PC gaming has evolved so quickly and to such extremes that today’s games rival movies in graphical fidelity. Modern games are built on complex and powerful engines that would appear like witchcraft to some twenty years ago. High-resolution textures, intricate physics systems and deformable terrain would not be possible without some high-performance computer parts.
Today’s gaming PC needs a lot of grunts, your dusty old lounge room PC just won’t be able to cope. Luckily, hardware has evolved with the times too, and components are thinner, lighter and more efficient than ever before. Gone are the days of the behemoth gaming tower, now you can run the latest games on a laptop!
Gaming laptops are a popular option for many gamers as the mobility offered can be a real boon. Ok, so you are a gamer on the go and you are ready to check out some gaming laptops and PCs. Great! But before you buy one, let’s check out the minimum specs you will need to consider.
The central processing unit, or CPU for short, is the “brain” of your laptop. The CPU will do most of the grunt work in daily computing and is the most significant factor in your PC’s performance. Here is where things get a little tricky, as gamers the CPU is the second most significant performance part. A fast CPU is vital for calculating physics but doesn’t help much when rendering graphics. For that, we need a GPU. A modern quad core processor like Intel’s 8th generation i5 range hit the perfect spot between price and performance.
Most commonly referred to as a “graphics card” This slice of silicone is where you should be spending your money if you want silky smooth frame rates and lifelike details. A GPU’s sole purpose is to render graphics and the beefier your card the higher you can crank the graphics settings. NVidias has long been supplying gamers their graphical fix, the efficient and silent GTX 1060 is an affordable way to play games with decent quality.
Huh? The screen!? What about RAM? What about peripherals? Yes, RAM and a good mouse and keyboard are important, but all this fancy gear is useless if you can’t properly see the action. A good screen will be at least 1080p and have a high refresh rate. The MSI GE73 Raider has a 17” screen with 120Hz refresh rate meaning you will never miss a frame. Crucial for competitive gaming where milliseconds matter.
4) RAM and SSD
RAM is essentially your computers short term memory. Recalling data quickly RAMs job and the more, the better. Speeds also play a role in performance. 8GB of ddr4 RAM would be the minimum recommended for today’s games. An SSD is a solid-state drive and acts as a memory card, except way faster. The size isn’t of huge importance. Most people will install frequently used programs etc. on an SSD and the bulk of data on a cheap and large traditional HDD. SSDs a must for today’s computing tasks.
How you play games and what quality you expect really comes down to you, the individual. Many professional players actually reduce the quality of their graphics to get as many frames per seconds as possible to give them the edge needed in such a fast-paced sport.
If you are chasing pure quality, then the sky’s the limit and you can expect to pay big money for the latest components. A modest laptop with at least 8GB of RAM and GTX 1060 or above should give you a compromise between speed and quality. Get out and start gaming!