Gaming Desktops | FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Gaming Desktops FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
A gaming PC is a high performance computer that can handle any task you throw at it, with ease. Video games (of course), but these powerful computers also make a good choice for intensive applications like video editing, 3D modelling and virtual reality.
What Makes a Computer a Gaming PC?
The key to a gaming PC is speed. That means high-end specs, and high performance components. A dedicated video card is the heart of the system, providing a far superior experience to integrated graphics. Everything else is also bumped up in a gaming PC: a powerful CPU, plenty of high-speed RAM, more (and faster) storage, ultra-fast networking, bigger fans and a high capacity power supply for all those components.
Choosing a Video Card
There are a wide range of video cards offered with gaming PCs. You’ll want to pick the right one because everything from the resolution to textures and effects levels depends on the video card. It’s always a good idea to check the requirements for your favourite video games (the manufacturers will list recommended cards). Popular choices include the Nvidia GeForce GTX series and AMD’s Radeon RX series. Ideally, the video card should have 4GB or more of dedicated video RAM.
For virtual reality fans, the Oculus Rift requires at least a GeForce GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290.
What Kind of CPU Should I Look For?
While the video card is critical to gaming, the CPU is also important. Look for a high performance quad-core processor that supports a high clock speed. Intel’s Core i7 or AMD’s FX processors make good choices. The latest CPUs from these industry leaders are the 7th generation Kaby Lake from Intel and the Ryzen 7 series from AMD.
RAM and Storage
Gaming PCs use fast RAM (like DDR4-2133) and lots of it. You may be able to get away with 8GB of RAM, but 16GB is an increasingly common choice. Gaming PCs need a large storage capacity for all those game installs, but benefit from speed. Look for a configuration that combines a 7200rpm hard drive for storage capacity, with an SSD (256GB is common) for speed.
What About a Monitor
To make the most of your PC gaming experience, choose a computer monitor that makes the most of your graphic card’s capabilities. Look for high resolution (many games now support 4K), a big screen and a high refresh rate. A monitor that supports Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync technology will provide incredibly smooth gameplay when paired with a supported video card. You might even choose to opt for the immersive experience of a curved monitor, or a multi-monitor setup. While you can connect your own sound system, many monitors feature built-in stereo speakers.
Want more info? Check out some of our resources:
PC gaming buying guide
What you need to know about the new AMD Ryzen CPUs
How to get the best PC gaming experience: desktop PC or gaming laptop?
Desktop PC buying guide