In a search of different entertaining systems, we’ve seen movies, music, videos, and many others, but all of them lacked interaction with the end-user. Fortunately, a huge change was made in the past couple of decades with the introduction of video games.
No, we do not support only sitting in front of your computer and playing games, but all the opportunities it brings are worth mentioning. Unlike the regular “live-action games”, these need some special assets to be enjoyed.
The subject here is computer hardware. It’s gotten cheaper of the years, but still, it’s a bit costly. Luckily nowadays there are multiple different ways around to experience a game, depending on your budget and none of them is sluggish like they used to be!
Web-based & Indie Games
If you are unaware of what these are, indies stand for independent games. These have gained attention thanks to the introduction of numerous different mechanics, rather than focusing on graphics or video effects. What this means is that most likely these are going to include some kind of interesting gameplay/mechanic, lacking content, but still being a piece of cake to run, even at the highest settings.
What’s more, these are also supported on numerous platforms. This includes web, macOS, Windows, Linux, and many consoles. Off course, you could run them on a dedicated Nintendo Switch or a PS Vita, but why wouldn’t you experience them on your personal computer as well?
Just a few years ago, integrated graphics were considered garbage. Nowadays, the situation is slightly different. With AMD’s introduction of APUs, which pack not only entry-level processing units but also graphics processors which in symbiosis handle even some of the heavier titles.
Say Athlon 200GE or a Ryzen 3 2200G, which are both fairly powerful at the cost of under $100, letting you play any indie title at 60 frames per second or more while running at the highest settings available. Especially in norske caisno One of the drawbacks you could face is slow memory though. We would suggest going for at least 8GBs of 3000Mhz DDR4 memory, as Ryzens show to work much better with faster memory.
There’s another tricky parameter around when it comes to memory, which is the number of RAM sticks. Two sticks running in dual-channel will improve your performance much but always go for a “KIT” allowing for maximum compatibility, meaning both of the sticks came in the same package. Other than that, finding a cheap B350 motherboard should do the job just fine, as long as it offers a good VRM, at least a 6-phase one.
But we know you’re probably thinking we are making fun of you here with some kind of indie games – you are here for the AAA ones, aren’t you? Well running latest Assassin’s Creed or perhaps Tomb Raider could get hard at times. It’s not due to the games using the best textures or shaders, but rather due to their bad optimization.
This results in the need for taking some settings down. In particular, this doesn’t mean you will have to sacrifice graphical experience at all, but just see some smudgy clouds or fog. Running them was always a challenge and still is, but getting them to run at some lower settings/resolution and hitting 30-40FPS is still possible with ease. If this is what you are looking for, an already mentioned APU situation will do it.
On the other hand, getting games to run at higher settings involves getting a much more powerful machine. Though many would say just get a console instead, the current top of the notch consoles is just a bit better than what APUs have to offer. But releasing games only for certain platform such as PlayStation 4 is also common today, and if this is a case with your game of choice – go for it!
Whilst this is a good choice of platform, playing any Linux or Windows-supported game will give you a much better experience on your desktop computer. Again, there’s an option of going for a more expensive Ryzen 5 2400G, which is an APU and saving a couple of hundreds of dollars, but a decent PC could be built for only $500-600.
Intel is currently not the best bet, as they offer the same performance as AMD does, but at a much higher price-tag. Opting for a six-core Ryzen 2600 or 3600 with some overclocking capabilities is probably what you are going to do. Pairing it with an RX 570 or a 580 with 8GBs of video memory gives you a computer that is powerful enough to run any title at 60 frames per second at the highest or close to highest settings while maintaining Full HD or higher resolution.
Handling such a powerful processing unit requires a well-polished motherboard. We don’t say your CPU will not run at a cheap low-end $50 board, but still, if you want to use some of your overclocking potentials, B450 board with a good cooling and VRM section is a must-have. Preferably, you will go for a Tomahawk MAX or a Mortar MAX board, but ASRock Fatal1ty K4 or Gigabyte Aorus-series will also do the job just fine.
Ok, we’ve discussed the key components your system should have, but what’s with the SSDs or PSUs?
SSD is a handy feature you should always go for. It only improves your loading times and has no effect on the general in-game performance, but makes a huge difference when you switch between games quite frequently.
And we can’t skip overpowering supply units, the OG of them all, right? Sure, running a decent system requires a lot of power, so getting an 80 Plus-certified unit is a must. If you opt for an APU and have no plans of upgrading in your near future, a solid 300-350W unit will do it just fine. But going for a powerful system will need at least a 550-600W unit, which allows for some upgradability in your future.
Off course, it is not only about the power these deliver, but many other factors matter. Ripple, caps quality, certifications, and voltages are only some of the features you should watch out for.
If you have successfully chosen a computer component, just by following this article, we have to say… Congratulations! You see, running computer games is not that much of a deal, especially with the low prices we have today. One day we’ll all be playing AAA games, one day…