A Step by Step Guide
So, you have decided to join the PC master race. I welcome you, my friend, you have chosen well!
Okay, enough with the drama, I know that the main reason why you are here is that you need tips on how to get started with your PC gaming. You must have spent hours browsing other people’s set-ups or have combed shops after shops for the best component to add to your dream rig. I know that feeling because I’ve done it too during the time that I built mine.
However, before you can post that ‘instagrammable’ set-up and share it with your friends, the gaming station of your dreams must be planned first. Don’t worry, because I’ve got your back, follow these tips and you are on your way to being inaugurated as the newest member of the PC master race.
Step 1: Decide on a Budget
This is your first step; do you go all out-splurging cash on your set-up, or you stick to a limited budget? Whatever you decide, you must be firm and follow the plan.
Believe me, it is easy to get lost when shopping for components and peripherals. With all the shiny gaming stuff out there, getting eaten by retail giants is not unlikely. However, by sticking to a budget, you will be able to control the spending, and you can blow cash on gear that matters.
Step 2: Make a Master List
I know that you can’t wait to build your rig, polish that table and retrofit customized LED lights to your station, however, I need you to slow down. PC gaming is a massive world with nooks and crannies everywhere, and you might get lost if you are not careful.
To avoid this mistake, draw yourself a roadmap, with the end in sight. Though it is tempting to buy and build as you go, I strongly advise against it. Believe me, this will ultimately spell disaster, not just for your pocket but for the end product as well. To start with the planning, imagine how the gaming station will look like, then list down all the product that is needed. Write it down and stick with it.
Step 3: Building the Gaming Rig (Choosing PC Specs)
My favorite part and I bet it’s yours too. Now that you have the budget and master list already, this part will be more organized. Before you go and buy the PC components, let me walk you through some tips and guidelines.
First, decide if you are going to have a single display or will you opt for multiple set-ups? Once you determine this, the next thing to check is the resolution and refresh rate. Gaming will feel bland if you skip out on checking your monitor specs thoroughly. If you want to change in scenery, you may also hook up your rig to a gaming projector. Don’t worry this will not bankrupt you as there are projectors under $200 that are up for grabs.
When buying a PC case, decide first whether you want a full tower or a mid-tower case. If you decide on a mid-tower, aside from being shorter and smaller, they can only be fitted with smaller motherboards. This also means that they have lesser fans and fewer expansion slots.
So, if this is a concern to you and you love to customize and go all out, then getting a full tower case is the best way to go.
The motherboard is one of the core components of a gaming PC so choose one wisely. Check the Processor Socket, and make sure that it’s compatible with the processor that you will choose. You don’t want to waste money by buying incompatible parts.
The heart of your gaming system. The processor will determine the power of your rig, so allotting a big chunk of your budget on this one is an excellent idea.
This will determine the efficiency of your PC. Bigger RAM means better multitasking capabilities. Make sure to get a RAM stick that is compatible with your motherboard.
Before you just pick an HDD (Hard Disk Drive), and you’re set. But now SSD (Solid-State Drive) and NVME (Non-Volatile Memory Express) are trending, due to their processing power. However, prepare to cash in more if you pick this kind of storage. A tip though, if you are on a budget, you can store your operating system on an SSD for faster booting, and store games plus other files on an HDD. This way, you get the best of both worlds (albeit limited) without paying for an arm and a leg.
GPU (Graphics Card)
When we game, we want to have the best gaming experience. And this can only be achieved with the help of an excellent GPU. I mean seriously, who wants to play their favorite games with mediocre graphics settings? That’s why this component is also a wise choice to blow your budget on.
PSU (Power Supply)
This is the battery of your whole system. Don’t be stingy on this one either as this will make or break your set up. Bad PSU can bail out and take down parts of your rig with it, so be very cautious in choosing one.
If you want to prolong the life of your gaming PC, then invest in an excellent cooling system. An overheating core and circuits getting fried is not a pleasant sight, so make sure to keep their temperature regulated. Extra fans are also encouraged for a smoother performance.
Step 4: Choosing Gaming Gears
Gaming gears or peripherals is essential, and this will directly impact your gaming performance.
Mouse and Keyboard
There are gaming-grade mouse and keyboards out there, so you just have to know what best suits you. Gaming mice have different categories that target specific gaming genre. FPS gamers are treated with lighter mouse and faster sensors. On the other hand, fans of MMORPG and MOBA are more inclined to pick mice with multiple buttons. So before choosing one, make sure to get the one which features fit your gaming preferences.
For keyboards, there are tenkeyless variations if you are minimalist. While others offer extra macro keys and additional multimedia functions. Mechanical switches are also favored by gamers as they provide tacility and better actuation for gamers.
Also, make sure that you invest in a good gaming headset as this will help in better gaming immersion. There are headsets out there that specialize in surround sound, if this interest you, then pick one that supports this feature. One more thing in-game chat is necessary. Because they increase chances of victory for online multiplayer games, so getting a headset with a quality mic is a huge plus. However, if you are minimalist and prefers a low-key audio device, then perhaps gaming earbuds is better for you. After all they are discreet but are still able to pack a punch.
Gamers hate lags, and that is a fact. Nothing can ruin a gaming session better than network latency. To combat this, make sure to invest in a reliable router. Gaming grade routers are better at providing better internet connection for gamers than your average router. If you are short on the budget its okay as there are router under $100 that performs well.
Step 5: Battle Station
With that awesome rig already in place, the next step is to determine where to put it. When choosing a gaming table, consider its build and sturdiness. It should be able to support the weight of your rig and monitor. Don’t settle for less, because a substandard table won’t end well for your PC.
The next thing to pick is your gaming chair, with the rise of racing type chairs, I assume that this is what you’re interested in. However, before wanting a chair for aesthetic purposes, it should pass the ergonomics test first. You are going to play on this chair for a considerable amount of time, so excellent back support is imperative. Invest in a chair that supports good posture and ensures comfort even for long gaming sessions.
Step 6: Test Run
The fun part. This is where you fine-tune your masterpiece. This will include tweaking monitor settings and installing performance booster software. You can also take this opportunity to personalize your peripherals. Gaming mice and keyboards are commonly compatible with gaming software from their manufacturers. You can save gaming profiles, macros, and personalize lightings using these apps.
Designing your station can be done during with step. Do you want to add an LED strip behind your monitor and under the table? Go ahead!
Building an epic computer set-up is hard work, not to mention expensive. That is why optimizing your resources is of maximum performance. By having a substantial budget in mind, you will able to work around this amount, thus maximizing your options. It is also good to list down all the components and gear that you want, so it will serve as a guideline to stay within your means.
I know that marketing stunts are getting extreme in this industry, so falling prey to pretty words is easy. That is why by evaluating your needs, you will be able to choose the one that answers your needs, and not that one that sounds awesome.
However, make sure that you have fun, and enjoy whatever the end product will be. After all, this is a gaming PC, a system designed to let you experience adventures from the comfort of your home.