How to Build a Computer? – Gaming PC

In this article I will explain what components you should choose and how to select them to build the right PC to play games of last generation or for more demanding: the best gaming PC of 2017. When you want to build your PC, you must take into account the following: motherboard, processor (cpu), memory RAM, video card, power supply, hard drive.

We will quickly see what each component is and then we will explain each one.



Motherboards currently greatly influence the performance of the computer, and are no longer simple connector. While buying one, besides watching their performance characteristics, you should consider basic things like:

-What processor line-accepts (Intel, AMD, some support a processor type and other otherwise).
-type of memory RAM: either DDR, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4. You can not combine them, it only uses one type.
-The amount of RAM that can support and slots available for the same. In general, most currently brings two slots from 8 GB.
-You may be interested to bring an integrated video card (is part of the motherboard), such as the Intel HD.
-USB slot and type: must be USB3.



You must take into account the number of cores (cores) and speed in GHz. If you have more cores and the greater its GHz frequency, the better the performance of the processor. A CPU according to the video card: the CPU will determine the speed of our gaming PC. The CPU is the brain of the machine and is running all processes. Games are a set of processes of high magnitude. Therefore a very good CPU is required, and most of all, to withstand the video card and not create bottleneck.

1) The CPU must be multicore processors with 4 cores (cores) minimum. The more the better.
2) The speed of CPU should be minimum 3.0 GHz if it’s 4 cores, or 2.6 if you have more than four cores. More speed is better.
3) Choosing between Intel and AMD is a matter of taste. Both are excellent, what matters is that the CPU is good, not the brand in this case.


Memory RAM

Today there are four types of RAM: DDR, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4. The latter being the fastest. It is true that when more memory a computer has, the better it will yield, since the RAM directly influences the number of processes that can run. But here’s the same with processors, depends its Megaherz (MHz) the DDR and DDR2 and GHZ (thousand MHz is a GHz) the DDR3 and DDR4. So the higher the MHz, the faster the RAM.


Video card

Basically you have to consider three things:

-MHz speed (like memory RAM)
-Memory type: DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR3, GDDR4, GDDR5. The latter being the best.
-Amount of memory

The right graphics card: the video card is the main component when building a gaming PC, so you must choose either because it depends largely performance to play. The maximum potential of a gaming computer on your video card.

1) The memory should be GDDR5 (DDR5) is the best currently.
2) The memory must be 2 GB or more.
3) The memory speed must be greater than 800 MHz. The more the better.
4) The speed of the core (core) must exceed 600 MHz. The more the better.
5) The bus width should be 256 (bit) or more. The more the better.
6) The PCI Express should be 3.0 x16.
7) The NVIDIA and ATI Radeon HD (AMD) are the best.

If you want to build the right gaming PC have to keep in mind that these points are essential and that, the higher the value, the better performance you will have your graphics card.


Power Supply

Power supply is responsible for delivering power to the entire computer, so it should be enough. The video cards are the largest consumers of energy, so do not reach with a 500 watt if your video card is from latest generation, you should think 700 watt or more.


Hard Drive or Solid State Drive (SSD)

Please note:
-GB capacity: the higher, more information can save
-RPM, the greater will be the fastest information step


The remaining components are easy to choose, so I do not think I need a guide. The most important and defining the performance of your PC are these six points. Below we will explain in detail how to choose the five main components for any gaming PC: Motherboard, Processor, Graphics Card, Memory Ram and Power Supply.


How to select the Right Motherboard? – Gaming PC

This component will be the heart of our PC, although very little influence when playing. When choosing a motherboard to build a gaming PC, it has to have:

1) PCI Express x16 3.0: it’s the latest version. The video card will be placed here. If you then want to put two video cards in «crossfire», then you need 2 PCI Express x16 3.0. One thing to clarify is: all PCI Express x16 are compatible, the difference between the versions is its transfer rate. But to put together a good gaming PC, you should choose a PCI Express x16 3.0.

2) 4 DIMM slots or more: the memory RAM is placed in the slots. For example, two memory RAM with 8 GB each one, occupy two slots and two others would like to add more if you require it at some point.

3) The motherboard should accept DDR4 and the frequency should be 2200+.

4) The socket for processors must accept the cpu i3 / i5 / i7 (last generation and in the case of choosing intel CPU). If the processor type you choose is different, you should look at your motherboard will accept.

5) SATA 6 GBs: where your disks will be connected. The number depends on how many they are, one disk, one drive connection.

It is assumed that a motherboard that includes the 5 points above a motherboard will be a quality, so you already have built a good sound card, network and ports.


Example for Motherboards

We will use the following ASUS motherboard as example.

***I recommend ASUS, ASRock and GIGABYTE***


Processor Type

When you buy a motherboard, you must first know what type of processor will use. You have to choose between Intel and AMD. After choosing the brand, you have to decide which processor will use. Here’s a problem, because the motherboard is enabled for a group of processors. The motherboard only accepts a socket type for processors. For example, if you want to put a processor Intel i5 second generation, you must choose a motherboard that supports socket 1155, which is for processors i3/i5/i7 second generation, among others.

The P8H67M-PRO motherboard says in CPU specifications: «Intel® Socket 1155 for 2nd Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3 Processors. So accept our i5 processor.»


Memory RAM

Each motherboard accepts a type of memory and one or more types of the same frequency. It also has a maximum capacity of available slots and a maximum memory capacity to be placed. Among the types of memory RAM are: DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4.
The frequency can vary.

Note: you can put two memories (physically speaking) in two slots and with different frequencies, but must be the same type. It should be clarified that in this case, the two memories will work with the lowest frequency among the two.

For example, the P8H67M-PRO says: «4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 1333/1066 MHz Memory»

This means working with a DDR3 memory frequency of 1333/1066, which has 4 physical slots to put 4 memory RAM, and supports, as maximum, 32 GB.

So the maximum would be to put 4 memory RAM with 8GB DDR3 each, which is unrealistic and silly, because the maximum memory used today by the heavy games at maximum graphics, is 6-8 GB.


Integrated Graphics

Some motherboards have «video cards» or video accelerators, which are called «integrated graphics», because it is inside. These cards steal memory RAM of the machine to create video memory. Not recommended for games, especially heavy games because won’t run. There are games, and good games, that come adapted to these graphs, but they are the minority.

Also keep in mind the video output. Currently used HDMI for better resolution.

For example, the P8H67M-PRO says:

Integrated Graphics Processor
Maximum shared memory of 1748 MB
This means that if for example, you have 4GB of RAM, until 1748 you can give that memory to the memory card. When you share memory, the machine starts to have less RAM available, until you stop using that part for the video.


Graphics Card

You can always add a graphics card, so you won’t use the integrated graphics. The video card is much better than integrated graphics, because it is independent of the motherboard. Just have to look if you can place it on your motherboard.

For example, the P8H67M-PRO says (Expansion Slots):

1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (blue)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black)
2 x PCI

In this case you have space for two video cards, because you have two x16 PCI.


Hard disk

You must know what type of connection has your motherboard with the hard disk, is important. The P8H67-M PRO says:

2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue

This means you can connect 6 SATA hard disks.


Other features to look

Taking as example the P8H67M-PRO:
LAN: Realtek® 8111E , 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s) (network connections).
Audio: Realtek® ALC 892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC (all motherboards bring audio cards).
USB: 2 x port(s) USB 3.0, 14 x port(s) USB 2.0

All other things are more basic. The most important thing was described.


How to choose the right Processor? – CPU – Gaming PC

When you want to choose a processor, you basically must look two things:

1) The frequency or, commonly, their speed in gigahertz (GHz)
2) The number of cores that make up the CPU, those who actually have more than one processor, called multi-core.

The greater their GHz, faster processing speed will the processor, and is therefore faster.


CPU: Muticore

At present come multicore processors. For example, a second generation i3 processor has two real cores and two virtual cores, which makes a total of four cores. Real cores are actually physically exist and virtual are those created by the abstraction of computing.


Two Processors: Quick Choice

To choose quickly between two processors, we must look at the number of cores and speed in GHz. But as technology advances quickly, for example, one i5 processor of the firsts, is probably slower than an i3 processor ultimate generation.


How to choose the right Graphics Card? – Gaming PC

Basically you have to consider four things:

-MHz speed (like memory ram)
-Memory type
-Amount of memory


Video Card: The Memory

The speed of the memory is measured in MHz. If you have two graphics cards, the first with 800 MHz and the second with 700 MHz, the second is faster than the first. The most common types of memory from lowest to highest are: DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR3, GDDR4 and GDDR5, the latter being the best.


Graphics Card: Databus

The bus of a video card is very important because it is responsible for transferring data between components in a computer. The larger the bus, the faster the data transfer and the games will run faster. Of course, together with a good memory type.

Memory Bus Width: is the amount of data that video card can transfer and receive. This is independent of the amount of memory and is measured in bits. The low end cards or old cards have 64bits. While midrange cards or good cards (but old) have 128 bits. Lastly cards upper-middle range have 256 bits or more. This is very important for the performance and speed of the card.


Graphics Card: Type and Version – AMD Radeon

Examples with: HD Radeon 7870

We take the number: 7870

Red: indicates the serie. The higher, newer.

Green: indicates the range. From 3 to 5 is low-end, midrange 6 and 7, 8 and 9 high
end. The 7870 is then a high end card.

Blue: indicates the version of the card. The bigger, better the performance.

Giving an example, if we have the following cards:

HD 5670: 5000 series midrange, version 70.
HD 6570: 6000 series, low-end, version 70.
HD 7850: 7000 series, high-end, version 50.
HD 7950: 7000 series, high-end, version 50.


HD 7870 > HD 5670
HD 7870 > HD 6570
HD 7870 > HD 7850 (both 7000 and high end, so you look at the version)
HD 7870 < HD 7950 Of course, you must look at the amount of memory on each graphics card. This comparison is assuming that all the cards have the same amount of memory.  

Video Card: Type and version – NVIDIA

NVIDIA also use letters.

GS: low range.
GT: midrange.
GTS: high midrange.
GTX: high end.
Ultra: higher range.

The numbers are misleading, since not always the highest in a class is the other better. But in general, within a series, the higher the better. For example, an NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT is better than NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT.


Graphics Card and Motherboard: Compatibility

Before I talk about the PCI Express port a brief description of AGP port. The AGP port is an old port and is no longer used, unless you have a motherboard from many years ago. There are three types and are x2, x4 and x8, the latter being the fastest.

PCI Express – Compatibility

The PCI Express port has been used for several years. Currently used x16 architecture for video plates. Therefore it is essential to know, when you buy a video card, what type of port your motherboard has, and if this is PCI x16.

There are different types or versions of PCI Express and these are: 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1 and 3.0, the latter being the most advanced and fastest way to transfer data. All versions are compatible, since what matters is that it is x16. So you can put a video card that requires PCI x16 1.0 on a motherboard that has PCI x16 2.0, or a video card that requires PCI x16 3.0 on the same motherboard. It’s the same USB ports.

The problem is that in the case of the video card that requires a 3.0. It will run slightly slower, because this motherboard has PCI x16 2.0 and hasn’t the data transfer capacity of 3.0.

Conclusion: to get a 100% of performance with your video card, PCI x16 version of the motherboard must be greater or equal to the video card.


How to select the right memory RAM? Type and Quantity

The third key to put together the right gaming PC component is the RAM. The RAM is essential for the CPU to execute all processes.

1) Must be DDR4. The best gaming PC should have DDR4-2200 or higher.
2) You have between 8 and 16 GB of RAM. It is not necessary more memory, because it is not used more than that, for now. Indeed, 12 is enough.
3) The frequency or speed must 2200 MHz or more. The more the better.
4) If you combine two memory RAM, that is, for example, two memory RAM of 8 GB, both should be the same frequency .
5) The brand does matter. Try to choose a good brand, not unknown.


How to choose the right Power Supply? – Gaming PC

There must be sufficient to support all PC parts and also should have the PCI connections to supply power to other parts or videocard. An ideal source would be around 800 Watt.

Many people wonder about this: when I buy a new video card, does it need a new power supply? This is relative because it depends on the source you have obviously.

You have to watch two things regarding this: minimun power (watts) needed by your graphics card and the number of pins, if your video card needs it. The potency from the supply power must be highest than the minimun power (necessary) from your graphics card.

The extra connectors (pins) are those that are directly connected to the video card, I mean, the power supply delivers its energy directly to the graphics card without going through the motherboard. These are PCI-e connectors; and youmust look if your power supply has it. The pins can be x2, x4, x6 y x8, and it indicates the number of pins. If your video card needs 8 pins, and you have 2 (x4) pins, you can use the two, x4 + x4 = x8 pins.


What is bottleneck?

In computing, a bottleneck occurs when a PC component restricts the performance of other, doing that this last can’t get 100% of performance. How to know if you have a bottleneck?


OPTION 1: video card, cpu and memory RAM

The best example is given with the PC games, in which the video card, processor and RAM, can cause a bottleneck.

For example: If you have the best video card and the best cpu, exceeding the maximum requirements of a game, but your memory RAM only is enough to play the game at low levels, your memory creates a bottleneck with the other two components; and you have to play with graphics on low or middle range, even though your video card and processor are the best.

Same with the rest of the combinations. That is, all elements should be level or balanced to perform at 100%. If one of them doesn’t have that level, this will create a bottleneck with the other which is much better in its category.


OPTION 2: Motherboard with Video Card

For example: if your motherboard has a version of PCI Express 2.0 and your video card requires a PCI 3.0, there will be a bottleneck, because the motherboard will influence the performance of the video card to work with one PCI Express 2.0. Therefore, its power and speed of data transfer is reduced. Same for all PCI Express (and AGP).


OPTION 3: Motherboard and Memory RAM

The bottleneck appears when the memory frecuency is lesser than frecuency supported from motherboard. For example, if the motherboard supports DDR3 with 1333 MHz frequency, if you place a higher frequency DDR3, the memory will work at 1333 MHz, because the motherboard works with 1333 MHz.


OPTION 4: Memory RAM with Memory RAM

It produces a bottleneck between two memories when their frequencies are different. When motherboard has two memories, these will work with the minor frecuency between both. For example, if you have a 2GB DDR3 memory at 1066 MHz and one with 2GB DDR3 1333 MHz, to put to work together, the motherboard will work with 4GB 1066 MHz, because 1066 MHz is the lower frequency between both (memories).