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Best Gaming PC Hardware in 2024

Published 30th Oct 2023, updated 3rd Jan 2024 - 10 minute read

Intended to be an ever-updated guide on what to look for if you are after the best hardware money can buy, importantly it is not always the most expensive items!

Building on the more general How to Customise & Buy Your Next Gaming PC - let's get started.

The Best CPU (Processor) for Gaming

Proving to us why simply spending the most money does not necessarily get you the best gaming performance, as it stands most games are preferring & performing best with the AMD Ryzen R7 7800X3D. The 7800X3D is often cheaper than what most would perceive as being higher performing CPUs if just going off the model numbers or marketing (eg: R9 7900X, R9 7950X, or even those who think Intel is better performing with their i7 14700K, or i9 14900K).

Before your takeaway is simply that this is the only CPU to get if gaming, you should know that is not always the case.

In different games, or even with different resolutions in the same games; other CPUs can outperform the 7800X3D, although typically it is by a small margin. One CPU that sometimes bests the 7800X3D is AMD's own R9 7950X3D. In some certain games, Intel's CPUs (often the top-of-the-range i9 14900K) may perform best, which means you should do the little bit of extra research into how your favourite game(s) perform with the latest hardware, or simply ask us!

If, like most, you play a range of different types of games, then you are likely better off with the 7800X3D as even if it is not the best performer for every game you throw at it, it should not be far off.

For the record, you can find the 7800X3D CPU option in our customisable Wraith platform. And Intel's CPU options are in the customisable Valkyrie platform.

The Optimal RAM (Memory) for Gaming

RAM is simply a game of "do you have [slightly] more RAM than your games/applications need?" and if the answer is yes; you are set. With DDR5 slowly but surely taking the crown for most sales over the outgoing DDR4, 16GB is truly the minimum amount of RAM anyone should be getting on DDR5 platforms, especially if their plan is to game with the PC! 32GB of RAM is more comfortable, but some of the more demanding games are recommending 32GB which means 48GB or 64GB would get our vote for the added comfort of being able to run other apps/streaming in the background, and a little for futureproofing since new games are always around the corner.

While 128GB or even 192GB RAM options exist, these capacities often mean not running at full XMP/EXPO (overclocked RAM profiles) to have the system stable, which means you would be leaving gaming performance on the table in favour of having a large capacity of RAM which likely will not serve you well in a purely gaming environment. Also, these large RAM capacities can make the system take a little longer to boot up after being shut down or reset.

The Best GPU (Graphics card) for Gaming

Perhaps unsurprisingly since it reverts to a more traditional "spend more dollars, get more performance" mentality, the costliest gaming GPU* on the market is the best performing almost across the board in every gaming title: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 24GB.

As we do for most other high-end GPU options, there are a few flavours of RTX 4090 to select from on our PC builder. The vanilla offering has basic base & boost clock speeds, with an adequate cooling solution and design for the graphics card. The OC option affords some factory overclocked clock speeds out of the box, with more attention to design and cooling. The Suprim/Vulcan tier gets you some of the most premium performance and design available. And finally, for those who want nothing but the lowest temperatures for their GPU: Liquid Cooled. The liquid cooled GPU option gets you an all-in-one liquid cooled GPU, purpose built by the manufacturer and installed by Evatech - just make sure that your case caters to it along with your choice of CPU cooler!

At the end of the day, all the GPU options that share the same model name (RTX 4080, or RTX 4090, etc) have the same model of GPU chip powering them, but through a process called "binning" Nvidia and graphics card manufacturers cherry-pick the units with outstanding performance to put them in the more premium models. This is not to say that a non-OC GPU cannot be overclocked or does not have great performance, but the OC chips can do it all straight out of the box with a manufacturer's warranty, so sometimes it pays to spend a little extra.

You can find the RTX 4090 in both of our customisable Wraith (AMD) or Valkyrie (Intel) platforms.

* We mention gaming GPU because there are certainly more costly GPUs out there, although those would typically be professional-grade GPUs (Quadro) which are not optimised for gaming purposes and should be avoided if gaming is your primary objective!

The Best Motherboard for Gaming

While the motherboard choice does not directly contribute performance, a Gaming or Pro (or above) selection from our PC builder will be better equipped with regards to cooling various points of the motherboard, and better power delivery which can maximise your CPU & RAM selections, at least over the lesser-equipped Core motherboard choices we offer. One way that the motherboard choice matters a lot is in what NVMe M.2 SSD support it has (explained more in the Storage Drives section below).

The Best PSU (Power Supply) for Gaming

Along the same lines as RAM, you only need a PSU that supplies a little more than your hardware needs. While you can try to plan for future upgrades you might want to make to the PC over the coming years, sadly we do not know what power requirements will be for future hardware so you could be spending a lot for a large PSU and the next generation could bring lots of power optimisations which do not require a beefier PSU. As our general advice on building a gaming PC help doc touches on; our PC builder tells you how much power the system requires and then leaving 100w-150w on top of that will be plenty.

So: no, selecting a 1200w PSU for a system than can only draw 350w will not make it more powerful by any measure that matters in gaming.

The Best Storage Drives for Gaming

If you are after the best storage for gaming performance, stay away from HDDs! SSDs have been around for a long time now, and with the serious speed advantages they have over HDDs plus games are taking advantage of these speed benefits lately means SSDs should be the only thing you are considering for a high-end gaming PC.

M.2 NVMe SSDs currently max out at Gen5 (which means ensuring you pair it with a motherboard capable of Gen5 SSDs - do not worry, our PC builder will let you know if not), but Gen4 SSDs are still blazing fast if you do not want to spend the premium that Gen5 demands. Gen3 options are slowly being phased out, but are still a great option too if on offer.

SATA SSDs might only make sense if you need to use their SATA interface (if for instance your motherboard is out of M.2 ports).

HDDs - okay, look, if you really need storage capacities larger than what SSDs are available in, HDDs still make sense for storing non-speed intensive files, or for archival purposes, etc. Be mindful that most chassis/case options do not cater to more than 2x 3.5" HDDs, so be careful if making plans that include heaps of HDDs without carefully considering your choice of case first.

The Best Chassis / Case for Gaming

If you are spending big on a high-end gaming PC, please do not skimp on your choice of case! Even if you do not care what it looks like, there are valid and important reasons to pay attention to your case selection that will impact your PC's noise levels & performance.

The mid-range and high-end chassis options we offer in our PC builder are typically capable of handling just about every hardware combination, while the entry-level chassis options often will not even be able to fit a combination of a 360mm liquid cooler and RTX 4070 Ti or above, which is restrictive.

With the cheapest entry-level models dismissed for high-performing gaming PCs, try to look for cases that have mesh front panels, and/or large vents, and a healthy supply of case fans. While tempered glass front panels can look good in pictures, it usually comes with a cooling/airflow sacrifice which a mesh front panel case does not make. The exception to a glass front panel is if there's a side panel with fans instead, these cases show that some thought was put into their aesthetics-first approach, and cooling won't suffer in these.

Some impressive cost-effective cases include: Corsair 4000D Airflow, Montech Sky Two, Corsair 5000D/7000D Airflow (good to consider if you need 360mm CPU liquid cooling + liquid cooled GPU) - but there are many cases to choose from!

The Best CPU Cooler for Gaming

With the CPU cooler tasked with moving the heat away from the CPU so that your CPU can run at the highest possible clock speeds for as long as possible, the choice of CPU cooler matters. If your budget can accommodate it, and indeed your chassis selection, a 360mm liquid cooler is an easy choice to get maximum cooling performance. 240mm is the step down, and any lower than that would not be well suited to a "best gaming PC" - unless you were happy with the trade-offs you are making!

The Best Fans for Gaming

While overloading your PC with fans will not necessarily improve your gaming performance, not having enough fans and airflow can certainly hurt your gaming performance. A high-end gaming PC made up of a logical selection as per this page's guidance should lead you to a PC configuration that would already have enough fans, but if you want to choose one of the premium fan options to replace the existing fans or try to max out the fan count, you can of course do so.

The Best Gaming PC can be a pre-built!

While most of the above is geared towards our custom PC builder options, our pre-built PCs are crafted based on the knowledge of all the above & more, meaning if your budget does not quite stretch far enough to get the best of the best, you can spend lower amounts and still get the best performance for the price tag!

We value the flexibility that comes with a customisable PC, so if you are finding it difficult to customise a PC and also can not find what you want in our pre-built PC options, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.

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