PC Build for CS:GO

Every gamer, at some point during his or her gaming career has definitely faced one of these situations: his/her PC isn’ powerful enough to run a recently released game, or the game lags a lot (its FPS rate is too low for smooth gaming). Though CS:GO was released back in 2012, and is rather unpretentious as far as hardware configuration is concerned, players still struggle to find an appropriate PC build to allow CS:GO to be played smoothly.


In this article we’ll consider some PC builds for that make playing CS:GO more enjoyable while considering different budgets. We categorized budgets and the PCs that can be bought at each level as ground-level, basic, mid-tier, and high-end.


ground level (~$300)

basic (~$400–500)

mid-tier (~$800)

high-end ($1500+)


The Starting Point


We’ll begin by choosing the FPS rate(frames per second — the frequency at which consecutive images can be produced, processed and displayed) as the key performance factor, determining smoothness while playing CS:GO. The higher it is, the better.


CS:GO is a CPU-oriented game, which means that the rate depends on CPU performance. An important point to consider is that CS:GO is one game which doesn’t utilize multiple CPU cores. So, the CPU’s feature we’re after for higher FPS is a higher core frequency, not the number of cores.


You might have noticed that a lot of CS:GO pro players tend to use 1280×960 resolution or lower with the lowest graphics settings possibleNa’Vi’s s1mple, for example, uses 1024×748, and FaZe’s Guardian plays with 800×600. Certainly, the main reason for this is simply each player’s personal preference. But another part of the truth is this: the lower the gaming resolution and graphics settings you apply, the easier CS:GO is on the GPU. At that point, the CPU really begins to matter by getting you the desired, extra FPS you need.


You also need to consider the ‘bottlenecking’ factor, when one aspect of your computer system is holding back another, keeping it from reaching its full potential. In short, avoid pairing a $300 CPU with an integrated video card and choose PC components from similar ‘generations’.


Considering everything stated earlier and being CPU- oriented, we’ll try to choose an appropriate CPU, GPU, RAM and power supply for each budget level.


Time To Choose


Firstly, we must determine some key PC component specifications (without considering price):


CPU key specs: socket, clock speed (Hz), number of cores

GPU key specs: core speed/frequency (Hz), video memory capacity (Gb), memory type

RAM key specs: memory capacity (Gb), memory type, RAM speed (MB/sec)

Power supply key specs: wattage (W), energy use efficiency


CS:GO initial PC requirements are:


CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, AMD Phenom X3 8750 (2,4GHz dual core)


GPU: 256 MB


Each of our budget levels allows us to pick the components, whose specifications exceed the initial required ones.


CPU: 3.2GHz Quad core

RAM: 8GB DDR4–2666



The top wattage line for the power supply for a decent PC is on the 300–350W level, but it’s common to have a PSU, which exceeds this level.


PSU: 550W 80+ Bronze


Now let’s pick specific components for your PC.


Ground level


Approximate budget: $300


We’d like to highlight a separate type of build, which consists of used components.


It’s possible to find a 5 year-old CPU, which had the top specifications once upon a time, with an unlocked multiplier for further overclocking, along with a refurbished GPU. With your Frankenstein setup, you can then pick a motherboard with an appropriate socket and get all the way up to 100 FPS.


The biggest positive of this type of build is obvious — it’s the cheapest one. But it’s not without its drawbacks. If you decide to upgrade your build, it must be a total system upgrade, as old motherboards do not support modern CPU sockets.


It’s important to note that it’s best if the CPU is from Intel, as AMD CPUs prior to the Ryzen series were vastly inferior to Intel’s.


CPU: Intel Core i7–3770K 3.5GHz / Intel Core i5–4690 3.5GHz

GPU: MSI PCI-Ex GeForce GTX 970 Gaming 4G 4096MB GDDR5

RAM: Patriot — 8Gb (2x4Gb) DDR4–2133

Power Supply: MasterWatt 550 W 80+ Bronze


Basic level


Approximate budget: $500

Approximate fps: 90–120


CPU: Intel Core i3–8100 3.6GHz (~130$) (https://amzn.to/2QmQVjH) OR AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz (~100$) (https://amzn.to/2k2NQ9X)

GPU: GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB (~160$) (https://amzn.to/2NIKoia) OR AMD Radeon RX 570/580 Gaming 4Gb GDDR5 (~190–220$)

RAM: Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4–2800 (~70$) (https://bit.ly/2AOVApf)

Power Supply: MasterWatt 550 W 80+ Bronze (~44$) (https://amzn.to/2sBxVDp)


This build might be a good start for discovering CS:GO as it’s inexpensive, but still has a strong performing quad core unlocked CPU and the best priced GPU in the category.




Approximate budget: $800

Approximate fps: 144–250


CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4GHz 6-Core (~160$) (https://amzn.to/2QaKUHq)

GPU: GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Gaming (~270)

RAM: Aegis 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4–3000 (~115$) (https://bit.ly/2Owh1iu)

Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550 W 80+ Gold (~65$) (https://amzn.to/2RGjJnQ)


This CPU, being unlocked, allows overclocking and doesn’t require a 3rd party cooler.

A 6GB version of the GPU compared to a 3GB not only has larger VRAM, but the higher core number as well, which leads to additional in-game FPS.

This build is a good choice if you decided to start playing competitive CS:GO.




Approximate budget: $1500

Approximate fps: 300+


CPU: Intel Core i5–8600K 3.6GHz 6-Core (~260$) (https://amzn.to/2B9Mlx6)

CPU Cooler: Dark Rock Pro 4 (~90$) (https://amzn.to/2NQvVB9) / Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (~30$) (https://amzn.to/2b53BdN)

GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11 GB (~700$) (https://bit.ly/2LLqeHp)

RAM: Aegis 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4–3000 (~115$) (https://bit.ly/2Owh1iu)

Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550 W 80+ Gold (~65$) (https://amzn.to/2RGjJnQ)


If you have an additional $100$, our suggested CPU might be changed out for an Intel Core i7–8700K, but the highlighted CPU+GPU combination has a great price-to-performance ratio.


Monitors are important PC components for competitive CS:GO as well, but buying a nice one will cost a pretty penny. If you’ve completed your PC build and still have some room in your budget left, make sure you buy a monitor with 144+HZ, so that you can enjoy CS:GO the way it was meant to be: unleashed 🙂


Now I’m Buying a PC


– CS:GO is a CPU-oriented game

– FPS depends on a CPU’s core frequency, in-game resolution, and using PC components of a similar level

– PC build based on used components is a cheap starter for discovering CS:GO

– ‘Mid-Tier+’ budget level build is enough for playing competitive CS:GO

– Monitor matters as well

These key concepts give you a starting point for you to build your own PC, so that you’re not at a disadvantage when playing CS:GO competitively all while unleashing your full potential.


*All PC builds are our recommendations from firsthand experience, and every player may have different preferences.


Good Luck and Have Fun!

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