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Five Common Gaming PC Setup Mistakes

Check out our list of five common gaming PC setup mistakes so you can make sure you buy the right hardware for the job.

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Five Common Gaming PC Setup Mistakes

Video games are more popular than they ever have been before, with more and more people signing up to play a variety of games on their PC or gaming laptop.  While some games don’t really require anything special out of your laptop and desktop, others will only run if you are sporting some of the latest and greatest hardware on your machine.

To figure out where you fall, you must ask yourself what types of games you want to play.  If you prefer those fast paced games filled with action in rich graphic environments, then you are going to want to make sure you invest in decent quality specs on your desktop or gaming laptop.  Unfortunately, many gamers new to the PC gaming world often make several common mistakes when setting up their new gaming machine.

These mistakes can really hamper your gaming experience and may even prevent you from running the game you want to play.  Today, we take a look at five common gaming PC setup mistakes people make when building or buying a new laptop or desktop specifically for playing games.  If you are about to shop for a new gaming PC, be it a laptop or desktop, you will do yourself a great service by stopping and checking out this article.  With just a few minutes of time to read what I have to say, you can prevent yourself from making a mistake and buying something that simply won’t work for your gaming needs.

Now, onto the list!  Below you will find my list of five common mistakes people make when setting up a new gaming PC.  If you are ready to get a new gaming machine, read these carefully and make sure you cover all your bases.  That way your gaming experience on your new machine will be a good one.

1. More Power Scotty!

Gaming machines can require quite a bit of power to run effectively.  They often use some of the best motherboards and processors on the market and even the video cards they utilize require much more power than many of your standard computer components.  Many new gaming system builders often forget about this fact when constructing the perfect gaming machine.

Many will drop in a power supply that simply can’t push the kind of wattage you need on your computer when it is under its heaviest load.  This can cause many different issues.  The most common types of issues are random reboots and sometimes the power supply itself can even overheat as it works too hard to keep up.

When building your new system, make sure you invest well in a decent power supply that can push the kind of power you need to all those power hungry components that you will use to drive those video games that you love so much.

2. A Dated Video Card

If there is one thing a gamer should never do is skimp on the video card.  However, many new system builders often choose older graphics cards or cards without enough power to really provide the ultimate experience.  The same can be said for laptop owners out there that want to buy a gaming laptop.  They look to see if they can save a little bit of money if they step down a card or two.  While this will work, you may find that your video card isn’t quite up to the task.

Some of the very best PC games out there require pretty powerful video cards, so if you are putting together a gaming system, be it a laptop or a desktop, make sure that you invest in one with a high-quality video card that was made recently.  These newer cards will be able to handle the fancy graphics and high framerates required by today’s games and they will make sure that each game you play is a smooth experience so you are ready to take on your enemies free of any type of lag.

3. Slow Mouse And/Or Keyboard

This one isn’t always a problem, but if you play any type of game that is, as they say, “twitch based,” then you are going to want a mouse and keyboard that are set on a very high responsiveness if you hope to be successful.  This is even more important when it comes to the mouse.  You need to be able to whip your character around quickly in order to respond to attacks from all sides, if your mouse tracking is set too slow, you won’t be able to move as fast.  This will leave you exposed and your overall performance will not be as well.  In some cases, it can even make the game seem not very fun at all, as you just can’t get anywhere because your character turns like an 80 year old arthritis patient.

Pick up a decent quality mouse and get used to using it on the most sensitive settings.  Once you do that, you will find that your success rate will go way up in the games you play.  Just be prepared for a time of adjustment.  In the beginning, you will probably look like you are doing dance moves as you twirl about.  However, in time you will adjust and you will be a much better player once you do.

4. Wrong Processor for the Job

With so many processors out there, it can be really tough to decide which one you should go with.  Whether you are building a gaming desktop or buying a gaming laptop, you need to make sure you get a processor that can handle the latest video games with ease.  While much of the graphics are handled by your video card, there is much more to games than just the graphics.  These applications are some of the most complex and largest applications your machine will handle, meaning that you need to make sure you have a processor that is up for the task.

Personally, I would always go with an Intel line these days, although you can find some decent entries in the AMD line that are much more affordable.  When choosing an Intel processor, I recommend always going with an i7 processor and make sure that you choose one of the latest generations as well.  While it may have i7 on it, it may not be able to handle the latest games that require the very latest in architecture in order to perform as they were designed.  While you could go with an i5, an i7 should perform much better and will help you load those games much faster so you can start playing and stop those long load times.

5. Wrong Monitor

Have you ever heard things said such as refresh rates and response times when it comes to computer monitors?  If you don’t know these are, you could be using the wrong monitor for your gaming.  Graphics can really push a monitor just as they would any other piece of hardware on your computer.  Refresh rates and response times equal out to how quickly something in shown on your monitor as it is being processed by your video card.

So, monitors with higher refresh rates and better response times will perform better on games and especially on those that are very fast moving.  If your monitor response time is too slow, you can get what they call ghosting on the monitor.  This will make your games look very bad and make it hard to see what is going on at time.  Sometimes, things will just appear blurry making it difficult to see what you are doing as well.  When gaming, pick up a monitor that has a very high response time if you want to really make your games look the best that they possible can.

Final Thoughts

While you may think that many of these on this list are just common sense, the fact is that many gamers make these mistakes on a regular basis.  I cannot tell you how many times people have come to me wanting their machines to play games better only to find they don’t have the hardware they need for the task.

It’s not anyone’s fault.  Many simply don’t know that they have to get the right hardware if they hope to play some of the very best games on the highest settings they can.  But now you know, and that’s why I’m here and bringing this article to you today.  My hope is that by reading this when you are ready to buy a gaming laptop or building a desktop PC just for gaming, you will have the information you need to choose the right hardware for the job.

With the right hardware, there is nothing better than gaming on a PC.  Of course, if your hardware struggles to keep up, PC gaming can be an exercise in frustration.  So take this list with you when you start shopping so you can make the right hardware choices for your next gaming system, be it laptop or desktop.

What do you think?  Do you think I left something off this list?  Let me know in the comments below.

By Matt Garrett

Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing on our sister ShopNinja sites where he enjoys talking about anything and everything tech.

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