Forget the times when “building a PC” literally meant spending hours with a soldering iron and a room full of wires. As frightening as it can be, today assembling a gaming rig it’s easier then ever. Key instruments are a bit of care, some patience, rivers of help guides than can be quickly found online and, of course, the right components.
Let’s start this checklist with the brain of our PC: no organisms, alive or digital, can function correctly without an organ that directs its subordinates. The motherboard, in conjunction with the CPU, does exactly this and should be the first parts you acquire and put together.
For modern-gaming purposes we recommend buying a processor that will last for a long time, even if it can seem to overshoot the target; a quad-core is almost expected for a good experience. Intel & AMD are the leading manufacturers and fight a war made of updates, multi-cores and clock rates, so pick wisely inside their catalog.
On the motherboard you’ll also find a placement for the I/O shield, the place where all the other parts will be connected, and (at least for the moment) various empty RAM slots. Fill them with all the sticks you’ll find necessary, but don’t exaggerate: most times 8GB will be widely enough if good banks are used.
The storage device is up next, either you bought a capacious hard drive, a faster SSD, or even both if you can afford them.
Lastly, but probably most important, is the graphics card, the true heart of a gaming PC. Tons of talks have been spent on this topic, especially with all the different variations of GPUs available on the market. Go as high as your budget allows, always watch the quantity of VRAM (particularly its bandwidth) and you’ll be good to go.
We didn’t mention three important factors that should be planned in advance: space, heat dissipation & power consumption. The first two are directly influenced by the case you choose, while the latter one needs special attention: always calculate a bit of headroom when selecting a power supply and focus on reliable brands that won’t start a fire in your room!