In the world of PC and mobile gaming, procuring the right computer is everything. It seems simple enough: choose a pre-built tower or notebook and get to the fun stuff, right?
Not exactly – what’s underneath the hood is vital to the gamer experience, and there’s a lot to consider regarding horsepower. Read onward to choose the best specifications for your new dream engine!
Budget & Purpose
The former is simple enough: how much money are you working with, and how much are you willing to spend? As you likely already know, these devices can run up a big bill, and unless you’re Elon Musk, money is a factor.
Determining your new gaming apparatus’s purpose requires a bit more critical thinking and decision-making skills than the former. Most devices can’t accommodate every need, so ask yourself, what are you prepared to sacrifice: battery, GPU, or everyday usage?
DIY or Pre-Built
The question is a valid one, prevalent on countless internet forums, and worth legitimate consideration before you drop some cash. Should you build your own or buy it pre-constructed, and what are both options’ advantages and disadvantages?
The main advantage of building your own is the money you save – up to hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. Meanwhile, the disadvantage is the time it takes to research the components and construct a functional, non-ugly tower or laptop.
The advantages of buying a pre-built are you get a ready-to-game-out-of-the-box piece of technology, perhaps a warranty, and tech support. The main disadvantage, though, is you’ll spend anywhere from $1000-5000 for the right hardware and likely pay for superficial appearances.
CPU & GPU
The two important factors to consider with gaming computers are the CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (graphics processing unit). CPU essentially refers to your computer’s brainpower, whereas GPU essentially refers to its ability to render 3D graphics.
CPU is arguably the most important part of a computer, regardless of its purpose, as it determines your system’s performance. When you run a video game or word processor, your CPU performs the necessary calculations with varying speed and efficiency.
Part of what makes this aspect of a CPU possible is the core-chip, which normally ranges from 2-16 cores. As a rule, staying within the 4-8-core range will set you up with a solid CPU without breaking the bank.
On the other hand, GPU performs a more specific function and satisfies a vital role in any gaming computer. This is where you should pay the most attention during your research and shopping phases.
GPU determines if you can even play certain games – especially newer, more graphically advanced ones – making everything beautiful. You can generally determine the best GPU by looking at the model numbers and choosing the higher number whenever possible.
Ultimately, how much time and money you invest into the specifications of your new gaming computer matters greatly. Once you have a genuine understanding of all the factors at play, you’ll be gaming in paradise in no time.