10 Best Gaming Setups for Ultra-Rich Gaming Experience

Playing games such as Skyrim and Fortnite require a computer that can properly run them, leveraging the memory and graphics demands to deliver a fluid gaming experience, and maintain a stable system as well.

There are certainly plenty of gaming laptops and desktops you can purchase, but they can end up costing thousands of dollars for a mid-range model. A much more cost effective way is to build your own gaming setup by purchasing the parts individually — and it’s easier than you think.

Below, we’ve selected each component you need to build the best gaming setup while keeping the price far away from the thousands you’d spend on an already-built system.

Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400

The Phanteks Eclipse P400 is the perfect base to start your gaming system rig out with. It’s modular, easy to work with, and has a sleek look as well. The body contains plenty of room for your hardware and allows optimal airflow throughout to keep your system cool and running smoothly.

The exterior and chassis are both made from steel, giving it a solid, durable feel that can stand up to the task without any bending, even with a full rig of hardware. Inside, the case includes two 120mm fans — one in the front, one in the back.

The case has a number of brackets and slots to accommodate every piece and allows for optimal upgrades in the future, such as external lighting, more drives, fans, and even a water pump.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Sleek look
  • Lots of room for future upgrades
  • Includes two fans

What We Don’t Like

  • Lack of color choices
  • No extras included, aside from fans

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 1200

The CPU isn’t the most important component for a gaming system, but having an adequate one can still make a huge difference, and make non-gaming uses much quicker overall as well. The Ryzen 3 1200 from AMD offers excellent value, packing a lot of performance into a small and economical package.

With 4 CPU cores, DDR4 memory, and 10MB of total cache memory, the Ryzen 3 1200 is perfectly suited for supporting gaming and manages to keep the temperature down as well, thanks to a Wraith Stealth Cooler assembly.

It’s quite rare to find a CPU with this much capability for under $100, so it’s great option for a budget-minded gaming setup that doesn’t skimp on performance.

What We Like

  • DDR4
  • 10MB of cache memory
  • Specialized cooling assembly

What We Don’t Like

  • Not as fast as more expensive options

GPU: Zotac GTX 1060 AMP Edition

A GPU is arguably the most important part of a custom gaming setup, as it’s responsible for the overall graphics quality while ensuring the video runs smoothly without any lags or buffering. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX1060 AMP Edition is likely to be the most expensive portion that you buy for your gaming system, but it’s more than worth it.

Even so, the GTX1060 is still an economical buy when compared to more expensive graphics processors, while still offering a high amount of performance and capabilities that allow it to run any game smoothly, with a very high frame rate.

For under $300, you’re getting an NVIDIA Pascal built, 6GB of 192-bit GDDR5 video memory, and full VR capability. Even as you upgrade the rest of your system in the future (if desired,) the ZOTAC 1060 GeForce GTX1060 GPU is a graphics processor you can grow with for years to come.

What We Like

  • Tons of performance for the price
  • NVIDIA Pascal architecture
  • VR-ready
  • 6GB 192-bit GDDR5 Memory

What We Don’t Like

  • Still a bit pricey
  • Can run a little hot during extended use

PSU: Corsair 450W B1

Many people tend to cut corners with their power supply choice when building a high-performance gaming setup, but that is not a wise route to take. Fortunately, the Corsair 450W B1 is an economical option that still delivers an adequate amount of uninterrupted power to your system, while keeping the temperature and fan noise to a minimum.

Although the B1 is not fully modular, it still provides ample room for cord storage and cabling and maintains a small profile when placed within your system’s case. A large-diameter fan is thermally controlled and works well in reducing noise even during high demand periods.

So, for a small amount of money, you get a great power supply unit that keeps your system running on an optimal level, without adding a lot of heat to your system, and cooling itself off with ease when needed. Can’t ask for more than that.

What We Like

  • Three-year warranty
  • Quiet fan speeds
  • Sleek look

What We Don’t Like

  • High fan speed can sometimes cause a clicking sound
  • Not fully modular

Motherboard: ASUS Prime B350M-A/CSM

Just as with a power supply, you don’t want to skimp when choosing a motherboard for your system’s setup. Purchasing high-quality CPUs, GPUs, and drives, and then pairing them with a low-quality motherboard will prevent the two from communicating as effectively as they could.

The ASUS Prime B350M-A/CSM is a slightly more expensive motherboard from some similar models, but the higher price pays off with features such as built-in LED lighting options that can really make your PC stand out, along with a Fan Xpert option that can let you dial into the perfect cooling setting to keep things running well.

Tying your graphics, memory, and processors together is the best way to ensure your system runs at peak performance, and the ASUS Prime B350M-A/CSM motherboard is the best way to go about doing so while keeping the price to a manageable level.

What We Like

  • Handles overclocking well
  • Highly customizable
  • Flashy lighting and colors

What We Don’t Like

  • No USB type-C port
  • More expensive than other motherboards in its class

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4

Your computer’s RAM is at the heart of how fast it can operate, so it makes even more sense to not hold back with the RAM you choose when creating the best gaming system for the money. The Corsair Vengeance LPX is a popular RAM choice for most anyone building a custom PC, so this was an easy inclusion on the list.

The Vengeance LPX is an 8GB DDR4 card, and is optimized for high frequencies and better bandwidth, alongside minimal power consumption and heat creation. It also includes an aluminum heat spreader build that dissipates any heat buildup, further reducing working temps and allowing your PC to run the best it can, with the fastest processing speeds.

To top it all off, the card itself has a small profile, so you should have no trouble installing it within your system, with the opportunity to add a second card to double the RAM if you choose to later.

What We Like

  • Low price
  • Heat spreader build
  • Made to fit smaller spaces

What We Don’t Like

  • Requires some tinkering in BIOS to get it to maximum performance levels

SSD/Boot Drive: Corsair Force 120GB

Setting up a budget gaming system requires some strategic thinking and compromise in order to get the most performance for the price. In this case, it’s best to buy a good solid state drive with a small amount of space to store your OS and core system files on, while running your game files off of a different drive. The Corsair Force MP500 is the ideal way to do this.

The drive itself is small and easy to install. It also has vibration resistance in its design and an enhanced level of error correction. The Force uses a NVMe PCIE that allows it to run up to four times faster than a SATA 3.0 SSD — something that definitely comes in handy when booting up, and of course gaming.

To top it all off, the drive even comes with a toolbox app that gives you real-time status updates, and support for over-provisioning, disk cloning, and more.

What We Like

  • Small
  • Affordable
  • Includes an app
  • Uses an NVMe PCI interface

What We Don’t Like

  • 120GB isn’t enough for storage of larger files and games

HDD/Storage Drive: Seagate 1TB BarraCuda

Since you’re building a gaming setup, you’re going to need some storage for all the games, and unless you want to shell out the money for a high-capacity solid state drive, a good old-fashioned hard disk drive is the most cost-effective way to do so.

Enter the Seagate BarraCuda drive lineup. These drives aren’t the fastest you’ll ever use, but they’re definitely more than adequate when you’re running your OS and system files on a solid state drive. When used simply for large file and game storage, you’ll find the load speeds perfectly fine.

These drives do include a 2-year warranty and have a performance boost from a SATA 6GB/s interface, so when considering the fact that you’re spending under $50 for a full terabyte of storage, this is a great deal.

What We Like

  • Cost-efficient
  • 2-year warranty
  • Durable build

What We Don’t Like

  • Not the fastest of HDD’s
  • 1TB may not be enough for large game libraries

Mouse/Keyboard: Redragon S101/M601

The actual control aspect of your gaming system comes down to the mouse and keyboard. While many will definitely prefer to buy these components separately, this combo pack is an affordable way to get both at once, without giving up essential features and a solid level of control over your gameplay.

The Redragon S101 and M601 are not the most advanced mouse and keyboards on the market, but not only is this combo available at a low price, the actual performance is surprising, and well above the price point.

The keyboard has a lot of visual appeal, with 4 backlight color effects and 5 different speeds. It’s also ergonomic and includes 25 no-conflict keys, 12 media keys, and 8 control keys, along with being splash-proof. As for the mouth, it’s backlit as well, has 5 programmable buttons, memory profiles, and an ergonomic shape designed to offer plenty of comfort during longer gaming sessions. All this for under $40.

What We Like

  • Mouse and keyboard in one purchase
  • Lots of backlight options
  • Ergonomic shapes
  • Tons of customization and memory options

What We Don’t Like

  • Mouse is a bit heavy
  • LEDs don’t have an offsetting

Headset: VersionTECH G2000

When looking for a good gaming headset, the best approach is to combine audio quality with comfort. The VersionTECH G2000 offers both, along with all the core aspects one needs for a desirable gaming experience in terms of both audio, and communication with other players.

The G2000 headset uses extremely soft ear cushions, along with a memory-foam head pad that conforms to your head’s shape for even more comfort. 50mm speakers are paired with noise-reducing pads to keep sound in, where you want it. Quick-access controls are located on the outside of the headphones for instant adjusting of volume and muting when needed.

And while these are for gaming, the comfort and audio quality makes these great for everything from listening to music, to Skype or other VoiP chats.

What We Like

  • Crisp audio
  • Clear microphone with good noise-cancelling
  • Comfortable
  • High volume max
  • Multiple color options

What We Don’t Like

  • A little bulky
  • Cable length is not very long (2.2 meters)

Why Do You Need a Gaming Setup?

In a perfect world, one would be able to simply play whatever games they want on any level of computer, and experience smooth, fluid gameplay with no lags, pauses, buffering, or whatever else. Unfortunately, that’s not how it is.

Today’s games are incredibly demanding for a computer, so you need a computer that can actually handle these demands.

While you can certainly play a number of computer games on average laptops and desktops, you’re not going to get the level of video and audio quality you need for effective gameplay, along with audio, controls, and more. Whether you’re playing alone, or in a multi-player format, this isn’t going to cut it.

This is why serious gamers either purchase high-level laptops and desktop computers or opt to build their own.

Building your own gaming setup allows you to have control over every single core aspect, tailoring your system to what’s important to you. This can not only let you have a customized computer that’s ideal for your gaming needs but also save a ton of money in the process.

What are the Essentials of a Gaming Setup?

Before purchasing the components of your gaming setup, it’s best to first know what each component is, and the purpose it serves.

  • Case

The case is the actual “shell” of the computer that houses all of the internal hardware. Without a case, you would just have a big pile of drives and components sitting out.

A proper case will have more than enough room for you to fit all of the components inside, with more to spare for any added upgrades or systems. For gaming, the case should have at least two fans to help keep the entire system cool during gameplay, as hot temperatures can cause the system to lag.

  • CPU

The CPU, or central processing unit, is the main portion of the computer that is responsible for delegating tasks to the proper components. It serves as a sort of traffic director, allocating resources where they’re needed as demands are made of the system from commands.

Every click of your mouse, every touch of your keyboard, all of these are processed by the CPU, which then allows the commands to commence from each one. When you have a more capable CPU with a larger memory cache, it can handle more processes at one time without lagging. This is closely associated with RAM, which we’ll go over further below.

  • GPU

A GPU is a graphics processor unit, which is a pretty self-explanatory name. While the CPU is responsible for general calculating and tasks, the GPU is specifically for rendering what you see on the screen and is directly associated with the overall quality of what you see when running video.

A lower-tier GPU will have a low frame rate, so video during gameplay will appear choppy, and may even skip from time to time. This is something you will always want to avoid with gaming, since it not only makes the game less visually appealing, it can directly affect gameplay as well.

  • PSU

The PSU stands for power supply unit, and is what’s responsible for powering your entire computer system. This is the direct line from the wall outlet to your actual system. Since gaming setups have a higher power demand, using a capable PSU ensures that your computer has the power it needs in the proper increments when the time comes.

As with every other part of a computer, heat is always the enemy, so look for PSUs that have some sort of fan or temperature control. This will ensure a better functioning system overall.

  • Motherboard

The motherboard is basically what ties all of your computer’s hardware together.

The board connects all of your drives and components to one another and facilitates the communication between each. By investing in a quality motherboard (which are never really that expensive,) you’re ensuring that your computer can talk to itself as fast as possible, allowing for a smooth interplay between all of its parts.

  • RAM

RAM is short for random access memory and refers to short-term memory on your computer that allows the space necessary to perform all functions. This memory is not to be confused with actual storage drives.

All of your drives are routed through the RAM in your computer, and every single program, drive, and action on your computer takes up a certain amount of memory during use. For example, your browser, audio player, and other background processes are using RAM. When you have higher amounts of RAM, your computer is more freed up to work faster. When RAM is maxed out, your computer has to pull resources from other applications and programs, which can slow things down.

This is why it’s essential to have at least 8GB of RAM on a gaming setup, as the RAM needs are quite high when compared to most any other computer function or program.

  • Boot Drive

While a computer can get by on using one drive to operate as long as there is enough storage, using one drive to boot and run the system, and another to store files is the best route to take.

Solid state drives are much faster than a hard disc drive, so it’s best to use a solid state drive to run your computer’s operating system. This allows your computer to boot up in a matter of seconds, and run all essential processes on the fastest drive. While solid state drives are more expensive, if you’re using one for booting and running your operating system, you can get by with a smaller drive with 120GB of memory.

  • Storage Drive

The storage drive is where you will store all of your games, along with any other multimedia files on your computer. A hard disc drive is a perfectly acceptable choice for this, as you can get anywhere from 1 to 3 terabyte disc drives for relatively cheap. As long as you’re using a hard disc drive in conjunction with a solid state boot drive, everything will still run fast.

  • Mouse and Keyboard

Most computer-based games are controlled using a combination of a mouse and keyboard, rather than a gamepad or joystick.

Gaming mouses and keyboards have the same concept of standard mouses and keyboards, but with subtle features and designs much more conducive to gaming. Some examples include ergonomic designs, memory keys, multi-color lighting schemes, and so on.

  • Headset

Most games these days are multi-player or allow you to play other gamers live on a network. Because of this, it’s essential to have a headset so you can not only hear everything without cranking the volume on external speakers, but also to communicate with players on your team, or even just to talk some trash to whoever you’re playing.

Assembling Your Gaming Setup

The prospect of building your own computer may seem intimidating, but it’s actually a lot easier than it sounds. In fact, it’s really just a matter of connecting everything together in a cohesive manner inside your case.

There are plenty of great resources online that will walk you through the process. Wikihow has some helpful guides you can read, and YouTube is always a good choice as well.

Regardless of what yo go with, the above products will be required no matter what. By going off the list we’ve provided, you can build a capable and the best gaming setup for under $1,000 that is well-equipped to run a full game library smoothly, and also function as your main PC when needed too. Good luck and happy gaming!

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