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How to Build a Gaming Computer – Research Phase

This is my first video in what I hope will be a whole series of videos on the entire process of building a gaming computer under 500$ – from information gathering to purchasing, to construction, etc.

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This video is my process for evaluating what hardware I am going to spec out for a computer plan. In particular, I am going to be looking at my process for determining a video card – this process is the same for motherboards, CPUs, ram, etc. I use primarily Tom’s Hardware – this is probably the most reputable source for hardware reviews and analysis. The site can be pretty information intense, however, so I’m hoping I can guide you through how I come to my conclusions.

As a brief rundown:

I reference both the Charts and the Articles section with respect to graphics in a gaming build.

In the Charts section, I use both the enthusiast and gamer charts primarily. If I am building a computer to play a very specific game, then I may reference specific charts – but as I build and make recommendations with different types of games in mind, I prefer to reference the general enthusiast and gamer charts.

In the Articles section, I reference the ‘Best of -Month-’ articles. These articles will help you get a general idea according to price for what card you may go for. Keep in mind that prices change, however, and this can influence our overall valuation.

After narrowing my choices down to a couple options, I’ll take a look on Newegg and Amazon for prices and reviews. If the price is similar, I’ll lean towards the best-reviewed product. The process really is quite subjective – but after going through Tom’s charts and articles, any decision you make at this point is going to result in a fantastic card – we are just being rather nit-picky in finding the best value (and why shouldn’t we when it’s our money?).

That is the essence of my process when finding components to build gaming computers. Beyond this, I’ll also look at specific card reviews – taking into account different manufacturers and models. I’ll also look into forums (such as Tom’s Hardware) and see what individual people are actively talking about in terms of those cards. The initial process of going through Tom’s charts and articles helps us narrow down to the best choices.