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If you want to play games mainly on your desktop computer, a regular system will not offer the kind of experience you are looking for, whether it is in terms of visual or overall gaming experience.
You will need a specialized gaming desktop computer for that. These computer systems are specifically built with the best configurations and specs to support playing any triple AAA games on it. Here in this article you will find some of the big names.
- The processor plays the most significant role in a gaming desktop computer and therefore it should not be preferably lower than AMD Ryzen 5 or an Intel Core i5.
- Games need a large space to store and faster operation. Therefore, a combination of an SSD and HDD storage will be best, both having adequately large space and faster operational speeds or RPM.
- Graphics performance is very important as well and therefore you should not settle for anything less than an NVIDIA GTX or AMD Radeon RX GPU, higher the better.
- As for the RAM, nothing less than 16 GB is recommended, if you are on a budget. Otherwise, it is good to go for a higher amount of RAM with dual channel arrangement and an operational speed in excess of 2400 MHz.
- A proper motherboard is very necessary in a gaming desktop computer. Without a good and reliable motherboard support none of the above will work in the way they should and will hamper your gaming experience.
In This Article
Best Gaming Desktop Configurations:
For Budget Gaming PC Configurations
- Processor: Intel Core i5-9600K or AMD RYZEN 7 3700 X
- Hard disk: WD Blue 2 TB
- SSD: WD SN 750 500 GB
- Graphics: MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super
- RAM: Kingston Hyper X Fury 16 GB
- Motherboard: MSI MPG X570 or ASUS Z390 Plus (depends on which processor you use, Intel or AMD)
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
For Professional Gaming PC Configurations
- Processor: Intel Core i7-9700K or AMD RYZEN 7 3700 X
- Hard Disk: Seagate Barracuda 2 TB
- SSD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1 TB
- Graphics: Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super
- RAM: G Skill Ripjaws V Series 16 GB
- Motherboard: Giagabyte Z390 AORUS Ultra or ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X540
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
For High-End Gaming PC Configurations
- Processor: Intel Core i9-9900K or AMD Ryzen 9 3900 X
- Hard Disk: Seagate FireCuda 2TB
- SSD: SAMSUNG 860 EVO
- Graphics: ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2080 TI
- RAM: Corsair Dominar Platinum 32 GB
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS Pro or ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
Which Processor Should You Consider?
The best processor that you can buy for the PC you want to game on is the AMD RYZEN 9 3900X. This is a premium segment chipset and the 12 core arrangement with the 24 threads will give a performance like no other.
It has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz, and a maximum of 4.6 GHz. With the 70 M gaming cache, this will handle any game you play, with ease at 1080p at steady 60 frames per second and 100+ on most others and 4K as well. But it does come with a high price tag which leads us to the next one.
It is often the case that the best is the most costly. Therefore, without having to sacrifice much on performance, you may choose the AMD RYZEN 7 3700X which comes around 300 USD.
With 8 cores and 16 threads, its performance is comparable to that of the Intel i9-9900K processor. With the highest frequency of 4.6 GHz, it will be able to handle most games at decent frame rates.
The unit also comes with an add-on cooling fan, also a reason along with the lower price is why you should choose it over the aforesaid Intel processor.
But then not everyone would be interested in spending so much money on the CPU itself right? So a cheaper yet decent processor would be the AMD Ryzen 5 1600.
This is a 6 core and 12 thread processor, but no mistake about its power. It supports even high-end graphics cards as well so you don’t necessarily need to buy a lower GPU in order to be compatible with it. The max boost is up to 3.6 GHz. It has more than satisfying benchmark scores as well.
Now you may have noticed that we have focused more on AMD processors. But this is not some marketing strategy, but because of the performance differences, these have over the comparable Intel ones, and also because they come with a cooling fan and this would save you some money.
Also, AMD processors are more pocket friendly and have good CPUs for every level of gamers. The two brands have their own advantages and disadvantages and while Intel processors use an LGA 1151 socket mostly, AMD processors have the AM4 socket.
An Intel motherboard cannot be equipped with an AMD processor and vice-versa so you must choose them accordingly.
A hard disk is one of the necessary units since most games require a lot of storage and you must have the extra space in order to store not only the files related to gaming, but other videos, pictures, etc.
Before you read this, you must know that only a hard drive on your gaming PC is simply not going to cut it and you need an SSD as well. So keeping this in mind, there are primarily 3 storage sizes of hard drives that you should be buying.
All of these have a rotational speed of 7200 rpm. Whether you need a usual sized or a smaller hard drive is entirely upon your personal preference.
The first is the one with a capacity of 2 TB. This is simply more than enough and we don’t see why you should invest in anything more than this because you won’t need that much extra storage anyway.
The Seagate FireCuda is one of those you might want to check out which is a hybrid storage solution having the combined features of both an SSD and an HDD. There are both 2.5” and 3.5” models available.
Then we have the most used 1 TB hard drives. If you are using an SSD, you won’t need anything more than this ideally. The related version of the Toshiba P300 is one such. This is one of the best hard drives available in the market that combine both speed and reliability.
Last come the ones with 500 GB storage capacity. We don’t suggest below this because this is the minimum limit that must be worthy of buying. The HDDs from Western Digital, like the WD Blue are to be looked at in this segment.
For a gamer, it is necessary to have both the storage options SSD and HDD since depending on only a single one wouldn’t be comfortable as just a hard drive would be slow, and SSDs don’t last as long. So, a combination of both would be best suited.
But the only problem here is that it is only available up to 2 TB capacities. Given below is the link of a 512 GB variant.
To bridge the gap between the former and the later SSD that follows, we have the WD SN 750 that is also our editor’s choice for an SSD. This is because of the impressive performance it gives in an affordable budget, making sure you have money left to spend elsewhere.
It’s reading and writing speeds range from 3000 to about 3500 at most. The SSD is a NvMe type and so fits directly into your motherboard. There are 4 storage models, the highest being of 2 TB so you shouldn’t have any troubles.
Then, there is the Kingston UV 400 that is the best budget SSD we could find. It does not cost much while also delivering a significant amount of speed for your gaming and daily usage.
There are 4 variants starting from 120 GB to 960 GB and so it depends upon you which you need. This has only a single size and that is 2.5 inches.
The read and write speeds are fairly low when compared to the previous one from Samsung, up to 550 Mb/s for reading and up to 350 Mb/s for writing.
The graphics you choose are going to make the most difference to your gaming experience after the processor, and so it is of utmost importance to buy the right one.
While there are GPU’s that start from a very low price, there are also those which themselves cost the same as an entire gaming system. So you must also purchase such that your requirements are met and you don’t end up spending all of your savings.
There are a few factors that decide what graphics card you should buy. They are:
- Graphics card size- The size of the graphics card plays a key role and it should be less than the size of your motherboard’s GPU bay’s maximum capacity at all times. Learn how to turn old desktop into gaming PC.
- Motherboard support– Most gaming motherboards support a wide range of recently launched GPUs but you must always check whether the GPU you are choosing is compatible with your motherboard and overall system. This includes the type of PCIe slot present on either of the parts.
- Resolution for Games– While a majority of the gamers play at 1080p at 60 fps, there are people who are interested in 1440p and 4K gaming as well. The two latter ones require massive graphical power and are very costly to play at the same time since you need all the components like the processor and monitor that support 4K, and only the GPU is not enough. Unless you intend to play at 4K, there is no use of buying such costly GPUs.
- Budget– The budget based on which you are planning your build is also a very important matter. For example, if your total budget is around 800 USD, the GPU will be different from the one had your budget been about 1500 USD. So as you will see, we have kept in mind all sorts of buyers and have selected the GPUs accordingly.
- Power Supply Unit (PSU)– The GPU requires a high amount of power although many modern systems already have enough to support a GPU when you make an upgrade. But since you will be building one from scratch you will also need to have a PSU that should be able to supply the required wattage for your video card. We will be talking about the PSU later on.
A matter to take note is that if you are interested in serious 4K gaming, there aren’t many options other than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. But it has a huge price tag and we wouldn’t suggest you buy this even if you have the money, and rather spend it on the other aspects of your PC.
In the upper segment, there is the Nvidia RTX 2070 Super. The reason we choose it is because while it will have definitely have better performance than GTX series GPUs, it costs significantly lower than the RTX 2080 super, while also having a little performance drop than it.
It should be able to handle most games at 1440p, and a few at 4K, but at lower settings. If you are okay with the triple fan setup, this is a great GPU to buy today.
The mid-range has a number of top-notch GPUs that you can obtain. While Nvidia has been the undisputed winner for quite some time now, AMD has changed the game with the Radeon RX 5700 XT.
It comes cheaper than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super but its performance is better in most cases. It is good enough for playing games at 1440p at 100+ frame rates, but we wouldn’t suggest you 4K gaming on this.
For someone tight on budget, we would suggest the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 super. This is a decent video card for 1080p gaming, and wouldn’t cost you a lot of money.
It is at the same time highly compact and the general reliability of this 4 GB GPU is well above the others found at this price spectrum. You might as well check out the AMD Radeon RX 580.
Before we start our discussion about the RAM in a Gaming PC, let’s just clear up a few things first. Below are some of the questions that you might be having.
- What size of RAM do I Need for Gaming?
Well, the answer to this question lies in what budget you have. See most modern poplar games suffice with 16 GB of RAM. A majority of the other tasks also run smoothly in this limit but having some more makes sure your system is never running sparse. We want the best for you and thus our take on this is that a minimum of 8 GB must be kept no matter what level of gaming preference or budget you might have.
- Do I need a single or dual-channel memory?
It is, of course, better to have a dual-channel RAM arrangement in your system as there is noticeable performance improvement and the CPU can function better without having to take on much workload. Since most modern motherboards support dual-channel and even quad-channel memory, you should not have a problem.
- Does RAM speed make a difference?
Simply put, until your RAM speed is in the average speed section (2400 MHz or above), you shouldn’t have to worry about it. Faster RAMs are costly but do not make much of a difference and chances are, you wouldn’t even notice it while everyday usage.
So for the less budget concerned, one may have 32 GB of RAM and that too, in multiple RAM slots and RAM modules. This amount of RAM is generally more than enough for gaming, and in most cases of multitasking, you wouldn’t need all that excess memory.
But if you do prefer to have such, you may choose the Corsair Dominator Platinum and use 2 of those 16 GB sticks. There are 3-speed variants available.
For mid-range budgets, we offer the Kingston HyperX Fury that is available in a number of speed and color variants for your convenience. Having 2 8GB modules of 3000 MHz speed for your gaming PC should do the trick.
Now if you are a budget buyer, the Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 2400 MHz is the best you can have within the 80 dollar mark. The link given below is of 2 4GB modules, thus giving 8 gigs of RAM to your system. Make sure that you don’t buy RAM below 8 GB, or else your gaming performance will suffer.
All of the components mentioned above will be of no use until you have a motherboard to house them. A lot of companies have been building gaming motherboards and it may get confusing at times.
But what you need to remember is that the motherboard you choose should be compatible with all the other components of your PC. Also, it should have all the dedicated slots for storing discrete graphics, extra storage or RAM, WIFI adapter, USB ports, etc.
Make sure you buy one that is reliable, can be upgraded conveniently and doesn’t cost much. If you are thinking to overclock your system, that is an entirely different matter.
Every CPU has its own compatible socket be it LGA, PGA, and BGA. But we won’t bore you with the details here but all we say is the CPU you buy should fit in your system. Also, the size of your motherboard matters if you are building a compact PC, and you will have to adjust your budget likewise.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z390e is one of the best motherboards that you can look out at this time. It packs all the latest features and brilliant sound and other connectivity.
An AMD processor supporting counterpart of this processor is the X570-I AORUS Pro, from Gigabyte.
Then comes the Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite that offers more value for the money you pay. It even supports RGB lighting and that makes your rig more attractive. It mainly supports the latest AMD CPUs so until you aren’t an Intel gamer, you shouldn’t have much of a problem.
If you are a beginner at gaming, there can be nothing better than the AS Rock B540 M. While being a micro ATX motherboard, it has plenty of expansion options and good connectivity features that will give you something to start with. Since it is fairly cheap, it is affordable as well.
Since it is about a build-up, we are not taking the MAC OS into account. Also, we aren’t mentioning LINUX systems either. We will only be telling you which Windows OS would be suitable if you are a gamer.
While the operating system does not have a direct effect on gaming performance, it does have some connection to it. The best OS available as of now would be Windows 10 since it not only supports a wide range of games and other applications, but also has Direct X 12 support through which you can get more performance out of your GPU and processor.
Now you should think of getting the Pro (64 bit) since it offers better security and other useful features over the Home edition. Thus, you automatically get a slight performance boost when using Windows 10 Pro.
Power Supply Unit or PSU
The PSU is another very important hardware part of a performance-oriented PC, no matter if you’re a gamer, multimedia editor or professional. When you use a good GPU, it is of utmost importance to have a strong PSU as well.
For example, while buying or building a PC whose components collectively have a total consumption of about 600 watts, it is always good to have a power supply unit of 1200 watts.
It should be efficient and it is better to buy a reliable one that may last long since after buying a decent PSU with a higher capacity, you wouldn’t be restricted on doing graphics upgrades when and if you require in the future.
We would suggest the EVGA 650 B3 here. It is a highly dependable 650 Watt PSU that has a lot of positive customer reactions for its support. With an 80+ platinum rating, it should be good for you no matter what level of PC you build and there are other high power variants that you may consider if you plan on overclocking or upgrading your PC anytime soon.
The final thing that should complete your gaming PC build is a cooling mechanism. It is of utmost importance to keep your CPU and other components cool, in usual usage and more when you are putting more workload on your system.
This includes air cooling through fans and a heat sink, and liquid cooling through pipes, a radiator along with a fan. AMD processors already come with a cooling fan and so most of your problem is solved, but if you would be buying an Intel processor or need more cooling, you must decide what sort of cooling you require. Another factor that may alter your decision is the size of your PC and the space you have to work in.
The air cooling system is adequate for most gaming arrangements but more hardcore or over clocked ones require liquid cooling. The later is more efficient but also costly.
Fitting large air fans in your rig could be a problem if you were working on something compact, but on the other hand it is quite simple than a liquid cooling setup. We therefore let you decide which is more appropriate for yourself, but we will be helping you with options.
All that’s left now is the case in which all the components will be stored. An attractive rig does attract a lot of eyes and makes your gaming environment far interesting, but it wouldn’t be wise to cut the budget from other aspects of the build in order to have such a case.
What you must keep in mind is that the case you buy should have enough space for the present components and enough for further expansions, upgrades, installing fans and cooling.
Easy access to the components inside should also be advantageous. The foremost thing that you should look out is the presence of a path for appropriate airflow as it is necessary to keep your system cool even under pressure. Water or air cooling though is entirely upon you to decide. A case that has all the above features is the Corsair 110R Mid Tower ATX case.
Gaming PC Accessories
Now since you have an idea about what you need to buy for your new handbuilt gaming PC, here are some suggestions on the accessories.
We have been telling from the very beginning that you must fix a budget based on which you will start your build and that same goes for buying the accessories that you will need. The basics of them include a monitor, keyboard and mouse and a case for all the primary components.
This depends on what resolution you will be gaming. A majority of the gaming monitors support 1080p and those with higher refresh rates and lower input lag should be bought, depending on your budget.
The preferred screen size and display quality( UHD, QHD, etc) also makes a difference in price, and 1440p or 4K displays will be much costlier. But among those, these the LG 27 UL850 offers a nice performance at an affordable price.
For a keyboard and mouse, we prefer the Corsair K70 Mechanical Keyboard as it combines both looks and fast responses. There is the RGB lighting as well for you to play in the dark.
For a mouse, you may get the Logitech G 403 Hero 16K gaming mouse that is simple and yet efficient. Play any sort of game and the mouse would never let you down. And it definitely comes with RGB lighting and thus it will suit your keyboard as well (if you have an RGB keyboard).