What Software to Install on a New Gaming PC Build?

Recommended Add-On Programs to Consider for a Gaming Desktop in 2018

After your new computer build is up and running with your operating system, you might as well get straight into installing a few other key programs to kick off your PC. Here are some of our top recommendations for different categories that you should consider to boost the features of your shiny new machine. Of course, nothing is going to be more exciting than getting your hands on good-old Steam so you can finally get your game on!

Anti-Virus / Malware for Your Gaming PC Build

Free Anti-Virus/Malware Software

We'll start with security because it's important to consider in this day and age. If you installed Windows 10, as many of you would have, there is a fairly decent built-in security program called Windows Defender which allows you to scan for malware and viruses on your PC. To find it simply open the Start menu, click on All Apps, and scroll down to the bottom. You'll find it under the Windows System tab.

The first thing you'll need to do is update the software, or specifically the definitions if you want to get technical, which is a list of known security issues and viruses/malware that your software will download from the web to check against your system. Simply click on the Update tab in Windows Defender and then click on Update Definitions to get this done, and don't forget to connect your PC to the internet for this to work. When using it for the first time you should perform a full-scan, especially if you've already been using your new gaming PC for a while and you've been online. Then aim to perform the “Quick Scan” once every week or so.

While Windows Defender will provide basic protection and is definitely better than nothing, there are obviously much better programs out there that will catch more threats and protect you further, as well as having more features such as automatic email scanning, blocking websites that contain malware, and automatically scheduled scans. If you want to invest in high-quality protection for your PC build, this is what we'd recommend:

Best Anti-Virus/Malware Software 

AVG All-in-One "Ultimate" Edition

One of the most trusted companies around for online security and will secure your new PC thoroughly.If you're kinda tech-savvy, and you're good at not getting sucked into spam emails, clicking on dodgy links, visiting dodgy potentially virus-filled sites, then you could realistically get away with just Windows Defender and perhaps do just fine. But a premium program like AVG will do a professional job and is recommended if you want the best protection possible and for peace of mind 'cause the Internet is filled with endless BS like viruses, scams, malware, hackers, etc.

Browsers, Utilities, Gaming Apps, & Monitoring Applications

Firstly for internet browsers, Windows 10 comes with an internet browser called Microsoft Edge, which is fairly good, however Google Chrome, Opera or FireFox are all generally considered better (and better than Internet Explorer although version 10 isn’t bad). And here are other applications I'd consider installing on a brand new gaming PC build in 2018:

  • Steam – Buy games online. If you haven't heard of Steam, you must be from Mars, so please email me and let me know how it is over there.
  • CCleaner – Helps to keep your hard drives clean and running faster.
  • Defraggler – App to defrag and therefore speed up your HDDs.
  • CoreTemp – Monitors your CPU temperature which is handy to know.
  • Speccy – Detailed hardware monitoring for all your parts.
  • CAM – NZXT’s hardware monitoring program which is simple yet easy to use for beginners.
  • OpenOffice – Free alternative to Microsoft Word.

Your Comments/Feedback

Got a question or want to share your thoughts on this guide? We're listening and you can reach us on the platforms below (or feel free to email us). Also, constructive criticism is always appreciated as it helps us continue making BGC the best noob-friendly DIY resource it can be.


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About the Author

Former hobbyist game programmer turned tech enthusiast, Julz is the founder of BGC and has kept a keen eye on the latest in DIY gaming since starting the site in his spare time over a decade ago as an almost-laughably basic, unimpressive little site with a simple aim to try and make building a PC more accessible to the average gamer since most resources were far from noob friendly.

Over countless reinventions and reiterations to the quality and depth of content over the years, the site has steadily grown into the fairly expansive, comprehensive and constantly-updated PC building resource that it is today, now reaching and helping thousands of gamers and power users each and every month to more effectively plan optimal setups for their exact needs. His fav PC games of all time are HL1, WC3, C&C TS and SWKOTOR (OOT, Perfect Dark, DKC2 & MGS2 for consoles) and he promises never to speak in third-person again. You can learn more about the BGC mission here & how to support it.