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The Best PC Builds for CS:GO (2020 Edition)

Building or Buying the Best Computer for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Recommended Hardware Specs for 60FPS, 144FPS, 240FPS, or 300FPS)


CS:GO PC build guides for optimal performanceBuilding a CSGO computer? We pinpoint the current best value parts for optimal performance (get higher FPS for less).

Last Updated: May 29, 2020

The global phenomenon that is CS:GO keeps on keepin' on in 2020. The most successful FPS of all time is as popular as it's ever been, constantly found among the most-streamed games in the world on a daily basis, with a continually thriving competitive scene featuring regular big-money tournaments. In this guide we'll break down what to know before buying or building a PC for CS:GO in 2020, so you can better tailor your component choices to get the best performance for your budget in this specific title.

See Also: The Best General Gaming PC Builds

Want the fastest PC for CS:GO? Since Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a fast moving game requiring pinpoint precision, cunning strategy, and  sharp reflexes to excel, if you're a competitive player (or even a casual) the last thing you want is a low or inconsistent frame rate getting in the way of you playing at your 100% focused best.

You can be the greatest player on the planet, but with a slow PC you could be losing close encounters you would have perhaps otherwise won. To leave nothing to chance and let your skills do the talking in-field, you want to make sure your PC is fast enough for the type of performance you want (read: for the type of monitor you're buying).

In this guide to choosing optimal CS:GO gear, we'll cover our latest recommended gaming PC builds for CS:GO based on the current market, including recommended prebuilt PCs if you don't have time to build, and we'll break down why we chose the specific CPUs and GPUs that we did.

Never Built a PC? How to Assemble Your First PC





The Best CS:GO PC Builds (& Prebuilt Desktops)



Swipe to Scroll the Builds:

Component Cheapest PC for CS:GO (60FPS+) Best Budget PC for CS:GO (144FPS+) Best Fast PC for CS:GO (200FPS+) Best Pro PC for CS:GO (300FPS+)
Tier Casual
Amateur
Aspiring Pro
Pro Godmode
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3400G

or

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X

or

AMD Ryzen 3 3100
Intel Core i5-10400 Intel Core i5-10600K

or

Intel Core i7-10700K
CPU Cooler Stock (included with CPU) Stock (included with CPU) Stock (included with CPU) Cooler Master 212 Evo
(if running stock speeds)

or

Cryorig H7
(if overclocking 10600K)

or

Noctua NH-D15
(if overclocking 10700K)
Motherboard MSI B450M Pro-VDH Max (Micro ATX) Asus Prime B460 Plus (ATX) MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge (ATX, WiFi 6)

or

Asus Z490-Plus TUF Gaming (ATX, WiFi 6)
RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB 3000MHz (2x4GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3200MHz (2x8GB) Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16GB 3200MHz (2x8GB)
Graphics Card RX Vega 11 Integrated (CPU Graphics) XFX RX 560 4GB

or

Biostar RX 560 4GB OC
RX 570 4GB Red Dragon

or

XFX RX 570 4GB RS
Zotac GTX 1660 Super 6GB Twin Fan
Storage Inland Professional 120GB (2.5")

or

Kingston A400 120GB (2.5")
Kingston A400 240GB (M.2)

or

Inland Professional 240GB
Crucial MX500 (M.2)

or

WD Blue 500GB (M.2)

or

Crucial MX500 (2.5")
Power Supply EVGA 450 BT (Bronze)

or

EVGA 450 BR (Bronze)

or

Corsair CX450M (Bronze)
EVGA 500 BQ (Bronze)

or

EVGA 500 BT (Bronze)

or

Corsair CX550M (Bronze)
Corsair CX650M (Bronze)

or

EVGA Supernova 650 G3 (Gold)

or

Corsair RM650x (Gold)
Case Thermaltake Core V21 SPCC Cube

or

Deepcool Matrexx 30 (Mini)
Corsair Carbide 200R (Mid)

or

Corsair Carbide 275R (Mid)
Fractal Design Meshify C (Mid)

or

Corsair Air 540 (Mid)
Similar Prebuilt PCs (Decent Alternatives)
Lenovo 510A (3200G, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)

CyberPowerPC Gamer Master (Ryzen 5 1400, 8GB RAM, RX 560 2GB)

HP Pavilion (i5-7400, 8GB RAM, GTX 1060 3GB)

or


Acer Nitro 50 (i5-8400, 8GB RAM, RX 580 4GB)

iBuyPower Element 9260 (i7-9700F, 16GB RAM, GTX 1660 Ti 6GB)

or


Dell G5 (i7-9700, 8GB RAM, GTX 1660 6GB)

Swipe to Scroll the Builds




How Demanding is CS:GO? Bare Minimum Requirements

If you're looking to build or buy the cheapest PC to simply be able to play the game, let's take a quick look at the minimum spec requirements to run CS:GO. In the grand scheme of things, CS:GO is not demanding on PC hardware, and the minimum official specs are quite low overall (but to be expected for a well-established title that first released quite a while ago now).

However, to run CS:GO really smoothly on faster than average refresh-rate monitors, like 144Hz or 240Hz displays that all professional player's take advantage of - that will require much beefier specs than the minimum specs that Valve put out. If you're a competitive player, frame-rate is important to play at your absolute best at all times without lag or frame dips getting in the way. 

Minimum Required CPU:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom X3 8750

Minimum Required GPU:

Video card must be 256 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 3.0

Minimum Required RAM: 2GB

Source: Steam

It's one thing to run CS:GO on a standard 60Hz monitor, but if you're like the far majority of competitive players you won't want anything less than a 144Hz monitor (or 240Hz if you're a true pro trying to break out as a star player), and these higher refresh rates require higher performance levels for the optimal experience.

How Big is CS:GO? (File Download Size)

As of 2020, CS:GO is 15GB in download size for Windows and Mac. If you're buying or building a PC just for CS:GO and you don't plan to install any other games, and you're not going to install many other applications at all either, then you can save money opting for a smaller storage drive for your computer such as a 120GB/240GB Solid State Drive (SSD).

Related: The Best Routers for Online Gaming

In other words, with a 144Hz monitor, you want frame-rate to be 144FPS (and ideally for your system to stay above that at all times). But the good news is, in a fiercely competitive game like CS:GO, the graphics quality is of second importance to having super-smooth gameplay.

Meaning that many players use low graphics settings (in-game visual settings) in order to get the highest, most-steady FPS numbers possible, which won't require as beefy a hardware setup compared to say, gunning for 144FPS on maxed-out settings.

Related: In-game Graphics Settings Explained




Is CS:GO More CPU or GPU Intensive?

Overall, compared to most modern games which are a lot more focused on graphics, CS:GO isn't very demanding on either your CPU or GPU (graphics card). But in terms of whether the CPU is GPU is more intensive, generally speaking CS:GO relies a bit more on your CPU than on your GPU. A big reason for that is because most CS:GO players are gaming on 144Hz or faster monitors in 1080p, which is a realm where the CPU matters a whole lot more compared to with 60Hz gaming.

Fact is, any game could be considered CPU intensive if you want really high frame-rates like 144FPS, 240FPS, or higher. So when you hear people saying CS:GO is really CPU intensive, that's more like a half-truth. Compared to other games out there, CS:GO is not necessarily that much more taxing on the CPU (if at all; ever played RDR2 on a potato chip? system = dead). But yes, when it comes to reaching high frames for competitive play, it does suddenly become a whole lot more CPU intensive (but as does any game at those performance levels).

Related: Refresh Rates Explained (60Hz vs 144Hz vs 240Hz)


Millions Made in the Milliseconds: CS is not exactly a game that you want to lag - ever



Choosing the Best CPU for CS:GO (Intel vs AMD)

For budget systems, AMD is just as good as Intel when it comes to pure gaming performance, and are typically the better value overall based on pricing (eg the Ryzen 3 3300X is tough to beat in terms of bang for buck). But if you have more to spend on a computer for CS:GO and want the highest frame-rates for 144Hz/240Hz monitors, Intel CPUs are the best way to go as they'll give you higher FPS than rival Ryzen CPUs. This has been pure fact over recent history, and it's still true today despite AMD's excellent Ryzen range of processors (which take the cake as best overall CPUs on the market right now).

Intel is a little more expensive than AMD in the mid to high-end CPU market, but the performance increase is worth it for a fast-motion game like CS where getting higher than average frame-rates is actually beneficial (and absolute core requirement for pro players). If you want the very best PC build for CS:GO, stick with team blue (Intel) and their i5 range of processors (or better). But on a tight budget, you can't go wrong with Intel or AMD, but AMD currently have better value budget gaming CPUs like the 3300X and 3100.

Picking a CPU for Streaming CS:GO

If you're streaming CS:GO to Twitch while gaming, you'll want to really consider AMD as they generally perform best for a streaming PC buildIt does depend exactly how you're streaming though.

AMD CPUs are better for x264 encoding (encoding using the CPU), but if you're doing hardware encoding using your graphics card (NVidia RTX cards are the best for this) then your CPU isn't taxed as much and so Intel or AMD is just fine. But still consider AMD for their often slightly superior multitasking performance, especially if you're doing a ton of things at once.

Related: The Best Streaming PCs





Choosing the Best GPU for CS:GO (NVidia vs AMD)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive isn't very demanding in terms of graphics, meaning you can get away with a very basic gaming card and get great frame-rates if your CPU is decent.

If you’ll also be playing more modern, demanding PC games on your new computer then you’ll want to consider getting a better GPU than what is needed for CS:GO, but if all you care about is CS:GO, based on performance benchmarks around the web a good budget card will do you well (and is also more than enough to get high frames of 144FPS or higher).

In terms of choosing a NVidia or AMD video card for CS:GO, based on performance benchmarks, in recent times AMD cards have the slight upper hand over NVidia and will generally give higher FPS in this particular title.

For budget builds, we recommend AMD's tough-to-beat (in terms of value) cards like the RX 560 or RX 570 which are more than enough power to get high frames (if you have a good CPU).

You don't need a beefy GPU for great CS:GO performance; when paired with a good CPU, a basic RX 570 4GB goes a long way

For pros building the ultimate CS:GO PC, a RX 5600 XT is plenty to get above 300FPS consistently if you pair it with a good processor like the i5-10400 or i5-10600K. However, we must lean towards the NVidia equivalent (GTX 1660 Super) for this specific recommendation, as the 1660 Super is personally what I'd choose for a top-tier CS:GO build as it's the more reliable, cooler (less heat/noise) and power conscious graphics card (compared to the 5600 XT).

But yeah, for a budget CS:GO build, we highly recommend sticking with AMD and their very much proven RX 560 and RX 570. These cards will give you the greatest bang for buck, and especially so in CS:GO where AMD have typically won the AMD vs NVidia debate. For high-end PCs though, take your pick. Though I can't lie I would favor NVidia in this instance for the best reliability and efficiency, as they undoubtably have the current best high gaming GPUs on the market.




Recommended Parts (60FPS, 144FPS, 240FPS+)


CS:GO Requirements for 60FPS (60Hz Monitors)

CPU Needed for 60FPS: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G (integrated graphics)

Best CPU for Over 100FPS: AMD Ryzen 5 3400G (integrated graphics)

For casual gamers who are only aiming for a consistent 60 frames per second for use on a standard 60Hz/75z monitor (1080p), you won't be needing much firepower at all. Based on what performance benchmarks around the web prove, a simple Ryzen 5 3400G is more than enough. 

How Much FPS Will a 3400G Get in CS:GO? The Ryzen 5 3400G is a CPU and GPU all-in-one (you don't need a graphics card), but the integrated graphics on this CPU is very capable for less-demanding games like CS:GO. With a Ryzen 5 3400G/2400G setup, you can expect upwards of 100FPS and beyond.

The 3400G will do well even on good visual settings, but graphics quality doesn't matter much for CS:GO though (hence why competitive players tend to game on lower settings to get higher FPS). Here's just one of many examples showing a Ryzen 5 3400G getting well over 60FPS in CS:GO at all times using this CPU's integrated graphics (on low-ish settings). 

If you buy a 3400G (or any other APU like the 3200G or 2200G) just make sure to use dual-channel RAM. That means always get 2 sticks and not just 1) and get RAM with a speed of 3000Mhz or faster if at all possible - Ryzen APUs like the 3400G rely quite heavily on the RAM that you have, and dual-channel/faster-MHz RAM shows noticeable FPS increases in gaming compared to single-channel or slower MHz.

Is a 3400G Good Enough for 144Hz/144FPS? Yes and no, but we don't recommend it and suggest a better CPU and graphics card. Why? While you can get over 144FPS with a 3400G in CS:GO (on low settings, and if you have 3000Mhz dual-channel RAM or better), you're not guaranteed to stay over 144FPS at all times. Your framer rate will dip under 144FPS, which isn't the end of the world and still looks faster than say 60FPS on a 60Hz display, but for a every-millisecond-counts game like CS you ideally want to stay above your target frame rate at all times. Ask a pro player and they'll tell you the exact same thing.

Best Cheap CPU for CS:GO? (3200G vs 3400G). The cheaper option to the 3400G is its little brother the 3200G, which is another good value AMD CPU with decent integrated graphics for gaming. The 3200G is still suitable for a cheap CS:GO build if you're a casual player and won't be too far behind the 3400G in FPS numbers (assuming you have decent dual-channel RAM). But the 3400G gives you more flexibility for the future, as you're getting a stronger CPU that will last you longer (in case you wanted to upgrade to a discrete graphics later on). The 3400G has 4 cores and 8 threads, while the 3200G only has 4/4.



CS:GO Requirements for 144FPS (144Hz Monitors)

Cheapest CPU for 144FPS: AMD Ryzen 3 3100 (or 3300X)

Cheapest GPU for 144FPS: AMD RX 560 2GB

Best CPU for Over 200FPS: Intel Core i5-10400 (or 9400F, or 8400)

Best GPU for Over 200FPS:  AMD RX 570 4GB (or GTX 1650, or GTX 1050 Ti)

With a 60Hz monitor, all you can see is up to 60 frames rendered on-screen every second. That doesn't require too much from your CPU, To reach up around 144FPS and a bit beyond, you'll want to add a graphics card to the mix like the RX 560 - a proven card for good CS:GO performance and all you need in order to reach 144FPS.

But with a 144Hz display you ideally want your PC reaching up around 200FPS if you can afford to do so, which will avoid any chance of slipping under 144FPS to maintain 100% "smoothness" at all times. To do that based on today's market, you'll want to consider stepping up your CPU to an Intel i5 like the latest i5-10400 (though most recent i5 processors will do like the i5-9400F or i5-8400), and also step up your GPU to something like the RX 570 (another top value GPU for CS:GO).

See Also: Current Best Gaming Monitors for the Money (144Hz+)



CS:GO Requirements for 240FPS (240Hz Monitors)

Cheapest CPU for 240FPS: Intel Core i5-10400 (or 9400F, or 8400)

Cheapest GPU for 240FPS: AMD Radeon RX 560 4GB

Best CPU for Over 300FPS: Intel Core i5-10600K or i7-10700K (or 9600K/9700K)

Best GPU for Over 300FPS: NVidia GTX 1660 Super or better (or AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT or better)

For the absolute fastest PC to run CS:GO at a blistering rate of 240FPS or higher (using a 240Hz screen), Intel's i5 and i7 range is still the go these days for max performance. Getting high frames in CS is largely CPU dependent, and Intel have the slight edge over AMD in terms of being quite a bit faster when it comes strictly to single-core performance.

Why CS:GO Pros Aim for Over 300FPS. 300FPS? Say what? Must be a typo on our end, right? No, and here's why. While most games just don't really benefit all that much from getting crazy-high frame rates like 300FPS (let alone 240FPS, which is only really all that beneficial , CSGO is unique in that regard, meaning that seemingly absurd frame rates of like 300FPS is, believe it or not, the aim of smart CSGO pros around the world because they understand that super-fast, every-millisecond-counts games like CSGO actually do benefit from outputting such a fast display (240FPS on a 240Hz monitor).




Choosing the Best Monitor for CS:GO

CS:GO is a blast - quite literally. Technically, it's one of the fastest-paced games out there. Therefore, since it moves at break-neck speed and every millisecond can count for something in the heat of battle, PC performance is critical in a game like CS:GO.

But the ideal way to experience CS:GO for competitive play isn't just about getting good performance; it's about choosing the right type of gear, too. Specifically, the mouse and the monitor. The game is best experienced on a fast refresh-rate display of 144Hz or higher. Every single CS:GO pro player uses a high refresh-rate monitor of at least 120/144Hz (technically, most pros use a 240Hz screen, but 144Hz is just fine if on a budget).

So, get a monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate or higher if you want to take your CS:GO experience to an optimal level (so that you're essentially competing on a level playing field with others around the world). As a competitive player you want there to be very little (hopefully 0) chance that your system lags, stutters/slows down during your sessions. If that happens to you, during the high-action scenes that count most in CS:GO, you're handing your opponents a very slight but potentially crucial edge over you (assuming similar skill levels).

For the best CS:GO gaming monitor, you not only want the highest refresh-rate you can afford, but you really need a monitor with a fast (low) response time of under 5ms (refresh rate and response time are different things). Ideally 1-2ms, which many of the best gaming monitors have (also see that guide for more about choosing between different monitors). In my humble opinion here are the some of best value gaming monitors from top manufacturers like Asus, Acer, BenQ, LG and more, which include our top picks for good value 144Hz and 240Hz gaming monitors that would be ideal as a CS pro.






Stuck Planning Your PC?

Hope this guide helped in your research, and good luck with your new setup. Need further help?

For Simple Questions

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