Not all computers are alike, and if you are into gaming, you really do need a computer that is built for gaming. There are certain things that you are going to need to look for in a gaming computer. Today we are going to talk about the most important features to look for. Let’s get started.
The first thing we are going to look at is the design of the computer. Depending on your budget, you can go all out and get one that looks out of this world. There are even companies that offer custom paint jobs, see-through windows, cables of various colors, and more. But, it’s going to cost you. Sure, that stuff is pretty cool, but when you come right down to it, you don’t really need anything but the bare bones for a decent gaming system. So, if you have the cash and you really want a customized paint job that could cost upwards of $250, go ahead. But, it isn’t necessary.
The next thing to consider is the size of the gaming computer. Desktop computers come in many sizes, including full tower, mini tower, and mid tower. The size of the computer will depend on the amount of space you have for it. For instance, a typical full tower is going to stand around 24 inches tall, and if you don’t have much space, it could get in the way. On the other hand, there are other models that can be stored in small spaces, so they are out of the way.
The size of the computer has nothing to do with your gaming, so really, the size you choose will ultimately depend on how much space you have, as well as the specs you want to have inside the case. If you are looking at a lot of specs, a tower is likely going to be your best option. A mid tower is a good choice, because it can hold a lot of things, but it is smaller in stature, about 12 inches in height. A mid or mini tower is also going to cost a lot less than a full tower.
Unfortunately, here is where you are going to have to spend a bit of money. In the case of gaming computers, the more expensive the computer, the better it is likely going to be. If you are on a tight budget, there are less expensive models that are perfectly adequate for gaming, but they may not always meet the requirements for certain games.
Look for a computer that has a minimum of 8GB ram. Many games can be extremely taxing on the CPU, and you are going to need all of the RAM you can get your hands on. When it comes to processors, many people recommend an Intel Pentium G4560 as an entry level gaming computer, and it isn’t overly expensive (less than $100). Of course, if you want as much power as you can get, you are going to be spending at least $350.
Next we take a look at VR headsets. Do you really need one for gaming? Well, it really depends on the games you want to get into. But, keep in mind that if you are going to be using one, you really do need to have a high level computer that has at least 8GB RAM, and Windows 8 or higher. For instance, these are just some of the minimum requirements for Oculus Rift. If you really want to get into your gaming, a headset is important to have, but your computer needs to have enough power to let you use it to your best advantage.
No matter what you have for gear, there is going to come a time when you will want to upgrade, if only to keep up with the Jones’. While some people think all they need to do is get a new AMD of Nvidia card, a true upgrade should involve a completely new case. You should be able to get into the interior to check out the motherboard, RAM, GPU, drive bays, etc. So, look for a system that is easily upgradable, and that you can easily open to replace parts yourself.
Obviously, the more ports the better, so you can connect all of your gear, including monitors, VR headsets, and more. It is a good idea to get a system that has a minimum of six USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and three DisplayPorts. You may even be interested in a system that has USB Type-C and Thunderbolt ports, which let you enjoy faster transfer speeds (they also allow you to have a 5K monitor connected).
So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and talk about price. How much should you expect to pay for a gaming system that is going to let you play all of the most popular games? Well, expect any decent system to start at around $700. That is going to get you a good tower with specs in the entry to mid-level range. If you are not a computer person and not into doing your own repairs and upgrades, you should probably consider spending a bit more to make sure that your gear is ready for the future.
Of course, if you have a higher, or even an unlimited budget, there are mid to high level systems that have Core i5 and Core i7 CPU.s, 8GP RAM, and a GTX 1070 or 1080 GPU. This should run around $800. You don’t really need anything more than that, but there are more expensive systems that some gamers feel they must have. If you have the budget and really want a high-end system, go for it. If not, a lower-end system is still going to give you what you need for most games. In a nutshell, look for a system that has everything you need for gaming, and that is within your budget. That’s all you really need.