We often get asked this question, how can I build my own gaming PC with minimum stress and without complications? Is it even feasible, compared to buying an off-the-shelf pre-built computer? Well, this article answers your questions in a straightforward way. I’m going to lay-out all you need to know, including hardware recommendations for the best gaming PC build in 2020, whether you are on a budget, or want a mid-range option. What about high-end enthusiast build? We’ve got you covered.
As you probably know, gaming places a huge demand on the processor and graphics card. This is because the processor is responsible for processing the game engine, while the graphics card is responsible for outputting the game frames to a monitor. Before you build a gaming PC, you should ensure your processor and graphics card will work together to produce the desired results. You don’t want to invest in a high-end powerful processor, only to pair it with a low powered GPU.
This is not wise. That is why we have researched the best components you can get for gaming on a budget, for mid-range builds, and the high-end categories of PC gamers.
- PART RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST GAMING PC BUILD IN 2020
- SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU BUILD YOUR GAMING PC
- THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENTS FOR A GAMING PC BUILD
- STEP BY STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO BUILD YOUR GAMING PC
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PART RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEST GAMING PC BUILD IN 2020
We are going to list out our recommendations for a gaming PC build, for both AMD and Intel platforms.
AMD GAMING PC BUILDS
Take your pick from 3 options – Budget, Mid-range and High-end builds
BUDGET AMD GAMING PC BUILD
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MID-RANGE AMD GAMING PC BUILD
HIGH-END AMD GAMING PC BUILD
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INTEL GAMING PC BUILDS
Take your pick from 3 options – Budget, Mid-range and High-end builds
BUDGET INTEL GAMING PC BUILD
MID-RANGE INTEL GAMING PC BUILD
HIGH-END INTEL GAMING PC BUILD
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU BUILD YOUR GAMING PC
If you want to build your own PC for gaming, you should have a few considerations in mind. We’re going to state that in the following section.
UNDERSTAND YOUR NEEDS
You should know exactly the kind of games you are going to be playing on your gaming PC, and this should tie in perfectly with your budget. If you are a beginner and your budget is lean, understand that you can still play your games, but you can’t be able to do so at the highest settings and resolution. Your budget determines exactly the playing experience to expect.
If you are a hardcore gamer, are a regular attendee of LAN parties, and are going to be playing the latest titles like Metro Exodus, Borderlands 3, Doom Eternal, Apex Legends, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Monster Hunter: World, Far Cry New Dawn, or Hitman 2 on the highest resolutions and settings, then your budget will likely hit the $1000 plus category.
For VR gaming, not all titles are VR-Ready, and you must buy a VR-Ready processor and graphics card. Click here to jump to the guide for a VR gaming PC. Otherwise, scroll to the next section for our guide on building a PC for gaming based on 3 budget ranges.
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BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET…
Building a gaming PC requires some essential components, which we are going to list here. PC Gaming is a huge industry, with lots of options for customization. If you don’t know what you want, it’s quite easy to get confused with the plenty of options available. Having said this, here are some budgetary considerations to bear in mind.
First of all, the major question is, how much are you prepared to spend on your gaming PC? We are going to focus on 3 budget categories for gaming PC builds:
Budget, Mid-Range, and High-End.
Typical budget PC builds range from $300 to $700. Well, if your budget falls in this category, then please understand that you will not be able to play the latest game titles at the highest resolutions. You just have to make do with playing games at reduced resolutions and ditch the eye-candy.
For mid-range builds, you should be prepared to spend something in the range of $800 to $1200. With this budget, you should play the latest games. Yes. It depends on the settings you dial in.
For high-end builds, you are looking at budgets of at least $1,200 to $10,000 and above. This is for those who are prepared to pay a premium for hardware. With this level of budget, anything is possible. You can play the latest games, at the highest resolutions, and the highest settings. You can even take it up a notch and invest in multiple monitors to create mega screens for maximum display capabilities. Just go ahead and throw in the money. It’s all good.
THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENTS FOR A GAMING PC BUILD
Apart from the graphics card, this is equally important. Without the processor, your graphics card will not have information to output to the monitor. You need a fast processor, preferably a quad-core or Hexa-core processor. Anything higher than this would be unnecessary because of the fact that most games cannot take advantage of the extra cores. A high clock speed is also another factor. Something in the region of 3Ghz to 5GHz will do just fine, allowing you to dial up your game settings considerably.
The single most important component is the graphics card. This is because the graphics card is responsible for rendering the game graphics on your monitor. A fast graphics card gives you the best results, apart from its features. As usual, your budget determines the graphics card you should buy. Here are some recommendations for all categories of buyers:
SOME RECOMMENDED GRAPHICS CARDS FOR ALL BUDGETS
|Budget GPUs||Mid-Range GPUs||High-End GPUs|
|Nvidia GeForce GT 1030||Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti|
|Nvidia GTX 1050||Nvidia GeForce GTX 970||AMD Radeon VII|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti||AMD Radeon RX 590||Nvidia Titan XP|
|AMD Radeon RX 560||AMD Radeon R9 390||AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT|
|AMD Radeon RX 570||AMD Radeon RX Vega 56||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super|
|AMD Radeon RX 550||AMD Radeon RX Vega 64||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti|
|AMD Radeon RX 580||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super|
|AMD Radeon RX 5500XT||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti||Nvidia Titan RTX|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070|
QUICK TIP FOR BUYING GRAPHICS CARDS
If you are going to buy a high-end graphics card, then make sure you are going to match it with an equally powerful processor to avoid bottlenecking (this happens when a component is not fast enough to process data being relayed to it by another component in the computer data processing workflow.
When this happens, a hang-up occurs, which is resolved when the slower component eventually catches up). Scroll down for our recommendations for the different build categories.
Your monitor plays an important role in your gaming setup. Typically, a 1080p LED IPS gaming monitor will suffice for most gamers, but if you want the best performance, you should go for a 1440p 125Hz monitor. This is the sweet spot for gamers today.
Monitor resolution is simply the amount of pixels your monitor can display at any time, as received from the graphics card. It is measured in pixels, or px. Most budget gaming monitors are 1080p monitors. But when you get to the high-end stuff, you begin to see up to 4K monitors. When buying a gaming monitor, the higher the resolution, the better the images appear. Here’s a table showing the different resolutions available for gaming monitors.
|5K resolution||5120 x 2880 px|
|4K resolution||3840 x 2160 px|
|Ultra HD (UHD) resolution||3840 x 2160 px|
|2K or 1440p resolution||2560 x 1440 px|
|WUXGA resolution||1920 x 1200 px|
|Full HD (FHD) or 1080p||1920 x 1080 px|
|HD or 720p resolution||1280 x 720 px|
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Typical monitor sizes range from 22-inch up to 42 inches, with room for more. The sweet spot right now for gaming monitors is between 24 and 32 inch displays. Typical budget monitors are 22 to 24-inch screen size, whereas high end monitors are between 27 to 32 inches, though there are exceptions to this rule.
When it comes to monitor size, it’s not really a big issue. Monitors can be combined in multi-monitor setups, with up to 6 monitors to create a maximum gaming experience.
MONITOR PANEL TECH
There are three major LCD panel technologies used in today’s PC monitors including twisted nematic (TN), vertical alignment (VA) and in-plane switching (IPS). Each has several variations that offer different advantages.
TN panels offer the best performance in terms of lower response times, highest refresh rates, minimal motion blur and low input lag. On the flip side, TN panels have the worst viewing angles and also poor color reproduction. They are also the cheapest in terms of price. TN panels are best for gaming monitors
VA panels typically have longer response times and higher refresh rates available. They also have beter viewing angles than TN panels, but worse than IPS panels. They are also able to reproduce color and pixel depth better than TN panels. In terms of price, the most expensive VA panels are at par with TN panels when it comes to performance.
Finally, IPS panels are best for professional monitors, have the best viewing angles and best color reproduction, they are also the most expensive. In terms of response times, they are much slower than TN panels, but faster than VA panels.
In summary, when going for gaming monitor, pay attention to the response time. A lower number is better, with most gaming monitors having 1 millisecond response time, or even less. Other gaming panels have response times between 1 and 5 milliseconds.
Also pay attention to the refresh rate. A higher number is better. Typical refresh rate is 60Hz, while the better and more expensive monitors have refresh rate of 144Hz. If your monitor of choice is limited to 60Hz, then G-Sync or Freesync must be enabled on the monitor.
FREESYNC OR G-SYNC?
When you play a game, there is the tendency for the screen images to tear or stutter. This can happen if your graphics card is not powerful enough to process the data and relay it to the monitor, and the frame rate of the game and the monitor refresh rate go out of sync, or alignment.
AMD has a solution for this, called Freesync. Nvidia’s solution, G-Sync monitors are more expensive than Freesync monitors. On the other hand, Freesync monitors are more rampant.
|Cost||Less expensive displays||More expensive displays|
|Availability||More rampant||Less rampant|
|GPU Platform Support||AMD Graphics Cards||Nvidia Graphics Cards|
|Refresh rate compatibility||Less consistent||More consistent|
You need a motherboard that is tailored to your needs, and there are plenty to choose from. If you are a hardcore gamer, you will probably need a high-end motherboard that supports overclocking. Please understand that overclocking can void your processor warranty, even though it is supported by the processor.
In addition to the graphics card, you need an SSD drive for installing your operating system and games. SSDs offer much better performance than mechanical hard drives. Your best bet is to get an m.2 SSD for the best performance.
GAMING KEYBOARD AND MOUSE
These play an important part in helping you control the game characters. For the best experience, go for a gaming keyboard and mouse, with their distinctive characteristics.
Some gaming keyboards have color-coded keys for easier gaming, while some have backlit keys. Yet others have a combination of these characteristics. Gaming mice, on the other hand, have much higher responsiveness due to the high resolutions they support. Go for the best your money can buy.
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STEP BY STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO BUILD YOUR GAMING PC
For a list of components for an AMD budget gaming PC, refer to our comprehensive guide on the best budget gaming PC build. If you are building a mid-range to high-end gaming PC, the difference is just the hardware configuration. The steps are the same for all builds, whether budget or high-end. Refer to the tables above for our best pick for all categories.
Basically, you can build either an Intel-based gaming PC or an AMD-based gaming PC. The reason for this is: you can’t use an Intel processor on an AMD-based motherboard, and vice versa. So, if you’re going for an Intel processor, you must use an Intel-based motherboard. On the other hand, your RAM must match your motherboard socket, i.e., DDR3 RAM goes with DDR3 socket motherboard, the same for DDR4. Click here to move to the step-by-step guide on how to build your own PC.
If you like this article, please share using the buttons below. If there is something I missed, please don’t hesitate to comment in the comments section below. We are here for you. Other articles you might want to check out include the best 4K PC build for video editing and best 3D Animation and rendering build featuring the AMD Threadripper. We’ve also got a guide for building a PC for Graphic Design, a PC Build for Music Production, a Video Editing PC Build, the best Laptop for Solidworks 2020, and others. Check them out if you care. You may also check out our PC Build Cost Calculator.
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My passion for PC hardware is my greatest motivation. I love technology and how it can make life easier and less complicated! When I’m not tinkering with hardware, I’m reading. I love to travel and I usually can’t wait to sit down on my PC to work.
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