Buying a new gaming computer can be costly and in such a vast market it can be difficult to find the best deal for your money.
In recent years, more gamers have started building their own rig from scratch and use the challenge as an opportunity to tailor their unique gaming experience.
We recently ran a competition to find the UK’s best gaming setup and received a whole host of displays from entrants; from a UV light-covered entry named ‘Lightbringer’, to custom-painted casing, gamers can add almost anything into their setup to make it personal to them. But where do you start? We’re here to talk you through what you need to get started and how to create the ultimate gaming setup.
So, what is a gaming rig?
Normal computer processors (CPU) are often inadequate to deliver the high level of graphics which games demand. A gaming rig, or gaming PC, is specifically built to handle this level of detail and deliver it at high speed.
Why build your own gaming rig? Why is it better than buying one?
Whether you’re playing just for fun or are a professional gamer, there are lots of positives to building your own handcrafted rig compared with a shop-bought PC. There’s the opportunity to pick and choose each part of your model, making it individual to your needs without having to compromise on quality. Building from scratch may be more time consuming, but it also means that you can save money by looking for a good deal online or buying second hand hardware from a reputable seller.
Building your own gaming rig has become more popular, it has led to a range of great products and parts appearing on the market, so there’s something for all budgets. You can also choose the exact brands and parts which suit you and your playing style.
What do you need to start building your gaming PC?
To begin building your rig by hand, you first need several key components. It’s important to do your research before buying, so you have the best idea of what you’re looking for when shopping around. Thankfully, a lot of hardware is readily available with easy installation and configuration, however, remember to check compatibility between your hardware and components to ensure your masterpiece comes together without any hiccups.
Here are the key bits of kit you need to buy before the build begins:
Graphics card – Also known as a GPU, a graphics card is essential for your gaming PC. You can choose between several different manufacturers, depending on your needs. Graphics cards are tested in games by the FPS (frames per second) and vary across different software and games, so it is essential that you choose one that suits you and your favourite games. There’s all sorts of options to suit different memory sizes and they can be adapted specifically to your build.
The graphics card is one of the most important components in a gaming rig because a poor one can lead to lagging graphics and slow gameplay – so make sure you get one with a decent memory bandwidth.
Processors/central processing units (CPU’s) – The CPU is often called the brain of the PC due to the multiple core processors inside. The more cores there are, the more tasks can be completed at once, playing a large role in your overall system performance. The main options come from AMD and Intel, with AMD being a more feasible option for the everyday game player.
Motherboard – Oh mother! This bit of kit acts as the nervous system of your rig and connects all of the components together, from the memory, hard drives and even wireless tech. The motherboard acts as a support system for the whole computer. Thankfully, there are options for all budgets in different forms for each gamer’s needs.
Memory/Random Access Memory (RAM) – The memory, or RAM, allows your gaming PC to run multiple commands without lagging. It’s important to consider how much memory you’ll need when building your system, as this will have a big impact on your PC’s overall gaming performance. Most systems support around 64GB of RAM, but typically gamers only need around 8-16GB in their rigs.
Storage – You can choose between having Solid State Drives (SSD), Hard Disk Drives (HDD) or both in your gaming rig. Many gamers have both because these are your main storage elements, as well as giving you faster loading times. So make sure you check the storage you need from the games you’re going to play, and think about how much you’ll want to store in your rig.
Power Supply (PSU) – You guessed it, this is the component your PC needs to get power. Gaming PC’s need a lot of power to handle the demand of games and to keep your gameplay running smoothly. The quality of your PSU matters in the long run so it’s best to invest a bit more into this component.
Cooling – Gaming rigs generate a lot more heat than the average PC, so they need their own cooling system. Some CPU’s and PC cases already come with fans built in, but if yours doesn’t, you have the option of installing an air or liquid fan. Air fans are more economical, environmentally friendly and easier to install, but water cooling is more efficient.
Case – This is the outer shell for your gaming rig that will act as protective hub. There is a vast choice of cases to choose from, depending on the size of your rig and expandability. The case can be customised or professionally painted to suit your own aesthetic.
So now you’ve built your gaming PC, how do you take it to the next level?
To improve your gaming performance, it’s all about upgrades. Upgrading your kit can enhance your gameplay experience and it doesn’t mean taking your rig apart. Here are a few ways to boost your gaming PC:
● Upgrade your graphics card to a newer model. This will allow your graphics to run seamlessly, as the graphics card is almost always the reason your games are lagging. We recommend 4GB or more for 1080p displays, and a core clock of 600Mhz to be able to play in full HD.
● If you run games on their max settings, upgrade your processor/CPU to a processor with more than two cores.
● If you are a hardcore gamer, upgrade your storage drive to all SDD instead of HDD, as this will make your games faster and smoother.
● For the final finishing touches, customise your case with LED lighting, custom paint jobs and windows to make your gaming rig unique to you.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to get creative and have a go at building your own.
To get started on building your own custom gaming rig, visit the Ebuyer PC builder.
Element Gaming Black & Red
• PU faux leather
• Adjustable seat height
• Easy to assemble
£69.96 save £4.99
Intel Core i7-8700K
• LGA 1151
• Core 3.70 GHz
Logitech G433 Blue Headset
• Detachable boom mic
* Prices correct at time of posting.