A gaming desktop is a high performance computer that is often custom built for the requirements of modern computer games that require an increase in graphic and processing power. Gaming desktops can also be beneficial for using software requiring high performance, such as video editing, 3D modelling and virtual reality.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DESKTOP COMPUTER AND A GAMING DESKTOP?
The main difference between a standard desktop and a gaming desktop is the level of graphics performance, containing a higher end graphics card. Desktops are powered by an Intel or AMD processor, primarily have Windows as the operating system and one or more monitors connected.
A gaming desktop is mainly used for gaming as it has the ability to play games at the target resolution and frame rate, with a powerful CPU, high speed RAM, fast storage and better quality cooling.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST VIDEO CARD FOR A GAMING MACHINE
The graphics card (GPU) is the most important component of a gaming PC, as it can make a huge difference in the screen resolution and frame rate. There are many popular video cards to choose from, with nVidia and AMD the two major manufacturers of the GeForce GTX and the RX Vega series of cards.
The best budget range is the nVidia GeForce GTX 1050, with the current must have the GeForce GTX 1070Ti. The Vega 64 has received favourable reviews but it is not comparable with the year-old GTX 1080.
The ideal video card for a gaming desktop should have at least 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 graphics memory. Those who are interested in using virtual reality should look to a GTX 1080Ti or Radeon RX 580.
WHAT KIND OF CPU SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
A high performance multi-core processor is the second most important aspect of a gaming desktop after a graphics card. The ideal CPU is a quad-core or higher processor that supports a high clock speed. Industry leaders in this field include Intel’s 8th Generation Coffee Lake series or AMD’s Ryzen 7 series of CPU’s. The more powerful the CPU, the more important the quality of cooling to the processor becomes. Consider the best cooling for your setup.
HOW MANY CORES DO YOU NEED FOR A GAMING MACHINE?
The CPU and GPU work hand in hand to process the graphics on the screen and the mechanics of the game or program that is running. A dual-core CPU, ideally with Hyper Threading is sufficient, as it offers 4 threads of processing power. Once you move beyond a four-core CPU, performance can increase. The deca-core 6950X offers incredible levels of gaming performance, so long as you have a powerful CPU.
WHAT RAM AND STORAGE SHOULD BE USED?
Common gaming setups include a solid state drive for the operating system and a 7200RPM Hard Drive for data and game storage. This ensures that the operating system (usually Windows) that is installed starts and performs tasks quickly, while giving the user an affordable storage space solution. The desktop should start with a minimum 256GB Solid State Drive (500GB+ ideal) and a 1TB 7200rpm Hard Drive.
The amount of RAM (memory) available to a system dictates how many functions and programs it can run at once. The most common amount of RAM installed is 16GB as the latest programs and games have a higher demand for resources.
Current hardware can accommodate DDR4 RAM which is available in 2133MHz and higher.
WHAT TYPE OF MONITOR WOULD BE BEST?
The best choice of monitor is one that can make the most of the power of your graphics card. There are many different types of monitors with variations in resolution, refresh rate, screen size and colour type. There are also ultra wide and curved monitors available on the market, but these are very much based on user preference.
Some monitors have functionality to synchronise the graphics card with the monitor (nVidia G-SYNC, AMD FreeSync). You should choose the feature that matches your graphics card (G-SYNC pairs with GeForce cards). This synchronisation helps to minimise screen tearing and deliver smoother full frames when the screen is ready to display them. Other features that may be worth considering at purchase are built in speakers and height/tilt adjustment.