There are many hardware options when building a gaming computer. You don’t need to go through the flood of technical details available online. However, a basic level of understanding saves you time and money.
8 Core Hardware Components of a Gaming PC
To give a clear picture we will discuss them one by one.
Processor or CPU is vital to any computer system and is called the brain of a computer. Its job is to process and execute commands, perform complex calculations and run tasks. CPU follows instructions of computer programs telling which data to process and how. Without CPU you cannot run a computer.
Your gaming experience depends on CPU and GPU. GPU deals with display: Graphics, animations, videos or all that you can see on screen. It does its job fast, but doesn’t know what needs to be done. It needs instructions from CPU what to do. In short, GPU is not that smart compared to CPU.
Everything else that is not visual is handled by CPU including the audio.
CPU cooler or Fan is on the topside of CPU and protects it from overheating keeping it cool and quiet. Most CPUs come with stock cooling solutions and you need not buy one while building your gaming machine. Keep in mind that stock cooler is fine if you are using PC only for light gaming or other general computer related tasks. But if you are into heavy gaming then go for an aftermarket solution because gaming processors generate more heat compared to performing ordinary computer tasks.
GPU/ Graphic Processing Unit
Graphic card or GPU as discussed above handles display of graphics and special effects. So, in a gaming PC graphic card becomes more important than a computer used for performing routine tasks. GPU calculates and renders graphics and special effects to the monitor. How to pick a right graphic card?
The fairest answer is it depends on:
Games you play
On the technical side consider three points buying a GPU.
a) Monitor Display Resolution
PC games demand high resolution monitors and a high resolution monitor demands a high-end GPU because higher the resolution the more pixels it will have to render per frame. So when there are more pixels to render your GPU will have to do the heavy lifting. So equip your gaming machine with a quality gaming card if your goal is to enjoy real 4K visuals.
b) Monitor Refresh Rate
Refresh rate is the number of times monitor updates with new images per second. Monitors with high refresh rate offer a smooth gaming experience and to deliver this a monitor should be backed by a graphic card that can work harder.
PCB (Printed Circuit Board) or a motherboard does not impact the gaming performance directly. However, motherboard has a crucial role in your gaming computer. PCB is the circuit board and its role is to connect GPU, RAM, SSD and all other hardware to CPU in your computer. In simple words without a motherboard you cannot run your computer.
RAM (Random Access Memory) is another piece of hardware that stores data currently in use by the processor. If hard drive or SSD is a long term memory then RAM can be understood as short term memory of the computer. Computer can access RAM memory (data) faster than the data on hard drive or SSD, that’s why RAM capacity is crucial to computer performance.
Choosing RAM for gaming computer depends on the games you play. We always recommend checking the gaming developer’s recommendations first. If your system does not have enough RAM, then it will cause lagging frame rate and poor gaming performance.
HDD or SSD or both are the drives that store data. With every passing day games are taking more and more space thanks to advances in quality of graphics. SSD (Solid state drive) is fast but expensive compared to traditional HDD (Hard disk drive) that is slow and less expensive. A fast storage drive boots Windows faster and load games quicker putting you into action sooner.
PSU (Power Supply Unit)
The main specification of a power supply is wattage; which means how much power it can provide. GPU is the most power-intensive component in your computer. Before buying a power supply figure out the total potential load your gaming PC may require.
Some enthusiast gamers go for a PSU with maximum capacity which is not recommended. In such a scenario it will become hard for PSU to provide a stable voltage to all the components in computer. A power supply wisely picked lasts for years and has an enormous impact on computer efficiency so spare sometime to find what best suits your need.
Apart from the above core parts, you will need a monitor, a mouse and a keyboard and an operating system to put your gaming machine in action. Otherwise your gaming computer will be an expensive box packed with useless parts no matter how much money you spent on them.
Lastly, there is audio that you cannot neglect because music and sound effects convey the real mood of a gaming scene. It is up to you if you go for a set of external speakers or pick a nice gaming headphone.