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Prebuilt Gaming PC Beginners Buyers Guide

So, you’re thinking about buying a new gaming computer are you? We got your back with our Prebuilt Gaming PC buyers guide which will get you up, running and fragging enemies in no time at all.
by Andy Cresswell -
Prebuilt Gaming PC Beginners Buyers Guide

So, you are thinking of buying a new prebuilt gaming pc for yourself or a loved one, however, there is one small problem; You have no idea where to start – don’t worry friend, we’ve got you.

Razer Chroma RGB software
A Full RGB Gaming PC

So what will you learn about in our guide?

It can be overwhelming knowing where to start when you’re in the market for a new gaming PC especially if you have never brought one before but, never fear, by the time you have finished reading this short prebuilt gaming PC buyers guide, you will be armed with the knowledge to make an informed buying choice.

Are you ready to learn everything you need to buy a new gaming PC and become part of the master race?

Let’s go!

Considerations Before Buying

Before you get out and splurge on a new computer, you need to consider a few key points first that will enable you to buy the best computer and make sure you have enough computing power to churn through your games.

Will you be gaming?

small gaming desk scaled
Gaming on a PC

Are you the type of gamer that stays on top of the latest releases and wants to play the latest AAA titles? Or, are you a game that plays older games such as Counter-Strike, Dota, LoL or Starcraft that are not as demanding on your computer’s GPU?

The type of gamer you are and the games you want to play will heavily influence how much money you need to spend on a new computer to run your chosen games in the highest settings effectively.

Another major limiting factor is resolution; you can’t expect to play at 4K resolution with super-smooth FPS without laying out some serious cash in the process. With the prices of graphics cards going through the roof currently, it’s making high-end computer systems very expensive!

Will you be streaming?

Game streaming on twitch
Streaming PC Setup

Streaming on various platforms such as Twitch, Facebook and YouTube has become a huge business these days. Have you seen how much some of the biggest streamers make? If you’re willing to put the work in, there is some serious money to be made. To get started, you need to have some serious hardware capable of transmitting data at a decent rate while not impacting your gameplay. Generally, streaming is not as intensive as content creation / video editing so you can spend less on a gaming processor.

Will you be creating video content?

gaming lighting scaled
Creating Content on a PC

Streaming could come under content creation, but arguably, real content creation such as video editing and video encoding requires many more processing cores and a lot more ram to be fast at completing the task at hand. You see, compiling videos and content takes huge amounts of system memory (RAM) and is very CPU intensive, for this reason, larger amounts of RAM such as 32GB or even 64GB of ram are recommended along with as many CPU cores as you can afford.

Who will you buy your new gaming PC from?

Gaming PC with RGB LED lights on a computer, assembled with hardware components
The perfect PC Gaming Setup

Buying a new gaming PC is a big decision so it makes sense to be mindful of where you are buying from and make sure you purchase your prebuilt gaming PC from a reputable PC builder that has a proven track record and provides amazing customer such as ViBox who are based in the UK, or iBuy Power if you’re in the USA.

Important PC Hardware Components to Look at

Unlike a custom gaming pc where you need to think about all of the components in a computer before you build it, the same is not true when buying a prebuilt one. You see, one of the joys of buying a prebuilt computer is there is less to think about in the buying process.

CPU / Processor

best cpus to buy 2021 1
Ryzen 9 CPU

A computer’s CPU or Processor as it is sometimes known is the brain that does all of the computational work. Before graphics cards got so powerful, a lot of games would use a huge portion of the CPU, today though, games rely more on the graphics cards. Without a CPU in your computer, it simply will not turn on.

Graphics Card (GPU)

GPU Overclocking
Graphics Cards

Most people think that fast games use the CPU more than a graphics card. However, the truth is that 90% of most modern-day desktop processors are more than capable of running games at maximum settings. So generally, especially in games such as Cyberpunk 2077, a gaming PC’s graphics card will generally be the limiting factor. Even a 3080Ti can struggle to run Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K.

If you’re looking to get a 4K gaming monitor, you will likely want to look at getting an Nvidia 4000 series or AMD 7000 Series GPU.

Hard Drive

Samsung EVO 850 500GB m.2 SSD up close
Samsung EVO 850 500GB m.2 SSD up close

A gaming computer’s hard drive or, HDD for short, stores all of your operating system files, games, documents and media. Most top-rated PC games are around 25GB in size, with some games using even more disk space than that, potentially taking up to 100GB of disk space or more.

RAM

Ram Overclocking
Crucial Ballastix DDR4 RGB Ram

RAM is like your hard drive except rather than reading data from the hard drive which can be slow, it stores it temporarily in your RAM so it can be accessed at lightening speeds by your operating system and applications.RAM or Random Access Memory is different to your CPU in that it doesn’t do any processing. Instead, it stores temporary data which can be accessed quickly by your computer system.

Commonly Asked Questions (7)

How much RAM do I need for Gaming?

In 2023, a minimum of 16GB of DDR4 or DDR5 ram is sufficient for gaming. You can purchase more than this but it will not have an impact on performance. You will likely be CPU or GPU-bound long before you use up system memory.

Do I need Watercooling for my Gaming PC?

Although watercooling your pc can be beneficial for the longevity of your components, especially when overclocking, it is not necessary to watercool your gaming PC, but, if aesthetics are your thing – go ahead!

How much storage does a gaming PC need?

Modern AAA-titles can get pretty big with some clocking in at over 100GB (I am looking at you Call of Duty). With that in mind, it is recommended that you buy at least 1TB or storage. We understand that this could get quite expensive so you might consider a smaller SSD to run your operating system on for speed and a larger one that doesn’t break the bank.

How much memory does a GPU need for Gaming?

Modern games have huge textures that are stored in your graphics card memory. The higher the resolution, the more memory will be used. Try to aim for a minimum of 4GB GDDR for HD gaming however, for 4K resolution gaming you will need a minimum of 12GB+ of video memory for smooth gameplay in many modern PC games.

Is integrated graphics good for gaming?

If you plan on emulating old 16-bit games, then sure, integrated graphics will work well. However, If you want to play beautiful modern games are maximum settings with a smooth framerate then, absolutely not. If you want the absolute best performance possible for your money, you will need a dedicated graphics card.

Integrated graphics unfortunately don’t have the raw computational power to keep modern titles running smoothly.

Should I get a 1080P, 1440P or 4K Monitor for my Gaming PC?

This question relies on several variables which you need to consider such as; Your budget for buying a new gaming PC, the distance you sit from your screen and the size of your desk. The choice you make will ultimately decide how powerful your graphics card needs to be in your system.

If you have an unlimited budget and a huge desk, then go for a 4K resolution gaming monitor that has a decent refresh rate and buy a flagship CPU.

If you have a limited budget, it might be wise to spend less on other components and invest in a better GPU and shoot for 1440p.

If you are struggling to get a build together, get a high refresh rate 1080p monitor a second hand GPU to power it.

Do I need a mechanical keyboard for PC gaming?

You can use any keyboard that connects to a computer for PC gaming If you want to have the most aesthetically pleasing gaming desk and a keyboard that is purpose-built for gaming and used by eSports professionals, you will likely want to reserve a small budget for a quality gaming keyboard.

Final Words

See, Buying a dream gaming PC is not as hard as you first thought, is it? as long as you follow the few tips and the FAQ presented in this guide, you can make an informed buying decision. Now, with the ever-changing hardware market, it would be impossible to tell you exactly what hardware to buy and how much to spend your hard-earned money, but, we have armed you with the knowledge of what to look out for.

As a quick summary of things to consider before buying a prebuilt PC for gaming;

  1. Dedicated Gaming PCs don’t need lots of CPU Cores but they do need the best graphics card you can afford
  2. Hybrid Gaming / Streaming Machines still need the best GPU you can afford but you will need a few extra processing cores to put up with the extra workload demand without impacting your FPS.
  3. If you plan on doing any amount of serious video editing, we would recommend spending out on as many CPU processing threads as you can afford. It will really cut down the time you spend editing videos.
  4. The minimum amount of ram in 2023 we recommend is 16GB which is more than enough for day-to-day tasks. If you’re streaming, 32GB of DDR RAM would help greatly but, if you’re video editing, definitely look at 64GB kits or above.
  5. You don’t need a big beefy watercooler for your CPU but they can help with the longevity of your PC components.
  6. Always buy your prebuilt PC from a reputable retailer to avoid being ripped off.

Hopefully, you don’t have any questions about buying a prebuilt PC, in case you do, feel free to leave us a comment using the form at the bottom of the page and I will do my best to reply and add your questions to this article.

Avatar for Andy Cresswell
Andy Cresswell

PerformancePSU Editor

Andy is the Founder & Editor of PerformancePSU with over 25 years of experience building custom PCs, watercooling and overclocking. When his thirst for more speed is under control, he is a programmer and father of one.
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