Has one of those next gen games finally caught your eye? Or maybe all of your friends are talking about their new PCs and favorite online games and you want to get involved? Regardless of the reason, here are some helpful tips when setting out to buy a gaming computer.
First ask yourself: Am I a casual gamer or a hardcore gamer? It's the same question as: What do I want this computer to do? Is it simply a gaming console or will it be an everyday machine that your kids and wife will use to check email and Facebook? The reason you need to answer these questions is gaming PCs have hardware that may not be necessary unless you're going to run your games at optimal graphic settings.
If you're a casual gamer, forgo high-end video cards; although they are the best on the market, they limit you to a desktop machine. As a new PC gamer, there are plenty of options that have the hardware to play games, but also have the proper functionality for everyday stuff at a reasonable price.
2) The Games Matter:
The games you're interested in make a big difference when it comes to the computer you should get. If you're looking to run optimal graphics, sound, shading, etc. while playing Battlefield Hardline you might want a high-end video card. This isn't to say you won't be able to play without it, but all games have specified minimum requirements as well as recommended requirements. It should be noted that some games don't run well on minimum requirement machines, so it's a good idea to exceed these requirements, if possible.
In contrast, if you're more interested in indie gaming, check out PC Mag's best gaming computers. You're typically going to want 4GB of RAM at the very least, but 8GB is more functional and reliable. And it's also important to keep in mind how fast technology is changing. 8GB of RAM was just overkill five years ago. Now it's the norm. Even 4GB of RAM is enough for Elegy for a Dead World, in which you explore alien planets inspired by poets of the Romantic era and progress through the game by completing writing prompts. And it's plenty to run FTL: Faster Than Light, in which you captain a two dimensional space craft through hostile territory in order to deliver secret plans you've stolen from the empire.
3) The Online Craze:
Online gaming has really taken off. WoW is certainly passed its heyday, but with games like League of Legends and Dota 2 making big splashes in eSports with prizes exceeding a million dollars in winnings, sometimes a good desktop is what is truly needed. The reason is that building your own desktop is the only way to have the very best. That MSI GTX 980 Gaming video card is just the beginning. Now you'll need to research high performance CPUs, like an AMD FX-9590, or FX-8320. Not to mention an up-to-date sound card. It's important to keep in mind that there are a lot of options out there when building your own desktop and market research is important, especially as technology improves.