This article has been created by members of the Red Team Community and the AMD Community Management Staff.
Are you planning to build a gaming PC? If so, keep reading; this article lists the essential parts you’ll want to consider when getting ready to build your PC.
1. PC Case
There are numerous PC cases to select from. The most popular case is probably the mid-tower, which can generally support ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX motherboards. If you want to use the largest motherboard (E-ATX), then you will definitely need a full-sized or full-tower case. The larger the case, the easier it is to install your components. Building a computer into a mini-ITX case requires more skills associated with routing cables and providing adequate cooling to the components:
2. Power Supply Unit (PSU)
You won’t have a gaming PC without a Power Supply Unit. When selecting your PSU, you’ll want to consider the power (Watts), modular vs. non-modular, efficiency, and dimensions.
The mother of all PC boards (PC –> printed circuit), the motherboard is a must. They come in different sizes, as well as different chipsets and other features.
4. Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The central processing unit is the heart of your gaming PC. Fundamentally, it’s the “traffic” controller for all the “action” that happens inside your computer. Depending on your budget, and computing needs (in this case gaming), the ideal CPU is denoted with an “x” after the part number (AMD Ryzen 9 7900X). X CPUs are generally faster. Plus, you’ll want to look for the TDP (thermal design power = amount of heat generated by the CPU measured in Watts). The lower the TDP the better. Most importantly, another feature of the CPU you need to consider is the clock speed. Simply put, high clock speed means a faster CPU.
5. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
The graphics processing unit is another must-have. This unit is responsible for delivering the visuals you see through your monitor. There are numerous, hundreds to choose from. As before, depending on your budget and knowing we’re talking about gaming PCs, generally speaking, the higher the model number the better is for gaming. In our case, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is the newest and most powerful GPU AMD has launched. When selecting the GPU, consider the amount of memory and type of memory (i.e. 24GB, GDDR6). There are other features to consider, but these two are the most important.
The more the better! The Random Access Memory is what makes your gaming PC scream! Academically speaking, the RAM is where some of the game data is stored and randomly accessed by the CPU (and GPU). Being randomly accessible means that the data is readily there for the CPU to fetch and execute and ultimately output the data (the magic you see) to your monitor. 8, 6, and 32GB of RAM are common, with 32GB being ideal. With the launch of the AM5 platform, we can expect 64GB to become the new “normal”.
7. Cooling System
You’ll want to keep your PC cool, especially your CPU and GPU. Cooling a PC can fall into 3 categories. Air, closed loop, and open loop.
And, don’t forget to peel off the sticker off the air cooler’s cold plate!
8. Storage Device (SSD and/or HDD)
These devices are the home for all your games (and other apps, including the OS). Having read hundreds of posts here in the Red Team Community, and across the internet, I can confidently tell you that today’s trend is 1) SSD for installing and running games, and 2) HDD for storing large files (i.e. images, photos, videos, etc.). Simply put, and budget permitting, get one of each. If this route isn’t for you, then consider one 1T or 2T SSD (M.2) for your gaming PC.
9. Keyboard and Mouse
The forgotten, yet another very important devices are the keyboard and mouse. These are the “input” devices, without them, you can’t do much. For gaming, avoid any wireless kits or combos, instead, look for mechanical keyboards. Modern keyboards and mice come loaded with numerous features such as custom, programmable keys, lighting effects, and even integrated output ports like USB and USB-C. Selecting a keyboard (and mouse) is personal. Like keyboards, a mouse can range from a few to hundreds of dollars. They come in different sizes, weights, dots per inch (dpi) sensitivity, and of course RGB lighting effects.
Unlike a keyboard and mouse, the monitor is an output device. It’s where all the magic is displayed. From refresh rates and HDR to display dimensions and curved vs. flat, you have hundreds of options to choose from, including color (white vs. black), integrated speakers, USB, and audio ports. Selecting the monitor can be tricky. Some prefer a single-monitor setup, while others require 2, 3, or even 4 monitors. Some gamers (like me) will consider Freesycn, 4K, 34” curved monitors with high refresh rates (i.e. up to 165Hz). Selecting the right monitor also involves the overall dimensions (will it fit on your desk?), weight, the side of the bezel, and whether it has an adjustable stand or not.
Remember, these ten (10) parts are essential. You won’t have a gaming PC without any of them. And don’t forget! You will need to install the OS.
If you have questions or need an opinion or two from the Red Team Community, please be sure to start a new Discussion in the Red Team Parts Recommendations sub-forum. Don’t be shy, our community consists of hundreds (if not thousands) of seasoned PC builders! We are here to help you!
A special “Thank you” to @blazek @johnnyenglish @filinux @red5 @jamesc359 @Weber462 @mengelag @BigAl01 @Axxemann @Amber_AMD and world famous @Wally_AMD for helping me prepare this article!
This looks great. Not too much info, but just enough. The pictures really tie it all in. looks clean!
Nothing like community involvement to help create useful articles.