Nothing is more frustrating than buying a new computer game, and the computer just is not strong enough to play it smoothly. This does not happen to you with a powerful gaming PC! These devices are designed by the latest technology exactly to display computer games in the highest possible quality. In our gaming PC comparison, we compared a total of 13 different products for you, focusing on the key features of each computer.
Learn more about what makes a gaming PC, what it’s made of and what to look for when buying it to be satisfied with your device in the long-term in our next gaming PC guide.
Top 10 Gaming PC
How does a gaming computer work?
The fluid rendering of modern graphics is the area that places the greatest demands on a computer. The majority of today’s games take place in a three-dimensional world. The graphics of the games are calculated by the gaming PC from the internally stored representations of the game world out and presented to you as a user as possible in real time and without juddering.
The liquid presentation of the games is done according to modern standards in FULL HD with at least 30 frames per second and a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. That’s about 60 million pixels per second, which the gaming PC has to process constantly and without delay. If a higher resolution is used, this number increases exponentially again. In addition, a gaming PC contains various components whose interaction is crucial for the fluent reproduction of modern computer games:
- graphic card
- random access memory
- network card
This task would overwhelm even most modern multicore processors if they were left on their own and known major vendors such as Nvidia or ATI (Radeon) did not specifically develop graphics cards to do the job.
The graphics card
In principle, graphics cards are specialized parallel computers that have a large number of processors. These get from the CPU of the gaming computer only the basic data, from which they then calculate the finished game graphics and generate. These graphics cards are usually easily plugged into a matching, designed PCI Express slot as a plug-in card or connected to a comparable interface.
This type of connection makes sense because data contents stored in this way can be accessed much more quickly by the computer than those stored on a conventional hard disk or SSD disk.
The working memory
But of course, other components besides the graphics card determine the performance of a gaming PC. For example, random access memory (RAM) is needed to cache program content or data in general. Random Access Memory is the written variant of RAM. If the RAM is too small, user data is often swapped out to the normal hard disk or SSD disk. However, this leads to data processing being slowed down, which in turn can lead to still images or long response times of the user interface.
The motherboard or motherboard is the heart of the computer. It connects all the hardware of the gaming computer. On it is the main processor, or the CPU (Central Processing Unit), which is usually under a specially designed heatsink. Additional plug-in cards such as graphics, network or sound cards find their place on PCI or PCI Express slots of the mainboard. The PCI Express slot represents the faster and more modern connection variant.
This system has long since defied the ravages of time with its ever-present modifications and modernizations because it allows the modular design of a computer. This makes it possible to build individual computers according to their tasks. A large part of the functions of the hardware, which are missing on the mainboard at the beginning or only insufficiently available, can be retrofitted relatively easily and easily with a suitable plug-in card.
The processor coordinates and processes the data sent by the other hardware components so that meaningful communication can take place in the computer. Insofar as the corresponding task cannot be performed by a controller or any other comparable specialized hardware component. Historically, the processor in a computer handled, among other things, almost all arithmetic and logic tasks. Of course, it still plays an essential role in the processing of stored data on the computer today.
Optionally, it can be supported in its tasks by coprocessors or specialized plug-in cards (for example, in AES encryption or in the calculation of graphics).
This happens, for example, when the first core of the processor needs the result of the second core to complete its calculations. Due to the many switching operations per second, however, the CPU has the highest risk of overheating. These many switching operations generate correspondingly much heat and thus ensure warming of the CPUs. Therefore, in particular, the CPU but also the processor of the graphics card by a cooling system must be kept below the critical temperature level. Good values for the temperature of the CPUs or the graphics card of a normally cooled system are under full load at about 40 to 50 degrees Celsius.
If it is particularly important to you that your gaming computer is as quiet as possible, you should use dedicated fans or consider alternative methods such as water cooling. However, water cooling is associated with a significant overhead. Most importantly, make sure the coolant used does not leak and cause short circuits inside the computer.
The network card
A network card in the computer allows the user to connect his computer with other computers or his home router. Usually, Gigabit Ethernet connections are used today. These have a maximum data throughput of 1,000 MBit per second. This Ethernet port is used by most users primarily to connect to the Internet through its own router. Another popular option is a wireless Wi-Fi connection, which is usually less reliable and can be a disadvantage in certain situations.
The majority of motherboards or complete computers already have integrated network interfaces. This will save you a manual retrofit or the request for network card installation at a dealer. If a transfer of data via its own NAS or multimedia server is going to be extremely fast, there is also the option of a 10 gigabyte Ethernet interface. The hardware required for this is still relatively expensive today and not fully exploited with the use of ordinary DSL or cable Internet connections.
In addition, all connected devices must withstand the fast data transfer rate of up to 10 gigabytes per second. For the average consumer, the normal 1-gigabyte interface is still completely sufficient. A gaming computer also comes with this interface as standard.
The keyboard, mouse, controllers, and joysticks serve the user as a way of interacting with the computer. They help the gamer to control his game efficiently. For role-playing games and MMORPG’s, there are, for example, special gaming mice and keyboards with freely assignable additional keys.
For example, you can avoid an otherwise awkward key and simply use the assignable key to perform an action. This is especially important in situations in which the player has little time, for example, in PvP battles (player versus player). In such situations, a freely assignable mouse or keyboard can bring the decisive advantage.
You should be careful to select the appropriate input devices for your preferred genre and subject to a test before long-term use. The first steps in setting up the gaming computer do not require such special input devices. For the installation and set up of the software quite normal keyboards or mice are completely sufficient.
What you should consider when buying a gaming computer
Many different factors determine the requirements that a gaming computer has to meet. Even your personal favorite genre has a strong influence on it. A fast first-person shooter or racing game generally requires more powerful hardware than turn-based strategy games. For a good overview, it’s enough to read the hardware recommendations for the most demanding tracks of your favorite genre.
Sustainability plays a key role in the choice of a gaming computer. This is why many complete gaming systems are available in different versions so that the user can determine how long his computer will be suitable for the future. The following section will tell you what to watch out for when assembling your gaming PC.
The graphics card and memory are the key components in your gaming PC
Special attention must be paid to the graphics card. The vast majority of today’s games require powerful 3D accelerator cards that need to support modern graphics standards such as OpenGL or DirectX in their latest release.
Also important is a large enough memory in the gaming computer. Optimally suited for this are the additional free RAM slots on the motherboard. As a result, a decision later memory expansion can be easily accomplished. Depending on the used RAM variant, it makes sense to allocate an even number of slots. In addition, you should find out how much RAM your motherboard can support maximum. If you take all of this into account, the memory can be adjusted according to your needs.
There are different types of hard drives
For modern systems, an SSD hard disk is recommended. It has a much higher data throughput than HDD hard disks. As a result, loading times of PC games and the actual boot time can be significantly reduced. The operating system itself and many other programs of the gaming computer also benefit from the speed advantage. Current games have large amounts of data that need to be processed. Therefore, it is also advantageous to have large capacities of this type of nonvolatile memory. This is especially true when many games are to be installed.
Of course, you can also combine an SSD with a larger HDD hard drive. With such a setup you can install particularly large games and the operating system on the SSD or use the SSD as a cache for the HDD hard disk. What works better depends on the way you want to use your gaming computer. If you have sufficient expertise, you can also easily test which of the options brings more speed.
The use as a cache is usually then, if the games or programs used change frequently, because then less often of the slower HDD hard drive than the faster SSD hard drive must be loaded. When using technically rather modest programs such as small text files, there is hardly any improvement in speed when stored on an SSD hard drive.
You need a strong processor
The main processor of the gaming computer must be strong enough to handle all the additional tasks involved besides playing games. Some players believe that a fast main processor is no longer necessary in a modern gaming computer because the graphics card takes the brunt of the calculation.
After all, the graphics card also consumes most of the energy it needs, provides the most heat and provides the most computing power in the gaming computer. However, this justification contains only part of the truth and should not be left standing.
The game logic and other processes for which the CPU is not optimized must still be processed by the main processor. He also has to take care of the fast supply of the CPU with raw data and commands for the calculation of the respective frame.
Tips for taking care of your gaming computer
As with all other commodities, you should make sure that your gaming PC is not careless and that you occasionally clean it.
Overheating of the system must be avoided at all costs
The majority of modern computers turn off automatically when the temperature is too high, but you should still prevent your system from scratching its temperature limit all the time. That leads to a reduced lifetime of the hardware.
If, after a few months or even years of computer use, both the volume and the temperature are slowly increasing, it’s high time you began to thoroughly clean your gaming computer. Otherwise, it can happen that the computer loses power.
The following items are suitable for cleaning your gaming PC:
- vacuum cleaner
- hand vacuum cleaner
- microfiber cloth
- hand bellows
Not suitable for cleaning your PCs:
- Crepe paper, handkerchiefs and generally anything else that flutters
- Normal rags
Dust is the main cause of computer temperature problems. The usual house dust consists of rock granules, skin components, abrasion material or spores of mushrooms and food leftovers. These components can get stuck in the cracks of the gaming PC and cause problems there.
Individual dust flakes can be removed relatively easily with the help of a compressed air spray with pipe attachment or a vacuum cleaner . Especially for the AC adapter is the vacuum cleaner, because it should be cleaned from the back of the computer. The power supply should never be unscrewed to clean it. As a result, it loses its guarantee on the one hand and on the other hand, this can result in an increased risk of injury.
Clean your gaming PC regularly
No matter which gaming computer you have purchased, cleaning the fan systems should be done regularly. This favors the correct function of the fan and sufficient draft. Be sure to pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning.