Current-gen gaming consoles are all well and good, but many gamers agree that if you want to play the best games around, you’re going to need a PC. To a beginner (and even to intermediate users), knowing where to start when it comes to PC gaming can be tricky. What should you opt for? Should you self-build or get a pre-built machine? Well, the truth is that PC gaming is less complicated than many make it out to be, especially in our current age of gaming. Here are 9 pro tips for the perfect gaming PC!
1. Get financed first
Although PC gaming is much more inclusive and accessible than it used to be, it can still be prohibitively expensive, especially if you want to buy the latest top-of-the-range components. Luckily, you don’t actually need that much money if you’re going to put together a decent gaming PC. Even £500 loans from a reputable provider can give you the money you need to buy RAM or a graphics card, so make sure you’ve got some cash in your corner before you set out on your PC gaming journey.
2. Self-build if you’re confident
If you think you know where all the components in your PC should go, then don’t be afraid to self-build. Doing so can actually save you a lot of money in the long run; many pre-built gaming PCs add a charge for labour on the part of those who build your machine, so if you think you can put it all together yourself, then you could be saving hundreds of pounds. Make sure you’ve got a YouTube tutorial or a knowledgeable friend handy to help you out if you take this route.
3. Don’t be afraid to go pre-built
It’s okay not to be confident when it comes to building your PC, even if you come across people who say you should build it yourself. Some of the best gaming PCs out there are pre-built machines that you won’t have to lift a finger to assemble, so if you’d rather just get on with things (and if money is no object), then don’t be afraid to seek out a company that will help you put together your PC. You could even go for the middle option and buy a custom PC that someone else builds for you!
4. Get at least 16GB of RAM
These days, modern games are incredibly demanding for your system, so you’re probably going to need at least 16GB of RAM. 8GB is too little for a gaming PC; while it’ll suffice for most office laptops or even desktop PCs that are only going to engage in light office tasks, a gaming PC needs more juice than that for multitasking. We’d recommend you opt for 32GB of RAM; that should be enough to satisfy the more powerful games on the market, and you can always upgrade later.
5. Don’t worry about ray tracing…for now
As it stands, ray tracing is a hugely taxing addition to a gaming PC, and it doesn’t really add too much to the overall experience. While full ray tracing makes a game look breathtaking, the strain it puts on a system just isn’t worth the money at the moment. With that in mind, you don’t necessarily need to buy the highest-price graphics card just because it supports ray tracing. Of course, if money is no object for you, then you should buy the best card available, but don’t worry if your system can’t quite handle ray tracing.
6. Don’t skimp on accessories
Your keyboard and mouse are just as important to your overall gaming experience as the PC itself. Buying good-quality peripherals will help you to immerse yourself in your games even more, so make sure you’re not skimping on this aspect of your build. A mechanical gaming keyboard is imperative; while the typing experience might be a bit annoying for your housemates, the physical feedback you get while gaming will make you wonder how you ever played without one.
7. Buy a good chair
You’re probably going to be spending a lot of time at your gaming PC, so buying a good chair is essential. Doing so means that you’ll have good back support and won’t hurt yourself over long periods of play, so again, don’t think that you can get away with a cheap chair. Make sure to allocate enough money for a chair that’s going to last and support your body frame. It’s better to buy a more expensive chair now and have it last than to keep replacing it over time.
8. Don’t ignore your desk
The PC itself is all well and good, but what about the desk where it’s housed? Where you keep your PC is important; it should have enough airflow not to overheat easily, especially if you’re going to be overclocking your graphics card, and the desk should also be at a good height for your keyboard and mouse, as well as your monitor or monitors. Again, don’t be afraid to go down the custom desk route if you don’t see anything that fits your needs at first.
9. Get high refresh rate monitors
If anyone ever tells you that you can’t tell the difference between 60Hz and 144Hz refresh rate monitors, don’t believe them. Switching from one to the other is an epiphany, and it’ll be really, really hard to go back, but it’s worth it for the smooth fluidity 144Hz adds to your gaming experience. For added benefits, try and find monitors that support G-Sync, which is an Nvidia technology that matches a game’s frame rate to the refresh rate of your monitor. It’s a revelation.