How to Build and Maintain a Gaming PC [Part 1]

A gaming PC configurationEvery passionate gamer needs a powerful “weapon” to allow him be a competitive player. When you are playing video games all day, you probably want to make your experience the most enjoyable one. You don’t want to have stuttering, lag or FPS drops in the middle of an epic fight. One powerful enough gaming machine can turn the tides of battle. In this guide, I will show you in some details, how to build up a powerful beast rig, maintain it, and keep your games stutter and lag free.

The Budget

Before you start shopping around, you need to very carefully plan your budget, because gaming gear as you know, doesn’t come cheap. First, you need to determine a few things:

  • What is your current PC configuration?
  • What parts of it need an upgrade?
  • Do you need to buy extra gaming gear?
  • Are you buying a new monitor, or your current one is good enough?

When you get yourself an answer of those questions, you have to see how much of your budget you want to spare for each part. If you are upgrading, you have to see on which parts you have to focus more.

Computer Hardware PositionsHardware

Some people will argue about it, but when you choose your configuration, you have to focus on your case first. There are different types of computer cases. As a gamer, the most important thing for you is to find a computer case, big enough to hold your configuration. The airflow around your hardware components is critical for the performance of the machine. Therefore getting a Tower type case is the most optimal choice.

What you insert in your case is what actually matters most. Buying the best parts for your needs, requires at least some basic knowledge. You need to do your homework before getting into this, and I’m willing to help you out. I have a list of the main components you have to focus on, and I will give you detailed information about what’s your option for each one of those components.

  • Processor
  • Random Access Memory
  • Graphics Controller
  • Hard Drives
  • Motherboard
  • Cooling Components
  • Power Supply



Core i7 Processor

The heart of the computer is it’s processor. It is the part, where all the calculations and processes are handled. Being a gamer, you probably know, that modern games require a lot of resources. So, you don’t need just any processor. You need a processor that is working on higher frequency and on multiple levels. Buying a lower end gaming processor, you can go for a dual core one, with around 3.2 GHz working frequency. Depending on your own preference, you can choose from the Intel I series and AMD Athlon X2. If you can spend more money and you want more powerful, quad or hex core processor, I would recommend going for the Intel i7 4th GEN extreme edition. This piece of technology art can get over-clocked up to 5.4 GHz.

Corsair Vengeance RAM 4GBRAM

As for the memory, you can’t go wrong with it, as long as you keep an eye one a few details. Usually, the RAM has a couple of parameters to watch for. That’s memory size (eg. 2 GB, 4 GB) and working frequency. If you are buying directly from a retailer, and they are presenting you a list with the details, additionally you should ask them on what frequency is the RAM working. Because, many retailers don’t include this information. They cover it up just by placing the generation of the RAM. For example “Kingston DDR3 4 GB Quad channel”. Usually DDR3 shows that the RAM is 3rd generation of DDR, which also is the range of the frequency it works on. This frequency can vary from 1066 and 1600 MHz. Most higher end PCs require the DDR3 1600 MHz type of RAM to work on their maximum potential. The price difference between both types is quite noticeable.

nVidia GeForce Titan SLIVideo Controllers

To run the games on their maximum graphical settings, you really need a good video graphics controller. Modern games these days, become more and more demanding on this regard. Every video controller has video RAM and a bunch of other specifics, which I would probably need to write 10 more articles about, if I have to give you details for each one of them. On the market, there are 2 gaming series of video cards you should be looking for. That’s the nVidia’s GeForce and AMD ATI Radeon HD series. Both of these present low end and high end video controllers. You have to choose what’s the best one that suits you.

Handy HDD vs SSD GraphHard Drives

Storage memory is another point in our list that needs a bit of attention. For most, hard drives are just a container for our files. But this is not the case. Hard Drives also have speed. This speed can determine how fast your hard drive can access the stored information. Which means that if your hard drive is fast, it can run your games, access game files, and boot your all your programs faster. If you are buying a normal hard disc drive the speed comes from the rotations per minute of the disc. For desktop PCs, there are usually 2 levels of speed. That’s 7200 and 10000 RPM.

There is one other type of a hard drive. The new standard of hard drives is the SSD (Solid State Drive), it contains no actual “disk” of any kind, nor motors to “drive” the disks. This makes it ten times faster than the HDD and of course just as much more expansive. The best way to configure your PC is to buy one small SSD (around 50 GB) and one normal HDD with 10000 RPM. Install your operation system on the SSD and use the HDD simply as storage device. This way your computer will load system files faster and it will speed up the background processes.

MotherboardA motherboard

To start gathering up all parts, you need a base. That part is also called a Motherboard, because it connects your other parts together and it makes sure everything is running properly. There is a huge variety of models you can choose from, as long as they cover the needs of your other parts. Just check the compatibility of the rest of your hardware. Motherboards compatible with more hardware parts are much better, because they provide you the option for later upgrades.

Sub Zero CoolerCooling Systems

When your computer works, its components heat up a lot. Especially the processor and the video card controllers. That’s why you need a really good cooling system. You can go with the ordinary fan based systems, or if you have some budget left, you can install a liquid cooling system with cryogenic liquid. That will guarantee that whatever your PC is about to deal with, it will work on optimal temperature.

Power SupplyPC Power Supply

And the last main component you need is the Power supply. You have to pick one very carefully. It should cover all the energy needs of your system. You can calculate exactly how much power your components need and get a power supply with at least 50W above that.

Cleaning and maintenance

Cleaners Bromley note that the PC may be a part of a tenancy agreement and you have to clean it as well, if you are moving out of a rental property. Cleaning a PC should be done on both physical and virtual levels. With time, your computer fans that are cooling your system can get a little dusty. That of course, can decrease the performance of your machine, because higher the temperature, slower it becomes. What you can do is, open the case and use a vacuum cleaner to dust off the components.

It’s almost analogical with your virtual space. With time, you stuff your desktop with a lot of programs and applications, which increases the amount of things your components have to deal with. That’s why you need to do a regular maintenance re-installation and recovery of your OS. This way, your system will be more refreshed and it will work faster.

That’s just one small bit of information about how to make your own gaming friendly machine. There is much more that I can tell you about other external hardware and peripherals. I’ll make sure to add this in the next part.


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