How to build the ultimate PC gaming setup

Everyone interested in gaming knows just how important your setup means to you, with everyone having their own ideas, tastes and needs.

We’re going to take you through the best way to start your setup and show you the best items to buy and upgrade to over time.

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PC

Your computer is going to be something that you should see to continuously upgrade as you see fit over several years. The best way to do this, if you’re a beginner with computers, is to buy a pre-built machine dedicated to gaming, that has the capabilities of adding/upgrading important hardware, for example click here to read more.

The initial purchase should cost at least £300-400, if you’re looking at running popular eSports or mainstream titles such as League of Legends, CS:GO, Dota 2, WoW. Similarly, the two fundamental pieces of hardware you’re going to be prioritising at this stage is the CPU and GPU.

If you’re looking at running more intensive titles, such as the Call of Duty franchise, Far Cry and steam survival games at a high FPS (60+ is ideal) and high quality, you’re going to want to invest more money into your initial purchase or plan on upgrading the CPU/GPU. A typical PC that can run the majority of titles at 60+ FPS will most likely cost you a minimum of £600-800.

If you’re looking to run games at an extremely high quality (4k), with 60-144FPS, you’re going to want to invest in an ‘extreme’ gaming pc, which will at minimum break the £1,000 mark.

Other hardware fundamentals, such as motherboards, SSD’s, RAM and cooling systems will scale alongside the quality of CPU and GPU. It is worth adding some extras to your purchases if possible, such as water cooling, an SSD for your operating system and at least 16GB of RAM.

AMD or Intel? Intel. There is currently more flexibility and compatibility for upgrades.

Desk

If you’re looking to build a setup, you’re going to be wanting a desk that can hold everything you require, while also looking both stylish and practical.

Stores like IKEA serve both the stylish and practical factors, with some of the most ideal desks costing under £100.

Chair

A lot of people underestimate just how important a good chair is and its effect on you. If you want to stay away from back and neck pain, it’s highly advised to invest some money in a chair specifically designed to support gamers who tend to lean forward when playing.

The perfect chairs for this come from brands such as DXRacer and GT Omega, but if you’re on a budget, a good way to get similar back support is to have a vertically upright chair with a cushion placed behind you starting at the bottom of the back of the seat.

Monitor

For PC gaming, there are two main important things to know about monitors and how they offer a visually enhanced experienced and also improve your play in competitive games such as CS:GO.

There are two main refresh rates monitors offer, 60hz and 144hz. The difference is that a 60hz monitor can only visually display 60FPS maximum (60 frames per second, the same as a TV/console), and that 144hz monitors can visually display up to 144FPS, giving a much smoother feel.

The other is response rate. This refers to how fast the pixels on the screen can change, which reduces ghosting or streaking effects you may see in moving or changing images in games. The lower the ms (response rate) the better – the best being 1ms.

Any standard 60hz monitor will usually comes with a 5ms response rate. Most 144hx monitors come with either a 1ms or 2ms response rate. Prices range from £70-80 for 60hz and £200+ for 144hz.

But remember, if you want a 144hz monitor, it’s only viable if you have a PC capable of running games up to 144FPS.

A lot of people enjoy having more than one monitor. It’s very useful if you play games that require some form of guide, games that involve ‘grinding’ allowing you to watch or do other things on your other monitor, YouTubers and Streamers who need to see recording/streaming software or just for hardcore multi-screen fanatics who want to widen their peripheral gaming view.

Headphones, Speakers and Microphones

Sound is such a fundamental factor that will really take your gaming to new levels but at your own preferred comfort. Some prefer a headset whilst others prefer open surround sound.

It’s entirely up to you. But for most, and for those who play games where having in-ear sound is an advantage in performing better, good headsets are the best way to go. Some of the best brands that offer the highest quality are Sennheiser, Bose, Razer and more.

If you’re looking to talk to your teammates or friends through speech, you should look into headsets with either an on board microphone, or if you’re looking to create content for YouTube or to stream, a professional microphone starting with the Blue snowball and above is essential for the best quality.

Keyboard, Mouse and Mouse Mats

Whilst this may not be the highest of your concern, it’s not until you get your hands on mechanical gaming keyboards or ultra optical sensors in an upper end mouse, that you realise how much better they are. Some great brand offering the best products out there are Razer, Corsair, SteelSeries and Logitech.

Mouse mats are crucial for a better feel when PC gaming, for the best experience we recommend you look at non-slip extended mats that offer an enhanced cloth weave for flawless and smooth control. It’s better to have a larger mouse mat for gaming, as this will offer those who like to lower their sensitivity to increase aim more room for control.

Lighting

To finish off your setup, you may be inclined to look at LED strips that attach to your desk to offer you colour matching to the products you bought, and the colour of fans in your PC.

Some inspiration can be found in the below pictures. Remember your setup is something that can be worked on over years, so don’t feel the need to go all out straight away. There is also a great feeling of upgrading your setup piece by piece. Happy gaming!

If you enjoyed this, read on to find out the future of virtual reality.

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