The beginner’s guide to building a gaming PC in 2022
Thinking of building a gaming PC? It’s a lot easier than you think, and I guarantee you’ll feel a little closer to your gear.
I originally built my gaming rig 10 years ago and have added and updated to it ever since. But it’s not something you can just spend money on and get by on your own. You need to know what components to buy, how to put them together, and ultimately what is and what isn’t a good deal. I am here to help you.
And, look, it’s not hard, trust me. We’re going to see how to build a basic gaming PC in 2022.
How to Build a Gaming PC
We start with the thought process behind the gaming PC. What are you trying to do? Is it a budget machine or are you trying to create an ultra-powerful battleship? Do you want it covered in lights or don’t care about aesthetics? Are you buying it to play games that are easy to run and already released (like Skyrim, Overwatch and Minecraft) or would you like to play new versions?
This question starts us on our journey and will inform your budget. It is a good idea to note the more you will switch to a gaming PC and try not to go beyond that. Generally, $1,500 is a good starting point, but you’ll likely go beyond that for nicer parts and accessories.
Once you have your budget established we can start thinking about the components, this is where things might start to get a little complicated. Our prices will come from Scorptecan Australian computer parts distributor, but there are a bunch of other big companies to consider (mwave and PCCasegear are worth considering, but so are a bunch of other tech retailers). You will want to order from one vendor as much as possible, so that all your components are delivered in one order.
Along the way, we’ll establish a budget-performance version, but we’ll also recommend more powerful options. This is a basic getting started guide, designed to get you looking at the good stuff at the part level.
If you want a more powerful version, keep in mind that to get the best performance you will need to upgrade the GPU and CPU (and in some cases the motherboard) as a unit, so that they work best in tandem. with each other.
If you have a question about a specific component, never feel unable to ask the seller a question. This is important, in case you want to verify that a component is compatible with another component (playing it safe, all components in this article are compatible with each other). Additionally, you use Pangoly to compare compatibility.
Never be afraid to shop for a bargain. If you see something significantly cheaper elsewhere, buy it there! And try looking for reviews on specific components, especially the case, to make sure your components don’t have any issues.
Graphics card (GPU)
We will start with GPUs, given the inflated price right now (this is starting to see its end). We recommend an NVIDIA card. The best budget-performance build card to use at the moment is, in my opinion, the RTX 3060, although the RTX 3060Ti offers a performance boost for a slightly larger budget (and if you have more power, more on that later). The RTX 3060 starts at $549 through Scorptec. The GPU is an extremely important part of a PC gaming build, so it’s one of the more expensive components.
If you are looking for a more powerful deviceTake into account RTX-3070 ($889) or the RTX-3080 ($1,179). Also, if you are looking for a cheaper build, consider a map of the RTX 2060 line ($429). Be sure to choose a card that looks as good as you want, as some come without lights and some have full RGB effects.
Processor (CPU) + motherboard
The next step is the CPU and the motherboard (the motherboard model informs about cpu compatibility, so we put them together). In this section, we are going to recommend an AMD version for our budget-performance computer. For the CPU, we will recommend the AMD Ryzen 5 5600 processor ($285) because it offers great performance for a low price. For the motherboard, we will recommend A B550 AM4 motherboard (starting at $95, “B550” is the serial and AM4 is the CPU socket). When buying a motherboard, keep in mind the ports available on the motherboard and the ports available on the unit.
- CPU: If you’re looking for a more powerful rig, consider the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X ($379) or the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X ($499). If you want a cheaper build, consider AMD Ryzen5 5500 ($209).
- Motherboard : Motherboards don’t usually get more powerful if you buy more expensive ones, but more expensive ones will come with more ports and, usually, more lights. Newer series motherboards, such as X570 and A520 series boards (as opposed to B550), can also reduce bottlenecks.
RAM (or memory)
We will not talk about Memory for a long time. 16GB of RAM is a decent amount for a modern gaming PC, but if you like your computer handling multiple browser windows or tabs at once, consider bumping it up to 32GB of RAM. Also, you’ll want to stick with DDR4 RAM, consistent with everything else in this build. Prices from $29 (for 2400MHz 4GB sticks), however, a higher Mhz value will generally result in slightly faster browser/loading performance (I never noticed any difference in game performance). You’ll want to spend more on nicer looking RAM with lights or more capacity (a good place to start is two 8GB 3200MHz sticks, $49).
Storage (hard disk)
Your Hard disk is where all your games and files will be stored, so you’ll need enough space for all your stuff. We’re going to recommend SSDs in this section because HDDs are so slow and the cost difference no longer makes sense. For starters, consider a 1TB SSD (from $115), but the storage drive is entirely based on your budget. Consider buying a larger drive if you need more storage, or even more drives if you have more ports available on your motherboard. Be careful not to let the price spiral out of control, or you might end up spending nearly $1,000 on an 8TB SSD.
We’ll put it in this section, but you’ll need to purchase a Windows license. Windows 11 Home is $189.
Power source can be tricky to buy, but keep in mind that higher wattage (W) will rarely translate to higher performance. The goal we’re aiming for here is “enough power to run the whole system”, so maybe we should aim for the amount of power our system needs.
Motherboards, CPU, storage and RAM are rarely power hungry, but it is the GPU that consumes the most power. If we follow our previous GPU recommendations, a 3060 series card typically requires an estimated 600W power supply (this estimate is made with the rest of the system considered). We’ll play it safe and recommend a 650W power supply for our budget-performance build, which from $59.
The end of our internal components part of this article is the Case of the machine. Cases vary widely in cost, ranging from $39 all the way up $1,469 on the Scorptec website. It all comes down to personal preference and what you want your computer chassis to look like, so let that be a cosmetic test for your computer. Additionally, some cases come with better airflow or fan placement (we recommend reading reviews on the cases you are looking for). We’ll guess and say that $100 is a good price to spend on a case for our budget-performance build (the case doesn’t impact performance, but it’s good to have a nice machine).
With all of the above components purchased, you can begin building your gaming PC. Below are additional components that you may already have. It means you can start thinking accessories.
- Peripherals may not be too important to you, but as input devices they can make or break the experience. If you’re looking for enthusiast gaming peripherals, you’ll want to buy branded products (although you’ll find cheaper peripherals there). Logitech, Razer and Razer (to name a few) make terrific collections of peripherals, containing headphones, mice, and keyboards. This section is entirely up to personal preference, but be aware that prices can vary widely.
- Additionally, you might want to purchase an Xbox Series X|S controller (Xbox controllers have deep functionality on Windows).
- A gaming monitor completes your setup. Read this when considering which one to buy, however, sticking to a 27-inch 1080p monitor with around 144Hz is a pretty good place to start (the price for it starts at around $209).
- A gaming chair has been scientifically proven to improve gaming performance. Will I link to this scientific research? I’m afraid not.
We do the math now. Based on the parts we recommended (the cheapest available from the models we recommended through Scorptec), the price of this budget-performance build is around $1,441. Below our target of $1,500, that leaves only $59 of flexibility. It’s not great, but it’s still less than you would spend on a pre-built machine of similar specs.
Also, importantly, this calculation excluded accessories. Since you might already have a mouse, keyboard, and headset to use, we’ve left those out, but it might be worth getting some good quality gaming accessories later.
When assembling your gaming PC, we recommend watching part-specific tutorials online to learn how the parts fit together. You’re unlikely to find tutorials on specific model compatibilities, but know how to put it all together (you’ll need a small #2 screwdriver for the motherboard and CPU).
And if you plan to claim your pc build on taxread what matters and what doesn’t based on your profession and how you use the platform.
Happy building. Welcome to PC gaming.