If you’ve played an MMORPG or other computer based video game any time in the past decade, you have probably played on or learned about gaming PCs. These are personal computers that are sold by manufacturers or individually modified aftermarket to enhance the video gaming experience of users the world over. The biggest difference between regular PCs and those earmarked for gaming is the use of higher level video processing cards in gaming computers.

Because graphics are more intense in high level video games than they are in regular computing, gaming PCs must have higher level graphics or video cards and configurations for optimal use. Gaming PCs typically have video processing cards that have their own Random Access Memory (RAM) and cooling system. Other modified or enhanced features on gaming PCs often include sound and network cards.

Gaming PCs can come in laptop or desktop sizes. Laptops used specifically for gaming are a more recent modification, mostly gaining popularity in the last seven to eight years. If you are the type of gamer who wants to take your computer to a friend’s house or LAN party — the type of event where several users hook their machines together in one central location for the purpose of game play — you should consider a gaming laptop. The more traditional and more commonly purchased gaming PC, however, is of the desktop variety.

Keep in mind that the faster the processor and graphics and video cards, the more heat a computer will emit. This is another reason that a gaming desktop PC is more advantageous — they have ore advanced and efficient cooling systems that can be easily modified by hardware experts. Additionally, if you’re looking to purchase a gaming PC, make sure that there is ample storage, and the capability to add-on over time. You must be able to upgrade your gaming PC if you expect to be able to keep up with gaming advancements over several years’ time.

Last but not least, your processing speed should be another factor for evaluating gaming PCs, both laptop and desktop. Dual core and quad-core are the two most common types of processors for gamers, although there are lightning fast, heavy duty ones, too — such as the octo-core. As a rule, for video cards and processors, you want to make sure you spare little to no expense. This doesn’t mean you have to buy an expensive model, but it does mean you should search for and insist on good value. Sometimes, multiple cards used via add-ons can clog up and slow down a computer. This is especially true for video cards.

Gaming PCs will continue to make massive leaps forward as graphical interface as the nature of gaming hones itself and changes. It’s best to stay abreast of these changes, purchase smartly, and learn how to modify your own machine if needed. Most importantly, make sure your gaming PC can run your favorite game quickly and seamlessly. You should only have to replace your gaming PC ever five or so years!