Children grow up really fast. One day they’re spilling everything in the house and crying for a diaper change, and the next, they’re demanding a gaming computer like the one their friend has.
If you haven’t already bought them a gaming computer, now might be the time to do so. Gaming is rapidly becoming the 21st century kid’s primary form of entertainment, and a it’s actually a good thing for kids to learn.
Figuring out the best gaming computer option can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not a gamer yourself. But don’t fret. This post is made for you.
Choosing or building a gaming laptop can be a difficult task as there are a ton of different options out there. In this article, we’ll lead you through some of the basic things to consider when purchasing a computer for online gaming or eSports.
Table Of Contents
What to look for in a gaming computer for a child
Yes, some parents still believe that video games trigger violence and bad behavior in kids, but research shows otherwise. In fact, playing video games improves essential skills like brainstorming, decision-making, and conflict resolution abilities.
So, buy your child a gaming computer and let them enjoy the various online games and eSports.
Just be sure to consider all the different facets of the computer before purchasing.
Understanding the different gaming platform options
A gaming platform is an environment in which the gaming software is executed. The variety of gaming platforms offers players different experiences. Depending on your child’s experience, they can use various gaming platforms, including PC and consoles like Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch.
These platforms differ in price, accessibility, performance, and flexibility. Console gaming platforms are more affordable and accessible, while PCs offer more flexibility, customization, performance and visuals.
Understanding The PC Gaming Platform
Want to use your computer as a gaming PC? Not so fast. A computer needs several essential components to execute and play online games and eSports. You can either upgrade these components to support gaming or buy a new PC specifically designed for gaming.
The essential gaming components include:
- CPU: This is the computer’s processing power. Processors are built with a different number of cores, like octa-core (8), hexa-core (6), quad-core (4). or dual-core (2). A good gaming computer should have at least an octa-core processor.
- Motherboard: This is where the memory, CPU, and video cards are placed on a computer. If you plan to build a gaming PC now or in the future, you should consider a motherboard with ample slots for memory and or video cards
- Memory: Also known as RAM, this is the memory that provides storage for data accessed by the CPU. A gaming PC needs more RAM than other PCs.
- Graphics Card: This is yet another important component to consider when choosing a gaming PC; it determines your visual experience when you run a game. A graphics card with at least GDDR3 that supports DirectX 11 is preferred for gaming computers.
- Internal Storage: This is where the gaming files are stored. The storage spaces needed for online gaming and eSports will depend on the game. You may choose either a solid state drive (recommended) or a hard disk drive.
Now that you have that information, you may be wondering, “should I use a laptop or desktop for gaming?” If that’s you, here is your answer: gaming desktops are better performers than laptops. They can hold more storage spaces and don’t get as hot as laptops, which can slow down the computer.
However, the introduction of the Razer Blade in 2011 changed a lot of things for laptops. Today, technology allows laptops to hold powerful hardware components crucial for gaming.
Portability – Do You Want a Desktop or Laptop Gaming Computer?
I have heard people ask questions like, “Can I game on a laptop?” or “Can a gaming laptop be used for eSports?” If you’re among them, this is the section for you. We’ll lay out the benefits and drawbacks of choosing a laptop or a desktop for gaming.
Perhaps the only benefit of laptops is that they are more portable. You can carry them anywhere you go and play your favorite game whenever you want. However, they can heat up quickly, cost more, and their general performance for a gamer can be poor.
So, if you are on a budget and want the ultimate choice for performance, a desktop should be your go-to machine. It will deliver better value and allow you to upgrade the gaming components whenever you wish.
The Brain – Choosing the Right Processor for Your Gaming Computer
When choosing a gaming PC, you should look at its “brain” or “heart” – the processor. A gaming PC needs GPU and CPU components to launch and play games. The CPU conducts and controls the computer program’s instructions by performing the input/output operations. On the other hand, a GPU is a single-chip processor that helps manage and improve video and graphics performance.
Most people will check the computer’s GPU while purchasing a gaming PC, but the CPU is equally important. The CPU is given tasks that the GPU can’t handle while playing a game, including AI functionality of non-player characters. The CPU’s clock speed and core count also indicate the performance capabilities of the PC.
Graphics Power – Choosing a GPU for Your Gaming Computer
As mentioned above, GPU or the graphics card, is a single-chip processor that helps manage and improve video and graphics performance. A better GPU provides a richer gaming experience and a better video experience.
When choosing a graphic card, consider getting one that’s at least 6GB for gaming at 1080p. If your child plans to game at high resolution, like 4K, don’t go any lower than an 8GB graphic card. For instance, the NVIDIA RTX 3080 or AMD RX 6800 XT is good for 1440p or 4K resolution.
However, don’t overspend on the graphic card and try to go bargain bin on the rest of the PC components. Try to balance all components, from GPU and CPU to internal memory and motherboard.
Keeping Cool – Thinking About Cooling Options for Your Gaming Computer
The heat can rise quickly in a gaming PC and may exceed 200 degrees F. If that happens too often, your system will inevitably fail. To avoid this, you should invest in keeping your gaming computer cool.
If you’ve decided to purchase a gaming laptop for your child, you may check the various cooling fans that go beneath the laptop base. On the other hand, if you buy a desktop gaming PC, a water-cooled fan or an internal fan can come in handy.
Memory Options – How Much Memory Do You Need for a Gaming Computer?
RAM is another important component when choosing a gaming PC for your child. Its purpose is to store temporary data that your PC needs to run a game properly. However, unlike HDD or SSD, RAM will reset every time you reboot your system.
Currently, 16GB RAM is the standard memory for all games. It allows for high-intensity work with computer programs, makes game play smooth, and offers you a fair amount of memory. Coupled with the right graphics card, the correct amount of RAM can provide hours of glitch-free fun for your child.
However, ensure you buy a PC that allows for expansion as games become more resource-intensive and complex in the future.
Storage Considerations – What Size Hard Drive Do You Need for Your Gaming Computer?
As mentioned above, storage space is critical to smooth gameplay. You need enough storage to store the game you want to play and its associated files. If you buy a PC with minimal storage space, you’ll be forced to upgrade, reset or completely uninstall your games.
Also, ensure you buy a fast enough drive to handle the game’s graphics. A solid state drive (SSD) is faster but more expensive. SATA SSDs are fast, but NVMe SSDs are the fastest. For a peak gaming experience, SSDs are worth the extra cost.
Choosing A Display – What Size and Resolution Monitor Do You Need for a Gaming Computer?
The monitor is also a critical element when choosing a gaming PC. Ideally, you’ll need at least a 75Hz refresh rate, but 144 Hz or 240 Hz refresh rate offers the best gaming experience. Your monitor also needs the right resolution for quality gaming. Most games come in 1080p, 1440p, or 2160p.
Another monitor spec you need to consider is its size. You’ll need at least a 24-inch monitor for a peak gaming experience.
Peripherals – What Additional Items Should You Consider for a Gaming Computer?
Your child also needs several peripherals to enhance their gaming experience. For instance, they’ll need a gaming mouse, a gaming keyboard, microphone, headset, and controller. This topic includes more information than we can cover here, but don’t worry, we’ll provide all the details in another article.
The bottom line
There you have it. The various elements to look for in a gaming laptop for your child. I hope you’ve learned enough to help your child build the perfect gaming computer. If you have any questions or additions, feel free to list them in the comment section.