Building Your PC System: Getting The Right Specs for Your Game

The nuanced variations in your computer’s specifications can make or break your gaming experience.

By Sean Yee        27 December 2023

The Massively Multiplayer Online role-playing phenomenon World of Warcraft was first introduced almost 20 years ago. Back then, all it needed was 2GB of RAM and a CPU with just 2 cores. Today, it requires four times as much RAM and a CPU that is twice as strong to run. The graphical and operational demands of contemporary gaming will catch new and returning gamers off-guard if they haven’t been in the loop, and may potentially leave them displaced if they do not get their PC right. 

Donald Yeo, Chairperson of SAFRA’s Tech Club and avid Valorant player understands this all too well. Having played video games since he was five, he has seen how quickly video games have shifted from simplistic 2D arcade-like graphics to cinematic and fast-paced spectacles. We speak with him to better understand the ideal personal computer (PC) specifications to have in 2024, so that you can get the most out of what your games have to offer.

Your computer’s key operators

The Manager: Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The very heart, brain and soul of your PC, the CPU essentially functions as the tenacious taskmaster that keeps your computer’s entire nexus running. In short, the CPU contains an array of branches called ‘cores’ that provides your computer with multiple nodes for multi-tasking. Think of cores as workers, and the taskmaster (CPU) essentially delegates work to your computer’s workers in the most optimal and efficient way possible. The more workers your computer has, the faster it operates. 

You can roughly gauge the number of workers your CPU has by its processor’s label. Take, for example, an i5 processor, which is typically equipped with 4 to 6 cores. An i7 processor typically has 6 to 8 cores. Take note that video games, especially huge AAA titles like Cyberpunk 2077, will require multiple cores to operate effectively.

And like any corporation, you want a taskmaster that is fast, diligent, and effective. You can easily measure your CPU’s processing speed by its Clock Speed (GHz). Essentially, the CPU’s clock speed indicates the number of instructions it can handle and complete per second. While not always the case, it is a generally good indicator of the CPU’s capabilities. 

Donald’s setup and advice: Currently, I’m using an AMD Rysen 7 5800X. I would strongly recommend getting a CPU that is at least i7 or above (6-8 core processors).

SAFRA gamers should complement their CPU with powerful internet speeds for a great experience. M1 is offering exclusive broadband deals for all SAFRA members; find out more at safra.sg/promotions/m1-broadband23

The Storekeeper: Random Access Memory (RAM)

So, you found yourself a high-functioning CPU. Good for you!

But what about the actual files it needs to process? The modern PC can carry copious amounts of data, which makes it an almost impossible task for it to remember and run every single file every second. Think of RAM as a short-term priority list or information filter, where crucial and urgent files are stored so that the PC can run and read the data that you need at that point in time. For gamers, your RAM will determine how fast your loading screens are and how seamless data is read and conveyed in your game’s environment. 

Donald’s setup and advice: Ideally, the bare minimum amount of RAM any gamer should have is 16GB, though I would really recommend 32GB of RAM for a smoother experience. 

The Set Designer: Graphics Processing Unity (GPU)

Sure, your PC can run fast. But can it make it look pretty while at it? The GPU is really every gamer’s best friend, as it brings the immersive factor to your virtual open world. And given how far graphical technology has advanced since the early days of pixelated, jagged and rugged images, the GPU is perhaps the most integral contributor to the modern-day gaming experience. 

Today, the graphics card not only renders basic 3D, but also processes more nuanced environmental details such as advanced lighting, shadowing techniques, texture quality, image sharpness, distance view and so much more. All of these will determine your frames per second (FPS), which measures the number of consecutive scenes (or frames) that can be generated per second. Rule of thumb – the higher your FPS, the more realistic, immersive and polished your games will look. 

Contemporary GPUs have AI-integrated technologies like Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) to expand on the capabilities of predictive intelligence. 

Donald’s setup and advice: My graphics card, GeForce RX3080, fares really well with huge AAA games! I don’t recommend the GeForce RTX 40 series as they are way too expensive for what they bring to the table. I’ll likely wait for its 5th generation of graphics card instead.  

You can get your desired Graphics Card at a really good deal if you look close enough. E-commerce platforms like Lazada carry a wide range of modern cards and SAFRA members enjoy exclusive discounts when they visit safra.sg/promotions/lazada-23

The Stage: The Monitor

Your entire performance is only limited by the size of the stage, like how an artist’s creative vision is limited to their canvas. You want a monitor that can fully utilise the capabilities of your CPU, GPU and RAM and not restrict them. 

Take note – the monitor can only display images at a rate that the system (your CPU and GPU) permits! You can easily determine your monitor’s operational scope by its refresh rates (Hz).  A monitor with a refresh rate of 30 Hz can output an FPS of 30. 

Donald’s setup and advice: You want your GPU to be well-aligned with your monitor’s specifications, but you can’t go wrong with a monitor with at least 165 Hz. Size-wise, a 27-inch monitor is ideal for modern games (E-tournaments use 27-inch monitors almost universally). 

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The Sidekicks: Gaming Accessories

Supporting characters are arguably as important as the main cast, adding a whole other layer of narrative depth to any show. Your PC operates the same way. The little things, like your keyboard, your mouse and your audio system give your gaming experience the sensory accentuation that it needs to feel complete and whole.   

Donald’s setup and advice: A wireless mouse and headset make a huge difference. While they may be more costly than their wired variants, the convenience and accessibility that they bring are invaluable. I would really love to get the HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset, which promises up to 300 hours of wireless gaming per charge. 

SAFRA Members enjoy 10% off at Metapod, which carries gaming accessories like wireless mouse and keyboards. You can find more information at safra.sg/promotions/metapod

A gathering of like-minded gamers

When Donald first introduced SAFRA’s Tech Club five years ago, he had one objective in mind – to create an inclusive space for gamers like himself. Created during a time when gaming was seen as a cultural detriment, he wanted a club that was not only judgement-free, but also determined to combat this misinformed stigma. 

Now with over 100 members and growing, the club has many exciting events planned for you in 2024. From an entire esports conference to exclusive tech-gear discounts, 2024 will be an exciting year for the club! 

For fans of MOBA games, the SAFRA Tech Club also hosts watch parties and tournaments for League of Legends and Dota 2!

To find out more, visit safra.sg/interest-groups/tech-club

Save more with SAFRA! Enjoy special deals and discounts on dining, shopping, entertainment, travel, fitness and more from over 1,500 merchant outlets islandwide. Sign up or renew your SAFRA membership for three years at the price of 1 year ($43.20 inclusive of GST)! Plus, get your spouse and children on board to enjoy the same privileges too – 1st dependent pays $5.40/year, and it’s free for the 2nd dependent onwards. Visit safra.sg/savemore for more details. 

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