PC Gaming – The beginners basics

You’ve looked at the games, you’ve made you decision and PC gaming’s the thing for you. Next you want the rig to make it happen. There are many systems available, simple home PCs to full on gaming rigs with prices to match, but here we will consider what you need to start enjoying the world of PC games.

The Essentials

You may be lucky enough to own a decent PC that doesn’t require changing or upgrading but here are the basic needs to help you decide.

  • The Motherboard is what more or less everything inside the PC is connected to and also designates what type of processor can be fitted. Better quality motherboards have more slots for graphics cards and memory which gives you options for upgrades.
  • The CPU or Central Processing Unit does all the work. It controls what the computer is doing and what you are seeing, so it is important that it’s up to the job. Typical CPU’s come as Dual, Quad or Hexa (6) core models with varying speeds, measured in Ghz. As a rule, the more cores the CPU has, the faster it will process information. Typically, for gaming, a dual core processor running at 2.0GHz is the minimum for an acceptable experience.
  • In gaming, Memory is king, and the more your PC can support, the better. RAM or Random Access Memory is accessed by the CPU which stores information needed to operate systems and, of course, games. Modern PC’s are fitted with at least 4GB of ram but high end systems can be fitted with up to 48GB. RAM chips operate at different speeds so it is worth checking what is suitable for your system before considering an upgrade.
  • The Graphics Card is as important as memory in the world of gaming as it displays the game on your screen. Some PC’s have what is termed ‘on board graphics’ meaning the GPU or Graphics Processing Unit is part of the motherboard. These will work for many games, but the resolution may be poor or the game play jerky on more complex games. A graphics card can eliminate these issues and make for a far more enjoyable experience. Cards can vary from a few pounds to a few hundred so take care if you are upgrading an existing system as not all will run the mega money graphics cards. Research is the key here.
  • All PC’s contain a Hard Drive and this is the main storage area for all your programs. With the advent of high speed fibre optic broadband, many games are now downloaded directly off the net so a good quality storage device is important. These tend to spin at around 5400 rpm or 7400 rpm. The faster the spin the faster the data is retrieved.

Above are the basics needed to run the majority of games and will suffice for the beginner. Do your research, see what you already have before you spend, and above all – Have Fun & Enjoy your Gaming!!

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