One of the reasons why I opted to start building my own PC back then were my PC gamer friends. They would often tell me that they could easily build a better one with the amount of money I usually spent on pre-built desktops. For $500 (P25,000) you can actually build a pretty decent rig that can run most modern games.
A PC is actually a good investment since, other than gaming, its quite useful for other things such as running software you can use for video and photo editing as well as other programs you can use for school or work (when I was in college, I always made my part-time job as a video editor as an excuse to constantly update my PC).
For this post, I’ll be focusing on what to consider when building your own PC.
Invest on video cards
One of my mistakes when I first tried building my own PC was I got too fixated on allocation my budget on buying a good processor. A friend of mine told asked “How can you run that game so smoothly? I’m using an i7 processor and you’re just using an i3?” He was using a PC running on an Intel integrated graphics memory. If you’re building a gaming or video editing PC its better to invest on a good video card instead. Graphics heavy software rely primarily on video cards rather than the processor. Nowadays, buying an Intel i5 processor can be enough to play a lot of good modern games. If we’re gonna talk about brands, Nvidia’s a better choice than AMD in the long run for stability and compatibility. Though AMD’s always the cheaper option, my Nvidia video cards were significantly more reliable when it comes to running games.
Don’t cheap out on your power supply
The first PC I built only lasted me for 3 years. it’s because I didn’t really pay a lot of attention with the power supply. My PC’s hardware easily gave out because there seemed to be a problem with my power supply. The technician told me that it was because my power supply was of poor quality and was giving incorrect wattage for my system. A good power supply and cooling system is very important if you intend to use your PC for long gaming sessions. As for the brands, Seasonic and Thermaltake brands have good price-quality ratio.
If you have extra cash, it’s better to buy two memory cards
It’s quite tempting to buy an 8GB RAM because it’s cheaper than buying two 4GB RAM cards. The main reason why you’d prefer buying two 4GBs is because is actually faster. Dual channel mode is generally better since it helps better performance. For memory cards, I personally prefer Asus or Kingston’s Fury line.
SSD for speed, HDD for storage capacity
SSDs are popular now because of the huge performance gains it provides. But if you’re on a tight budget you might think twice buying it as storage for your PC. My advise: if you want to improve performance as much as possible, it’s okay to opt for a 120GB/250GB SSD than a 1TB HDD. As a gaming platform, you won’t really be playing a lot of games all at the same time. Most often than not, you’ll be playing 1 or 2 games at a time, and the others just end up as waste of space. Another reason is you can simply save your other stuff in an external hard disk.
To give you a better idea on the things you would typically need to buy and its prices, you can try PC Corner’s PC Builder web app. As for the prices, it’s a good benchmark but I’m sure you can find more choices in computer parts stores you may know of.
If you’re not confident with your sweaty palms or shaky wrists when it comes to the actual assembling, you can look for computer parts stores like PC Corner. They can assemble your PC for you. If you’re in Manila, Gilmore is a good place to start looking.