So, you’ve finally decided to join the PC Master Race and invest in a good desktop. But where do you begin? The options alone are paralyzing! Luckily, we talked to major tech heads who can shed some light on the subject of gaming rigs.
1) Sort out your player priorities.
How deep into the rabbit hole are you gonna go? How much time will you be spending on your desktop? What kind of games are you gonna play?
“Right now, eSports is a big thing so most developers focus on making their games playable on many systems. This makes eSports titles like Overwatch, DotA 2, or CounterStrike: Global Offensive lighter [to run on the system] than AAA games. Titles like Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher III, and similar releases will really challenge your system, so for a decent 60FPS experience on a High setting, I recommend one with a mainstream GPU/CPU combo.”—BossMac, Back2Gaming
“To get a rig that will last you, you have to already start thinking if you want to be VR ready? That's just a fancy term for saying VR headsets are expected to run smoothly.”—Andrea Levinge, CEO, White Widget
2) Set a budget for your rig.
How much are you willing to shell out for hardware? (Around P30,000-P35,000 is a good starting point.)
“For an entry to mid-level gaming PC, expect to spend at least 30-40 thousand pesos. If you want more high-end components, it can get up to P50,000-P70,000 and above, especially for VR-compatible computers.”—Ed Geronia, IT Journalist
“A lot of hardware retailers here can sell gaming packages than can run DotA and LoL in their highest settings at 60fps for only P20,000. But if you plan to play more [graphically] demanding games, your hardware requirements will go up and so will your budget.”—Tzi David, Graphic Designer
3) Scope out your desktop spot
Make room for your PC first before you even think about buying the parts.
“If you have limited space, you might have to go after a mid-tower build or maybe even smaller.”—Tzi
4) Phone a friend
Don’t go out on a solo mission. Tag-team your PC hunt and consult a techie pal who’s willing to help a bro out.
“Ask a friend who knows how to build a rig to tag along with you. It will ensure that all your buys will be worth your buck.”—Allyza Taylor, Mineski TV Talent/Host/Influencer
5) Canvass for PC parts
Start building your dream machine by hunting down parts, piece-by-piece. Don’t get sucked into one whole set. Here are some of the places to check out:
- SM Cyberzone
“I highly recommend visiting physical stores. Each region will have their own go-to store so ask around via online PC groups to see which is which in your area. A physical shop will have the benefit of having an in-house specialist, which should make selection easier and help answer more questions during your initial canvassing.”—BossMac
“It's better to build your own with a trusted shop. For me, talking to a shop owner who knows his stuff makes a big difference. I basically told mine ‘I have so and so budget—what can I build with this?’"—Jayvee Fernandez, Dad/Gamer
“Performance divided by Cost is the main equation I use [when building a PC].”—Darren Cheng, COO, Fedco Paper Corp
“Keep in mind that not all parts are compatible, so make sure to ask the sales person.”—Allyza
6) Invest in a good graphics card
No need to buy an expensive GPU (graphics processing unit). But if you want an eye-melting, high-resolution gaming experience, at least get a dedicated card with decent RAM.
“Think of how much your budget is for a decent graphics card. NVIDIA GeForce GTC 1060 has the best bang for your buck this 2017. If you're really on a budget, the GTX 970 TI is decent enough to run games even on 1080p.”—Seikachu, Partnered Twitch Streamer/Student
“Don’t scrimp on your video card and RAM. Scrimp on fancy-looking cases because just like books and people, what really matters is what’s on the inside.”—Andrea
7) Next, think about the CPU and RAM
A mainstream CPU’s processing power will help when playing randomly generated games like Civilization, Minecraft, or any game that requires background computations while it runs. You will also need more RAM to accommodate to play cross-platform games (ported from the console) smoothly.
“Start with a mid-range CPU such as a Core i5 and a mid-range video card. Getting an entry-level motherboard is okay as long as it supports your CPU and at least 16GB of RAM. You may not even need to get a dedicated monitor yet. You can use your existing LCD or LED TV.”—Ed
“[I recommend a] mid-low range CPU (get cheapest i5), mid-range GPU (GTX1060), modest RAM (CL-9-9-9, 8GB 1866s are fine), 250GB SSD + TB HDD [storage device], cheap Mobo [Motherboard] (Around P3,000) Don’t splurge on any single item. Always go for bang for your buck.”—Darren
“Get your rig an SSD so it boots lightning fast.”—Seikachu
8) Don’t splurge on peripherals just yet.
Prioritize parts that will help make the game run effectively on your hardware. You can worry about that light-up mechanical keyboard or gaming mouse with gajillion shortcut keys later on.
“If you have the money [to splurge on accessories], go ahead. But don’t buy to ‘git gud’. Any improvement in your game by buying pro gear is marginal at best. Peripherals improve your experience but not necessarily your skill. Remember, our own eSports team ‘got gud’ using a simple A4tech mouse.”—Tzi
9) The PSU is important, too!
Sure, it may seem like a temporary setback, but it might eventually effect parts like your motherboard which is more expensive to replace.
“Never cheap-out on your power supply. The power supply or PSU delivers the power to all the components on your system and will be the heart of your PC. If it dies or is faulty, it can harm your other parts.”—BossMac
10) Maximize your Internet connection
Avoid the deadly lag!
“If you’re planning on running games via Wi-Fi—don’t! And don’t use it for multiplayer games. Plug in via LAN, get Powerline adaptor so you can still use your Wi-Fi but get LAN line gaming speeds to diminish ping.”—Jayvee