Building your first gaming PC
When most people talk about gaming they mean console gaming. While this is a large section of gaming console are not as optimized for the games being created as PCs are. PC gaming is where the gaming scene all started, the very first games like OXO which was a version of noughts and crosses created at the University of Cambridge by Alexander Douglas. Since then gaming has been evolving faster and faster and so have the PC components that run the games. The components that make up a gaming computer are a case, a processor, a motherboard, RAM, a graphics card, a power supply, storage device and fans. All of these components are needed and if one is not installed then the whole system wont work.
Lets start with the processor and motherboard, this will be the base of your PC build and all the other components fit around this. Motherboards can come in a variety of different sizes, these are ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX, Nano-ITX and Pico-ITX. When making your build you will need to decide whether you want the full functions for future upgradability and what size you prefer your PC to be. The different between the motherboard types apart from the size is the functions that are available, the smaller the motherboard you will be limited with the amount of RAM slots, the amount of PCI and PCI-E lanes that hold your graphics cards or some storage devices and the amount of SATA connectors for hard drives. Once you have decided on the size of the motherboard you will have to decide on which processor manufacturer you want to use and there are two manufacturers to chose from, these are Intel or AMD. The difference between the two manufacturers is small and will depend on the use of your PC, Intel will be more but you will also get more functions like hyper threading which can help with certain applications. AMD is cheaper and will allow you to buy a higher end processors with more cores but doesn’t include hyper threading. Once you have chosen a processor manufacturer you will need to decide on the type of processor, Intel and AMD both have multiple lines of processors with different specs. The enthusiast section for Intel includes the i3, i5 and i7 CPUs with different versions that have a K which means its unlocked and can be overclocked (increasing the amount of power being delivered) for better performance. AMD’s enthusiast section has the FX series which includes the FX 4 core, FX 6 core and the FX 8 core with variations in each one, these are all unlocked and allow overclocking as well. Now back to the motherboard, to be able to use the processor you have chosen you need the right socket. Intel’s sockets for the i3, i5 and i7 are LGA1150 to LGA2011, you will need to research the right socket to match your processor. AMD is a bit simpler and use the socket AM3 and AM3+ which fit all of the FX series processors.
The next component is the RAM or random access memory. this is used in PC to pull up applications and files faster that straight from the hard drive, depending on the motherboard you can use between 4GB to 64GB. This may be useful for some applications like video editing but in a gaming PC 4GB to 16GB is all you will need. When choosing your RAM you will need to check what type your motherboard uses, the options are 184-pin, DIMM
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