PC Games Buying Guide
Introduction: One of my favorite things to do is pl...
PC Games Buying Guide
One of my favorite things to do is play games, I personally love gaming on my computer, sadly though I do not have as much time as I would like to play said games, but that's life when you work for a living right?
Gaming is big business, not only for consoles but home computers as well, console gaming has become very popular but it will never truly replace gaming on the PC. Gaming started out on the computer after all with the basic text input games,and will always remain popular there.
Types of Games:
There are numerous types of games that can be broken down into many, many specific categories, I'm not going to get to specific with the types of games, but I do want to touch on a few of the more popular types out there today.
MMORPG or Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games have become very popular over the past few years, these types of games allow people to play online in real time against other people interacting with them and even making friends in the fantasy worlds created by the games environment. I believe these games are so popular because of the social aspects of it all, not only is it fun to play but you get the friendship and camaraderie of being in groups and working together to accomplish a task.
FPS or First Person Shooters are by far one of the most popular genres of games on the market today, this type of game is my favorite as it allows a First Person view of the action going on in the game. These games essentially put you in the game, with FPS games you can easily get immersed in them for an almost real experience and level of excitement and enjoyment.
Simulation type games are games that attempt to simulate or emulate the real world around us to 'simulate' an environment or activity. There are actual sub-categories of this type of game, but these can be real world based like flight simulators, racing simulators or possibly the Sim City series, or Fantasy based like the Black and White or even Populous where you can play a god. There are even types of simulation games where you can be a doctor, raise pets, or life simulations like the Sims series of games.
Casual Games are a genre of games that can encompass many styles and types of games, most notable Casual Games are Minesweeper, Solitaire, or even Tetris, but there are many others out there as well. Casual games are games that we play to waste time basically, something to do when we are bored that is fun but yet we don't have to get too involved in what we are doing.
Of course there are many other types of games on the market today aimed at many types of people and their interests. That's one thing I like about PC gaming, you can find games on almost any subject to play from action/adventure, fantasy, horror and sci-fi to educational games that make learning fun for all ages.
SLI and Crossfire in Gaming:
SLI and Crossfire are fancy terms for using multiple GPUs or video cards in your computer to increase gaming performance. In my experience most of it is hype, yes there is an increase in the performance but not as much as we are led to believe honestly.
Is it worth having multiple GPUs in your computer? Yes, sometimes it is but it's not something that is required to be able to enjoy gaming on the PC. If you are looking to upgrade an older system that is capable of SLI or Crossfire then a relatively cheap recommended upgrade would be to add another video card to increase your video performance.
I personally have SLI systems but I rarely use the cards in SLI actually, I'm more than happy with the performance of running the single card setup and I can play all the newest games on the market today perfectly fine. Obviously I can't max the settings but the games are still very enjoyable even without the 'eye-candy' turned on.
Things To Remember When Buying Games:
When new games come out the first thing most people question or look at is if their computer will be able to play the game or will they have to upgrade to play that hot new game on the market today. Usually the answer is both Yes and No, Yes you may have to upgrade if you want to play that new game with all of the settings maxed and all of the 'eye-candy' turned on; but the answer could also be No if all of that really does not matter to you and you just want to play the game.
Minimum System Requirements:
When you read the specs for a game there are normally two sets of System Requirements listed, one is the Minimum System Requirements for a computer to be able to play a game. I've found that those specs listed are very basic, and even if you have a similar system as those listed you'll be able to play the game, and enjoy it with decent looking graphics and smooth video. Of course though you'll have to turn the settings and resolution down if you'd like to have playable framerates, but all in all from my experience running on lower settings does not effect the overall enjoyment of the game.
Recommended System Requirements:
The second set of System Requirements is the Recommended Requirements, these are the minimum requirements recommended by the games creator to be able to play the game with good framerates, high resolution and most of the eye-candy turned on. Notice there I said 'most of the eye-candy', when companies list those 'Recommended Requirements' what they don't tell you is that even if your system meets those specs you still might not be able to run the game with all of the settings maxed out. It's sort of deceiving to list them that way and then the consumer thinks he'll be able to play the game with everything 'turned on', but there's still a chance they won't be able to.
Personally I think there should be three System Requirements listed so the consumer really knows what to expect in terms of performance from their system. Those three should be something like Minimum, Recommended and Maximum or maybe High Performance with examples of resolutions and settings listed as well, this way the end buyer knows pretty much exactly what to expect from their system in terms of how said game might perform for them.
When purchasing a game make sure to read reviews, and find people with systems similar to yours so you can possibly know what to expect in terms of real performance.
Another piece of advice is not to believe the hype about any game, game publishers are very good at marketing and they can make a game look very good though advertisements and marketing saturation, just because you hear about the game everywhere does not mean it's a good game. This is where independent reviews come into play, and of course recommendations from friends and family as well.
Visit trusted sites that review games to learn about how the game really plays, most sites will test games on several types of systems and list the results for comparisons so consumers will really know what to expect in terms of performance.
Another great place to learn more about games and their performance is public forums, here you can interact with other average users like yourself with systems similar to yours, here you can learn honestly what people think about a game and what you might expect in terms of performance from many systems. Discussions on public forums about games can be as valuable and sometimes more valuable than the professional reviews done on websites.
Author: Kristofer Brozio