Ready to assemble your computer, but don’t know the minimum system requirements to play your favorite games? This guide takes you through the latest features of gaming PC.
Guide to the best features for a gaming PC
Choosing the best features for your gaming PC will depend on your budget, the games you play, the desired graphics quality, and of course the appearance of the components.
No matter which components you choose, they will all work together to produce a smooth and realistic playing experience. The choice of components is essential, because by selecting them wisely, you will reduce jerkiness and latency, while improving the cooling of your system.
Keep your budget in mind when selecting parts for your future machine. Stick to the amount you set for a PC with an optimal price / performance ratio. It is strongly recommended not to buy a very powerful component and to skimp on the others, because the latter will limit the performance of your computer.
Most games require multithreaded workloads, so you will need to choose a processor with multiple cores that can run multiple threads simultaneously. Don’t get carried away too fast, you won’t need more than 4 cores. If your budget is tight and you don’t plan to play with the best graphics possible, two cores will be more than enough. To play in Full HD, you will need a processor with a frequency above 2.5 GHz. The best current consumer processors are the i5 and i7, the latter being the most powerful.
If you plan to overclock your machine, we must remind you that this operation will increase its power consumption and internal temperature. Be sure to take these parameters into account when choosing additional power and cooling devices. Before moving on to the next step, check that your current processor, or the one you plan to buy, is overclockable. You will also need an overclockable motherboard.
Motherboard – Your motherboard must be equipped with a socket compatible with your processor. It should also support the type, frequency, capacity, format, and number of RAM modules you plan to equip your computer with. Also pay attention to the number of expansion slots and USB ports it offers, and make sure they meet your needs. Most motherboards come with an Ethernet / LAN port, but if you prefer a wireless connection, you will need a port for the wireless adapter. Some high-end models offer direct wireless connectivity through a built-in Wi-Fi card.
If you plan to equip your machine with two graphics cards, there are specific criteria to take into account. First, your motherboard must be SLI ™ (for NVIDIA ® cards ) or Crossfire (for AMD Crossfire ™ cards) compatible to make the two graphics cards work together. Using two graphics cards in a single machine is no small feat, and without the right drivers and software the task is nearly impossible. The presence of two graphics processors may increase the power consumption of your computer tenfold, and generate more noise and heat. Such a configuration will therefore have a significant impact on your cooling strategy, but also on the general appearance of your machine.
Most sound cards built into motherboards are more than sufficient. You hardly ever need an additional sound card for gaming.
RAM – There are different types of RAM, so you will need to choose the one that matches the specifications of your motherboard. Almost all recent motherboards are compatible with DDR3 and DDR4 modules. The format of each type of memory is different, so it is not possible to accidentally insert incompatible RAM into a motherboard. These two types of memory are physically different. The maximum RAM capacity of your computer will be limited by the number of memory slots present on your motherboard. For gaming, 16 GB will be more than enough. However, if you plan to work on a lot of software simultaneously, host virtual machines, or perform intensive tasks, you may need to equip yourself with 32 GB of memory.
Storage disk (HDD / SSD)
For storing your data, you have the choice between a hard drive and an SSD. If you choose a hard drive, you should go for a model suitable for gaming operating at 7200 rpm and having 8 or 16 MB of cache. Its interface (ATA, PATA, or SATA) must match that of the motherboard. Most of the time, 250 to 500 GB of storage will be sufficient for gaming. Go to the most famous brands. You’ll get what you pay for, so steer clear of cheap hard drives that might cause problems after a while.
If you’re looking for shorter read / write times and faster loading of your games, consider getting an SSD. The interfaces available are the most common, and should be compatible with the ATA, PATA, or SATA ports on your motherboard. SSDs are more expensive than hard drives, however. Remember to take this factor into account when determining your budget.
Video / Graphics Card
The graphics card being in charge of the visual rendering of video games, you will have to orient yourself towards a model adapted to the desired resolution and graphics. For better resolution and better graphics a RTX 3080 graphics card is near the best you can get, however, there are cheaper models for simpler graphics. Your graphics card must be equipped with 2 to 4 GB of dedicated memory and be able to generate between 30 and 60 images per second to avoid jerks in the game. For virtual reality (VR) gaming, you must be equipped with a graphics card capable of displaying at least 90 frames per second to avoid nausea due to an irregular refresh rate.
You can go down a little bit depending on the frequency of your screen, but 4 GB of dedicated graphics memory is still a minimum for 1080p screens.
Your graphics card will also need to be Direct compatible to support future releases, but also to automatically assess the quality of the graphics generated. Make sure your graphics card has the same interface (HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort) as your computer monitor. If you want to connect your PC to your television, you must have an HDMI port (HDMI 2.0 for 4K screens). If you plan to connect multiple displays to your computer, you will need to choose a graphics card with multiple HDMI, DVI, or VGA video outputs. Also make sure that your power supply is strong enough to power your graphics card. Take care to check that the format of the card you choose is suitable for the case you plan to use.
To play in full HD, your graphics processor will need to have a clock frequency greater than 600 MHz. For 4K gaming, you will probably need to go for two graphics cards working in tandem (SLI / Crossfire), but this is a more complicated setup to set up.
Casing – The case is the element that lets you unleash your creativity, but there are still some practicalities to take into account. You will need to choose a case that is compatible with your other components, and that is large enough to accommodate them. Most of the components are connected to the motherboard by means of slots in which they must fit. Your case should therefore have enough space for all the rooms, while ensuring sufficient air flow. The most common sizes are medium (smaller) boxes and large boxes. If you are limited in terms of space, go for a medium tower instead.
In addition to the size of the components, you will have to keep in mind the cooling of your machine. The design of these housings will have an impact on the air flow. If you’re using off-the-shelf components and aren’t planning on overclocking your processor, the stock fans will be more than enough. If you have chosen components that generate a lot of heat, you probably need to equip yourself with additional fans, and maybe even a water cooling system.
Once all these aspects have been addressed, you can indulge yourself with LED lighting, glass, unusual formats and unique colors. This is when you can really personalize your machine by giving it the look you want. The organization of the cables will have an impact on both the appearance and the cooling of your computer. Cables are likely to reduce or alter your PC’s airflow while negatively impacting its overall appearance.
Power Supply: A good power supply will provide at least three different DC voltages for the different components. For most computers, you will need at least 500W to power all of your components, but be careful with their respective specifications. If you have chosen more greedy components than the average, do the math and check that your diet is well adapted.
If you are going to play in 4K, you should pay special attention to your screen. Choose the highest refresh rate that your budget allows (minimum 75 Hz), as this will determine the number of frames that will be displayed per second (a rate of 75 Hz allows you to display 75 FPS, a frequency of 120 Hz can display 120 FPS, etc.). There is no point in paying a high price for a computer capable of displaying 1080p images at 120 FPS if your screen has a frequency of only 60 Hz.
Final Words: If you want to PC Zusammenstellen on your own, then the first thing that you need to have is enough knowledge about PC components. You should know which components are compatible with each other.