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Essential Specs. for gaming PC

Essential specs. for gaming PCs

Excerpt & notice

Notice: I’m in the Amazon affiliate program. If you click the link and buy goods or services, I will get paid from Amazon. However, I would like to inform you that the contents of this post are not affected by the affiliate program and written based on objective facts & my judgement.

gaming PC image
Fully equipped Gaming PC image

Essential specs gaming PCs need

Higher specification for gaming PCs

Gaming PCs require superior performance compared to ordinary PCs, in almost every components within them. Because games running on those PCs are in need of superior processing capacities. Think about ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ or ‘Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’. If gorgeous graphics are caught in a lag at a critical point, how annoying would that be? To avoid this kind of situation, gaming PCs should have much better performances. 

Introduction for readers

This post is for beginners or intermediate users in computers. There might be some basic contents about PCs and components. So, if you are an skilled user, please skip this post. Of course, we are welcoming advanced users if they want read this post and parents of beginners.

Ok, let’s get to the point. Considering a specification of a gaming PC, 3 elements you should keep in mind are 1) performance, 2) scalability and 3) price. As mentioned above, a gaming PC need much better performance, so important components such as CPU, GPU, RAM, Motherboard, cooling system and display must be selected from top tier products. Scalability means easy-to-upgrade. This issue is associated with 3) price. If some components need to be upgraded due to the release of high-end games in a year or two, it may be affordable cost. However, If you have to replace your motherboard, it may be expensive.  

Choose right time to buy

Performance components

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700K or Ryzen 7 5800X

If you want to bring out maximum performance of high-end or flagship graphics cards, my favorite is Intel Core i7. Currently i7 is dominant CPU because Intel i5, the predecessor of i7, shows significant gap in the performance of high-end games. Besides, since the number of P-core which is important in gaming is tied to 8 whether it is i7 or i9, you don’t have to choose i9 for the gaming PC. So Intel Core i7-12700K is my recommendation and AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is equivalent.

Essential spec gaming PC: Intel Core i7 image
Intel Core i7-12700K image

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 6080 XT

The role of GPU in a gaming PC is almost as crucial as that of CPU, since it has to deal with complex and colorful graphics. If GPU fails to share the load, CPU will become bottlenecked and, overall computing work will be difficult. GPU, also known as graphics cards have their own video memory called VRAM. The larger the capacity of VRAM, the better processing power of the graphics cards. For high-end games, you need at least 8 GB VRAM. I recommend NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti with 8 GB VRAM. AMD Radeon RX 6080 XT with 16 GB VRAM is equivalent. 

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti image
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti image

RAM: 32 GB RAM, 3200 MHz

Just a couple of years ago, you could enjoy most games using 8 GB RAM without difficulty at that time. However, the demand for memory has increased tremendously due to the increase in various applications and background works. It is highly advised to go with 32 GB RAM with 3200 MHz, whether DDR4 or DDR5.

32 GB RAM 3200 MHz
Corsair DDR4 RAM 32 GB image

Storage: 1 TB NVMe SSD

The main trend is SSD. SSD is Solid-State Drive, which consists of NAND memory and controller, has replaced C-drive and HDD. Installing games on SSDs significantly reduces loading times and dramatically improves overall game play. The recently released games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Starfield and Dead Space show well. I recommend a 1 TB NVMe SSD and optional 2 TB 7200 RPM HDD. These days, more and more games are in the size of 40~60 GB, making it difficult to put only 20 games in even 1 TB SSD. Therefore, it is reasonable to store games, which do not need to be loaded continuously on an HDD.  

SAMSUNG 1 TB NVMe SSD image
Samsung SSD 1 TB NVMe image

Supporting components

Motherboard

Motherboards tend not to be considered important because they are not directly related to performance of computers. Motherboard’s role in a PC is to supply power to each component and is responsible for the communications with components. Today, the design of a motherboard can have noteworthy impact on performance. Besides, motherboard can determine scalability of the PC. If you are trying to upgrade a component such as memory, you might have to replace the motherboard itself due to insufficient sockets or slots on the motherboard. Socked is advised to be LGA 1700 for Intel or AM4 for AMD. Chipset is recommended to go with Z690 for Intel or X570 for AMD. 

Monitor: IPS or OLED with 144 Hz or more

Gaming monitor refers to a monitor specialized in gaming as its name suggests. Normal monitor generally shows a reaction speed of GTF 5ms or more with 60 Hz refresh rate, but gaming monitor is based on high refresh rate of 120 Hz or more with a fast panel response speed of GTG 1ms. In addition, various game-related  convenient functions like black stabilizers are provided. IPS or OLED monitors with a refresh rate of 144 Hz or more and a response speed of GTG 1ms are recommended. I prefer LG, Samsung and Dell products.

Power supply: 80 plus gold certification

Power supply is not the most discussed PC component, but it is an important part of PC. Powering an entire system is critical feature can be expensive if you use wrong device. It is one of the most mistaken parts for beginner. Inexpensive but low quality power supply can cause frequent system shutdowns, and if the protection circuit is not in place, even kill power supply itself. In the worst case scenario, other components can be destroyed as well. Wattage of 750~850 with 80 plus gold certification is highly advised.   

Cooling system: Noctua NH-D15 or Corsair H100i

In order to run a high-end game, CPU performs very fast operations continuously, which results in CPU’s overheat. If CPU is overheated, operations will slow down and overall performance will be deteriorated. There are air-coolers and AIO liquid coolers. AIO coolers are generally superior in cooling performance to air-coolers, but they are expensive. I recommend Noctua NH-D15 or Corsair H100i. 

This post is a bit long, so I’ll be right back with some thoughts on other components that have been never covered this time. See you in the next post.

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