Eight gigabytes is perfectly adequate for gaming, though—like a Core i7 processor as opposed to a Core i5—some builders will insist on 16GB. There are benefits to adding more RAM; it certainly won't hurt and can speed both general and in-game load times. So if you find a good deal and have room in the budget, throw in an extra 8GB. Since we devoted extra funds to the graphics card in this build, 8GB it is.
That said, PCs still offer the largest selection of online games, and some of the most popular online games, such as World of Warcraft, are exclusive to the PC. Of course, there are many things to consider before deciding on a gaming platform. Foremost among these is deciding which games you want to play, how much money you want to spend, and whether you need a PC for other purposes. Ideally, having both is the best solution, but not everyone can do that, so here is a quick comparison of the two.
Matthew Buzzi is a Hardware Analyst at PCMag, focusing on laptops and desktops with a specialty in gaming systems and games. Matthew earned a degree in Mass Communications/Journalism and interned for a college semester at Kotaku, writing about gaming before turning it into part of his career. He spends entirely too much time on Twitter (find him @M... See Full Bio
So what is the ultimate gaming setup? If you decide on a console, get the one to play the exclusive titles you want with your friends. A super comfy couch is great to game and relax on and a worthwhile investment. Make sure to get a TV that will be able to display the 4K quality and a good sound system to immerse yourself in the game. Try to get the best our of your budget when building your PC. Don't forget to factor in your mouse, keyboard, monitor, chair and desk. They might seem insignificant but they all come together to make the gaming setup. If one of these is worse than the others, you will notice it. No matter what, just make sure your comfortable and enjoy your gaming experience.
Your processor can be a bottleneck for gaming, but as long as you hit a certain performance minimum, which many modern CPUs do, it's other components that are more likely to hold you back. Recent processors are more efficient than ever, with a much more capable baseline than the average CPUs of the past. For this build, we went with an eighth-generation ("Coffee Lake") Intel Core i5-8400 CPU for $179, which is more than powerful enough for mainstream gaming.
And then you must deal with the bugs. Console fans often overstate the problems found on PC, and modern game consoles aren’t immune to crashing, but it remains true that bugs are more common on a computer than a game console. We aren’t just talking about hard crashes, which are rare. Instead, it’s the small stuff that becomes an issue. A game might fail to load properly because it wasn’t run in administrator mode, the Wi-Fi adapter might occasionally lose connection, or a USB port might go on the fritz.
In many ways, the case you choose sets the tone for the whole build. It's obviously the most visual piece of the puzzle, so its aesthetic determines the theme and color scheme. Because of the need for some camera-friendly flash, we went with the Lian Li Alpha 550W chassis. This midsize tower was a big factor in deciding to go with a black-and-white theme for the rest of the parts—a clean, modern style.
The PC is admittedly more expensive up front, but your upgrade path later is markedly easier. If you’re a budget gamer, you can probably run the same processor for up to six years, and the same graphics card for four to five years. Case? RAM? Power supply? Fans? Hard drives? All surprisingly cheap stuff you’ll carry in perpetuity, build to build, replacing only when absolutely necessary.
Ghost Gaming is a newly founded organization that was created in early 2017. The first game the organization struck into happened to be Gears of War 4. The first Ghost Gaming squad consisted of GODPLAYS, Sleepytime, Phenomxnon, RushieZ, and KeeM. After a 3rd Place finish at the Gears Pro Circuit Mexico City Open, the roster went through a few changes. Dropping Phenomxnon for Drix and GODPLAYS departing to join eUnited, the new roster has solidified themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
PC and console gamers both want the most bang for their buck, but what that looks like and how it’s measured is different for each group. For a console gamer, costs are generally limited to purchasing the console, extra controllers, games, and perhaps online multiplayer passes. For a PC gamer, there’s a wide variety of options to buy if you choose to build your own computer, but not every PC gamer has their own custom-built machine.
So, the budget build isn’t overwhelmingly living-room-friendly. It’s kind of big, despite not packing in all that much power. But now we have something to build on, and can start to explore the more powerful options. This build will fit a little more snuggly in your lounge, and have a bit of extra power behind it for playing those beefier games. This is a much more elegant build, and really begins to resemble the ideal of a living room gaming PC (or a Steam machine).
Note that with a Linux-based OS, you’ll need to install proprietary drivers manually, which can be a little tricky and will likely require some Google research. This option takes some extra leg work, because the drivers that Linux distributions usually ship with aren’t suited for playing games. That said, this is the cheapest way to get a broadly useful and reliable desktop-style operating system.
The problem is obvious. That’s a lot of money. A living room PC may beat the visual quality of a console, but does it matter enough to justify a price that’s several times higher? Most people will answer no. Even enthusiasts find it hard to tolerate. After all, hardcore PC gamers are guaranteed to already own a fast desktop, and they’re not eager to buy the same hardware twice.
An often overlooked component of the ultimate gaming room is the audio setup. Surround sound can really immerse you in the gaming experience and is a popular option for gamers who like to play on the TV. Based on your budget, you will want to research 5.1, 7.1, or 9.1 surround sound options. For a real thrill, surround sound speakers that have some setup behind you will have you jumping with fright. Just think about zombies trying to sneak up and take a chomp out of you in games like the Last of Us (on PlayStation 4).
Love how these PC gamers in the comments once again live up to their reputation of how toxic they are. Half the stuff their going on about might have been true 10 years ago. Consoles started gaming, gaming will end with consoles. Your just some egotistical scumlord if you think console gaming is worse than PC gaming. Since 2017 it's been on par, Developers are literally, pulling away from PC gaming and preferring consoles. Because of how demanding PC players are. It's funny when devs want nothing to do with PC players. And they feel forced to let you have their games. Consoles were the start of gaming, and they're the future of gaming. PC are only useful for creating the game. Not playing it.
Sony has made some rather interesting moves to enable backward compatibility, such as letting you stream PlayStation 3 to your PlayStation 4 (or, shockingly, to a PC!) via PlayStation Now for $19.99 per month. I signed up to stream PlayStation 3 games to my gaming PC, and found the entire experience unworthy, with lag and artificating being the major issues.
The Steam controller has two haptic touchpads designed to give intelligent feedback, with one taking the place of the D-Pad, and the other in the place of the right analogue stick. To make use of the controller, you’ll need to use a wireless dongle that ships with it to pair it to the computer. While people that like the controller seem to love it, it’s very different and unfamiliar to new users. You might decide you just aren’t ready for that kind of change. Or you might love the wide array of customization options available with the Steam controller enough to give it a chance!
We paid for it in effort, though. The Gammaxx isn't abnormal for an air cooler, but its bracket orientation was confusing, and we started screwing in the parts out of order. This had a little domino effect during the build; we had to backpedal a few steps, and it took longer than it probably should have, but it was hardly catastrophic. Lesson: Read the manual, or at least flip through it. (We tried to wing it.)
Secondly, you’ll need to use software to write the image to your DVD or USB drive. For DVDs, Imgburn is available for Windows, and in-built tools exist in Mac operating systems, as well as most Linux operating systems. For USB drives, you can download the Microsoft USB Tool to put Windows onto a memory stick. For SteamOS, simply extract the SteamOS .zip file to your USB drive.
Coming to an insurmountable obstacle in the middle of a live video because of a missing, incompatible, or broken component is the ultimate nightmare—thankfully, that hasn't happened to us yet!. But it's fun to take live questions through Facebook, talk to viewers, and make our build as watchable as possible while we work on it at a reasonable pace. In my experience, it's been an entertaining challenge—as long as we don't make any glaring errors! If we do, we can count on our viewers to let us know. Right away.
Hear your opponents before they strike with a comfortable headset designed for serious gamers. The convenient in-line audio control saves you from navigating through menus while the durable aluminum frame withstands the damage of daily gaming. Stay fully immersed in your game thanks to 53mm drivers and enhanced bass reproduction that pump out crystal clear highs, mids and lows. Also features a closed cup design and detachable noise-cancelling mic.