MSI Aegis Barebones PC | Source: MSI.com
Most Common Mistakes People Make When Buying a Gaming PC
We’ve saidِ itِ a thousand times, orِ atِ least a halfِ dozen anyway, butِ shopping forِ computers remains a daunting task forِ many.
There’s a lot youِ needِ to knowِ beforeِ buying a computer, andِ even moreِ mistakes youِ canِ make shopping forِ a computer.
In order toِ play the latest video games onِ a computer, yourِ rig is going toِ needِ to haveِ atِ least a graphics card onِ top ofِ the otherِ hardware a typical PC needs.
1. Buying a gaming PC because it looks cool
A gaming rig with a cool lookingِ case andِ snazzy lighting can easily fail toِ haveِ the high-end components insideِ necessary forِ the bestِ gaming experience.
In fact, a simple black box could easily outperform a fireworks display ofِ a gaming PC asِ long asِ it hasِ the rightِ components.
This doesn’t meanِ you shouldn’t buy a stylish computer, as having somethingِ flashy andِ original isِ one ofِ the fun parts ofِ havingِ a gaming PC.
2. Forgetting how big game files are
When you’re picking outِ a computer, orِ deciding onِ a storage drive toِ put inِ your build, youِ shouldِ remember that modern video games areِ big.
Future games areِ going toِ use evenِ higher quality textures andِ models thatِ will makeِ the game files evenِ larger.
If youِ onlyِ play oneِ game atِ a time, andِ remove themِ fromِ your machine afterward, thenِ you shouldِ haveِ no problem working withِ a smaller drive, butِ gamers whoِ likeِ to haveِ allِ their games downloaded andِ ready toِ play onِ a moments notice shouldِ plan onِ havingِ large storage andِ a computer withِ extra SATA cables andِ drive bays forِ additional hard drives orِ solid state drives.
3. Not planning for the future
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 | Source: NVIDIA.com
As theyِ advance, theyِ demand moreِ andِ more ofِ the hardware thatِ runs them.
The upgrade cycle ofِ gaming PCs canِ beِ a lot quicker thanِ that ofِ consoles likeِ Xbox andِ PlayStation.
Although youِ canِ usually wait a whileِ toِ upgrade yourِ computer andِ just run newer games atِ lower settings, ifِ you wait long enough, you’ll eventually beِ unable toِ run games.
4. Skimping on the power supply
There areِ a fewِ reasons skimping onِ the power supply canِ beِ problematic.
The component delivers theِ electricity toِ allِ the otherِ components inِ your rig.
You’re alsoِ going toِ needِ to makeِ sure thatِ you power supply isِ of a high enoughِ wattage toِ actuallyِ support allِ of theِ components inِ your computer.
A reliable power supply is crucial to a consistent and safe gaming computer | Source: iStock
5. Getting features you don’t need
For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume you’re buying a gaming computer mostlyِ forِ gaming andِ little else.
This means toِ getِ the best experience forِ your money, you’re goingِ to wantِ toِ ensure youِ don’t fork outِ money forِ unnecessary features andِ components whenِ thatِ money couldِ beِ put intoِ higher quality components essential toِ gaming.
Forget aboutِ them, asِ you oughtِ to plan toِ download copies ofِ your games.
6. Getting an APU and a GPU
What’s anِ APU.
It’s anِ Accelerated Processing Unit, andِ features bothِ a CPU andِ GPU onِ a single chip.
It’s certainlyِ convenient inِ that itِ makes thingsِ simple, andِ its size canِ make building a small gaming rig easier, but often theِ GPU on these chips won’t offer asِ impressive a gaming experience asِ anotherِ current generation dedicated graphics card.
7. Thinking you need a lot of RAM
Yes, video games willِ require a certainِ amount ofِ RAM installed inِ your computer.
But you’re probablyِ notِ goingِ to needِ a lot.
Make sureِ that youِ haveِ enoughِ RAM forِ whatever game youِ wantِ toِ play, butِ don’t goِ thinking youِ needِ to put inِ asِ much RAM asِ your computer canِ handle.
8. Thinking Windows comes with the machine
If you’re building yourِ ownِ gaming computer, getِ ready toِ alsoِ pay toِ purchase a license forِ Windows.
You won’t put togetherِ allِ the components youِ buy andِ magically haveِ anِ operating system show upِ onِ the machine.
If you’re buying a gaming computer thatِ comesِ pre-built you’ll alsoِ want toِ makeِ sure itِ says itِ comesِ with a version ofِ Windows pre-installed, asِ some companies willِ sell computers withoutِ anِ operating system orِ with justِ a trial version ofِ it.
9. Thinking you’ll go with Linux and still be gaming like everyone else
So maybeِ you thinkِ you’ll justِ skip Windows altogether andِ go withِ Linux; it’s free afterِ all. While youِ canِ certainly find video games that willِ run onِ Linux, you’re goingِ to find a ton ofِ major games thatِ will notِ run onِ Linux. If you’re buying a gaming computer, you’re buying itِ to play games.
10. Getting a Steam Machine
OK, you can getِ a Steam Machine ifِ you reallyِ want. It’s whatِ hasِ made video game consoles soِ successful. Steam Machines areِ anِ attempt toِ replicate thisِ simplicity byِ offering a machine thatِ hasِ a similar form factor toِ consoles andِ an operating system designed forِ gaming andِ multimedia consumption likeِ consoles.
11. Forgetting about a monitor (and compatibility)
A monitor isِ a key component inِ your gaming setup. Though youِ mightِ beِ tempted toِ getِ the bestِ computer youِ can, keepِ inِ mind thatِ you shouldِ set asideِ some ofِ your budget toِ getِ a well-reviewed gaming monitor (emphasis onِ gaming). You’ll alsoِ want toِ makeِ sure youِ buy a monitor thatِ hasِ inputs thatِ match theِ outputs ofِ your GPU, otherwiseِ you won’t beِ able toِ connect themِ (e.g., ifِ your graphics card doesn’t support HDMI out, don’t buy a monitor thatِ onlyِ hasِ anِ HDMI port).
12. Thinking you can game with your friends on console
You canِ totally play games withِ your friends onِ Xbox andِ PlayStation whenِ you goِ to theirِ place andِ use theirِ Xbox andِ PlayStation, but that’s itِ (generally). The majority ofِ games won’t letِ PC gamers andِ console gamers play withِ oneِ another, justِ asِ Xbox gamers don’t getِ to play withِ PlayStation gamers. If youِ love playing games online withِ friends butِ you knowِ most ofِ your friends areِ console gamers, maybeِ you’ll wantِ toِ rethink gettingِ a gaming PC.
13. Thinking this makes you better than console gamers
The merits ofِ a gaming PC areِ not upِ forِ debate. They canِ alwaysِ be outfitted withِ theِ latest andِ most powerful hardware toِ allowِ for theِ bestِ possible visual experience inِ video games — consoles willِ neverِ compete onِ this front. But doesِ anyِ of thisِ makeِ PC gamers betterِ than console gamers.