Building a new PC How I chose the parts | ENBLE

Building a new PC How I chose the parts | ENBLE

Building the Perfect Gaming PC: A Journey of Choices

Building a gaming PC Image source: Jacob Roach / ENBLE

Building a new PC is always an exciting time for any gaming enthusiast. It’s an opportunity to create a powerful machine that will elevate your gaming experience to new heights. However, if you’re new to building PCs, the process can be intimidating. With so many choices to make, it’s hard to know where to start. But fear not! As someone who recently went through the process myself, I can share my insights and guide you through the journey of building the perfect gaming PC.

Budget and Use Case

Before diving into the components, the first major decision you need to make is your budget and use case. How much are you willing to spend, and what do you need the PC for? For me, I use my computer for both gaming and work, but since my work does not require heavy computing power, I focused primarily on gaming.

Building a PC for gaming is relatively straightforward compared to other use cases like AI workloads or content creation. However, it’s essential to be mindful of certain choices, such as the power supply unit (PSU) and the motherboard. Your budget will be a significant limiting factor, as a $1,000 build will differ significantly from a $3,000 build. While both can handle demanding games, the higher-priced build will excel at max settings.

In my own build, I must admit, I fell victim to the temptation of making small upgrades here and there, which contributed to going slightly over my initial budget. Don’t make the same mistake! Remember that small changes often have negligible performance gains and can quickly accumulate. So, be strategic with your choices and prioritize components that deliver the most significant impact on your gaming experience.

The Processor: The Brain of Your PC

Choosing a processor Image source: Jacob Roach / ENBLE

Picking the right processor is crucial for optimal gaming performance. In my case, the choice was clear: I opted for AMD’s best gaming CPU, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. Thanks to its 3D V-Cache technology, it is currently the fastest gaming CPU available.

However, if your needs extend beyond gaming and include productivity tasks, you might consider Intel CPUs that offer extra cores. While the Ryzen 7 7800X3D outperforms even Intel’s flagship Core i9-13900K in gaming, Intel CPUs may provide an advantage in tasks that require more cores.

When deliberating my processor choice, I also considered the previous-gen Ryzen 7 5800X3D and Intel’s Core i5-13600K. Although the Core i5-13600K is cheaper, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D outperforms it in gaming. Additionally, I took into account the upgradeability factor. Choosing AMD’s new AM5 socket meant I could easily upgrade my CPU in the future. This consideration was one of the reasons why I chose AMD over Intel this time.

Overall, while Intel CPUs still have their merits, for gaming purposes, I would recommend AMD almost every time, especially with their latest Zen 4 processors and the upgrade potential they offer.

Graphics Card: Bringing Your Games to Life

Picking a graphics card Image source: Jacob Roach / ENBLE

Choosing the right graphics card is often a challenging decision due to fluctuating prices and the sheer number of options available. To determine the best card for your PC, consider what you want to achieve from your gaming experience. As someone aiming for a 1440p gaming build, I had to focus on high-performance cards like the Nvidia RTX 4080.

Initially, I intended to select an AMD GPU for my build. However, due to various factors, such as ray tracing capabilities and DLSS support, I ultimately went with Nvidia and the RTX 4080. This decision was influenced not only by price but also by my future plans to upgrade to a 4K display.

If you find yourself in a similar dilemma, it’s essential to research unbiased benchmarks and comparisons between different GPUs. In my case, I evaluated the RX 7900 XTX and the RTX 4080, considering factors like raw performance, ray tracing capabilities, and features like DLSS 3. Ultimately, the RTX 4080 made more sense for my needs.

Remember, both the RX 6950 XT and the RX 7900 XTX are solid options, so consider your specific requirements and consult expert reviews to find the best fit for your gaming preferences and budget.

Cooling: Keeping Your PC Cool and Quiet

Liquid cooling Image source: Jacob Roach / ENBLE

Cooling a high-performance gaming PC is of utmost importance. To ensure optimal performance and longevity, it’s crucial to keep your components cool. For my build with the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, which can run hot, I opted for liquid cooling. Liquid coolers, such as all-in-one (AIO) coolers, offer superior heat dissipation compared to traditional air coolers.

When it comes to cooling options, you have the choice between AIO coolers and custom loop coolers. AIO coolers are pre-assembled and easier to install, while custom loop coolers offer customizability but require more effort and come at a higher cost. In the $500 to $1,500 range, air cooling with additional case fans is a suitable alternative to liquid cooling.

For my build, I chose the Fractal Design Lumen S36 AIO cooler. However, it’s essential to ensure compatibility between your chosen cooler, PC case, and other components. Consider factors like radiator size and available space in your case.

The Rest of Your Build: Bringing Together the Puzzle Pieces

Once you’ve made crucial decisions about your processor, graphics card, and cooling solution, the rest of your build falls into place like a puzzle. But don’t worry if you prefer to start with certain components, such as the PC case or motherboard. It’s all about finding the perfect fit and ensuring compatibility.

Motherboard: The Foundation of Your Build

Selecting the motherboard is a logical step after deciding on the components that need to connect to it. For gaming purposes, expensive motherboards like the Z790 or X670 are generally unnecessary unless you have specific requirements. Consider features like Wi-Fi connectivity, compatibility with your PC case, and alignment with other components. In my build, I opted for the Gigabyte B650 motherboard.

PC Case: Aesthetics and Functionality

Choosing the right PC case depends on the form factor of your motherboard and the size of other components such as your graphics card and cooler. Ensure your case provides sufficient airflow and can accommodate your chosen cooling solution. Additionally, consider aesthetics to create the desired visual impact.

In my case, I selected the Fractal Design Meshify 2 Lite RGB case, which offers both functionality and a touch of bling with its subtle RGB lighting. It provides ample airflow and comes with four pre-installed fans, creating a balanced cooling solution.

Power Supply: A Strong Foundation

The power supply unit (PSU) is often an afterthought for many builders, but it’s crucial to choose a PSU that can handle the power requirements of your components. Remember to check compatibility with your case and ensure sufficient power output for your current and future needs. I used Newegg’s PSU calculator to determine that an 850-watt PSU from MSI would be suitable for my build. Choosing a PSU with an 80 Plus certification ensures efficiency and reliability.

RAM: Fueling Your PC’s Performance

When it comes to memory, your choice will depend on the type supported by your motherboard and processor. DDR5 RAM offers benefits like higher bandwidth and potential future-proofing, but DDR4 RAM can still provide excellent performance at a lower cost. Aim for 16 to 32GB of RAM for gaming purposes. In my case, since I opted for an AMD Ryzen 7000 processor, DDR5 RAM was the obvious choice due to the AM5 socket’s limitation.

The Joy of Building Your PC

RGB PC build

As someone who enjoys experimenting with various PC builds, I understand the allure of continuously striving for the best. It’s exciting to explore new possibilities and listen to the advice of others. However, it’s crucial to remember that even small changes rarely have a significant impact on your overall PC experience.

Ultimately, the goal is to build a PC that brings you joy and satisfies your gaming needs. Focus on a balanced combination of components rather than pursuing the latest and greatest at all costs. Remember, no one needs a top-of-the-line PC to enjoy games at high settings.

So, embark on your PC-building journey with confidence, armed with your budget, use case, and newfound knowledge of component choices. It’s time to create the perfect gaming PC that will serve as your gateway to incredible gaming experiences for years to come.