PC gaming has been around for decades now, despite facing competition from gaming consoles. This is primarily due to the fact that PCs are more versatile machines, capable of handling a wider range of applications.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, PC gaming has surged exponentially in popularity thanks to more people buying computers for work or their children’s education.
Owning games have been made largely affordable thanks to regular sales offering huge discounts by retailers such as Epic or Steam. While the excitement of being spoiled with choices for the game exists, it’s always essential to be extra careful about the security of your computer while at it. Therefore, speaking of the deals, Bitdefender discounts are also live and a great chance for you to pick up some premium antivirus software.
The rise of streaming and esports attracts more young gamers to the world of PC gaming, now that they wish to emulate the skills of their idols and maybe show off their skills on YouTube.
So, in case your kid wants a piece of the action, here are 5 things you must pay attention to while getting a gaming rig:
- Get your components right: The most basic aspect while building or upgrading your machine is to check for compatibility.
Many retailers don’t accept returns on hardware once the seal is broken. Certain online vendors have custom PC configurators on their website which ensure that you choose compatible parts.
Here are some basic pointers:
- CPU and Motherboard– In case of a new build, choose your CPU first. Then proceed to check whether the motherboard you wish to buy supports that generation of processors. If yes, check if the motherboard supports your processor out of the box or if a BIOS update is needed first. If yes, ask the retailer to update the same prior to shipping. Most often, they will do it for free. This is also significant if you are planning to upgrade to a newer processor on your existing motherboard.
- Check if your motherboard has an M.2 slot before buying an M.2 form factor SSD. Also, check if the slot supports NVMe speeds before spending a premium on a faster NVMe drive else you will remain throttled by your motherboard.
- Try to balance your components: From a purely gaming perspective, the CPU and Graphics card have the most significant impact on gaming performance. Choosing either depends heavily on what the target games are:
- For the CPU, determine how many cores are needed. While 6 cores are considered adequate for gaming PCs, If your kid is only interested in playing esports titles such as Fortnite, CS: GO, Valorant, Apex Legends, World of Warships or Rocket League – the latest generation four core CPU will do the trick. In case streaming and video editing is involved, 8 cores and above would be the way to go. In any case, try to get one with hyperthreading/multithreading.
- Choose a GPU as per the target resolution – The higher the target resolution, the more work the GPU has to do. Therefore for 1080p gaming, The Nvidia GTX 16 series or the Radeon RX570/580 would suffice for most titles unless you want to enjoy all latest AAA games or enjoy Ray Tracing wherein you would need to shell out a premium for an RTX card. For 1440p gaming, the RTX 3060/RX 6700XT and higher would be a safe option. For 4K gaming, exorbitantly priced flagship GPUs such as the RTX 3080Ti, RX6900XT are your options.
- Use dual channel memory – This simply means using two sticks of RAM of half the capacity instead of a single stick with double the capacity. Using both channels increases the bandwidth of data transfer and offers better gaming performance. 16GB of RAM is good enough for a gaming PC, so get a kit of two 8GB sticks instead of a single 16GB stick.
- Upgrade your monitor according to the target performance – If playing epsorts FPS games is the primary focus, a high refresh monitor such as 144 Hz is a good option. But do ensure that the machine is capable enough to hit frames as high at your target resolution. For predominantly single-player titles, a 75Hz monitor is a great choice.
- Be sceptical of products marketed as “gaming” – More often than not, this is a marketing gimmick to dump trash on unsuspecting customers. Gaming chairs, peripherals, motherboards, for example, are often equal or worse in performance to their non-RGB lit counterparts. Check individual product reviews before giving in to your kids’ whim.
- Ensure online privacy for your kid’s safety: The internet can be a dangerous place with online predators targeting kids. Children may be tricked and inadvertently made to visit inappropriate websites or share personal information. Bitdefender offers a robust online privacy service in addition to their top notch antivirus software. It ensures that online privacy is always maintained and warns you of attempted breaches while offering you a private connection to browse the web.
So in conclusion, PC gaming is here to stay and a great source of entertainment for the family. These we believe are must-dos for any parent looking to cater to their kid’s wish of providing them an enjoyable and safe gaming experience.