The Basics of Gaming Computers – What You Need to Know

In this brief introduction to the basics of gaming computers, I’ll explain a few concepts that everyone interested in finding or creating a great gaming computer should be familiar with.

What to look for

Something you should consider when thinking about a new gaming computer is how a gaming computer differs from other computers. What specific components are important to my gaming experience, and will allow me to play the games I want the way I want, with the graphics I want?

The basic components that you should consider first and foremost are the components that will have the greatest impact on your gaming experience. There are four primary hardware components that you must know about: the CPU, video card, RAM, and the hard drive. (These definitions are for the purposes of how they are used in a gaming computer and are in layman’s terms.)

The CPU, or Central Processing Unit, basically controls how quickly your computer will be able to process information and how much can be processed at any given time.

The Video Card controls how quickly and to what degree your computer will be able to process images on your screen.

The RAM, or Random Access Memory, deals with information transfer and also affects how quickly your computer will be able to process information.

The Hard Drive is where data is stored on your computer.

If you focus primarily on these four hardware components, you will find that deciding what you need in your gaming computer can be quite simple. Finding a computer that is fast and powerful enough to play the games you want to play can be as simple as seeing if the components match up with the requirements.

One last component you must keep in mind when deciding what you want in a gaming computer is the operating system. The operating system is the basic framework-program that you use to run your computer. Operating systems include Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OSX, and many others.

Figuring out what you need

The most simple way I’ve found to see what components your ultimate gaming computer needs is to look at the requirements for the games you want to play. You can follow these steps in order to figure out what the CPU, video card, RAM, hard drive, and operating system requirements are:

1. Pick out a game that you want to play. You should probably select a game that has recently come out, for the purpose of understanding what the newest games need to work properly, in terms of hardware and operating system.

2. Find the minimum and recommended system requirements for that game. System requirements for any given game can almost always be found printed on the box it came in, or online at any number of game-review sites. The minimum system requirements are what your computer needs to simply run the game and have it function; recommended system requirements are what will make the game run well or at peak performance levels on your computer. These requirements are listed in terms of what operating system, what RAM, what processor, and what video card are required for the game to function. If your computer has all of these components, then it will be able to handle the game.

3. Write down these requirements so you can reference them later. Keep track of what components the games you want to play require. Naturally, these requirements change with the passage of time; computers can go out-of-date very quickly in this day and age. Thus, you will not only want to meet, but also exceed these requirements with your ultimate gaming computer.

Ultimately, you will want a computer that has a powerful processor (CPU), an advanced video card, plenty of RAM, a hard drive with plenty of free space (contemporary games take up many gigabytes each!), and an operating system that supports most games.

Gaming Hardware Guide – Learn What It Takes To Make A Gaming Computer

So you’re into gaming, and you’re looking to turn that shabby computer into a gaming powerhouse? You don’t necessarily need an expensive gaming computer though, you just need some decent gaming hardware.

If you don’t exactly know what gaming hardware is, I’ve put together a guide explaining what it takes to have a gaming computer. You don’t necessarily need all of these components, so I’ve broken them down by level of importance.

3D Video Card

First and foremost, if you have to have a decent video card to play the latest 3D games. You can have the best computer around, but if it has a cheap video card, 3D games will appear to run as slow as if you had a slow computer. You don’t necessarily need the latest video card, because at the rate they come out it will be outdated in a few months anyway.. unless of course you have $500 burning a hole in your pocket and you really want to.

CPU

Since your CPU is the heart of the computer, this one is kind of obvious. Like most things, you don’t need the fastest CPU around, but if you want a real gaming computer, you’ll want something at or around 3 gigahertz (or 3000+ for you AMD enthusiasts).

You’ll also want something that has a fast front side bus. It’s usually best to find a motherboard and cpu that have similar front side bus speeds, because they work together, and the overall speed of the front side bus will only be as fast as the one with the slowest speed on it. It’s kind of like driving a sports car on a highway with a 55 mile per hour speed limit, the car might be able to go 155, but the highway will only let you go 55.

Memory

Also known as Ram, it’s what applications and games use to store information, the more the better. It’s good to have at least 512 Megabytes, but real gamers have 750 megabytes, to 1 Gigabyte or more. Memory is extremely cheap these days, it’s one of the cheapest and simplest upgrades you can do.

It’s not only the amount that matters though, they also come in different speeds. DDR2 is the fastest, cheapest memory you can get right now. If you have SDRam, you’ll probably want to upgrade your motherboard and CPU so you can have faster memory. It’s kind of drastic, but your games will most likely be sluggish if your equipment is that old. Regular DDR is good enough for gaming, it just doesn’t have the throughput that DDR2 does.

Motherboards

Today’s fastest motherboards have faster Front Side Bus. The Front Side Bus (or FSB) is essentially the highway that runs from the CPU to the Ram, the bigger the highway, the more traffic it can handle at once, making calculations faster. Another thing to watch out for is what kinds of hard drives it supports. If you want SATA or SCSI drives, either your motherboard needs to support them, or you need to purchase an expansion card to plug them into. You’ll also want a motherboard that supports the fastest computer memory you can get, which is currently DDR2.

Hard Drives

Hard drive speed may not sound important, but it can be one of many bottle necks that your computer runs into if it’s not up to par with the rest of your computer. If you purchase regular IDE hard drives, you’ll want at least 7200 rpm (rpm = rotations per minute, the more rotations the faster the drive).

If you want real speed though, you’ll want a Serial ATA hard drive (SATA), which is one of the fastest hard drives you can get without buying server grade hard drives (SCSI), which are pretty expensive. Your motherboard has to support SATA or SCSI though if you plan to purchase these kinds of hard drives, or you have to have a PCI expansion card to plug them into.

Sound Card

If you want gaming quality sound, then you definitely need to replace that stock or built in sound card for a decent gaming sound card. And if you want the full effect, go for a dolby 5.1 surround sound enabled sound card for that super crisp sound your games can produce. Mix that with some 5.1 enabled speakers, and your gaming experience just took a new turn.

Computer Cases

Ok, so computer cases aren’t that important for speed, but if you want your new gaming computer to look slick too, then you need a nice colored case. Your friends will be jealous, and you will finally be able to look at your computer and smile, because it looks so awesome.

How to Maintain and Clean Your PC

In this article I will show you how to clean your PC hardware and software. You need the following material before we start:

Software

  • Internet access
  • Administrative rights

Hardware

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Tissue or a similar item
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Air Duster
  • Thermal Paste

Maintaining Software and Windows Environment

Always keep your anti-virus up-to-date. A virus or malware could do much more damage than anything else to your windows. For example recently a virus has been spread by scammers, which lock your computer and demands $50 in the name of Celas. The following is the Celas respond:

“Statement on computer locking scam – 12th April 2012

CELAS has been alerted to the fact that some internet users have had their computers blocked after watching videos online with a message from ourselves saying they would need to pay £50 to have their computer unlocked.

This is an internet virus or scam and has nothing to do with CELAS or the police. We are currently investigating this issue.

We advise internet users to:

  • Not make any payment to have your computer unlocked
  • Update their anti-virus and firewall software
  • Alert their internet service provider if this problem persists”

One of the leading PC cleaners is called CCleaner. This is a simple too for cleaning temp folders and registry. You can download this program from its website. Furthermore it provides you with disk defragment tool which could be used to defrag hard drives and open up more spaces. You should at least run a defragment test once every three month. Occasionally you might open up to 17% of your hard drive space which could be few gigabytes.

Another important factor in keeping your windows healthy is run heavy programs solo. For example if you are running games, close as many background programs as possible. Firefox is a good example. It occupies big portion of your random access memory which slows down your game.

Maintaining Hardware

To maintain hardware you should be able to open your PC case and access and electronic devices. This is possible if your warranty is avoided. Make sure you don’t have liquids around when you open the case because electronic devices are very sensitive and you can break them pretty easy. Open the case by unscrewing your case. There are different levels of maintenance. We will go through all levels however you can choose how many levels to clean.

Level 1

Use a vacuum cleaner and hoover all your case. Make sure you go over fans and clean them perfectly. Keeping your PC temperature low is one of the most important factors in keeping PC healthy. Make sure you vacuum CPU fan perfectly because it tends to gather lots of dust. Use an air duster to clean dust from your electrical devices such as motherboard.

Take your memory (RAM) out and hoover their slots. Making sure the slots are perfectly clean. Put them back in with caution. Memories are very vulnerable therefore you should be very careful with them.

Level 2

This level is mainly about cleaning your CPU and motherboard. If you haven’t accessed you CPU before watch a tutorial video online and be very careful. Open your CPU fan and take it out. Put some rubbing alcohol on a tissue or similar item and rub over the CPU until all the current thermal paste is gone and cleaned. Do the same procedure on the back of your CPU fan to make sure it is clean.

Put Fresh thermal paste (You can buy online or from any electronic shop) on the middle of your CPU and use a card to spread it around evenly. Now put your fan back on carefully so you don’t mess the thermal paste. This paste eliminates space between the fan and the CPU making it much more efficient. If you system does not boot well or is laggy afterwards you have not put enough paste on your CPU.

Level 3

This level is not recommended for people who are not familiar with PC hardware structure and are unable to assemble a PC together. Unscrew your motherboard and Power supply. Take them out of the case and clean them properly. (Using air duster and vacuum cleaner) Check over your motherboard capacitors to make sure there isn’t anything on top. (like a paste. This shows the capacitor is damaged) If that is the case you should consider replacing the capacitor or the motherboard.

Hoover the power supply fan. If it is possible open the power supply and clean inside it. They usually tend to gather a lot of dust. After this process put everything back inside and enjoy your faster computer.

I hope this article has been useful to you. I would be happy to answer all of your questions. Please comment us your opinion.