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# 1: Video Card(s) (GPU)

 

When it comes to gaming desktops, your video card is just as important as your processor. It has one of the most important tasks: to display images on your monitor. What makes a great video card? Find out Below:

a. Next Gen. Technology - The newest technology will not only have more graphical horse power, but will have newer capabilities that you will be able to take advantage of down the road. For example, NVIDIA is the only brand that features full PhysX processing on the core. This allows your processor to focus on more important tasks.

b. Good FPS – Frame per second (FPS), the more frames the smoother your game play will be. As you crank up the visuals in today’s hottest games, your FPS will suffer. A powerful video card will offset this issue.

When you are looking to purchase a video card make sure to consider if a multiple video card setup is for you.

c. Multiple Video Cards – Two video cards working together can provide up to twice the performance resulting in even more smoother and detailed game play experience.

# 2: Processor (CPU)

 

Imagine the processor as the brain of gaming laptops and desktops. It is one of the most critical components that determines how well your computer performs. Here is what to look for when purchasing a new processor:

a. Multiple processor cores allow you to multi-task without sacrificing performance:

        i. Example 1: During game play one core is processing AI (artificial intelligence) while the other is processing game data.

       ii. Example 2: Scan for viruses and surf the web at the same time without a drop in speed.

b. Newer processors are consistently faster than their older cousins, so if you are going to buy a new computer make sure you buy a relatively new CPU because a bargain price CPU is going to have bargain price performance.

c. Two important characteristics of all CPU’s are cache and clock speed. The bigger these two are the smoother your games will run.

# 3: Memory (RAM)

 

RAM, known as “Random Access Memory” is also a crucial aspect of your gaming PC. The memory acts as a buffer between all core components of your system. Faster memory will increase the performance of your entire computer. If you don’t make the right selection, it will create a bottleneck for your entire system. Consider the following when purchasing your memory:

a. Speed- Remember the faster the memory the better your software will perform, this is especially true of your games. Expect to see more silky smooth game play with faster RAM.

b. Size – When you get more RAM you get to run more applications without experiencing slowdowns in performance.

# 4: Motherboard

 

The motherboard communicates with all the hardware inside your computer. It is important you consider what type of motherboard you want to purchase because a weak foundation could mean your computer becoming obsolete much earlier. Here’s what we mean:

a. Future Proof – A high-end motherboard will provide more longevity because it will be compatible with future technology. But lower end motherboards, though they have a better price, you will find it very difficult to upgrade in the future. The inability to upgrade may make your computer obsolete down the road.

# 5: Power Supply (PSU)

 

The power supply does exactly what the name suggests it supplies power to your gaming computer. When buying your power supply here’s what to look for:

a. Wattage – Based on what computer you desire you may require more watts then someone who is building a different system be sure you choose appropriately so that your computer isn’t starved for power.

b. Upgradability – If you plan on upgrading in the future then you should consider buying a larger power supply than you would normally get because you can never predict how much power future hardware will require. If you plan ahead you’ll save yourself a big headache because replacing the power supply in your computer is a very time consuming task. This is especially important if you are planning to add a second video card in the future.

# 6: Overclocking (Digital Storm TwisterBoost Technology)

 

Being normal can be boring, that’s why people love having overclocked gaming computers. It’s a form of fine-tuning your computer in order to enhance its performance. Overclocking is essentially tuning key parts of your computer to run faster than what they are normally rated to run at. You’re probably thinking, what’s the catch? Overclocked computers tend to produce more heat, and you will need to look into more effective cooling options. Having an effective cooling system will allow you to maximize your performance boost because it counters the added heat produced by Overclocking.

a. CPU OVERCLOCKING – One of the biggest bottlenecks in your computer is your CPU. In general if you Overclock your computer expect to see about a 25-40% increase in performance depending on what type of cooling system you have in your computer. When you do choose to Overclock your CPU consider the following tip: You can Overclock any CPU, but the higher end models and Intel’s “Extreme Editions” tend to Overclock a lot higher than their lesser counterparts.

b. GPU OVERCLOCKING – When you Overclock your video cards it’s like taking the graphics engine of your computer and slapping on a turbo-charger. Expect your graphics cards performance to increase 7-10%, providing you with higher FPS and smoother game-play.

c. RAM OVERCLOCKING – Increasing the speed of your RAM has some great benefits, your software will load noticeably faster and your games will play better.

d. WINDOWS TWEAKS – Don’t let windows bog down all the fancy hardware you’ve just bought by running useless stuff in the background. Tweaking Windows can trim the fat off you’re Operating System so that your programs and games can load and perform faster, besides everybody loves a lean figure.

# 7: Cooling

 

There are two types of cooling you can choose from; Air or Liquid and there are positives and negatives to both.

a. Air Cooling – This type of cooling uses fans to move air throughout your computer chassis to cool your computer hardware. This form of cooling is relatively affordable and effective. However, air cooling has its limits and isn’t as effective as liquid cooling.

b. Liquid Cooling – This type of cooling utilizes specially formulated liquid to regulate the heat generated by the different components in your system. A complete system consists of a: pump, reservoir tank, liquid blocks, and radiator. Liquid cooling in general increases overclocks significantly compared to air cooling. The down side to liquid cooling is the maintenance that is sometimes (after 2-3 years) required and its price.

# 8: Chassis

 

It’s not a sin to look good. A high-quality chassis will have sufficient air flow and enough room to house all the components you have now or may want to house in the future. Good airflow results in cooler hardware, meaning that your computer will run longer and with greater stability.

# 9: Hard Drive(s) (HDD)

 

One of the most overlooked and misunderstood areas in a computer is the hard drive. You store all your software and data on your hard drive so clearly it is a vital part of your computer, however for most people their main consideration is how big, when it should equally be how fast?

a. Speed The faster your hard drive is the faster your software, and most importantly your games will load. Not only that, but, a faster hard drive will boost the responsiveness when you load and close applications. A fast hard drive won’t increase your frame rates, so if you have extra cash, make sure you spent it on higher ranking items first.

b. Size Hard drive space has become relatively cheap. For a few extra bucks you can prevent yourself from making a pricey upgrade down the road. Who knows what movies or music you may have in the future. Better yet, you could create a massive library of all your media.

c. Multiple Hard Drives Having more than one hard drive allows you to put your operating system on one drive, and all your data such as media on another. This will protect you if your operating system hard drive crashes or catches a virus.

 

RAID – RAID technology was developed to allow multiple hard drives to work together. The benefit here is to decrease software loading and writing times. There are two RAID options available to you, below are what they are along with their advantages and disadvantages:

a. RAID 0 Stripe – two hard drives are combined to form a larger single hard drive. When you save data on a RAID 0 stripe you save data on two drives simultaneously decrease the time it takes to save and load files compared to a regular hard drive.

i. Positive – RAID 0 provides faster performance which is ideal for gaming.

ii. Negative - If one hard drive fails everything is lost.

b. RAID 1 Mirror – One hard drive is an exact copy of another; therefore, you have two copies of your data, in case one HDD goes bad.

i. Positive – The second hard drive backs up your main hard drive constantly so if your first hard drive breaks down you have a backup of all your data.

ii. Negative – The second hard drive is not accessible at all when it is in the RAID mirror setup, so if you run out of space on your first hard drive you would have to buy a completely new hard drive.

# 10: Dedicated Sound Card

 

One of the best parts of gaming is the great sound that comes with a lot of games. Great music creates a very immersive experience that’s why it’s important to consider what type of sound setup you want for your computer.

a. Motherboard Audio – Many motherboards today come with built in sound that is very good. Most motherboards have built in 5.1, even 7.1 surround sound. However, when you are playing games your CPU will be processing sound at the same time it is trying to process other game data, which may affect game performance negatively.

b. Dedicated Sound Card – A dedicated sound card will provide you with better quality sound than the standard motherboard sound and sound data will be processed by the sound card and not the CPU, so your games performance remains unaffected. A dedicated sound card has only one downside, price. You are paying extra for a separate device that does something that most motherboards today do for no extra cost.

 

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