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Buying for Gaming

When speccing up your new gaming computer the first thing to consider is the budget that you have to spend. It isn’t really worth looking at components until you know what you want to spend. (Certainly a ballpark figure, if not a specific sum). Once you have your budget in mind the easiest thing to do is to look at the homepage of our website and look at the 5 systems. Start with the one closest to your budget. Choose customise and you can adjust certain things in the spec to more closely match your budget and needs.

If your budget is a bit higher than the base spec then a good upgrade to look at is a graphics card upgrade. This will give you the most performance increase for your money for a gaming PC. If the spec is an Intel Core i3 or an i5 that isn’t unlocked it would be a good second step to upgrade this. Currently most of the systems on the front page don’t include secondary storage drives so it would be a good idea to add one of these if you feel the need for extra space.

A very cheap and good upgrade you can do is the thermal paste. The Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste is only £5 extra and it gives a few degrees improvement over the standard thermal paste. Due to the reduced temperatures it can reduce noise levels and allow us to overclock it slightly higher. (If you have selected an unlocked CPU for this last one, usually denoted with a K at the end).

Another good upgrade is changing the standard case fans to Corsair ML120 Pro fans. These case fans provide better airflow than most standard fans. If you select a water cooler they provide much better cooling performance. The ML120 Pro fans have increased static pressure. If you do have a water cooler you need to make sure that you have enough fans selected to fill the radiator. Most of them require 2 fans and the Fractal Design Kelvin S36 requires 3. If you are unsure of this feel free to give us a call/email.

The case is an important part of the computer. It is the body of the PC that you'll see all the time. One of the first choices to go with is if you want to go with a low noise case. There are not many low noise versions available and this will limit your selection quite a lot. The best low noise case we do is the Fractal Design Define R5 which has lots of sound dampening inside and is very popular among low noise enthusiasts. Another common thing to consider is if you'd like to go a bit more “gamer” or bring some “bling” to the build. Do you want a window on the side so that you can you see the inside of the computer? These are very popular and most cases will have one. Generally the more expensive the case the better cooling and build quality it will have. If you aren’t bothered about case looks then going with the cheapest case available will work. This will hold all the components that you have selected, keep them cool and in perfect working order.

Up to a certain point CPU coolers will help with cooling and performance. The best value option that we do is the ID-Cooling SE214X which is a basic air cooler which covers almost everyone’s needs. For increased cooling performance going with a liquid cooler is the best bet. This uses a system similar to a car where the heat is taken from away from the CPU with liquid and moved into a radiator which is then cooled by fans and then moved back again. The pump is integrated into the CPU block. The better the cooler the better results we can get with overclocking.