You might have thought about this question often. What is it actually that sets the gaming PCs apart from normal ones? Why do some PCs cost thousands, but your neighbor only had to spend 400 to get his hands on one?
There is no simple answer to this question. That is because the one parameter that we judge a computer by is its price. However, that is a very misleading parameter. Expensive PCs, like the Apple Macintosh range, lie pretty high on the price spectrum. Yet, they are not gaming PCs.
A computer is more than the sum of its parts, but that does not mean that the parts can be ignored. On the contrary, these very parts set a gaming PC apart from a normal one. Let us take a look at the parts,one by one.
The primary difference between gaming PC motherboards and normal ones is the quality of sockets and PCB used. Higher quality sockets (usually with a thicker layer of gold plating) and a better PCB ensure that data flows between terminals seamlessly.
It also increases the rate of communication between different hardware and software. Additionally, this also ensures that you always have sockets available to add better GPUs and more RAM to your PC.
This is one of the main defining features of a gaming PC. It has a separate device to handle all the graphical tasks of the PC. Earlier gaming PCs used pretty mediocre chipsets, but better and more powerful chipsets have entered the market with the advent of technology.
All graphic cards can be divided into three categories- low, mid, and hi-end gaming cards. Low-end cards are the previous generations, i.e., GT720, etc. (basically any three-digit Nvidia graphic card). Mid-range gaming cards are mostly four-digit cards with the GTX prefix, while newer 2021 high end refers to four-digit graphic cards with RTX as the prefix. Additionally, the generation (such as GDDR5 or GDDR6) also matters, with the latest being GDDR6. Later generations have better power management and can give better performance for the same type of GPU as the older generation.
This heading can seem a little mind-boggling, as every PC has a CPU, unlike a graphic card usually present in gaming PCs. But in reality, the processors differ in the amount of power they can utilize and the amount of processing speed they have.
There are two major companies in the CPU market, and they both make gaming and regulate CPUs. Intel CPUs have the telltale “H” or “HK” or “K” branding at the end of their CPUs that mark them as gaming ones, while AMD also features “H” branding on its gaming CPUs.
The “H” is usually used to denote “high performance,” while the “K” variant shows that they can be overclocked. Overclocking refers to the act of giving the CPU more power in exchange for faster speeds. All other CPU suffixes (“AU,” “U,” etc.) refer to the non-gaming ones.
RAM / Memory
The RAM modules are what help the computer function in real-time. Running processes are stored on it, and it is the basic functional unit of the PC. However, better and higher-speed RAMs are found in gaming PCs because lower-end CPUs cannot keep up with the RAM speed.
The size of the RAM matters as much as the frequency and generation of the RAM. 16 GB of RAM is the minimum requirement for a good gaming PC, while the sky is the limit. As for the speed, it should be in the upward limit of 3000Mhz.
DDR4 RAMs are better than DDR3 (different generations mean better utilization of energy in newer ones). Moreover, the brand of the RAM also matters and should be rightfully taken into account.
Gaming PCs utilize SSDs to store and run their OS and games, though that isn’t always the case. HDDs are used to store information, while SSD is used to run programs and applications. This is not solely the domain of gaming PCs, as regular PCs also use SSDs to increase their performance.
The power needed for a gaming PC will be different than a normal one. As a gaming PC has many energy-intensive components, it needs a PSU that can supply it with that much energy while also being cooled efficiently. Usually, a 500+ watt PSU is considered to be enough for a good gaming PC.
Gaming PCs are a wonder to behold. But most of their wonderfulness lies inside the case. That is why gaming PCs make use of transparent or semi-transparent cases to maximize their visibility to the public. It is done purely for the aesthetic purpose of showing off your rig.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the cases should be big enough to accommodate the motherboard and the graphic card. Small cases are suited for work PCs, while bigger ones are better suited for gaming ones.
Seeing how much energy a gaming PC utilizes, it is apparent that it would generate a large amount of heat. Therefore, in order to ensure that your PC components do not heat up, a proper cooling system is required. This includes installing fans for inlets and exhausts.
The inlets push cold air inside the cabinet, while the exhausts push the hot air out from the rig. If you increase the number of fans, the power consumption will go up, and at the same time, the cooling efficiency will also increase. So keep in mind, a good gaming PC requires a proper ventilation system.
Some gaming PCs also make use of water to cool the requisite parts. If done by an amateur, it can backfire. Hence it is usually done by professionals. But in the end, there is only one goal: to reduce the temperature inside the PC.
Gaming PCs nowadays have the usual telltale RGB colors. That is done purely to increase the aesthetic nature of the PC. Lights inside the cabinet help showcase your specs and the rig in general, while lights outside it are used to flood the immediate vicinity of the PC with a soft and changing glow.
Most often, the RGB color scheme is used, with many people nowadays opting for monochrome colors. This is not important, though. There are countless examples of PCs that do not showcase any RGB lighting effect, yet they are monstrous powerhouses.
It all comes down to the individual choice in the end. RGB or No RGB, lightning does not affect the performance of the PC in any manner.
These are the components that are attached to your computer. We will take a look at some of the essential peripherals required for a good gaming PC.
After investing heavily into the GPU,you need something to watch the results of the GPU’s work on. That is where the monitor comes in. You should opt for 2K or 4K monitors to bring out the colors and make the picture more vibrant.
Refresh rate is another thing that should be kept in mind. It refers to the number of times your screen is refreshed in a single second. Opt for a 144Hz or a 120 Hz screen for regular gaming and 200+ Hz for professional eSport gaming.
Ensure that the mouse is ergonomic and fits your hand perfectly. It should also have multiple DPI settings (sensitivity settings) that can allow you to change your mouse speed in an instant. Lighting effects are extra, that while fun to have, they are not helpful. Keep a good lookout for mouses with multiple programmable buttons, as they would help you a lot in professional levels of gaming.
Opt for a mechanical keyboard that is comfy to use and does not cause pain in your wrist. Colorful keyboards are good to have, as they can allow you to type and see, even in dim and dark environments.
The keys should also be kept in mind, as there are many different sizes available. Put good research into whether you want a num pad or not, or if you desire the arrow keys or not. Smaller and compact mechanical keyboards are pretty aesthetic to look at and use.
These are the fundamental aspects of a gaming PC. It might seem like a lot, but once you dive into the world of gaming electronics, it will be easy to understand and talk about. There are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind- newer generations are closer, but provide a better return on investment in the long run, heat is the enemy of any system, GPU is the most essential aspect of the computer after CPU, and finally, you can never have too much RAM.
Keep these things in mind, and you will surely build one of the best gaming pcs that suit you and your purposes.