Serious gamers know that the best gaming experience can be experienced with a desktop PC and not on a console, a laptop, or a tablet. But that just begs the question: just how do you buy a gaming PC? Try to google the topic online and you’ll find a lot of buying guides full of technical jargon and gushing paid reviews.
So to cut through all the confusion, here are some tips you need to keep in mind if you’re looking for a gaming rig.
- Full towers. Most people who like to play games on their PC will be satisfied with a mid tower. They’re big enough so you’re not unduly limited when you upgrade, and you also get adequate cooling. At the same time, they’re also small enough to fit your desk.
But if you have the space, go for a full tower. It may be a bit more expensive, but these computers are extremely easy to upgrade and can handle any size of hardware that a mid tower can’t.
- Quad-core processor. A quad is best unless you really can’t afford at least $600 for a processor, which will then limit you to a dual-core CPU. Anything more powerful than a quad is really not worth the price. And pick Intel over AMD if you can afford it.
- Mid-range GPU. The video card is just as important as the CPU as it offers smoother graphics and a better gaming experience. At the very least, go for a mid-range card such as the AMD Radeon R9 380 or the Nvidia GTX 960. This will give you full detail in 1080p for just about any game. Don’t go for multiple video cards, as they’re hotter, louder, and often come with game support or driver problems.
- 16GB of RAM. That should take care of any RAM problems. Heck even an 8GB RAM can handle most games. You really don’t need 32GB of RAM at all. Save your money for something that’s actually useful.
- Solid-state drives. It’s true that SSDs are much more expensive when it comes to how much each gigabyte costs. And yes, the SSD doesn’t actually affect the performance during the game. But SSDs shorten the load times considerably.
Just make sure that your SSD contains the OS. It also gives you a quick boot time and fast operations during your everyday usage. And get at least 200GB for your SSD.
- No extras necessary. Unless you need a specific add-on card, you don’t need extras. We’re talking about getting Ethernet adapters, sound cards, extra USB ports, and other peripherals. The great thing about modern motherboards is that you already have these things built in. The sound card is often good enough, and in some cases you even get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi included in the specs.
Deciding on the various hardware elements of a serious gaming PC depends on just two factors. (1) Can you afford the hardware? And (2) can it make your game look and play better? Get the hardware only if you answer yes to both.