE, SATA, SATA2.
    • CD and DVD drives. You will want at least a DVD drive, because nowadays games are in DVD format, especially the huge ones. If you aim for a expensive computer, you may try to find a Blu-ray or HD DVD drive, but the price isn't worth it at this point.
    • Case, fans and coolers. A good case is not really needed, but if you are going to over clock your computer, you might want a good case with good refrigeration. A cooler is essential for your CPU, and so are fans to your entire computer.
  3. Buying your components you want. Now, this is completely personal, and I will only give some general advice:
    • If you are going to buy online, use a reliable site, and try to find testimonials.
    • If you plan to buy your computer in some store and then build it, be sure everything is ok, check for any kind of damage.

After that, you just need to assemble your computer. There are a lot of good guides to do that, which should explain better than I would. Good luck!


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