The 2008 PC Builder's Bible

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 


  • xidax121 - January 1, 2014 2:40 a.m.

    "It's got a really impressive specs list filling of the rest of the build, and told I've never seen a machine with this sort of performance
  • dahudge8 - November 11, 2008 11:50 p.m.

    here's the deal guys. I just downloaded the left 4 dead demo and it runs kind of choppy on my laptop. sometimes there's lag in combat intensive areas and sometimes there's lag when I'm just walking around. I was wondering if a new graphics card would remedy this? if so, can you even put new graphics cards into a laptop? I'd love to get an answer to this before I go by a nvida 8800. Thanks!
  • HyBriDFuRy - September 29, 2008 7:38 p.m.

    I use the Intel Core 2 Quad core Q6600, it's still good isn't it? I bought it on newegg because it was a freakin' awesome deal for $200 and I overlocked this from default "2.4ghz" to what I now have "2.8ghz".
  • JimMcDosh - September 24, 2008 12:46 a.m.

    Excellent resource guide indeed. Very nice. Jiff
  • Halo freak22 - September 23, 2008 10:09 p.m.

    aswome totaly sweet
  • Dibbz - September 23, 2008 11:40 a.m.

    nicely done!
  • Alcyones - September 23, 2008 12:56 a.m.

    Thanks! I'm positive this is gonna help me in the future.
  • anything5767 - September 23, 2008 12:15 a.m.

    Time to remember not to buy the builders bible next time.
  • dirt1996 - November 18, 2008 8:24 p.m.

    I was going to build it, but it doesnt help w/ the BIOs or anything else, and if this is the first rig youve built(like me) then this is impossible.
  • dirt1996 - November 4, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    You can get all the stuff listed above at for half the prices listed for EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • adrenaguy - October 16, 2008 7:33 p.m.

    THANKYOU SO MUCH! this guide is going to be so helpful when i can get the money to build a sweet-ass computer, thanks again GR!
  • Lucretiel - October 11, 2008 5:06 p.m.

    Tip of my hat to you guys, well done. My one annoyance is that there aren't any posted prices for accessories, just "Gamer with a budget" or "Deep pockets." Useful nonetheless.
  • invinciblechunk - October 9, 2008 7:33 p.m.

    Wow, a section on LCD monitors that doesn't even mention input lag! The Dell 2707WFP is one of the worst gaming screens you can possibly pick! Its input lag is over 40ms, and newer firmware revisions are even worse. If you care about games at all, learn about the difference between TN, PVA and IPS panels, and learn about input lag.
  • burningmunkey - September 26, 2008 12:01 p.m.

    I would seriously love to have this on PDF! Is there any way?
  • HypherionWing - September 24, 2008 8:51 p.m.

    I have a good rig using the Antec 900, but i dont particularly reccommend the 900 if your going for a bit of a crazy powerful build, which i unfortunately did. The space in it is incredibly deceptive, any psu above 600w you have to CRAM everything right in there. ;)
  • hellawaitsyou - September 24, 2008 1:17 a.m.

    Is there a PDF version of this?
  • Life - September 23, 2008 7:27 p.m.

    Very cool
  • solidsnake_5552000 - September 23, 2008 12:14 a.m.

    excellent article guys. Congratulations!!
  • Cryose - September 22, 2008 11:54 p.m.

    Cool. Too bad I bought the actual magazine for ten bucks a month ago.
  • glitchhunterLM4 - January 16, 2009 11:58 p.m.

    i think its good that you teach people how to build a PC... but you should tell them about placing the standoffs... LINUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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