Distinguishing a gaming PC from the typical laptop or desktop computer can pose a real challenge at times. This is more so for individuals who aren’t conversant with the definitive aspects and features that characterize gaming PCs. This content provides detailed coverage of the critical elements of gaming laptops and desktops and relevant test software.
Ordinary computers and gaming PCs share a lot in common. The basic structure is similar for both, only that the gaming PC has enhanced features making them more powerful and super-fast. The main difference between ordinary PC and gaming PC comes in the following key features:
The Graphics Card (GPU)
A Gaming PC has a Graphics card to boost its video processing capability. Your regular PC uses an onboard video processor which is non-dedicated and hence relatively slow at processing video games. Graphics cards are categorized as:
Integrated graphics cards are the least powerful of all. Gaming PCs running these cards have a notably slow game processing speeds. Integrated cards are the default cards that come with ordinary PCs. PCI graphics cards are connected to the PC’s motherboard via the PCI slots. They are confined to old PCs whose motherboards only have PCI graphics card slots.
The AGP Graphics cards are connected to motherboard slots sharing the same name. These cards have a range of 4 speeds; 1X, 2X, 4X, 8X. The AGP graphics cards are slower compared to the PCI cards. Hence they are not the best for the latest video games. PCI-Express graphics cards connect to the computer motherboard via the PCI-E slot. They are the most advanced and capable of top speeds of up to 16X, ideal for the latest high-speed games.
GPU test software
There are different GPU test software for testing a PC’s graphics card capability. Some of them include:
FurMark scans the gaming PC’s GPU and provides a detailed analysis of its overall status in 15 minutes.
The Unigine’s Valley:
This GPU diagnostic tool scans for possible problems then provides a detailed analysis of its game processing capability.
The Processor (CPU
The overall system performance of a gaming PC depends mostly on the processor. High-end gaming machines have i5 to i7 processors with up to 8 cores. Lower-end gaming PCs have dual core and 4 core processors. Needless to say, the high-end gaming PCs have more power and gaming performance compared to their lower-end counterparts. High-end Intel processors, i5 & i7, with model numbers ending in K, like Core i5-6600K or Core i7-6700K, can be easily overclocked for an excellent gaming experience.
CPU test software
This CPU test software does a 3-hour CPU scan and shuts off upon identifying a problem.
This CPU test kit utilizes Intel’s stress testing engine. The IntelBurn Test scans the CPU in no more than 8 minutes and provides a summary report of the overall status.
This software is ideal for single core processors. The Super PI analyzes and indicates the PC’s ability to handle single thread tasks.
Memory (RAM). A gaming PC should have enough RAM for the smooth running of tasks. A RAM of between 8GB and 16GB is the best. Anything above this range doesn’t necessarily improve gaming performance. Remember RAM only enhances your PC’s ability to carry out many tasks simultaneously.
RAM test software
This USB or CD/DVD booting software is the ultimate RAM test kit. The Mem Test86 software highlight terrible sections in red.
Windows Memory Diagnostic
This Microsoft memory tester extensively probes the RAM for performance related issues. It boots readily from a USB or CD/DVD.
Motherboard Test Software
The motherboard and its chipset determine the other specs like RAM, CPU, and Graphics card. The Intel Z1 70 chipset is a gamers’ favorite because it supports overclocking and SLI, very crucial features in a gaming PC. The Intel Z1 70 chipset also works well with the Intel Skylake processors. All these specifications are integrated into the motherboard.
The PC doctor offers the best way to diagnose the motherboard for hardware-related problems.
This is an invaluable motherboard diagnostic tool. Just like the PC-Doctor, Ultra-X is proprietary software.
Routine testing of your gaming PC is the best way to keep its performance in top gear. There are different software solutions, freeware, and proprietary software, that can help you with this. All you are to do is make appropriate adjustments as per the test reports.