Today’s the day. You’ve grabbed the hottest new game on release day, and you’ve cleared your schedule to spend the whole day playing it. You boot up your computer, start the game up…and it crashes after a minute of gameplay.
You see, if you don’t optimise your PC for gaming, you run the risk of playing games too demanding for your PC that will not run or (at worst) do damage to your computer from your processor straining itself to keep up. So what are good specs for a gaming PC?
Well, if you’ve ever wanted to know the answer to that question, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to break down the top specs for a gaming PC and how to get started on implementing them! So without further ado, let’s hop right in!
Sorting Out Your Operating System
The first point of computer specs to talk about is the computer OS you have running on your computer at present. For a Windows computer, you’ll ideally want to have Windows 10 for most current-day games. However, although Windows has typically been the platform most big-name developers have steered games towards in the past, most modern games no longer rely on Windows. Mac, Linux and even many Android-based machines can run games with ease these days.
Macs can be a little more complicated than Windows when it comes to gaming. At the time of writing, a lot of games are not calibrated to work with Mac’s newest OS (Catalina) by default since the new OS removed any support for 32-bit applications. However, it is important to note that your Mac doesn’t need to be a 32bit or 64bit architecture to run games, as long as Steam and the developer have created a cross-OS platform support engine.
Nowadays, Linux is actually used a lot more than Windows as it is a free OS and is supported well by Steam’s library. However, it is worth noting that in some rare cases, we have seen some graphics cards cause issues when downloading drivers. So, you’ll just want to check with the manufacturer of the graphics card that it is compatible with Linux. Also, make sure you’ve updated to the latest version and that the game you want works with your OS version before you buy.
What Are Good Specs For A Gaming PC?
Next up on the list for finding the best gaming computer specs is checking your processor and GPU. Your processor (or CPU) helps to make sure your game runs as smoothly as possible without overheating or dropping frames. Some of the top CPU’s on the market now include AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and the Intel Core i9 10900K. Both retail for around the same price, but AMD is usually a fan favourite due to it having a much higher core count.
GPUs (graphics processing units) are critical to ensuring your game will work, and you’ll often need high-end ones to play the latest games (as they place further emphasis on realistic and defined graphics). The gold standard of graphics cards includes the likes of the NVIDIA Titan RTX or AMD XFX RX 5700 XT THICC III. Getting yourself the best card you can afford is a must if you want to play recent gaming juggernauts like Call Of Duty Warzone or Grant Theft Auto V without suffering performance issues.
If you decide to get a new graphics card, it’s important to check the VRAM (a.k.a the video memory) of the card. The VRAM is essential because it helps alleviate some of the stress placed on the graphics card. While you don’t need to go overboard, you ideally want to be running 4GB to get the most from games in 1080p HD or 4K. However, you will find that most games will still run nicely with 2GB or less, depending on the minimum spec of the games you plan to play.
Don’t Forget About Your RAM & Cooling System
After that’s all sorted out, you’ll want to look at your RAM. Most games today require around 4GB or 6GB of RAM, so this should be plenty for most. If you are planning to run games that involve virtual reality or heavy simulations, you may want to aim between 8-16GB instead, to allow for an extra boost in performance. Any more RAM than that, and you’re sinking money into overkill territory.
It’s also important to make sure you have a hard drive big enough to carry all the games you want. For most modern-day hard drives, this shouldn’t be a concern, but it never hurts to double-check the system requirements.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure the cooling systems in your computer are up to snuff. Check to make sure the temperature of your CPU stays around 55/60 degrees Celsius, which should be expected for normal gameplay, and that the fan is running. If not, or if your CPU temperature goes above 75 degrees Celsius, it could be worth having your machine checked, in case there is an issue such as the CPU cooler not being installed correctly.
Want To Build Your Own? Go For It
If you don’t feel like swapping out pieces of your current computer, it’s possible to build a gaming PC from scratch. One tip to keep in mind if you pursue this route is to always remember to use thermal paste. Make sure no paste gets underneath the CPU and that you are applying the correct amount by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Another tip to keep in mind is to not forget to install the I/O shield. It’s an easy piece to forget about, but since it helps protect any input or output slots in your motherboard from getting damaged from shaky movement, it’s also a critical piece.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind where you need to allocate the big parts of your budget. Springing for a top-tier motherboard or excessive RAM isn’t required for a strong gaming computer, and will decimate your budget if you’re not careful.
Don’t Want The Hassle? Then Hire Us To Do It For You
If you don’t want the hassle of building your own custom gaming PC, or if you simply feel overwhelmed by the steps involved, then why not hire us to build one for you. Whatever your need for a high-end machine, our engineers will build your PC from scratch using only the highest quality components and every PC is thoroughly bench tested before it leaves for delivery. This means you get a rock-solid system without any bloatware and it’s ready to go out of the box.
For more information, see our custom gaming PC builder service.
Get Your Game On
And there you have it! Now that you know the answer to the fabled question of “What are good specs for a gaming PC?”, you’re ready to dive in there and craft the gaming machine of your dreams! And if you want some assistance or advice with making that machine, don’t be afraid to reach out and see how we can help!