Posted on: 8 June 2015
The term 'gaming computer' has enticed and confused many computer consumers. What exactly is a gaming computer, and how is it any different from any other computer? In some cases, it's a question of raw computer power, but a few key component points are what really makes the different. To understand that difference and how it affects both your gameplay and budget, take the time to understand more about what gaming computers are and how video cards relate to them.
What Is A Gaming Computer?
Gaming can be a confusing and subjective term because of the wide selection of games available. Some games can be played on almost any modern computer, such as basic browser games. A gaming computer is a system designed to work with a more complex selection of games that have higher system requirements and the need for different components.
A game is a program, like most other things you interact with on the computer. These game programs have specific requirements for processor speed (the part of the computer that performs complex calculations) and memory usage (the amount of files that can saved for quick access instead of searching the entire hard drive).
Unfortunately, you can't simply add a faster processor or more memory to force a game to play better (or play at all). Most games need a video card (also known as a graphics card) in order to process the gameplay performance properly.
A video card is like a smaller computer on a card that is dedicated to graphics only. Instead of using all of the resources on your computer to play the game, the video card is in charge of creating all of the impressive graphics (rendering) and the ways that the player and environment interact with each other.
What does "interacting" mean? When a person plays a first person shooter, their footsteps can be heard by other players in the area. When a bullet is shot, it can ricochet in different directions and cause damage to the environment--or maybe even the player if they're unlucky.
For fantasy games, the complexity of fireballs, the burning of trees as a dragon breathes against the adventuring party or the actions of Non-player characters (NPCs) having simulated lives when the player isn't involved are often handled by the video card.
Why Can't Some Games Run Without A Video Card?
Since the gaming industry and video card industry have evolved with each other in mind, many games have written code with complex instructions that only the video card can understand. Instead of weighing down general use processors with instructions that most computer users may never use, many of the mainstream processor companies have produced their own graphics processors to create the gaming video card industry.
The standard computer processor simply can't understand what the games are talking about when a game is started. Many modern shaders, for example, are required by most games, but not included with a standard computer--even if the labeling is a little different.
Other computer branding labels include multimedia computers workstations and family computers. Multimedia computers may have integrated graphics processors that follow the same concept as video cards, but lack the raw processing and resource strength that a dedicated card has in order to play games without freezing constantly.
Workstation computers are often just a standard computer with a few office programs installed, while family computers have programs that assist parents in restricting and monitoring computer use. Any of these systems can be easily converted to an entry level gaming computer with the addition of a video card.
Contact a computer store to look for starter computers and video cards to begin your gaming without breaking your budget. For more information, contact a professional like those at the McMurray Computer Experts computer store.Share