Learning More About Technology

« Back to Home

What Does It Take To Make A Gaming Computer?

Posted on

Modern computers can do a lot of things, but there are a few tasks that the general selection just can't handle. Specialized jobs like graphic design, animation, video editing, and bulk scientific data calculation all require some stronger components to do their jobs competently or at all, but many hobbies also require powerful systems. Gaming on computers is a major industry that ranges from low-resource use Candy Crush to high-production games like Dishonored 2. These games are becoming more popular, and if you'd like a machine that can handle it all, here are a few computer details to keep your tech lingo strong and your budget on track.

What Is A Gaming Computer?

Many computers can play games, but that's not what this marketing term means. The industry and hobby world of computer gaming refers to playing games that have a high resource demand from multiple parts of the computer. Even video game consoles are part of this design ideal, as the Xbox and Playstation current generation computers are proprietary computers with many components found in top-end gaming computers of their time.

The term can get pretty ambiguous. You don't need to have the newest parts and fastest system to be a gaming computer, but you do need to be able to play certain games. The main difference between a standard computer and a gaming computer is the video card, although other components come into play for optimum gaming experiences.

What Does A Video Card Do?

A video card is basically a miniature computer on a small board that is dedicated to rendering (calculating and delivering) graphics. Every computer has some sort of graphics chip installed onboard (often called an integrated graphics chip), but the video card unlocks a much higher potential.

Although more is better in terms of computer resources for the most part, the video card does more than just stack on extra resources. There are certain instructions and techniques that only a video card can interpret, such as the use of shaders to create complex graphics using a shading language that a standard computer can't understand. 

Other chips on video cards such as physics chips handle specific tasks, but these tasks can be handled by any processor and set of memory. The issue is that if your computer's Central Processing Unit (CPU) is spending time on everything that makes the game work properly, it won't be able to maintain Windows, Linux, OSX, or whatever operating system (OS) you have.

Although a game is a program and is managed like a program, its resources are simply more intensive when talking about the more visually and technologically spectacular games. In addition to a video card, many gaming computers will have higher amounts of memory and a faster CPU, just so the game won't have any competition from the OS or other operating systems.

More resources is important because many gamers multitask while they game. Looking up other information or communicating with others games can be done, and is often very important. With online team games such as Counterstrike, World of Warcraft, or Star Citizen, players talk with each other over voice communications, chat rooms or other internet resources. 

Contact a residential computer services professional, like one from Geek911, if you want to convert your computer into a gaming machine, or if you'd like a new gaming rig built from scratch the way you want it.