If you're brand new to DIY and wondering which components you need for a custom gaming PC build, here's a quick outline of the gaming computer parts you'll need to make up a new working system, as well as a look at the most common optional add-on parts.
CPU / Processor
The CPU (Central Processing Unit), also commonly known as the processor, is the brains of a computer. It performs all the calculations required by the software.
The processor is one of the most important gaming computer components. Without a decent one in your system, your games will slow to a crawl. Learn how to choose the best CPU.
If your CPU is the brain of your computer, your motherboard is the heart and central nervous system. Think of it as the main hub of your system where all the other components connect to.
Your motherboard, like your CPU, is a critical part of your system and without a good one your gaming computer won't be much good, no matter how good your other parts are. Learn how to choose the best motherboard.
RAM / Memory
RAM (Random Access Memory) is the memory in your computer that running programs use during their operation. In other words, while your computer is on, the RAM stores all your programs and applications that you have running.
The more of this memory that you have in your computer, the faster your programs and games will run. If you have multiple programs running at the same time and you notice your computer not operating as smooth as usual, it means you don't have enough RAM. Learn how to choose the best computer memory.
The hard drive is used to store all your programs and data. It's the most common storage device used for PCs, and most computers have at least one.
Data in a hard drive is stored on thin magnetic disks, and they can store hundreds of gigabytes of information. Buying a hard drive is essential for your gaming system. Learn how to choose the best hard drive.
Now we come to the real workhorse component that games rely on, the graphics card. The graphics card is responsible for creating the spectacular 3D graphics and effects you see in games and video.
Without a decent graphics card, you won't be able to view your games at their best. The technology for displaying 3D graphics improves rapidly, and it's getting harder and harder to keep up. Learn how to choose a gaming video card for your needs.
Case and Power Supply
Last but not least of the gaming computer parts is the case and power supply. The case houses all your precious components, whilst also being responsible for the look of your gaming PC. Fancy gaming cases are all the rage these days.
The power supply is important and shouldn't be overlooked. Without power, your computer won't be doing much? You need to make sure your power supply provides enough power to support all your gaming computer parts. Read about choosing gaming computer cases here.
Optional Components and Accessories
We've given an overview of the core gaming computer parts that you will require for a brand new working build. The following are optional components that you may want to add-on for various reasons and peripherals (some of which are needed for a working system):