Monday, August 9, 2010

Are you buying the right PC?

I would like to thank my SM teacher for giving me this opportunity to write this blog and also those of you dumb enough to read beyond this point. You guys really made my effort worth it. Also, the following sites have really been helpful.

This blog is more or less a rough guide for those of you looking to buy a laptop or PC suitable to your gaming needs, if any. I'm a fan of PC games and the biggest problem that I've encountered while buying my laptop is the variety that is available in the market. Lets face it, there are just too many options to choose from and they've certainly had me thinking way more than I normally would. There are way too many numbers and facts thrown at you when you go in the market to buy a laptop and half of these are just petty marketing schemes, determined to sell their product. The question is, what are the things that really matter and what are the things that one should ignore while buying a laptop or a PC suited to his or her needs.

Like I said, I'm a fan of PC games so this blog will mainly tell you what you should look for, if you're thinking of buying a laptop for similar needs. The following is a general list of the things that are of importance in a gaming PC and that affect its performance :-

A fast CPU, or processor is very important. Some systems include powerful quad-core processors also(only in PCs, not in laptops though).

Large amounts of memory allows the computer to quickly access frequently used information or programs which is a critical component for gaming. A good gaming PC/laptop should have at least 1 GB of RAM and sufficient hard drive space to have multiple games installed at a time.

A game is only as good as the graphics card supporting it. Many games have life–like, real–time images that require a powerful graphics card. ATI and nVidia graphics cards are the most common amongst gamers, and at least 256MB of proprietary video RAM is needed for most current games.

This is more or less, a general overview of what matters in a gaming machine. I would also like to tell you what really matters to you, as a buyer. As far as the processor is concerned, the latest versions available in the market are Celeron Dual Core i3 and Intel Core 2 Duo i5 and Xeon i7. Xeon i7 is used mainly as a server and is of not of much use. The main choice is between Dual Core i3 and Core 2 Duo i5. I talked to my uncle who is in a related field and other people with relatively more knowledge of this subject than me and most of them advised me to buy i5. Some even said that its better to buy just Core2Duo instead of dual core i3 but these are just personal opinions that may vary from 1 person to another. I'm sure you must be having views of your own which would probably differ from what I'm writing here. Apart from processors, even the graphics card or the video card plays a vital role. There are two main brands in this field, ATI and nVIDIA. In case of laptops, I've been suggested the following video cards :-
          ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 1 GB GDDR3
          NVIDIA GT230M 1 GB/512 MB GDDR3
Also make sure that you buy a hard disk with sufficient space. High end games do take up space around 10 GB. I would suggest a 320GB hard disk which rotates at around 5400 rpm. This is the specification that I'm  going to buy. I would also suggest, if possible, that you get your laptops from US. There is a price difference of around 15-20 thousand rupees and you get a larger variety and customization options there.I've been looking at Dell laptops mainly. They have their Alienware series of laptops which are exclusively for gaming but this series is a bit expensive. It'll cost you 40K and more even if you buy it from US and much much costlier here. You can check out the laptops of other brands and let me know if there is something I should know on this issue. Thank you for your time.

Sushant Mehta
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