Best PC for CS:GO

CS is the most popular competitive FPS shooter on the market right now, a title the franchise has held pretty much since its inception. With gameplay that’s simple to grasp and a skill ceiling that still hasn’t been reached, it’s no surprise that millions of gamers log on every day to frag out.

There are a ton of things that can make you a great Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player, and of course, you will have to spend (a lot of) time practicing and honing your mechanics and knowledge of strategies if you want to make it to the top. But there is one thing that you can improve pretty much instantly: your setup. A game that’s so reliant on timing and precise shooting benefits massively from running at the highest possible framerates so we’ve created this guide to help you decide on a system that will help you reach those frames, regardless of your budget.

We’ve come up with three builds: one to run the game at 240+ frames per second, one absolute top system for 144+ frames per second, and one budget build to keep you above 60 frames per second at all times. This is an ideal baseline for you to start building your own system, and if that sounds a bit too nerve-wracking we’ve also included three prebuilt alternatives to each of our systems.

CS:GO System Requirements

Minimum RequirementsRecommended Specs
Operating SystemWindows® 7/Vista/XP
ProcessorIntel® Core™ 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8750 processor or better
GPUVideo card must be 256 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 3.0
Memory2 GB RAM
Storage15 GB available space

‘CS:GO runs on a toaster’ is something that you can often read on various internet forums, and the official system requirements support that statement. It’s indeed quite easy to reach 60 frames per second with this game, but if you consider the fact that every professional CS:GO player uses a system that can push (at the very least) 144 frames per second along with a monitor that can output these frames things become a bit more complicated. And that’s just the lower end. Less than five percent of analyzed CS:GO professionals use a 144Hz monitor, with the vast majority using a 240Hz or 360Hz panel.

Does this mean that you absolutely need to get yourself a  monitor like that with a matching system? Well, not really. If you’re just casually playing the game you’re absolutely fine running it at 60 frames per second, but the fact that this game is easy to run combined with the fact that 144Hz is the de facto minimum ‘competitive refresh rate’ makes that we do recommend going for at least 144 frames per second if you’re aiming to be even a little bit competitive at the game. The benefits of higher refresh rates really make it worth the investment, and while getting yourself a high refresh rate setup won’t catapult you to the Global Elite ranks, it will definitely help with consistency and clarity while playing.

The Guide

In this guide, we’ll take a look at a couple of different systems. We will start with a system that’s aimed at players who want to have the best components out there and don’t want to make any compromises when it comes to the performance of their rig.

We will then list a performance-based build, which is meant for people who want the best value/performance proposition without having to sacrifice on framerates or anything like that, and lastly we’ll give you a budget system. That’s for people who have a tighter budget and/or don’t play the game at super competitive levels and who just want a system that will run CS:GO without any hiccups, though not necessarily at the highest framerate tiers.

We’re also giving you three prebuilt alternatives in case you’re someone who doesn’t want to get into the whole PC building thing.

Top Tier System

Contrary to what the system requirements indicate, CS:GO isn’t the easiest game to have consistently high framerates on. It varies from patch to patch (and map to map) but on some of the more recent maps it can be a chore to get to the required amount of frames to get the most out of your high refresh rate panel if you’re playing at 1080p and higher settings. Of course a lot of professionals lower their resolution but those people who don’t want their game to look like a game from the early 2000’s might find themselves spending a bit more than what you’d initially think.

Regardless of that, this build is definitely geared towards the top end. This build is for those people who want to have the best performance possible without having to worry about upgrading for years to come.

This build will ensure that you never drop below 240 or 360 frames per second so you can play the game without any distractions, and of course it’s also plenty powerful to run our other analyzed games at high framerates. If you’re a bit of a singleplayer gamer you can also play pretty much every game at 60 frames per second at max settings, for what it’s worth.

Performance System

Realistically this is the system we’d recommend for people who don’t have a very large budget or who don’t need a machine that’s at the very cutting edge of the current technology. If you’re a professional gamer, every fraction of a percentage point matters so it makes sense to go for the very best components out there but if you’re more casual or you’re not planning on trying to go for the next Major it’s absolutely not a bad idea to go for a tier lower, and that’s where this system comes in.

This is a nicely balanced system that allows you to go for some cheaper components if you want. We wouldn’t recommend going for a lower-tier GPU or CPU but you can absolutely opt for a regular set of RAM (without RGB) and a cheaper closed case if you don’t care about aesthetics. Do make sure to go for a good case though, they’re not all made equal and airflow is important.

All in all, this is a great system for the competitive gamer who doesn’t want to be at a disadvantage in the game (this build realistically gets way over 240 frames per second) and who also wants to enjoy the latest single player games, but perhaps not at the absolute highest settings.

Budget System

CS: GO is a game that’s relatively easy to run above the ‘lower framerate caps’ of 60FPS and 144FPS, so even this budget system should stay well above 144 frames per second. It won’t get you above 240 frames per second in all circumstances unless you’re willing to drop your graphics/resolution but that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that this is an extremely capable CS: GO system that doesn’t make a large dent in your wallet.

It’s not the most future-proof system, and it won’t be a champ running some of our more demanding analyzed games, but if you’re sure that CS: GO is your main jam and you’re not all that interested in running the latest and greatest releases in their full glory then this is a fantastic choice. Since CS: GO is rather CPU dependent we’ve gone for a new model here, the AMD Ryzen™ 5 5500, and the RTX 3050 is a fantastic lower-end graphics card that should have no issues running the game at all. The combination of these two powerful components is more than sufficient for producing more than 144 frame rates per second in CS: GO. And since the newest installement is also around the corner, these specs would also manage to perform exceptionally well in Counter-Strike 2.

Prebuilt PCs for CS:GO

Building your own PC is usually a lot cheaper but it can be quite daunting. You’re dealing with very expensive parts of technology, after all, and if you haven’t built a PC on your own things can get quite stressful. In reality, there’s no real need to be stressed out as there really isn’t a whole lot you can do wrong but we are aware of the fact that some people just want to have the hassle-free experience of buying a readymade system so we’ve listed up the best prebuilt gaming PCs for CS: GO that you can get your hands on.

Skytech Azure

A beast of a gaming PC that’ll surely leave a big dent in your bank statement but its combination of an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X processor backed by an RTX 4070Ti is a treat for every enthusiast. It will ruin CS:GO with ease at all framerate caps, and for gamers that are rocking 4K displays with higher refresh rates this is also a great option.

ASUS ROG Strix G10

ASUS ROG Strix G10, with its powerful combination of a Core i7-11700 CPU and a GeForce RTX 3060 GPU offers great performances for the more budget-minded competitive player. Easily managing above 200 frames per second on 1080p and 1440p displays, this prebuilt gaming PC comes highly recommended if you want something around the $1000 mark. 

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop

For the budget pick, we’ve gone with the HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop that rocks a low-end RX 5500 card with 4GB of GDDR5 memory coupled with a Ryzen 3 5300G processor. Backed with 8 gigs of RAM, this prebuilt gaming PC is an excellent choice if you’re a casual CS:GO enjoyer who doesn’t want to break the bank, but if you’re looking for competitive-tier performances from your rig it would be wise to save up a little more money and go for a higher tier option.

Best PC for CS:GO – Conclusion

CS: GO isn’t a very graphically-demanding game and runs like smooth butter on most lower-end systems. But, as with any game, you will need to spend a bit more if you’re planning on a 240Hz build. With the release of 360Hz monitors, you’ll need an even beefier PC to be at the top end of refresh rates but luckily there are diminishing returns with these framerates, so the difference when going from 240 to 360 isn’t as noticeable as when you’re going from 60 to 144 and higher.

With a game that’s so easy to reach 144 frames in we would definitely recommend aiming for that if you’re serious about the game though, so if you haven’t got the budget for a 144Hz (or higher) monitor we’d recommend saving up a little more in order to get one because the advantages are really apparent.

In any case: this should be a great list for you to start your own build. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us on Twitter or Discord.