A PC intended for intensive gaming has a few more requirements than your standard home or business computer. Whether you buy or build your great gaming PC, it should include these ten important hardware and software features.

  • A high-resolution monitor — or two, if you can afford it — with a total of at least a 22-inch viewing area.

  • A powerful graphics adapter — if you can afford two adapters and your motherboard supports it, create a dual-card graphics system for the best possible performance.

  • A high-capacity fan system to cool both your CPU and GPU.

  • As much memory as you can afford, up to the maximum supported by your motherboard.

  • A fast 7,200 or 10,000 RPM hard drive.

  • A broadband Internet connection.

  • Windows 7 or Windows 8.

  • The free Steam gaming software.

  • A gamer's headset, including a microphone and Ventrilo or TeamSpeak software.

  • A gaming controller with programmable functions (which can include a gaming mouse and keyboard).