At the end of a long day, it’s relaxing to escape the real world for a bit and enter the world of a video game on your gaming computer, or “gaming rig.” But setting yourself up for the ultimate gaming experience isn’t just about which game you choose to play. It’s also about choosing the best equipment to put into the rig itself.
Here are some tips on what you should get for the perfect gaming rig.
An epic gaming experience is all about how convincingly the graphics come to life on your monitor. So, finding a Hall of Fame-level graphics card, or GPU, should be your top priority.
Look for a GPU that has high resolution, as well as at least 4GB of video memory.
CPU Processor and Cooler
The GPU may be the hardware that makes the visuals pop, but the gaming rig’s central processing unit, or CPU, is the brains of the operation. Your game’s functionality is the result of your CPU interpreting and sending the instructions throughout the rig.
In addition to fast speeds, an ideal CPU should have a high number count in the categories of:
- Core count
- Thread count
- Base clock
- Turbo clock
- Overclocking capability
Because CPUs run hot from running electricity, you’ll need a cooler to keep the CPU’s temperature from getting too high. Thankfully, some CPUs come with a cooler included.
A common problem that gamers run into is screen tearing. This occurs when your monitor’s frame rate (how many frames per second the GPU and CPU can work together to generate onscreen) is out of sync with its refresh rate (how quickly they can change the image onscreen). Nothing snaps you back to reality quite like a screen tear.
Thankfully, purchasing a FreeSync monitor ensures that the frame rate and refresh rate your monitor produces are not only synchronized, but also operating at their highest possible level.
But wait, aren’t there already other technologies that do that? Yes, but here’s the kicker: those technologies will limit a frame rate to meet a lower refresh rate. So, if your refresh rate is lower, guess what? Now your frame rate is too. FreeSync monitors, on the other hand, flip the script by enabling a lower refresh rate to meet a higher frame rate for optimal performance.
Behind the scenes of your gaming rig’s monitor is its motherboard, essentially the home site that the whole family of complicated parts and wires plug into. You’d better make sure that your motherboard is a gracious host.
The best motherboards will feature:
- Solid voltage regulator modules
- Capacity to add RAM
- Options for connectivity
- RGB LED lighting
Oftentimes, power supply units (or PSU’s) are the unsung hero of the gaming rig. They get overlooked because, unlike the graphics and monitor, the only time you notice them is when they’re not doing their job. But if you skimp on your PSU, you’re going to run into issues that will grab your attention.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a PSU:
- The Bigger, the Better – The best power supplies are almost always built from larger components. When a PSU is hefty, it usually means it has a sizable cooling fan, which will make less distracting noise.
- But Higher Voltage Isn’t Necessarily Better – When manufacturers list a PSU’s power rating, they’re referring to the maximum power it can generate, not what it can hit consistently. PSU’s can only maintain peak numbers for fleeting stretches of time, so you want a PSU that can consistently operate at about 50-60% of its capacity.
- Look for 80 Plus Efficiency Ratings – A PSU’s efficiency rating tells you how much of its wattage is powering your system vs. how much of its wattage is being converted to heat, which causes fan noise. For example, a PSU with an efficiency rating of 80 is only losing 20% of its wattage to heat. Look for PSUs with an “80 Plus” sticker on them.
Your Perfect Gaming Rig Awaits!
It’s simple: the more efficient the individual parts, the more unstoppable your gaming rig will be. Choose these items carefully, then enjoy the best gaming experience you’ve ever had!