With the ability to run the most powerful games with crystal-clear display and seamless frame-rates, it’s worth building your own gaming computer.
When asking what is a gaming PC, one must consider both performance and style. Gaming PCs compared to regular PCs generally have powerful video cards (GPUs), advanced CPUs with multiple cores, high-performance memory, and added cooling to accommodate for the tremendous heat generated by these components. Over recent years, how a gaming PC looks has become almost as important as how well it can run the most demanding games. Office and general-use PCs typically have a uniform look and color, while gaming PCs stand out with flashy case designs and ample RGB lighting.
The Most Essential Gaming PC Component
There is no doubt that powerful CPUs and RAM are vital to the best gaming PC builds on the market. However, the fact is that many normal desktops and laptop PCs could be capable of playing many games provided they were equipped with a suitable video card. The latest video cards are also the most expensive components and have been plagued by manufacturing shortages. With Nvidia and AMD dominating the GPU market, lower-end video cards like the RTX 3050 or RX 6660 perform capably at 1080p resolutions and can be found for $300 or less. Gamers looking to take advantage of their 4K monitors or TVs will have to shell out anywhere from $600 to over $1,000 to be able to run games at 60 FPS.
Why You Need More Processing Power
A CPU is often considered the brain of a gaming PC, and the major chip manufacturers Intel and AMD have added capabilities to this component with more and more cores that can carry out instructions independently of each other. For a gaming PC, adequate CPUs have anywhere from 4 to 12 cores or more. The Intel Core i5-12400 with 6 cores is considered a budget gaming CPU and can be purchased for around $200 while the Intel Core i9-13900K with an amazing 24 cores sells at retail for over $600. Many games will only take advantage of a single CPU core, so the higher clock speeds these processors provide are also a critical factor.
Why Gaming PCs Get So Hot
Another major difference between a gaming PC vs regular PC is how gamers are constantly pushing the performance of their machines past normal limits. A host of components can be overclocked including CPUs, memory, and video cards with some models being more likely to withstand this potentially risky endeavor than others. Gaming PCs generate more heat than normal PCs but when overclocking is a factor, builders will often have to go to more extremes than just adding fans like water cooling to keep components from being damaged.
The Rise of RGB Lighting
Not that long ago, it wasn’t so easy to distinguish a gaming PC from a normal PC designed for office tasks and general productivity. In recent years, there has been an explosion in the RGB lighting market, with LED strips and controllers becoming more affordable. Gaming PC builders have always sought to distinguish themselves from other PC builds with unique case designs. With the range of RGB colors available and the ability to control them through software, it’s now rare to see two gaming PCs that look exactly alike. Obviously, PCs lit up like Times Square are not what you normally see in most offices.
How to Power Up Peripherals
For many gamers, as important as the hardware inside their cases is, accessories like keyboards, mice, and speakers are also essential parts of a gaming PC setup. Gaming keyboards and mice are typically designed for rapid input and the ability to perform several commands or macros with single buttons. Of course, like the rest of gaming builds, it’s almost required for these components to have RGB lighting to contrast them from office peripherals.