Remember a few months back when…ok most of you don’t since you’re not my followers (I’ve been getting a fuck ton recently, all from Outlook users strangely). Anyways, sometime late last year I made an editorial how I wanted to get a laptop that had mid-range hardware dedicated for gaming. However, after researching extensively on gaming PC’s I now declare my past suggestion as naiveté and will pursue building my own custom desktop PC specifically for gaming. Price, customization, upgradability, life-span, and other factors have convinced me to reject gaming laptops.
Little Clarification On GPU’s
The year is 2018 and I’ve noticed as games become more demanding, so does the hardware require to run them. Just a few years ago, a 2 GB GPU like the NVidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R9 290 could run the newest games at 1080p high settings and result in 60fps. Then in 2016, a 4 GB GPU like the GTX 970 or AMD equivalent were recommended for good performance and Intel Core i7 became the new standard rather than i5 chip. End of 2017 and early 2018, almost high end GPU’s like the GTX 1060 6 GB and Radeon RX Vega 64 8 GB got recommended instead.
Of course, to you console gamers I’ll teach you a little lesson on how to determine the power of a graphics card and CPU. The amount of GB I put there is the VRAM (Virtual Memory) for the GPU; this acts as frame buffer which is let’s just say allows your graphics card to play at higher game settings the more memory you have. But graphics memory alone isn’t enough as the GTX 750Ti can only run GTA 5 at low settings 720p and get 24fps average while GTX 960 can give over 60fps at 1080p ultra despite both cards having 2 GB VRAM…ok kind of bad example but it’s still a decent analogy.
The main factor in determining the strength of a GPU is its core clock speed, so rather how fast it can perform rendering the graphics measured in MHZ. Take my integrated GPU, the AMD Radeon R5 with 512 MB VRAM, and compare it to Intel HD Graphics 3000 with exact same memory. Although both can let me play Borderlands 2 at 1080p high settings and give 60fps, since HD 3000’s clock speed is anywhere between 350 to 650 MHZ and my iGPU is anywhere between 600 something to 720 MHZ, I’ll get less performance issues and slightly better fps at the same settings.
Analysis of Past Proposed Specs
- Form Factor: Gaming Laptop (Mid-Range) | Manufacturer: Acer
- Model: Acer Aspire Nitro 15 | MSRP: $1000 CAD/$800 USD
- CPU: Intel Core i5-7300 HQ @ 3.5 GHZ (4 Cores & Kabby Lake)
- GPU: NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM
- OS: Windows 10 Home Edition X64 Bit | RAM: 8 GB DDR4 Memory
- Storage: 256 GB SSD | DirectX: Version 12 (Hardware & OS)
- Display: 1920X1080 FHD 15.6″ 60HZ LCD Laptop Monitor
So if we were to apply the reality of newer games requiring more powerful hardware, honestly the laptop I want to get isn’t that impressive. Of course, since I’ll mostly play games from the late 2000’s to mid 2010’s, I don’t really need high end but I still want a gaming PC that is “futureproof”. In laymen terms, if I’m going to spend like 1000 bucks on a computer, I might as well spend it on hardware that is powerful and let me play games for a really long time without having to upgrade it soon after. Laptops are known for overheating, expensive MSRP, and cannot be upgraded which sucks.
And if we were to look at the other specs besides just the CPU and GPU, honestly that laptop isn’t that great. 1080p is so last decade ago and while it is the preferred resolution for PC gamers, console fanboys have already ascended to 4K (albeit native UHD upscaled) along with the fact that FHD is quite pixelated on a standard gaming monitor unless anti-aliasing is used. I’ve already seen some games in the Steam store recommending 12 GB RAM so sooner or later 8 GB will be seen as inferior; 256 GB isn’t that much but I tend to be obsessed with conserving space so no biggie.
Going back to discussing about video cards, the GTX 1050 isn’t that powerful enough to run games for late 2016 and beyond – also it isn’t the Ti variant so even with the extra VRAM it is still as weak as the base 1050. I have this sudden shift in preference for desktop over laptops since the one I’m currently using overheats easily, I don’t really like playing at 1366X768 and struggle to play games from the early 2010’s. Most importantly, I hate how laptops are fragile, require to be plugged in if gaming for several hours, and the stronger laptops are so big and heavy.
Currently Proposed Gaming PC
- Form Factor: Desktop Gaming PC (Custom Built/Mid-Range)
- Motherboard: ASUS Gaming Board | MSRP: $800-900 CAD
- CPU: Intel Core i7-7600K Kabby-Lake @ 3.4 GHZ (4 Cores & 8 Threads)
- GPU: NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM
- OS: Windows 10 Home Edition X64 Bit | DirectX: Version 12
- RAM: 12 GB Kingston DDR4 | Storage: Samsung EVO 250 GB SSD
- Desktop Case: ?????? | Sound Card: ?????? | Fans: ??????
- Network Adapter: ????? | PSU: Corsair Power Supply Platinum
- Monitor: 1920X1080 FHD 22″ 60HZ LED RCA Television
- Keyboard: ?????? | Mouse: ?????? | Gamepad: Xbox One Wired
- Microphone: ?????? | Headphones: ?????? | VR Headset: None
After conducting some research, the above specs will be the components I will purchase to assemble my ideal gaming PC. The ones that are unknown I either do not care about the specifics so long as it is mid-range or I have a few candidate components and haven’t decided on the final choice yet. Unlike with the past laptops I owned, I intend to buy all the components online through different shopping sites and only during major site or holiday sales to not get ripped off. Sadly, due to those asshole bitcoin miners I won’t be considering to get the GTX 1060 6 GB which would’ve been perfect.
I know that the i7 is overkill if I use it mostly for gaming and even games that recommend i7 still suggest using i5 as minimum, but I do plan on video editing when I’m older and other demanding tasks as hobbies. I’m already using 12 GB RAM (pre-installed) on my current laptop and also the fact that 8 GB soon won’t be enough…also extra RAM is better for video editing. I don’t ever recall disclosing this to you readers but my laptop’s HDD broke cause I punched it out of anger for being so slow. To this day, I’ve been using a SSD ever since and I’ll never go back, even if they have less space.
Last but not least, the monitor I put there was the one I used to play my Wii on and gaming monitors are extremely expensive. When I do intend on upgrading, the monitor I will purchase will be QHD or 1440p, have a high refresh rate of at least 120 HZ, support HDR and be curved (those monitors look cool), and make sure it has G-Sync. The optical drives aren’t even needed for PC’s nowadays since everything can be installed from either USB or the internet, although I may consider Blu-Ray/DVD drive. I think VR is one big gimmick and most PC games only accept Xbox controllers.
Reason why it’s wired is so I don’t need to constantly buy new batteries like I did for the Wii and buy that stupid wireless adapter that costs too much money. In the far far future, I’ll only upgrade parts that malfunction except for CPU, GPU, Motherboard, and RAM in which those components I’ll upgrade to get with the times. I’ll either upgrade to the 1070Ti or 1080Ti when I play newer games that the 1050Ti cannot run well, switch to AMD and go for future Ryzen chip that beats i9, and make sure to get a board that obviously is compatible with CPU and GPU I suggested.
Yes, I know I haven’t written anything in a few months and this editorial is mostly just filler before I publish my Smash Brawl VS 4 Wii U review eventually. I’m kind of conflicted and lazy as I’ve published short reviews of PC games I’ve played on Steam and don’t know if it’s worth the effort to make longer, more polished reviews here. Also since I have to study and write my exams this month and soon will finally try finding a part time job. Don’t worry, I’m avoiding retail at all costs since that industry is full of competition and discriminatory employers plus I’ll seek gov’t assistance.