How To

How to Buy a Personal Computer for Gaming

As technology advances, computer games are becoming more and more complex and demanding on our personal computers. Many new games will not even function on low-end systems. So how can you be sure that your next computer will be able to play your favorite games as they were meant to be played? This guide will teach you what to look for when purchasing a gaming computer.

Video Card

One of the most important things to look for in a good gaming PC, is a high-quality graphics card. There are many factors that go into a great graphics card. GPU memory, number of shader units, memory clock speed and the core clock are all important elements to consider. It is generally best to steer clear of integrated graphics cards for gaming PCs, especially if you want to play the latest 3D games.


To get the most out of your graphics card, you need to have a decent monitor as well. Most 3D games now suggest a 120 Hz display for the best visuals. Refresh rate, contrast ratio, and maximum resolution are also important. You want to be sure that your monitor has the correct ports for your computer, such as HDMI or dual-link DVI.


While not quite as vital as a good memory card, sufficient memory is still a critical component of a quality gaming PC. Higher amounts of RAM will help your computer work on more task at once, making background task less damaging to your gaming experience. For the casual gamer 4 GB of DDR3 RAM should be plenty, but for more hard-core gamers 8 GB or upwards may be necessary. You can never add too much memory.

Hard Drive

Individual games do not normally require a lot of storage space. However, if you want to play multiple high-end games on your new system then your hard drive should be a concern. In general, you should look for at least 500 GB of disk space, with a 7200 RPM hard drive. This should provide plenty of storage, and also speed up basic operations. If your budget does not allow for this, a solid state drive is a more affordable option that should still be adequate for gaming.


A superior processor is not always necessary for gaming. For most games out today a dual-core processor is good enough. Even so, with the rate that games are advancing it may be a good investment to choose a quad-core processor to avoid the need to upgrade later. A hex-core processor is probably going a little too far for most gamers, as games today are not complex enough to take advantage of the additional processing power.


Audio is an often overlooked but still important part of the ideal gaming computer. A quality sound card and speakers can vastly improve the sense of realism in any game. Unlike other components, a good set of speakers and a subwoofer can usually be found at affordable prices. Sound cards are also normally less expensive than other elements, such as the graphics card.


Another often neglected component of a quality gaming PC is the case. Most people look for a case that has flashy lights and designs, thinking that it is purely a cosmetic component. In reality, appearance should not be your main concern in regards to the case. You should be looking for a structure that provides enough cooling to keep all of your more expensive parts functioning properly. A good gaming case will provide multiple cooling fans, plenty of ports for peripherals and easy access for future upgrades.

Refer to your local isps to see what is available in your area. There are other elements that can enhance your gaming experience as well, such as specially designed keyboards, mice and multiple monitors. To make sure you enjoy your new computer for years to come, look for components that conform to your gaming style and budget.

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