21st July 2018
The Right Gear for Gamers
We received so much feedback about last weeks’ article on Gaming Rigs that a more in depth follow up seems like a good idea. We discussed what is required of a gaming rig and how they are at the forefront of computer technology. Extreme computer power is needed to play the latest high definition games at high frame rates, so the gamer is presented with a realistic flowing picture.
Delving further into the required hardware the foundation for one of these powerhouses is a desktop case with lots of space and good ventilation. Gaming cases will often have between 2 and 4 fans just to drag fresh air in from down low and exhaust heated air out from high in the case. This provides the cooling which is required mostly by fast video cards and powerful CPU’s and as mentioned last week, extreme gaming rigs often feature water cooling to help dissipate heat.
Motherboards for gaming PC’s will have heaps of expansion slots and connectors including at least 2 video slots, M.2 drive connectors and heaps of BIOS options for ‘overclocking’ CPU’s and ram (talked about later). Gaming motherboards will also advertise themselves with multicoloured LED lights that suit a glass sided case. As opposed to an industry standard motherboard which would cost around $150, gaming motherboards start at $300 and run to around $700.
Decent video cards for gaming start at around $250 for a GTX-1050Ti, average closer to $700 for a GTX-1070 and top out at around $1400 for a GTX-1080Ti. This is the sort of lingo that gamers talk and moving up the ranks between these cards is not unlike moving from a 4-cylinder car to a 6 and again to a V8. Extreme gamers will even opt to have 2 video cards linked together for faster frame rates yet again!
Popular CPU’s for gamers mostly centre around the unlocked versions of Intel i5 and i7 CPU’s which can be ‘overclocked’ with adequate cooling to run at higher frequencies and help with higher frame rates. Again, this is not much different to hotting up a car motor to produce higher levels of power. These changes should be done in small increments and monitored carefully to confirm that a degree of reliability and longevity is still present.
Gaming rigs will have around 16 to 32GB of ram and even these computer chip modules don’t escape the quest for greater frame rates. Gaming ram will also be ‘overclocked’ to run at higher than normal frequencies and will also have aluminium heat spreaders attached to help dissipate the extra associated heat. Typically, gaming ram modules will run at 3000MHz instead of the more industry standard 2400MHz level and 32GB of this stuff will easily set you back $500.
A fast hard drive is next on the shopping list and you can’t go past a solid-state drive in the form of the latest M.2 drives that plug directly into the motherboard. With no moving mechanical parts and a high bandwidth path to the CPU these drives can see a computer ‘boot up’ from being turned off to an operational state in literally 5 to 10 seconds. At around $300 a 500GB M.2 drive should be considered the minimum size for a gaming rig.
There are other components that we need to cover such as secondary storage drives, power supplies, cooling and peripherals so we will have to wrap this topic up next week.
Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.
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