The PC gaming industry surged to over $5.7 billion in 2021, with more people turning their backs on consoles in favor of greater power than ever before. It’s also cheaper to get started than ever before, and as the numbers rise, more and more people wonder how to choose a computer for the best gaming experience.
The initial investment can be significant, making it all the more crucial to get it right. Fortunately, gaming computers can remain as powerful as you need them to be through upgrades, ensuring you’re always equipped to enjoy the latest the industry offers.
In this article, we’ll look at how to make a potentially complex decision into the height of simplicity.
The Key Components of a Video Gaming Computer
You’ll need more hardware for the latest games than someone who splits their screentime between work and watching YouTube. There are dozens of components in every computer, but these are the ones to pay attention to if you want to experience PC games the way the developers intended.
New video gaming computer buyers often overlook the processor and its importance. It handles multiple tasks, but its most significant role is how it interacts with other components. Purchase a high-end graphics card and pair it with a low-end processor, and the latter could prove a bottleneck, unable to feed information to the graphics card quickly enough.
In addition to speed, it’s vital to look at the number of cores. You’ll want at least four cores in a gaming PC – read this blog for more on the differences.
Most computers come with graphics capabilities built into the motherboard. However, while they’re fine for using Windows and basic tasks, they’ll struggle with the latest 4K games.
Nvidia, one of the world’s largest graphics card producers, releases new architecture every year or two. However, it’s best to invest heavily when the time comes to buy, as the more power you have today, the longer your card will keep up with new releases.
RAM and Hard Drive
While less important than the components above, RAM and the hard drive play a part in a smooth gaming experience. Unlike some PC parts, speed often trumps size in terms of RAM. It’s better to have less RAM with a faster clock speed than vice versa.
A solid-state hard drive is the best option for optimal gaming. They’re more expensive for the size than traditional drives, but higher speeds make for much smoother experiences. Size matters, too, especially for those that enjoy vast gaming libraries. 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare clocked in at a cool 231 GB.
What About Gaming Laptops?
Laptops were long considered suboptimal for gaming. However, big gaming brands like Alienware and Razer have made great strides in making PC gaming more mobile. The same components matter as above, but remember that gaming laptops are designed to be plugged in and stationary during gaming. You certainly won’t find high-end gaming performance in something the size of a Chromebook!
How to Choose a Computer for Streaming
Streaming continues to rise in popularity. Twitch, the market leader, boasted concurrent views of over 2 million in 2020 at any given time. If you’d like to become a creator rather than just a viewer, remember to up the specs slightly.
After all, your hardware won’t only be tasked with high-quality gaming but also serving that content to Twitch’s servers. It’s also possible to incorporate streaming hardware like capture cards into the original build.
And, of course, don’t forget the microphone and webcam when shopping around for monitors, keyboards, mice, and other peripherals!
Get Into PC Gaming in Style
If you were wondering how to choose a computer for PC gaming, you’re undoubtedly pleased to see it doesn’t have to be complicated. Shop around, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either – just make sure to allocate sufficient budget to the most critical parts.
For more on the latest hardware and our opinions on the components that make it into your gaming PC, be sure to take a look at our latest tech news and product reviews!