Tips for Buying Gaming Computers

To the average consumer, who may or may not be inexperienced in the subject tinkering around inside of computer cases as a hobby, building a gaming computer can be a complicated and mystifying process; especially with big brands throwing around fancy and sophisticated terms you’ve never heard of in your life. I mean, sure you may have heard of a CPU or maybe some RAM but have you heard of tFlops, GDDR5X or NVM+E SSD?

The truth is, you probably haven’t, but that’s okay! We’re here to help you with that. Without using all of those fancy terms, this article should help to provide you with the basic guidelines regarding creating either a media consumption, productivity based or gaming PC!

1. Consider your Budget.
How much are you willing to fork out for a new system? Your budget is the most important aspect of the research process. You need to know how much you have to spend because it’s what will tell you what kind of components you can afford. You can do some initial research into pricing beforehand.

2. What kind of games do you play?
If you are like me, then you like to play the newest AAA FPS titles. That means that your graphics capability matters more than your processor performance, although that may not be the case for every game. If you prefer turn-based games, then you’ll want to spend more on a powerful processor, as a fast CPU will process the decisions made by the AI at a higher rate.

3. What kind of display do you have?
One more important thing to keep in mind is what you’re powering regarding a screen. Do you have an archaic 1600×900 IBM monitor, or a 120 Hz 2560×1440 monitor with G-Sync? The more you turn up the graphics resolution, the more demanding the game will be regarding graphical and processing performance.

4. What kind of Processor is right for you?
Regarding the CPU, any good and modern quad core processor should do the trick. You don’t need to have a six, eight or twelve core processor to play your games just yet, although that could very well change in the future with the advent of more popular 4K gaming.

5. What about RAM?
For now, DDR3 is the bottom of the barrel, and anything below 8GB is already obsolete. The best budget RAM configuration would be 8GB of DDR4 running at 2133 Mhz if your motherboard and CPU support it, that is. A well balanced, high end of the mid-range spectrum PC would be toting 16GB of DDR4, by 2017’s standards.

6. Solid State versus Hard Drives?
This is a straightforward question to answer! Regarding both pricing, performance, and reliability, it’s best to have a 120GB SSD at least, acting as your OS cache and also a small drive for your most used programs. For more reliable storage, though, and at a lower price, you can pick up a 1TB hard drive for as little as $50 off of Amazon.

7. What about my GPU?
This is a fun one to answer. It depends on what you play. If you’re big into demanding and brand new games, you’ll want a GPU from no older than 2015 with at least 4GB of GDDR5 memory, if you’re running at 1080p. Anything else requires between 6 and 8GB if you’re playing in 1440p or 3160p. (4K) There are loads of budget, mid-range and high-end options for graphics cards nowadays. Some strong contenders for the high end are Nvidia’s GTX 1070 and 1080 (Ti) series, and for a budget-oriented system, you’d be hard pressed to find anything else better for value than the 4GB Rx 580 for $215. (Or so, the price does tend to fluctuate)

With these tips in mind, you should be easily able to create a simple but powerful gaming rig, at whatever price point you desire! Have fun! #PCMasterRace