Jan 30, 2018

Desktop Gaming PCs for Beginners - 2018

Introducing gaming PCs that we would like to recommend, from entry-level models to middle-spec'd gaming PCs.

A game console is always handy for playing games, but if you would like to play games in a perfect environment, how about trying desktop gaming PCs? Having said that, there should be many users who don't know what to get as there are so many varieties. I would like to show some of the gaming PCs we recommend here.

What is a gaming PC? What is the difference from a regular PC?

A gaming PC is a PC designed for playing games, and it has higher specs than a regular PC which is made for e-mails, browsing and playing movies. You can play PC games with a regular PC, but when you play games with the latest 3D graphics technology, it can be jumpy or it freezes, which you might find unsatisfactory. If you want to play games pleasantly on a PC, a high performance gaming PC is the best. There are two choices in gaming PCs: home built gaming PC and BTO. With a home built gaming PC, users choose and purchase each part and build their own PCs. Users have more choices, but it is difficult to make one for beginners. On the other hand, BTO, which stands for "Build To Order," means PC manufacturers and shops take orders and make one. Now, each BTO manufacturer has their original gaming PC series, and they have set basic configurations, but you can customize it at the same time. Some products allow you to add parts later on. With this article, we are going through each manufacturer's gaming PC series.

Points that should be looked at when choosing a gaming PC

Graphics card, which every gaming PC needs

When choosing a gaming PC, the basic specs of the main parts, such as the CPU, memory, graphics card, storage and power supply unit, are important. The graphics card is especially important in playing PC games which use a lot of 3D graphics as it is in charge of the drawing process.

Popular graphics cards in the market at the moment are GeForce of NVIDIA and the Radeon series of AMD. When you buy a gaming PC, you should choose one with a high-end graphics card from GeForce or Radeon. If you want to play VR games which require high-grade processing, go for a gaming PC which has a graphics card of VR Ready, which ensures its operation.

CPU is important in bringing out a graphics card's performance

However, even if you have the best graphics card, you cannot bring out its performance to its limit if the CPU has low performance. As for CPU, intel Core I series was a mainstream, but AMD released its newest Ryzen series last March, which has been quite popular.

For playing the latest games, the highest model Core i7 or Ryzen 7 would be the best. But there are many games that work with middle class Core i5 or Ryzen 5. Of course Core i7/5 and Ryzen 7/5 have detailed models depending on operation frequency or number of threads; which you should choose depending on which game you play.

The memory should be at least 8GB; 16GB would be better. Storage doesn't affect gameplay much like the graphics card or CPU, but it affects loading time or starting time. If you want to play without feeling stressed, it is better to go for SSD which has faster data communication.

Also, a power supply unit plays a very important role in supplying power to each part, and it is important that it has enough capacity to work all the parts. With a home built PC, it is difficult to decide which one to choose, but with BTO gaming PC, they have chosen the one with enough capacity, so you don't have to worry about it.

Computer peripherals such as the display and mouse are also important

You cannot play games unless you get peripherals such as a case, keyboard, mouse and LCD ready even if you buy a gaming PC. The case plays an important role in quietness and exhausting heat. The keyboard and the mouse affects operability, so it is better to choose the one specialized for games or the ones that support gameplay.

As for LCD, if you play action games with lots of moves, it is better to go for one specialized in gaming. Displays specialized in gaming has a high refresh rate, which enables pleasant game play. When you buy a BTO gaming PC, you can also choose the suited peripherals, so be sure to check them out.

Recommended models for playing games

Above are points that you need to look at when you buy a gaming PC, but those who are buying a gaming PC for the first time may get muddled. It is a good idea to go for recommended models each manufacturer has if you have problems in choosing.

Recommended models are PCs which game manufacturers or the PC manufacturers have ensured its operation playing a certain game. If you have a particular game you would like to play, you might want to go for a recommended model.

The higher spec a gaming PC has, the more pleasant you can play games. But of course higher specs means higher price. If you have a game you want to play, to get a PC with just enough specs to play that game would be good. So I am showing some gaming PCs that are good for beginners or intermediate users.

ASUS "ROG"

ASUS's gaming brand ROG, has the super high-end model, GT51CH, the high-end model G20CI, and the middle range GR series. The GR series is mini-tower PCs which come with a specialized M801 gaming keyboard and a ROG Sica mouse. Because it is compact, you cannot upgrade it later on, but it has enough performance for playing games. It has supporting functions for players like showing where the sound is coming from called Sonic Radar III, which will be helpful for online FPS games.

Acer "Predator"

Acer's gaming PC brand, Predator, has a characteristic armored vehicle-like design and high-spec parts component. It has three series: G1, which is small and seeks high performance, middle spec G3 and high spec G6. It may look expensive when you look only at the parts component, but it supports VR and it has tunnel cooling system, which attracts game players. Especially the G3 and the G6 have high extensibility, so you can introduce parts with higher specs later on. If you are thinking to get a gaming PC different from others, this would be it.

HP "OMEN by HP"

HP integrated their products for games with a brand called OMEN by HP, and started their desktop gaming PC line from autumn 2016. What it sells at the moment are OMEN by HP Desktop 870, which is a mini tower model, and high-end class OMEN X by HP 900. They both have models with different specs. Both series have high performance parts that support VR, and although it is not as customizable as those of domestic BTO manufacturers, it has a liquid CPU cooler and a stylish case with LED, which are unique.

Lenovo "Lenovo Legion"

Lenovo launched their gaming PC brand, Legion on 21 February in 2017. It has a cube-shaped portable ideacentre Y720 Cube, a tower gaming PC with high performance and high extensibility called ideacentre Y700, and an all-in-one gaming PC, ideacentre AIO Y910. Each has models with different component parts. The ideacentre Y720 Cube is reasonably priced, and it is for beginners and intermediate users, but the parts components are decided, so you cannot customize it in detail. The ideacentre Y700 has a tool-less design, which makes adding parts later on easy.

Dell "Alienware"

Dell's gaming PC brand, Alienware, is well known all over the world. They have three series, the super small Alpha, the middle tower Aurora, and the Area-51, which is VR ready and has a liquid CPU cooling system. Each series only has 4 models, but because there are only 4 each, it is easy to choose. Another feature is its stylish and luxurious case. As it says it offers the most powerful PCs in the universe, it has a range of high spec'd gaming PCs.

MSI "G.A.M.E. UNLIMITED"

MSI offers the compact Vortex series, the game console-sized Trident 3, the high-end Vortex, and the Aegis which supports VR. The Trident 3 is made from high spec parts, and it supports VR though it is rather small. It is not cheap, but it should work for long for sure.

All of these PCs are worth a try. Which one do you want to use?