Many people ask about the difference between a Gaming PC and the Basic PC. This is a great question actually because it is good to know the differences before you are in the market of buying a new PC. To answer this question effectively and find out which one will be your best investment, you will need to analyze your PC habits and future intended usage.
To begin, let’s look at the main differences in both. If you follow the patterns of technology no matter what the product, you know that there is always something new…something bigger and better and with a better price. Just like a car that you buy and once you drive it off the lot, it is not longer new, its value just went down and next month there will be a new model that will be bigger with more gadgets, etc. The same holds true with a basic PC. A basic PC is typically one that can be purchased at a moderate price (or even at a great sale) and is used for general tasks such as internet surfing, internet banking, email, word processing and storing pictures.
A gaming PC is customized machine meant for playing online and computer games and these demand higher end hardware components. When you’re playing a fast-paced game with detailed graphics, where split-second decisions mean a win or a loss, if your computer isn’t top-notch, you won’t stand a chance. A gamer is only as good as his computer’s hardware. The gaming computer must be able to handle large amounts of data at significantly fast speeds capable of rendering the visual results fast and exciting. Also the gaming PC will cost triple or more than that of a basic PC because the hardware purchased to begin with was of the highest capacities. This will, however, ensure the gaming machine will not become obsolete within a short time and a well-built, high-end gaming machine will provide the owner with a long PC life of interactive gaming.
There are choices you’ll have for buying a gaming machine: you can opt for a computer with fixed hardware and software configurations (OEM) or you can choose to have a custom system built PC by an individual technician who specializes in high end gaming machines. The second option, in Pit Master’s opinion, is the best way to go for several reasons. A custom-built system can vary in price but the benefit is that you can decide how much or how little you want to spend. When you choose a custom-built PC you’re not restricted to use only the components a vendor pre-installed in an off-the-shelf model. You will be able to select each component that you want in your machine. Yes, this can seem like a big undertaking at first because there will be many choices, so the most important thing you can do is locate a PC technician who will work with you to explain the gaming components so you can make an educated decision about your purchase.
The Pit Master wants to help take a bit of the guesswork out of your decision. So he is providing the following information about Gaming PC hardware and what makes up a Gaming PC.
- The CPU or Processor — this is one of the most important piece of hardware to a gaming PC. Most basic PCs can have moderately fast processors such as a single core CPU. A gaming PC must have multiple cores to be able to process the gaming data quickly and efficiently.So what is the CPU anyway? The Central Processing Unit can be described as the brain because it performs the operations of the software you run through a type of mathematical schematic. The operation of games and most any application will be directly related to this 2″ x 2″ square.
AMD or Intel — There has always been a debate about which of these brands is the best. Pit Master personally uses AMD; however, the new generations of Intel are an excellent choice as well. As for the processor best suited for a gaming PC, either manufacturer, either an AMD Phenom x4 to x6 or Intel Core-I5 to I7 would be the best. The 3 are all good choices so what you need to decide is how much you want to spend. The AMD is the least expensive at about $120 and it will still provide an awesome gaming experience. The Intel I7 is the most expensive of the three at about $300. But then again, Intel has another CPU that in the Pit Master’s professional opinion is extremely overkill, but there just may some super-rich gamer who says money is not an object… meet the Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad- core that sells for $990.
So as you can see the CPU selection will provide you with choices and depending on the games you intend on playing and the other hardware components you choose, the CPU can be an expensive component in your new PC.
CPU Cooler – one more item that the avid gamer may want to consider is an upgraded CPU cooling system. Heat-producing devices in a typical computer are cooled by air. Generally, this involves mounting a heat sink and fan to each component. The more sophisticated cooling is called water cooled. Water conducts heat the fastest with a thermal conductivity about 30 times greater than that of air. Additionally, water holds a lot more heat.
This is not a necessity but consider that air-based CPU coolers simply aren’t as efficient as water coolers. At a price between $50 and $100, a liquid cooler will take up less room and provide a more efficient cooling.
- The Video Card — most all motherboards today come with some type of video integrated (built-in) on the motherboard. This type of video is fine for the basic PC, but if you intend on running games with extensive graphics, you are going to need a separate video card with its own memory and cooling. There are numerous cards available today and it would be difficult to list every manufacturer and model, but the name that is most recognized is NVIDIA GeForce. The most important features you need to know is that the card has it’s own cooling fan and at least a full gigabyte of memory.Gaming PC video cards can range for a decent card $150 and anywhere in between up to $1,000 for video with 3 gigabytes of memory (again, remember that rich dude with tons of money).
- The Memory (RAM) — memory is a significantly important factor. Large amounts of memory allow the computer to quickly access frequently used information or programs – critical components for gaming. A gaming computer should have at least 6GB of RAM but 8GB to 12GB is better. Today’s memory is much faster and higher megahertz than ever before and many come with aluminum heat spreaders to cool the RAM without fans. Since the memory will be cooler, the system stability and speed will increase. Average price for 6GB – $100 to the highest of $400 for 16GB.
As you can see there are many options available to the consumer and it’s good to know the differences so that if you choose to one day go for the gaming PC, you have the understanding needed to make a better decision.