You want to buy a new gaming desktop computer, but the choices available are overwhelming. Picking the right gaming PC can be hit or miss. Do you really need all the fancy options of the most expensive models? If you scale back your purchase, will you regret it in six months because it won't run the latest game? Here are two important tips that can help you make a smart purchase of your next gaming PC.
1. Resolution - Whether you are buying a new LCD monitor or using one you have already, you need to make certain the PC will support your LCD's native resolution, and ideally its maximum resolution as well. The native resolution means the number of pixels it supports without scaling the image up or down. For example, if you have an LCD with a 1680 x 1050 pixel native resolution, but the video card on your PC does not support this, then you will have to scale the image to fit that display, robbing you of image quality.
2. Interface type - DVI cables will usually give better image quality than VGA. Make sure the video connectors on the PC match the monitor. You can buy converters, but they sometimes will not work and you will sacrifice image quality.
Video processing choice: integrated or expansion card
If you care about high end gaming, do not buy a computer with integrated video. This is a cost savings approach that focuses on price over quality. It will likely mean that other components have been chosen for price vs. performance. Instead, buy a PC that uses a dedicated video card. Google the model number and read reviews, or check out tomshardware.com to find out if the card is powerful enough to play the game you want at a given video resolution. Go with a PCI express 2.0 card. If you only play flash based or Facebook games, integrated video should be good enough.
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