It’s no secret that in order to get the best gaming experience, having the right PC is hugely important. Luckily there is a huge selection of pre-built gaming PCs available on the market. This does, however, make it slightly more difficult when it comes to choosing the best gaming PC for you. So whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking for an upgrade, this is your ultimate gaming PC guide.
One of the most important factors you need to consider when buying a gaming PC is its performance. There are a number of features that contribute towards a gaming PC’s ability to perform well.
Central processing unit
The central processing unit (CPU) is one of the leading components in the running of a device – whether it’s a smartwatch, mobile phone or a PC. It is often referred to as the ‘brain’ of the computer. The CPU runs a number of calculations and actions so it can process and execute commands given by programs. These programs can be a number of different applications including streaming, video editing, browsing online and, of course, video games.
It’s important to recognise that modern gaming CPUs have multiple cores, each serving as an additional processor. This means that the CPU can process a number of instructions at the same time. The higher the number of cores, the more strenuous workloads the CPU can handle.
When choosing a gaming PC with the appropriate CPU in mind, it’s worth noting what games you’ll be playing. What are their requirements? This means you’ll be able to choose a gaming PC with a CPU that matches your games’ needs to run effectively.
Graphics processing unit
The CPU isn’t the only important contributor to a PC’s performance. The graphics processing unit (GPU) is perhaps the most important component of a gaming PC when it comes to bolstering your games’ performance. While a standard, low-end GPU will suffice for those looking to carry out basic tasks such as word processing, having a dedicated graphics card is key to optimising your gaming experience.
The GPU was introduced so it could take the pressure off of the CPU and render images. Having a robust GPU will improve the ability for a game to run at faster frame rates and at a higher resolution.
Measured in gigabytes (GB), random-access memory (RAM) temporarily stores information that your computer needs to use. You need to have sufficient RAM in order to get the best performance out of your gaming PC. Typically games nowadays require at least 12GB of RAM but, with games advancing at an accelerating speed, it may be worth future-proofing with additional RAM to make sure you don’t get left behind.
It’s also important to consider speed. Measured in megahertz (MHz), the faster the memory, the better the overall speed in your games.
RAM requirements are often listed among the specifications of the video games, so be sure to check that you’re going for a gaming PC with sufficient RAM before committing.
There are two options available to you when deciding which storage you should go for: a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD). The differences in these come down to how they store data.
Traditionally PCs have come with HDDs. These are metal disks with a magnetic coating which are designed to spin at a high speed to read and write data. The main advantage of having a HDD is that they typically come with more storage – some with a maximum capacity of 10 terabytes (TB).
However, if it’s speed you’re looking for then a SSD is the way to go. A PC with an SSD benefits from faster loading times and is able to perform more tasks simultaneously. Due to the fact they have no moving parts, a SSD also avoids a number of complications that you may encounter with a HDD. At the moment, SSDs only come with 4TB of storage so it may come down to just how many games you’re looking to own.
With developers constantly on the lookout to enhance their video games with more impressive graphics or frame rates, there may come a time when you need to upgrade. For some, getting an entirely new system may be an option. However, for most gamers it just isn’t feasible to fork out over £1,000 every few years to keep up.
In order to ensure your PC is good enough to ensure an optimal gaming performance, upgrading certain components is the cheapest way to go. This could be through replacing outdated graphics cards, adding more RAM or replacing your HDD with a SSD.
Some gaming PCs are easier to upgrade than others. Make sure you speak to a customer service representative either online or in store to see how easy it is to make any necessary changes.
Regardless of the specifications of your gaming PC, you still want something that looks nice. This is where you can have a bit more fun during the process. When you’ve got your desired specifications, then you can turn to how it looks.
With all of the hardware involved, your gaming PC is going to take up a large part of your gaming setup. You’ll want something that fits in nicely and doesn’t look massively out of place. Many gaming PC manufacturers give their customers the opportunity to customise their computer before it arrives. Many gamers opt for a well-lit PC with a see-through panel so they can see all the inner workings of their computer.
Increasingly consumers across the board are looking towards reviews in the purchasing decision process. It’s really important to consult the reviews of your gaming PC before committing to your purchase. A gaming PC manufacturer will be great at promoting their computer and telling everyone how wonderful it is. However, the reviews will give you a more accurate picture of what to expect.
Gaming PCs are very expensive in comparison to your standard office computer – there is no getting away from that. When you have all your features and specifications lined up, it is then up to you to determine what you’re willing to pay.Beforehand make sure you have a budget in mind. This will help you narrow down your search. Share your budget with the manufacturer, they’ll be more than willing to help in order to attract your business.
Choosing the right PC to suit your gaming needs is tough. It will take time, but it’s this that you’re sacrificing in order to get in right. Parting with a huge sum of money may make it difficult to justify the purchase. So it’s important to be safe in the knowledge that you’re getting good value.
With technology advances in gaming being made so quickly, you’ll need a gaming PC that is future-proof – whether it’s got the optimum specifications for the future now or if there’s scope to upgrade. So do your research and take your time with this big decision. Getting it right is key in order to have the optimum gaming experience.
Oliver Griffiths has a passion for film, video games and technology. He can be found at Tillison Consulting running a number of clients’ digital marketing campaigns across all sectors and platforms.