Dominate the LAN party scene with our cutting-edge kit and tips for custom PC creation. It's cheaper than buying off the shelf and far more rewarding...
How to rock like a motherboard
Ben Miles of chillblast.com offers prime gaming-rig-building tips:
1/ GPU me! The single most important component for a good gaming PC is a big-ass GPU packed with shader processors. However, this needs to be supported by a good CPU. If you're rocking a dualcore i3, pair it only with a mid-range GPU, up to around 100 quid. A quadcore i5 is good for cards up to around £300 – above that, go for an i7.
2/ RAM it in! A tiny minority of games show small gains with a move to 16GB. Seriously, 8GB is fine.
3/ Futureproof it! Get a case with room for future graphics and storage expansion. Insist on a quality branded power supply with 80+ certification.
4/ Think! Plan your cable routing and work out a way to stow unused cables in such a way that doesn't impede airflow or make future upgrades tougher. Good cases help here. Scope out YouTube videos on how to install components before diving in.
5/ Alternatively... Building a PC isn't always the best, or cheapest, option – many system integrators now allow near-limitless customisation and Chillblast.com, for instance, offers a five-year warranty and phone support. Just sayin'!
You will need:
Yes, it is ugly, isn't it? Rest assured this cheap, liquid-cooling system will be secreted in your Aerocool, lifting the ventilation to new heights of chill.
£55 | corsair.com (opens in new tab)
Logitech G502 Proteus Core
Customise its optical sensor, weight, DPI and balance to suit your style. Then get busy on the 11 programmable buttons. It's great for FPS, but versatile.
£69 | gaming.logitech.com (opens in new tab)
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma
The usual quality Razer 'board – 60-million-stroke life for each mechanical, programmable key, five macros etc – now with customisable disco lights. Sweet.
£140 | razerzone.com
Intel Core i7 4790K
Essential, overclockable, not obscenely expensive. Pro-gaming willy wave nirvana.
£255 | intel.com
How we love this case of many colours. It comes in blue and yellow and pink and green and... Has great, low-noise cooling.
£77 | aerocool.com
More essentials for your shopping list...
Asus Z97-K. Great value, allows overclocking.
£92 | asus.com/uk (opens in new tab)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB. Best mid-range card out there.
£270 | nvidia.co.uk
2x 8GB Corsair 1600. 16GB is ample.
£196 | corsair.com (opens in new tab)
Samsung 840 evo series 250GB
£90 | samsung.com/uk
1TB Seagate 7200RPM SSHD. A hard drive with an 8GB SSD element for essentials.
£60 | seagate.com
FSP raider 750w
£60 | fsplifestyle.com
Windows 8.1 64-bit
£74 | microsoftstore.com (opens in new tab)