Wednesday, 28 February 2018 23:46

Ballistix lists its top 10 tips for building your first gaming PC

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Game performance-focused RAM vendor, Ballistix, has announced its top 10 tips for being comfortable building your own gaming PC from scratch.

Ballistix has injected low-latency performance into PC gaming for more than a decade and is the only major brand of gaming memory that builds and tests products from start to finish. The company is a consumer subsidiary of global RAM and storage manufacturer, Micron Technology.

Jim Jardine, director of DRAM Product Marketing for Micron Technology, explained there are loads of guides all over the Internet on how to load your operating system, or install hardware safely. “But what if you just want to know where to begin?” he asks. “We’ll get you started in the right direction with these ten recommendations.”

Of course, these tips apply equally to a high-performance machine for software developers, graphic designers and others who need power and performance. Or, perhaps, that may be the way you justify your gaming PC. Either way works!

  1. Basics – your PC design will need to include a motherboard, CPU, CPU cooler, RAM, video card, storage, mouse, monitor and keyboard.
  2. CPU and motherboard compatibility – your CPU and socket must be compatible with your motherboard and vice versa. Checking the socket isn’t enough; you need to ensure the processor is supported by your motherboard selection. The CPU may also limit your RAM’s performance. Be sure to check the compatibility of your components.
  3. Feed speed-hungry CPUs – many new processors by Intel and AMD feed on high-speed DDR4 memory. The more memory speed your CPU has that it can work with, the better the output, resulting in a faster and more responsive rig.
  4. Thermal paste is important – place a pea-sized amount of paste on top of your CPU. Don’t place it underneath, don’t have so much it is messy, don’t have too little to transfer heat. The more powerful your computer the more heat it will generate, and the more your fans will work. Using paste can keep your PC operating efficiently, reliably and quietly.
  5. Install your RAM carefully – RAM sticks, known as DIMMs, can only be inserted one way. Make sure they are aligned by looking at the notches on your motherboard and on your RAM. Don’t apply force and be gentle.
  6. Check your memory speed. If your RAM is rated at 2400MT/s then you want to know you’re getting that. Check your memory speeds within the BIOS or by using a tool like the Ballistix M.O.D. utility.
  7. Don’t forget the I/O shield, which is the shield in the back of your case to protect the internal motherboard and cables and components.
  8. Ensure your power supply has an 80 Plus or higher rating. There are multiple ratings, from 80 Plus, to 80 Plus Bronze and then on to 80 Plus Titanium. You want a power supply that won’t let you down and will keep your system running despite the load you place on it. The higher the rating, the higher its standards and inclusion of features like over-current and over-voltage protections.
  9. Cable management – a bit of extra effort up-front to keep your cables tidy pays off. Your system will look nice, airflow is maximised, and you reduce the possibility of errors if you later add or change any components inside.
  10. Consider if you wish to overclock. You can get more power out of your computer, but you run the risk of voiding your warranty. Check out guides, but importantly, be safe.

What’s next? Well, Jardine states, “Then there’s the moment of truth. Building a PC is a unique experience and it requires time. All that effort we spend finding the right components and putting them together – it all leads to that moment of anxiety, having us wonder …  will it actually boot? By following these 10 top tips, there is a very good chance it will!”

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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