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What computer do I need for gaming?

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What computer do I need for gaming?

  Building a gaming PC can appear overwhelming at first but it is easier than you think to create your own 'rig' using a few basic components.        

CPU and Cooling

  Most modern GPUs should be sufficient for a gaming experience but you should opt for a quad-core Intel i7 processor if you are targeting a rich gaming experience. Intel's i3 and i5 chip sets are both great options for cheaper builds. Gaming enthusiasts can also include a sealed liquid CPU cooler if they want to reduce noise levels.  

Motherboard

The motherboard will be the heart of the gaming PC as it holds all of the components together. The motherboard you choose will be dependent on the amount of USB ports you require, if you want a dedicated sound card and are aiming to install one or two graphics cards. The ASRock H97M is a recommended motherboard for budget builds.  

Graphics Card

  A gaming PC will need a dedicated graphics card. You should spend around a third of your budget on the card and aim to buy a recent generation GPU. The card you pick should also be determined by what games you want to play and what resolution and frame rate you want to play them at. For example, a 4K monitor would require a high-end card such as the Nvidia GTX 9704 GB while a budget setup could feature the much cheaper Nvidia GTX 750Ti.  

Memory

  8GB of memory should be sufficient for the majority of gamers. The latest form, known as DDR4, is faster but most gamers will get great performance from a DDR3 setup. 4GB is considered the absolute minimum while 16GB is a luxury.  

Hard Drive

  The hard drive will store your games and all the files and programmes on your PC. New solid state drives (SSD) use flash memory, which makes them quieter, faster and more reliable than the standard Hard Drive Disk (HDD). However, SSD's are typically more expensive. You should opt for a minimum of 1TB of storage.  

Optical drive

  You should ask yourself whether you need an optical drive. Many PC games are now delivered digitally via services such as Steam so it is not essential. Only install an optical drive if you will be using physical media or want your gaming PC to upscale DVDs or play Blu-ray.  

Power supply

  The power supply is an essential component for a gaming PC. There is a range of wattages available and more powerful gaming builds require more voltage to run. You should aim for a minimum 500W PSU.  

Case

  You will need a case to house all of the above components. Fortunately, many cheap Mid-Tower cases will do the job. You want the case to offer sufficient cooling to the internals and simple cable management. This choice is often down to personal taste as the case will be the 'face' of your gaming PC.  

Monitor and other components

  Gamers must also choose a monitor or TV to display their games and decide on additional components such as an operating system (Windows 7 or 8) and a wireless network card.
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