In 2020, gaming PC sales soared 27% to more than 55 million units sold. These sales resulted from the global pandemic – people were working from home and wanted something to do.
However, a chip shortage forced custom-built gaming computers to double in price due to the pandemic. They have always been a considerable investment, and sometimes, we did not know what we were getting when we purchased one.
People took advantage of this and sold their seven-year-old gaming computers and parts for a profit.
Since 2022 started, those prices have gone back down. Luckily for you, buying a gaming PC is more affordable than ever.
Keep reading if you want to learn more about custom-built gaming computers and their features.
Blue vs. Red – The Two Brands of CPU (Processor)
The CPU is almost like the heart and brain of the computer.
Intel and AMD are the world’s leading manufacturers of CPUs.
CPUs can measure performance in cores and threads. Cores refer to the physical amount of properties in the CPU. Threads are measured virtually, with each core containing two.
Looking at the Ryzen 5 5600x, it has 6 cores and 12 threads. The cores make it possible to get more tasks finished at once. The threads inside the cores are responsible for processing that data.
GHz measures the speed of a processor. A higher rate allows gaming PCs to run programs smoother with less lag.
Intel CPUs excel at single-core processing, meaning they can take a load of editing and content creation a lot easier – each core. AMD CPUs are great at multi-core processing, making them exceptional for gaming.
There are huge debates on whether Intel or AMD is better.
Intel is a reputable brand name that is more pricey and does not come with a CPU cooler. On the other hand, AMD provides a better bang for the buck – coming with a decent cooler.
The motherboard is the backbone that connects the CPU to the rest of the hardware, like a circulatory system. Its function is also to identify corresponding parts and regulates electricity in the system.
Depending on whether an Intel or AMD CPU is being used, a particular motherboard model is required to be compatible with it – they have different chipsets and sockets
Motherboards come in four sizes:
An extended version of the ATX, it is commonly used by high-end gamers and professionals. It can fit more memory and an extra GPU.
The standard full-size ATX motherboard is suitable for any gamer who wishes to upgrade their memory, storage, and GPU later. ATX supports four slots for memory and six slots for storage.
Slightly smaller than the ATX, a micro-ATX is suitable for anybody on a smaller budget. It supports the same features as the ATX.
Almost half the size of the ATX, the mini-ATX is more expensive than a micro-ATX due to its small size and more incredible difficulty to work on. It usually features half the amount of slots available compared to an ATX.
This size is great for any PC gamers who want a minimalist build.
RAM (Random-Access Memory)
Commonly mistaken for storage, RAM is the short-term memory for the functions of a computer system. It collects temporary data to a program so it can execute much faster when we close and open said program.
Today, most memory comes in sticks of 8GB. A stick can come in a max capacity as big as 512GB. That would be for large programs and companies.
Regular capacity will go up to 32GB per stick. Anything over will be rare.
For gaming, it’s best to have 16GB. More than 16GB is ideal for workstations like 3D processing and other content creation.
Storage: SSD vs. HDD
Solid-state drives are the norm for the operating system. SSDs provide the benefits of a faster rating and writing rate than an HDD.
Compared to the bulky, spinning hard disk drive of old, SSDs are digital, giving them incredible speeds.
SSDs also take up significantly less space, giving off less heat.
The Most Expensive Component of a Custom-Built Gaming Computer: The GPU
During the 2020 pandemic, new graphics cards were easily priced at more than $1,200 – a significant leap from their average $350 MRSP.
In 2022, the prices have gone back down since the chip shortage is going away.
The GPU is responsible for displaying images to your screen monitor. Not only that, but it helps with processing the complex graphics in a video game.
Being one of the most crucial components of a custom-built gaming computer, a GPU has memory capacity like RAM. It functions like RAM but only handles visuals.
Cooling – Battle of the Elements
Gaming computers need good airflow and cooling to operate at their peak. It’s best to have case fans placed as intake in the front and bottom while having exhaust case fans on the top or back of the computer.
This will bring in cold air from the bottom and front to cool the system, flushing out to the exhaust.
CPUs and GPUs come with their direct cooling fan, but they can be replaced with custom water cooling loops and AIOs. Using water is perfect for high-end gaming computers, as it can keep CPU and GPU temperatures low during high loads.
Without a PSU, the computer will not be able to boot up.
Although there are bronze and silver grades, it is always best to go with gold, platinum, or titanium. Gold is commonly used in custom-built gaming computers, as they are reliable and have a reasonable price point.
Power supplies provide power in W (Watts). Depending on the output of the other components in the gaming computer, it’s best to go over a 25% W rating.
For example, if a computer takes up 500W, it will be best to go for a 650W PSU. If you want to do a significant upgrade in the future, going for a 750W or 800W PSU will do the trick.
Ready to Purchase a Gaming Computer?
In the end, learning the complexities of gaming computer specs is essential. You know how your system will perform, and you get a better experience. It can also take a lot of time to build a gaming PC.
If you are looking to buy a gaming PC, let us deal with it. You can contact us to figure out what custom-built gaming computer fits you.