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PC Gaming Hardware

PC gaming hardware is a pretty huge subject and not something I'll be able to cover completely here. There are so many variables and statistics involved it would actually be wrong of me to be dishing out specific advice on hardware I'm not sure about.

If you need advice on a particular graphics card, keyboard or monitor etc...then you should visit where they discuss gaming computers in far more detail.

I do have my own personal set of rules on hardware purchasing though, so if you're interested read on!

Rule #1 - You don't need great hardware to play great games.

I believe this is the biggest misconception about PC games. Whenever I talk to someone who says "I don't play games on my pc because it's so old!" I just want to hit them over the head with a copy of DeusEx (almost 10 years old) or HalfLife (over 10 years old) or even Cave Story (only a few years old). All great games that a lot of people have not yet played.

There are plenty, plenty of marvellous titles out there that can be played on a computer 10 years old. Most Independent game developers are very aware of the diversity of PC hardware and often write games with a much lower minimum specification than the latest commercial games.

Rule #2 - Never upgrade just for one game

This is important, and it's a trap I fell into when HalfLife 2 was about to be released. I bought PC gaming hardware that fitted the minimum specification for the game, which was just a bit more than what I could afford at the time. I ended up buying it on credit and paying a finance company for 3 years.

The worst part about that was that it broke after a year and a half after I got it, so I was still paying the finance company for a computer that was now broken.

My advice here is to save up a predefined amount and then buy the best PC you can when you've saved enough! The game you want isn't going anywhere and it'll be cheaper eventually too!

Rule #3 - Remember Moore's Law!

Your new computer will one day be out of date. There's no helping it, it's going to happen. The only question is how long it'll take.

Moore was one of Intel's co-founders and made a famous prediction that computer speeds would double every two years. So far this has held pretty much true. The strange thing is that it has also appeared to apply storage capacity and other computer hardware related statistics also!

Basically what I'm saying is there isn't always a need to wait for the next big thing you've head about in gfx cards or processors. In 3 years everything from now will be far, far slower than what will be available at the time - even the latest thing today. (Kind of sounds like computer-fashion or something here!)

By the way - here is a great Wikipedia entry on Moore's Law

Well there we have it. These are the rules I remind myself of when I even have an inkling to buy new pc gaming hardware.

It may sound as if I'm trying to put you off buying new hardware, but that's not my intention at all.

As a game reviewer I always try to keep my computer up to date, but mine is not the fastest currently available by a fair stretch!

By the way; Good luck if you're buying a new computer! It's a fun thing to do but tricky when determining component compatibility and the like.

PC Gaming Hardware end - click here to return to the home page!

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