Widescreen Gaming Forum

[-noun] Web community dedicated to ensuring PC games run properly on your tablet, netbook, personal computer, HDTV and multi-monitor gaming rig.
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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2017, 17:29 
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Joined: 13 Oct 2003, 05:00
Posts: 7358

Configuring a Gaming PC

1. Choose the Right Display
4k is overkill for a notebook. Save money by choosing 1080p for 13” – 15” notebooks, and 1440p for 15” and higher. Gaming at 4k is taxing on a system, and chances are you’d have to scale to a lower resolution anyway – losing image sharpness. Also, the vast majority of media is 1080p, and streaming 4k over a notebook Wi-Fi connection can be problematic.

Treat a desktop display like an investment. It can easily last you through one or two upgrade cycles. Invest in more screen real estate with a 1440p screen. My personal preference is a 3440x1440 ultra-wide. Get a higher refresh rate, in the 100-120Hz range if you can.

2. Find the Sweet Spot on CPUs and GPUs
For CPUs, look for a Ryzen 5 or 7 from AMD, or a Core i5 or i7 from Intel. For GPUs, look for a card with 4GB – 8GB of VRAM. But don’t be lured in by the top-end offerings. They usually offer only marginal performance improvements, but have a high price premium. Look one or two steps down from the premium product for the best value, and to save significant money.

3. RAM and Fast Storage
Invest the money you’ve saved on CPU and GPU, and invest it in RAM and fast storage. The sweet spot on RAM is 16GB. Less will impact performance, but more is overkill. Go with a single large SSD. Get a ½ to 1 TB M.2 SSD for notebooks, and a 1TB M.2 SSD for desktops.

Supplement this with a NAS (Network Attached Storage) for your bulky media files such as movies, music and photos. A NAS allows anyone on your network to access or stream the media, can be configured for redundancy to prevent data loss, and makes upgrading to a new machine much easier.

One Word of Caution

If you’re looking to spend several thousand dollars on a huge tank of a laptop with all high-end components, a huge screen, and a bigger price tag ($3k - $4k). Don’t. Take the bulk of that money and buy yourself a good desktop gaming machine – which you can upgrade, and then spend the rest on a laptop you can travel with when needed.

Things I Would Invest in

1. Input Devices
You don’t want your gaming experience soured by poor input devices. Consider buying aftermarket mice and keyboards. You’ll have an ocean of choices to fit virtually every need, and you'll be thankful for the investment

2. Aesthetics
Whether it’s a desktop or a notebook, I will pay extra for good engineering that makes a gaming PC smaller, operate cooler, run quieter, and look good. We’re a long way past big beige boxes and bulky laptops, and high-performance components that have to sound like a jet engine.

Picking something that blends in or accents a space can help convince your non-gaming parents, roommates or significant others to let you keep a gaming PC in the living room. Smaller lighter notebooks are more portable and easier on your back. And smaller desktop enclosures make it easier to take your rig with you to a friend’s house, LAN party, or when you go off to college – where space is often a premium.

3. Ultrawide Notebook + External GPU
The combination of a small powerful notebook, paired with a desktop GPU combines the benefits of notebook portability, with the performance and upgradeability of a desktop GPU. I realize that you don’t get the full performance out of a desktop class GPU, when pairing it with a notebook via a GPU enclosure. The recent announcement of USB 3.2, which doubles the bandwidth of USB 3.1 Gen 2, and should go a long way to closing this gap.

I would love an external GPU enclosure that served as hub/docking station for your display, USB devices and wired networking. Imagine a notebook like the Macbook Pro with two USB 3.2 Type-C connectors, and a GPU enclosure/dock, that had a slot like the Nintendo Switch.You could slide your notebook in with one connector dedicated to the external GPU, and the other dedicated to your USB peripherals and networking. And make the notebook ultra wide while you're at it.

I forgot to say, also invest in good speakers. They will last several upgrade cycles as well.

Product Info:

The latest External GPU enclosure on the market is the Omen Accelerator from HP. It also includes docking and additional storage capabilities. - https://goo.gl/hq9LPk

Affiliate links for products I use:
Synology DS216J 2-bay NAS: http://amzn.to/2gOBfG6
WD 3TB Red NAS HDD: http://amzn.to/2gNJceS
34" 3440x1440 Ultrawide Displays: http://amzn.to/2xNv2Af
Corsair K65 TKL RGB Compact Keyboard: http://amzn.to/2gsL7sd
Corsair M65 Pro RGB Gaming Mouse: http://amzn.to/2ywWk1o
Sound BlasterX Katana 7.1 Soundbar: http://amzn.to/2zxXp7q


PostPosted: 11 Jan 2018, 17:48 
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Joined: 13 Oct 2003, 05:00
Posts: 7358
<admin: bump to fix article clean-up flood into the forums>

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