Credit: Tom’s Guide
For Building a gaming PC, there is no doubt that you have to invest in the best technology to make. A competent gaming system will outlive a smartphone, outperform a game console, and outperform this most powerful streaming box. Whether you’re drafting documents, editing movies, or changing the settings on the latest and greatest games, a gaming PC is the best instrument for the task. With proper care, one of these devices may last five years – even ten years if modifications are made on a regular basis.
Instead, Electronics Monk Guide has split the technique into two parts and used a more engaging approach. You must first identify why you want to build a computer before you begin. What do you need that a ready-made machine can’t achieve? What are the components that will make this possible? And how can you navigate the hundreds of different tech specs among the half-dozen different goods you’ll need?
In light of this, the first installment of our “How to Build a PC” series focuses on component selection. We’ll explore the hardware that makes a computer work in general terms. But I’ll also talk about how I came up with each section and what compromises I was ready to make. Also, you can see – how to reset an iPad
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The Basic Hardware Required
There are at least seven items you’ll need to build a gaming PC before I begin my thought process for each component:
Processor: The CPU (central processing unit) is the most critical part of building your computer. The CPU is in charge of relaying information from one computer system to the next. The greater the speed with which a CPU can exchange information for both software and hardware activities, the better.
Graphics Card: The GPU (graphics processing unit) is responsible for generating images from your PC and displaying them on your monitor. It is, without a doubt, the most important component of a gaming system. More powerful GPUs provide improved in-game images.
Motherboard: The motherboard houses all of your computer’s hardware. A motherboard’s most important characteristic is compatibility with the components you choose, although they can also contain integrated graphics cards, Wi-Fi systems, and other functions.
Storage(SSD/HHD): Solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard disks (HDDs) are the two types of storage available for PCs (HDDs). It’s where your files go while they’re not in use, in any case. Larger drives provide greater storage capacity, which implies more room for files, games, and other material.
RAM: Your computer’s RAM capacity determines how much data it can manage at any given moment. RAM, in other words, is just where your computer stores data that all need to access right quickly. The more RAM you have, the faster your computer can handle large amounts of data, which is beneficial for productivity and necessary for gaming.
Power Supply: The power supply does exactly what it says: it delivers electricity from an outlet to various devices in your computer. It’s both the least interesting and most vital piece of the PC puzzle. It may be tough to select the right one, but once you do, you should never have to think about it again.
Case: Even though some models have fans for additional cooling, your computer enclosure is mostly a cosmetic choice. While an “open-air” configuration is possible, a case is unquestionably preferred for keeping dust out and components protected.
Additional cooling systems or supplemental hard drives, for example, are nice to have but aren’t always necessary. And those are the parts you’ll need to transform a pile of junk into a functional computer.
Making a machine
Starting a PC, like any creative endeavor, is the most challenging part. Where do you begin when there are literally hundreds of potential components? Do you start with a GPU and progress? What if you choose a case that interests you and see what fits inside? Search Newegg for whatever’s on sale and hope everything works?
Believe it or not, those are all realistic building ideas, but mine is a little simpler: Decide on the “why” first, then the “what.” What kind of computer do you want to build? Would you like a workhorse that can also play games with you? Is there a more adaptable option than next-generation consoles? A high-priced powerhouse built to last?
I need to construct a new computer because my current gaming system is 10 years old. This wasn’t a big concern when I had a more powerful PC in the Electronics Monk office for the game and peripheral testing. However, due to the pandemic, I’ve been working from home for the past three months, and the old workhorse is no longer up to the load.
As a consequence, I want a computer that can run the latest games easily, but I don’t need 8K resolution or 120 fps. If I need to compare games across platforms, I’ll need something at least as strong as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
After some investigation, I determined that $1,500 is a reasonable starting point for a powerful but not quite top-of-the-line PC. These goods were not included in my budget because I already owned a mouse, keyboard, headset, and monitor. You’ll need to decide how much money you want to spend and add your own peripherals, but knowing exactly what you want your PC to do will go a long way.
How to Buy Parts
Credit: Tom’s Guide
Following that, I went to Newegg and began looking for parts. Remember that you can’t just buy the very first seven parts you see and expect them to all fit together. Beginning with the most important element and working your way down is the best method.
Obviously, Newegg is not the only place to shop. After you’ve discovered what you’re looking for, check out Amazon, Greatest Buy, and other big electronics retailers for the best offers. My personal favorite is Micro Center, especially if you reside near one of these technological meccas. Theoretically, you could go in with nothing and walk out with a built-in computer for a very minimal cost.
Whenever possible, buy from well-known companies like Corsair, HyperX, and Western Digital. Going with no-name storage, RAM, or power supplies may save you a lot of money in theory. But, gadget quality is a crapshoot, and customer service for small-brand products is either poor or nonexistent.
Last but not least, be flexible with your budget if at all possible. You obviously don’t want to spend $1,500 on a $1,000 concept, but if the full build-out costs $1,050, don’t throw it out. A good computer will last a long time, and a few hundred dollars will make little difference over the course of a few years.
Nvidia GeForce 3070: Graphics Card
As previously said, while creating a gaming PC, the graphics card is the most important component to consider. The first important option you’ll need to make is whether to go with Nvidia or AMD, two high-end graphics card manufacturers. The benefits and drawbacks of each require their own article, but in my own PC builds, I’ve had excellent luck with Nvidia and bad luck with AMD, and sticking to brands you’re familiar with is one of the most effective tactics in this process.
Then it was only a matter of picking one of Nvidia’s three new cards: the GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, or 3090. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 was an easy choice because I had a $1,500 budget. The other two cards would have been too expensive. You will save money by purchasing older cards, but your computer will be less future-proof.
It’s worth mentioning that, at the time of writing, the RTX 3070 is only a few weeks away from release, and it’ll most likely sell out soon. If you absolutely must build something fresh, the older Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 series, which is currently available, and the comparably powerful AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT are also acceptable possibilities. Although, because AMD is likely to release a new GPU shortly, it’s probably best to wait for a refill.
Intel Core i7-10700: CPU
When I ran my proposed design through the Electronics Monk crew, the CPU was undoubtedly the most contested option. The Intel Core i7-10700 is a powerful CPU that, although not the best, works well with the GeForce 3070 GPU. The decision between the 10700 and the 10700K, on either hand, was challenging. The latter is somewhat more expensive, but it enables overclocking, which is a huge advantage for a gaming machine.
Finally, I went with the 10700 over the 10700K since the latter would have resulted in a price cascade. Unlike the 10700, the 10700K does not include its own cooling unit, and a good cooling system would cost an additional $100 or more. Overclocking also consumes more energy, needing a larger, more expensive power supply. Overclocking isn’t really necessary for testing games and peripherals, thus the 10700K wouldn’t make much of a difference in this configuration.
HyperX Predator DDR4 32 GB, 3200 MHz: RAM
Because there are so many variables at play, RAM is a tough subject to describe. Memory capacities range from 16 GB to 128 GB, and speeds range from 3000 to 4800 MHz. Of course, more High memory and processing speed come at a higher price.
Overall, more memory is better than less, therefore I chose 32 GB, which is double the amount of memory as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The RAM’s speed is less important. Greater numbers are usually preferred, but keep in mind that not every system can fully exploit greater RAM speeds, so don’t get too worked up about it.
WD Blue NAND 2 TB SSD: Storage
Some other point of dispute among the TG team was whether to buy a massive SSD for Windows and a big HDD for game storage, or a small SSD for Windows and a big HDD for game storage. Without going into too much depth about the pros and cons of each, I came to the conclusion that the PS5 and Xbox Series X will both utilize SSDs exclusively; why design a PC that’s behind the times right out of the gate?
And then there was the question of whether to buy two SSDs: one for system files and one for gaming. The benefits of this design, however, are limited, and it adds to the overall system complexity.
MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge: Motherboard
Depending on how you construct your system, the motherboard may be the first or last component you select. My strategy was to first choose my GPU and CPU, then seek a motherboard that could support both. I also knew I needed a motherboard with built-in Wi-Fi because my computer desk is far from my network. I choose it since it is easier to fit components into a full-size ATX architecture. The MSI MPG Z490M Gaming Edge was the least expensive motherboard that met my needs.
Credit: Tom’s Guide
Check a motherboard’s “Specs” section for compatibility with the parts you’ve chosen, then double-check that all of the inputs are lined up. It’s tougher than it looks, but if you want to build a PC, you must master this skill. If you’re concerned about compatibility, check out Newegg’s PC Builder tool.
Corsair TX-M Series TX650M: Power Supply
The power supply as a ticking time bomb is a common joke in the PC-building community. And they’re correct: if there’s one thing you don’t want to get wrong, it’s this one. The best-case scenario is that your components overheat and burn out much before their expected lifespan. A fire extinguisher is a last resort.
You’ll need to do some research to determine how much power each component of your system consumes, total it all up, and choose a power supply with a reasonable margin of error. But, if you get a very big power supply, you may end up spending a lot of money on the power that you will never use, so that isn’t necessarily the best option. In any case, Nvidia recommends a 650W power supply for a 3070-equipped workstation with an i9 processor. According to Newegg’s Power Supply Calculator, my total need is a little less than 550W, hence a 650W power supply should be enough.
Corsair 4000D Tempered Glass: Case
Selecting the right case is mostly an aesthetic decision. I was searching for something a little less expensive than the Corsair 4000D Tempered Glass case, but it was the cheapest case with a front USB-C connection that I could locate. Remember that your motherboard will have front-facing USB ports, so ensure that your case has the necessary connections.
Putting it all together
I’ll go through how to link all of these different components together in our next PC-building piece, as well as some common pitfalls to avoid. Understand that you’ll also need a copy of Windows 10, which might be pricey or entirely free depending on what other software you already have.
Since we’ll be using this PC to test devices for the next few years, In the interest of full transparency, Electronics Monk will request these things directly from their manufacturers. As a result, depending on what they have on hand, our final build may change slightly. If you’re creating a machine at home, you may simply order what you want, when you want it.
Finally, while I am certain that these components will combine to produce a fantastic gaming machine, I make no guarantees that this is the best build possible; an attentive reader could certainly do better, especially with a different budget. But that’s part of the fun of building a computer: no two are alike, and each has its unique mix of benefits and drawbacks. We’ll have a better idea of where this one flourishes and where it falters in a few weeks.