A Gaming Computer Guide for Beginners

By Tony Monzon, 4 February, 2024
A fire breathing dragon next to a gaming computer

For beginners, the landscape of gaming computers can often seem overwhelming and too intricate, Therefore, the importance of a comprehensive gaming computer guide for novices cannot be overstated, as it serves as the compass navigating through the vast sea of technical jargon and complex choices.


This article aims to simplify the essentials, empowering beginners to make informed choices as they embark on their gaming journey. Here's a short overview of what will be covered.


1. Basics of Gaming Computers


Before diving into the world of gaming computers, it's crucial to understand the fundamentals. This section will cover the basic concepts, terminology, and key considerations that form the foundation of a gaming setup. From processing power to graphics capabilities, we'll break down the essentials.


2. Building vs. Buying a Gaming Computer


One of the first decisions a budding gamer faces is whether to build a gaming rig from scratch or opt for a pre-built system. We'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of both options, providing insights into cost, customization, and performance.


3. Components of a Gaming PC


For those venturing into the hardware side of gaming, understanding the components that make up a gaming PC is crucial. This section will delve into the key elements such as processors, graphics cards, memory, storage, and cooling systems, offering beginners a comprehensive overview.


4. Gaming Software


The heart of any gaming experience lies in the software. From operating systems to gaming platforms and essential software tools, we'll guide beginners through the software landscape, ensuring they have the right setup for an optimal gaming experience.


5. Peripherals and Accessories


A gaming setup is incomplete without the right peripherals and accessories. This section will explore the world of gaming mice, keyboards, monitors, and other accessories that enhance the overall gaming experience, providing beginners with insights on selecting the right gear.


In essence, this guide should serve as a roadmap for newcomers, paving the way for a smooth entry into the captivating universe of gaming computers. By understanding the gaming computer basics, the decision-making process becomes more straightforward, and beginners can start their gaming career equipped with the knowledge to build or choose the gaming rig that suits their preferences and aspirations.


Understanding the Basics


As mentioned above, understanding the importance and necessity of a gaming computer can sometimes be somewhat difficult to grasp, especially for beginners in the gaming world. In this section, we will break down what exactly a gaming computer is, why beginners need one, and how it differs from a regular computer.


What is a Gaming Computer?


Firstly, what is a gaming computer? A gaming computer, also known as a gaming PC, is specifically designed to handle heavy graphics and processing requirements for video games. Unlike regular computers that are primarily used for general tasks such as browsing the internet or creating documents, gaming computers are built with advanced hardware components that can handle demanding games without lag or crashes.


Why Do Beginners Need a Gaming Computer?


But why do beginners need a gaming computer? The simple answer is performance. Most modern video games require high-end processors, graphic cards, and memory to run smoothly without any issues. As a beginner gamer, you may not have much knowledge about building your own PC or upgrading your current one to meet these requirements. Getting a pre-built gaming computer ensures that you have all the necessary components in place to run your favorite games without facing any technical problems.


Furthermore, having a dedicated gaming PC will also allow you to play newer and more graphically intensive games as they are released. Unlike regular computers that may struggle with running these new versions due to outdated hardware, gaming computers are built with future updates in mind.


Differentiating Gaming PCs from Regular Computers


Now let's discuss how to differentiate between a regular computer and a gaming PC. The main difference lies in their individual specifications. Gaming PCs tend to have higher processing power through multi-core CPUs (Central Processing Units) which allow them to run multiple tasks efficiently while handling complex graphics simultaneously. They also come equipped with high-performance graphic cards for smoother gameplay and better visual quality.


On the other hand, regular computers usually have lower-powered processors and integrated graphics cards which are sufficient for everyday tasks but cannot cope with the demands of modern video games.


In addition, another major distinction between the two lies in their cooling systems. Gaming computers have advanced cooling systems, such as liquid cooling or additional fans, to prevent overheating during extended usage. This is crucial for maintaining the performance of a gaming PC, as overheating can lead to reduced efficiency and in some cases, damage to the hardware.


Understanding the gaming computer basics and why this knowledge is necessary for beginners can make a significant impact on your overall gaming experience. Investing in a dedicated gaming PC will not only provide you with optimal performance but also future-proof your setup for upcoming releases.


Building vs. Buying


When it comes to gaming PCs, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make is whether to build your own or buy a pre-built system. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference and budget. In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of building a gaming PC versus buying a pre-built one.


Building a Gaming PC




1. Customizability: One of the major pros of building your own gaming PC is the ability to customize every component according to your specific needs and preferences. This includes choosing the best graphics card, CPU, RAM, storage, and other components based on your budget and performance requirements.


2. Cost-effective: Building a gaming PC can be more cost-effective in the long run compared to buying a pre-built one. By choosing each component separately, you can prioritize where you want to spend more money while also potentially saving money on certain parts.


3. Upgradeability: As technology advances quickly in the world of gaming, it is crucial for gamers to have upgradeable systems that allow them to keep up with new releases without having to buy an entirely new computer. With a DIY build, upgrading individual components is easier and more affordable than replacing an entire pre-built system.


4. Learning experience: Building a gaming PC from scratch provides knowledge about how different hardware components work together and how they affect overall performance. It can also serve as a fun learning experience for those interested in technology or building things themselves.




1. Time-consuming: Building your own gaming PC requires research, purchasing individual parts, assembling them correctly, and installing necessary software and drivers - all of which could take several hours or even days depending on one's experience with building computers.


2. Technical knowledge required: Although there are plenty of resources available online for guidance in building a computer yourself, it still requires some level of technical knowledge or at least willingness to learn about different hardware components and their compatibility.


3. Risk involved: Assembling hundreds of dollars worth of delicate components carries some level of risk for damaging them during the building process. This can potentially result in additional expenses and time wasted.


Buying A Pre-built Gaming PC




1. Time-saving: The biggest advantage of buying a pre-built gaming computer is that it saves time and effort compared to building one from scratch. With a pre-built PC, you simply have to plug in and start using it right away.


2. Warranty and support: Most pre-built systems come with warranties that cover any potential defects or malfunctions within a certain period. They also often provide customer support to help troubleshoot any issues that may arise.


3. Less stress: For those who do not have the time or patience to build their own gaming PC, buying a pre-built one can be less stressful as all the work is done by professionals with experience in assembling computers.




1. Limited customization options: While some pre-built systems offer customizable options, they still may not fully meet individual preferences or needs when it comes to specific components.


2. More expensive in the long run: Buying a pre-built gaming PC can be more expensive in the long run compared to building one. Pre-built systems often come with brand premiums and labor costs included, making them pricier than a DIY build with the same components.


As you can see, both building and buying a gaming PC have their own merits and drawbacks. The decision ultimately depends on factors such as budget, time, technical knowledge, and personal preferences. Ultimately, it is important to research and consider all options carefully before making a decision that aligns with your needs and goals for your gaming setup.


Components of a Gaming PC


A gaming PC is a specialized computer that is designed to run graphics-intensive games with high performance and speed. To achieve this, it is essential to have the right components that work together seamlessly to deliver an immersive gaming experience. In this section, we will take a detailed look at the key hardware components of a gaming PC and their functions.


1. Processor (CPU) - The central processing unit or CPU acts as the brain of your computer and carries out all the instructions given by software. For gaming, it is crucial to have a powerful CPU that can handle complex calculations and processes quickly. Intel i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 are popular choices for gaming CPUs, but for budget-friendly options, Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 can also suffice.


2. Graphics Card (GPU) - The graphics card handles all the visuals of your game by rendering images and videos in real time. Without a dedicated graphics card, your computer's integrated graphics might not be able to keep up with demanding games' graphic requirements. Popular options for GPUs include the Nvidia GeForce RTX series and AMD Radeon RX series.


3. Random Access Memory (RAM) - RAM temporarily stores data that is being used by running applications on your computer. When playing high-end games that require large amounts of memory space, having enough RAM becomes critical for smooth gameplay performance. It is recommended to have at least 8GB of RAM, but ideally, 16GB or more would be better.


4. Solid-state Drive (SSD) - Unlike traditional hard drives (HDDs), SSDs use flash memory technology to store data instead of mechanical moving parts, making them faster and more reliable than HDDs. A fast SSD ensures quick loading times when launching games and reduces in-game loading screens significantly.


5. Motherboard - One of the most crucial components in any computer build, as it connects all other hardware components and allows them to communicate with each other effectively. When choosing a motherboard for your gaming PC, make sure it is compatible with your chosen CPU and has enough expansion slots for future upgrades.


6. Power Supply (PSU) - The power supply unit is responsible for delivering the required electricity to all other components in your computer. A higher wattage PSU is recommended for gaming PCs as they consume more energy than regular computers due to their high-performance nature.


7. Cooling System - Gaming PCs generate a lot of heat due to their powerful components, which can cause damage if not managed correctly. A cooling system, usually made up of fans and radiators, helps dissipate heat from the interior of the computer and prevents overheating.


Every component in a gaming PC plays an important role in delivering an optimal gaming experience. Investing in quality hardware components ensures that your computer can keep up with newer and more demanding games in the future without compromising on performance.


Gaming Software


As with any computer system, the software plays a crucial role in the overall performance and user experience of a gaming computer. Gaming software refers to all the programs that are necessary to run and operate games on a computer. While each game may require different software specifications, there are some general recommendations for gaming platforms and software that can enhance your gaming experience.


Overview of Gaming Software Needs


The primary purpose of any gaming software is to facilitate interaction with the hardware components and provide a platform for running video games. The most critical piece of software for gamers is the operating system (OS). Windows remains the most popular OS for gamers due to its compatibility with a wide range of games and its robust features. Other options include macOS or Linux, but they may have limited game support.


In addition to the OS, gamers should also consider downloading utility programs such as MSI Afterburner or NZXT Cam. These tools allow you to monitor system performance metrics like temperature and adjust fan speeds accordingly. 

On top of this, basic gaming software aslo includes essential drivers such as graphics card drivers, sound drivers, and input device drivers for peripherals and accessories such as keyboards or controllers. It is important to keep these drivers updated regularly to ensure optimal performance when playing games.


Recommended Gaming Platforms and Software


One of the most popular platforms for PC gamers is Steam. With its vast library of games available for purchase or download, it offers a convenient way to manage your game collection in one place. Other notable platforms include Origin by Electronic Arts (EA), Battle.net by Blizzard Entertainment, Uplay by Ubisoft, and GOG (Good Old Games). Each platform has its own unique features and exclusive game titles.


In terms of software recommendations specifically tailored towards gaming performance optimization, options such as Razer Cortex can be beneficial. This program helps optimize game settings based on your hardware specifications, freeing up system resources for a better gaming experience.


Another essential piece of gaming software is antivirus protection. As you spend hours playing online multiplayer games or downloading mods from various sources, having reliable antivirus software such as Bitdefender or Norton Security can prevent potential threats from compromising your system's security.


Video Games


Nowadays, there are thousands of video games available for PC gamers. from AAA, high-budget titles to independent releases, making sure that there is something for every type of gamer out there. 

These countless video games are available across various genres such as first-person shooters (FPS), role-playing games (RPG), real-time strategy (RTS), massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, and more. It's important to research and read reviews before purchasing a game to ensure it meets your preferences and that your computer can handle its hardware requirements.


Additionally, the rise of online multiplayer games has created an active gaming community where players can connect with others around the world. These games often require specific software or platforms such as Discord for communication and coordination between players.


PC gamers can also take advantage of modding, a practice of modifying the original game or creating entirely new levels, characters, or features using dedicated software. Mods add endless replay value to a game and can enhance the overall gaming experience.


Having the necessary gaming software is essential for any beginner looking to build their first gaming computer. Investing in reputable platforms and keeping software up-to-date will not only enhance your gameplay but also prolong the lifespan of your gaming system. With careful consideration of recommended options and personal preferences in terms of video games, you can create an immersive and enjoyable gaming experience on your new computer.


Peripherals and Accessories


Peripherals and accessories are another group of crucial components for a gaming computer setup, as they provide additional features and enhance the overall gaming experience. In this section, we will discuss some of the most important peripherals and extra accessories that are beneficial for beginners in the world of PC gaming.


Important Peripherals


1. Gaming Mouse: A traditional mouse may not be suitable for fast-paced gameplay, especially in first-person shooter games. Investing in a gaming mouse with higher DPI (dots per inch) can significantly improve accuracy and responsiveness while playing games.


2. Gaming Keyboard: Similar to a gaming mouse, a regular keyboard may not have the necessary features for gaming. A gaming keyboard typically has programmable keys, anti-ghosting technology, and mechanical switches that offer better tactile feedback and faster response time.


3. Controllers: While many PC games support keyboard and mouse controls, some games are best played with a controller. Investing in a good-quality gamepad or joystick can enhance the overall gaming experience and make it easier to navigate through menus or perform specific actions within the game.


4. Monitor: The display quality is critical when it comes to visual immersion in games. It is recommended to invest in a monitor with at least 1080p resolution and high refresh rates (144Hz or above) for smooth gameplay without any lag or motion blur.


5. Gaming Headset: The sound quality is crucial in immersive gameplay, making a good headset an essential accessory for any gamer. A dedicated gaming headset provides high-quality audio output with surround sound capabilities, allowing players to hear even the smallest details during gameplay.


Extra Accessories


6. Monitor Stands/Mounts: If you have limited desk space or prefer an ergonomic setup, monitor stands/mounts can be handy accessories to elevate your screen position or even mount it on the wall.


7. Mousepads: A good quality mousepad offers better precision and control over your movements while playing games requiring high sensitivity levels. They also protect your desk surface from scratches caused by regular mouse usage.


8. Speakers: While headsets provide immersive audio for individual gameplay, speakers are a must-have accessory for multiplayer gaming sessions or casual browsing. They offer better sound dispersion and can fill up space with audio, providing a more realistic experience.


9. External Hard Drive: With modern games taking up large storage space, investing in an external hard drive can help store games and other files without compromising the computer's performance.


10. Cable Management Solutions: Assembling various peripherals and extra accessories may result in a web of cables that can lead to cluttered and unorganized desk space. Investing in cable management solutions helps keep wires tidy and reduces the risk of damage from tangled cords.


Peripherals and accessories not only enhance the performance of your gaming PC but also improve comfort and organization during gameplay. It is important to invest in good quality peripherals that suit your gaming needs to ensure an immersive and enjoyable gaming experience.

Hardware Maintenance and Cleaning

Gaming computers are prized possessions for gamers. They offer seamless, immersive experiences and great performance. To keep their top-notch abilities, these devices need regular care. Following maintenance tips helps keep gaming rigs working well and lasts longer. This offers users more value for their money.

Cleaning Dust and Debris

Cleaning your gaming computer regularly is essential. Dust can cause overheating and damage. Use a Swiffer duster or canned air for the outside. To clean inside, follow these steps:
1. Turn off the computer and unplug it.
2. Use compressed air to clean the GPU, CPU, RAM, and fans. Keep a safe distance to avoid damage.
3. Use a Q-tip with isopropyl alcohol for hard-to-reach spots. Let it dry before putting the computer back together.

Don't forget to clean the mouse and keyboard with a cloth.

Managing Cables and Connections

Good cable management is important. It prevents cable tangles and wear. Here are some tips:
- Use cable ties or Velcro straps to organize cords.
- Connect similar devices together, like the keyboard and mouse, to reduce clutter.
- Hide cords behind or under your desk to avoid accidents.

Check connections and ports for wear or damage. Replace damaged cables to avoid problems.




In this article, we have covered the basics of building a gaming PC for beginners. We started with the gaming computer basics and essential components such as the CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, motherboard, and power supply. Then we discussed how to choose these components based on your budget and gaming needs.


We also talked about the importance of proper cooling and peripherals like keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Additionally, we delved into overclocking and its benefits for gaming performance. We offered some tips on troubleshooting common issues that may arise during the building process.


For those new to the world of PC gaming, this can all seem overwhelming at first. But don't be discouraged – with a little research and effort, you too can build your own custom gaming computer. It may take some time and patience but trust us when we say it will be worth it in the end.


Having a custom-built gaming PC brings numerous advantages over pre-built systems – better performance, easier upgrades, and personalization options just to name a few. Plus, there is a satisfaction that comes from seeing your hard work pay off when you power up your computer for the first time.


So if you're still hesitant or intimidated by the idea of building your own gaming PC from scratch, let us offer some encouragement to get you started:


Firstly, don't be afraid to ask for help or advice from experienced gamers or online forums dedicated to PC building. The internet is filled with resources and guides that can guide you through every step of the process.


Secondly, start with a budget-friendly build instead of going all out right away. This will give you an opportunity to learn about component compatibility and experience firsthand what works best for you before investing in top-of-the-line parts.


Take your time – rushing through this process might result in costly mistakes or frustration. Building a gaming PC should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, so take the time to make it right.


Remember that building a gaming PC is not just about creating a high-performance machine but also about learning new skills and gaining a sense of accomplishment. We hope this article has given you the confidence and knowledge to start your own gaming PC journey.

Posts related to A Gaming Computer Guide for Beginners: