Building a Gaming PC

"What video card do I pick? Should I buy an AMD or an Intel processor? How much RAM do I actually need?"

So, you've decided to build your own gaming PC. Whether you're ditching your console or just upgrading from a laptop, building a desktop computer by yourself can feel overwhelming. It's a substantial investment of money, especially if you're making a state-of-the-art gaming rig.

You might think you need to break the bank to build a gaming PC, but if you're frugal and don't make any impulse purchases, it's easy to assemble one that you'll be proud to show off.

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Before you start ordering parts, you need to do some reflecting on your own computing needs and wants. Asking yourself these questions is going to help you set a budget and figure out where you'll want to spend a little extra, such as the graphics card or CPU.

What kind of games do I want to play on my gaming PC?

If you're interested in running games like Crysis that are notoriously demanding when it comes to performance, you're going to have to spend a sizable chunk of change on both a high-end video card (this is your "graphics processing unit," or "GPU" for short) and a state-of-the art CPU. My experience has been only positive with Nvidia and Intel products, but plenty of avid gamers use AMD products instead.

If you want a gaming PC specifically to play Dota 2, League of Legends, Smite, or other popular MOBA titles, we've got some good news: they have low PC performance requirements. This means you can save a bit of money on the GPU and CPU, which are usually the two most expensive parts of any build. If you decide you want to play other games down the line, you can always upgrade these!

If you're interested in competitive gaming, especially popular FPS esports titles like CS:GO or Overwatch, you should expect to be shelling out for a top-of-the-line CPU and GPU if you want these games to run smoothly. Intel's i7 line of processors are a favorite of competitive gamers, and Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 1080 is the most powerful graphics card on the market right now. These are pricey, but they're worth it if you don't want to sacrifice even the smallest bit of performance.

What gaming peripherals will I need to buy?

Now, this is where you'll encounter the "hidden cost" of building a gaming rig; there's more to buy than just the parts. If you're building yourself a custom gaming PC, there's no point in skimping on the peripherals; investing in a high-quality mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse is a quality-of-life purchase that will make your everyday use of your rig far more enjoyable.

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, a lot of it comes down to personal preference. We recommend conducting some thorough online research with detailed breakdowns of the different options that are available to you.

As far as gaming mice are concerned, you want to make sure that you're buying one that suits your hand size. Logitech's G502 Proteus Core mouse is an excellent choice for gamers with larger hands and offers lots of customization options. Regardless of your hand size, the Logitech G Pro is the best gaming mouse out there; it's not only designed for professional gamers, but it's built to last.

We hope this helps you get off to a good start on your journey of building a custom gaming PC. We can't wait to see you on the battlefield!