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The Best Headphones for Gaming: Q4 2020 Edition (& FAQ on Choosing the Perfect Pair)

Oct 17, 2020

A good pair of headphones will always beat out a similar priced gaming headset, as the latter are almost always average headphones with a cheap mic slapped on, along with gamer-focused marketing and fancy-sounding features to inflate the price. Anyone with basic understanding of the audio industry will know that standalone headphones are the way to go if you want the best quality sound for your money, and you can always attach your own mic if you want too (and a better one than what most gaming headsets include anyway). Here we breakdown what to know about selecting headphones for the ultimate gaming audio experience.

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Up Your Audio: The Best Value Computer Speaker Setups for Gaming (2.1 & 5.1)

Oct 13, 2020

If you're after the ultimate gaming setup, sound quality is part of the equation. Here we break down some of the better value speaker sets on the market right now, including the top budget speakers, mid-range 2.1 setups, and high-end 5.1 systems for epic surround sound.

Is Building a PC As Easy As They Say?

Oct 11, 2020

Within PC gaming communities you often hear that building your own PC is really easy these days and that anyone and everyone can and should do it. Even Grandma if she suddenly woke up one day with a sudden strong urge to dominate some sorry noobs on PUBG - apparently she should build a new rig too. But is it really as easy as they say? Should everyone build their own PC, even if they have 0 hardware knowledge?

Recommended PCIe Sound Cards for the Ultimate Gaming Audio Experience (Sound Geeks Only)

Oct 7, 2020

Sound cards are a rare inclusion in a gaming PC build, and it should absolutely remain that way. However, while 99% of gamers shouldn't even consider getting one, there's always exceptions to the rule and the audio fanatics among us sporting seriously super-powered professional-grade headphones or speakers may want (or even need) to look beyond what motherboard audio can provide to take full advantage of that golden gear. If you're part of the audio 1%, these are the best internal sound cards we can recommend.

The Best Gaming PC Builds for the Money: Q4 2020 Edition (October Update ft. RTX 3000)

Oct 5, 2020

The new RTX 30 series graphics cards from NVidia has changed the hardware market, and in this latest update to our recommended PC builds we break down what to know when planning the best RTX 3060 Ti, 3070, 3080, or 3090 build along with our usual budget PC recommendations for anyone planning a super cost-effective rig. If you need help choosing the best value parts for a new system build, this comprehensive guide is here to help you avoid getting stuck in eternal research land of doom.

How to Save MORE Money When Building a PC

Oct 1, 2020

It's well known that picking parts yourself and building your own computer will save you money, but there's a few key things to know when choosing components that if you're not aware of can lead to overspending. Here we cover the basics of picking parts to save money, plus a bunch of extra tips to cut costs further if you're on a tight budget where every dollar counts.

Are Refurbished Prebuilt Gaming PCs Worth It?

Sep 23, 2020

Buying a refurbished gaming desktop is an option worth considering if you want to cut costs when buying a prebuilt system, but only if you find the right deal from a trusted place and understand what refurbished really means (and the risks). We explain the pros and cons to buying refurbished computers and hand-pick some of the better deals we could find on the market right now.

How to Buy a Used Graphics Card Without Getting Ripped (& Fair RTX 2000 Prices Guide)

Sep 20, 2020

The used graphics card market has seen a flood of gamers and enthusiasts selling their current or previous gen cards in the hopes of upgrading to RTX 3000 this holiday season, meaning it's a decent time to find a bargain within the still-modern RTX 2000 or RX 5000 series if you can't afford the shiny new 3000 series, or don't want to wait until next year to get a GPU (which may be the only hope of getting a 3000 card due to the well-publicized low-stock (and/or high bot) launch of the 3000 series.

An Update On the State of SLI: RTX 3000 Support & NVIDIA's Announcement to Axe SLI

Sep 20, 2020

This week NVIDIA has finally well and truly put a coffin in SLI as we know it, and starting next year won't be releasing official SLI drivers for future games. However, multi-GPU setups will live on thanks to DirectX 12 (or Vulkan) mGPU, though only if developers choose to implement mGPU in their code themselves. We break down what it all means in as simple terms as possible, including a revisited look at the pros and cons to SLI for those considering it for older cards (or for the 3090, which actually will support it, despite future-game SLI drivers to be officially off the cards).

The Overwatch PC Build Guide: 2020 Edition (Specs for 60FPS, 144FPS, 240FPS, 360FPS)

Sep 9, 2020

We re-visit our Overwatch build guide with a fresh look based on the 2020 market to see which CPU, GPU and RAM you'll need to reach the performance level you desire, and more tips including whether NVIDIA or AMD is faster, the most popular monitors used by pros, and more.

The League of Legends Build Guide: 2020 Edition (Required Specs for 60FPS, 144FPS, 240FPS)

Sep 3, 2020

League of Legends is one of the most popular eSports on the planet and we take a fresh 2020 look at which modern PC parts you'll require to get flawless 60FPS, 144FPS, or 240FPS performance to play at your absolute best without lame lag getting in the way.

B550 vs X570 Chipset Differences: Choosing the Right Mid-Range / High-End AMD Motherboard

Aug 28, 2020

The recent release of the B550 chipset has made choosing an AMD board more confusing than it already was, but with a little basic understanding of the differences between these two types of AMD boards and whether they apply to you, the decision becomes a lot simpler.

The Q3 2020 Gaming PC Build Guides: How to Build the Fastest, High-Airflow, Best-Looking PC

Aug 5, 2020

If you're planning a build in Q3 and don't care to wait for upcoming GPU and CPU releases later this year, I'm excited to share with you 14 brand new build guides for this month - all in the one complete guide. These builds have been over 3 weeks in the making, and have all been designed from the ground up based on the current August market as great examples of how to maximize gaming performance, cooling and aesthetics for 14 different budgets (IMHO).

How to Choose a Compatible Motherboard for a 2020 Gaming PC (Important Features Explained)

July 10, 2020

Choosing a motherboard can be one of the more confusing component choices when building your first PC. Following the recent launches of B550 (AMD) and Z490 (Intel) motherboards, we've revisited our main motherboard buyer's guide for beginners and done a complete re-write from scratch. The makeover includes new diagrams, 2020 motherboard/CPU compatibility "cheatsheet", and a bunch of new FAQs covering almost everything you'd need to know as a beginner shopping for your first motherboard.

MSI B550-A Pro vs MSI B450-A Pro MAX Specs Comparison (What's the Best Budget AMD Board?)

July 6, 2020

The MSI B450-A Pro MAX is one of the best overall "bang for buck" budget AMD motherboards for a practical, non-flashy mid-range gaming PC. Its new B550 brother is set to become available any day now, but comes in at roughly $40 (US) more. Are the improvements over the B450 worth it?

B550 vs B450: Overview of the B550 Launch, Differences Explained, and is B550 Worth It?

July 3, 2020

Choosing an AMD motherboard just got more confusing with the release of the B550 chipset, as B550's have been released in quite dramatically different price tiers, all the way from < $100 for the cheapest model to around $300 for the top model (which is well within X570 territory). The questions being asked by every gamer and his goat this month is whether or not B550 is worth it over B450 for budget PCs (which we'll cover today), and if B550 is a better buy than X570 (article on that coming soon).

What is PCIe 4.0? Do PCIe 4.0 SSDs and GPUs Noticeably Improve Gaming Performance?

July 3, 2020

B550 motherboards bring PCIe 4.0 to the masses, but you might have heard that it's no big deal. We explain why that is, how PCIe 4.0 affects SSDs and GPUs (the only two devices that can use it right now), and when (or if) PCIe 4.0 will actually be important for a gaming PC. We'll also cover other common questions surrounding PCIe in general for good measure, as it's often a confusing topic for beginners.

Will All B450 Boards Support Zen 3? AMD Brings B450 Back from the Dead

June 17, 2020

After first stating the exact opposite, AMD recently confirmed that B450 motherboards will indeed be getting support for future 4th generation Ryzen processors after all. We break down the initial controversial decision, the following about-face from AMD, and what it means exactly including whether ALL B450 boards will be getting support, which B450 boards are the safest bets for Ryzen 4000, how the upgrade would work in terms of doing a BIOS update if you've never done one before, and cheap AMD memes 'cause why not.

Top 5 Best Value B450 Motherboards for Budget AMD Builds

June 15, 2020

B550 boards are just around the corner, but that doesn't mean B450s will completely disappear off the map as smart bang for buck buys, especially thanks to AMD announcing recently that B450 boards will indeed be able to support future Ryzen 4000 processors (after initially announcing they wouldn't support it).

The Best Value 2020 Prebuilt Gaming PCs for Time-Poor Gamers (& How to Avoid a Dud)

June 5, 2020

Pre-assembled desktops often get a bad wrap, but for good reason as most just aren't worth it compared to building your own (and are often made up of subpar quality components). But not everyone has the time, interest, or patience to build their own system, so if you don't mind paying a little extra for the convenience of a premade ready to go system, we've carefully analyzed the US prebuilt PC market and hand-picked the most respectable models we could find that provide decent value.

Building the Best Value PC for CS:GO (Get 144FPS+ for Less)

May 29, 2020

Our original CS hardware guide was published a couple years back, but the most popular FPS in the world (yep; still) deserves a fresh new look at in 2020. In this completely rewritten guide we break down the current hardware market for gamers specifically looking to get the highest FPS possible for less money, which also takes into account the latest Intel releases. CS:GO is not demanding overall, but for 144FPS or even 240FPS (all pros use 240Hz monitors or better) you will need a capable CPU.

Recommended Gaming PC Builds: Q2 2020 Edition (May and June)

May 18, 2020

Our latest PC builds for gamers explain our current top hardware component recommendations for all budgets, taking into account the brand new Intel and AMD CPUs that hit the market this month. To cut a long story short, Intel still retains its crown for maximum gaming performance for high-end setups, with AMD owning the value market.

Recommended Dedicated Streaming PC Builds for Twitch or Mixer

May 8, 2020

Dedicated streaming rigs aren't for everyone, but if you're a pro streamer wanting a dual computer setup (one for streaming and one for gaming) this is the guide for you. For most streamers, we recommend gaming and streaming on a single setup though (see our other guide below for that).

Recommended PC Builds for Streaming & Gaming on the Same Setup

May 4, 2020

Assembling a new rig for both gaming and streaming? There are a couple extra considerations to take into account which we address in this guide. We also break down some of the common questions regarding streaming setups like CPU vs GPU encoding and how it all works, along with some ready-to-go example builds for streaming if you just want to know which exact parts we recommend right now in 2020. Spoiler: AMD CPU + NVidia GPU - this is the way (best multitasking performance and the best hardware encoding performance thanks to the improved encoders found on new RTX cards).

Choosing the Best Value Webcam for Twitch Streaming

May 2, 2020

Not the best time to be buying a webcam, but once pricing returns to some sort of normalcy (demand for webcams has skyrocketed, meaning super inflated prices right now) these are the best value models IMO if you want to get your Twitch face cam game on. Not the most important part of a streaming setup, as you should place your hardware and other accessories (mic, etc) as a much higher priority, but at some point you will want a decent cam to show that magnificent mug of yours in crystal clear quality to build connection with your audience.

How to Install an Internal PCIe WiFi Card

Apr 20, 2020

Many motherboards don't actually come with WiFi/wireless networking capability, which is often surprising to many beginners building their first PC (and for good reason). But if you can't afford a high-end motherboard that does have WiFi as a feature, the good news is it's easy and inexpensive to add WiFi capability to your build by buying and installing an internal wireless network card. Here's how to mount one inside your PC and set it all up, including what to do about wireless drivers and tips on positioning for the best signal.

How to Install an M.2 SSD (PCIe or SATA)

Apr 19, 2020

M.2 drives are the bees knees 'cause they bring super-fast SSD storage technology in a super-thin little drive that fits snugly inside your actual motherboard, saving room inside your case. They're dead easy to install but here are full instructions and photos should you need a helping hand installing these little guys.

How to Install SATA Optical Disk Drives (CD, DVD, or Blu-ray)

Apr 18, 2020

As physical media continues towards its slow inevitable death, optical drives are also becoming a thing of the past. But unlike their Floppy Drive cousins, who have completely fallen off the face of the Earth and haven't been included in a single PC build since the 1800's, there's still life in disk drives and many new computer builds still include them in their setups for obvious reasons (dusting off and loading up those old HL1 and HL2 DVDs to get ready for HLA - duh).

How to Test Parts Outside the Case (Before Building the Rest of Your PC)

Apr 17, 2020

When you're building a PC, about half-way through the process when you've installed the core parts onto the motherboard (CPU, cooler, RAM, and maybe more), it's good practice to do a quick test of your parts before putting them into the case to check everything is working properly and that you don't have a faulty part. When you do this you can also check that your CPU, cooler, and thermal paste are all working properly by giving a quick look over the CPU temperature in the BIOS.

How to Install Extra Fans in a PC Case (& Computer Airflow 101)

Apr 15, 2020

What to know about mounting additional case fans in your build (or upgrading an existing system with new fans). PC airflow optimization can get real complex real fast as it can quickly start venturing into complicated physics and thermodynamics, but in usual BGC style in this guide we'll break down the basics for beginners or intermediates in simple to understand layman's terms (without getting too technical and minus the jargon).

The Best Gaming PC Builds of the Month: April 2020 Update (Recommended Parts)

Apr 10, 2020

Time for another update to our recommended gaming PC builds. Some industry experts predicted hardware prices and stock availability would take a turn for the worse by now thanks to the human malware outbreak (credit to GN for that term). But at least for now, the predicted slowdowns of manufacturing in China hasn't seemed to have actually happened, and right now PC components have not been affected from what I can see. That's good news if you were planning a build around this time, as prices are still as good as they have been over recent months. Although I'm speaking of the US hardware market where I spend most of my focus (as 95% of you guys are from there), and in my own country (AU) I have noticed a slight increase in prices of late (but nothing too crazy, at least for now).

Building the Best PC for Half-Life: Alyx (Recommended Specs)

Apr 5, 2020

A special game deserves a special build guide, and in this detailed look at the hardware requirements of the first true AAA VR game ever made, we break down everything you need to know to buy, build or upgrade your system for a smooth experience in this epic title that released last week to universal critical acclaim.

Best PC VR Headsets for Half-Life: Alyx

Apr 4, 2020

The best VR game of the year, decade, century, millennium, and Milky Way - it's finally here. I've spent way too much time analyzing performance benchmarks, reviews, and emotional playthroughs from around the web in order to dissect the general consensus in terms of which headsets perform the best. These are my findings.

57 of the Best Games That Support SLI: 2020 Update (& Proof of Scaling)

Mar 29, 2020

With our articles we aim to cater to PC builders and gamers of all budgets. That means not neglecting the small number of extreme enthusiasts lucky enough to be able to assemble overkill rigs just for the fun of it. For most gamers, just look away now, but if multi GPU madness is your thing our extensive list of modern and classic titles with official SLI support from NVidia themselves has been updated with new additions like Fallen Order, Ace Combat 7, The Outer Worlds & More. No Half-Life: Alyx, though.

DIY Book Launch Delay: V5 of Our Full PC Building Manual Now Releasing April

Mar 19, 2020

Last week (see below) we announced we're re-releasing our PC building Ebook in late March, but plans change so you gotta be flexible in life. The new edition of the book will now be releasing in early April instead of March. Why? This new version was already shaping up to be the biggest overhaul of the book since its inception and first release back in 2017, but in a last minute decision I've decided to add even more bonus DIY tips and tricks to the book.

Instead of just a few all-new chapters being added to the new version, there's now a boatload of new modules being added, with the aim of truly making this the most comprehensive, nugged-filled, jam-packed all-in-one manual for DIY beginners ever written. Also, yes - the 25% off discount if you preorder will also be extended until the new launch day in April. See the New Chapters Included in V5 Here.

Why No New Builds for March (& Human Malware Situation)

Mar 19, 2020

Due to the upcoming new launch of our book (see the previous update below) and the simultaneous overhaul of our PC assembly tutorial (that continues to be tweaked and improved throughout March), we won't update our best gaming PC builds series in March as there's only so much time in the day and all the focus is on the book/tutorial right now. Our "best builds" series will be updated in April sometime.

However, the thing is the market hasn't changed much since Feb (if at all) in terms of what the best components to buy are, so the Feb builds on our site still very much apply to March. If you need help though, or want confirmation on your parts-list, just ask in the comments section of the builds.

As for how the current human malware madness is affecting the hardware industry, I'll leave that to those more clued in on industry happenings and news like Tech Jesus.

But overall, from what I see, prices haven't been affected and things are just the same (for now at least) in terms of people buying parts. So if you're worried about this situation affecting a build you were planning to do in March or April, so far it doesn't seem prices will spike due to manufacturing slowdowns in China. To take just one completely random example, the Ryzen 3600 is the lowest it's ever been at the time of writing (well under MSRP).

Anyway, once our book launch is over, we'll also be updating the other guides around the site too along with our builds. Some of the buying guides are quite due for an update, but there's been a lot to do here at BGC as usual.

Anyway, stay safe out there and good luck avoiding human malware; good thing there's no need to enter a physical store to buy parts these days. Or to buy anything, really. Ready Player One style life is here early I guess, with nobody leaving their homes - especially if you're fortunate enough to both have VR and be planning to get your hands on Alyx in a few days time (!!!). If that's you, I doubt you'll have any desire to leave the virtual world for the next 3 months. Good timing, Valve.

New Version of Our Full PDF for DIY Newbies Releases March!

Mar 14, 2020

We're excited to announce that this month our comprehensive eBook on building, tweaking, maintaining and upgrading your first custom PC gets a full makeover with a bunch of all-new modules, tips and tricks to help you make the absolute most of your first build now and over its full lifespan. Preorder the new manual now and we'll give you a nice 25% off discount as a little thanks for throwing your support behind the new book launch. Learn More.

How to Assemble a PC: 2020 Edition (Checklist & Full Instructions)

Feb 27, 2020

Our flagship PC installation tutorial has undergone another fairly significant update, including the addition of a new 2020 AMD budget build example with photos for illustration purposes, new sub-guides on installing add-on parts (that'll be released one by one through March) like M.2 SSDs, aftermarket case fans, PCIe wireless adapters, optical drives, and more. The previous version of the tutorial was comprehensive enough judging by past feedback, but we've stepped things up another notch to make this PC build walkthrough the ultimate super in-depth (yet easy-to-follow) guide for complete beginners. Read Article.

The Best Gaming PC Builds of the Month: February 2020 Update

Feb 2, 2020

Another month means another update to our flagship guide where we list our top recommended components right now based on the current market to help you in building the best value gaming PC this month. The new 5600 XT from AMD was the biggest noteworthy release since our last update of the builds, but does it make the cut? Read Article.

5 Reasons It's a Good Time to Build a PC (SSD & RAM Increases Coming?)

Jan 14, 2020

The second half of last year was a welcome resurgence in the PC hardware market, following a disastrous 2017-2018 period primarily due to sky-high GPU and RAM prices. But is it still a healthy "buyer's market' in the new year? For now, it absolutely is, but some are predicting RAM and SSD prices to increase this year. Let's discuss, including a trip down memory lane back to the worst time in history to build a PC (which is oh so painfully recent). Read Article.

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