It can be difficult figuring out what you need to build truly impressive gaming PCs. There are dozens of options, and some of them can cost an arm and a leg!

We’ve combed the Internet and found the hardware that will give you the best overall performance for your buck for you new PC. The most important thing you need to know about building gaming PCs is that to experience the true depth of any game you’ll need the right combination of CPU (computer processing unit) and video card (GPU).

Let’s start with the most important part of all gaming PCs: the CPU. You could spend hundreds of dollars on an Intel Core i7 965 or an AMD Sempron 140, but that won’t offer you the game processing power you really need, even though they’re two of the most powerful processors on the market. An economical choice is the Athlon II X4 620, which only costs around $100. For just a hundred bucks out of pocket you start with a great foundation for your new gaming system.

Next, you’ll have to consider the video card, or GPU, necessary to render the fantastic gaming environments you want to explore. Top of the line GPUs can cost several hundred dollars, but you don’t have to empty your bank account to build a great machine. In fact, a GPU with as little as 896 MB of video RAM is all you really need nowadays. A card with 2 GB of video RAM is much more expensive and doesn’t provide much performance.

At this point, The system islikely to be the most expensive portion of gaming PCs. RAM prices are high right now, and it looks like they may stay that way. But you don’t have crack open the piggy bank, either.

A little as 4 GB of system RAM will work great for most games, and the higher you go the more negligible the difference in performance becomes. Just remember that you’ll need a 64-bit operating system if you want your computer to support and utilize more than 3. 5 GB of RAM. Without at least Windows XP x64, your system won’t recognize the total amount of memory you’ve installed.

Another component that’s become more available recent is the gaming network card. The trouble is that it doesn’t really improve your connection. Your connection to online gaming will work just fine with the Ethernet chipset that comes standard with your computer. If you have problems with your disconnects while gaming, your money is better spent investing in a router than a new network card.