Gaming computers have come a long way in the past twenty years. When PC gaming started to become popular in the mid-90's, the 386SX processor was hardly able to keep up with the demands of the games. As gaming computers progressed, the hardware has been steadily advancing, although usually just lagging behind the latest game titles.
Enter the modern gaming computer. Running multiple cores and utilizing 8-16 gigabytes of memory, the only bottleneck encountered on modern hardware is the gaming display adapter, also known as the video or graphics card.
Many, if not most gamers build their own computer so they have total control over the hardware that's used and so they'll be familiar with it should any problems arise. Building a desktop gaming computer is not overly complicated, but there are several things that should be taken into account when ordering the needed parts:
Gaming hardware costs can vary widely depending on the specs desired. If you are in need of "bleeding edge" hardware, a graphics adapter alone can cost upwards of $500(US). Mid-range hardware is generally cheaper, but will vary depending on the manufacturer selected to provide it. Mid-range equipment will generally suffice for most hardware involved with a desktop gaming computer, but the graphics adapter purchased should be the latest model you can afford.
Many may not consider this until hardware is purchased and it is too late. Most desktop gaming video cards are "full-length" cards. This means they may not fit in small and even some mid-sized computer chassis. Higher-end cards may be 9-11inches long to accommodate the fans and heatsinks they require. For this reason, it is a good idea to plan on a larger case.
While most computer systems can run on a 350-450watt power supply,
desktop gaming computers may require over 700 watts to power the latest
graphics card and cooling system. Don't skimp on your power supply! This
is the easiest place to save future headaches by buying a quality
component. Cheap power supplies may cause system freezes, BSOD's and other
system instability. Your power supply should be heavy, and will probably