by Paul Sanders
Gaming PCs are the peak of graphics performance for desktops. In fact, gaming hardware and accessories push the boundaries of computer technology for home use. When comparing desktop computers for gaming, a little knowledge about hardware specifications can help you spot a good value. To help you save money in your gaming budget, here are some basics on the computer hardware and accessories to look for in gaming desktops.
Video cards: Simulating 3D environments can take a lot of computer processing power. A single powerful graphics card, or dual video cards, can drive the graphics that gaming desktops need to play the latest games at the highest resolutions. Look for graphics cards with at least 512 MB or more of memory and a fast GPU. If you plan on using dual video cards, make sure to check out desktops with support for SLI or Crossfire (depending on the brand of card).
Widescreen monitor: Computers with a large screen with a high native resolution will make your games seem even more impressive. If you're really looking for an amazing display, you might consider connecting multiple screens to your desktop for an extended view. Gaming desktops will produce better results using a display with a fast pixel-response time.
Computer speakers: Thundering sound is a big part of an immersive gaming experience. Match a powerful 2.1 or 5.1 computer speaker system with desktops capable of multi-channel sound to take full advantage of your game's superior sound production. Most computer speakers will be powered, so they won't draw extra power from your desktop.
Fast memory: Gaming desktops will benefit from having as much RAM as you can fit into the motherboard. DDR3 RAM memory modules are fast becoming the industry standard for gaming desktops because DDR3 is significantly faster than DDR2. Desktops for gaming should include at least 4 GB of RAM, regardless of which type they use.
Cooling system: Your high-performance gaming rig will put off a lot of heat. Protect your investment by installing multiple cooling fans, a CPU fan and possibly even a liquid-cooling system inside the desktop case. Cool desktops are less likely to experience hardware failure, and your components will last longer, too.
Multi-button mice and gaming keyboards: Many gaming desktops include unique keyboards and gaming mice to give you more responsive, customizable controls for your games. Basic gaming keyboards should include more than just the factory QWERTY design. Look for programmable function buttons and possibly even a split keyboard. Some extra buttons on your mouse will be helpful in games, too.