HomeGamingUseful things to know before building a gaming PC

Useful things to know before building a gaming PC

(Pocket-lint) – Building your own computer can be daunting. There are a lot of things to think about first. These tips will help ease your worries.

We’ve written various in-depth guides on building an extreme gaming PC, a mini-ITX machine, a budget gaming PC and more. But there are things to think about before you even get started.

Easy compatibility test

One of the hardest things about building a PC is knowing which parts fit together and making sure everything is compatible, both in terms of size and system stability.

Fortunately, there are solutions to these problems and tools to check before you even make a purchase.

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Checking power requirements


One mistake people make is buying the wrong power supply. It’s essential not to compromise on your power supply, as a poor quality power supply can ruin an entire system. It’s tempting to save money, but a poor quality power supply can potentially cause a short circuit, power surge, or just destroy your entire PC. Other times it may fail, rendering the whole machine useless.

The old adage – buy cheap, buy twice – has never been so painful here. So make sure you buy a good quality power supply with a good rating.

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PSU Wattage Requirements

The other important thing to determine is the power requirements of your system. This will vary depending on what you add to your PC. If you add a powerful GPU, high-end CPU, multiple hard drives, SSDs, and more, you’ll soon find that the power requirements add up.

Luckily, this tool lets you determine your power needs with a simple PSU calculator that lets you view your system specs and get recommended wattage. Fill in everything you include and you’ll not only get the estimated usage, but also a recommended power supply to buy. Use it to ensure you have a power supply that has enough wattage to power your system (don’t buy one with less wattage or performance will suffer) but also to avoid spending too much on something too much. powerful.

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Plan your purchases

If you’ve done your research, you might know some of the coins you want to buy. If you already know the specific CPU you want, for example, you can use this PCPartPicker system builder tool to plan out the rest of the build and see which parts will fit.

This tool allows you to search for specific parts, add them to the system, and then find other parts that match. Maybe you could start with a PC case and then use that to choose the motherboard and other components like RAM and stuff. This will ensure that everything fits together well. It will also prevent you from buying things that don’t fit or just don’t work in the system.

It’s a great tool that’s free and even shows you where to buy the parts.

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Get a graphics card


It has been difficult trying to buy a graphics card for the past few years. This should improve as Nvidia (and others) promise more effort to alleviate supply shortages. Competition is also heating up, with Intel entering the graphics card space soon, so it should be easier to buy in the coming months and years.

Nvidia recently launched a campaign called “Restocked & Reloaded” which promises a range of GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards available to buy right now. So things are definitely looking up.

In the meantime, if you’re waiting for a particular graphics card to drop in price or become available for purchase, the good news is that you might be able to get by without it in the short term. We tested and wrote how it’s possible to build a gaming PC and play without a graphics card.

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Optimize your investment


We’ve already said that it’s important not to cut corners on your PSU or risk destroying your entire machine at some point.

There are other things worth spending more on upfront. Some things may be replaced and upgraded in the future. It’s very easy to add more RAM, for example, or to replace your graphics card with a newer model, but not everything is.

We have written a guide on how to upgrade your CPU with relative ease. But something like your motherboard is not so easy to swap. We like to think of the motherboard as the foundation of your PC. If you ever need to swap it out, you’ll have to remove it from the case and that can be a pain, not only because you have to unplug everything, but also because it counts as such a big change that you’ll need to a new license. For windows.

Look for a motherboard that ticks all the right boxes in terms of what you need and buy it. Pay attention to IO ports, NVMe ports, PCIe lane speeds, and other things. Determine if you really need a high-end motherboard for overclocking or if a more reasonably priced motherboard is a better option.

The RAM you can save money on because you can always start with 8GB or 16GB in two sticks and then upgrade to more of the same in the future. So look to save there if you need to.

Why do you need your PC?

Consider what you’ll be using your PC for before you buy. If you plan on gaming, a good graphics card is important. But if you plan to do other intensive tasks such as video editing, you may find that larger capacity and faster MHz RAM will also be beneficial.

If you know the type of games you’ll be playing, you can get an idea of ​​what you need by looking at the minimum and recommended system specs. Many games list them to give you an idea of ​​the experience you can expect. If you still want to play the latest triple-A games at maximum graphics settings, chances are you need a PC with plenty of processing power. If you prefer indie games, these are often less graphics intensive and you can get away with a less capable system.

Keep in mind that technology is advancing rapidly and if you buy a lower spec machine, your specs may soon fall below the minimum requirements for modern gaming.

You can however get more FPS from your graphics card with a few settings and DLSS can also help with frame rates.

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Budgeting beyond PC

Remember, when budgeting for your PC, you’ll probably need to spend a good amount of money on a good gaming monitor, keyboard, gaming mouse, and headset. The cost can quickly add up once you’ve factored in all of these things, so don’t neglect the planning there too.

Written by Adrian Willings. Editing by Chris Hall.

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