A new PC can be a major investment, so it’s important to choose the best components for your needs. This guide will help you select the right hardware for gaming, video editing, or any other task. Whether you’re building your first PC or upgrading an old one, we’ve got you covered at InnoTech Reviews.
For easy reference, we’ve broken down our component recommendations into eight different categories. Each one includes a brief explanation of what buyers should consider when choosing parts in that category. If you want to skip the explanations and go straight to the part lists, click here.
A cheap CPU and a good graphics card won’t produce the best gaming experience, but buyers on a budget might not have much of a choice. If you’re trying to build a high-end system without going bankrupt in the process, try pairing one of AMD’s eight-core FX processors with something like Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080. If you’re just looking to play games at 1080p, consider AMD’s less-expensive Ryzen 5 processors or Intel’s Core i5 CPUs.
A common myth is that you need to spend a lot of money on a graphics card in order to have good performance in PC games. That used to be true when buying cards like Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080, but it’s become less so in recent years. The $300-ish price point is good for gamers who want to play at 1080p with high-to-ultra settings. If you’re playing games on a monitor or TV that supports 4K resolution, or if you have a 1440p monitor, the GeForce GTX 1080 isn’t powerful enough. We recommend upgrading to a GeForce GTX 1070 or a Radeon RX Vega 56 instead.
The best motherboard for gaming is largely determined by what CPU you choose. AMD’s new Ryzen CPUs use the company’s new AM4 socket, so buyers will need to buy a motherboard with an AM4 socket in order to use one of those processors. Intel’s seventh-generation CPUs have LGA 1151 sockets, so an LGA 1151 socket is required if you want to pair them with a Z270, H270, or B250 motherboard.
As for features, buyers should look for basic ones like support for USB 3.0 and an M.2 slot for SSDs. Buyers who plan to use SLI or Crossfire graphics cards will need at least two PCIe x16 slots on the middle- or higher-end of the price scale. M.2 SSDs are much faster than standard SATA drives, so if you’re buying an NVMe SSD for your OS and games, pick a motherboard that has an M.2 slot with full PCIe lanes (x4 or x2).
The right amount of RAM will depend on how you use your PC. Gamers can get by with 8 GB, especially if they’re using a graphics card with at least 4 GB or more of VRAM. Those who are into video editing or 3D rendering should consider 16GB as the bare minimum, while those who do a lot of multitasking should get 32 GB.
Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 10 series graphic cards offer more than enough power for 1080p gaming, while their RX 500 series cards are more affordable. AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 56 is the best of the company’s new RX Vega lineup if you want to play games at 1440p or 4K resolutions, though we’d recommend waiting for Vega’s successor if you want to go that high.
If you follow the advice listed above, you should be able to pick out a great new PC. We hope this article has been helpful, and we’d like to thank you for reading.