The Best Gaming PCs for CS:GO Players in 2018

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 CS:GO 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 PCView on Amazon

Megaport’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

 

Megaport gaming PC
View on Amazon

This 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.

View on Amazon

 

Lenovo Ideacentre Y720 Cube (for USA)

 Lenovo’s ideacentre gaming PCView on Amazon

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.

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