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How to choose the right gaming PC



BEFORE WE BEGIN...

Let’s start with the most important word for you in this entire process. To get the most out of your gaming PC, and your budget, there’s one word that overrides everything else in terms of importance, and it applies to everything: your budget, your component choices, and the way you’ll use it.

Balance.

Everyone has a set amount they’re looking to spend on their PC. Some budgets will be at the entry level, some people will have plenty to spend, some budgets might be rigid and some might be a little more flexible, but everyone’s working to a dollar figure. And that dollar figure will ultimately determine what you can buy.

But it goes deeper than that, because, with most of the PC’s cost coming from its processor and graphics card, you might be tempted to stump up for the highest-tier graphics card, or the most expensive processor on the market, thinking this will give you the best performance.

It won’t. Apportioning too much of your overall budget to one component will inevitably mean skimping on others, and that is going to throw the balance of your build out of whack.

The truth is, neither a crazy-powerful processor nor an ultra-spec graphics card on their own are any good, because you’ll run into bottlenecks, where one can’t keep up with the other. They have to work together.

Simiarly, going too deep into your budget on both CPU and GPU doesn’t help either, because you still need a great case and plenty of storage and memory, to be able to game with confidence and without worrying about running out of storage space, being hampered by low, or slow, RAM or having your components starved of cool air.

Balance. It forms the basis for our Ready To Ship PC range, a collection of beautifully balanced, preconfigured PCs at various price-and performance-points in which you don’t need to change a thing. Every PC sports a perfectly paired processor and graphics card, rock-solid chipset, loads of storage, fast RAM and a reliable power supply, all housed in a stylish, functional case with serious wow-factor. And they all ship in lightning-quick time.

Your quest for the perfect gaming PC could very easily end right here, but if you want to keep reading to learn more, go right ahead.

How TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CASE FOR YOUR NEW PC

SIZE

PC cases come in 4 classes: ITX/small form factor (tiny), M-ATX/mid-tower (compact, conventional), ATX/mid-to full-tower (conventional, and quite large) and E-ATX/super tower (very large through to statement pieces). The two most common, M-ATX and ATX, will physically fit in the majority of workspaces or gaming setups, and are also functionally very similar. M-ATX motherboards are shorter in length and might feature one fewer PCIE or expansion slot than an ATX motherboard, but otherwise, it’s mostly just a size thing.

The way we structure our builds, there is a “cap” on the tier of graphics card and processor that we’ll house in our M-ATX Stinger case, due to the size and compatibility limits in the smaller case. In the ATX Patriot case however, more space = more power, and there are no such performance caps in place; the Patriot handles any modern processor or graphics card.

In the super-tower M.O.A.B. that principle is taken even further, with again space for any component, but additional fans as standard and compatibility with 360mm liquid coolers, and a commanding, awe-inspiring physical presence. You’ll need a lot of desk space for this big boy.

STYLE

This is 100% down to personal taste, but all we’ll say is: we love the way our cases look just as much as we love how they perform. There are just too damn many dark, drab cases out there, using RGB lighting as a crutch for uninspired, overly-clean-bordering-on-sterile aesthetics, or those just look weird, so we felt an overwhelming urge to flip the whole thing on its head.

That’s why we settled on our light, bright, white cases, in which RGB lighting is complementary, not compensatory. Go with the black box herd if you want, but if you want your gaming PC to stand out, you know where to find us.

FUNCTIONALITY

Here’s where we’ll be frank: we’re often dismayed, and more than a little shocked, at some of the PC cases still in use today by some of the major brands. Visually unique, aesthetically pleasing, on-point brand-wise? Sure they are. But functional and fit for purpose in the ways that really matter? We’re honestly not so sure.

Along with the power and performance of current-gen components has come a substantial increase in their thermal needs. That’s a fancy way of saying this new tech gets hot, and PC cases need a lot of cool air coming through them to keep component temperatures down. What happens if components get too hot? They can experience thermal throttling (lower performance), and even sustain damage over time, in the most serious instances.

In our view, a high-airflow case isn’t just a recommendation, it’s a non-negotiable. That’s why all our cases – the Stinger, the Patriot and the M.O.A.B. – feature multiple intake fans, at least one exhaust fan, additional roof ventilation, and unobstructed front panels that allow for unhindered airflow to critical components.

Wherever you go for your next gaming PC, please, don’t settle for a dark, dank, hotbox when so many better options are all around you. Your components (and your wallet) will thank you for it.