What are Gaming PCs?

P. Matz

Of all the tasks a computer handles, gaming requires more processor power than any other application. For a computer gamer, it is essential to have a machine that can respond quickly and reliably to the split second, fast paced, demands of today’s ever changing video games. Unlike many endeavors where one’s personal effort is the sole criteria for victory or loss, to a certain extent, a gamer is only as capable as the equipment he uses. With this in mind, computer manufacturers design certain personal computers (PC's) with upgraded components intended to address the continual need for increased speed and power as PC games become ever more complex.

A good gaming PC should come with multiple ports for USB cables.
A good gaming PC should come with multiple ports for USB cables.

Gaming PC's, in comparison to standard PC models, are suped-up to deliver more performance through high-end processors and greater amounts of random access memory (RAM). Like all PC's, more central processing unit (CPU) power translates to more heat, and, heat, is a gamer’s enemy, as the increase in temperature causes the system to react more sluggishly. To address the heat problem resulting from stronger CPU's, most gaming PC's come equipped with high output fans to cool the motherboard, some even employ liquid cooling for enhanced performance.

A graphics card may be used to improve gaming performance.
A graphics card may be used to improve gaming performance.

Since most of the thrill of computer gaming is visual, gaming PC's require high-end graphics cards as well. Nothing is as aggravating to a gamer as blurry or slow rendering graphics. For a serious gamer, high definition graphics are essential to the gaming experience and can spell the difference between winning or losing, especially in a heated online match. One of the primary reasons gaming PC's come with such powerful CPU's is due to the tremendous amount of processing power required to render the rich and detailed graphics incorporated in today’s PC games.

Gaming requires an excessive amount of processor power.
Gaming requires an excessive amount of processor power.

Typically, gaming PC's are desktop models rather than laptops, since the more generous size allows for a greater amount of RAM and other components. Also, since graphics are a critical element to most computer games, many hard core gamers opt for large high definition monitors in order to create a more life like gaming experience. There are laptop gaming PC's available, but most of them fail to match the performance and user experience provided by the desktop versions.

Trackball mouses are typical accessory of gaming PCs.
Trackball mouses are typical accessory of gaming PCs.

There are situations though, where a laptop gaming PC is desirable. Some gamers enjoy playing with friends on a local area network (LAN). In this case, a gamer would actually prefer the portability of a laptop over a desktop, as he will be able to easily transport his computer and plug into the LAN which is hosting the gaming event. Though laptops seem the obvious choice here, certain manufacturers have designed small, portable tower units that travel well, equipped with handles on them for ease of transport.

USB hubs can help connect gaming peripherals to computers with few USB ports.
USB hubs can help connect gaming peripherals to computers with few USB ports.

In addition to great graphics and speed, a good gaming PC should also come equipped with multiple universal serial bus (USB) and Firewire ports, preferably located on the front side of the computer tower for easy access. Along with scintillating graphics, many of the best PC games pack a strong audio punch as well, creating a need for peripherals such as high fidelity speakers and subwoofers so that gamers can pump up the volume and really experience all the nuances of a game.

Headsets with microphones allow gaming PC users to chat with each other.
Headsets with microphones allow gaming PC users to chat with each other.

While all gaming computers are packed with high output CPU's, graphics cards, and generous amounts of RAM, one aspect that is sometimes overlooked is a model’s capacity for upgrades. With computer games becoming ever more advanced, requiring greater amounts of processing and graphics power all the time, shrewd gamers will select models that allow them to upgrade various components as their needs change and evolve, thereby, avoiding the expense of having to purchase a costly new system.

It is essential for a computer gamer to have a machine that can respond quickly to the demands different games.
It is essential for a computer gamer to have a machine that can respond quickly to the demands different games.

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