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Introduction to Dell Gaming PCs

Summary: Ready to play? Learn what makes gaming computers standout from regular computers, and what kind of computer you need to play the latest games.

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If you're planning on making your next computer a gaming computer, Dell is here to get you started. This article will help you understand what components set a gaming computer apart from a regular computer, what you need to play different types of games, and considerations to help you make your decision. Once you know what kind of gaming computer is right for you, Dell has many options to fit your needs. Let's get started.

Gaming PCs – Premium Components for Premium Performance

Any Dell personal computer, or PC, can run PC games, but without specialized hardware you will only be able to play games with low requirements. To handle the advanced visuals and processing requirements of many modern games, you need more powerful components than you might find in an entry-level computer. The components often have unique brand names and model numbers which can get confusing, but you can compare them directly using their technical specifications.
The following components make the biggest difference between a computer built for gaming and one built for basic tasks:

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), or Graphics Card
Whether it's on a separate (discrete) card or integrated into the processor, the GPU generates all of a gaming PC's graphics. This makes the GPU the most important component of a gaming PC. Without a powerful enough GPU, certain games may not be playable at all. A GPU's specifications describe its speed, onboard memory, and compatibility with versions of DirectX graphics.
Central Processing Unit (CPU) or Processor
The processor handles nearly all the work that your computer performs, gaming or otherwise. A fast processor with multiple processing cores ensures that your computer can run games designed to for the latest CPU technology, and helps with non-gaming tasks as well. A CPU's specifications describe its processing speed, number of cores, number of threads, and its "architecture."
Random-Access Memory (RAM), or Memory
While it's processing millions of calculations per second, your computer stores the necessary data in its RAM, or memory. It is crucial to have enough RAM to run games, but exceeding the required amount will not increase your gaming performance. RAM's specifications describe its size, typically in gigabytes (GB) and its speed, which must be compatible with your computer's mother board and your CPU.
Other Components:

  • Storage: Modern PC game installations can quickly consume a large amount of storage on your computer. A solid-state drive, or SSD, can read and write data more quickly than a hard disk drive (HDD), but they are more expensive than regular hard drives, byte-for-byte. Storage specifications describe its size, ranging from megabytes to gigabytes to terabytes, and the speed at which data can be read and written.
  • Peripherals: Gaming mice and keyboards feature highly responsive keys and buttons, and come with customization options to suit your gaming needs. Also, certain games are best played with a controller instead of mouse and keyboard.
  • Monitors and Displays: Gaming monitors offer high resolutions and rapid refresh rates in order to take full advantage of the graphics produced by your graphics card. Whether you use the built-in display of a gaming laptop or pair a freestanding monitor with a desktop, Dell provides an optimal viewing experience for your games.

Understanding Computer Specifications

The components of your gaming PC are described as your PC's specifications, or specs. Your computer's specs determine how and what it can perform; higher grade, more powerful components can deliver greater performance and handle more advanced tasks. Knowing what your PC can handle lets you know what games it can run, and likewise, knowing what games you want to play helps you decide what computer to get. Most games suggest two different sets of requirements: the minimum requirements needed to play at all, and the recommended requirements that provide the best experience. You should aim to get a system that meets or exceeds the recommended requirements for a game typical of the kind you want to play. As computer technology and hardware evolve, game developers create more demanding software to take advantage of the newer, faster machines. A killer gaming rig today may not be able to run the latest blockbuster video game in the future. However, by selecting high-end components today and planning on upgrades in the future, you can get a gaming machine that keeps up with the pack for years to come.

Typical Computer spec list:

  • Operating System, or OS: The operating systems compatible with the game. The newest games often won't run on an old OS, and vice versa.
  • Processor: A processor at least as recent and at least as powerful as the listed options can run the game (AMD and Intel options provided).  
  • Memory: The minimum amount of RAM needed.
  • Graphics card: Speed, Memory and DirectX Requirements for (AMD, Nvidia, and Intel options provided, if applicable)
  • Online Connection Requirements: how fast your internet connection needs to be for online play.
  • Storage: How much available disk space you need to install the game.
If you already know what kind of games you want to play, you have a good idea what kind of gaming PC is right for you. Compare the recommended specs for several new games and see what they have in common, or check out the PC Requirements for Games table.

PC Requirements for Games

Game Type Features GPU Requirements CPU Requirements Other Recommendations
First Person Shooter (FPS) High resolution environments, needs consistently high frame rates High Medium/High Pair with a high-refresh rate monitor
Role-Playing Game (RPG) Lush environments, epic stories, simplified combat gameplay Medium/High Medium Lots of storage space for game files
Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs),Real-Time Strategy (RTS) Dependence on online connectivity, modest graphics, reliable input Low/Medium Medium/High for RTS Gaming mice and keyboards are popular for these game
Racing, Flight, other Simulators Physics simulation, scalable graphics, complex calculations Varies, but higher is better High Lots of storage space for game files
Retro and Low-Requirement games Low resolution or purposefully modest graphics; older games, or intentionally retro games Low Low Can be played on almost any new PC or tablet
Virtual Reality (VR) Total immersion into the game using specialized headsets with twin displays and inputs. State-of-the-art, multiple GPUs State-of-the-art If you want to do VR, you need to make sure you get a PC designed to do so.

Choosing the Gaming PC that's right for you

There's more to a gaming PC than its individual components; a powerful GPU won't perform to its full potential paired with a weak CPU, and loads of fast RAM won't help a system that's not designed to take advantage of that speed. Getting a gaming PC from Dell ensures that all of your components are compatible and up to date, meaning all you have to decide is which model and configuration are right for you. 

Here are some things to think about to help you decide:

  • What kind of form factor do I want? Is the size and portability of a laptop more important than the power and customization options of a desktop?
  • Do I want a configuration that will be competitive for several years, or do I want a PC I can upgrade with new components? 
  • What configuration has the right specifications for me to play my favorite games?
  • Can I afford a system that exceeds the specifications I need, so I can keep up with the latest game releases? 

Whatever you decide, Dell has a gaming PC that will meet your needs. Once you have a gaming PC, you can learn how to get the most performance from your machine. Happy gaming!

Article Properties

Affected Product
Alienware Alpha & Alienware Steam Machine, Alienware Area 51, Alienware Area-51 ALX, Alienware Area-51 R2, Alienware Aurora, Alienware Aurora ALX, Alienware Aurora R2, Alienware Aurora R3, Alienware Aurora R4, Alienware Aurora R5, Alienware Aurora R6 , Alienware Alpha R2 & Alienware Steam Machine R2, Alienware X51, Alienware X51 R2, Alienware X51 R3, G Series, Dell G3 3579, Dell G3 15 3590, Dell G7 15 7588, Dell G3 3779, Inspiron 14 Gaming 7466, Inspiron 14 Gaming 7467, Inspiron 15 Gaming 5576, Inspiron 15 Gaming 5577, Inspiron 15 Gaming 7566 ...
Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021



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