So, you’ve decided to dive deep and get a gaming PC. Welcome to a beautiful world of pristine graphics, precise controls and a library of games that can’t be beaten by Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft combined.
It’s also a confusing swirl of specs and pointless shit that’s more intimidating than a date with Tad Hamilton. Luckily, we’re here to give you the tips to create a beginners set-up with both your bank balance and gaming future in mind.
1) DON’T BUILD YOUR OWN JUST YET
While this is the opposite of most recommendations, we’re pretty confident that we’re right and everyone else is wrong. While yes, building your own PC is the best way to ensure top-notch performance, it’s also incredibly confusing if you’re new to, ahem, the game.
There’s a couple options here for where to head to, but we normally tend to recommend JW.com.au to our mates. This sounds like #spon, but it’s not! They pre-build gaming PCs to order – there’s some solid budget gaming options there, too.
In terms of choosing where you want to sit, you can compare the specs there and see pretty immediately by price alone what’s exuberant/for the truly hard-core and what might best suit you.
For first-timers, a pre-built PC also helps you understand what specs mean. Plus, going all out on a set-up is a massive investment for a new hobby; remember when your parents got you that guitar and you played it like twice?
It’s best to buy a decent, cheap set-up and upgrade in a few years, if you’re still keen. And if you really want to build your own semi-budget PC, PC World has a good guide.
2) MONITORS MATTER
This seems pretty obvious, but monitors make all the difference when it comes to gaming. Your regular PC monitor is fineeee, but one of the massive benefits of PC gaming is the graphic capabilities. A shiny monitor will bring out the best of your game.
Something with 4K resolution will be stunning, but that’s also going to set you back anywhere from $600-$1500. Aim for something around 24 inches or more, since you don’t want to strain your eyes. It’ll offer at least a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which in short, will make everything look pretty good, pretty good.
If you’re into first person shooters, watch out for the HZ rate too; 60 is fine for most games, but 120/144Hz makes all the difference in a fast-paced and furious multiplayer match. It prevents blur or screen tearing/lag, which is a literal virtual life-saver – though, on the flip-side, that means you can only blame yourself when you die.
3) STAY WIRED
While a wireless keyboard and mouse might seem worth it for the aesthetics, they’re always more hassle than they’re worth. You know they’ll run out of battery or lag in a crucial moment, no matter how good they are. Just don’t do it.
4) MICE ALSO MATTER
While we’re on the topic, buy yourself a proper gaming mouse. They’re bigger and designed with tension-filled tracking and clicking in mind, which sounds stupid but will, in short, make your wrist hurt a hell of a lot less after an accidental six-hour World Of Warcraft session.
You can easily find a cheap one for about $60-$80.
5) SPEAKERS? I DON’T KNOW HER
Let’s get real: you’re more likely to play with headphones (esp. with a headset for shit-talking) than using speakers, no matter how $$$ your surround sound was. Better to invest in solid, comfortable headphones. That way you won’t piss off your housemates when you’re playing through Deus Ex at 1.45am.
6) THRONES OF GAMING
If your new hobby sticks around, you’re going to be sitting on your keister quite a lot. Throw out your 5-year-old chair and buy one with a proper headrest and some nice padding. You deserve comfort.Image: South Park