The 2008 PC Builder's Bible

Find the best parts. Learn to build a rig from scratch and overclock it to kingdom come. PC Gamer shows you how

Getting your hands dirty and building your own system is what separates PC gamers from their console brethren, and it just so happens to be one of the most exciting parts of our hobby. Unfortunately, it’s also a pretty daunting process for anyone who hasn’t assembled his own rig from scratch. Thankfully, this guide not only gives you all you need to know about every component that goes in your gaming PC, but also thoroughly walks you through the entire building process with detailed instructions and helpful photographs.

We’ve always written the PC Builder’s Bible not only as a guide for new system builders who want more versatility from their computer, but also for hardcore enthusiasts who have to be on the cutting edge of technological innovation. And guess what, that includes us as well. Every piece of hardware you’ll find recommended in this book is something we would buy for ourselves. The specs of our custom rigs are actually the same as the machines we’ve built for ourselves at home. That’s because we’re just like you; we want the most bang for our proverbial buck. And with more money saved from building a lean super-rig, you’ll have more money to spend on the awesome new games to play on it!

Above: Building your own PC isn’t as difficult as it seems. Let us show you how it’s done


Wrap your head around the various motherboard chipsets that create the backbone of your gaming PC.

-Meet the latest motherboard technologies
-Buy the right motherboard in six easy steps
-Motherboards for Intel CPUs – LGA 775
-Motherboards for AMD CPUs – Socket AM2

Dual core or quad core? Intel’s Penryn or AMD’s Phenom? We give you the answers!

-Intel’s Penryn and three recommended Intel CPUs
-AMD’s Phenom and three recommended AMD CPUs

DDR2 or DDR3? Find out how your random access memory works with answers to frequently asked questions.

-Choose the RAM that’s right for you

Behind every great gaming PC is a great video card. Follow our guide when deciding your next GPU purchase.

-Videocard features to look for
-SLI and Crossfire analyzed
-Is DirectX 10 worth it?
-The best mid-range DirectX 10 cards

The hard disk is a paradox – it’s both tiny and enormous at the same time. We’ll help you wrap your head around the terabytes of data.

-Easy answers to common questions about your hard drive
-PC Gamer’s hard drive picks

CDs, DVDs, dual layer, Bluray… the optical drive scene is evolving breakneck speed!

-Optical drives in a nutshell
-PC Gamer’s optical drive picks

Nobody enjoys the sound of silence. Learn all there is to hear about the latest audio technologies, and you’ll soon be basking in true surround sound earphoria.

-Meet the latest technology for audiophiles
-Your speakers are sick. PC Gamer has the cure

We guide you through the ins and outs of a PC’s metal frame and review two excellent high-class enclosures.

-Give your components a happy home
-PC Gamer’s recommended cases

In the case of PC gaming displays, screen size and display resolution matter. From brilliant 24-inchers to dominating 30-inch high-definition monitors, you’ll never see games the same way again. We tell you what to consider.

-Pick the perfect display
-Three recommended monitors

If you’re using a standard mouse and keyboard, you’ll never really have a chance in the gaming world. If you’re serious about gaming, get some serious gear.

-The best gaming keyboards
-The best gaming mice
-The best gaming accessories

Everything you need to know to build a smoking-fast, no-compromises, gaming PC

-Prices, parts, and lots of pictures to show you how it’s done

Learn how to wring every last drop of performance from your new rig

-Benchmark your custom rig
-14 easy tips to keep your rig running fast
-Overclocking your new PC
-Overclock your Intel CPU in 8 easy steps

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