Gaming PC - where to start?

Greetings All,

I’m looking for advice on gaming PC’s. I’m pretty good at doing my own research but it does take a lot of time and I was hoping for at least a place to start.


1 Like

Personally, I had my technician who has kept all my computers running for years, upgrade my system periodically. Recently he upgraded my GPU to RTX 4070 and it runs like a champ. Other folks in OTG may be better able to offer you suggestions since many of them either do their own builds or know of someone who does good already built.

Keeping in mind that I did not purchase my pc already built, but had someone put it together for me. This is my current pc setup:

Intel Core i7-10700K Comet Lake 3.8GHz Eight-Core
ASUS Z490-A Prime Intel LGA 1200 ATX Motherboard
G.Skill Aegis 16GB 2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 PC4-19200 CL
Samsung 970 EVO+ 1TB SSD V-NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe
Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Universal CPU Co
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ATX12V v2.31/EPS12V v2.92 80 Plus Bronze Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply

Upgrade GPU to RTX 4070:
(Old Graphics card info: GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 Super GAMING OC 3X 8G Graphics Card, 3 x WINDFORCE Fans, 8GB 256-Bit GDDR6, GV-N207SGAMING OC-8GD Video Card)

1 Like

I built my last two. Previous one was built in 2016 and need a new one. Plan to have my next built by Build Redux as I don’t want to deal with the stress of it myself.

1 Like

Local supplier is the best option for a prebuilt, the problems with shipping it half way around the world
( ok slight exaggeration) are a pain in the neck. chose your case carefully as nowadays the trend seems to be looks rather than accessibility and 3 hours trying to add another sata power connector when your power supply is hidden inside a steel box is tedious.


I hear you there. I still am using my AzzA box from my very first desktop build and there is plenty of room inside. The guys who built my first pc were gamers themselves and happen to be working as programmers at the business I was working at back in 2005. They were the ones who chose it because of its ability to house any expanded parts later (8"wx18"hx19.5"L) and its got so many strategically placed vent openings that I rarely have heat problems.

Its accommodated so many changes in discs all the way up to the smaller, but more powerful SSDs, two new motherboards along the way that actually fit inside without squishing it, new video cards (of varying sizes) and then you have the cable management. My power supply is at the very rear bottom of the case where its extremely easy to reach and swap out if it needed to be.

My tech has done all but my very first setup for me and he is amazing. He is also very organized when it comes to cable management…at least it doesn’t look like spaghetti got tossed around in there :rofl:

But I agree with Alphea, try to find someone local who is really good, reliable and reasonable to build one for you. That will be better in the long run too, because when they put it all together, along with the OS, you will not be saddled with bloatware like you would if you got it pre-built from a big group like BestBuy or someone similar.

This is kind of a tricky question to answer, probably need more information to truly answer the question.

  1. building your own from scratch, having one custom made, or buying one off the shelf?
  2. how much money do you want to throw at the machine.

I’ve built many machines from scratch and I prefer to do it this way because I have control over everything. The problem with this is when something goes wrong. it can be very frustrating trying to figure out what part failed or if certain parts are incomparable.

This is what I was afraid of too…but my technician owns his own computer repair shop and is extremely knowledgeable about what parts go with what parts. He setup a list based upon what I wanted to spend, and made sure all parts needed were compatible. That meant spending maybe $50 more on one thing than another just to be certain I did not have a failure, but it was worth it.

I forget what parts listing he suggested I look at, but I tend to research at Tom’s Hardware too as well, rather than just general Google search. They tend to have really good information. Then once I had the shopping list, I was able to take advantage of the holiday sales (which are coming up soon) and get the best deal overall. I also found that if one place had a better price but was farther away than I wanted to ship from, I had price matching at a closer location like Micro Center. Micro Center has a location just 20 minutes away and usually has the necessary parts available. Its easy to shop with them on line for store pickup too.

1 Like

I’ll gladly give you some pointers. I just finished building my watercooled monster a few months ago (Intel 12 Gen / 4090) with all the things I ever dreamed of in it. But it was not cheap…more like it broke my bank. But I have also helped my kids (all in there 20’s) pick out gaming computers under various budgets they have.

But the first thing you need to let us know is your budget.

It will determing the most bang for your buck scenerio that we can recommend. Whether thats going for a pre-built you order or a DIY.

As far as pre-builts go…prices will very. Depnding on who makes it (biggest factor) and parts used. My kids both have systems from “Cyber-PC” and they have worked great for us. They use name brand parts and they run great. All the computers are pre-built and shipped. Easy to service if needed etc. Cookie cutter process…just pick something out and it comes to your door.

Then you have places like Digital Storm that can make fully custom built PC’s. Which can give you your watercooled dream machine. But it will cost you. The same PC’s built by these 2 companies will not cost the same.

When it came to my system, I ended up building mine. I understand it all, have fun making them and it saved a few thousand $$$ compared to having Digital Storm build it for me. Now I did have to teach myself how to bend hard tubing.

But like others have said. If you have a issue with something not working…it can be painful to figure out. I had a bad CPU and went thru RMA’n /replacing RAM, Motherboard and power supply before I figured out it was my CPU that was bad (very rare thing). So there was a good month of me doing RMA’s in the process.

Can you build a PC ? If so, I feel you can get the best prices and hit a budget easier with more to show from it. But you will have to know your stuff depending on what you want to do.

What monitor or resolution are you targeting ? will it be using a 60, 120, 240mhz monitor ? This can effect everything. After Budget I would say this is second most important question.

Why, well with 4k Ultra settings at a high frame (over 60fps) rate it is not gonna be cheap and there is only a few video cards that can do it all. But if your running standard HD (1920x1080) thats not nearly as a steap a curve to get great frame rates for.

Personally I would recommend the new 4070 video card that my son just got in any computer thats using 1440 resolutions and below (unless your after 240mhz gaming). Only a few games does he have to turn off a few RTX settings, for it to run at his desired FPS. But there is a huge price differce in those 2 cards. A 4070 will cost around $500.00. While the 4090 will hit your wallet at $2000.00. So it can drastically effect the bottom line.

Let us know your budget and if you can build a computer. Then we all can start giving you some ideas to go with.

Here is a peak at my dream machine…


Determine a budget and then check out Tom’s Hardware- there are several hierarchies there for pretty much every PC component ranking them as Best Bang for Buck. After that check out PC Partpicker where you can build a virtual system and see approximately how much it’ll cost- there’s also lists of computers others have built and how much they cost. PC Partpicker also has links to wherever they know where the best price is for a component. I’ve built a lotta PC’s and I haven’t always agreed with either one of those sites but they are always where I start my research.

But alas, I’ve reached that age where I no longer wanna be my own Tech Support so my current computer was a collaboration between me and Digital Storm- they let me kinda customize a machine and assured me that I could modify it without voiding my warranty. So I ordered a pre-built with a good motherboard, a good processor, a lotta memory and a crappy GPU and when I got it I put my own GPU in it.

Specs in case you’re interested:

ASUS Prime B760M-A AX motherboard
Intel Core i9-13900K, 5.5Mhz CPU
AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT GPU (from my old computer)
32 Gb Kingston Fury DDR5 SDRAM
Kingston FURY Renegade PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 1Tb SSD

1 Like

There is so much to read through already. Thanks everyone for posting your thoughts!!

As to me, I’m not comfortable building my own. I could probably do it but the time it would take to learn all the terms you are all using alone would be onerous. I understand basics and just reading through this and poking around PC PartPicker I am now familiar with the level of graphics cards we are at (alas mine is 1060 so I’m well behind the curve)

In the past we have purchased our systems from Canada Computers. They offer prebuilds and parts and have been pretty decent with us. There is a more local to us group called PC Paramedics who have done some work like copy and replace SSD’s with more storage. I tend to be skeptical of all computer sales about as much as I am of car sales.

I have been waiting for my son to research and build his own. He has gift cards from family and a lot of disposable income right now. What he doesn’t have is time to research or the inclination. I was hoping he would get a great system and then I would just copy that. I have been sharing all your information with him, but I suspect Mama will have to do the leg work (as usual) and then watch his water cooled monster from afar.

Thanks everyone!

I have had an Alienware computer for about 3 years. I love it! Works great, games have no problem running well. ( I play Warcraft, Lotro and Elder Scrolls online mainly. ) My husband can build his own from scratch, but I am not this talented and it was easier to buy a pre-made setup. Components can always be upgraded as needed:)

1 Like

Something I have done plenty in the past is teach folks to work on electronics, computers and other things that plug into a wall. I’ve volunteered quite a bit of time to the local nursing home and schools in my rural area to teach people about electronics, though my shakey hands are no good for soldering anymore.

It would cost quite a bit to build and then send a computer from where I am, in Alabama, to where you are. However, if you and/or your son would like to just sit with me for a few hours and talk I’d be happy to, I LOVE nerding out about computers. Building a computer is very similar to building Legos, it’s nothing to be intimidated by, if my 74-year-old mother can build a PC you can too. I’m happy to find your budget, pick out some parts that would work together and why, then when they arrive to you I can sit on a video call and give directions.

No need for a giant water-cooled monster, you can build a computer easily with just a Phillips head screwdriver and a few hours. We’ll install Windows, install drivers, setup and get you logged into your favorite web browser, install game launchers, the whole nine yards. The SOFTWARE side of computer building is the part the takes the longest, not the hardware side.

20+ years of tech support and technology teaching has a few benefits. :smiley:


Thank you so much for your kindness in this endeavor. We have such a rich group of knowledgeable folks in our gaming community that sometimes its overlooked.

Thank you again for your offer of help.


Check out pc by NSX. One year warranty and all parts are top name brands. I usually build my own, but could not beat the cost of this pc, with the same components I would have chosen!

What an incredibly kind offer! I honestly posted this question expecting it to take a very long time to get any answers. The feedback is quite unexpected.

What triggered the question was a game crash on an older modpack for Minecraft. I figured it was telling me something. However Splutty helped me with some Java tweaks and things are working well again.

I think what I’ve learned is that I need to save some money and have an idea of what my budget is first and then go from there (unless there is a catastrophic failure and that’s a whole other story). I am going to start to save now and perhaps in the next 6 months I will be in the right place to start this.

I think I would enjoy building my own based on your description.


1 Like

Nice rig. The Star Citizen wallpaper on the lower screen in that pic caught my attention!

1 Like

Even though I mentioned Build Redux I’m not pushing it here. What you can do is visit their site and customize a pc. They have a limited selection of parts “to keep costs down” but as there’s not dozens of choices it could be a gentle intro into parts and costs.

ie: iirc the cost difference between a 4060 nvidia grx card and the 4060 TI was another $100 dollars. As I’m very comfortable swapping out a video card I, in my customization, selected the 4060 and put that other $100 towards the CPU. As in my case I’ll never swap out a cpu because by then I’ll most likely have to put in a new mother board to fit the new cpu (generation) and at that stage I’m building a PC.

1 Like

I had Canada Computers put together a build I spec’d with a tonne of help from OTGers - many who have also replied to this thread!


1 Like