How to build a superb gaming PC

Serious gamers don’t buy off-the-shelf computers to enjoy their favourite titles. Instead, they build their rigs from scratch, allowing them to customise their systems just the way they need them.

If you think you have the technical know-how required to put together an elite gaming rig, that’s great. But what elements go into creating a superb gaming PC? This short guide will explain what you’ll need, from graphics hardware to the best VPN for gaming. That way, you can enjoy latency-free Battle Royale sessions, and stay clear of malware and DDoS attacks at the same time.

Pick the perfect case

When building a gaming PC, it pays to think hard about the outer shell of the computer. This isn’t just a style decision (although gaming PC cases can look pretty incredible compared to business desktops). Getting the case right actually makes a big difference to performance and how easy it is to carry out the build.

Size-wise, it’s usually best to go for the largest case possible. Transparent windows are handy to see how everything fits together, while you’ll need a case that’s optimised to remove heat efficiently.

The core of the PC: CPU and motherboard choices

Next, we’ll have to choose the heart of the PC: its motherboard and CPU. The motherboard and CPU tend to go together, as CPUs from brands like Ryzen and Intel are designed with specific motherboards in mind.

Be sure to go for a specialist gaming motherboard like the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra. These boards will have the ethernet, sound, and graphics connectors gamers require, room for plenty of memory, and the perfect form factor for gaming PC cases.

When choosing a CPU, speed is the primary consideration. As a gaming fan, you won’t want to cut corners here. This year’s newest titles will be optimised for faster CPUs – meaning that 6 or 8 core CPUs are the way to go. Intel is the gold standard here, and something like the i9-9900K will be ideal.

Ensure silky smooth visuals with the ideal graphics card

However, the CPU isn’t as important as our next element: the graphics card. This is like a second processor which allows gaming PCs to handle extremely complex, realistic visuals without glitches and judders. And when even the tiniest glitch can ruin a multiplayer experience, this is another area where paying more for a quality brand is advisable.

AMD, NVidia, and Raytheon are the market leaders when we’re talking about GPUs, and the most popular range is probably the GeForce selection from NVidia. Either the 2080 or 2070 will deliver enough memory and speed to make playing cutting-edge games a breeze.

Load up on memory

We’re not quite done with the motherboard yet, though. It’s also important to max out on memory if you want your games to perform at their best. RAM is a crucial component of any gaming rig, taking the pressure off the GPU and CPU and trimming loading times to a minimum.

When you pick your motherboard, check to see how much RAM it can accommodate, and don’t go for anything with less than 86B (preferably more). You might not need to add all of the RAM straight away. But try to add it eventually, as you’ll notice the difference.

Don’t skimp on storage

Games aren’t just hungry for RAM. They also need to be stored on hard disk drives, and this is another area where capacity is king.

When picking a gaming hard disk, pay attention to capacity (something over 2TB is essential), but you’ll also notice a speed rating. It’s not enough to add a hard drive with mammoth capacity if it doesn’t access fast enough. Go for a drive with 6GB/s to ensure that your games run smoothly.

In general, it’s also better to go for an SSD hard disk over a conventional version. SSD drives generate much less heat, so your cooling system won’t need to work so hard.

Keep cool with a heat sink and fan

And that brings us onto another key part of a superb gaming PC: the heating system. Gaming PCs generate huge amounts of heat with their processors and drives. And this heat has to be removed efficiently to ensure peak performance and extend the PC’s lifetime.

You should have chosen a case with ample room for a cooling fan. Many cases also ship with fans. But “aftermarket” fans may be superior. Compare their airflow and static pressure ratings, and choose one which displaces as much heat as possible.

Add software and peripherals to complete the system

You’ll also need to install certain tools onto your PC to make it as efficient as possible. Aside from the most recent version of your chosen OS and a reliable antivirus package, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is essential here. There are many really good VPNs. For example, TorGuard. Read a review about it here:

VPNs encrypt your data, so they are great for keeping your audio communications confidential during death matches, and for protecting P2P downloads. But they also help to prevent DDoS attacks, which can ruin gaming performance. And they can work around geoblockers, opening up a world of gaming content. So you’ll need one around, that’s for sure.

Finally, make sure you have the controllers you need. Which ones you go for will depend on your favourite genre of games (for instance, flight sticks, driving wheels, or gaming mice suit different styles). But try them before you buy if you can, as comfort will really make a difference.

So why not take the time to create an elite gaming rig? It’s not that hard, and the elements are easy to find. By choosing the right hardware, controllers, and software, you can enter a whole new world of gaming excitement.

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