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Direct Link To This Post Topic: What is a Gaming System?
    Posted: 16 Feb 2009 at 5:33pm
Some very basic information on what constitutes a gaming system along with some terminology for those who may not be familiar with computers generally. Feel free to contribute and add anything you feel that is a part of a gaming rig.

Gaming Computer

The terms gaming PC and gaming computer refer to computers that are built to play games and run programs at a higher resolution than non-gaming PCs. They are usually built using custom gaming cases and high-end components focusing on speed, graphics performance, and graphics quality. Although most PC games will work on a regular home computer, a true gaming computer is specifically made for 3D graphics acceleration processing, physics modeling, unified pixel shading technology, dynamic geometry rendering, and enhanced sound processing and effects engines. External connection ports for a variety of accessories such as, headphones, USB formatted devices and fire-wire connection points are usually common. Gaming computers, or "gaming rigs", are frequently used in single player, or online gaming. Simply put, a gaming PC allows someone to enjoy the best images and effects a new computer game has to offer.
 
Hardware performance
Most of today's newest games found in retail stores will have two sets of required hardware listed on the box. The first set is the "minimum hardware requirements" and the second set is the "suggested hardware requirements."
 
The minimum requirements are the hardware components in which the game will successfully operate. The suggested hardware requirements are what the game developer recommends for the best gaming experience; games will generally run faster and look better the higher the performance of the hardware.
 
Graphics
Gaming PCs use hardware accelerated graphic cards which offer high end performance and image quality. Memory capacity, clock speed, and interface on 3D cards should all be considered. High end 3D graphics cards use the newest PCIe interface slot on the motherboard. Two or more graphics cards can sometimes be used working together in tandem by using the SLI or Crossfire technology. SLI/Crossfire dual graphics allows for two graphics cards to be used in unison to process and render an image. Due to the additional load on the CPU and the requirement of most modern games to have hardware accelerated graphics, a gaming computer must use an accelerated graphics card to be considered a gaming PC.
 
CPU
 The CPU is generally responsible for computing and central game processes (the "thinking brain"). Gaming PCs should have high-end CPUs or gaming specific CPUs .With the rise of multithreaded games, multi processor and dual core setups become more important than ever.
 
Memory
Memory, or also referred to as RAM, acts as storage relay or cache for resources that games use. Gaming PCs typically have high performance RAM and more is better. The fast RAM found in gaming PCs increases performance by having lower latency than regular RAM. RAM capacity is also an issue with gaming PCs, as it is not uncommon for over 1GB of memory to be used while gaming. This is why most new gaming PCs come with 1GB of RAM or more (2GB or more is usually recommended for most of today's newest games). Also, most gaming PCs will use memory operating in Dual Channel or Tri Channel mode. This allows memory to be allocated to specific programs or tasks at a much faster rate, thus increasing the overall speed of processing.
 
Storage
In gaming PCs, fast hard drives are another component that will increase performance. Having a faster hard drive will result in lower loading times in games. For this reason, gaming PCs use lower latency drives with faster transfer rates such as  SATA2 3.0GB/sec and 10,000 RPM raptor drives. Since the space taken up by games is small compared to the total space on the newest large capacity hard drives, speed is preferred over capacity.
 
Cases
Cases for gaming computers tend to be custom designs specific for gaming needs. Cases with side windows are used to reveal the internal components which may be adorned with LEDs. Shiny components, graphic images, and colorful connections are allowed to be viewed to show that it is indeed a "hotrod PC". Gaming cases are also designed for specific functions of a gamer. The case must provide exceptional cooling for its components, have room for expansion and customization, and provide external accessory ports such as for headphones, speakers, USB, etc.....
 
Performance and Benchmarks
A gaming PC should also achieve high scores on 3D benchmarks when it is first built or upgraded. The performance of a gaming computer can be determined by two measures - Visual Quality and Frame rates.
 
Visual quality refers to the quality of an image. Higher settings and resolution have a negative effect on the frame rates. One attribute of the gaming PC is that it should be able to use high settings of both frame rate and visual quality at the same time. Meaning that; graphics performance should be able to support quality visual effects without effecting frame rates in a negative manner and vise versa.
 
The frame rate is measured in frames per second (fps). This refers to the how quickly the video card can refresh the image shown on screen. Frame rates above 30 are desirable in high performance games, though the fastest gaming PCs can achieve higher frame rates.
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Munch View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2009 at 7:40pm
Great article,  Good read....
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2009 at 8:53pm
Interesting article.

The problem is that Cyberpower rigs, especially the budget ones, often load up their "gaming comps" with crappy 9400 or 9500GTs, or the crappy 8600M in their laptops. (the worst is the worthless-for-gaming 8400m GS) A clueless person doesn't know he should upgrade his GPU to something that can actually run modern games.

Edited by BlueScreenDeath - 17 Feb 2009 at 9:21pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2009 at 3:32am
Great post...we need more posts like this....Thanks @powerApprove
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2009 at 6:07pm
i agree blue
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2009 at 12:26pm
Originally posted by @power @power wrote:


CPU
 The CPU is generally responsible for computing and central game processes (the "thinking brain"). Gaming PCs should have high-end CPUs or gaming specific CPUs .With the rise of multithreaded games, multi processor and dual core setups become more important than ever. 


Core i7

The Intel Core i7 processor is built on an unprecedented design with two threads per core (i.e., total of four cores with eight threads) to deliver an amazingly fast, incredibly smooth gaming experience.

Key Features


Adrenaline on a chip

The Intel® Core™ i7 processor Extreme Edition, incorporates technology that distributes AI, physics and rendering across eight software threads, putting you in the middle of a smoother, more realistic gaming experience.

Fast and efficient multitasking

Whether you’re casually checking email and surfing the web or hopping between intensive apps like HD video encoding, the Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition enables maximum PC performance. And with more than double the memory access performance for reduced latency, you’ll achieve more and wait less.

More threads = more speed

The Intel Core i7 processor Extreme Edition has an unprecedented design with two threads per core (i.e., total of four cores with eight threads).  With twice as many threads, you can perform more tasks simultaneously and get things done faster.

Unmatched digital media creation

It’s time for digital content creation that’s limited only by your imagination. Experience total creative freedom with the power to encode video up to 79% faster and render images up to 46% faster. And enjoy incredible performance on other multimedia tasks like photo retouching and editing.

Power on demand

With optional Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, you can enjoy full processing power exactly where and when you need it most by accelerating performance to match the intensity of your activity. That means you can maximize speed for demanding applications and work more efficiently.

Gaming without limits

Feed your need for speed and tune your system for maximum performance with overspeed protection removed



Edited by Eddie - 18 Feb 2009 at 12:27pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2009 at 2:20pm
Naw man, GPU > CPU for gaming.

CP, advertising the newest lines of GPUs is advisable.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2009 at 7:23am
Thanks for the post @power
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2009 at 8:57pm
for the most part the gpu is more important than the cpu but this isnt always the case.  older games, such as wow, are more cpu dependant.  this just depends on the coding of the game.  i have gtx 280's in sli and only notice a 5-10 fps jump over my old system while playing wow, but when i play crysis and cod i really see a big difference.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2009 at 1:20pm
Was a good read indeed.  When it comes to CPU and GPU, it depends on what is the trend at the time/when the game was made.  WoW is a good example of that....and yes, I'm a self proclaimed WoW junkie.
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3DMark Time Spy is a popular and effective benchmarking tool for rating gaming performance. Frame rate figures show typical performance as tested by UL. The higher the frame rate and 3DMark score, the better the experience. Performance may change with system, driver, and game updates.
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