Your CPU is the best when it comes to processing messages sequentially – one message after another – it can do it lightning fastmillions of times per second, but that’s still not enough to run graphically demanding games at high frame rates.
For this you need a special kind of processor which is not designed for sequential processing but for parallel processing. Your GPU can process thousands, millions of things at once – think about all the things your GPU is rendering when you’re playing a game. Every stone, every tree, every gun, every player, every enemy, etc. She has to think about all of these things at the same time and weave them into a coherent 3D environment for you to explore and enjoy.
Buying advice: While they’re more readily available than ever, graphics cards are one of the most popular PC components, and in some cases they still cost a little more than MSRP. That’s why the choices on this list are usually mid-to-high-end. In my opinion, it’s better to spend most of your budget on graphics cards. The higher you go now, the longer it lasts — like buying a $100 pair of shoes that will last a few years versus a $20 pair that breaks every two months. Cheap graphics cards are worth every penny for a gaming PC, but you get what you pay for. For a plain old home office computer, any budget card from the past few years will do what you need.
Recommended Nvidia GeForce Hardware
Nvidia recently released its latest generation of graphics cards, GeForce RTX 40 Series, but nothing in this list.As of this writing, they still have some issues to work out (not the good ones), they’re very expensive, and the 30 series is just a better value for performance almost As good as the latest and most expensive cards, sometimes even better.
- MSI GeForce RTX 2060: If you want to get into the midrange game, this card strikes a good balance between power and price. It’s also a good choice for an office computer that can do some video editing or some light gaming.
- ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3060: Nvidia’s 30-series graphics cards are often out of stock due to global chip shortages, but if you can find one at a reasonable price, the RTX 3060 is a killer 1080p and 1440p gaming graphics card.
- Zotac GeForce RTX 3080: Honestly, this is still one of the best performing cards on the market right now, even if you’re running games at 4K with ray tracing. Plus it’s less than $1,000, and it’s a very attractive card. For Nvidia builds, you couldn’t do better.
Recommended AMD Radeon Hardware
Note to anyone looking to buy a Radeon card right now: DON’T! The latest generation of Radeon graphics cards, 7000 series, will likely be announced in early November. Even if you’re not interested in high-end, cutting-edge graphics cards, the upcoming generation of graphics cards will push the price of current (6000-series) graphics cards down even further, so if you wait, you’ll save a little extra.
- Radeon RX 6600: The RX 6600 is a truly solid choice for 1080p gaming on AMD chips.
- Radeon RX 6800XT: If you go all out, the RX 6800 XT is my go-to right now.It’s a beast of a GPU that can handle anything you throw at it, even Cyberpunk 2077 Full 4K resolution.
This is your computer’s walk-in closet. This is where you store all your files, games, movies, documents, photos and everything. You can always add more storage later.
- Samsung 980 Pro M.2 SSD: Samsung’s M.2 drives are always a good choice. They’re fast, durable, and small (about the size of a stick of chewing gum), so they can be paired with just about any other internal SSD you want. Most motherboards have an M.2 slot on the front or back of the board, and you don’t even have to mess with any cables. This clock has a read speed of about 6,980 MB/s and a write speed of 4,876 MB/s.
- Samsung 970 Evo M.2 SSD: The Evo line is a bit slower and cheaper, but it’s still a great option for any build. This M.2 drive has a top read speed of approximately 3,500 MB/s and a write speed of 3,300 MB/s. Slower than others on this list, but still pretty fast – certainly fast enough for gaming. If you’re on a budget, go for the Evo.
- Corsair MP600 M.2 Solid State Drive: Corsair’s MP600 drives feature built-in heatsinks that keep temperatures down while transferring data at blazing speeds. It has a read speed of 4,950 MB/s and a write speed of 4,250 MB/s.
- WD Blue 1-TB Internal SSD: It’s reasonably fast and has plenty of storage space, but this Western Digital model is better suited for a secondary storage drive — not the drive where you run your games or operating system.
When you look at memory and storage, you see a lot of the same terms, but they are very different. Memory is more like a table where you throw things behind to deal with them. It’s scratch paper; it’s short-term. This is important, though, because software uses memory to cache (temporarily store) data where it can be retrieved quickly.
Power Supply (PSU)
Your power supply unit is a small box that powers each component. It determines how fast and powerful your PC is. The faster you go, the more power it needs, and you always want to have a little more power than you need, just in case. Just like GPUs, PSUs are in stock and out of stock right now.
Chassis and cooler
Your situation is exactly what it sounds like. This is a metal box. It might be covered in glass panels and etched aluminum, but inside it’s just a big metal box that holds everything together. Make sure it matches your motherboard size. For example, if you have an ATX motherboard, you need an ATX (or “full-size”) case.
- Corsair Obsidian Series ATX Full Tower: There are many cases. Some are super small, some are super big. Your decision will ultimately come down to the design you like. If you’re not sure what to get, this one is great for your first build. Other case makers we like are NZXT, Fractal, Phanteks, Cooler Master and Lian Li.
- NZXT H710i ATX Mid-Tower: This is one of my favorites. It has a sleek aesthetic and a slightly compact profile without compromising cooling capacity or accessibility.
- MSI Gungnir 110R ATX Mid-Tower Case: For most people, this budget-friendly case is a great option. Note that this will be a tight fit – there’s little wiggle room for bulky cables or hyper-specific configurations. It looks better than you might think, and the RGB buttons make it easy to sync your lights. Smoked tempered glass lets them shine without turning your office into an EDM show.
When building a PC, Windows is not automatically included. You must purchase a license from Microsoft or another vendor and make a USB key to install it. Or you can check out the newly released Windows 11. Here’s some more information on everything you get from the latest version of Windows.
put them together
The internal layout of every gaming PC is different, so we won’t discuss it in depth here. For hardware specific instructions, your best bet is to refer to your manual and search YouTube for your component. It can be very helpful to actually see a person handle and install your exact hardware, especially if you’re stuck and can’t quite figure out what your manual is saying. But here are some general tips for putting all these components together.