We told you there’s more to the inside of your gaming PC than meets the eye. Last, but certainly not least, we’re showing you how the right graphics card and cooling system can keep your game hot while keeping your PC cool.

Graphics Card

Gaming isn’t complete without a graphics card. Graphics cards are the main piece of hardware that will determine how much performance you will have in-game. In general,  you’ll want to get the best GPU you can afford with your budget.  

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the highest graphics card is always the best choice. For the gamer who mainly wants to participate in eSports, an APU or entry-level graphics card should suffice and give you the framerate you need when starting out. If you’re a tried and true AAA gamer, or want the best performance in eSports, the type of card you should purchase varies depending on what types of games you’re playing, your budget and your desired screen resolution. 

Pricing varies for each gaming level. For entry-level enthusiasts who want to play their games at 1080p, most mid-level cards will be able to run games at this resolution smoothly and will usually cost from around $150 to $200. Those that are seeking higher resolution at 1440p, a graphics card between the mid-level and the highest quality available will cost around $200 to $350. For the hardcore gamers that play their games in 4K, the gaming graphics card that’s right for you will typically cost over $600. It’s a worthwhile investment if you’re looking to step up your game. 

Of course, the quality of your graphics also depends on the screen resolution of your monitor, which is why it’s so crucial to do your research before deciding which gaming graphics card to purchase. Your favorite games should tell you the specs you’ll need for optimal performance. 

When it comes to content creation, the available graphics cards can be split into gaming graphics cards and professional graphics cards. Luckily, these pieces of hardware will have the same performance for the most part, being capable of running your favorite games as well as programs like the Adobe Creative Cloud. You’ll get the best of both sides of the spectrum. 

The strength of the graphics card you should purchase largely depends on your workflow. You should know how many monitors you want to have and make sure that the gaming graphics card you choose supports them. It is generally recommended to not go below a mid-tier gaming graphics card, which costs around $300.

Cooling

In order to keep your new PC cool and performing at its best, you should invest in a reliable cooling system. 

What cooling options are out there? Well, the most basic of the options available is air cooling, which involves fans paired with a heatsink inside the computer tower. Air coolers are fine when starting out but they’re not recommended for PCs that will need to handle high workloads. If you know that you and high workloads go hand in hand, typically, all-in-one liquid cooling would be the smartest option. 

All in one liquid coolers are closed loop systems that do not require maintenance, keeping your processor cool and quiet without any work on your end. All-in-one liquid cooling is recommended for PCs of any kind because of their effectiveness and maintenance-free ability. 

The final and most advanced option for cooling is open loop cooling. While this is mainly recommended for AAA gaming PCs, it can also be used in computers used for content creation if acoustics and fan noise are a concern. Maintenance is required to keep this cooling system running effectively, but it will last as long as your PC does. And that should be a while.

Interested in learning more about what’s inside a PC? Check out our all-inclusive guide: How to Buy Your Next PC. You won’t regret it!

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