Guide to a Every Person's Gaming Rig!
Now that I have your attention! This is your guide to Building yourself a PC for you or someone else to build for you. On Episode 13 we talked about E3 and the exclusives that each platform offered. Touching quite a bit on PC gaming. But as intrigueing as the concept of walking away from a "easy" ticket to gaming this article will walk you through what it takes to put your gaming future in your own hands and build your very own PC which reflects you, not what gaming companies want you to use. You'll get the basics on how to look for, what to watch out for and what to consider when planning your Rig.
What is a "RIG"? A" RIG" is you PC as a whole.
In past years a PC gamer had a RIG and a monitor to lug around all over the place for LAN Parties. System Links also a LAN Party for Console Peasants. Well things have changed a bit. With the addition of Digital TV's, lugging around a Monitor is in the past. Furthermore the idea of sitting at a computer desk and gaming is even more less appealing. Finally technology has caught up to what we have always wanted and for the most part a feature found in console gaming since it was first introduced back in the 80's, Praise be to to the great Atari. Ease of use is key to this concept. A gamer whether hardcore or occasional wants to sit down on their comfy ass couch flip on there TV and start gaming with their pals. In the past that option wasn't well done for the PC user. Now you can. With the use of Steam, Origin, Blizzard and Uplay all the best games are available to you on day one. With XBMC your music, movie, TV episode library and stream-able services like Netflix are all available to you without a monthly fee just to stream. Granted you still have to pay those subscription fees to Netflix for example but you can't have everything right? For more details on these services see my previous article on the subject.
Let's start Building! I'm going to pick items from Newegg.com and post the links below to each item as we go. Keep in mind this is a entry level RIG. Mo Money MO Power!
A Case. This is the barebones portion of the RIG. The case holds all the internal components. It can be fancy looking or plain that is completely up to you. They can cost anywhere from $20-$200+.
GIGABYTE GZ-F5HEB Mid Sized Case $25.99
This case is simple yet visually appealing. You can also choose a HTPC case which sit on it's side and can be easily place in your TV stand like a gaming console.
A Processor. This is the Brain of your RIG. My recommendation is that you spend your money on this and the Motherboard. They are the hardest to install and remove after it is completely put together. Everything else can be swapped out for something more substantial. Build and perfect your RIG over time. PC's are investments not a frivolous purchase with limited capabilities.
AMD FX-8350 Black Edition Vishera 8-Core 4.0GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ $169.99
I chose this processor because it's reasonable and with AMD you get alot of power for little money. I personally use a INTEL i7 9770 which has a much higher price tag and simply isn't necessary for Gaming. But with the amount of transcoding I'm using for my media streaming and shear data movement I wanted more Power up front.. In most cases when gaming and using an INTEL you can get away with a i5 processor. Also don't forget your Silver Nickel Paste for Heatsink cooling. This processor comes with a basic Heatsink (Cooling Fan). You can also go Water cooled which is is more money and more maintenance. The basic fan will do but it is recommended you upgrade that to something that will cool your CPU more efficiently.
A Mother Board. This is the Heart and Soul of your machine. You want this to be upgradable and easy to maintain.
GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard $124.99
RAM (Random Access Memory) This is a chip that allows the computer to store temporary data to be used by software. An easy way to think of this is you have 60 programs or people in a room. The RAM is the room. It's easier for 60 people to move in a 3200 square foot room compared to a 8 foot room. The premise works the same with RAM, if you have more memory you can run more programs at the same time.
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9S-8GXM $79.99
I chose 8GB as a base. I recommend you max out the motherboard in this aspect. More room equals a faster and cooler RIG. These RAM chip are also equipt with cooling covers that disperse heat and protect it from dust.. Heat and dust is a PC's worst enemy
Video Card. In most cases this component alone can cost a small fortune but luckily there are options.
EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2662-KR GeForce GTX 660 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $209.99
I recommend Nvidia because they have completely streamlined cards to be overclocked and work nearly flawless with today's games. Again a lot of this is personal choice. EVGA is also a small company that keeps their components very aggressively priced. Just like in a car you need to decide how big you want your engine to be. This can start cheap and you can upgrade later if necessary.
Periphials are things like a Hard Drive and a DVD burner. Here are some options.
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive $53.99
LG GH24NSB0B 24x Sata DVDRW Iternal Drive $23.99
You will also need case fans for cooling the case look at fans that are as quiet as possible and reasonably priced. It's not hard to find they are cheap.
You will need a copy of Windows, which sometimes feels like a nut punch because of the price but you RIG can't run without an OS. If you want to use an OS other than Windows you probably don't need to read this article. Typically a legit OEM Activation key will cost you $199.99 thanks Microsoft...
You can start with a RIG like this and upgrade too your heart content over time which is what I recommend.
RIG Grand Total: $688.93 Hardware Only
Stay Classy Bitches!