The ABC of building a gaming PC!

For those who haven’t been able to find ready-made gaming laptops and PC options that meet their needs, it can be much easier to assemble a gaming PC yourself. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Processor

The heart of any PC is the processor or CPU. It has a substantial impact on a game’s frame rates, streaming quality, and smooth rendering of gameplay elements.

Intel and AMD are the two go-to brands when it comes to high-end processors. When choosing a processor, you should consider the number of cores. Multi-core processors can perform various encryption and decryption operations in parallel as compared to a single-core processor. This simply means that they allow your PC to multitask well while minimizing power consumption.

With Intel, the i9 and i7 series processors are aimed at serious gamers and multitaskers. These processors have a high number of cores and provide efficient load balancing. The Intel i5 series is better suited for casual gaming, and while the i3 series offers a platform for gaming, it may not exactly provide the optimal gaming experience.

AMD has its top-notch Ryzen Threadripper platform for heavy-duty, multicore gaming. You can opt for the Ryzen 9 16-core processor for the AMD AM4 platform, which would be ideal for gaming on ultra settings, while the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 can be used for playing medium to low graphics settings.

The very best gaming processor is the 12 e generation i9-12900K processor or the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X with a price of about ₹68,000 online. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, consider buying the previous generations of processors, which would now be discounted.

Motherboard

The motherboard is the backbone of all the components of the PC, such as processor, RAM, storage, and power, and helps all of these components communicate and work together.

If you’ve opted for an Intel processor, you have Z-series boards that support overclocking. The H-series and B-series cards do not support overclocking and fall in the mid-to-lower end of the Intel board spectrum.

Often one will find motherboards for Intel processors under various Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and ASROCK. Intel Z-series boards like the Z690 are priced around ₹68,000.

At AMD, you can opt for the top-of-the-line X570 or B550-based motherboards. The AMD X570-based boards cost around ₹38,000, but may vary depending on the OEM.

Graphics Card

If the CPU is the heart, then the graphics card is the brain of a gaming console, as its primary job is to crack billions of pixels per second and make the top games feel lifelike. However, ever since it was established that graphics cards are used for number crunch to collect crypto currency, there has been a perpetual shortage of high-quality graphics cards, exacerbated by the global semiconductor crisis.

Two of the most high-end graphics cards available are the Nvidia RTX 3080 which costs around 90,000 or the AMD Radeon 6800XT which costs around ₹60,000-80,000.

Storage

To load games quickly, you need enough storage space. You can invest in a solid-state storage device, but given that a single game can be up to 100-200 GB in size, a 1 TB SSD will likely run out of storage soon. So if you have the budget, go for a 2TB SSD. This could cost you anywhere from 14,000 to 25,000.

RAM

One of the most crucial components in a gaming setup, RAM is the fastest-access memory and can also act as temporary storage for the operating system, applications, and games.

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A great gaming system would have 64 GB of RAM, while 32 GB of RAM would also work well. A 32GB RAM kit generally costs between 14,000-30,000. RAM sticks are best paired and with a similar clock frequency, which should also be compatible with the motherboard.

Energy system

The ideal power requirement for a high-end gaming PC would be 750 watts. This includes power for the motherboard, graphics card plus additional hard drives or SATA drives. You can choose a 450-watt power supply if you’re building a basic gaming rig without a graphics card, or a 550-watt PSU if you want to add a graphics card later.

Case

The cabinet is where the processor, motherboard, graphics card, power system, hard drive, and everything else fit. It should be chosen based on the motherboard form factor, the size of the power supply and the size of the peripherals. You can choose from true desktop, mid-tower, and mini-tower form factors. The cabinet price can range from 2,000 to ₹70,000 and can be customized for liquid cooling setups and more. There are brands like Corsair, Cooler Master, Zebronics and more that offer both lower and higher PC cases.

Cooling

Water cooling is the very best technology when it comes to keeping your gaming PC cool. This is also an important component that would help reduce the number of dropped frames or prevent the system from being throttled due to high temperatures.

Water cooling installations are for the high-end enthusiasts who prefer their gaming PC super cool and have a bling factor, but the installation process is complex and sometimes messy. You can choose to add cooling fans to the CPU case if amenities are provided, but cleaning the dust filters in the CPU cases will be a chore. Water cooling units brought in as a kit will cost approximately 40,000.

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How things are likely to change on a budget?

There are processors that come with integrated graphics, which can handle most AAA titles at low to medium graphics. These would be ideal for those building a budget gaming rig without a graphics card or planning to purchase a graphics card later on. The graphics card and SSD are the most common components you could swap out if you’re on a budget.

If you’re unlikely to upgrade your gaming PC beyond a certain point, splurge on a PSU that has far more power than what would be needed in the future, for example by installing a graphics card upgrade. Then there is also some money to save here.

Also consider the cost of a good gaming monitor that would have a refresh rate of 120 Hz and above and also a response time of 1 millisecond. These would cost somewhere between 14,000 and 50,000 and will be available for Samsung, LG, Asus, Acer and Viewsonic.

Don’t forget to invest in a good mechanical gaming keyboard and gaming mouse to complete your gaming rig, to complete your gaming rig which will be an extra 10,000 outlay if you are looking for the best.

With this in mind, the most affordable custom gaming rig could cost you around 1.2 lakh, while investing in a super high-end system could cost upwards of ₹2.50,000.

Conclusion

If this is your first experience building a gaming PC, you can have the gaming PC assembled at a brick and mortar store where all PC components are available. Building a gaming PC can be an exciting and rewarding learning experience for enthusiasts. If you’re adventurous enough, you can buy the parts and assemble the PC yourself.


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