Intro to gaming PCs
Blazingly fast frame rates, higher-than-console graphics settings, deadly aim precision and more. Switching from a console to a PC is easily the best choice for gaming. Ebuyer stocks the latest components, peripherals and accessories from the biggest brands for the best PC gaming experience possible. From pre-built gaming PCs to building your own, there’s a staggering amount of options, but we’ll walk you through the most important considerations.
Desktop Gaming PCs
Building your own PC is an enjoyable, gratifying and rewarding experience, which Ebuyer actively encourages people to try. However, it’s understandably intimidating for some as you have to pick parts, ensure compatibility and above all not breaking anything. For the closest possible plug-and-play experience to kickstart your journey into PC gaming, without the nerve-wracking hassle, Ebuyer offers up pre-built gaming PCs. From budget-friendly systems for casual gaming, to insanely powerful all-out machines designed for dominating the biggest blockbusters, Ebuyer stocks desktop gaming PCs for any price point and performance requirements.
PC gaming isn’t limited to the towering, hulking beasts of desktops PCS, unescapably chained to a power socket. Shedding their stigma of bulkiness and compromises, the latest generation of gaming laptops are portable powerhouses. The mobile variations of processors from Intel, AMD and NVIDIA have caught up considerably with their desktop counterparts for a shockingly good on-the-go gaming experience. With a PC gamer’s essential peripherals like a high refresh rate monitor and keyboard directly integrated, gaming laptops. are truly versatile all-in-one devices. For university students, LAN party goes or anybody wanting high performance computing in a backpack-friendly form factor, gaming laptops are ideal.
What gaming PC do you need?
Impossibly sounding high-core-count processors, bank-breaking graphics cards, over-engineered liquid-cooled loops - spectacular showcases of over-the-top performance are closely associated with PC gaming. They’re undoubtedly impressive but help project an insurmountable barrier of entry. What makes PC gaming great isn’t necessarily the obsession with cutting-edge hardware. It’s the sheer amount of customisation and choice. Whether you’re re-playing retro classics or picking up the latest releases, there’s a gaming PC for your needs.
Entry-level gaming PCs with low-powered or even integrated graphics are perfectly suitable for older, less graphically intensive games like the competitive-focused League of Legends or Minecraft. Check out our article on getting the most out of low-spec gaming. Usually, these PCs are held back by the graphics card, which is upgradable on desktops.
For the latest releases at respectable settings, 60 frames-per-second, the standard target for PC gaming, step up to an enthusiast-level PC. The current recommendation consists of at least a 6-core processor, preferably with either AMD simultaneous multi-threading or Intel hyper threading, for efficiently sharing the workload. A graphics card from the AMD RX 6000 or NVIDIA RTX 30 series, with real-time ray tracing support. 16GB of super-fast RAM, 3200MHz is the sweet spot. And a 500GB SSD for snappier system responsiveness and loading times.
PC gaming is immensely popular. For an unprecedented amount of choice to satisfy a PC gamer’s demands, Ebuyer stocks components, peripherals and accessories from the biggest, world-renowned brands like AlphaSync, ASUS, MSI, Corsair, Razer and many more.
Intel & AMD processors
Although a graphics card tends to receive the undivided attention in a gaming PC for rendering stunning visuals, the processor handles complex calculations like AI, physics simulations and asset management. The benefits of a processor aren’t immediately apparent like the flashy visuals of a graphics card brings to the table, but they’re an essential component for keeping the PC running smoothly. Intel and AMD offer up compelling chips from their Core and Ryzen line-ups, both with high-core-counts and ridiculously fast clocks speeds for high refresh rate and high-resolution gaming.
NVIDIA & AMD graphics cards
A dedicated graphics card is the defining feature of a gaming PC. It’s mere presence makes it stand out against other bog-standard PCs. As the name implies, the graphics card’s sole purpose is graphical processing. The faster the graphics card, the higher you can crank up image quality and frame rate to spectacular levels. Enjoy higher-resolution textures, realistic character models and truly unprecedented features like real-time ray tracing for accurate light simulation, with shockingly convincing results. Ebuyer stocks both NVIDIA Geforce RTX and AMD Radeon RX graphics cards
Short-term and volatile, memory (RAM) is used by applications to quickly swap in-and-out temporary but essential data, but only when the computer is switched on. Compared to conventional storage like hard drive or even the fastest solid-state drives, memory is ludicrously quick. It constantly feeds applications with the freshest data to keep them operating smoothly.
8GB of memory is the bare minimum for a modern system and would require acute awareness and micro-management of your background processes to avoid lag. If you multi-task with many applications like a game, communication client, web browser and more, then 16GB of memory is the sweet-spot. Fortunately, memory is one of the easiest upgrades if you ever need more.
Game storage requirements are rising exponentially. A decade ago, gamers vented their online over ‘unacceptable’ 25GB game installs. Nowadays, we’re breaching a mind-boggling 150GB install for a single game. High-resolution textures, pre-rendered cut-scenes and uncompressed audio all contribute to bloated sizes. So make sure you’ve got enough storage. Not only for big games, but back-ups, operating system and other applications. 500GB is the bare-minimum recommendation for a modern gaming PC, ideally in solid-state storage.
Hard drives have affordable capacities, but by modern standards are exceedingly slow. They’re great as additional, supplementary storage for long-term organisation and archiving, but a gaming PC shouldn’t rely on them. Solid-state drives are the go-to for primary drives. An operating system installed on a solid-state drive is noticeably snappier, quickly loading pre-installed applications and menus. M.2 NVMe solid-state drives with PCIe 4.0 connectivity, barring motherboard support, are on the cutting-edge of performance, loading games in seconds as opposed to minutes on a hard drive.
A motherboard doesn’t directly contribute to performance like a faster graphics card would, but they’re essential for strengthening other component’s capabilities. Higher-end motherboard platforms, like Intel’s Z590 or AMD’s X570, feature enhanced CPU overclocking support PCIe 4.0 for super-fast connectivity with compatible graphics cards and solid-state drives. With all the components connecting to it, the motherboard’s a bustling hub of communication, so ensure it’s got enough expandability for future upgrades and all your peripherals.
If there’s one overarching rule every PC builder should strictly adhere to it’s this: don’t skimp out on the power supply. It’s awfully tempting to sort by cheapest and bad the first available high wattage power supply, then re-invest the savings into a more powerful graphics card. Do you really want a rickety, no-name unit of dubious origins propping up hundreds of pounds worth of power-hungry components? If the power supply fails to produce the advertised power to worse short circuits, it’ll incur catastrophic damage.
Fortunately, an ‘80+’ rating was introduced to easily judge a power supply’s efficiency, start from Bronze up to Platinum. Greater efficiency means less noise, heat and wasted energy.
It’s generally advised to choose a power supply which slightly exceeds the combined power consumption of your system. This ensures each component is comfortably delivered enough power to run at their fastest speeds and not hit unavoidable limitations. Having a more than necessary mean future, more power-hungry upgrades might not incur a power supply upgrade too.
Power supplies come in three configurations: non-modular with permanently attached cables, semi-modular with some removable cables and full-modular with all removeable cables. Some PCs don’t need all the cables. By plugging in only the necessary cables, modular power supplies help simplify PC building by reducing clutter, ideal for first-time builders and encouraging tidy cable management.
Gaming PCs rank leagues ahead of power-sipping chips populating thin-and-light devices. When you’ve got hundreds of watts coursing through your system, efficiency and thermal concerns are tossed aside in favour of maximum performance. The latest generation graphics cards will gladly gobble up in excess of an eye-watering 300W.
The resulting heat generated from this staggering amount must be expelled somewhere. Your gaming PC needs an adequate cooling solution to quickly dissipate hot air accumulating inside the system, otherwise they’ll overheat.
Chunky air coolers and all-in-one liquid coolers have a higher thermal capacity so they sustain longer periods of performance. Extra case fans help intake the freshest, coolest air from outside the case for the powerful components to guzzle up, and exhaust hot air out the back.
All these components need to be installed somewhere. Computer cases are often overlooked as they don’t directly boost in-game frame rates, but they effect performance more than most realise. When forcefully crammed into an insufficiently ventilated case, heat-generating parts will drastically downclock to save themselves from suffocating.
Gaming cases, even space-saving M-ATX ones, pay close attention to thermals. They feature perforated front panels for unrestricted air flow, case fans to push-and-pull air and removeable filters to stop dust clogging up components.
Gaming cases neatly organised to keep clutter to a minimum. They’re appropriately suited to fit sizable heat sinks and radiators. And to show off your system’s specs, tempered glass side panels and immensely popular on gaming cases.
Of course, we must not neglect the gamer’s favourite – RGB! Customisation is an integral aspect of PC gaming. Show off your brand-new gaming PC and make it your own with an abundance of all things RGB.
From RGB integrated into components to case fans, LED strips and accessories. RGB is strongly steeped in gaming culture. The biggest brands have bespoke RGB implementations, like Corsair’s iCue or Razer’s Chrome, for customising and syncing-up lighting across all their devices. If you want an impeccably cohesive RGB set-up, try to source as many parts from the same brand as possible.
Meticulously comparing one graphics card’s ray-tracing performance to another is a routine pastime for PC gamers. It isn’t all about specifications however, how you play is equally important. Ask any gamer why they originally transitioned to PC; keyboard, mouse and other peripherals will inevitably come up. Non-gamers are probably questioning why – aren’t they ill-fitting inputs designed for office productivity, wouldn’t a gaming controller be more comfortable? There’s just no getting around a well-known fact: analogue sticks and a tiny cluster of buttons fail utterly against the one-to-one laser precision of a gaming mouse and sheer number of remappable inputs of a gaming keyboard.
Ebuyer stocks a broad range of gaming peripherals and accessories. Choose from satisfyingly tactile mechanical and zero-latency wireless gaming keyboards in loads of form factors to suit your set-up. Make sure to check out our comprehensive, in-depth guide to choosing the the best gaming mouse, including why you need a gaming mouse mat to ensure the mouse’s maximum performance. To gain the edge over your competition, pick up a high refresh rate monitor. They decrease the interval in-between your PC rendering a frame and showing it on the monitor, so you see game-changing information even earlier. The amount of gaming accessories available at Ebuyer doesn’t stop. Gaming headset, gaming chairs and more help elevate immersion to another level.
Build your own gaming PC
If you’re fed up with locked-down consoles and a pre-built gaming laptop or PC doesn’t quite match your needs, building your own gaming PC is an enticing prospect. You’re in complete control, from picking out the all-important components down to purely aesthetic details like RGB. This overwhelming choice may be stifling, so here’s some common mistakes to avoid:
Always be conscious of your budget. For a gaming-grade rig, it’s mighty tempting to centre around the graphics card. While generally a good idea, as the graphics card contributes most in-game, you don’t want to compromise on other components in the process. This inevitably leads to a poorly balanced system and ‘bottlenecking’, where the system is constrained by the least capable part. Build a well-rounded rig to take advantage of the combined power. Check out our £500 PC Build Challenge videos to see this thinking in action.
Also, clearly identify your must-have for a PC. all-too-common occurrence for first-time builders is forgetting features like Wi-Fi. Not all motherboards support it by default, so double-check the spec sheet, or pick up an external Wi-Fi dongle. Does your graphics card outputs support your display? Does your computer case have enough front-panel connectors? Keep considerations like these in mind.
For first-time or even experienced PC builders understandably nervous about dumping a hefty chunk of change on components you may unwittingly break, Ebuyer recommends the AlphaSync system configurator. Using an intuitive interface, it extremely streamlines PC building. Starting off with either an AMD or Intel-based system, select components from drop-down boxes to seamlessly arrange your dream gaming PC. Don’t worry, you can’t accidentally pick out incompatible parts. AlphaSync handles the rest and guarantees only the best products from the biggest brands, highly regarded for their quality and performance.
Once you’ve decided on your optimal configuration, the UK-based AlphaSync team – with over 20 years’ experience – will hand-build your gaming PC to their rigorous standards. With free next business day delivery and a 1-year parts, 3-year labour warranty, in no time at all you’ll be gaming on your brand new custom built gaming PC.