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If you have ever wondered exactly what makes a gaming PC you aren’t alone; this is a question that many Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers have had. Even some millennials aren’t sure exactly how to choose one. But this guide will teach you everything you need to know about a gaming PC in small, bite-sized segments that anyone can digest.

The Case

One of the first things that you will buy when putting together a gaming PC is the case or tower. Even if you are buying a gaming PC instead of building one, the case is important. You need to make sure it fits under or on your desk, is convenient for you to plug in all of your computer peripherals and of course, that you like the color and style. Many gaming cases are futuristic, stylish and lit with LED lights.

Motherboard

The motherboard is the big circuit board inside your computer case that hooks to everything else. Your video card, your RAM and anything you want to hook-up will run to your motherboard. If you are buying a gaming PC, then you should worry about the processor, RAM and video card instead of the motherboard, unless you are planning on upgrading or replacing any of those things.

CPU/Processor Speed

The processor is the engine that runs your computer. It is measured in Gigahertz (2.6 Ghz for example) and there are only two things that you need to know. First, generally the more cores the better (dual-core, quad-core, i7 Core, etc), and second, the higher the Ghz, the faster the processor.

RAM

Next, let’s talk about RAM. Generally, the more RAM the better. 8, 12 or 16 gigabytes are becoming fairly common at the time of this article. Keep in mind when building: your motherboard and processor will only support a certain amount of RAM, even if you have space for more.

Video Card/Video Memory

Your video card will determine how good your graphics will be or how fast your frame rate is (which basically means how fast your games can run). Your video card memory will be dedicated to video only and will reduce your available RAM by an equal amount.

Audio Equipment

A gaming PC may have built-in speakers, but many people upgrade to a high-quality sound system or use high-quality headphones to match the rest of their gaming experience.

Monitor/Interface Device

Monitors are going to be an important part of a gaming PC. You may just have one monitor, but many people are using two, three or even more Ultra-HD monitors for a fully immersive gaming experience. In addition, there are already several virtual reality devices on the market that you may decide to play games with instead.

Peripherals

Finally, you will usually pair a gaming keyboard and mouse with your other hardware. Gaming mouses give you more buttons than a standard mouse, and gaming keyboards are usually configured to make gaming easier, including the size, shape and key layout.

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