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Jun
18
2012

10 Items to Consider When Customizing Your Gaming PC

Whether you're a casual PC gamer or a serious competitor, the vast number of options on how you can customize your computer can leave individuals with a special and unique configuration that "works for them." There are countless ways to customize a gaming computer configuration to provide the most immersive experience – you just have to know where to start. Your selection of components will make a direct impact on the overall performance of the PC, by better understanding the following ten items; you'll be ready to create the perfect gaming PC that is best suited for your needs.

1. Processor (CPU)

This is the heart of any computer, and while you want one that can easily handle all your favorite games, you don't want to over-purchase power and speed you won't actually use. A processor is very important, but, in a gaming PC, the graphics card is equally as important as well. If you're a casual player who just likes a solid, smooth gaming experience, you may not need the most recent and flag-ship processor. An Intel Core i5 based CPU would be perfectly fine. On the other hand, if you're looking to get competitive, an Intel Core i7 based processor with its higher CPU clock speed can give you that extra edge in a more responsive gaming experience. In addition, a higher-end CPU will allow you to tap into additional computing power for other CPU intensive tasks.

2. Graphics Card (GPU)

Gaming systems are all about graphics, and this is where the second most important item comes in. There are a ton of great graphic cards to pick from; you'll just need to pick which one suits your needs. Today's PC games don't require a whole lot of power unless you're running them at a very high resolution or on multiple displays. A mid-range next-gen graphics card will satisfy even the most hardcore PC gamers that are running on a 24" monitor. Don't forget, this isn't just about raw GPU texture fill rates or memory bandwidth (although those are important, of course). It's more about how far you can take the experience. Consider NVIDIA's Surround Technology to spread your game across three screens, or you may want to take your gaming experience up a notch with NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology. Running on three screens may require investing in at least a dual graphics card configuration.

3. Overclocking

The art of overclocking the processor will increase the performance of your machine by pushing the clock speeds beyond their (clearly) conservative estimates from the manufacturers. Overclocking can literally increase the overall performance of your system by at least 25% or more. The performance gains from boosting a processor from 3.6GHz to 4.6GHz can make a big difference in frame rates. Overclocking is even more important in configurations with multiple video cards as they can actually be bottlenecked by the speed of the processor. Digital Storm has over a decade of experience in safely overclocking components, but just remember, the faster you run the processor, the more cooling you will need. To help keep temperatures under control, we offer affordable mainstream liquid cooling options that require zero maintenance from the user. There's also no need to worry about the reliability of the computer with a overclock as we stress-test and benchmark every system that leaves our facility.

 

4. System Memory

The amount of available free system memory can have a huge impact on how your system performs. When your system runs out of available memory due to all of the applications and services you have running, your system will begin to use the Windows page file which is a temporary file stored on your hard drive. The Windows page file acts like your memory but performs many times slower, causing a huge bottleneck on your system and making it very sluggish. Today's latest games don't really need more than 8GB of system memory, however, with memory being so affordable, a large configuration of 16GB ensures that your games and background applications have plenty of available memory to use in even the most intensive computing situations.

5. Cooling System

A gaming PC with high-performance hardware can produce a good amount of heat. The most important factor that can affect a system's overall performance and reliability is the operating temperature of the internal components. Therefore, if you want to step up your game, you need to make sure you have a great cooling system. Digital Storm's Vortex liquid cooler is a great and affordable solution that can keep even the most extreme processors running cool.

6. Chassis

The chassis you choose is important for a high-performance gaming PC because it houses all of your components while providing easy access and support for future upgrades. A chassis isn't just about an aesthetic look, you need to make sure it can support your configuration and be capable of future upgrades down the road. Digital Storm offers a wide range of name brand chassis choices to fit your style and needs.

 

7. Storage

If you're a power user, you can easily end up using a lot of hard drive space fairly quickly. Today's next-gen games, high-definition videos, and digital pictures can take up some serious space. Make sure you have plenty of room for your needs now and in the future. Investing in a solid state drive is a great idea, plus you don't need to get a large size, a 120GB unit is plenty and we can install the operating system and your crucial applications with plenty of space to spare. You can also add an additional storage drive to place all of your games and user data. If you're investing in a gaming PC, a SSD is great because it provides a much more zippy user experience while using Windows to open and close applications and even surf the web. A SSD won't make your games play any faster, but, it will definitely give you a faster experience in Windows.

8. Multiple Displays

Our computers get plenty of attention but we can't forget about displays. After all, a display is very important since that's what we use to actually use to access a computer. Going with more than one display has definitely become popular, especially three for NVIDIA's Surround technology. Whether you are playing across three screens simultaneously or just running Skype on one screen while you play your favorite game on the other, multiple displays can be surprisingly useful. If multiple screens aren't your style, a nice large 24" or even high-resolution 30" display is definitely worth the investment.

9. Gaming Peripherals

While these items don't directly affect how the system performs, they change the way you interact with a game. Gaming peripherals are designed for you to gain a competitive edge and can mean the difference between winning and losing. For example, gaming mice can enhance a first person shooter with DPI sensitivity settings and gaming keyboards feature extra keys specifically designed to make in-game functions easier and faster.

10. Internal Lighting

Adding all of that high-performance hardware wouldn't be complete unless you could show it off. A lot of chassis designs feature a side window, so you might as well add some flair! If you are going to customize your own gaming desktop, you might as well add our internal lighting upgrade, it can really make your computer stand out and complete the ultimate gaming pc look!

 

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