What is PC Gaming Hardware?
Gaming PCs (Gaming Rigs) or Gaming Laptops are a completely different ball game to Gaming on Consoles. With a console (Xbox, PlayStation etc) you buy the console and then purchases games for that console and away you go, you’re up and playing in no time.
However, those games are bound to that generation of console and can’t be used with other consoles, it’s only been in recent years that we now see backward compatibility with new to old consoles and this is still not 100% perfect.
Gaming on a PC/Laptop can sometimes require specialist skills and hardware like dedicated Graphics Cards (GPU, Graphical Processing Unit) to play the game you want but offer you a much longer gaming experience than consoles with a much larger selection of games.
What kind of gaming hardware is needed in a PC?
You will need to decide on a verity of gaming hardware to buy, such as AMD or Intel (CPU), Nvidia or AMD (GPU). Here are the items you may need to think about. I would defiantly recommend deciding on a budget first them splitting that amongst the components. Place 20% of your hardware budget to the GPU
- Graphics Card or GPU (Graphical Processing Unit)
- Display: Screen (Monitor)
- CPU (Central Processing Unit)
- Motherboard (Mobo, Mainboard, Circuit Board, System Board, Baseboard)
- RAM (Random Access Memory or just Memory)
- Storage: HDD (Hard Disk Drive), SSD (Solid State Drive)
- Power: PSU (Power Supply Unit)
- Interface: Mice and Keyboards
- Case (Mid Tower, Full Tower, Compact Cases, Desktop)
- Headsets, Mic’s and Speakers
- Gaming Chairs
Graphics Cards or GPUs (Graphical Processing Unit) – This renders the graphics you will see in the game. Better the card, better graphics will look
Screen (Monitor) – The item most people associate with a Computer, the thing you look at.
CPU (Central Processing Unit) – This takes care of all the instructions from other parts of the computer, the player, other players (on the internet), NPCs and tells the GPU what to display and when and then links them all together. Hence its name
Motherboard (Mobo, Mainboard, Circuit Board, System Board, Baseboard) – This component houses the CPU, GPU, memory and links them all together on a physical level.
RAM (Random Access Memory or just Memory) – This is where the computer holds the information about the current tasks it is doing. This of this like your “short term memory” and is emptied/cleared every time you switch off your PC or reboot it.
HDD (Hard Disk Drive), SSD (Solid State Drive) – This item is often confused with RAM but holds information about the Operating Systems (OS) and Apps you want to use rather than using at the moment. Think of this like your “long term memory” It’s always available to you and when you need it and when needed its loaded into RAM. The HDD/SSD retains its data even when switched off.
PSU (Power Supply Unit) – These feeds the computer with power, it takes in mains power (240v or 110v depending on where you live) and outputs what the computer needs (3.3v, 5v and 12v). The amount of power is measured in Watts and the number of watts needs to be calculated otherwise your PC will not run efficiently.
Mice and Keyboards – Sometimes overlooked is the humble mouse and keyboard. Used as the interface between human and computer and can be the difference between “kill or be killed”
Case (Mid Tower, Full Tower, Compact Cases, Desktop) – For me these are functional items that you mount all the components in, but for others they show case their PC and they are works of Art.
Headsets, Mic’s and Speakers – If you want to be noticed on the gaming scene and play in teams then Headsets with good quality mics are essential. There is nothing worse than someone using cheap ear pods with a bad mic picking up all the background noise around you so nobody can hear what you are saying.
Gaming Chairs – probably the single most over looked item to buy and something you will eventually need for those long gaming hours.
What hardware difference is there between Gaming Computer and Regular Computer?
The main difference in Gaming Hardware over a standard PC is the GPU and the PSU.
The GPU is the part of the computer that creates the fantastic worlds the gamer wishes to immerse themselves in, a regular computer will have a integrated or discrete video output. The PSU supplies power to the components in the computer, often Regular computer will have a much lower wattage PSU than a gaming one.
Without a good GPU the games will look bland and have low detail, the screen will judder and look more like a slide show than a movie and in most cases will just not work at all.
The GPU is not the only part of the PC that is important in gaming. If you want a top-class Gaming Rig then you will need to look to all the parts of the computer, the CPU, Mobo, RAM and disk. You may also need to look at custom cooling if you want to go extreme Gaming.
Gaming PC vs Gaming Laptop?
Without delving in too deep into this question it basically comes down to 2 points.
- Do I need my Gaming Rig to be portable?
- Do I have the space for a Box and a Screen?
If you answered, Yes then No, it’s a laptop then. If you answered, No then Yes, it’s a Desktop Rig as you will get more for your money
Why are PC Gaming Rigs better than consoles?
PC Gaming in my opinion is far superior to consoles due to a variety if reasons:
Longevity of Games. Buying a PC game from a DLC site (Downloadable Content) or on a disc means that game is your forever (excluding some subscription games). I can still play games i purchased via Steam 20 years ago on my brand-new state of the art Gaming Rig. Consoles on the other hand have very limited backward compatibility features.
Amount of Games. There are literally Millions of Games for PC from Shoot ‘em up to Sport simulators, the PC has them all.
Better Graphics. what I mean here is that with a PC and when your budget permits you can buy a new graphics card and instantly see an improvement in your game but increasing the detail, textures and view distance within the game. With a console you cannot do this and are limited to what the game producers can get out of the console by optimising the code.
PC are versatile. where a console is limited to playing games, on a PC you can do a whole lot more much easier. With a keyboard and mouse at your fingertips a PC can be used for a much wider range of activities. PCs can also be easily upgraded so once you have a PC it is very easy to add or replace parts to make it better and faster.
Educational. PC have a lot more educational applications available to them including “learn as you play” games where consoles are aimed at mainly playing games.
Skills for Life. Learning how to design, build or even just use a PC are skills for life. The fundamentals of PC’s are still the same as they were when Windows 3.1 came out in 1992. Learning to use a PC can help you in your everyday life, from buying items on Amazon or eBay to booking tickets for an event or show. Consoles cannot help you with this and they will be on the recycling heap before you realise.