PC gaming is huge. Despite the emergence of handheld gaming consoles and app-based games on tablets and smartphones, PC gaming is in a class of its own. It’s intense, competitive and has killer graphics. If you’re looking to get back into the gaming scene, or you’re interested in investing in a new gaming computer, here are seven important factors to consider before you start your search.
Let’s get started
How much can you afford? Since you probably don’t have an unlimited budget, set a maximum limit that you can spend from the start. Though custom built gaming computers may seem out of reach, it’s a good idea to consider them. Companies like Velocity Micro allow you to pick and choose some of the components so that you can spend more on certain features and less on others.
Games You Play
What types of games do you like to play? Some games require a lot of RAM, a fast processor and high-end graphics while others are less demanding. Even if you’re not into hardcore 3D games yet, you may be in the future, so consider a workstation PC that can handle all games you may be interested in.
For crystal clear graphics and fluid movements, you should buy a high-end graphics card, right? Well, not exactly. The graphics card is only as good as its supporting components, so if you’re running an older CPU, you’ll only get so much from a graphics card. Also, some gamers purchase a quality graphics card but leave their game settings the same. It’s probably best to purchase a mid-range card and adjust your game settings accordingly.
Most motherboards these days are dual-channel and support plenty of memory for game play. And, memory isn’t too expensive right now, so it’s worth it to go for at least 8GB of memory.
CPU and Cooling
Many high-end gaming computers include six-core processors, but this isn’t necessary if all you plan to do is game on your computer. If you plan on using your computer like a workstation PC with video and editing software, then the six-core processor will be ideal. Otherwise, cut back in this area and use it to put toward better graphics or a solid state drive.
You have two options when it comes to storage: solid state or hard drive. A solid state drive is suitable if you plan to use your workstation PC for gaming only. Not only are SSD prices dropping, but also they offer faster boot times, quick loading of games and game levels, low noise and less power use. Opt for a hard drive if you plan on storing videos and photos on your computer.
Audio and Communications
Today’s games take sound seriously. Fortunately, just about every modern gaming computer has on-board multichannel audio codecs that can take on multichannel game audio. If you plan on playing online multiplayer games, you will also want to consider a quality headset with a microphone. Also, with the help of 3D virtualization software, you can get multichannel audio through a headset.