What Gaming Components Do You Really Need?

Subject: Systems | April 12, 2011 - 01:20 PM |
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Gaming computers have been pushing the limits of processing power for years, but just because you’re a serious gamer does not necessarily mean you need the ultimate, top-of-the-line computer to enjoy your favorite games. At the same time, you don’t want the frame rate to lag, the system to freeze, or the competition to get the drop on you.
 
Building or customizing your own gaming PC requires certain components, but the level of power and speed will depend on your budget, gaming style, and how competitive you want to be. When you put together your own computer, you need to consider a range of individual components for the audio, video, processor, memory, motherboard and cooling systems.
 
Video
 
Gaming is, of course, a visual medium, and the graphics card is one of the most important components of your system. You need a device that can reliably process billions of polygons every second and still maintain the high FPS (Frames per Second). There are a wide range of options in the current generation of graphics cards, and currently dual graphics cards are becoming the common method for increasing performance, but there is also a few cards coming out with a dual GPU that could be a good choice for serious gamers.
 
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 3GB
 
For a high-end system, you should look for cards with at least 1GB of proprietary video RAM and a quiet airflow or cooling system. You should also be able to overclock it to deliver the kind of performance you really want. Some of the newer, more popular cards include the NVIDIA GeForce series, ATI cards, and MSI N580 GTX Lightning series. 
 
Processor
 
Recently, manufacturers have started making the switch to six-core processors (such as the i7 980X Extreme) instead of the older quad-cores. In truth, a quad-core processor is probably still okay for most games, but if you are a serious gamer, you will want to get the most powerful processor you can to help render those billions of polygons. These processors were designed to multitask without sacrificing performance, such as processing the AI of a large enemy squad and the basic game data without slowing the frame rate. 
 
Memory and Storage
 
The best memory for a gaming PC right now is the triple channel, DDR3 RAM that clocks at least 160MHz. You should have at least 6GB to run most games smoothly, but if you can afford it, 12GB will really make things slick.
 
There is also a trend lately to have two kinds of storage memory – one SSD (Solid State Drive) to house the operating system and other quick-load programs, and one HDD to store everything else. SSD drives are much faster than normal hard drives, but they are also more expensive. So get a TB of regular storage for game data and everything else, but run that OS or other boot programs from the smaller SSD.
 
Audio, Cooling, and Motherboards
 
The motherboard communicates with all the hardware in the computer, so when you choose your motherboard you need to know how much memory it can hold (up to 24GB will give you plenty of room for expansion) and whether it will support overclocking. You should also look for multiple PCIe and PCI expansions slots and plenty of USB ports for the peripherals.
 
The audio system is a question of personal preference. A lot of gamers are fine with the stock system, but if you want to branch out and take advantage of 3D sound (to zero in on someone trying to sneak up behind you), you will need to get a new sound card.
 
ECS P67H2-A Sandy Bridge Motherboard
 
Finally, with all these high-end components working together to deliver a cutting-edge performance, your computer is going to generate some serious heat. You can compensate for this by upgrading to a better air fan (the more affordable option) or a liquid cooling system (the more expensive, but more effective option). 
 
Building your gaming computer from scratch can cost thousands of dollars. Serious competitors already understand this, but more casual gamers can end up paying a lot of money for components that they don’t actually need. The top manufacturers are continually coming out with new products, which can make it hard to keep up, but with a little research you can find the most recent products that will fit your needs and budget.
 
This guest post was written and provided by Digital Storm. Digital Storm has been in business since 2002, in that time they have grown exponentially. Digital Storm produces some of the fastest gaming laptops & gaming computers in the market. It is constantly pushing the boundaries of performance so that its customers will enjoy a gaming experience.
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