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The Ground Rules to Building a Gaming PC

Building a gaming PC on your own is not the easiest of tasks by any means. But thanks to the Internet, it is certainly easier than it ever was in the past. There are tons of online resources on the topic out there.

You could check out DIY guides on portals like EHow or Instructables. You can always find help on forums like Tomsguide, or subreddits like r/buildapc. And then there is always YouTube, with an endless stream of DIY videos that cover every aspect of building that dream rig.

But the topic matter is pretty vast, and before you start digging down into that rabbit hole, it helps to have a rough map in your head, don’t you think? That is where Micron Technology’s recently published article, Ballistix reveals top 10 Tips For Building Your First Gaming PC, can assist.

“Those can be great places to get specific advice, but what if you just want to know where to begin?” – Jim Jardine, Director of DRAM Product Marketing, Micron Technology.

We took a look at Micron Technology’s article and pulled out the six key ones.

1. Know Your Building Blocks

Ballistix RAM installed in this gaming rig

These are the basic components every gaming rig should have. Before you start checking out PC builds online, know these parts by heart:

  • The Processor, or CPU
  • The Motherboard, mobo for short
  • Graphics Card, or GPU
  • RAM
  • Data Storage Device – SSD or HDD
  • CPU Cooler, Tower, and Power Supply
  • Gaming peripherals like keyboards, mice, and controllers

2. Start With The CPU and Motherboard

This is the core of your rig around which you will select and add the rest of the components. Your options are between Intel (expensive, but more powerful) and AMD (cheaper, often better bang for the buck). You have to be careful when picking a motherboard for your CPU. Choose a mobo that is compatible with your chosen processor. Get this wrong, and your whole rig could be slowed down, or not even work at all.

3. Which GPU Can You Afford?

Seriously, this is one of the central dilemmas when it comes to building a gaming PC. The cost of a high-end graphics card can easily be the biggest investment, and take a good chunk out of your gaming pc budget. You may have to do a fair bit of juggling here. The important thing is not to end up with a bottleneck, especially regarding your GPU. As in, don’t put all your money on a fast i7 processor and buy a GT 1030 GPU. When in doubt, put more money on GPU and save on other parts.

4. Choosing the Right RAM Option

DDR3 RAM has been around for ages now, and its limitations are starting to tell. If you want to future proof your gaming rig (you certainly do want that!) the newer DDR4 memory is a safer choice. We are yet to see the limits of its performance. It uses less voltage than DDR3 and is capable of higher data transfer rates. If you are buying a newer Intel or AMD processor, DDR4 is the way to go.

5. Don’t Compromise On Power Supply

Computer Power Supply Units (PSU) follow a rating and certification system called 80 Plus, based mainly on energy efficiency and reliability. The ratings go from basic 80 Plus, to 80 Plus Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium. The higher the rating, the better the PSU efficiency. Better PSUs also tend to have more robust protective measures.

6. Some basic Tips For During & After Assembly

  • Never forget to apply adequate amounts of thermal paste to your CPU. More is always better than less, within reason of course. A pea-sized quantity is a safe choice.
  • Don’t use brute force to insert components like RAM sticks into slots or sockets. Most CPU internal parts can only be inserted one way. Pay close attention to the alignments before using force.
  • Cable management is not just about aesthetics and tidiness.  It may even help with system cooling, thanks to improved airflow inside.
  • Always double or triple check all your components, to ensure that you have not missed any connectors or parts during assembly.