Gaming Desktops: How to Find the Right One for You

With the advances in technology everyday, it can become difficult to find the best gaming desktop for you. A desktop is made up of several important components, each with their own tasks that must be performed for even the most simplest of tasks on a computer. Modern games have changed so much since the first computers, and as a result, so too have the computers.

As an MMO player, it is important to have a good computer but there is no need to go all out. Make sure what you find is capable of handling your desired MMO and if it can than that would be a great start. Build your computer to be compatible with what you play and the requirements that come with it. I’m personally on a middle tier computer that costed about $480, and I haven’t had any real issues with any modern MMO that I’ve played. MMO developers try their best to keep things optimized for the widest of communities, but sometimes they can become intense on requirements and cause problems with the lower tier, so it’s a good idea to target the best middle tier that you can afford. Whether you need a fast pc for that rapid fire tactical shooter (better clock speeds), or something that can handle vast and beautiful graphics of an MMORPG (better graphics card), you should make your computer suited for that type of MMO. So, how do you find the right gaming desktop for you? Well, I have a few ideas to share so you know what to consider when deciding between performance and price.

The Three Most Important Parts

While a gaming desktop is made up of several different components, but there are three major ones that I think should be considered over the rest. I mean, you want the most out of the experience, correct? So, when searching for that perfect gaming desktop that can play any game on any setting, you may notice the price can become quite expensive really quick. How do you decide the best route to take?

MSI 970 Gaming Motherboard           Image From: Link

The first thing I consider when finding the parts to build a new gaming desktop is the motherboard. This is essentially the skeleton of a computer; the part that ties everything together and communicates between them. The most important things to consider when finding a good motherboard is the processor slot type. You want to make sure that the processor will be compatible with the motherboard or else your computer won’t be able to even function. Another thing to consider is the maximum amount of RAM it can house, as well as graphic card slots.

Most motherboards can house 1-2 graphics cards. So when deciding on which route to take, consider the important stuff. Do you need a second card to be able to play the game you love on high settings? Most of the time, the answer will be no, but it is good to have a backup. Most motherboards can become expensive, but you don’t have to have something fancy to play the games you love on good settings. Consider the price before going all out. Afterall, the motherboard isn’t what determines if the game can be played on high settings at all. This is the component that everything else is connected to, nothing more. It is the most important part, because everything must be connected and compatible with this, but you will never have to spend over $300 on this one part. There are many great ones, such as the msi 970 Gaming mobo (roughly $90-120 in most online shops) that I have, that can function perfectly for most modern games.

AMD Black-Edition A10 APU Processor      Image from: Link

The second most important part is the processor, or the brain of a computer. While cheap processors can function for everyday computer use just fine, you will find yourself experiencing lag or delays when gaming with modern games. You need to consider the performance and speed of any processor you take a look at. Consider how compatible it is with your chosen motherboard, and if it has enough speed to do what you need it to do. Most of the time, you can find quad or six core processors with 3-3.65 GHz speed at relatively lower prices. You will never need an eight core processor for any MMO. Most of the time, you will never even need a six core as almost every MMO today can be played on high settings with a quad core processor and run perfectly fine.

Not all of the expensive CPU’s can outlast the advancing technology every year. Perhaps it’s easier to get the cheap end quad core than that omega eight core that has the same speed as the cheap one. Reading the reviews on a product can certainly help you decide if that part is going to handle the MMO’s you play without any delays. Each processor has it’s own fan that helps to cool it down. If the fan isn’t also as reliable as the CPU itself, then it will eventually cause overheating problems, leading to entire system crashing. Out of all of the parts on a computer, this is the only one I would overspend on to ensure the maximum performance.

GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card                          Image From: Link

The third part that I feel is most important is the Graphics Card. This is what allows images to display on the monitor. The graphic settings inside of each game is controlled solely by this part, and without a good one, you could find yourself stuck in the “slideshow zone” as I call it. So, what should be considered when finding the graphics card for your new gaming desktop? Well, the answer is relatively simple. You must decide between the brand for one, and the performance for another, as well as compatibility. Most GPU are often compared by their performing power, but the fact is, their power is controlled by the other components on a computer. If your processor speeds can’t keep up with your Titan GPU, you will most likely still be experiencing problems.

What I look for in a GPU is longevity and compatibility above all else. I don’t want to be replacing the most expensive part of a computer every 6 months afterall. For me, a reliable GPU is important, and sometimes that means I have to sacrifice those ultra high graphics to be able to keep my computer in running condition for that extra year or two. Having a compatible part with your other parts will lead to a longer lasting computer, with almost no parts needing replaced for years which is a very good thing to have.

Other Things to Consider

Now, those three parts are important, but there are also other parts to consider that can make the most out of the computer you can afford. The power supply should be a high wattage power supply to sustain a solid power link to your motherboard and fans that keep the computer cooled off. Most of the time, you can get by with cheap power supplies and not have to worry. Just be sure it is compatible with your motherboard before purchasing.

RAM is also important. Having over 8GB RAM is usually enough to handle almost any game. Some may require more, but it’s extremely rare that they require over 6 in total. You should always try to keep at least 2GB free for the computer’s processes so you don’t experience any drops with the important stuff that keeps your computer from blue screening or crashing.

Having a good case, with enough room for you computer to “breathe” is another thing to consider. Compact cases usually have overheating problems, even when they are being cooled by powerful and fast fans. Get a larger case, with enough room for at least 1 finger space between your motherboard and power supply. This will prevent you from having your graphics card or cpu too close to the power supply. Another thing to note is that you should never have any fans facing a solid part of the case, even if it means flipping that power supply upside down to make it happen. You should make sure each part that has fans is blowing into an open part of the case to ensure maximum cooling.

My Personal Process

  1. Find a motherboard that’s built for gaming, can house up to 2 graphics cards, and has room to upgrade later with more RAM or cooling.
  2. Find a processor that performs well but doesn’t cost too much (check back later if under my budget and upgrade this part if I can). One with at least 3.65 GHz clock speed is more than enough for most MMO’s today.
  3. Find a graphics card that can handle some of the most extensive modern mmo’s (I check the requirements of Elder Scrolls Online and Final Fantasy XIV for this). Once it matches or is higher than those requirements, find the lowest priced Nvidia one (since my motherboard is likely more tuned to Nvidia cards and those usually allow gameplay recording without graphical lag).
  4. Finally, get a high wattage power supply that can handle running all of the above, and try finding one that has more power for future upgrades. These are usually on the cheaper side so it’s okay to find cheaper ones as the wattage is what’s important. Keep the wattage compatible with the mobo too.
  5. The last thing I look for is the other stuff. This includes the RAM (I like having 16GB since I record gameplay but most games can be played on high settings with only 8), at least 1TB HDD or SSD, a large case with several USB ports, and fan slots, for all accessories I use, and lastly pick out whatever accessories I need to upgrade from what I have.
  6. Calculate total price and adjust according to my budget. If I’m over, then I will have to sacrifice graphics or accessory upgrades for performance and longevity so I can upgrade them later to fit the desired setup. If I’m under, I upgrade the graphics aspect or get a larger hard drive to house all the 50+ GB MMO’s I play. Either way, I try to keep my personal gaming computer under about $500 total (with the monitor included). This is a pretty solid middle tier price range for a long lasting gaming rig that can be upgraded. (If you’re going for an already built middle tier gaming computer, you will likely find the same setup for around $600-700. Buying pre-built is always more expensive but sometimes it’s better to go that route than risk breaking expensive and fragile parts like the processor.)
CYBERPOWERPC Xtreme Desktop Gaming PC Image from: Link

What if You Can’t Build a PC?

Not everyone knows how to build a computer without breaking parts, and that’s fine since not everyone needs to. You should only consider building a computer yourself if you already have the knowledge of how to handle the fragile parts and need something that’s not commonly offered with complete package computers. There are web stores that can help you build the perfect gaming computer for your budget, or if you already know what you’re looking for, they might even have it already made and ready to ship! So, where should you look if you don’t want to build it yourself?

HP (Link) is one of the most known computer companies and they offer great gaming rigs at reasonable prices. Whether you’re looking for that powerhouse that brings the most to the table, or just something that can last several years playing your favorite Minecraft mod, you can find the computer for you. They offer excellent customer support that can answer any questions you may have about the product. HP Gaming has a solid selection with a good variety of styles and performance depending on what you may need for your favorite games.

Tigerdirect and Newegg (Link) are another couple of great web stores to look into for finding that perfect computer for your gaming. Navigation can be tedious sometimes, but they offer much wider selections and usually have excellent sales on some of the best parts if you’re out to build it yourself. You can also find complete packages here as well should you have the need to compare pricing and performance with other stores.

You can also find great computer parts on Amazon (Link) as well. While I rarely shop on Amazon, they do have a good support that can help you find compatible parts or complete computers. The selection they have is pretty large and usually in line with Tiger or Newegg on pricing. Regardless of which places you look at however, always go for the best deal especially if it gives you more wiggle room in your budget!

Conclusion

Whether you’re building your own, or buying a new one, you want the most out of your gaming computer. Comparing pricing, compatibility, reliability, and longevity are what you will need to consider and bring your gaming to the next level. I enjoy building computers since it allows a larger choice of freedom with all the components and I can customize it to my exact preferences. Having a large case ensures no overheating. Having a reliable processor with a good clock speed ensures no skipping or delays when gaming (important for FPS type games since that one millisecond could result in a loss). And having a good graphics card will enable me to play on higher graphical settings for the most immersion while playing a game.

I hope you found some help from my post today, and you can use this knowledge to help you decide on your next gaming desktop and what you should prioritize over other things. As a gamer, cosmetics and accessories also come into play, and that’s the fun of the building experience! You search, discover, buy, and upgrade your way to the best suited rig for you! If you need additional ideas and assistance from experienced gamers and those who build their own computer to match the power of advancing video game technology, there’s a great Reddit section dedicated to building computers found here! This is a great place to get feedback and a better idea of what you should look for for the particular type of MMO you play so you can have your computer built for the best gaming experience for you.

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.