The Five Most Important Parts of a Gaming Computer
Gaming computers are full of flashy parts with fancy names and long model numbers. It can be quite hard to differentiate between what is actually important and what isn't while shopping for your first serious gaming rig.
Most computer stores do little to help as well; with brochures selling every addition known to man (this is how they make the bulk of their money after all).
This article should help you cut through all of the 'fluff' around building a gaming PC by listing the top five important parts of a gaming computer. These are the ones you should spend the bulk of your money on, everything else can be filled in with generic branded gear, which you can easily upgrade later.
The Fifth Most Important Part of a Gaming Computer - RAM
Everyone knows about RAM. Even people who have never built a gaming computer before know that more RAM means you can run better games. However, what most people fail to realize is that all RAM isn't made equal.Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RAM_module_SDRAM_1GiB.jpg
Even though you may have two sticks of 8GB RAM one of them is likely to work more efficiently, be accessed faster and be more reliable. Since RAM is heavily relied upon by all gaming technology it is really important to buy the best you can with the money you have.
The Fourth Most Important Part of a Gaming Computer - Video Card
Videos cards are as important as they are confusing; very. Your best bet is to speak with people who have recently built their own gaming computer about their favorite graphics cards or to check out some benchmarks against the types of games you will be playing.
Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Voodoo2_board.jpgThe hottest competition in graphics cards comes from ATi and NVidia, so if you don't know where to start either of those brands are a good choice.
The Third Most Important Part of a Gaming Computer - CPU
For example, buying a quad core i7 CPU is a good investment for the future even if it's benefits are limited now.
Being restricted by your CPU in 1-2 years is not a good place to be in.
Invest in a good CPU from day one and you will save in the long run
The Second Most Important Part of a Gaming Computer - Motherboard
High-end motherboards are optimized for tomorrow rather than today and will have slots for extra RAM and other upgrades which you don't currently need.
Buy a motherboard for the computer you will want in 2 years.
The Most Important Part of a Gaming Computer - The Power Supply
Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Power_Supply_ATX-450PNF.jpgLess respected than it's more flashy counterparts the power supply is the most crucial part in your rig. It powers and protects (or destroys) you other hardware.
Look after it and it will look after you. A common saying amongst hobbyist overclockers is that there is two things they will shift to their next rig when the current one dies; their monitor and their power supply.
A Special Mention - The Case
The computer case can't make the list in full because it is not crucial, just about any case with the right number of holes will suffice. However, air flow can make or break a rig. Fins and fans are important, LED lights and bullet holes are not.
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