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The Best Gaming PCs for CS:GO Players in 2018

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One of the hallmarks of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is its accessibility. CS:GO was released in 2012, and while it has seen upgrades since then, players don’t need an extremely powerful computer to run it.

However, competitive play is a very different story. Many professional gamers play CS:GO at 144 frames per second, and this setting alone requires a pretty powerful PC to get the job done. So powerful, in fact, that a regular, un-upgraded PC might not have the power to run CS:GO at its most optimal settings. Sure, you might be able to play it, but you won’t be able to compete with the best. 

What’s the bottom line? You need power. You might be wondering, just what kind of power are we talking about here? What kind of gaming computers are best for what I want to do in the world of competitive CS:GO play?

Here’s the deal: there are many PCs that you can purchase to play CS:GO at a high level; there’s just one setting that everything hinges on: your frames per second.

Frames per second, or FPS, is the key here. If you want to dip your toes into the world of professional gaming, you must invest in a machine that can handle high-FPS settings. High-FPS means above 60 FPS and, for most professional gamers, above 144 FPS.

The reason for this is that it allows players to be more precise, in a way. More frames means more control over your actions and the greater possibility for true precision. Knowing CS:GO’s maps and the ability to determine the best weapons for each scenario are crucial, but when it comes to simply facing your opponent during what you hope will be one of your best games ever, the ability to aim precisely is what it all comes down to.

Requirements

Let’s start with the bare minimum requirements for a CSGO PC. According to Valve, the minimum GPU is 256 MB or more, with DirectX 9 compatibility. The minimum CPU is an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom X2 8750. The minimum memory is 2 GB RAM.

These are, officially, the only specifications provided by Valve itself for running CS:GO. Essentially, when you’re creating a CS GO PC, there’s nowhere to go but up. These are the CS GO PC requirements, and you can certainly do better if you’re willing to spend the money. Or, maybe you already have a computer that can run the game at higher settings. 

GPU is the biggest factor on the performance of CS:GO on a PC. Any current graphics card can run CS:GO without any issue, but bumping up the framerate to pro-gamer levels. An AMD or Nvidia card will do just fine, but make sure they are high-level enough.

Consider GPU the biggest factor when looking at the best gaming PCs on the market. In this guide, I will touch on three already assembled PCs and a few custom-built machines. All of these examples will get you where you need to be in order to play CS:GO at a competitive level. But here’s the kicker: Your options are not limited to these. What is the best PC? It’s the best one for you. Just make sure it can run at 144 FPS or higher and you’re golden. The ones shown below are a great jumping-off point.

On a side note, the Intel i7-7700K is a very solid processor for playing CS:GO, as you’ll see from the first computer on the list below. According to reviews online, this processor can pretty much tear through anything you throw at it, from video game graphics (like CS:GO pro play), music production, video editing and more. GPU is the biggest factor, but the processor certainly cannot hurt if it’s topnotch. 

How GPU Affects CS:GO

A CPU (central processing unit) is, in some ways, the brains of the PC. The GPU (graphics processing unit) accelerates a computer’s workload abilities in a variety of areas, but in the world of CS:GO, it is used primarily for the rendering of graphics, just as its name implies.

The GPU and CPU of a computer are directly related. The GPU relies on the CPU, but the inverse is true as well. 

The Best Gaming PCs in 2018

Megaport High-End Gaming PC (for EU)

Megaport High-End Gaming PCMegaport’s latest high-end gaming PC option is one of the best on the market, as it features the very desirable Intel Core i7-7700 processor, which is key to lending in the necessary power to run CS:GO at 144 frames per second. This is one of the best computer builds that you’ll find on the market, and, as with all pre-equipped gaming computers, there’s no need for complicated setup and building. It’s all ready to go. This is a pricey option, but not compared to some of the higher-priced models out there. The Megaport costs about $1,588 in U.S. dollars, though it is not available for shipment outside the United States currently. 

Technical details

Product weight
14 kg
Processor 
Intel i7-7700 GTX1070 16GB SSD Win10
Processor speed
4200 MHz
Processor cores
4
Size of the main memory
16 GB
Memory Type
DDR DRAM
Size hard drive
256 GB
Hard drive technology
SSD
HDD Interface
Serial ATA-600
Graphics Coprocessor
Nvidia GeForce GTX1070 8GB GDDR5
Description graphics card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5, DVI, HDMI, 3x DisplayPort; DirectX12
Graphics card memory
DRAM
Memory size graphics card
8 GB
Interface graphics card
PCI-E
WLAN type
802.11bgn
Operating system
Windows 10 Pro

Gaming PC for CS:GO

 

SkyTech Shadow GTX 1050 Ti (for USA)

SkyTech Shadow GTX 1050 TiThis PC features the a beloved AMD processor, and packs 8 GM RAM and a giant 1 TB hard drive. This computer is ridiculously fast, in boot time and in time to CS:GO framerate. This is a strong choice, and it only costs about $700 USD, a steal for a computer with reviews as positive as the SkyTech Shadow GTX 1050 Ti. And this is crazy, but the computer boots up with an essentially empty desktop, meaning the computer comes without bloated software. The indicator stickers on the back of the machine make it easy to hook up. One reviewer reported that the newest DOOM game by id software was able to run at ultra settings with zero lag, locked at 60FPS.

Technical details

Product weight
10 kg
Processor 
AMD 3.8 GHz FX-Series Quad-Core FX-B4150
Processor speed
3800 MHz
Processor cores
4
Size of the main memory
8 GB
Memory Type
SDRAM DDR3
Size hard drive
1 TB 7200 rpm
Hard drive technology
HDD
HDD Interface
Serial ATA-300
Graphics Coprocessor
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
Graphics card memory
DDR5 SDRAM
Memory size graphics card
4 GB
Interface graphics card
PCI-E
WLAN type
802.11bgn
Operating system
Windows 10 Pro

DOOM is a recent game, made to run at the highest settings and as a test of your PC. It’s a good benchmark game, and the Shadow GTX’s ability to run it at a full 60 FPS is a very good sign that the machine’s GPU will be able to support a silky smooth 60 FPS or more for CS:GO. These factors, along with its price, help make it a good candidate for best gaming computer.

SkyTech Shadow GTX 1050 Ti

Lenovo Ideacentre Y720 Cube (for USA)

Lenovo Ideacentre Y720 Look to Lenovo’s ideacentre for a sleek, spaceship-looking machine that can very easily run whatever high-level CS:GO settings you desire. Want to know the best part? This machine only costs about $740 USD, quite a bit lower than many of the more high-end PCs on the market, though there are certainly higher-end options on the market for this particular make and model.

The form factor of this machine is one of its big draws. It’s a snazzy looking machine to sit next to whatever high-end gaming monitor you’re likely using for your professional gaming exploits. However, the cheaper price tag can lead to some less-than-ideal experiences while gaming. According to one reviewer, this PC includes an i3 processor, which doesn’t make much sense for gamers (for comparison, SkyTech’s offering, priced even cheaper, comes with an i7 processor. The disparity here is big.

Technical details

Product weight
9 kg
Processor 
3.9 GHz Intel Core i3
Processor speed
3900 MHz
Processor cores
4
Size of the main memory
8 GB
Memory Type
DDR4
Size hard drive
1 TB 7200 rpm
Hard drive technology
HDD
HDD Interface
Serial ATA-300
Graphics Coprocessor
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
Graphics card memory
DDR5 SDRAM
Memory size graphics card
4 GB
Interface graphics card
PCI-E
WLAN type
802.11bgn
Operating system
Windows 10 Home

Setup on Lenovo’s computer is very easy as well, and it comes packed with a mouse and keyboard. As an extra little bonus, the computer has a carrying handle on it if you’re heading to a LAN party or a competitive gaming event and wish to use your own machine. 

That said, this is unequivocally a low-end gaming machine. Keep that in mind when purchasing it that you may have to do your own upgrades if you wish for it to keep up with the more pricey and higher-end computers on the market. 

Lenovo Ideacentre Y720

Now, which of these is best? The jury is out, and it always will be. It’s up to you to research them further and find which of these, or which other ones on the market today, will suit your gaming needs. From the sound of it, each one will provide a good professional CS:GO gaming experience. The devil is in the details, however, and it’ll be up to you to dig into those details.

How to assemble your own PC

Of course, another option is to forego choosing a pre-built PC entirely and just do it yourself. This is appealing for many hardcore gamers, as it gives them choices right out of the gate instead of saddling them with potentially undesirable pieces in an otherwise desirable machine. Take the Lenovo mentioned above, for example. Its i3 processor is certainly not ideal for high-end PC gaming, but that’s what comes included. Building your own PC completely circumvents this problem by giving the choice to you.

Below are a few tips for buying and assembling your own computer for CS:GO.

Prioritize your budget: There are a lot of parts to buy when you’re considering purchasing your own computer components. When you’re looking to accelerate your framerate settings for a smooth CS:GO experience, remember that the relationship between your GPU and CPU is what matters. Framerate is the key, so prioritize those components over others. But, also make sure that they are compatible with the rest of your choices.

Buy your games ahead of time: This may seem like a weird one, but it’s important to purchase your games beforehand. This way, you can play around with their requirements, and you may even be able to purchase games for cheap before you even have your machine. This way, on Steam or GOG, you can just have them in your queue for whenever you may need them.

Read reviews: The best way to learn which PC components are best is to study the experiences of other people. Want to know the best part? There are bountiful resources for this very purpose online. Amazon.com and Newegg are good places to start, but forums are an even more in-depth place to visit if you’re wondering, can my PC run CS GO? Reviews will often reveal problems that you may run into even if you do decide to purchase a certain part, and this knowledge can help a great deal with the process of troubleshooting.

Don’t spend too much money: It’s very important to avoid breaking the bank. The last thing you want to do is put yourself into debt for a new machine, especially if the expensive parts you’re purchasing don’t need to be as expensive as they are. Purchase the parts you need for your CS:GO gaming experience. If there’s a giant monitor for sale, think twice before you purchase it. Buy a high-quality one, not necessarily the most giant piece of display equipment you can find.

Shop sales: Subscribe to every reputable online newsletter you can find when it comes to purchasing parts. These may seem annoying, but they are useful resources when it comes to finding great deals on parts for your prospective PC. Pay close attention around graduation days, father’s day, the fourth of July, the first week of school and, of course, around U.S. Thanksgiving and the day after, also known as Black Friday. It is becoming more and more popular to offer deals online, meaning you don’t even have to brave the crazy Black Friday crowds to get parts for your new PC.

Use a table or floor: On the topic of assembly, do not do so on a carpeted surface. This is can lead to dirt and dust getting into your components, and proper grounding may not be achieved for electrical components, making assembly on a carpet a dangerous prospect.

Socks: Don’t wear socks while building a computer. They can build up static electricity while you build your computer. 

 
Make a plan: This may entail writing down the steps you plan to take or assembling your computer outside of its case ahead of time in order to check that power is getting where it needs to go. This will make you life much easier, as you’ll know what to do before you jump into the task, and it’ll make it more likely that your computer will be assembled correctly on the first try, meaning you can get to gaming and practicing CS:GO faster.
 
 
Airflow is key: One of the biggest problems with computers, especially ones with high-end parts that require a lot of power to run, is overheating. It’s important to consider the directions fans are facing, and they often have arrows telling you which way they should be facing. The air should flow from the front of the case and toward the back. It’s also important to have more intake fans than exhaust fans in order to create positive pressure. This makes air flow out instead of in, keeping dust out.

Careful of IO shields: These components are razor sharp, and can easily cut your hands and fingers. Be careful of them!

Be careful of tightening: It’s important to avoid tightening the screws of your PC too tightly when assembling. The computer case doesn’t spend much time rattling itself around, so the screws are likely to stay tight anyway. Don’t tighten them too much, or damage could indeed be caused to the threading of the hole or to the case or part itself. Once the underside of the screw head finally touches the metal surface when you’re using a screwdriver to screw it in, then turn it a bit more. That’s tight enough.

On thermal paste: Thermal paste is one of your most useful tools when assembling a PC (specifically the cooler), but it is easy to misuse. There are a few important tips to remember when using thermal paste, including the idea that “less is more,” meaning that a small spot of the stuff is good enough, don’t spread it the cooler will do it for you), and don’t put the thermal paste on the pins.

Keep your parts’ packaging: This is important for returns. If you parts don’t work, you’ll want to return them, and it’s good to have the original box because A. it may be required and B. you’ll have a box handy for the return.

Buy an air compressor: You’ll want this for dusting the components while assembling (and after assembly), and cans of air duster are ridiculously expensive if you purchase them over and over again. Air compressors are cheap if you know where to look (secondhand stores and places like them), and they are infinitely reusable if you simply refill them. This will save you a lot of money and will help you keep your computer clean as well.

Turn the power off when working: You don’t need to unplug your computer when you’re working inside of it, but it is important to turn off the power. This means that the ground wire remains connected to the case, and if you touch the metal part of the case, you take away the possibility of a spark.

Don’t worry about driver discs: Your parts will often come packed in with discs with included software and drivers to go with each part. The problem is, your drivers will often be outdated, and it’s better to get them from the maker’s website after purchase.

Use PCPartsPicker.com: The most useful part of PCPartsPicker.com is that it includes a pretty comprehensive database of available parts. But, it gets better: the site runs a compatibility check of each and every item you choose, meaning you can make these very important checks before you even purchase the computer. Now, research is still very important when it comes to CS GO PC requirements, but PCPartsPicker.com makes the process of purchasing parts for a computer far easier than it would otherwise be.

Here are a couple of examples of custom, build-them-yourself PCs that you can purchase:

Best PC under $1,000:

Type
Item
CPU
AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor
Motherboard
Gigabyte - GA-AB350-GAMING 3 ATX AM4 Motherboard
Memory
Crucial - Ballistix Sport LT 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory
Storage
ADATA - Ultimate SU800 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage
Seagate - BarraCuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card
ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Dual-Fan OC Edition Graphics Card
Case
Thermaltake - Versa H21 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply
EVGA - 600B 600W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply

Best PC under $750:

Type
Item
CPU
AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor
Motherboard
Gigabyte - GA-AB350M-Gaming 3 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard
Memory
Corsair - Vengeance LPX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3000 Memory
Storage
Seagate - BarraCuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card
Asus - GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB STRIX Video Card
Case
Thermaltake - Versa H21 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply
Thermaltake - TR2 600W ATX Power Supply

Best PC under $500: 

Type
Item
CPU
Intel - Core i3-7320 4.1GHz Dual-Core Processor
CPU Cooler
Zalman - CNPS80F CPU Cooler
Motherboard
Gigabyte - GA-B250M-DS3H Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
Memory
Crucial - Ballistix Sport LT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory
Storage
Seagate - Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card
Asus - Radeon RX 550 4GB Video Card
Case
Xion Performance mATX USB 3.0 Tower Case Black/Blue XON-310_BK
Power Supply
EVGA - BV 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply

All of that is a lot to unpack, but in conclusion, let’s just say that many options do exist when it comes to either purchasing a gaming PC for CS:GO or building your own machine for the purpose of playing CS:GO. Either way, research is a very important factor in any purchase of this magnitude. This article doesn’t even get into the best gaming headsets for CS GO, or the best gaming monitors for CS GO, but those are important factors, too.

Keep in mind that sites like PCPartsPicker.com can do a lot of the preliminary work for you. Just plug in your parts and you can see how much they cost and whether or not they are compatible with the other ones you have already chosen. This is potentially the most important step toward buying a custom computer for CS:GO. Or, buy a pre-built one and cut out that step altogether. The choice is yours.

Just remember to do your research, consider the machines listed above and keep these valuable tips in mind. This will help you make the best purchase for yourself as a gamer.

by killer 
  • Last Update 21 January 2018
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