We select the components of our PC

Who I am
Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez

Let's immediately dispel the myth that to have a Gaming PC you have to spend a fortune. The first thing to keep in mind is that, always and in any case, it's all a matter of budget because, especially if we look at high-end video cards and power supplies, the cost of hardware has increased exponentially over the years. . In this regard, wandering online at various shops in search of the lowest price remains a widespread but not very careful practice, at least in part; it is a good idea to set an initial budget and then select a single shop for the purchase of all the necessary material. The reasons for this approach are very practical, first of all you will save on any shipping costs generated by purchasing in multiple stores and, second but very important, dealing with only one broker undergoing RMA is best. Less broken boxes and in general less paperwork to have to manage during the guarantee or return phase for DOA (dead on arrive, defective material from the factory).



Once you have chosen your budget and seller, both online and physical, it's time to understand what your real needs are. A PC is a PC and on this there are few doubts about it but, it is not always said that a Gaming PC can be a good machine for the professional use of CAD and MAYA or other professional applications for video editing and / or photography; in this regard it is therefore necessary to have in mind what your target is in terms of performance and activities to be carried out.

NDR: Here we will deal only and exclusively systems dedicated to the purest gaming, nothing that can do this or that other than just video play. In this regard, some choices will mostly be forced even if, probably, many of you may disagree.



 

WHERE DO I START?

So where to start? First of all it is necessary to identify the platform you want to use, be it Intel or AMD and consequently the chipset that will identify one or more usable CPUs, amount of RAM that can be installed, possible and any RAID configurations for the disks and SLI or CROSSFIRE for nVIDIA or AMD video cards.

An important tip is: "do not dare beyond your knowledge", recognizing your abilities is often the best way to create the perfect PC for our demanding. We are very keen to underline this aspect for several reasons, since although overlocking is today a more widespread and simplified practice by hardware manufacturers, it is not necessarily safe to practice even for the less savvy and, above all for this and a thousand other reasons. , buying an expensive processor just because it remains the top of the range is never the right choice.

In this regard, it is necessary to adapt one's knowledge to one's needs. For example, if you are looking for maximum performance without having to waste days configuring the CPU or RAM clock, you will certainly not opt ​​for a Intel i7 8700K (currently the fastest CPU on the market for gaming) that, however necessary or not, to achieve maximum performance, an accurate overclock and a cooling system that is particularly suitable for operating temperatures (or delidd in certain extremes) is required. In this regard, a smooth Intel i7 8700 or an AMD Ryzen 2600X could be much more attractive solutions that will also save you cash to be able to invest in GPU or SSD. In other words, the speech "I buy the top of the top" is often not materialized in "I made the right choice", keep this in mind and meditate before any purchase.



PROCESSORS, PROCESSORS EVERYWHERE ..

As for the processors, the choice for gaming systems falls directly on Intel. It is true, many of you will be turning up their noses after this statement but, as mentioned above, here we are examining PCs with the extreme prerogative of gaming so if we were to opt between an AMD Ryzen 2600X or an Intel i5 8600K, our choice would fall on the i5 which, although slightly more expensive, remains faster with any game available at the moment, especially as regards the minimum FPS, the Achilles heel of any system that is often perceived as annoying stuttering, absolutely to be avoid for a healthy gaming experience.

In any case, a small parenthesis comes by itself; in fact, those who want more multi-core friendly systems should consider that, to date the new AMD Ryzen not only remain a valid choice but it could even be said that, are the absolute choice to make since they allow you to play without too many problems (even if not at the maximum performance offered by an Intel system) and are equipped with many cores that are tempting to streamers and content creators.

In this case, if your prerogative is to play and stream simultaneously and, in the meantime, edit some photos or videos, we advise you to take into consideration the Ryzen 2800X which with its approximately € 300, 8 cores and 16 threads, is one of the most balanced processors for multi-tasking especially when compared to Intel's direct rival, the i7 7820K which costs well over € 150 more.

HOW MUCH RAM!?!

As for the amount of RAM needed today to play without problems, the target is set between 8GB and 16GB to reach 32 / 64GB in the most extreme cases.



We could say that to play smoothly at 1080p, 8GB of RAM remains an almost obligatory minimum choice. Furthermore, it is necessary to know that often the amount of RAM does not affect the gaming experience, at least not as much as the frequency of the memories that compared to the past have important operating frequencies. In fact, we recommend memory modules from a minimum of 2666MHz up to 3000 / 3200MHz (beyond this frequency the improvements are not tangible in game), which does not necessarily mean that 4MHz DDR2133 memory is a bad choice. To help you choose, help yourself with your budget and desired amount of RAM, you will certainly play bingo!

We also point out an extremely important factor that is often overlooked and, at times, can create several problems in terms of compatibility.

Always check that the RAM chosen are compatible with the motherboard you have selected and to do this, consult the official website of the manufacturer directly, where you will find the QVL relating to the memory modules compatible with the motherboard of your choice.

Once you have chosen the motherboard, CPU and RAM it is time to select one of the most important components for every self-respecting gamer, the video card.

OH MY GPU!

Unfortunately, to date, GPU prices have risen a lot due to the supply-demand game generated by the scarcity of warehouses put under pressure by bulk purchases by Miners who use video cards for the extraction of Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies. .

Finding a video card at the MSRP price has become particularly difficult, especially with regard to AMD GPUs that have seen increases of more than 50% in the last two years on models that should cost € 199 that we find online at 359 or more.

As for nVIDIA video cards, unless you want the latest model available or with a fresher and more particular design (ASUS STRIX or ZOTAC AMP!) we advise you to always keep an eye on the official nVIDIA website, the only one at the moment where you can buy GPUs at their actual market price.

To help you choose, we have prepared a table that takes into account the resolution at which you want to play and the installed VRAM. We would therefore like to recommend the following:

Here too, as previously mentioned, everything comes down to the budget you want to invest, but with a very important difference. Unlike processors which can often last even 5-10 years (NDR: I still play with 2 Xeon X5690 from 2010), the video cards unfortunately enjoy a very high level of obsolescence over time, so you need to understand based on your budget, whether it is better to invest in high-end GPUs and enjoy higher performance for more time or possibly fall back on GPUs to be used for one or two years, possibly evaluating an SLI or CROSSFIRE solution over time, taking into account, however, that not all recent titles take full advantage of these technologies. The table indicates the video cards required to achieve 60 FPS at the indicated resolution at ULTRA or HIGH graphics settings depending on the video card used. Going up in resolution, cards with a quantity of VRAM higher than the 1080p standard are required.

I NEED WATT.. LOT OF WATT!

Once the core components of our system have been chosen, it is therefore time to deal with the energy consumption and then select the power supply unit that best suits our PC.

Selecting a power supply today is very simple and for this reason various calculation systems made available by Cooler Master (http://www.coolermaster.com/power-supply-calculator/) ed EVGA (https://www.evga.com/power-meter/) or the renowned Power Supply Calculator (https://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator) which, based on the system you idealized, identify the right amount of watts needed to power everything correctly.

Be far-sighted and always add a hundred more watts to stay large because, over time and based on use, the power supplies slowly lose their nominal capacity; if possible, choose units that have a three-year or more warranty.

For the more precise, the 80PLUS certification must also be taken into consideration, which identifies the degree of efficiency of the unit. Starting from the lowest step defined BRONZE and arriving at the top of the top with the TITANIUM name, but leaving out the different lark mirrors, unless you are inveterate overclockers, you can be satisfied with the BRONZE and SILVER classification.

GB OR TB, that's the problem!

On the hard disk front there is an interesting dispute which, as always, is authentic only to your wallet. In recent years with SSDs before and with nVMEs today, PC hard drives have made huge strides in terms of performance but paying dearly for every single GB.

Usually the most popular solution is to choose an SSD that is SATA, nVME or PCIE where to install the operating system to have the maximum possible system reactivity, to which then to add a traditional mechanical hard disk with a much lower cost to have several GB on which install their own games and programs and possibly keep their data.

The use of a traditional hard disk is also recommended for the Windows paging file which if badly managed can also damage SSDs. In fact, it is recommended to reduce the space used by Windows on the SSDs for its swap-file to about 1024 / 2048MB or even disable it completely; in these cases, however, it is better to have an HDD on which to work in this sense, since even on PCs with 32GB of RAM it is not recommended to disable the paging file.

Also remember that the performance of SSD disks degrade as the space used increases, so it is your responsibility to make sure that these drives do not exceed 70% of the allocated space to ensure smooth performance. The 240GB SSD and 2TB hard drive pair is currently the most common solution. Enthusiasts can still opt for multiple SSD or HDD systems in RAID0 configuration to maximize performance.

In any case, we can guarantee that once you have installed a Samsung 960 EVO nVME SSD on your system, you will hardly perceive a real difference in terms of speed with RAID0 systems with 4 WD BLACK disks.

CABINET FOR EVERYONE

As for the case to use, the choice is extremely personal, both in terms of needs and tastes. and no, RGB LEDs don't boost FPS.

So choose the case that suits you best, as long as it has good air recycling inside it; always prefer functionality over aesthetics since finding a system with bad cable management is a snap in these cases.

On large houses you can also configure different cooling systems, even custom ones, while on ITX or mini ITX cabinets you will have several problems in choosing the right components to be inserted in such a small space, in fact we do not recommend these solutions both for a thermal issue and for expandability. future. It is always better to enjoy a medium-sized case with which you can work without problems, especially if you are a beginner.

Keep in mind the motherboard chosen when considering the case, as motherboards of ATX format can be mounted on FULL TOWER or MID cabinets, but not on micro-ATX cases, while vice versa.

COLD IS BETTER!

Last but not least, the cooling system. If you don't intend to push your CPU beyond its specs, you can use the heatsink it comes with.

In some cases, however, such as for Intel's K (8600 / 8700K) or X (7640X and above) series processors, the heatsinks are not supplied, so one must necessarily purchase one separately..

Without getting too technical, you can aim for brands like Arctic, Noctua, Enermax or Cooler Master offering a wide range of AIO air or liquid cooling systems for all needs. As for the custom cooling systems we will update with a dedicated article as there will be a lot to discuss.

The choice of every single component is important and you don't have to leave anything to chance, do research on research and read reviews on reviews, compare yourself with friends and with those who can help you with knowledge of the facts and not because your cousin or uncle they know in droves. Having a clear idea of ​​what you want is certainly a great starting point for assembling your dream system.

Having said that we leave you with some configurations that we have designed specifically for you, hoping that they can be for you.

NB: operating system costs are not covered, it is up to you to choose what type of license to use. Obviously the operating system for Gaming remains Microsoft Windows 10, albeit with its defects; retail or digitally, the choice of license is yours. The cost of a Windows key can range from a few tens of euros to hundreds for the boxed version.

gameplay.cafe – budget 650

gameplay.cafe – budget 1200

gameplay.cafe – budget 1600

gameplay.cafe – budget 2500

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