A gaming PC is quite different from standard home computers as there are more things that need to be carefully considered before buying. With all the configuration options that come with it, buying one can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are now tons of guides available online that offer valuable advice on setup, operating system concerns, drivers, and just about any possible problem that can be encountered in gaming PCs.
For first-time buyers, here are some of the important things to consider before concluding that purchase.
Budget For the Basics
First things first: the budget. Computers used primarily for gaming tend to cost more than the average home PCs simply because the basic components it requires to run need to be packed with some serious power and speed. Having a price range to work with can help to choose these components easier. The basic setup should include the following components:
- central processing unit (CPU)
- random access memory (RAM)
- graphics processing unit (GPU)
- hard drive or solid state drive (HDD or SSD)
- CPU cooler
- peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.)
Additionally, the size of the casing that houses the internal components should also be considered. Nowadays, these come in different sizes and styles and can even be customized. The size of the system should correspond with both the components being put together and the size of the desktop or gaming table it will ultimately be placed on.
Get the Right CPU
The processor is often the first specification that is noticeable in PC displays, and with good reason. It is, after all, what determines the overall performance of the gaming system. Ideally, a gaming desktop should have no less than a six-core processor in order to accommodate many newer games, which often require a ton of processing power, something that two- or four-core processors just don’t have the ability to do. Before completing the purchase, however, be sure that the CPU is compatible with the motherboard.
High-Speed Memory Is a Must
A good processor needs to have a high-speed memory to work with in order to put forth a higher amount of output. The faster the memory speed, the more responsive and, ultimately, productive the gaming system will be. Not only that, having more memory allows the video card to handle more data, hence, avoiding graphic lags. It’s also worth noting that memory components aren’t as expensive now as they used to be.
Have a Dedicated GPU or Video Graphics Card
Standard home PCs often have built-in GPU, but for gaming PCs, it’s a lot better for overall performance—and experience—to have a dedicated graphics card. Having one provides additional processing power that will be dedicated specifically to the quality of visuals that will be put forth. Not only will there be an obvious improvement in video quality, but there will also be a less graphical lag due to the delivery of smoother frame rates. This is particularly great for games with a whole lot of visual effects and graphic design.
Pay Attention to Cooling
With all the powerful components that make up the gaming PC, it’s no surprise that it can get very hot—and that’s not a good thing. An overheated system can be prone to breakage, which in turn can lead to expensive repairs and replacements. This is where a cooling system comes in handy. Typically, processors come paired with cooling fans and heat sinks. Some manufacturers have even gone so far as to add a liquid coolant system that not only affords noteworthy cooling but also barely produces any noise. When building the perfect gaming PC, always consider the cooling system.
Choosing the right gaming PC is a balancing act where no single component should completely dominate over the others. When evaluating the components in the system, a useful question to ask is this: Will games play and look better on this system? If the answer is no, then that’s one component that’s probably not needed.