When you’re in the market for a new desktop that’s destined to be used mostly for gaming, you have to understand why the gaming desktop is not like your everyday computer. You have to understand what differentiates a gaming desktop from a regular desktop and since such a desktop is all about the specs, then you need to have an understanding of those specs that make a regular PC into a monster gaming rig.
There are a few hardware components that can transform a regular computer into a gaming machine.
Video Card or Graphics Card
This component is usually the most important aspect of a gaming desktop. This is because most modern games use high-end system requirements to run smooth. If you intend either to purchase or build your own gaming PC, then this is the first spec you should focus on. Since there are two main manufacturers in the industry today, ATI and nVidia, all you have to do is decide which one you should go with, since they both innovate at a steady pace and both are great at what they do.
nVidia graphics cards offer solutions for multiple video card usage via SLI (Scalable Link Interface) technology, which allows you to hook up minimum 2 cards to run in parallel for extreme gaming performance and visuals. They also have support for multiple monitors and true 3D gaming. If you choose to go with graphics cards that support 3D gaming, you’ll also get a pair of 3D glasses and you have to get a monitor that supports displaying 3D visuals. Such monitors have a minimum refresh rate at 120Hz.
ATI video cards offer the same solutions, even for multiple graphics cards, but in their case it’s called CrossFire. With CrossFire you are not limited by the model of the card, and you can use slightly different graphics cards to achieve better gaming performance. This also means that the price you pay for a multi-graphics card configuration doesn’t have to be twice the price of the most expensive graphics card like in the case of nVidia.
Processor or CPU
The processor is the main component that does the entire math calculations in your gaming environment. Without a good processor, you might not even get the chance to run a modern game. You should look for processors above the dual-core industry segment, somewhere in the vicinity of quad-cores. New advancements in technology have brought out either processors with six-cores, or the Hyper Threading technology which allows each individual core to act as two separate cores, thus making the regular quad-core an actual octo-core in its own right.
Also, newer lines of processors tend to have an incorporated GPU, so this could be a great feature to save up on power while not in the gaming environment. This means that whenever you don’t game, the graphics card powers down and allow the integrated GPU to take over in basic computing tasks thus saving power.