Custom built gaming computers
By 2012 it had become increasingly popular for gamers to custom build their own PC geared toward gaming. Custom-building PCs allows for more budget control and easier upgradability. More often than not, it is possible to maximize performance for the best value when building a gaming rig. There are several components that must be considered when building a gaming rig, which include CPUs,memory, a motherboard, Video cards, Solid-state drives, Power supplies, and cases. It is also common for gamers who don’t want to build their own computer to purchase a purpose-built Gaming PC built by certain companies or a friend willing to help.
When building a custom built gaming PC, builders usually turn to independent benchmarks to help make their hardware selection. Organizations such as AnandTech and Tom’s Hardware Guideprovide such benchmarks and hardware reviews. The benchmarks include ratings for PC components that are necessary to build a gaming PC. It is also crucial to consider Computer cooling, as this is required to remove the waste heat produced by gaming computer components.
A graphics card also known as a GPU is essential to any custom built gaming PC. Modern cards connect to a computer motherboard using the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCI Express or PCI-E). There are two major manufacturers when it comes to selecting a GPU for a gaming PC, AMD and NVIDIA. These companies provide GPU’s which other companies design circuit boards and cooling shrouds for, making up between them the combined item known as a graphics card. While most graphics cards are designed (apart from the GPU) by the hardware vendor which sells it under their brand name, sometimes the GPU manufacturer will send out reference cards (with the PCB and cooling shroud entirely designed by the GPU manufacturer) for reviews or evaluation. Some models, like the AMD Radeon R9 290 or Nvidia GTX TITAN, are only authorized to be sold with the GPU manufacturer-designed circuit board and shroud.
Another major component that cannot be overlooked in a gaming computer is the processor, or CPU (Central Processing Unit). Again, there are two major brands when it comes to selecting a CPU,AMD and Intel. According to benchmarks conducted in 2012, the Intel Core i7 appears to have a major performance advantage over its AMD counterparts. This is no surprise as the i7 is marketed towards high-end personal computing.It is worth noting, however, that after a certain point, CPUs often have limited impact on actual gaming performance (often less than 5% in frame rates). In the world of technology, it is important to stay up to date on all the current benchmarks.
Motherboards – Top Notch Asus & Gigabyte
The motherboard is the component inside of every computer that brings all the hardware together. It manages the input and output connections. Motherboards come in different form factors, or physical sizes. The most common form factors are ATX, mATX, and Mini-ITX. Gaming machines typically use ATX motherboards, as their size allows for greater future expansion. Most gaming motherboards provide Overclocking ability to enhance system speeds and support high amounts ofRAM.
Memory is essential to system performance. Adding more memory will increase system performance. The most current type of memory is DDR4 SDRAM (double data rate type four synchronous dynamic random access memory). The current average minimum RAM in modern machines is 8 GB. However adding memory up to 12 or 16 GB will have a performance impact.
Solid state drives
Solid-state drives (SSD) are a newer form of data storage which is gaining in popularity. The more common and traditional hard disk drive (HDD) is still the more widely used, but many gaming enthusiasts are turning to SSDs in favor of the advantages they offer over HDDs. Unlike HDDs, SSDs have no moving mechanical parts, meaning they are less susceptible to shock and also run silently. SSDs also offer faster access time, as HDDs require time in order for the moving parts to speed up to operating specifications. An SSD drive can be 4 or 5 times faster than a traditional HDD drive. For an SSD drive, files almost open instantly. This means with an SSD, booting up a system and launching programs take less time. SSDs will increase the performance of a system by how often the game accesses the drive in order load items from the game such as levels and textures.However, SSDs cost much more than HDDs do per gigabyte, meaning in terms of pure capacity, they are not as cost effective. They also currently offer a lower common maximum capacity than HDDs.
Power supply units – Top quality to handle the best performance
Although occasionally overlooked, the power supply unit (PSU) is still an important component to consider. The wattage needed to run a system is dependent on the hardware, so often a PSU calculator is used to determine the wattage needed. In addition, future upgrades to a gaming rig will possibly require more power, and PSUs lose power as they age, so it is often a good idea to buy a PSU that has the capability of lasting through several years and upgrades. The PSU must also be compatible with the other hardware pieces.
There are two types of PSUs, modular PSUs (MPSU) and non-modular PSUs. Non-modular PSUs come with fixed cables, meaning unused ones will be left unconnected. Both fulfill the same purpose, but often MPSUs are preferred because they allow for better cable management, as they remove the issue of unused cable clutter that non-modular PSUs often have.