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.
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.