On PC gaming forums and websites all over the internet, one common gaming-related question persists: “Is this a good gaming computer?”
This question is always proceeded by a list of components and specifications of the computer that the asker is considering purchasing/building. And after enough time passes, this question will garner a large number of different answers that will explain why the computer listed is or isn’t a quality system.
Some answers will differ and some answers will be the same. Advice-givers will argue over who is the best and worst of computer component manufactures.
You will probably hear people talk about how “shitty” a certain power supply is, or how you are paying way too much for a component when you could get one that costs less and performs the same.
But is it possible that these advice-givers have bought and reviewed every single computer component on the market?
In most scenarios, these advice-givers aren’t giving advice based on experience, but rather, are more than likely presenting their best educated guess. And, to be honest, there is nothing wrong with that.
In fact, being able to make an educated guess on whether or not a particular component is of a high quality nature is the beginning and the end of understanding what makes a good gaming computer good.
Why? Because it would take far too much time, effort, and money for any logical gamer to test each product out there. So, we must rely on a set of criteria in order to determine whether the components that make up a gaming computer are of a high quality or not.
So, before we can answer the question, “what makes a good gaming computer good?” we must first define some rules for choosing gaming computer components.
At Elite Gaming Computers, we have come up with the Elite-3 Computer Component Buying Method in order to help you choose quality parts for your gaming computer.
The Elite-3 Computer Component Buying Method
Rule #1: The component you are looking at must have a good amount of reviews—and a majority of those reviews must be positive.
Rule #1 is pretty simple: if a component has a ton of positive reviews, then you can assume that the component is a good product. This is a good method in it’s own right…
However, sometimes manufacturers will employ writers to post fake reviews for their products. So, it’s best to use some other methods in unison with rule #1 when looking for computer components.
Rule #2: The component you are looking at must be well-received by experts in the PC gaming community.
Essentially, rule #2 suggests that you should check out authoritative sites in the PC gaming industry that have conducted a review of the component you are considering. Some of these sites include:
If a component is well-received by an expert or authoritative site in the PC gaming industry, then it is extremely likely that that component is of a high quality nature.
Rule #3: Always buy components from a reputable manufacturer.
Always buy from a trusted manufacturer who has been in the business for a long time. Sure, a new up-and-coming company could be producing great products… but you don’t need to be their guinea pig. Let someone else do it.
Go with proven winners and you will come out on top.
Some Other Things to Consider—What the Elite-3 Buying Method DOESN’T Do
Now, obviously, there are some technical sides of choosing the necessary components of a good gaming computer. You definitely can’t put an AMD processor on an Intel motherboard and your PCIe 3.0 video card won’t utilize the 3.0 technology if it’s plugged into a motherboard that only supports PCIe 2.0 card. (It will still work… just at the level of 2.0 technology and not 3.0.) So, you first need to understand component compatibility.
And, the Elite-3 buying method doesn’t account for price because each person has a different budget. Therefore, in order to use our method correctly, you have to be aware of a component’s compatibility AND you have to have a good idea of the budget you want to use.
With a set budget and knowledge of component compatibility, the three rules of the Elite-3 buying method—used together—will get you the best gaming computer possible.
Now That We Have Defined A Set of Criteria, How Can We Know What A Good Gaming Computer Is?
What is a good gaming computer? A good gaming computer is any computer that consists of only high quality components. And that is basically it.
Some might argue that a quality gaming PC is determined by it’s ability to run today’s latest games. However, that definition doesn’t quite work…
You see, if a gaming computer is built with cheap components, but boasts the latest and greatest CPU/video card, it will be able to run today’s games on the highest settings…
Eventually, those cheap computer components will wear down because they weren’t meant to produce at such a high level over an extended period of time. And, you will either have to replace them much quicker than you would normally have to, or they will malfunction in such a manner that your whole system will be ruined…
…and that doesn’t seem representative of the characteristics that make a good gaming computer good.
It’s important to note that this is exactly what computer manufacturers like Alienware do—they stock their computers with big-named processors and video cards… and nothing else.
They skimp on the motherboard, they skimp on the power supply, and they choose cheap, no-named manufactured components for everything other than the CPU and video card. Sure, it makes sense. They’re a business and they’re trying to maximize profits. We get it…
But you have business to conduct, too—the business of getting the best gaming computer for your money. And to do that, you have to choose quality across the board.
The Benefits of Only Choosing Quality Components for Your Gaming Computer
The main benefit that comes with choosing quality components is performance. However, it is not the only benefit. Here is a list of the the three main advantages you will have if you choose only the very best computer parts:
- Higher performance levels. Your computer will perform quicker and more efficiently than computers with cheap components.
- Longer lifespan. Quality computer components are built to last and fail at a rate that is significantly less than computers made up of cheap components.
- Better protection. Good component manufacturers make sure that their components do what they say they will. If they don’t they will replace it with a component that does. So always choose components that have good warranties.
Really, these are the only three things that your computer needs to do in order to be classified as a “good gaming computer.” Anything else is just a subset of what is listed here.
Building On A Budget? Still Want A Quality Gaming Computer? Build For the Future…
Some might ask if there is any reason to build a gaming computer on a budget. They might figure that after reading this article that there is no point in building a low-cost computer because, with their budget, they just can’t spread quality components across their build.
This isn’t true. You may not be able to build a good gaming computer right now, but you can definitely build a decent one that will allow you to upgrade later.
However, the best strategy for building a decent budget computer that has the potential to be upgraded to a good gaming computer in the future, is to do exactly the opposite of what most people will tell you to do…
…and that is to put your money into your motherboard, power supply, and case.
If you put your money into these components, scale back on your CPU and video card, and delay getting a huge hard drive or SSD, you can get a budget computer that can handle today’s games in an acceptable manner and will also be upgrade-friendly later down the road, when you have more money.
If you do it the other way around and spend big on your CPU and video card—and ignore your motherboard and power supply—you could compromise your entire build. There is nothing worse than a poorly built power supply that fries your whole system.
So, choose quality in those areas now, and go for decent components in the other areas and you will be set for the future.
Have Questions About Your Gaming Computer Build? We’d Love to Help You Out
If you are new to the PC gaming world, or have just decided to build your own gaming computer, you may be having a difficult time trying to figure out what computer components you need in order to play the games you want to play, at the settings you want to play them at.
We want to help you out. So, if you have any questions, or you’re unsure about a certain component, don’t hesitate to contact us right now. We will answer any and all of your questions as soon and as often as we are able to.
Why? Because we know what it’s like to be intimidated by the building process. We were once there, too.
And, we couldn’t think of a better way to improve the state of the PC gaming world, than by helping to ensure that everyone plays on the baddest gaming computer possible.
So, send us your questions! We’re ready to help YOU with your computer build!