As a PC gamer, you know how important high-quality equipment is to game performance. Modern developers are continually pushing the limits of graphics, speed, and performance, making custom gaming PCs more attractive than ever.

If you’re ready to level up your gaming rig, you can always purchase one that’s pre-built. But not only is building your own gaming computer more cost-effective, it’s also a majorly rewarding learning opportunity.

If you’ve ever wondered how to build a gaming PC, read on! Here are our top tips for building one of your very own.

First Things First

Before you jump right into purchasing components, take time to answer these two questions. They’ll help you decide what parts are best for your gaming needs.

1. What’s your budget?

When you’re building your own gaming computer, plan on spending at least $300-400 USD. This kind of money will get you a basic setup that you can upgrade over time, but it won’t let you play more modern, high-performance games.

You can purchase everything you need to build a gaming PC for about $1000. If you shop smart, this budget will allow you to play games with cutting-edge graphics and high CPU requirements. Keep in mind that spending more money doesn’t always mean better performance, so try to find a balance the two.

2. What kind of gamer are you?

If you’re trying to play your way through each of the Diablo 3 classes, your PC needs will be very different than if you’re running an Atari emulator. Make sure the hardware you choose can keep up with your gaming habits.

Fill Up Your Inventory: All the Parts & Pieces

Even though every custom gaming PC is unique, they’re all made up of the same basic parts:

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

One of the most important parts, the CPU can also be called your PC’s “brain.” Because of its huge impact on performance, do some serious research before buying and always choose a CPU that’s up to date. Intel and AMD processors are two great options for gaming.

Motherboard

There are two important questions to answer when choosing a motherboard. First, is it compatible with your CPU? And second, do you want overclocking capabilities? This is one component where you don’t actually need to pay for “gaming quality”—just make sure you buy from a reputable manufacturer.

Graphics Card (GPU)

If you’re hoping to play modern, graphics-heavy games with high FPS requirements, investing in a quality graphics card is an absolute must. The Nvidia GeForce line is always a favorite.

Memory (RAM)

RAM directly affects your CPU and thus game performance. Make sure you purchase at least 8GB of RAM if you’re hoping to play modern games, but spring for 16GB if you can afford it.

Storage (SSD or HDD)

Choose a solid state drive (SSD) if you value speed and durability, but keep in mind that they’re generally more expensive than a hard disk drive (HDD). An HDD is best if you need a lot of storage space on a smaller budget.

Power Supply Unit

If you’re not familiar with wattage and electrical efficiency ratings, it’s best to reference a PSU buying guide when deciding which power supply to purchase.

Case

This is the only part you’re going to see, so buy one you like to look at. That being said, it’s also important to make sure it has proper ventilation and enough space to fit the internal components.

Using a web tool like UserBenchmark can help you compare stats like price, speed, and performance ratings between brands when you’re shopping for parts.

Once you’ve purchased all of your hardware, check to see if there’s any room left in your budget. If so, consider upgrading your gaming desk, monitor, mouse, or headphones.

How To Build a Gaming PC

Now comes the fun part: putting all the pieces together. If you don’t already have a working knowledge of circuits and electricity, now’s a great time to learn!

Some of the parts you purchase may come with installation instructions. If not, there are plenty of video tutorials on how to assemble all of your components. The physical building of your PC can usually be completed in a few hours.

Once you’ve assembled your PC, it’s time to hook it up to a monitor and install an operating system (OS). Windows 10 is generally recommended for gaming purposes, but if you prefer open source software (or you spent your remaining budget on the monitor) the Ubuntu or Mint Linux builds are a good choice.

Game On

That’s it—all the basic information you need to know about how to build a gaming PC. Now, go forth and design your dream computer! You’ll be slaying dragons, battling armies, and traversing distant worlds in no time.

Once you’re done building your PC, use it to check out our blog for more interesting reads on entertainment and technology.

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5 Simple Steps to Getting Started in The Cloud 1 - Florida Independent
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5 Simple Steps to Getting Started in The Cloud

All start-ups and small businesses have heard that the cloud is everywhere and can transform your business. But what is it and what can it do? Cloud-IT specialists Principal have the answers.

Confusingly, the cloud is used by providers, software sellers and businesses who want your money as a catch-all term for a variety of things. It can become quite complicated, but it doesn’t need to be.

The cloud is basically an on-demand storage or software resource that you can access immediately through the internet.

Tech giant IBM offers a handy definition of the various different types of cloud applications which is a good place to start. It’s likely that after reading that you’ll have more questions than you started with. To help, here are 5 simple steps to getting started in the cloud.

1. Pick your cloud

The first thing to clarify is, like the sky above, there isn’t one cloud – there are infinite numbers of potential clouds. As a business, you need to configure one that works for you.

As a small business you will want to focus on how the cloud can benefit you. For most, that’s likely to be moving certain data and applications to the cloud.

The first step is to analyse your data centre usage. This audit can identify your current software and storage requirements, enabling you to identify areas that could be better served in the cloud.

It’s important to recognise that to work any proposed move needs to improve efficiency and be cost-effective.

The bottom line is, if it won’t save you time or money, then think again.

2. Solid security

The cloud is as secure – if not more secure – than your own proprietary network, but you still need to be cautious.

Once you’ve identified the information and software you’d like to be hosted by the cloud then take the time to assess what this means for security.

The Data Protection Act and European Data Protection Regulation all have implications for how you manage and store data, and how you select your partners too – more on that below.

3. Simple strategy

Once you’ve done the groundwork, you can begin straight away. Microsoft, Adobe, SAP are just a couple of the huge names who have moved to providing software via the cloud. Dropbox is a leading name in cloud storage, but isn’t the only one.  All you need to do to get started in the cloud is get your credit card out and sign up.

If you do though, you could be making a mistake. According to tech bible ZDNet, what most cloud projects miss is a strategy – and we agree.

A solid cloud computing solution needs structure. This will help create a system that works for the organisation and your customer. It is also built with the future in mind, growing and developing as your business does.

4. Cloud culture

Your implementation strategy is important. Equally important is how your organisation embraces the cloud. It’s all about culture.

The cloud offers freedom to access information, work collaboratively, remotely and at all times of the day. But it comes with some new risks. These are particularly important to recognise as employees increasingly use their own devices for work.

Businesses need to develop working practices and approaches that are fit for the new world of the cloud. You’ll need to introduce new staff guidelines for document sharing and storage to help you and your employees work in a new way.

5. Provider or partner

If you’re tech minded it’s relatively easy to set-up a personal cloud, but you need to explore whether it’s the right approach for you.

Focusing solely on individual providers can leave you with a fragmented cloud system, with complex and inefficient interdependencies between different pieces of software from different providers.

In the end, you could end up paying for a system that far more complicated than the one it replaced.

One way of avoiding this is working with a partner who can help you configure a cloud solution that works for you. They can also take care of some of the security and access issues, helping you devise a strategy for success.

A successful transition to the cloud needs some thought and some planning, but genuinely does have the power to transform the way you work – increasing productivity, efficiency and profit.

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