Console gaming has had its peak, and now PC gaming is what everyone’s talking about. Like a lot of people, you may have finally taken notice of all the hype, and abandoned console gaming for a PC setup. Unfortunately, this isn’t as simple as walking into a store and asking for a gaming PC. Buying or building a gaming PC can be pretty complex, especially for newcomers. To make the whole process simpler, here’s a brief guide to your first setup.
The first thing to consider when you’re buying a PC gaming setup is the kinds of games you intend to play on it. While any gaming PC will do a better job than a conventional one, there are certain finer points which can make a lot of difference to your gaming experience. If you’re crazy for FPSs, then you’ll probably want to put more emphasis on graphics as opposed to CPU performance. However, if you’re more into RTS and other strategy genres, then you’ll want to go for a better CPU, capable of processing the AI more quickly. Of course, many modern releases have blurred the lines between genres, and you may not even have a go-to PC game yet. If this is the case, then you should go for a balance between graphics quality and speed.
Unless you’re going to be playing exclusively retro games, then the graphics card you buy is going to be a big decision. This will dictate the quality of display you can have, and have a massive impact on your overall gaming experience. It’s a good rule to carve off about a third of your overall budget and set this aside for your graphics card. Every new title that’s released generally has a higher demand for graphics quality, and buying the latest generation you can afford will ensure that you can keep up. I’m sure you don’t want to scrimp on the graphics card and only be able to enjoy it for a few months. Once you buy your card, just make sure you’re tinkering with the settings to get the most out of it. I’m always amazed when someone spends a grand on an incredibly high-quality graphics card, but then runs all of their games at default settings.
Finally, think about your peripherals. The basic tower hardware of a gaming PC will push you in the right direction. After that though, you’ll need a gaming mouse, mechanical keyboard, and a high-quality headset to go with it. To the inexperienced gamer, these accessories might seem like unnecessary money. Once you try them out and get used to them though, you’ll certainly change your tune! Gaming mice are far more comfortable to hold, and come with several extra buttons which you can program for different commands. This means you can shave valuable seconds off of throwing grenades or reloading in FPSs. Mechanical keyboards offer a wide range of keys, which put up different levels of resistance depending on the games you like to play. You don’t have to spend a fortune here, but you do have to move on from your standard peripherals!