Computer games are notoriously expensive and complex. Playing games on PC is certainly the “deep end” of a video game hobby than playing on consoles, but it’s much easier to wade into those waters than you might think.
If you’re interested in PC gaming but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to dispel some common myths, learn the basics of PC parts, and help you find a great entry-level machine that won’t cost thousands of dollars.
what are you In fact Need a PC for gaming?
One of the most common misconceptions about PC gaming is that you need to Expensive setup. Many PC gamers (or their parents or spouses) are understandably upset by the label price of new PC parts—the newly announced Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU is $1,700 at launch. But the good news is that you don’t need high-end parts to play computer games.
It’s true that high-resolution graphical settings like 4K and 1440p resolutions, ultra refresh rates, ray tracing, and DLSS require very powerful—and very expensive—hardware, but they are largely optional.
Part of the beauty of computer games is their flexibility. Games often have many graphic settings So you can play it on modest devices. Fortnite, for example, also includes special settings for playing on “potato” PCs, and some titles like Guilty Gear Jahed It has fan-made tweaks that boost performance on weaker devices. It might not look good on low graphics settings, but it usually works well enough to be bootable.
similarly, old games like Maine Craft or world of cansAnd the And the Smaller like indie titles Stardu Valley, they can run on weaker PCs just as well as they do on stronger PCs. The point is, you don’t need high-end hardware to play the vast majority of computer games. And just because you can’t play a game at its highest settings now, doesn’t mean you’re stuck with that performance forever. Depending on the type of computer you buy, you can easily upgrade to more powerful parts in the future.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some options for buying your first gaming PC.
The pre-built PC is a great option for burgeoning PC gamers who want a long-running desktop without the stress of building a platform themselves. In fact, I’ll go and recommend to you no Build your own computer if you are just starting out and want to make things easy.
Learning to build a computer is part of the fun of computer games, but it’s not a required skill. Think of computer games like any other hobby – the goal of any beginner should be to find an accessible way in this hobby, and then slowly move up to the more complex levels where he feels more comfortable. You wouldn’t expect a first-time fisherman to hook up his or her own fishing flies, so don’t worry about building your own if you’re new to this hobby. The only trick here is to take the time to find the right deal.
Popular companies like Alienware, ASUS, Origin, and NZXT are great for those who want a beefy PC with a “player” design, but even their “low-end” models can be pricey. On the other hand, many PCs from manufacturers like HP or Dell feature game-ready hardware even if they look like mediocre desktops, often at far Cheaper prices – we’re talking about just a few hundred instead of a few thousand. Low power configurations won’t be very powerful, but most can be upgraded with better components later.
What about laptops?
Like pre-built PCs, gaming laptops come with all the necessary components already installed, removing the stress of shopping for each part separately on your own. However, gaming laptops can be some of the most expensive out there and are rarely “portable” due to their size, weight, or lower battery life compared to the average workstation laptop. Laptops also cannot be upgraded like desktop computers, which makes them less cost-effective in the long run.
The only real benefit of gaming laptops is the all-in-one form factor and relative portability compared to a tower PC. However, if you are willing to pay for a powerful model, laptops Can They are just as effective in games as full-size desktop computers.
If you are looking for the simplest mobile gaming setup, you can play games on small size laptops or even Chromebooks via cloud streaming services Like Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now, or Amazon Luna.
Streaming has its drawbacks compared to playing the game locally on your devices; Most notably the changing visual quality and gameplay if your connection drops, and the need for a stable WiFi or mobile data connection, preferably over Ethernet or 5G mobile data. The streaming setting is best for casual gamers rather than hardcore PC gamers, but it’s worth considering if you only play occasionally and are always online.
Steamdeck and laptops
Finally, there are all-in-one gaming laptops. The most popular is Steam Deck. It’s similar to the Nintendo Switch, although it’s bigger and more durable, and it only plays PC games. As such, it’s best suited for hardcore gamers, but its portable nature, powerful specs, and gaming-focused SteamOS operating system make it a handy choice as a gaming laptop if that’s what you’re after.
However, there are some caveats. Unlike a full desktop that you can use for working, gaming, editing media, and more, Steam Deck is a gaming-focused device. The device is fixed and can’t be upgraded, and it doesn’t run Windows out of the box, so it can’t run every game. Likewise, the battery life is low, so expect to use it mostly while you are at home. And even if you customize the device with Windows or Linux, and use an external keyboard and mouse to run apps, it’s simply not designed to be a universal PC replacement.
There are other Steam Deck-like laptops from other companies, some of which are more powerful or run full versions of Windows but are more expensive. Others are Android tablets with limited support for games and apps. Either way, I’d avoid these if you’re looking to set up a gaming laptop.
PC Buying Tips
While I highly recommend a pre-built gaming PC over a laptop or handheld gaming device, all of these devices simplify the PC buying process and circumvent the need to build your own. However, you will inevitably encounter long spec sheets or be asked to choose between different components when customizing your PC or laptop configurations. My advice here is to stick to your budget – don’t worry too much about the parts you’ll get if you simply go after a budget gaming device.
However, if you’re working on a looser budget and simply don’t buy the cheapest option, or you’re simply curious about the different computer parts you’ll come across and what they’re for, here are some general buying tips. We won’t get into recommendations for specific parts (since pricing and availability are constantly changing), but these should help you understand what each part is and how it affects gaming performance.
- CPU: The Central Processing Unit, also known as a processor, is the “brain” of your computer, controlling the various components, applications, and functions that you run. Intel and AMD are the two main CPU manufacturers. If you’re disconnecting your computer yourself, you’ll want to make sure you select a CPU that’s compatible with your other parts, but pre-made computers will handle this for you. Alternatively, you may be asked to choose from a specific model range. In general, a 10th, 11th, or higher Intel i5 or Ryzen 3, 5, 7 or 9 processor from AMD is best for gaming, with higher-number models offering faster processing speeds and multitasking capabilities. CPUs are complicated, so definitely check Our guide to finding the right CPU If you need more help.
- Graphics Card (GPU): Your GPU is what renders the in-game graphics, and it’s probably the most expensive component you’ll buy. Nvidia and AMD are the two largest GPU manufacturers. Some popular entry-level models include Nvidia’s GTX 1660 and RTX 2000 line, and AMD’s Radeon 5000 series. Nvidia’s RTX 3000 and 4000 series, as well as AMD’s RX 6000 series, are more powerful, but more expensive (and can be hard to find). Avoid computers and laptops that use only Intel’s “integrated graphics,” as these chips are not designed for gaming.
- RAM: This is your computer’s memory. The more you have, the faster you can perform certain tasks. At least 8GB of DDR4 RAM is basically what you want for a PC gaming PC, but 16GB is preferable if you can afford it. It’s best to use 32GB or more if you plan to edit videos or stream using your computer as well. Fortunately, expanding your computer’s RAM is one of the simplest and most affordable upgrades you can make.
- hard disk: These make up your computer’s storage space. Solid state drives (SSDs) are faster and load games and applications faster than hard drives (HDDs), but hard drives are more affordable and can store more data for the price. You can equip a PC with multiple drives, and even mix and match SSDs and hard drives. Either way, you’ll want at least One 256GB drive, although 1TB drives are the best – modern PC games consume tons Of drive space, it’s usually between 20-100 GB or more, so it’s always helpful to have more space.
- The operating system: Windows is considered the best for gaming, because it has the widest support for games and applications. Some gaming PCs use versions of Linux (like SteamOS or Ubuntu), which are fine but can be hard to learn if you’re not familiar with Linux, and you might not run every game or program.
- Case, motherboard and PSU: These last three components are the bedrock of any computer: The motherboard performs many important functions, including running your computer’s BIOS and interacting with the CPU and other hardware, but the most important thing to know is the main circuit board for all of your components inside. . It is the PSU that draws the electricity from your outlet and powers every component. The box includes all devices safely and securely. Choosing the right model for each of these components is important, but pre-built PCs or laptops will handle that decision for you.
All of the above parts are included with any computer, but you’ll also need to keep these additional parts and accessories in mind when buying a computer, since they rarely come with a pre-built desktop or laptop computer. Make sure to include it in your budget.
- Show: For entry-level computers, a simple 1080p display with a 60Hz refresh rate is fine. Not only is it affordable, but you can also maximize the capabilities of your hardware by choosing a monitor that fits the capabilities of your computer. For example, a 1080p screen with a maximum refresh rate of 60 Hz is more suitable for a weaker device than a 1440p or 4K screen with high refresh rates.
- Internet connection: Unless you plan to connect your computer to your router via an Ethernet cable, you will need a wifi card to connect wirelessly. Some motherboards include these, and others will require a separate component.
- Keyboard, Mouse and Other Peripherals: A basic keyboard and mouse will work just fine, but competitive gamers may prefer the feel and performance of mechanical keyboards and gaming mice. For gamepads, you can pair Xbox, PlayStation, and third-party controllers via USB or Bluetooth. Some monitors come with speakers, but a pair of headphones or a gaming headset will also work.
#beginners #guide #buying #gaming