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What specs do I need for a gaming PC?

Before digging into the specs, you should decide how much money you want to spend on your new gaming PC. There are different options in every price point being it $500, $750, $1000 and above. You can even build an entry level gaming PC for about $350-$400.

After 2 years of bad prices and missing components on shelves, things finally seems to be goin in better direction with prices. It will also be a busy autumn with a lot of new hardware announcements and the prices of older components typically are at one of the lowest points just before the new ones come. So we decided to give you some options if you choose to buy your new system now or you just can’t wait anymore. Lets start.

How do I build a cheap gaming PC? {Full specs}

For a cheap gaming setup, you can get a basic but still relatively capable all around PC that has reasonable upgrade options. The choice for CPU is the Ryzen 5 5600G, which is a good all around 6-core CPU, though it doesn’t excel much in any area. Still the integrated GPU will make a lot of games more or less playable and the 6 CPU cores offer enough performance for your school projects and even if you choose to do some more serious work on for example content creation. You can also upgrade with a midrange GPU later on. 16 GB of RAM and a ~500 GB of storage we feel is the minimum at this point, so we chose some cheaper options in that regard. Total should be below $400.

What computer specs do I need for live streaming? {The minimum}

Like in every setup, live streaming computer specs depend on your budget. The two very important things you have to consider are hardware encoding, as part of the CPU or GPU, and RAM. Intel CPUs have built in encoder and most of the AMD and NVIDIA GPUs have one. Here is an example of a basic streaming focused gaming PC:

It might feel like a downgrade reverting from the 6-core CPU in the entry level system to a 4-core here, but there are 3 good reasons for this. The first – the Core i3-12100 is quite fast and in fact is faster in general for gaming and some low threaded loads, and not that far back for more demanding loads. The second is that it supports PCI Express Gen.4 which will help the GPU performance in the case of the chosen GPU, Radeon RX 6500 XT. And the third is the availability of the integrated UHD730 graphics, which, despite being a lot slower than Vega 7 in Ryzen 5 5600G, offers a better video encoder. And, again, it will supplement great the chosen GPU, which doesn’t have encoder on it’s own. That way you have a good base for eSports gaming and streaming and you can even try some higher settings, despite the limit of only 4 GB of VRAM on the GPU. At the time of writing, this build totaled $550.

How much do you need to spend for a 1080p Gaming PC?

We estimate that you will need $700 to $800 for 1080p gaming. Core i5-12100 will still offer you enough overall performance and the upgrade to Radeon RX 6600 XT will “unlock” the usage of higher settings for 1080p in most games. This $750 system can also be used as entry point for 1440p gaming, if you are ok with lower settings.

What do you need for 1080p Ultra/1440p Medium/High settings gaming?

We frankly have not much to say here – Core i5-12400F is universally praised as great midrange CPU for both gaming and work and at current prices Radeon RX 6700 XT offers great performance for the buck for both 1080p and 1440p and you can even try it for 4K. Our only gripe is that we may be would have chosen GeForce RTX 3070 for the slightly superior gaming and a notably better Ray Tracing implementation, but the prices still keep it out of reach at this $1000 price point.

What do you need for 1440p Ultra/4K Middle settings gaming?

Increasing resolution above 1080p to 1440p or even 4K requires a bit more powerful gaming PC. A 10 core CPU will handle the task just fine. Core i5-12600K is again great all round CPU and notably faster for work than Core i5-12400F and the Radeon RX 6800 offers great price/performance. We also decided that it’s finally time to offer more memory if you choose to use it for more serious work tasks. $1500 is what PCPartPicker gave us as total for this build.

What PC do I need for 4K gaming?

4K gaming PC is a serious endeavor but there are a lot more options in the above $2000 bracket. Still for more of a gaming based build, we choose Ryzen 7 5800X3D which offers one of the best performance out there while still keeping relatively descent pricing, especially with the price cuts lately. Still, if you are more on the work side of things, you might want to get Ryzen 9 5950X for less than $200 more, which will offer you near double multithreaded performance for a bit less gaming. Or in the Intel side Core i7-12700K offers a great balance for work and gaming performance and is easier to cool than Core i9-12900K. On the GPU side we preferred the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, despite being somewhat pricier than Radeon RX 6900XT, because typically it offers a bit better rasterization performance in 4K and notably better Ray Tracing performance. It also has a better GPU encoder for streaming or video editing. The rest is on the principle – more is better :).

We have carefully considered the gaming PC specs at each price bracket. Keep in mind that you can create your own build by replacing a part with one of your choice or one that is available. You are welcome to browse our Youtube channel for a collection of gaming tests and reviews.