The Important components of a powerful Gaming pc
As a professional pc gamer, I can tell you It’s worth learning the parts that make a powerful and effective gaming pc.
How it can affect your game play and why you need it.
Why do we need to know this information?
Because if you plan on playing a lot of different games. And you haven’t got the best hardware for your pc. It’s pretty likely that you might run into gaming performance issues.
Like lag, low frame rates, or slow load times at some point.
In fact, many pc gamers come across similar issues, not knowing how to address these common problems we all face.
In this article I will be explaining what each gaming pc part does and why it’s necessary to have them in order to make our gaming pc effective.
There are alot of abbreviations in computing so I have added plenty of descriptions.
For those joining the gaming community, looking to get a custom built pc. This article is a must read to understand what you need, and why.
Even if you have a gaming laptop, it’s worth knowing what’s going on behind the scenes.
If you do have a gaming rig. This will help you work out which part (or parts) are causing the issues, and then you can look at upgrading and fixing that particular hardware component.
This is what I like about a gaming pc best – the fact that you can upgrade individual parts. Saving us cash, time and reducing bottleneck issues.
At the same time, we also want to have a satisfying gaming experience from our pc build, we want to immerse ourselves on a game so it feels real.
And that’s why we game using a pc.
So here we go – here’s a list of the most common parts in your computer, and what each one does when you play a computer game.
You need a strong Graphics Card to make a powerful gaming pc
Your graphics card or video card is arguably the most important part of a gaming computer build. Anything displayed on your computer monitor has been processed directly from your graphics card. (or integrated graphics processor if you don’t have a dedicated graphics card).
What does the graphics card generally do?
It directly handles the processing and rendering of images(made up of lots of pixels) which are received from your central processing unit (CPU). So that they can be displayed on your screen/monitor.
An open world immersive game requires a strong graphics processing unit and an optimised gpu performance. The nvidia gtx series was the breakthrough in insane and powerful graphics for gamers.
Then followed ray tracing.
How does the graphics card do this
By taking the data (binary representation) as input, sent from cpu to the graphics card. It converts these into signals your monitor can understand. The end result(output) is a viewable picture.
What does the graphics card do to images?
Graphical cards have a demanding job. They need to be able to rasterize images(fill in the remaining pixels), add lighting, texture, and most importantly colour. A good video card can do this 60 times a second for fast paced games. It only goes up from there.
Many graphics cards have in-built features to handle specific graphical aspects of gameplay. Such as image rotation/fine textures/anti-aliasing, so that your CPU doesn’t have to handle these particular operations. Therefore the cpu is free for other processing activities.
If you want an authentic gaming experience, so you can immerse yourself in the game – like vr gaming. It is ideal to go for a nvidia graphics card.
They are known to be the best in the gaming industry. In fact, they even power google stadia. Furthermore, nvidia has better cards for 4K gaming – and ray tracing.
A CPU or central processing unit is often depicted as the brains of the computer. Processing the most basic operations in a pc. But when it comes to gaming, they are just as equal as each other, and the complexity of the operations increases.
What does a central processing unit do in pc gaming?
A cpu handles much of the actual gameplay when you are playing games. Such as taking input instructions from peripherals like mouse and keyboard, actually running the game, loading maps and backgrounds, processing events which occur inside the game, calculating damage taken from shots, speeds from vehicles and the list goes on…
Why it’s essential in having a powerful processor
There is a lot of data in a game. The CPU keeps track of all of it.
Collision detection, saving, respawning, the AI, the UI. Basically everything that isn’t visuals is controlled and managed by the CPU.
Once calculated. These items which have been handled by the CPU are passed on to the graphics card for final rendering/display and output to your display monitor.
Therefore, in order to avoid lags and glitches or, worst case scenario, our computer freezing, we need a powerful CPU that can handle all of this – I will drop some good processors down below. This leads on to my next point “core”.
What is a core in terms of cpu?
A core can process one instruction at a time, Core strength is extremely important for gaming. Multiple cores allows for multiple instructions to be executed at a “given time”.
Most games today have been programmed today to only use 2 or 4 cores. Even if our setup has more processors than the game requires, they are incapable of using more cores.
So, you need strong cores that can render games, using the “game requirements”. The only problem is we are limited to what our pockets can handle.
Your computer’s memory(known as primary storage), or RAM – random access memory, holds short-term information. Which is constantly being accessed and manipulated by the CPU, it also holds the operating system.
It also is a volatile storage meaning it will lose its contents if it loses power supply.
If the CPU only accesses game data from the hard drive.(known as secondary storage). The whole gaming rig will operate very slowly.
Think of this like a temporary cache/storage spot where you would put things that need to be referred or accessed to extremely frequently. Like the most frequent buttons you press on a keyboard and that code for it.
Why do we need RAM?
Accessing information in RAM is a lot faster for the CPU than if it had to access the same information from say, your hard drive. This is because of the architecture of the central processing unit.
It’s the equivalent of having a bar fridge right next to your couch. Then, you don’t have to get up to go all the way to the kitchen fridge every time you want a drink. That would take time wouldn’t it?
Often gamers will find whilst playing, their game slows down, and this is because there isn’t enough space in the RAM to store the information. So the cpu stores it in the hard drive/solid state drive, known as virtual storage.
A decent RAM is about 16GB but very few still find issues – games are very large files, so to solve this you would need a larger memory.
I would suggest a RAM of about 32GB which is more than enough and it will ensure everything runs smoothly.
Luckily RAM Isn’t that expensive, it’s price has been dropping over the years. Here are a few that you could use.
Your hard drive (or solid state drive if you’re lucky) also referred to as secondary storage is used for storage and is where your game is stored – it can’t be stored in RAM as thst is volatile. But a hard drive isn’t volatile so can retain information whilst it’s off.
The difference between a hard drive and a solid state drive is that a hard drive has a longer life but slower read/write speeds; whereas a SSD has faster read/write speeds.
When you go to actually play, the CPU needs to access this information to display on your monitor. It does this by directly pulling information from the storage drive, storing it in RAM and performing any actions on it.
The CPU itself can store information in very small quantities in registers, this is where it performs operations.
But the first time it gets this data it needs to pull it from the storage drive. This can slow things down if your storage drive is slow (and it often is – usually it’s the slowest component in the chain).
How storage affects game play?
A combination of this makes the computer very effective in maintaining the read/write speeds, you will find games will load up significantly faster with this implementation.
Do we want to be eating for 15 minutes, waiting for a game to load?
Exactly, SSD is the way to go for a gamer.
Your motherboard physically connects all the pieces together and provides an electrical link between all of the main parts, using wires and a term called buses which is embedded onto the motherboard and connects components together.
Majority of the components sit on the pc and all work together.
It can also affect the speed at which information can be passed from one component to another, especially if information is only passed through serially (think one wire, with one path of travel) instead of in a parallel manner (think multiple wires, or multiple ways to pass a bunch of information at the same time).
Good motherboards are optimized for the highest amount of throughput of information, so that they do not limit the speed of information transfer (typically you will be limited by components like your CPU, storage drives, or graphics card long before your motherboard).
If you’re serious about gaming and want to consider overclocking either now or in the future – you should also look to see that your motherboard (and processor) supports this feature. Here is a fantastic motherboard that supports this.
OK, so now you’re starting to wonder what your power supply has to do with gameplay, and the answer is that it’s subtle.
While your power supply doesn’t have a direct effect on gameplay, we’ve included this item because an inadequate power supply can affect gaming.
Simply put, your computer hardware needs a consistent reliable power supply in order to be able to function well; and if your power supply cannot keep up with that demand then you run the risk of seeing symptoms anywhere between sluggish performance of affected parts right up to catastrophic blue-screening/shut down.
Moral of the story is to make sure that the capacity of your power supply is sufficient for your computer.
Also required for some gamers are optical drives – or more commonly known as your CD drive. Actually, these aren’t used as much these days, but occasionally you might still have a game where you’ll need to either install from a CD disc, or even more rare now, put in the CD disc to play.
If you only need the disc for installation, then you don’t need to worry about your optical drive, because after installation is complete it doesn’t affect your actual gameplay.
However, if you need to insert the disc while you are playing the game, it’s because there is game information on the disc that your CPU needs to refer to while you are playing.
This can be quite slow for the CPU to access, so in these cases, the faster your optical drive is able to work, the faster your gameplay will be whenever it relies on accessing disc information.
Optical drives are optional for some people, since the gaming industry has started moving towards a disc-less industry. Many game titles these days can be downloaded which removes the need for a disc.
This is a very short paragraph because only one problem arises from this.
Heat is the number one enemy of computer hardware, so you need to make sure you have adequate cooling for your computer. When gaming, this becomes even more important.
A few pc games like gta 5 or Assassin’s creed odyssey rely heavily on power and can make the pc hot quickly.
What happens if we don’t use cooling
Because if components run too hot, they can start to automatically wind back their speed in an effort to prevent them from overheating.
There are two different types of cooling, liquid cooling and air cooling. Now it’s pretty obvious which one sounds better, and yes your right. It’s the liquid cooling.
Liquid cooling uses liquids which transfers a ton more energy(heat) away from the components.
In addition it looks cooler and is efficiently more quieter, compared to air cooling. But it can be fatal if the water goes onto the pc parts, which is why I recommend an all in one liquid cooling system.
In addition, make sure you have an adequate system to cater for the energy that your gaming rig produces.
It’s a little known fact that your display monitor can actually have a big effect on how well your computer can handle games. And it’s a factor that affects how you play.
Why we need a good display monitor
A monitor that has a low refresh rate but the GPU has a higher refresh rate then you will find you are working on images that have already occurred.
Another issue you might experience is there will be some latency between buttons pressed, and images shown as a result of these buttons pressed.
One of the main factors which can impact the amount of demand put on your graphics card is your screen’s resolution (number of display pixels – e.g. 1920 x 1080).
If you are trying to play games with the highest resolution set on your screen, then this can sometimes overload your graphics card. The good news though, is that your display monitor resolution can be adjusted.
All monitors will have a maximum resolution, which is the biggest resolution you can set.
But depending on the size of your screen you can sometimes choose a smaller resolution with no noticeable visual difference – but this change can make a massive difference to your graphics card performance.
I hope this guide has helped you understand what makes a gaming pc powerful. Unfortunately, a gaming pc is one of those things where all the hardware components make the gaming pc work effectively, powerful and and at its best.
However, what really gives a gaming pc that extra power is a strong graphics card, like the ti gpu’s. This takes your gaming experience to a whole new level.
Hopefully, now you should be able to determine how powerful you want your gaming rig to be.
So you can beat those typical gamers out there.
Last but not least I advise you not to go for prebuilt gaming pc’s – it’s so much fun building one!
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